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Old 25-05-2018, 07:31   #1
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Panama - Marquesas Routing April-May 2019

Ive agreed to crew for a friend on this route, but have not made this run before. Researching routes, now looking at Cornell's PT13B. The Galapagos to Marquesas looks like the usually described "Coconut Milk Run", but Panama to rounding Galapagos appears to be beset by contrary winds most of the time.

What strategy/routes have you used to transit this leg?
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Old 02-06-2018, 14:57   #2
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Re: Panama - Marquesas Routing April-May 2019

Bump, bump
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Old 02-06-2018, 15:22   #3
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Re: Panama - Marquesas Routing April-May 2019

Wait in the Las Perlas till a good northerly comes in. Get a day or two of good sailing on it. Pass near Isla Mapelo. Head toward the Galapagos. Not sure if you are stopping there or not. In the season you normally need to motor south out of Galapagos to pick up the westerlies.

Also, before you leave take a look at the current predictions, it might save you a little bit.
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Old 02-06-2018, 16:03   #4
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Re: Panama - Marquesas Routing April-May 2019

Dont plan to stop in Galapagos, too much hassle and expense these days.
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Old 02-06-2018, 16:10   #5
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Re: Panama - Marquesas Routing April-May 2019

The earlier in the year you leave the easier it is to get a strong northerly. These are basically enhanced Carib trades that get over the peninsula. They are the same winds that cause the Teahaunipeckers in S Mexico.
Without these winds you can burn up a fair amount fuel getting out of the Panama hole.
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Old 02-06-2018, 17:10   #6
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Re: Panama - Marquesas Routing April-May 2019

Yes, Im very familiar with the wind patterns on the Carib side, been cruising here since 2012. Departure is planned for April and pilot charts show low probability of any N quadrant winds in April with high probability of stronger southerly winds starting about Isla Malpelo ("bad hair island", odd name).

(As a side note: we get some very powerful gap winds in several locations here in Panama, but they are not as well studied, nor predicted at all, as are the major gap winds like Tehuantepecer...there's an idea for a serious boost S out of Mexico! ).

Interesting that many of the references Ive read so far, like Cornell, just omit this issue.

Maybe we can pick up a bladder tank or two and sell them on the other side.
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Old 02-06-2018, 17:37   #7
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Re: Panama - Marquesas Routing April-May 2019

Certainly in March you can.catch some gap wind for a few days. We left end of Jan and got two days on our way. In April you might get a weaker, shorter run but you should still be able to sail out of Las Perlas.
Stopping for just fuel in the Galapagos is really painful. If there was any.thought of doing this I'd just do the full Autografo before hand. Either way make sure your bottom is really clean.

The good news is once you get the 900 miles to Galapagos done and get clear of it, you'll have a great sail for next 2,500 miles and won't need fuel.
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Old 02-06-2018, 17:50   #8
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Re: Panama - Marquesas Routing April-May 2019

Yes, looks like a high probabilty of easy trade winds sailing after rounding Galapagos, but tedious to get there and lots of trouble to stop in. Hate to miss it, but may be better to book a tour out of Ecuador (certainly less hassle), as some cruising friends decided to do due to hassles of entering Galapagos.

We definately plan another land trip to Peru (amazing country), so a side trip to Ecuador and Galapagos would be easy.

The boat Im crossing on has both wind and solar so should be in great shape for no engine noise for many miles...plenty of time to recover from 900 miles of motoring!
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Old 03-06-2018, 09:30   #9
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Re: Panama - Marquesas Routing April-May 2019

You might want to look back at the MetBob weathergrams for April of this year to see his comments. It's a free weekly S Pacific weather review. For this week his comments on Panama to Galapagos:
Quote:
Galapagos /Marquesas
From Galapagos area to Marquesas, departure can be any time this week. Best path for avoiding direct down-windsailing is to go to 11S 135W, then go direct.
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Old 03-06-2018, 11:47   #10
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Re: Panama - Marquesas Routing April-May 2019

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Originally Posted by Paul L View Post
You might want to look back at the MetBob weathergrams for April of this year to see his comments. It's a free weekly S Pacific weather review. For this week his comments on Panama to Galapagos:
Just subscribed.

I will likely be the weather router for this run...so time for a crash course in Pacific weather patterns. Fortunately Ive got almost a year to prepare and a strong background in marine weather to start from.
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Old 05-06-2018, 15:15   #11
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Re: Panama - Marquesas Routing April-May 2019

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Originally Posted by belizesailor View Post
Just subscribed.

I will likely be the weather router for this run...so time for a crash course in Pacific weather patterns. Fortunately Ive got almost a year to prepare and a strong background in marine weather to start from.
You have had some good advice.

The later you leave in the season the less chance you will get a kick out of La Perlas towards Galapagos on a Northerly. Also leaving Punta Malo in a stiff breeze may gain you a day or two of sailing before shifting. Plus if the rainy season starts you will need to contend with violent thunderstorms.

Having worked the Panama SSB net for a number of years as net control and doing weather for folks headed west IMHO its a real crap shoot until you get west enough to get in the trades. Sailing to Ecuador and jumping off from there will allow you to refuel with cheap diesel and provisions. It will also allow you to break the trip up as well. Sailing close hauled from Ecuador and making as much westing until you drop into the trades will serve you well.

The key is being able to get SW of the Galapagos. We departed mainland Ecuador and had a great trip to Galapagos and then directly into the trades right out of the harbor of Isabela. Leaving Ecuador a bit late in the season the trades usually move a bit further north.

But every year is different and it seems most boats struggle to get into the trades.

Good Luck

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Old 05-06-2018, 15:19   #12
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Re: Panama - Marquesas Routing April-May 2019

Thanks for the weather routing info.
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Old 05-06-2018, 21:20   #13
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Re: Panama - Marquesas Routing April-May 2019

Another vote for leaving early. I have done the trip in early March and another time in early June. The difference between March and June was incredible.
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Old 05-06-2018, 22:10   #14
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Re: Panama - Marquesas Routing April-May 2019

I'm doing some research into future crossing, what's the go with motor vessels - do they typically follow the same routes as the sailors (useful to keep in touch on a large ocean!) or do they often just go their own way?
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Old 06-06-2018, 05:20   #15
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Re: Panama - Marquesas Routing April-May 2019

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Another vote for leaving early. I have done the trip in early March and another time in early June. The difference between March and June was incredible.
Where was the difference, mostly SW from Panama?
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