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Old 29-05-2015, 15:46   #1
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Vancouver to Buenos Airies?

Hey everyone a fortuitous job loss ( it's all hoe you look at it right ) has me considering finally getting off the dock in a big way. My oyster 39 has unfortunately not seen much action due to a faulty engine but with adventure in my heart I'm thinking about repowering after cashing out of my house. I've got 2 weeks skippering a catamaran in the BVI and a couple of summers racing around the cans in English bay (and two distance races ). I'm wondering with that experience is it possible to "gunkhole" from Vancouver to Buenos Airies through the canal building experience as I go? I'll be potentially accompanied by a couple of buddies for parts of the trip. Also any comment on the duration?

Thanks,
Jayson



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Old 29-05-2015, 16:30   #2
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Re: Vancouver to Buenos Airies?

That's a very ambitious plan for someone who has never been out on the ocean. Lack of time at sea leads to a couple of problems: one is likely to make poor decisions relative to taking it easy on you and on the boat, and can actually put you and the boat in danger. It takes time to learn your boat's responses to varied conditions and the best way to handle them. For instance, you'd be safer after you had a circumnavigation of Vancouver Island under your belt.Leaving from Vancouver, you'll be sailing in an area where when the conditions are such that you want to seek shelter, the bar entrances will be closed.

Remember, the coast is where the hard bits (rocks, etc.) are. Shorthanded, you're better off well off the coastline.

You must work around hurricane season.

"A couple of buddies" -- unless they are sailors already-- will perhaps be spare eyes for you; and you (with little experience) will have the responsibility for their lives and well being as well as your own and the boat. Sometimes, crews need caretaking, but so does the boat, so you need an appropriate plan for such an eventuality.

Parts of the journey include areas that are sort of "no go" zones. Parts of the areas are poor provisioning.

How long would it take? You can figure out the miles via Open CPN. Factors influencing how long it would take you include your lack of experience (which will grow); the condition of your rig and sails (how long might you have to stop for repairs?);, luck (stuff always breaks on long passages, it's a fact of life); unanticipated costs (like having the boat measured for the canal); time delays; etc.

You will be well served by doing some research relative to visas, too, countries where you may need to stop, and so forth.

It sounds good when you say it fast, but what you propose has a lot of steps, and subsets of "stuff" you'll need to learn, and internet help will only go so far, we can't do it for you.

Ann
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Old 29-05-2015, 16:37   #3
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Re: Vancouver to Buenos Airies?

A couple of comments. First, it's a great time to check out of real estate in Vancouver. Selling in a sellers market is much more fun. Second, on your repower, check with the local Beta dealer in Victoria. Great engines. Good service.

Gunkholing to Buenos Aires? That may take a while. Depart Vancouver Augustish. Leisurely gunk holing through California through end of October. South in to Mexico in November. After that I start enjoying margaritas and lose all will to cross the Tehauntepec. Bring a copy of Cornell's World Cruising Routes. By the time you get to La Cruz you might change your plan. It doesn't matter. It is still worth going.
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Old 29-05-2015, 16:51   #4
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Re: Vancouver to Buenos Airies?

Definitely appreciate the feedback, I am hoping I can convince a couple of buddies that are indeed "sailors" one has several fastnets under his belt, and is preparing for the upcoming Van Isle 360. The other an aussie who's done the Sydney Hobart. That's the ideal crew, sadly both of them have these "family" commitments that might mean they can only be part of the odyssey for a couple weeks, perhaps in spells off. Beyond that I've got an old salt that's sailed from Vancouver to La Paz years ago, he's in his late 60's but a fit fellow. Thereafter it kind of tails off... me...and then the fellow whom I took all my US sailing courses with.

Definitely the sharp bits are of concern, but I was hoping to at least at the outset balance my inexperience by sailing only within daylight hours (being conservative, is this possible in a rough order of magnitude) and obviously do route planning with extreme care in consultation with the above mentioned, even if they're not on the boat at the time.

I would probably look to ensure the boat is "offshore" ready as much as I can prior to departing. Sails, rigging and engine at least.

SSB, Watermaker could be potential adds as well.

Would OpenCPN be sufficient for this journey, coupled with up to date electronics?

Appreciate that there's a lot to learn and a ton of experience necessary but is it something that can be incrementally done without being reckless.

Thanks,
Jayson
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Old 29-05-2015, 16:56   #5
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Re: Vancouver to Buenos Airies?

Ben Gartside did the inspection on my boat and is on the shortlist for the repower!

Sadly, I'm not cashing out of the millionaire market in Vancouver but instead the tenuous market in Edmonton hopefully things will close prior to any impending oil glut crash.

There's free room and board for me in Buenos Airies so that's the final destination. How is the cruising around there, it seems....rather exposed.

Thanks,
Jayson
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Old 29-05-2015, 17:21   #6
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Re: Vancouver to Buenos Airies?

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Originally Posted by Deep6 View Post
......
There's free room and board for me in Buenos Airies so that's the final destination. How is the cruising around there, it seems....rather exposed.

Thanks,
Jayson
Whats wrong with the free room and board on your boat?

My suggestion would be to keep your boat in Uruguay and catch a ferry to BA.

You will only get a 4 month entry for your boat in Argentina these days.

The Rio Uruguay is sheltered enough and interesting in its own way...

Colonia is my favourite port worldwide.
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Old 29-05-2015, 17:52   #7
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Re: Vancouver to Buenos Airies?

Edmonton? Damn. The hard part will be sailing over the rockies.

The daysailing idea sort of works but not really. Pull up your local charts and figure out your first destination out of Juan de Fuca. Now imagine the weather picks up, what's your backup destination? How long are you sailing now? Weather info is really good now so the old "you need to go 200 miles off and non stop to San Fran for six days" is outdated. But you actually need to be prepared for it, in nasty weather too.

Even if the weather is good, once you're out it is nice to make miles because the weather is good. Our first stop was Newport. We got stuck in Coos Bay for 5 days while gales blew down the coast.

Buenos Aires is a crazy ass destination if your purpose is to get free room and board. (for life?). A plane ticket is way cheaper. I wasn't joking about getting Cornell's book and changing your mind once you get down a ways. Your boat prep to do it right along with the engine life, sails consumed, canal costs etc would probably pay for 5 years of groceries, diesel and marina fees puttering around coastal BC.
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Old 30-05-2015, 06:55   #8
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Re: Vancouver to Buenos Airies?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Deep6 View Post
Hey everyone a fortuitous job loss ( it's all hoe you look at it right ) has me considering finally getting off the dock in a big way. My oyster 39 has unfortunately not seen much action due to a faulty engine but with adventure in my heart I'm thinking about repowering after cashing out of my house. I've got 2 weeks skippering a catamaran in the BVI and a couple of summers racing around the cans in English bay (and two distance races ). I'm wondering with that experience is it possible to "gunkhole" from Vancouver to Buenos Airies through the canal building experience as I go? I'll be potentially accompanied by a couple of buddies for parts of the trip. Also any comment on the duration?

Thanks,
Jayson



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Do yourself a favor. Go to the Caribbean and invite the Argentines over.

The trip from Salvador (Calcanhar more precisely) to the Caribbean is a nice downwind/downcurrent ride. Fifteen knots wind and current over a knot. You would need to do the opposite, which is not nice.

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Old 30-05-2015, 09:31   #9
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Re: Vancouver to Buenos Airies?

Water dog has the timing right -leave Vancouver in late August/early Sept--do a 3 day run from Neah Bay to Coos bay, then harbour hop to SF (probably lots of fog on the way so plan on lay overs unless you are comfortable leaving and entering ports in the fog)--then enjoy leisurely trip to San Diego stopping at interesting spots along the way- clear into Mexico at end of October, Xmas in La Paz , cross over to Mazatlan in January, take your time south to Ixtapa/Ztown, back up into the Sea of Cortez in late March, enjoy the sea for April to beginning of August then cross back over to mainland in August Watch for hurricanes), stay in Mazatlan (good hurricane hole) for Sept and October then down to Panama, enjoy for 2 months then decide if you really, really want to cross into the Carribbean to then beat up to Brazil (chances are you will decide that you don't need to) -- also agree that you should first circumnavigate Vancouver Island (counterclockwise) to get used to BIG seas, fog etc either on a cruise &clearness or with competent crew and skipper (otherwise you will probably be terrified when you encounter big seas and wind off of Oregon) -I recommend harbour-hopping down west coast of USA -others who have done the offshore run from Neah Bay to SF or San Diego always seem to end up slightly beaten up and with expensive repairs besides much to see and enjoy along the way and you will NOT be coming back that way again (at least by boat). - by the way my boat is also registered in Edmonton - you will get used to explaining that the rockiest part of your trip was crossing the Rockies....go for it.
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Old 30-05-2015, 10:08   #10
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Re: Vancouver to Buenos Airies?

Jayson. Join in Bluewater Cruising Association. It is very active and has a special series of courses specifically for those going offshore.
You'll be exposed to a wealth of knowledge from experienced sailors.

Bluewater Cruising Association

Education - Bluewater Cruising Association
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Old 30-05-2015, 13:49   #11
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Re: Vancouver to Buenos Airies?

Met a few folks in Panama last season that were doing the trip from Panama, down to Peru, then to Chile, through the Magellan Straights, and then up to B.A. So, yeah, it's doable. Basically after Panama, no gunk holing though. The only place to check in in Peru is Lima. You'll also be going against the current and wind a bit along that coast (a bit is an understatement).

Still, the sail from Vancouver to Panama is awesome, especially once you pass Washington and Oregon and get down to California.

Holly and I spend almost two years going from San Francisco to Panama -- now we went through the canal and are in Cartagena. Which by the way, is an easier option for you ... the canal is not expensive ... for boats under 50', you are looking at about $1,000 USD (there's a deposit, but you get it back).

I say start heading South and enjoy the Pacific coast of North and Central america!

Cheers,
Mike

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Old 01-06-2015, 04:36   #12
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Re: Vancouver to Buenos Airies?

I would say don't listen too much to all those who tell you South America is crazy. I's great. But they do have a point though : it's not going to be leisurely coastal sailing all the time.

If by "the canal" you meant the Panama one, I would suggest you look at what will be waiting for you afterwards. Personally, I wouldn't pay a lot of dear money to go through that canal just to be several thousand miles downwind of the eastern tip of Brazil. It will be your worst nightmare to get out of the Caribbean, and then you'll still have to fight the wind plus the current after that, which will be two nightmares in a row.

I suggest you prepare seriously for offshore passages and learn to enjoy them. Once you have followed previous advice down the West American coast, out of Central America along the coast would be upwind once again. Plus another poster noted that stopping in Peru is possible in Lima, but peruvian bureaucracy has a very bad reputation (see the Noonsite page which starts as follows : "See comments from cruisers at the bottom of the page about how complicated, time consuming and expensive clearance is here.")

For both these reasons, take the logical route as follows : sail a large semi-circle until central or southern Chile (possibly stopping in Polynesia and/or Easter Island along the way). Then wander through the Patagonian channels. You will have to withstand tough weather, but the Caribbean upwind can be fiercer, and it is a highly enjoyable place, probably way more than Panama.

Then after Tierra del Fuego, you will be sailing up the very wild and rugged Argentine coast. Don't get me wrong, this is not for the faint hearted, but you will be learning fast. And as I see it, the only alternative is not through Panama, but across all three oceans westwards.
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Old 02-06-2015, 12:14   #13
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Re: Vancouver to Buenos Airies?

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Jayson. Join in Bluewater Cruising Association. It is very active and has a special series of courses specifically for those going offshore.
You'll be exposed to a wealth of knowledge from experienced sailors.

Bluewater Cruising Association

Education - Bluewater Cruising Association

Hi bcboomer, I already am a member of BCA! You'll note my name in the guide under the name Triforce....

I agree a lot of great people there!
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