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Old 02-03-2008, 01:40   #1
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Returning from pacific?

Not sure where to post this, but here goes...

I have been reading a lot and visiting pages, blogs, ect.. about cruisers sailing east to west across the pacific to visit hawaii, micronesia, palau, philippines ect... They never seem to give any info on how they get their boats back to the U.S. after they finish though, the thing I am trying to figure out is what is the best route for this, do most just sail on around and cross the atlantic, or is it easier to cross back over the north pacific, or does one just sell the boat locally and fly back to the states?
I am very new to sailing and this is confusing, I am looking for info on returning under sail power

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Old 02-03-2008, 02:39   #2
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All 3 scenarios are possible, but having cruised the Pacific, many cruisers then depart from Australia, north through Indonesia to Singapore; through the Malacca Straits to Malaysia and Thailand; across the Indian Ocean to the Maldives; and through the Arabian Sea and Gulf of Aden to the Red Sea, making landfall in Eritrea and Egypt.
After transiting of the Suez Canal, cross the Mediterranean Sea to Turkey, then cruise Greece and Croatia before heading west to Italy, the Balearic Islands, Spain, and Gibraltar, followed by an Atlantic crossing via the Canary Islands and make landfall in Trinidad, hence north to America.
Your details and mileage may vary.
The red line (below) shows a typical trade wind circumnavigation of the world, via the Suez and Panama canals.
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Old 02-03-2008, 03:25   #3
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If you don’t want to sail around the world there are a couple of other options.

Retrace your passage back via Palau, FSM, and Marshall Islands keeping low lattitudes after that then jog up to Hawaii…. then head up towards Seattle. By island hoping and watching out for surges in the trades you can have a do-able trip, but it is mostly to windward, so you are counting on light winds during seasonal waves.

Head up to Japan and sail east towards the pacific North West/ SE Alaska in June to August watching out for the odd Low pressure system developing above or below you. That passage is more comfortable but obviously colder.

Having done both I prefer going via Japan but have also had a great trip taking my time doing the first
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Old 02-03-2008, 06:35   #4
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Your options are to ship the boat back, sell it, sail it back, or keep going. We have done the first and last, but what you decide will depend on the size of your wallet and what you want to do with your time. The weaker dollar may make selling the boat the best option these days.
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Old 02-03-2008, 09:53   #5
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Having made this trip (although with a France start ) via Panama, Indonesia and Red Sea, I would advise not to stress too much about the questions you currently debate.

First get the boat. Kit it out with an emphasis on seaworthyness over unnecessary gadgets. (DON'T OVERLOAD THE BOAT!Just cos you've found a bit of extra space doesn't mean you should fill it!! Tempting though it may be.) Make a plan for the coming season which fits your finances and general climate preferences :-)

Then cast off the home-port dock lines.

'Worry' about one season at a time (OK maybe 2) and remember that as with everything in life, plans and desires change. Solutions (and plans) will evolve. That's what cruising is.

You may leave the harbour, make one long (or short!) crossing and decide it's not for you. Sell the boat and go land cruising.
Or, you may enjoy it so much that you just keep going and going and not even spend much - if any - time planning 'to circumnavigate' until one day you realise you are in fact about to!
There are many paths in between as there are personalities and boat designs.

In a similar way, you can't carry ALL the charts, ALL the cruising guides, ALL the stuff to lay your own deep water mooring in hurricane season etc etc,. (well, unless you have some kind of container ship at your disposal!) and so you will gather these things as and where needed. Consider doing the same thing re; the End of the Cruise.

Hope these pearls of wisdom are somewhat useful . Happy cruising! Happy life!
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Old 04-03-2008, 07:59   #6
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Thanks for the replies, just a couple more questions, as far as island hopping windward back to palau, ect.. how long would the passage take compared to taking the northern route up around japan?
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Old 04-03-2008, 09:06   #7
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The Pardeys wrote a book, mostly about cooking, but it was their cooking log for a 50 day journey non-stop from Japan to Canada. Obviously you could plan a stop at Hawaii or follow the Aleutian islands and have stops in between.

Windward route back, not sure. That seems to be the more chosen route from what I read. I don't know if that's due to just having more places to stop, or if they just don't want to deal with cold weather, or if they're simply not realizing they COULD go North if they wanted to.
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Old 04-03-2008, 10:37   #8
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What kind of boat do you have and how weatherly is it? How weatherly are YOU?!

We haven't done that trip however we did the slog uphill from NZ to Hawaii in our not especially weatherly 28 footer. Back then, some cruisers told us that the trip wasn't 'possible'! What they actually meant, of course, was that far fewer boats choose go uphill and they didn't know of anyone who had. Mostly because 'gentlemen never go to weather' and such. (not totally unreasonable, I must say!!)

What is possible and what you wish to a) do and b) can effect reasonably given the tool on hand, are two different things.

So go on a long daysail to weather in 15 to 20 knots with a fetch and, later, when you're having your hot shower back on an even keel, consider if you feel like living at that angle/motion every hour of every day for quite a long time whilst probably (in a cruiser) having to sail double the mileage to your destination.

We have had good luck to weather in various craft and various areas but doing it in the cold in a boat set up for tropical cruising, for example, tends to lose it's novelty value very rapidly to the point of even becoming quite dangerous if not kitted out very well in advance both mentally and physically.

By all means consider this trip. Just be informed and prepared. It sounds as though you are on the way to both.

Forgot to say that you should, if possible leave yourself the possibility of an 'escape route'. Once, heading to NZ from Tonga and into a really nasty forecast we remembered the swaying palm trees of Fiji, the fact that our friends in Kiwi would forgive us and that we had nothing to prove to anyone (having anyway done the trip previously a couple of times) . We therefore exchanged knowing looks, went on deck and eased the sheets towards our new destination! I know you don't always have this luxury, but it sure is nice when it happens! (We continued the downhill slide to Oz that year, in fact, Great trip!)
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Old 05-03-2008, 07:01   #9
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great information,

What kind of boat do you have and how weatherly is it? How weatherly are YOU?!
Haha, Im planning to buy a used small trimaran or possibly build one, im thinking somewhere in the 20-30 foot range as its probably just gonna be me sailing it, As far as how weatherly I am, I am almost 30 years old and have been powerlifting for a little while now, I have been on quite a few ocean ferries and small boats during my visit to the philippines, as long as I can learn to sail I dont think ill have too much trouble...

I was hoping to crew my way back to the states, but it seems everyone requires their potential crews to be "experienced" which leaves me in a catch-22.

First get the boat. Kit it out with an emphasis on seaworthyness over unnecessary gadgets. (DON'T OVERLOAD THE BOAT!
Yeah, I dont plan to keep too much other than food & water, maybe a gps.
Here is my inspiration
Atom Voyages | One With The Oceans - Sailing Across the Pacific by Dugout Canoe
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Old 05-03-2008, 08:53   #10
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return from pacific

Great article about Alberto Torroba in your link. Thanks!

However...possibly the the most pertinent snippet for your current situation, in my opinion, is;

'Over a period of several years he nearly circumnavigated South America in a variety of open-decked sail-powered fishing boats and became highly skilled in handling the vulnerable little vessels in all types of seas. He went on to cross the South Pacific in a 24-foot engineless sloop, and later to round New Guinea in a 19-foot outrigger canoe.



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