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Old 23-02-2010, 01:58   #1
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Vancouver - Galapagos - Easter Island - Valparaiso - La Paz - Vancouver

Hello everyone!

Well, I am slowly but surely jerking the slack out of my '80 Contessa 26' and am beginning the process of planning a voyage. After reading My Old Man and the Sea for the second time, I started thinking about Vancouver (probably Victoria departure) to the Galapagos, Easter Island then visit a friend in Valparaiso Chile, just because I can, and then ride the current back up to Mexico before heading home to Vancouver.

So, I have done tons of reading and plan on doing lots of sea trials with a departure in say 2012.

Here are my off-the-cuff assumptions in terms of this voyage:

1. It will take about 150 days at sea.
2. I will leave Victoria and head south-West and looked to pic up the NE trade winds to give me (if I am lucky) a broad reach most of the way to the Galapagos. (Do I sound like a dreamer here?)
3. From the Galapagos to Easter Island I should have a chance at South East trades and reaching most of the way.
4. I have misplaced my makeshift wind chart but guess-timated that the winds at the latitude of Easter Island could make for a reasonable sail into Valparaiso Chile (although the Humboldt current is probably a factor?).
5. The humboldt current from Valparaiso North and prevailing Southerlies along the coast of south America should make for a reasonable and perhaps quick run North to Mexico.
6. What about Mexico to Vancouver? Do I have to head to Hawaii first?

Anyway, as I mentioned, this is my quick and dirty assessment.
If you were going to do this route and had a year to do it (more if necessary, or less if prudent) what times of year, and headings would you suggest?

I realize that in taking a Contessa 26 I need to be somewhat of a masochist in terms of space. I am thinking she'll make up for it in sea-kindliness and easy operation.

Your input will be appreciated!

All the best,

Mike
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Old 23-02-2010, 02:34   #2
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2. I will leave Victoria and head south-West and looked to pic up the NE trade winds to give me (if I am lucky) a broad reach most of the way to the Galapagos. (Do I sound like a dreamer here?)

Yes, pretty decent sailing almost all the way. You may have either have no wind or headwinds as you approach the Galapagos.

3. From the Galapagos to Easter Island I should have a chance at South East trades and reaching most of the way.

No, probably you will have headwinds (or at best very close reach) until about 10 degrees south, then the winds will ease back into a good reach

4. I have misplaced my makeshift wind chart but guess-timated that the winds at the latitude of Easter Island could make for a reasonable sail into Valparaiso Chile (although the Humboldt current is probably a factor?).

It all depends on the location of the 'stationary' high pressure, but Easter to Valpariso might well be either right thru no wind in the middle of the high or across the top with head winds. The more typical route is around the high: Easter down to valdivia or puerto Montt, and then up the coast to Valpariso

5. The humboldt current from Valparaiso North and prevailing Southerlies along the coast of south America should make for a reasonable and perhaps quick run North to Mexico.

Yes, except you do have to get across the doldrums, which can be quite wide on that line.

6. What about Mexico to Vancouver? Do I have to head to Hawaii first?

Going North up the coast is an upwind bash. But when leaving Hawaii you usually have three days of upwind work also. Difficult choice.
Good luck
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Old 23-02-2010, 11:26   #3
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I think it may be more than 150 days at sea. You have a 26 footer and you may be crossing the doldrums twice. The leg home probably faster if looped well off-shore as there is a strong current that makes sailing from Mexico to Vancouver pretty difficult.

The sea-kindness in a small boat is wishfull thinking. A small boat is a small boat is a small boat. But ease of handling definitely yes, if you set her up for that.

Do not worry about her size, just avoid bad weather.

b.
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Old 24-02-2010, 02:09   #4
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Thanks guys! Yeah... I think the plan will be to head out well west from Mexico and look for a good angle to Vancouver. Now to figure out how to do this and avoid hurricane season.
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Old 24-02-2010, 02:42   #5
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without some idea of dates, it is impossible to comment on winds/time.

The US government has made wind charts per month available for free download, but I dont have the link available
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Old 24-02-2010, 05:18   #6
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Atlas of Pilot Charts

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... The US government has made wind charts per month available for free download, but I dont have the link available
Pilot Charts for Passage Planning

A pilot chart, or atlas, amongst other things, provides a month-by-month, grid-by-grid graphical representation of wind speed and direction based on historical data. The idea being to enable passage planning using the probability of favourable wind speed and direction for different possible routes at different times of the year. It must be emphasized that these charts are compiled on historical data and the winds actually experienced on a particular route may be quite different to that shown on the charts. Having said that, they are most useful in planning a route to give one the best chance of getting favourable conditions, for example, taking advantage of seasonal winds such as the Trades, and many other very predicable winds throughout the world.

Goto NGA Digital Navigation Publications
Here
Maritime Safety Information

And Select Atlas of Pilot Charts

Here Maritime Safety Information

___.nga.mil/portal/site/maritime/?epi_menuItemID=a633978aca46a1625b2a7fbd3227a759&e pi_menuID=35ad5b8aabcefa1a0fc133443927a759&epi_bas eMenuID=e106a3b5e50edce1fec24fd73927a759

These are downloadable, full colour pilot charts. They are fairly big so you will need either a fast link or plenty of time. You can view them online but if you wish to refer to them often it would be much faster to load them onto your own computer and then view them offline at your leisure.
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Old 24-02-2010, 07:48   #7
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Is there a reason that you are sailing directly from Vancouver to the Galapagos? You can head down the coast and depart from Mexico or somewhere closer. I would think that you would run out of supplies or at the least be forced to resupply in what I assume is a very expensive place. If you depart from Cabo that would save you ~2000 miles. I haven't studied what departure point would give u the best wind angle but you could easilr head further south befor making the jump.
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Old 24-02-2010, 10:55   #8
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Pilot Charts for Passage Planning


Goto NGA Digital Navigation Publications
Here Maritime Safety Information

And Select Atlas of Pilot Charts

Here Maritime Safety Information
Thanks for that link to the NGA website, Gord.
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Old 27-02-2010, 21:42   #9
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Thanks again! Wow. Great info. Helping me burn the midnight oil.
Charlie, I want to go direct to the Galapagos because it just seems to fit. It seems like a long way.... and so I may reconsider after I actually begin planning provisions. I intend to remove the engine for additional storage space and water capacity.

Gord, thanks for the link. That is a huge help.

I have roughed in a loose itinerary leaving a 20 day margin for change. It appears that if I stop in Mexico on the way back I will be risking the start of hurricane season for the final leg home.

Depart Victoria September 15 - October 1
Arrive Galapagos November 1 -November 20
Depart Galapagos Nov 15 - Dec 5
Arrive Easter Island Dec. 10 –Dec 31
Depart Easter Island Dec. 25 - Jan 15
Arrive Valdivia Jan 20 – Feb 10
Depart Valdivia Feb 5 – Feb 25
Arrive Val Paraiso Feb 10 – Mar 2
Depart Val Paraiso Feb 25 – Mar 16

Any thoughts?

Cheers,

Mike
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Old 27-02-2010, 22:04   #10
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Any thoughts?

Cheers,

Mike
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Old 27-02-2010, 22:52   #11
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I'm not saying it can't be done but leaving Victoria at the end of September is later than most people like to leave because of possibility of storms from Alaska coming down the coast. Crossing the Tropics across the equator Before Nov 1st leaves you in a pretty strong hurricane season in that area as well. I don't know about the way back. " + theTitle + " Here is a link to one hurricane that crossed your intended path in October of 1990. It is a pretty good site to see the paths of hurricanes and their dates.
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Old 28-02-2010, 02:18   #12
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StillRaining.... Thanks for the reminder!

Charlie: Thanks for the excellent link for storm tracks. Yes... it is a bit of a catch-22. I think I would watch for a weather window to try and make some south out of Victoria and avoid the worst of the northern weather. I think I could weather a North Coast gale better than a hurricane... although the real kicker would be to catch one of each.

With a bit of luck maybe I could have perfect weather.... but I will prepare for the worst.

Anyone have any rules of thumb for provisioning? How much water for 1 person for 65 days? Should I make weekly bags of food?
What have you found to be the big sanity saver?
This may sound goofy, but what about mood swings?

Thanks for everything!

All the best,

Mike
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Old 28-02-2010, 10:41   #13
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Any thoughts?

Cheers,

Mike
Very tight timing, by my standards.

My boat 25'LWL and we pre-calc 60 Nm per day (less if crossing any notably low-wind areas). Then divide the distances.

We put a 1 month cap on top of every destination (but we use less if nothing gets broken and when the destination proves a waste of time).

Particularly, you may note that NE Pacific cyclone season lasts May-Nov and you would be crossing the area, so maybe there is a better timing available for Galapagos than arrive 1 Nov.

I believe other members will correct or confirm this last point.

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Old 28-02-2010, 11:47   #14
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StillRaining.... Thanks for the reminder!


This may sound goofy, but what about mood swings?

Thanks for everything!

All the best,

Mike
Solo sailors don't have to worry about that...you left her at the dock...


OK Ladies...Im running now...

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Old 28-02-2010, 12:16   #15
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How do you swing the mood?

I can swing the compass though ;-)))

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