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Old 31-07-2015, 13:24   #1
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Med to Australia timing?

I'm thinking ahead to 2016/7 when I might take my boat to Australia. I'm trying to get my head around the timing of the Pacific part of the journey to see if I will want to rush the whole trip in just over a year or make it 2 years.

The timing from the Med to the Caribbean is straight forward. Be in Gib by late Sept, early Oct and head to the Canaries. Late November or early December set off for the Caribbean. Could leave a little earlier if I go to Cape Verde. So by NYE I should be in the Caribbean.

This is where I get stuck. I know I need to be out of the tropics in Aus by end of October, but I'm not sure how long I can afford to cruise the Caribbean before I need to head to the canal and beyond.

I should mention that I am not a good tourist and I don't feel the urge to go and do all the tourist things or get immersed in the local culture.

So whilst some people might need to take 5 years to do the trip, maybe I'll possibly be satisfied with 14 months.

Aside from getting south in the Caribbean before the Hurricane season starts up are there any other dates that should be considered weather wise when it comes to planning when to transit the canal?

How long does it realistically take to transit the canal? I'm sure I've read that some people have taken like a month to get their transit.

What's the earliest you should depart from the Galapagos, April?

How long does it take to cross the pacific with the "usual" stops but no extended stays? A month to Tahiti and then 4 months for the rest?

Does this seem reasonable?...

Gib - Canaries - Oct
Atlantic - Dec
Caribbean - Jan-Mar
Canal to Galapagos - April
to Tahiti - May
to Aus - June to Oct
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Old 31-07-2015, 13:32   #2
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Re: Med to Australia timing?

Your timing is about right. It will take longer to transit the Canal if you try to do it near Easter. You can leave the Galapagos a bit earlier UNLESS it is an El Nino year when the cyclones come further east. You can extend the arrival to OZ a month if you are prepared to keep an eye on the weather.
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Old 31-07-2015, 13:41   #3
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Re: Med to Australia timing?

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Originally Posted by donradcliffe View Post
Your timing is about right. It will take longer to transit the Canal if you try to do it near Easter. You can leave the Galapagos a bit earlier UNLESS it is an El Nino year when the cyclones come further east. You can extend the arrival to OZ a month if you are prepared to keep an eye on the weather.
I've been meaning to ask about the El Nino affect on cruising. All I normally hear is El Nino = Drought in Aus and I think rain in SA. The rain in SA I guess matches with more easterly cyclones.

Is the Easter issue related to celebrations or is there simply more cruisers transiting then?
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Old 31-07-2015, 13:48   #4
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Re: Med to Australia timing?

An El Nino in the Pacific often means lighter trade winds and more calms and longer times crossing.
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Old 31-07-2015, 13:51   #5
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Re: Med to Australia timing?

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Originally Posted by donradcliffe View Post
Your timing is about right. It will take longer to transit the Canal if you try to do it near Easter. You can leave the Galapagos a bit earlier UNLESS it is an El Nino year when the cyclones come further east. You can extend the arrival to OZ a month if you are prepared to keep an eye on the weather.

Yep I live in oz and in the tropics. You are reasonably safe from cyclones until December. But there is always the chance of an early one.


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Old 31-07-2015, 13:54   #6
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Re: Med to Australia timing?

Easter means both more boats and more vacations by the canal workers.

El Nino years seem to let more fronts come further north in the South Pacific. The fronts disrupt the trades and you can actually get westerly winds at times (most anchorages are best for the Easterly tradewinds). We have also seen early season cyclones. However, you will still have a great time.
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Old 31-07-2015, 13:59   #7
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Re: Med to Australia timing?

I figured it would be better to be cautious and maybe I'd land in Cairns, the I can spend November heading south at a leisurely pace.

But I have also toyed with the idea of finding somewhere in the SouPac that has cheap regular flights to Aus and leave my boat there rather than importing it.
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Old 31-07-2015, 14:06   #8
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Re: Med to Australia timing?

I would aim for whitsundays, not as humid and further south in the cyclone belt. Plenty of fabulous cruising there and further south to keep you going for a while. But depends on what you are looking for. I spent a couple of months in cairns from November and the humidity was a shocker. But I spent the couple of months because the inland was amazing


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Old 31-07-2015, 14:19   #9
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Re: Med to Australia timing?

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Originally Posted by Mattyb View Post
I would aim for whitsundays, not as humid and further south in the cyclone belt. Plenty of fabulous cruising there and further south to keep you going for a while. But depends on what you are looking for. I spent a couple of months in cairns from November and the humidity was a shocker. But I spent the couple of months because the inland was amazing


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A quick look at the map now tells me Cairns was a dumb idea. I'm perhaps more likely to come from New Caledonia, so maybe Mackay is a more logical arrival point. Whitsundays would be where i would want to spend a bit of time and perhaps a place I'd likely get visitors.
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Old 31-07-2015, 14:23   #10
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Re: Med to Australia timing?

Quote:
Originally Posted by hoppy View Post


Gib - Canaries - Oct
Atlantic - Dec
Caribbean - Jan-Mar
Canal to Galapagos - April
to Tahiti - May
to Aus - June to Oct
My thoughts:
Gib to Canaries arrive Canaries BEFORE Oct 1st. Weather gets bad after that: "South of Finnistaire by October 15" is the saying, so get through a bit earlier for good weather.

Atlantic start a day after the ARC then you will be in St Barts for Christmas and New Year which is unmissable!

Caribbean: you have great flexibility here. You can stay untill May if you want or move to Panama from January. I would keep this flex so you can spend more time if you wish, or if you need repairs etc in the Caribbean because there is NOTHING between Caribbean and Australia in boat stuff.

Panama Canal: we were late through and went on June 12th. Consider the admin BS and transit will take two weeks from arrival in Colon, Panama until you pop out into the Pacific.

Galapagos. You must stop here if you can possibly afford it. Its Charles Dawrin every moment and every bird, animal, reptile you see.

Pacifc at your leisure but be in Tonga September. Thats the month eveyone congregates there to make their push to NZ or Aus, Fiji etc.

To Australia: we left Tonga on September 15th for a 16 day passage to Sydney direct because we wanted to be there early (we had a reason). You can leave Tonga whenever you like as long as you get the the Aussie coast by November 1st, to be safe, for the cyclone season. (I don't do this sailing in the cyclone season ****. Its not worth the fear let alone being hit by one)
Cairns may be closest but remember you have a long trip down to Melbourne.
From Tonga you can better lay a course to Sydney, then head deeper south after about Lord Howe Island.
Of course, if you have the time, Cairns is wonderful! And the coast down is too.

Its a wonderful, quick adventure from the Med to Aus. Yes, you could stop a year in each and every place, but you will get your eye fill in the quick one you propose.

By the way, the Canaries at ARC time, St Barts Christmas and New Year, Panama, Galapagos and Tonga in September are terrific social times when everyone is heading somewhere exciting. These people can be the best folks you've met in your life, so my advice is to get into the social scene... If theres a crowd join it.


Mark
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Old 31-07-2015, 14:41   #11
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Re: Med to Australia timing?

Quote:
Originally Posted by hoppy View Post
I figured it would be better to be cautious and maybe I'd land in Cairns, the I can spend November heading south at a leisurely pace.

But I have also toyed with the idea of finding somewhere in the SouPac that has cheap regular flights to Aus and leave my boat there rather than importing it.
Despite having imported my boat into Oz 21 years ago I have no plans to take her back.

You can keep her in NZ for 2 years, return flights ex Melb to Auk can be found for under $Aus400 ... dearer at the high season.

Time for a Pacific crossing? Last year left Antofagasta in early May and arrived in NZ at the end of July having spent about two weeks in Tahiti/Bora Bora and a week in Tonga...
I dont have my logbook handy but about 8 weeks at sea.
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Old 31-07-2015, 14:41   #12
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Re: Med to Australia timing?

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Originally Posted by MarkJ View Post
My thoughts:
Gib to Canaries arrive Canaries BEFORE Oct 1st. Weather gets bad after that: "South of Finnistaire by October 15" is the saying, so get through a bit earlier for good weather.

Atlantic start a day after the ARC then you will be in St Barts for Christmas and New Year which is unmissable!

Caribbean: you have great flexibility here. You can stay untill May if you want or move to Panama from January. I would keep this flex so you can spend more time if you wish, or if you need repairs etc in the Caribbean because there is NOTHING between Caribbean and Australia in boat stuff.

Panama Canal: we were late through and went on June 12th. Consider the admin BS and transit will take two weeks from arrival in Colon, Panama until you pop out into the Pacific.

Galapagos. You must stop here if you can possibly afford it. Its Charles Dawrin every moment and every bird, animal, reptile you see.

Pacifc at your leisure but be in Tonga September. Thats the month eveyone congregates there to make their push to NZ or Aus, Fiji etc.

To Australia: we left Tonga on September 15th for a 16 day passage to Sydney direct because we wanted to be there early (we had a reason). You can leave Tonga whenever you like as long as you get the the Aussie coast by November 1st, to be safe, for the cyclone season. (I don't do this sailing in the cyclone season ****. Its not worth the fear let alone being hit by one)
Cairns may be closest but remember you have a long trip down to Melbourne.
From Tonga you can better lay a course to Sydney, then head deeper south after about Lord Howe Island.
Of course, if you have the time, Cairns is wonderful! And the coast down is too.

Its a wonderful, quick adventure from the Med to Aus. Yes, you could stop a year in each and every place, but you will get your eye fill in the quick one you propose.

By the way, the Canaries at ARC time, St Barts Christmas and New Year, Panama, Galapagos and Tonga in September are terrific social times when everyone is heading somewhere exciting. These people can be the best folks you've met in your life, so my advice is to get into the social scene... If theres a crowd join it.


Mark
I was hoping that you would chip in especially as I recalled that you made a fairly quick trip through the pacific.

Whilst I'm "planning" a quick trip, I am reserving the right to get distracted and draw it out. After all, I moved to Europe to work in the UK for 2 years, stayed 2 months, moved to Ireland for 2 years and then spent the last 15 in Sweden. I've seen a few videos from the Caribbean and it looks like the social could be fun, so maybe I'd hang out until the end of the season and plan to party again the next year, delaying the Pacific

I've actually been to the Galapagos, met lonesome George, looked at lots of boobies Favourite moments were swimming and playing with a sea lion that gave me a dog like sad face when it was too cold to swim any more (still shocked how cold it was) and watching another sea lion pissing of a penguin by nipping at it's tail whilst it swam Regretted not having a diving licence then.

As for Aus, I guess I'll be happy to get to Brissy by Dec 1st and perhaps Sydney for the S2H start and NYE. Then down to Melbourne.
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Old 31-07-2015, 14:55   #13
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Re: Med to Australia timing?

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Despite having imported my boat into Oz 21 years ago I have no plans to take her back.

You can keep her in NZ for 2 years, return flights ex Melb to Auk can be found for under $Aus400 ... dearer at the high season.

Time for a Pacific crossing? Last year left Antofagasta in early May and arrived in NZ at the end of July having spent about two weeks in Tahiti/Bora Bora and a week in Tonga...
I dont have my logbook handy but about 8 weeks at sea.
What I do at the end of the trip is still very uncertain. I would love to have the boat moored in Melbourne, but there is not much to do there with a boat unless you want to race. The only realistic cruising is Tassie but you need perhaps 2 weeks if you just want to do a quick cruise of the north coast & bass strait islands.

I liked racing when I was younger and I could imagine doing that with my boat, but after stripping all the heavy cruising gear out.


8 weeks from Chile to NZ seems fast, but I guess that is because I think 4 weeks to the first stop in Tahiti and forget that that is more than half way across.
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Old 31-07-2015, 14:59   #14
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Re: Med to Australia timing?

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Pacifc at your leisure but be in Tonga September. Thats the month eveyone congregates there to make their push to NZ or Aus, Fiji etc.
Don't people want to go to Fiji, Vanuatu & new Caledonia before going to Aus and therefore leave Tonga earlier?
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Old 31-07-2015, 15:07   #15
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Re: Med to Australia timing?

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What I do at the end of the trip is still very uncertain. I would love to have the boat moored in Melbourne, but there is not much to do there with a boat unless you want to race. The only realistic cruising is Tassie but you need perhaps 2 weeks if you just want to do a quick cruise of the north coast & bass strait islands.

I liked racing when I was younger and I could imagine doing that with my boat, but after stripping all the heavy cruising gear out.


8 weeks from Chile to NZ seems fast, but I guess that is because I think 4 weeks to the first stop in Tahiti and forget that that is more than half way across.
It didn't seem fast at the time I think it was 5 weeks/2 weeks/2 weeks .... Dep Anto 9 May, arrived NZ 30 July.

Weather down from Tonga was not bad, just 'Ordinary'... headed all the way. The mob waits for the equinox... its still odds on crappo....

Melbourne is the pits, W'port marginally better.
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