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Old 11-02-2024, 10:54   #1
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Crossing the Pacific from Panama to French Polynesia in September

Hello sailors! 

We’re two girls currently sailing around the world to explore some of the worlds best diving. We sailed from Denmark last year and are currently in the Dominican Republic, trying to plan our next year of sailing.

Our original plan was to sail through the Panama Canal in October this year, and then make our way NW towards Baja California Sur to spend a season there before crossing the Pacific ocean around April 2025. However we’re now considering to skip out on Baja California Sur, and instead do the Pacific Crossing leaving around the end of September/start October from Panama to Marquesas, possibly with a stop on Cocos Islands on the way.

Reading cruising guides it is advised everywhere to cross the pacific before may, to get as much out of the season in French Polynesia as possible, before having to shelter in the Marquesas Islands for the hurricane season. However this isn’t very important to us, as we’ll probably stay for 1,5-2 years in FP. 
We do however have a concern regarding weather being unsure if we would be more exposed to hurricanes during this time, or oppesite if there is risk of having no wind at all on the passage in these months. 

Is there anyone that has done this route at similar time of the year? Or anyone who can shine some light on why you WOULDN’T do the passage around that time?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated! If it has any influence, we are sailing in a Beneteau 50, Bruce Farr design from 2002. We can be reached either here or through messaging on instagram @drommeisigte, email drommeisigte@gmail.com or WhatsApp +4520403760.

Best, 
Leo and Sis
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Old 11-02-2024, 13:56   #2
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Re: Crossing the Pacific from Panama to French Polynesia in September

There's 2 parts to French Outre-Mer: the Marquesas, Tuamotus, & Societies, and New Caledonia. In one October, in New Caledonia, we had an early cyclone, had to go into a marina.

Both of our crossings from Mexico to Marquesas were in northern hemisphere spring: one was in April, the next, in March. We did an August passage from San Francisco, CA to Hawaii, and were chased by a tropical storm most of the way, so yes, there is activity really close to your suggested departure time.

In all honesty, I think you might like Baja--we did--and the timing for your first plan looks a lot better to me. In years gone by, FP wanted the cruisers to leave by September, so that they would not be there for cyclone season. Nowadays they have different rules, but yours is a big boat to find a place for, and local boats have most of the marina spaces.

Good luck with it.

Ann
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Old 11-02-2024, 19:55   #3
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Re: Crossing the Pacific from Panama to French Polynesia in September

The Marquesas are considered cyclone-free, so it is reasonable to cross late and not go any further west. October is late to exit the Gulf of Panama, but should be OK to find a 10-day window that you need to clear the area.

I’m with Ann, why not spend a season in Baja? The diving is much better in the Tuamotus than the Marquesas and you won’t get there any faster by leaving for French Polynesia this year.

Surely you meant Galápagos Islands, as Cocos is in the Indian Ocean? Stopping there is possible but very expensive and I’m not sure that you’re permitted to dive independently there anyway.
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Old 11-02-2024, 22:00   #4
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Re: Crossing the Pacific from Panama to French Polynesia in September

Thre is a Cocos Island in the Pacific, offshore Costa Rica https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cocos_Island
Another option is to head on down to Puerto Lucia, Ecuador, and go diving in the 'Poor Man's Galapagos' close north.
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Old 12-02-2024, 01:28   #5
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Re: Crossing the Pacific from Panama to French Polynesia in September

This might be useful, not for cyclones but day to day probabilities of windspeed/direction.
Similar in Opencpn with the climatology plugin which also has historical cyclone tracks.

https://www.deepzoom.com/
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Old 12-02-2024, 04:16   #6
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Re: Crossing the Pacific from Panama to French Polynesia in September

Baja is a long trot from the canal, and doesn't feature reliably good sailing to get there.
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Old 12-02-2024, 13:16   #7
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Re: Crossing the Pacific from Panama to French Polynesia in September

Definitely don’t miss Cocos. We have never seen so many sharks at one time. From memory there are national parks mooring balls and a waterfall into the sea. It’s in an area of little wind. We spent days motoring to and from it.
On departure we had a strange episode of the birds (boobies) linning up to attach our vhf antenna.
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Old Yesterday, 11:09   #8
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Re: Crossing the Pacific from Panama to French Polynesia in September

Thank you for your input! And there is actually also an island called Isla del Coco in the Pacific. Here: https://maps.app.goo.gl/BGrQ9jGCGDMP2evE9
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