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Old 18-11-2012, 17:38   #31
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Re: How to Plan a Circumnavigation?

I'll be finishing my circumnavigation in just a few weeks as I am planning to depart Trinidad for Colombia tomorrow where I will 'tie the knot'. Sitting here in Trinidad where the vast majority of the cruisers only sail the Caribbean has provoked a bit of thought rehashing my decision to go around rather than just 'cruise' as people have distinguished in this thread. I have no regrets. I'll point out a few things some of which are agreement with the previous posts.

1) Get Cornell's book (World Cruising ROUTES). This will easily spell out your options for a 2,3, 4+ year circumnavigation. Things will become very clear and planning is exciting.

2) Get some off-shore experience if you don't have it. I volunteered to crew on several deliveries which also give the added benefit of sailing under various professional and experienced captains, you'll learn so much.

3) If you are still working and saving, it is beneficial to have the boat fitted out and tested before you head off and maybe before you quit your jobs as the cost of preparing a boat for a circumnavigation can be very difficult to predict.

Now in response to the folks who suggest to just go cruising and then maybe end up sailing around the world, there are some formidable reasons to plan the circumnavigation while at the same time I do agree with keeping your options open.

1) You will probably be sailing down wind, in the trade winds under pleasant conditions the vast majority of the time and you will end up where you started, if that is your goal.

2) Sailing back and forth or up and down rather than westwards, in my opinion, often leaves a lot more challenges than following the trade winds.

3) You will always be visiting new destinations and new cruising grounds, probably of more contrast in respect to culture and language than if you had stayed in a single region.

4) Even if you only have 3 years, which is 'fast' compared to the average circumnavigation, you will still spend roughly 2 years exploring new places rather than on passage, thats 2/3rds of your time, not too bad. And this kind of planning is important if budget, schooling, time, etc are factors.

5) The seasons will largely dictate when you make your crossing and how long you can spend in destinations but this will keep you moving and stop you from becoming complacent and still offer plenty of highly desirable options and destinations, not that there is anything wrong with just 'hanging out' as that is exactly what I plan to do for a year or so when I finish my loop.

You might even find, as I did, that the places you anticipated the most may not turn out to be the highlights of your trip. For me there was several unexpected wonders waiting for me in unexpected places like ICW right in my own backyard, The San Blas islands of Panama, Cocos Keeling and madagascar in the Indian Ocean, an unexpected stop in a small village in Mozambique waiting for weather, Cape Town South Africa, and the list could go on and on, you'll never see ALL of those places if you don't go around. Just something to consider.
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Old 18-11-2012, 20:48   #32
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Re: How to Plan a Circumnavigation?

Thanks for the advice! Its always cool to hear from people who've actually done it!
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Old 18-11-2012, 21:39   #33
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Re: How to Plan a Circumnavigation?

Our circumnavigation was planned to take 18 months. Instead it took 11 years. So much for our plans.
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Old 07-12-2012, 08:12   #34
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Re: How to Plan a Circumnavigation?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Celestialsailor View Post
I attended on of Jimmy Cornells seminars at a boat show. He explained with the continued effect of climate change, the weather patterns change slowly from year to year. He showed differences from a chart 15 years ago to today. Some destinations which were difficult to sail to are now easy with wind direction and the opposite is true for other destinations. See: Cornells Ocean Atlas.
I'd be interested in hearing more about this. Any easily available resources you know of?
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Old 07-12-2012, 17:36   #35
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Re: How to Plan a Circumnavigation?

I love reading and planning in advance. It is part of the fun and excitement for me to. I would particularly recommend finding blogs for people currently cruising in areas you are excited about because published information is often terribly old.

I always got sick of people telling me "don't plan/go with the flow" because I don't see preparation as contradictory to going with the flow. In fact, for us it is the opposite. Our planning is more of a consequence/decision-tree planning. We don't make decisions or concrete plans, we research options. This makes it, in fact, easier for us to change our mind when we are in a gorgeous location without internet.
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Old 07-12-2012, 18:46   #36
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Re: How to Plan a Circumnavigation?

The consistent theme in this thread seems to be, it is all about the plan. I have never circumnavigated on a yacht, though I have sailed all over and around the world on ships for the last 35 years or so. Old sailors often give the following definition of "Plan"... a plan is simply a list of events that probably ain't gonna happen. Don't be surprised, and try not to feel sorely inconvenienced, when the plan, the Sacred Plan, the Carefully Crafted Plan, doesn't unfold in the real world the same way it all went together on paper. Make sure you have an "out" at every possible fork in the road where the plan might go one way but actual events go another.

As a self taught small boat builder and sailer, I'm here to tell you that even the most inexperienced and innocent people can achieve great things with their boats, and nothing is impossible, and you can learn an awful lot by just reading about other maritime success and tragedy stories. But nothing truly prepares you like actual experience. I am a big fan of ambitious dreams, and I cheer lustfully for anyone who just dives right into something, but around-the-world is a pretty big thing to jump into. Would a few months sailing around your local bays and sounds, and then some coastwise cruising, followed by a year spent crossing to Europe and back with the seasons, be an unacceptable delay? You would sure learn a lot and certainly the North Atlantic can be challenging enough even in a good passage, in a small boat.

For your homework, read "Sailing Alone Around the World", by Joshua Slocum, the granddaddy of the small boat circumnavigators. Start at the beginning, with the first man to go around solo, and possibly the first, whether solo or crewed, to do it in a small sailboat. It's a great read, too. You don't even have to buy it, since it has long ago passed into the public domain. Sailing Alone Around the World by Joshua Slocum - Project Gutenberg is a good place to download it. Put it on your iPhone!

Good luck, and be willing to compromise on anything and everything, except one thing: ENJOY WHAT YOU DO.
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Old 07-12-2012, 21:15   #37
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Re: How to Plan a Circumnavigation?

Quote:
Originally Posted by kirkalittle View Post
I'll be finishing my circumnavigation in just a few weeks as I am planning to depart Trinidad for Colombia tomorrow where I will 'tie the knot'. Sitting here in Trinidad where the vast majority of the cruisers only sail the Caribbean has provoked a bit of thought rehashing my decision to go around rather than just 'cruise' as people have distinguished in this thread. I have no regrets. I'll point out a few things some of which are agreement with the previous posts.

1) Get Cornell's book (World Cruising ROUTES). This will easily spell out your options for a 2,3, 4+ year circumnavigation. Things will become very clear and planning is exciting.

2) Get some off-shore experience if you don't have it. I volunteered to crew on several deliveries which also give the added benefit of sailing under various professional and experienced captains, you'll learn so much.

3) If you are still working and saving, it is beneficial to have the boat fitted out and tested before you head off and maybe before you quit your jobs as the cost of preparing a boat for a circumnavigation can be very difficult to predict.

Now in response to the folks who suggest to just go cruising and then maybe end up sailing around the world, there are some formidable reasons to plan the circumnavigation while at the same time I do agree with keeping your options open.

1) You will probably be sailing down wind, in the trade winds under pleasant conditions the vast majority of the time and you will end up where you started, if that is your goal.

2) Sailing back and forth or up and down rather than westwards, in my opinion, often leaves a lot more challenges than following the trade winds.

3) You will always be visiting new destinations and new cruising grounds, probably of more contrast in respect to culture and language than if you had stayed in a single region.

4) Even if you only have 3 years, which is 'fast' compared to the average circumnavigation, you will still spend roughly 2 years exploring new places rather than on passage, thats 2/3rds of your time, not too bad. And this kind of planning is important if budget, schooling, time, etc are factors.

5) The seasons will largely dictate when you make your crossing and how long you can spend in destinations but this will keep you moving and stop you from becoming complacent and still offer plenty of highly desirable options and destinations, not that there is anything wrong with just 'hanging out' as that is exactly what I plan to do for a year or so when I finish my loop.

You might even find, as I did, that the places you anticipated the most may not turn out to be the highlights of your trip. For me there was several unexpected wonders waiting for me in unexpected places like ICW right in my own backyard, The San Blas islands of Panama, Cocos Keeling and madagascar in the Indian Ocean, an unexpected stop in a small village in Mozambique waiting for weather, Cape Town South Africa, and the list could go on and on, you'll never see ALL of those places if you don't go around. Just something to consider.

Well put ...
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Old 07-12-2012, 23:49   #38
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Re: How to Plan a Circumnavigation?

Another thing to consider, your start and stop points don't have to be 'home'.

Rather than dealing with the Gulf of Aden situation, we bought our boat in the Mediterranean, from where we will sail it home. The 'half-circumnavigation' suits where we want to travel, allows us several years of interesting cruising first without an ocean crossing, and reduced the stress level for us. We also know that we can sell the boat at any stage if and when we want to pull the plug.
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Old 08-12-2012, 00:06   #39
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Re: How to Plan a Circumnavigation?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sneuman View Post
I'd be interested in hearing more about this. Any easily available resources you know of?

Hey Mr Neuman...Here's the book I bought from him at the seminar.

http://www.cornellsailing.com/buy-cornell-books-ebooks/jimmy-ivan-cornell-ocean-atlas-pilot-charts-routeing/

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Old 08-12-2012, 01:03   #40
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Re: How to Plan a Circumnavigation?

Celestial can you check your link all i get is an address? Cheers.....
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Old 08-12-2012, 01:25   #41
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Re: How to Plan a Circumnavigation?

Copy and paste of link works.

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Old 08-12-2012, 01:36   #42
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Re: How to Plan a Circumnavigation?

Cheers yes that worked, when i just tapped it it went to a street address!!!
Cheers
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Old 08-12-2012, 08:34   #43
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Re: How to Plan a Circumnavigation?

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Celestial can you check your link all i get is an address? Cheers.....
Ya...that was weird. I was looking at Real Estate in Fl. and then copied Cornells link. But for some reason put hi link title on but resorted to Google maps where I had been looking. Here it is again.

Jimmy Cornell
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Old 08-12-2012, 08:45   #44
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Re: How to Plan a Circumnavigation?

Regarding computers my kid's call me 'passion fingers' i screw it all..........
I'll get a copy thanks, we exit the Med in 2014 via ARC to St Lucia so will be helpful MUCH!
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Old 08-12-2012, 11:05   #45
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Re: How to Plan a Circumnavigation?

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I appreciate all of the advice and I'm dedinitely going to look for Cornell's book. But, i'd like to refocus / redirect the conversation. What I'm really wonderingg about is the years leading up to our departure. What should i be planning or preparing now - before we go?
In the last few years, whenever HWMO and I have been shopping, we ask ourselves before we buy "Will we take it on the boat? If not, do we really need it now?"

Consequently, now that we're selling up we're getting hardly any money back, because we have very few possessions with any resale value!
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