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Old 17-04-2008, 13:28   #31
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Originally Posted by BigCat View Post
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.
You're right - the man was a giant of persistence and determination, not to mention being a great sailor who preserved his boat through horrifying conditions. There was indeed a reason for going East to West - the original plan was to sail east through the Suez Canal. But, he ran into pirates and other problems in the Med and decided to sail south through the Straits instead. I have never heard an explanation of why he didn't go east around Good Hope.

Slocum never sailed around the Horn east to west, but he came close and probably spent more time in those waters than any other cruiser ever. It took him something like 7 tries to force his boat west through the Straits, but he finally made it to the Pacific with his boat intact and went on to complete an extraordinary circumnavigation. We will truly never see his like again.

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Old 17-04-2008, 13:44   #32
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It may almost be faster to sail around than to try and go through the canal these days. Noonsite: Waiting Times at Panama Canal Worsen

"There are many yachts awaiting transit, now approaching a six week delay. Several have gone off on jaunts to the San Blas Islands or the Bocas to the north. Others have cancelled cruising plans and left their yacht in storage flying home in disgust. We have stayed at the marina hoping vainly for an earlier transit date. The slowdown is reportedly based on the Canal Pilots wanting about $400K annually vice the current $250K. There has been no pay rise for workers despite a massive income increase for the canal through added charges for containers. Normally 45 ships per day transit but now this is reduced to about 35. There is no interest in speeding up yacht traffic so only three yachts transit each way every other day. Massive extra income is being derived locally from the growing fleet of yachts in waiting. I doubt though if crews of stalled freighters spend much as they anchor outside the breakwater which is a long water taxi ride to local amenities."
Your report is accurate about the increasing wait time to two months

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Old 17-04-2008, 14:41   #33

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Why should the Canal Authority be interested in speeding up passage, when the local economy can make SO much more money by forcing those rich sailors to moor or dock and spend their cash in Panama? They'd have to create a terribly long and expensive delay before the alternatives (going around the Horn) became feasible.

I'd suspect that mordida is a good part of the motive. Sad to hear there's such a delay, I'd heard only recently that it was only a few days. I guess that's changed.
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Old 17-04-2008, 15:10   #34
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"original plan was to sail east through the Suez Canal." I had forgotten that. British navy officers talked him out of it, saying that the Med was swarming with pirates.

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