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Old 16-04-2011, 01:59   #1
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Where to Cruise

So, we have the boat and it will be ready to move in the next couple of months. The sale of my business will finance the rest of the refit. The boat's in the SF Bay and we live now about 200 miles south of there. No job ties and minimal family ties but plenty of friends.My wife has heavy weather experience doing Search & Rescue with the USCG, I have a lot of small boat racing experience but most of my ocean experience has been at 30kts on a Nacra cat jumping swells and I haven't been out of the sight of land in spite of all my race winning. She has good nav skills and I can read a compass and a GPS, that's it. Neither of us has spent appreciable time on cruising boats except for when we lived aboard our 38' trimaran that we planned to cruise but that plan sunk when my son had to have a tracheostomy at 2 yrs old. He is well now. Our plan for now is to cruise the bay for a month to shake down the boat and ourselves and make sure everything is safe and secure. We definitely want to head south where it's warmer, probably to Ventura or Oxnard to earn some cruising money and hone our cruising skills in the Channel Islands and at the same time sell off the last of our non boatable possessions that have value and head to the Sea Of Cortez in the fall. My wife is a talented and published writer and we'll have enough money to not have to worry for that season just from selling off a couple of cars and an RV. By the end of winter she should have been able to sell a book (she's extremely talented at sending out query letters to the right publishers to get paying gigs) and if not we'll head back up to Ventura so I can work through hurricane season. By then we'll be able to make a bigger trip, both financially and skill-wise. So after hurricane season we should be ready for a bigger trip and we see 2 ways to go. Down to Panama, through the canal and pick our way across the Gulf of Mexico and into the Caribbean and the Bahamas. The advantage there is that for the next hurricane season we could cruise the east coast to teach our 15 year old all the US History he'll ever need and then cross the Atlantic and see the Med without having to either take our chances with Pirate Alley or have to go all the way around South Africa and across to South America to get to the Med. Instead, we could plan to head out across the South Pacific if we have plenty of money. So which way to turn at around the tip of Baja? Carib & Med first or South Pacific first?
Assuming for now that we can afford either, which way and why one way over the other?
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Old 16-04-2011, 07:12   #2
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Re: Where should we go?

We are planning to go off the beaten track this time. After the canal, we're thinking of goins SOUTH down towards Easter Island and to Pitcairn Island. Two places we have wanted to go to. Not a lot of yacht traffic.
Then do the regular S. Pacific and under Africa again, matbe tour the Med, but most likely head towards east coast of S. America then go north.
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Old 16-04-2011, 07:35   #3
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pirate Re: Where should we go?

I'd suggest hang a left.... through the canal and to the Caribbean... then across via the Azores and Ireland up to Norway then work your way back down... lotsa places you can winter at a reasonable cost if you have good heating.
Then come spring continue leisurely down to the Med from where ever you've got too...
A lot more variety and culture than the S.Pacific and awesome scenery/anchorages and great people of many nationalities...
Whichever way however I wish you both a fantastic voyage....
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Old 16-04-2011, 07:39   #4
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Re: Where should we go?

Sail down to Panama. Flip a coin.
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Old 16-04-2011, 07:45   #5
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Re: Where should we go?

If money is an issue avoid Med as well as parts of Carib. Pacific is way cheaper (and, to me, much more fun, but this is personal).

Too me the choice would be a natural if I were in Cal. Why pay for Panama, take the risks, beat in the Carib Sea if one can have more fun sailing downwind to the South Seas?

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Old 16-04-2011, 07:49   #6
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Re: Where should we go?

Hard to go wrong with either plan. Since I have already spent several years in the Bahamas and Caribbean my plan is to do the east coast and Europe. Since the wife has already had one basal cell carcinoma removed tropical cruising might be problematic. More sun not really a good plan for either of us.

Pacific as you mention, you have the problem with pirates. Either go around S Africa or turn around, but crusing to Alaska, down the inside passage and back to CA would be a dream cruise.

Why not just do both?
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Old 16-04-2011, 17:46   #7
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Re: Where should we go?

Quote:
Originally Posted by skipmac View Post

(...)

Pacific as you mention, you have the problem with pirates.

(...)
Like where?

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Old 16-04-2011, 19:09   #8
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Re: Where should we go?

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Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
Like where?

b.
Yeah... that had me scratching my head a little too.
I think he meant after the South Pacific, and Australia, you've got to deal with the pirate issue, or round the Cape...
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Old 16-04-2011, 19:14   #9
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Re: Where should we go?

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Like where?

b.
Well not in the Pacific. I was trying to refer to the fact that if you go to the Pacific you can't take the traditional route through the Suez and on around but are forced to sail back to the US or go south around the Cape.
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Old 16-04-2011, 19:18   #10
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Re: Where should we go?

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Originally Posted by VirtualVagabond View Post
Yeah... that had me scratching my head a little too.
I think he meant after the South Pacific, and Australia, you've got to deal with the pirate issue, or round the Cape...
Yep. That's what I meant. Just didn't come out too clearly. Thanks for translating.

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Old 16-04-2011, 21:21   #11
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Re: Where to Cruise

Suez canal is the new way to go, Probably more yachts have gone atound the Cape than the canal I would guess.
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Old 19-04-2011, 11:11   #12
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Re: Where to Cruise

I've planned to round the Cape because of the pirate issues in the Gulf of Adan. Besides I'd rather see Madagascar & South Africa than Somalia and Sudan. Not that anyplace is truly safe but some are worse than others.
I'd actually LOVE to see Iran but that's a no-no for Americans. I have a lot of friends from there but they can't go there and neither can I. Maybe I can pretend to be Mexican? I don't think they have many enemies.
I sure wish that the world was more free politically and that there were fewer starving people with nothing to lose.
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Old 21-04-2011, 14:44   #13
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Re: Where to Cruise

i would rather cruise to cuba than to iran....at least is an island....with warm water and nearby other islands -- not as far to sail as in pacific... farsi is harder to learn than is spanish.....
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