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Old 19-03-2008, 23:38   #16
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Even the tropical Pacific may not be so 'pacific'

Of course, even the sunny tropical Pacific can be a little scary. Richard Woods, well known among the home builder set, abandoned his catamaran when sailing in the Pacific not so far from Panama, as a result of an early hurricane.

Richard Woods rescued off Mexican Coast!! [Archive] - The WoodenBoat Forum
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Old 20-03-2008, 00:15   #17
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How to get to the west coast.

I was talking with some mono-hull sailors and they were talking about going from the east coast to the west coast and how they would go. A few said they would not want to spend the thousands that it would cost to go thru the canal and all the requirements. the others said they would not go around the cape. I added the multi hull option and they said they would certainly go thru the canal.
Just goes to show that multihull sailors are smarter.

just kidding, honestly. I'm sure the few who said they would go round Cape Horn to save money hadn't actually looked into the comparitive costs.
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Old 20-03-2008, 07:07   #18
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I had thought about this before. The money is a lot, especially these days. Still, if I just wanted to get from the east side to the west side and didn't care about visiting anywhere in between, other than panama, I'd take the canal. Personally, there is a ton of stuff I'd like to visit on both sides of south america which would probably make going around worth it for me. Primarily the Chilean fjords. Plus I wouldn't mind a brief stop in Antarctica as long as I'm that far south.

I have to wonder though, would it be better to try to sail east to west around the cape, or just go south, and head east until you reach the west side? No research done on this about distances or anything, just a thought off the top of my head.
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Old 20-03-2008, 07:19   #19
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... I have to wonder though, would it be better to try to sail east to west around the cape, or just go south, and head east until you reach the west side? No research done on this about distances or anything, just a thought off the top of my head.
Rounding the Horn (Drake’s Passage) is most usually done in the Eastbound lane (West to East), with the prevailing winds and currents, although the Global Challenge race goes (went ?) around the world the "wrong way", from east to west.
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Old 20-03-2008, 07:32   #20
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wrong way

Another challenge is that you'll be going INTO the prevailing weather....

It would be an adventure for sure...

I'd stick with the ditch...
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Old 20-03-2008, 09:45   #21
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Gord: sorry, I don't think I was clear. I meant go the other, long way around. Past the Cape of Good Hope, almost making a circumnavigation of Antarctica.
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Old 20-03-2008, 23:14   #22
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I have to wonder though, would it be better to try to sail east to west around the cape, or just go south, and head east until you reach the west side? No research done on this about distances or anything, just a thought off the top of my head.
That is a LOT of southern ocean - OK if that is what you want - but not as alternative of transiting the canal - IMHO.
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Old 21-03-2008, 00:27   #23
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Joshua Socum and the Strait of Magellan

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Originally Posted by GordMay View Post
Rounding the Horn (Drake’s Passage) is most usually done in the Eastbound lane (West to East), with the prevailing winds and currents, although the Global Challenge race goes (went ?) around the world the "wrong way", from east to west.
Somebody forgot to tell Joshua Slocum. He must have had some reason for doing it that way. See: 7, Sailing Alone Around the World, by Joshua Slocum, 1900
But he did have a few problems, as we see on the next page at 8, Sailing Alone Around the World, by Joshua Slocum, 1900
We'll never see his like again.
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Old 21-03-2008, 07:03   #24
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Gord: sorry, I don't think I was clear. I meant go the other, long way around. Past the Cape of Good Hope, almost making a circumnavigation of Antarctica.
Um, sorry to be rude but 'barking mad' springs to mind. You'd go down the coast of Brazil to Rio then across the Atlantic to the Cape of Good Hope. Very approximately the distances involved are Panama to Rio 4000nm, Rio to Cape town 3300nm (starting from NY to Cape Town the route, via Salvador, which is north of Brazil is roughly 6800nm). Either way, I reckon you're looking at 7000+nm Panama to the Cape.
After that, assuming you want to stay in the Southern Ocean to take advantage (if that's the word) of the westerlies its about 5000nm from the Cape to pass south of Australia then a further 1000nm to pass south of New Zealand. NZ to Cape Horn is 4000+nm, so far that's about 10000nm! Then you start to work North up the west coast of South America. All that to avoid paying the Panama transit fees? Have you actually looked at any charts? Then of course there's the question of which months do you actually sail these legs. Inevitably you will have to stop and provision somewhere not to mention make repairs.
So you have the choice of a two day transit of the Panama Canal at a total cost of maybe $2000 US or a probable years voyage at what cost?
You mentioned a cat. Well, I have a cat because I decided my chances of going anywhere near the Southern Ocean were approximately nil! If I wanted to do the trip you envisage (very adventurous, a real challenge & test of man and boat) I would have brought a steel or aluminum mono hull, as bullet-proof as I could make it.
It's great to dream, isn't it? Personally if I ever dream of sailing in 60+knots of wind with 50+ foot seas I wake up screaming, call me unadventurous if you like! Reminds me a bit of the Kiwi who was the first bloke to sail a small boat down to the Antarctic, David Lewis. The only source of weather information in the Southern Ocean at the time had been compiled by the Soviet Navy. He acquired a copy and seeing that the average wave height was 30 feet, thought the trip was a goer. He later realized that wave heights were given in metres so that meant in the southern winter an AVERAGE wave height of 30 metres, 90 odd feet!
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Old 21-03-2008, 07:25   #25
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The ROARING FORTIES

Sailing the prevailing westerlies, between 40̊S and 60̊S is not for the faint of heart; but might be for the faint of mind.
It’s a brutal way to circle the globe.
Going the “wrong way” round, against the westerlies, would be plainly masochistic.

This region has been dubbed the 'Roaring Forties', 'Furious Fifties' and 'Screaming Sixties' by sailors, in reference to the wild and unpredictable weather found between 40 and 60 degrees latitude.

Gale force winds and huge waves are caused by weather systems and currents that circle Antarctica unimpeded by land masses. The Antarctic ice sheet produces very cold, dense air that drains towards the coast. These katabatic winds move slowly at first but accelerate under the influence of gravity as they travel down from high altitudes, reaching speeds of up to 25 kts.

As the winds move north over the Southern Ocean, they interact with warmer air from the north. This creates low pressure systems or polar cyclones that ride the Southern Ocean. The strongest of these westerly winds produce hurricane forces. Wind speeds of 65 kts are common but they can reach more than 135 kts.

Making seafaring conditions even more treacherous is the Antarctic Circumpolar Current which flows against these winds in an easterly direction. This is the largest ocean current in the world, transporting five times more water than the Gulf Stream in the Northern Hemisphere.

This massive wall of water acts like a cold insulator, blocking warmer tropical waters from the north and maintaining Antarctica's permanent ice sheet. Antarctic coastal temperatures can drop as low as minus 58̊F (50̊C).

Either way - sounds like fun, doesn’t it?
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Old 21-03-2008, 08:23   #26
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Okay, sorry I mentioned it.
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Old 21-03-2008, 09:09   #27
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Somebody forgot to tell Joshua Slocum. He must have had some reason for doing it that way. See: 7, Sailing Alone Around the World, by Joshua Slocum, 1900
But he did have a few problems, as we see on the next page at 8, Sailing Alone Around the World, by Joshua Slocum, 1900
We'll never see his like again.

He did. The prevailing winds at lattitudes lower than around 30-35 degrees are Easterlies. He only really had to go into high lattitudes to get round cape Horn (via the straits of Magellan) For most of the rest of his voyage he was sailing with the wind.

I bet he never even gave the Panama canal a thought....
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Old 21-03-2008, 18:43   #28
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The ROARING FORTIES

Sailing the prevailing westerlies, between 4?S and 6?S is not for the faint of heart; but might be for the faint of mind.
It’s a brutal way to circle the globe.

Going the “wrong way” round, against the westerlies, would be plainly masochistic.
..snip..
Either way - sounds like fun, doesn’t it?
Very good description of the southern ocean Gord.

And to think Jon Sanders did a triple solo nonstop circumnavigation (two the "right" way and one the "wrong" way) in 658 days between May '86 to March '88 all in the southern ocean except for the legs in the Atlantic to round St Peters and St Pauls rocks on each circumnavigation (to cross the equator). And this is after doing a double solo nonstop circumnavigation in the Southern Ocean a few years earlier.
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Old 22-03-2008, 02:48   #29
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Indeed.
More about Jon Saunders: Perie Banou II
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Old 22-03-2008, 03:36   #30
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"Once was enough," said Miles. "Twice is too many," said Beryl.


If you want some good reading about sailing the southern latitudes check out the books by Miles Smeeton

They pitch poled once and rolled a couple of times. Fantastic couple.

Short review. http://www.mcallen.lib.tx.us/books/circumna/ci_19.htm
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