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Old 20-07-2016, 06:55   #16
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Re: West US Coast toTrans-Atlantic Passage

There are no pirates in the north atlantic.

AR15's are tottaly illegal in Mexico, a forum member was jailed for 7 days a few years ago.

You dont need extra ballast in your boat. To add it is bordering on insane.n

You dont need all that extra fuel. Theres white floppy things attached to the mast to catch wind called white floppy things.

No matter the size of your boat and the size of any other boat you wish to "buddy boat" with, you can not remain in effective communications for "safety" with them for more than 24 hours. If you are sinking ring the USCG they can help. Some sail boat 300 miles behind you can not help.

Buddy boats are LESS SAFE not more safe. You need to get out there and do this stuff yourself. You can do it. Its not that difficult. You will learn more, become more independand, and the personal reward is higher.

Many people in the planning phase 'over think'. Its just a series of passages. Nothing to it. Dont over think it


From the Caribbean i would leave from St Martin. Its got better boat favilities than anywhere and more boats leave from St Martin than anywhere else.
May is the time
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Old 20-07-2016, 13:47   #17
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Re: West US Coast toTrans-Atlantic Passage

Thanks Mark for appraisal of the situation. After reading several posts, I will forget the extra ballast and fuel. I have sailed approx. 8,000 nm solo in my first sailboat (Columbia-31) in the Great Lakes. Been thru many severe storms on my long treks. I not worried about my seamanship or whether my Skookum 50 CC can take it, because the vessel was built for the extreme anyway. Most of my long treks lasted from 5-7 days endless sailing, then you would get a break. Going 3-4 weeks on end is something totally different. I will have another person with me on any ocean voyages.
Being an Eagle Scout always taught me to be fully prepared for the unexpected, so that was my line of thinking.
I hope to get underway by the end of Oct. and head down the US West Coast, take a break in San Diego, then sail to La Paz and take another break before the trek to Panama.
You can pre-register your firearms with Mexico, but it seems that they will be a hassle through EU with the present political atmosphere on terrorism. I will leave them in the US.
Thanks again for the feedback and that is why I am exploring CF for advice.
Best Regards, Larry & Woody and my dog Nikita
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Old 21-07-2016, 05:47   #18
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Re: West US Coast toTrans-Atlantic Passage

Might want to double check about pre-registering arms in Mexico. I believe that the pre-registration is only for sanctioned shooting competitions. Almost postive that it does not apply to having a gun on board a boat. Have cruised several seasons in Mexico (west coast) and have never heard about guns be legal on board, actually the opposite and know of two inicidences where thos with guns ended up in jail for a while until they could make amends (buy their way out). One was a pretty connected American with a large boat.

May also want to skip La Paz and head for Banderas Bay (La Cruz, Puerto Valarta). The Sea of Cortez often gets pretty cool in Novemeber and it will be a 300 mile side trip (round trip). Banderas Bay is on the course to Panama and is well set up for cruisers. Don't know how fastr you are going to try and make the trip, but there are lots of great cruising spots between Cabo San Lucas and the canal.

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Old 21-07-2016, 06:29   #19
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Re: West US Coast toTrans-Atlantic Passage

Seems to me that your trip breaks down into three segments: US to Panama, Panama to NE Caribbean, and NE Caribbean to Europe. Of these, the segment to Europe is probably the easiest. If your boat is well-founded and equipped crossing oceans in the appropriate season is really pretty straightforward. There is not much to hit and the weather is generally pretty good.

Someone mentioned Cornell's book. He has done a really good job of taking information from pilot charts (you have these of course?) and other sources and suggesting the best and safest ways to get from A to B. When you go and where, and for how long you take a break, is largely determined by the vagaries of the seasons and the winds as outlined by Cornell. Following this logic you should consider his advice on when to to do each segment of your trip and figure out how to fit the three suggestions together into an overall plan.
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Old 21-07-2016, 11:18   #20
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Smile Re: West US Coast toTrans-Atlantic Passage

Thank you for your info on my passage. The breakdown will be in 3 segments as you described.
I made the trip from Detroit, MI thru the Welland Canal onward to Kingston, Ont. once in my Columbia-31. The lift locks were brutal and I had bruising all over my arms and shoulders from manning the lines. I did have 3 others on board. How stupid it is for the lockmasters to open the flood gates to the max for recreational sailors. Everyone was furious at the ascent rate. It was a very beautiful trip none-the-less.

Cheers, Larrow & Nikita
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Old 21-07-2016, 11:47   #21
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Re: West US Coast toTrans-Atlantic Passage

The toughest segment of this trip is probably the Panama eastward part. There's no easy way to exit the Canal and get to the eastern Carib. There tends to be two windows that are used. In Nov when the hurricane threat has slowed but before the tradewinds have kicked in, aka Christmas winds. The other is late April, early May when the trades decide to shut off, and the hurricanes haven't started. There's no real way to point at the eastern Carib from Panama and get any kind of a decent passage. You might make Jamaica and then power most of the way east to the Virgins. Or head up the windward passage to Fla. Then decide how to exit for Europe.
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Old 21-07-2016, 12:39   #22
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Re: West US Coast toTrans-Atlantic Passage

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul L View Post
The toughest segment of this trip is probably the Panama eastward part. There's no easy way to exit the Canal and get to the eastern Carib. There tends to be two windows that are used. In Nov when the hurricane threat has slowed but before the tradewinds have kicked in, aka Christmas winds. The other is late April, early May when the trades decide to shut off, and the hurricanes haven't started. There's no real way to point at the eastern Carib from Panama and get any kind of a decent passage. You might make Jamaica and then power most of the way east to the Virgins. Or head up the windward passage to Fla. Then decide how to exit for Europe.
Yes, getting out of Panama at the height of the re-inforced trades is no easy task. On your schedule, you are likely to get nailed crossing the Gulf of Tehuantepec, as well. But, that's less than 200 miles, and the Caribbean leg is 1000 nm plus. My San Francisco guests invariably scoff at tales of the Christmas Winds (or re-inforced Trades, as they are technically termed), based on the peculiar SF logic that "if you sail SF, you can sail anywhere". I sailed there, too, for ten years, and yes, it really blows there, but it does so for a relatively short portion of a 24 hour day. No so, the Tradewinds. Invariably, after a few days, my SF guests ask, "doesn't it ever stop?" And the answer, that time of the year, is "very rarely". And, very rarely for any length of time. My SF reference is not offered because you live there (I realize that you don't), but because it's a great reference point for West Coast sailors.

Very big boats can have a rough time exiting Panama.

My other weather thought is (with all due respect) that while you may have great experience in temperate areas and the Great Lakes, more tropical sailing may have some surprises. We have touched on the Trade Winds, great for going in their direction, not so much for the opposite. But you have dismissed the possibilities of tropical systems being much of a challenge. In a big tropical system, you will find you are in a very small boat!

While I don't question that your schedule can be done, I would invoke the same Boy Scout motto you did, "be prepared", and allow yourself more time. You will absolutely love some of the places you are planning on dashing through, and you will allow yourself time to make the inevitable repairs, not to mention the modifications that you will find you want to make, when you do get to the tropics.

You have had lots of good advice, probably none better than to read Jimmy Cornell's books.

Good decisions to give up the gun and all that extra fuel. With regard to extra ballast, remember that your rig is designed with a projected angle of heel for a given wind. The stiffer the boat, the more loaded your rig becomes. Great, if it's designed for it, no so great if it isn't. Check how heavy a cruising cat's sails are; that's because they don't heel and spill wind. They are very stiff.

Give yourself time and have a wonderful trip.
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Old 21-07-2016, 23:27   #23
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Re: West US Coast toTrans-Atlantic Passage

First bring a gun to the Med is not a good idea. You have to winter over someplace and out of the EU as Schengen is something you will need to deal with.
We wintered over in Tunisia 2 years and on outbound inspection they found my flare gun - boy did that a bit of a hassle. As the old country western song goes leave your guns at home billy don't take your guns to town.

second on the carb crossing -- we sailed from Panama to Jamaica in 5 days at about 45 deg to the wind - it was not a bad sail. then we worked our way south but we ended up in Trinidad for hurricane season before heading back up to Antigua where we departed from.

third if you have an ssb Chris Parker is a great and inexpensive weather router that can take you from the west coast to Panama to almost across the Atlantic and with winlink he routed us via email to the Azores.
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