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Old 08-05-2015, 15:01   #1
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Straits of Magellan

My husband and I are planning the purchase of our boat in the next two years and have started to look at our initial passage. Our plan is to sail from the east coast of the U.S. South and cross over to the pacific through the straights of Magellan. Has anybody here made the east west passage through the straits?


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Old 08-05-2015, 15:05   #2
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Re: Straits of Magellan

That's a hell of a first passage!!


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Old 08-05-2015, 15:15   #3
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Re: Straits of Magellan

No I have not been there but have researched the trip. Those experienced in that area recommend the Beagle Channel as a much better option than the Straights of Magellan.

You might want to look at www.noonsite.com section for Chile and Argentina and read the notes there about the passage.
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Old 08-05-2015, 15:16   #4
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Re: Straits of Magellan

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That's a hell of a first passage!!


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Amen to that. Hopefully just the first passage for the boat and not the crew.

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Old 08-05-2015, 22:43   #5
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Re: Straits of Magellan

Yes and no...

We plan on taking our time in getting there. From looking at weather patterns it looks like November is the best time to leave the Chesapeake and November is the best time to enter the straits/beagle. So that means a whole year of getting there. We I'll winter in the Caribbean and then move to Brazil and Argentina as hurricaine season approaches. We have friends to visit so this part of the trip is exciting. We hope to make the cross over mid November. It will be a long time to gain experience. My husband is a merchant seaman, and has spent time racing big boats. My experience offshore is very limited.

Before taking off on this. Passage we are planning a honeymoon with the boat. Getting to know it inside and out. This honeymoon May last up to two years.


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Old 08-05-2015, 23:45   #6
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Re: Straits of Magellan

Yup.... done it a few times..... both directions... all seasons.... from Froward west.

However I have never entered Magallanes from the Atlantic ( have gone east out into the Atlantic that way) and would not even think about it..... east of the Narrows you have a considerable tidal stream , prevailing strong westerlies and no safe anchorages... well no anchorages at all really.... so wind over a favourable tide... nasty big steep seas.....

Carry on down to Le Maire and on into the Beagle.

After Pto Williams head back up to Magellan via Canals Cockburn and Ackwalnisan.

From there to Faro Fairway may take a week... may take a month.
My prefered departure date for a trip north is mid April.... better winds, clearer skies, drier..... bit cold but better cold than wet... ( photos are mid May, south of Pto Eden)
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Old 09-05-2015, 00:35   #7
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Re: Straits of Magellan

El pengino,
Thank you for your input, and for everyone's input. I have looked into the beagle channel and it looks like abetter option. I also like the idea of not being as wet so will consider a shift towards April. It really helps to have people with experience on passage planning, what looks good on paper doesn't always work out that way in reality.


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Old 09-05-2015, 01:14   #8
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Re: Straits of Magellan

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Originally Posted by brookiesailor View Post
El pengino,
Thank you for your input, and for everyone's input. I have looked into the beagle channel and it looks like abetter option. I also like the idea of not being as wet so will consider a shift towards April. It really helps to have people with experience on passage planning, what looks good on paper doesn't always work out that way in reality.
Whoops, clarification time.... aim to arrive in Pto Williams in November/December but leave - for your run up the channels - in April..... dress warm

Plenty to do for a few months... circuito de ventesquiros, etc

The average 'tripper' turns up in December, 'day trips' the Horn and bolts off up the channels ASAP.... then wonders why they get norwesters the whole way, rain, crap vis, etc etc.

I take it you have read my wiki and looked at my pics linked below?
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Old 09-05-2015, 06:26   #9
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Re: Straits of Magellan

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We I'll winter in the Caribbean and then move to Brazil and Argentina as hurricaine season approaches. We have friends to visit so this part of the trip is exciting.
This part of the trip is another hurdle you have to consider. From the Caribbean down the coast of South America until you round the tip of Brazil at Recife is about 1500 miles dead against the wind and current.

Current about 2 kts and winds, depending on the time of year, 15-20 kts on the nose.
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Old 09-05-2015, 06:40   #10
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Re: Straits of Magellan

Skipmac,

This issue has already been raised with the captain... We are still in the figuring out stage.

Being the chicken little that I am I had a completely different plan: head to the Carabbean, through the Panama Canal, on to the pacific then come back that way if he really wants to. It really makes more sense.


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Old 09-05-2015, 06:45   #11
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Re: Straits of Magellan

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This part of the trip is another hurdle you have to consider. From the Caribbean down the coast of South America until you round the tip of Brazil at Recife is about 1500 miles dead against the wind and current.

Current about 2 kts and winds, depending on the time of year, 15-20 kts on the nose.
Spot on. I have sailed the whole coast of Brazil northbound at various times of the year and from Cape Calcanhar onwards there are several thousand miles with always favorable wind and current, on top of wave that builds up all the way from Africa. This is paradise for us going northbound; it will be hell southbound. You have to do an Atlantic circle unless the boat is an upwind machine and has a crew to match.

I have read a lot about the famous countercurrents but played around a lot with satellite downloads of current models and never found them where predicted. I have my own interest on this because my little boat is in the Caribbean and I would love to bring her to southern Brazil.

From Recife onwards things change. If you wait for the right month you will have favorable winds; at most you will need to play the fronts.

Cheers

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Old 09-05-2015, 07:14   #12
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Re: Straits of Magellan

I want to thank you all...the captain is reconsidering. ...


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Old 09-05-2015, 07:36   #13
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Re: Straits of Magellan

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Originally Posted by brookiesailor View Post
Skipmac,

This issue has already been raised with the captain... We are still in the figuring out stage.

Being the chicken little that I am I had a completely different plan: head to the Carabbean, through the Panama Canal, on to the pacific then come back that way if he really wants to. It really makes more sense.


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After I posted a very dim light slowly appeared and I seemed to recall discussing this issue before.

Here's another option. After cruising the US east coast and a good shakedown why not cross the Atlantic to Europe. After Europe you can head south, maybe stop in west Africa to Recife and you're around the corner.
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Old 09-05-2015, 14:58   #14
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Re: Straits of Magellan

You could follow the old sailing ship route down to Brazil.

Most of the yachts turning up in Pto Williams have come from the Atlantic side and most of them are from Europe.
Most are on a circumnavigation and would have made their first long (ie over a week or two at sea) passage when they crossed the Atlantic.

Looks like a perfectly good plan to me. If the OP gets to the Caribbean and is still enjoying the life then I would say 'go for it!'

Puerto Hoppner, Staten Island, November.
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Old 09-05-2015, 19:24   #15
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Re: Straits of Magellan

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After I posted a very dim light slowly appeared and I seemed to recall discussing this issue before.

Here's another option. After cruising the US east coast and a good shakedown why not cross the Atlantic to Europe. After Europe you can head south, maybe stop in west Africa to Recife and you're around the corner.

Yes that is an option. Having lived in Angola for five years we have friends in Namibia and Cape Town that need visiting too!


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