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Old 25-12-2007, 15:10   #1
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Panama - Darwin

I'm seeking preliminary information for a Panama to Darwin sail.

Anyone care to comment on routes, provisioning en-route, stops, must see's, etc?

Thanks in advance for any suggestions.
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Old 26-12-2007, 11:36   #2
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That's a pretty broad request. There are about 10,000 islands in the South Pacific and you can't go too far wrong with any of them.

Your 1st stop will be the Galapagos (of course) then it's a long haul to any number of places.

Most take the "Milk Run" through the Marguesas, French Polynesia, Cooks, Samoa, Tonga, Fiji and on West. The selection is endless. You could take 4 months to do the trip or 20 years.

Do you have any preferrences as to areas that you want to see?

Do you have an approx time table?

I've spent a lot of years in the SoPac. I haven't seen it all and you won't live long enough to see it all.

As far as provissioning goes, stock up well in Panama (at least 4-6 months worth). The next best provisioning will be in French Polynesia (expensive and French products) then American Samoa (cheap and US products).

Always provision for twice what you think you will need (std rule of thumb). If something goes wrong, there are no grocery stores at sea. Never figure on catching fish in your provisioning plans. You probably will but might not. Buy lots of freeze dried meals (in the sealed foil packs) and canned food, lots of rice (check it often for bugs), sugar, coffee, beans, pasta (check it for bugs often also), canned butter and boxed milk, powdered milk.

I would recommend getting a good pressure cooker and learning how to can your own fish. When you catch fish, you will waste a lot if you don't can it. I wouldn't recommend depending on your freezer for the long run to the Galapagos or from there to Marguesas.

It's also a good idea to learn how to grow your own sprouts and keep them going.

Fill with fuel at every oportunity but never run your engine unless you have enough fuel to motor the entire distance to a "Safe harbor" (another rule of thumb). If you get dismasted 500 miles from the nearest port and you only have enough fuel to motor 400 miles, you won't be a happy camper.
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Old 26-12-2007, 12:20   #3
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Thank you Kanani for taking the time to respond.

Yeah, your right, it is a pretty broad request. This will be a relaxed delivery so although we'll have a bit of time to stop and visit various locations it'll be a pretty straight shot.

I'm not so much looking for the way or "how to?". More for, as who knows when I might pass this way again, the best places to put in for provisions and "top ten" of places who's beauty or people make it not to be missed.

Again Kanani, thank you for your recommendations. Having never sailed the S. Pacific I've really no idea of desirable locations. Just trying to get a consensus from those who've been before.

If it indeed goes I'm looking forward to what I believe will be an amazing voyage.
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Old 26-12-2007, 13:04   #4
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Well, everyone that has done the SoPac has their own little nitches (mainly because that's where they have been).

One of my favorite "out-of-the-way" spots was Penrhyn Isl (9S 158W) between Marquesas and Pago-Pago (pronounsed Pango-Pango). Not many yachts stop there and the people really appreciate visitors. They took us diving for pearls. That was fascinating.

Then don't miss Suvarrow. But this book and read it n the way:
Amazon.com: An Island to Oneself: Books: Tom Neale,Noel Barber

I'd miss French Polynesia before I'd miss the Marquesas.

French Polynesia has cruising guides galore that you can go through.

Pago-Pago (American Samoa) is nothing great but it's a "Must" provisioning stop.

Fiji has been and always will be my favorite cruising grounds. The people are friendly and the islands are diverse and spectacular.

Vanuatu is great but both times that we went there, we got sick with something. I've heard that from others as well.

I've been to New Calodonea onse and wouldn't bother going back. It's not that it's not nice, it's just very expensive and there are a LOT of other places that I'd rather go.

I loved the North Coast of Australia. Lots and lots of lonely exploring to do up there. Just watch the Crocks (and that's no joke).

You have a lot of personal research to do, my friend. I'd say a good year of planning is in store for you.
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Old 27-12-2007, 09:00   #5
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Tom Neale, what a fascinating story!

And how different things must have been when "An Island to Oneself" was written! I've wanted to visit Suvarrow ever since reading that on-line.

Thanks again Kanani, the type information I was seeking.
Although a year of planning would be nice, as would having the time to truly enjoy the passage. This is a delivery so it'll pretty much be a straight shot. Planning? Unfortunately, I've got about a month.
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Old 27-12-2007, 09:16   #6
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Tom Neale, what a fascinating story!

And how different things must have been when "An Island to Oneself" was written! I've wanted to visit Suvarrow ever since reading that on-line.

Thanks again Kanani, the type information I was seeking.
Although a year of planning would be nice, as would having the time to truly enjoy the passage. This is a delivery so it'll pretty much be a straight shot. Planning? Unfortunately, I've got about a month.
You're kidding....right??

I don't know what you are delivering but I hope that it's a power boat and capable of doing over 20kts.

When I was in Suvarrow in '85, things were pretty much as he had left them. I understand that at some later time, people were stationed there.
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Old 27-12-2007, 09:17   #7
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This is a delivery so it'll pretty much be a straight shot. Planning? Unfortunately, I've got about a month.
Cliff,
Bight, ME




I think he has a month to plan, not complete the delivery
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Old 27-12-2007, 09:29   #8
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Sorry....I miss-read that (obviously)
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Old 27-12-2007, 09:44   #9
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Hey Pat! How ya doin?

How's the little guy? He make out like a fat rat this Christmas? And Momma?

Kanani: Yeah I've a month to plan the delivery. No big deal, I can and will handle it but that's why I'm seeking info, I don't have time to do the proper in depth research a voyage like this would normally require so hoping on the generosity of others to share their knowledge. It'd undoubtedly make life easier and more enjoyable than blindly sailing east.

I did get spoiled on a trawler delivery. Private stateroom w/en-suite head, all the hot water I wanted, lattes on the upper bridge deck, large screen TV w/surround sound, a BMW bike aboard, twin 3208's, twin generators....

I will not be afraid of my trawler years!
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Old 27-12-2007, 15:03   #10
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Or West, whatever works!
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Old 01-01-2008, 12:16   #11
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Stand down gentlemen! (or, Ya win's some 'n loose some...)

A new record! Possibly a world's record!!

Got hired 'n fired within 12 hours without leaving home! That's talent!

My crew of two and myself, with two owners flying in for sections. Canal, S. Pac, etc) Terms laid out and accepted, getting ready to fax over a contract when an e-mail from one of the owners arrives....

Suddenly one owner plus their employee to be aboard for the duration with the second owner flying in. All never having sailed before!
Now it's five to six people on a four cabin, 42 foot catamaran for SIX MONTHS!!

Jeez, ya wouldn't be able to scratch yer butt without bumping into at least two others on board! For six months!! (remember those science experiments with rats crowded into one small cage?)

(did I mention this would be for six months?)

"Nawww!", "Sorry! I can't do that,". "No problems Mate!" "Yer fired!!"

(Damn! That would have been a great trip too!!)
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Old 01-01-2008, 13:10   #12
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Sure they didnt see your post on this forum asking for directions???? zzzzzz Just kidding couldnt resist. Oh well I was once a pyrate and fired go figure. Its hard to be a good guy and a nice guy and a pyrate ha ha Not enough pilaging and raping I guess Happy New Year and fair winds and MORE Sailing and Less typing Conrad Pi-rat
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Old 01-01-2008, 15:22   #13
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Conrad your obviously a very astute fella!

And it's very possible that's exactly what happened! I can hear the two owners talking now...

East?!! Are you sure you checked this goof's references?
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Old 03-01-2008, 16:12   #14
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Stand down gentlemen! (or, Ya win's some 'n loose some...)

A new record! Possibly a world's record!!

Got hired 'n fired within 12 hours without leaving home! That's talent!

My crew of two and myself, with two owners flying in for sections. Canal, S. Pac, etc) Terms laid out and accepted, getting ready to fax over a contract when an e-mail from one of the owners arrives....

Suddenly one owner plus their employee to be aboard for the duration with the second owner flying in. All never having sailed before!
Now it's five to six people on a four cabin, 42 foot catamaran for SIX MONTHS!!

Jeez, ya wouldn't be able to scratch yer butt without bumping into at least two others on board! For six months!! (remember those science experiments with rats crowded into one small cage?)

(did I mention this would be for six months?)

"Nawww!", "Sorry! I can't do that,". "No problems Mate!" "Yer fired!!"

(Damn! That would have been a great trip too!!)
He did you a favor.

I made one delivery with an owner on-board (many years ago). I swore that I would never do it again and I didn't. I wouldn't even consider it.
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