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Old 10-01-2011, 06:18   #1
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Sailing Around South America

I have a dream of sailing around South-America, with a possible detour to the Antarctic Peninsula. In order to realize this dream I am currently in planning process and hope for some help from this forum. The time set aside for the trip is 12-14 months.

The first question relates to which way it is best to circumnavigate South America with the Caribbean Sea as a point of departure. Would it be clockwise or counterclockwise?

As far as I can see from “Cornell Cruising routes” and general search on the internet both options are feasible. None of the options stands out as an obvious candidate to me, with both routes giving at times unfavorable winds and currents.

This being said one would naturally think that one of the two options is the better, so if anyone can assist me with suggestions it would be highly appreciated.


Andreas
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Old 10-01-2011, 06:27   #2
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You also need a metal boat if you are going down to Antarctica. I met a Dutch couple in Puerto Williams that did it in a Beneteau 35 but not to be recommended.
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Old 10-01-2011, 06:31   #3
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I am studying this topic as well. I am even learning to speak spanish just for this reason. From what I have been able to gather, except for Tiera Fuego, the prevailing winds are such that a clockwise route is best. I am interested to hear from others on this just as you are.
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Old 10-01-2011, 06:31   #4
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You also need a metal boat if you are going down to Antarctica. I met a Dutch couple in Puerto Williams that did it in a Beneteau 35 but not to be recommended.
The latest data reveal that Antarctica is losing ice pretty quickly. If he waits a while he might not need a steel boat.
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Old 10-01-2011, 06:32   #5
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Fiberglass and Ice do not mix

Warship rescues British couple and teenage daughters from stricken yacht after it hits iceberg

UK family rescued by Royal Navy after yacht hits iceberg in South Atlantic | Mail Online

good luck,, I will be doing that trip around the cape in a couple more years,,, there are several videos of rounding the cape on this forum if you do a search,,,

the people who made the video stopped off at one of the light houses, they chose there window carefully and had a safe passage
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Old 10-01-2011, 06:33   #6
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You also need a metal boat if you are going down to Antarctica. I met a Dutch couple in Puerto Williams that did it in a Beneteau 35 but not to be recommended.

I went to Greenland this summer with a Jeanneau Sun Fast 37, but for the next trip metal is definitely the thing. Currently looking at an Ovni for that purpose, but that is another discussion Thank you nevertheless.

Andreas
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Old 10-01-2011, 06:38   #7
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If he waits till 2012 he will have an easier time,, he could head north instead of south

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Old 10-01-2011, 06:53   #8
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I'm myself a coastal sailor, but from the experiences of friends:

- Going clockwise from the Caribbean to the south has two routes: one bordering the coast until Recife, against wind and current. The other going via Azores, Cabo Verde and then crossing to Fdo. de Noronha/Recife. None is trivial. The short one is hard on boats and requires heavy motoring. The other one involves prolonged legs far from help.

- From Recife to Tierra del Fuego the winds are ok, with the ocassional fiery SW (Pampero) towards the south. There are two types of Pampero. The bad ones are the ones between a high pressure center NW of a deep low pressure center. There are a couple of areas without good harbors in between (Rio-La Paloma, Mar del Plata-Ushuaia).

- Current favors CW route in the Pacific from Patagonia until the equator.
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Old 10-01-2011, 06:55   #9
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looks like a few have done it from the atlantic to pacific with a great struggle but as you probably know most do it with prevailing winds and current caused by the rotation of the earth. throw in a few iceburgs and screaming snow storms for excitement. an interesting read for you: 50 South to 50 South ..
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Old 10-01-2011, 08:03   #10
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Read 'Berzerk' by David Mercy, if you can find it. How not to go to Antarctica. If you weren't actually reading the book, you would swear they couldn't possibly survive.
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Old 10-01-2011, 08:16   #11
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There is a guy who did a sort of similar journey except he came in from the Atlantic at Brazil and took off from the west coast to New Zealand in a Nordhavn 46 named Egret. He blogged the entire way around and had some interesting insights about the trip. He had a lot of links to stuff about the southern tip and Antarctica.

Read it on the Nordhavn site here.

Jim
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Old 10-01-2011, 08:19   #12
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The first question relates to which way it is best to circumnavigate South America with the Caribbean Sea as a point of departure. Would it be clockwise or counterclockwise?
We have gone both ways.

The answer to your question depends on how you feel about reasonably long ocean passages.

If you are up to or even enjoy pretty long ocean passages, the easiest way is actually counter clockwise - you can make a route that is almost entirely off the wind: Thru panama, out to marquesas and then gambier, in to Puerto Montt, down the channels, out the beagle at the bottom, to the Falklands, out to St. Helena, and to Antigua.

If you want to go clockwise from the caribbean, you have first to go upwind AND upcurrent to the bulge of Brazil (you can avoid this by going Bermuda to Azores to Canaries and then to Brazil). You have a nice reach from there down to the Beagle, but once in the channels it is all upwind into very strong winds west and north up the channels (the winds are slightly better in the winter for this direction but the days are shorter, its colder and there is more ice). From there you have a pretty nice sail up to Panama, but once thru Panama you have a real slog upwind back to the Caribbean against the trades.

If it was easy, then everyone would be doing it!

PS . . . a plastic boat is fine for this. The ice is not so bad . . . easier than greenland for instance . . . South Georgia on the other hand is perhaps a little worse than greenland for the ice . . . but we have a metal boat

PPS . . . tons of info on cruising in the south on our website
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Old 10-01-2011, 11:42   #13
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Here is a metal ketch that may suit your purposes. Never know about Ebay auctions, but looks like it is well suited.
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Old 10-01-2011, 12:45   #14
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Estarzinger said it, CCW is the easier way to go. There is a reason that after trying to round Cape Horn East to West for a month or so clippers would occasionally give up and run down wind around the world to get to San Francisco. My info on this is a bit aprocryphal (sp?) but plenty of clippers did turn back after months trying to round.

Check out World Cruising Routes by Jimmy Cornell, Ocean Passages of the World by the British Admiralty, and the appropriate sailing pilots by the BA or the equivalent US mapping agengy.

If I were going to Antartica a metal boat would be my first choice, though I would not rule out glass boats.

Among older production glass boats that I would find most suitable would be
Westsail 32
Mariah 31
Alajuela 33
Triton 28 (Aeromarine)

All have full keels with fully protected rudders, which I am normally not a big proponent of.
The first two have massively over-built hulls.

Overall I would go with the Westsail as the heaviest built boat that still has sufficient sail area.
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Old 10-01-2011, 13:50   #15
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You have all probably seen these pics of Patagonia: Patagonia Photo Journal (1)
and Antarctica: Antarctica Photo Journal (1)
Nicely written as well.

I have no affiliation with Rocna anchors.
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