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Old 26-04-2017, 13:50   #1
txg
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Going from Carib to Pacific this season or not - Advice needed

Obviously this is a decision we have to do for ourselves, but we are having a hard time on deciding what to do. Our current situation is as follows:

We're a young couple living aboard a 35 footer and started in August 2016 in Northern Europe. Sailed to the Carib and are currently on St. Martin. Our original plan was to cross the Panama Channel in late march or early april.

Now we are facing two problems. One is the time, we are very late now and have to wait here for at least two more weeks for spare parts that we ordered. Also, the boat has not been out of the water since we left Europe and will need new antifouling for Galapagos. And then there is a long wait (as far as i know its 25 days right now) for crossing the Panama Channel. All in all, this means we would be in the Pacific about mid-june if nothing goes wrong. Jimmy Cornells "World Cruising Routes" says you should get out of the South Pacific and ideally in New Zealand in November due to the pacific cyclone season. This would mean we would have to go from Panama City to New Zealand in less than 6 months, which is probably possible but means there is nearly no time to visit all these nice South Pacific islands.

The other problem (as always) is money. We are spending way more than expected and our reserves will last for about 6 more months if we go on like we did in the last months. But if we have to pay for a haulout and new antifouling, then the channel transit and then the galapagos visas, we will run out of money before making it to New Zealand.

So currently we're thinking about staying in the Atlantic for the hurricane season, which means heading south to the ABCs or perhaps French Guyana or perhaps Panama in the San Blas Area, and trying to earn some money there (either over the internet or by working locally). As we're EU citizens, French Guyana would be best for that but i have no idea if there are any jobs that will get us acceptable money.

How would you decide? Just go on and stick to the original plan and start to only eat noodles and drink water, or stay in the Atlantic? Or something completely different? Thanks for your input!
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Old 26-04-2017, 14:13   #2
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Re: Going from Carib to Pacific this season or not - Advice needed

depending on what professional skills you have I would either
1- put the boat on the hard and go back to home country and work to save then come back for the following season
2- head straight for new Zealand, it's easy for young people to get work there and living aboard will allow you to save more. then backtrack a bit to the south pacific
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Old 26-04-2017, 14:54   #3
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Re: Going from Carib to Pacific this season or not - Advice needed

Once thru the "gateway" of Panama there is no turning back.

With short time to get to NZ you are wasting a wonderful Pacific exploration.

Could you work in French Polynesia?
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Old 12-12-2017, 07:36   #4
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Re: Going from Carib to Pacific this season or not - Advice needed

Quote:
Originally Posted by ironvalleyfab View Post
1- put the boat on the hard and go back to home country and work to save then come back for the following season
Just as a short follow-up: This is what we did. We're back home since August, working a lot, earning good money and in february we will fly back to the caribbean and continue our cruise. Until now, it feels like a wise decision.
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Old 12-12-2017, 07:58   #5
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Re: Going from Carib to Pacific this season or not - Advice needed

I'm not sure I understand the issue with time. Most people don't start their Pacific crossings until late February, or early March. That gets you into the Marquesas at the tail-end of the cyclone season. You can haul-out and be back in the water before the end of January, be in Panama 8 or 10 days later, and be in the Pacific before the end of February, which is perfect timing.

Money is a different issue. If you're only re-doing the bottom paint for the Galapagos, then I'd say skip them, and save yourself a lot of money. I've heard they're better to visit by plane than by boat, anyway. Depending on how you provision, you also shouldn't be spending a lot of money in the South Pacific, except for customs and immigration fees, and to top of stores here and there.

Good luck, and if you do the Pacific this year, maybe we'll bump boats.
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Old 12-12-2017, 14:49   #6
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Re: Going from Carib to Pacific this season or not - Advice needed

txg,

I think it was a wise decision. People usually can earn the most money in their country of origin, rather than in "the colonies."

Personally, I wouldn't worry about cyclones in the Marquesas, at around 6 deg. South, they are not prone to cyclonic winds. Further south, yes. I'm sure you can access when the season is officially over in Papeete, I believe that one is March, but you should check to be sure. Fwiw, Port Phaeton in Tahiti-iti, is used by some locals for a cyclone hole....it isn't perfect, but inside the fringe reef.

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