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Old 07-12-2021, 23:13   #16
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Re: California to Europe

The trip down the Pacific west coast is fairly straight forward with many stops, at least in non-Covid season. La Paz or Puerto Vallarta is a good place to fix your boat after its first offshore. Past there parts are harder to get. It'll probably take you a few months to get to Panama, depending on how much of a delivery you are making this. Getting out of Panama once you go through the Canal is tough that time of year. Best times to head north out of Panama is in Nov when the threat of hurricanes is low and the tradewinds have not kicked in yet, or late April, early May after the trades lay down.
Heading to the Windward Carib0 islands into the teeth of the trades is just boat and crew breaking passage. Heading north toward Fla (or Bahamas) via the Caymans or Jamaica is more doable.
Doing this trip in under a year will be very tough on the boat and crew.
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Old 08-12-2021, 02:30   #17
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Re: California to Europe

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The trip down the Pacific west coast is fairly straight forward with many stops, at least in non-Covid season. La Paz or Puerto Vallarta is a good place to fix your boat after its first offshore. Past there parts are harder to get. It'll probably take you a few months to get to Panama, depending on how much of a delivery you are making this. Getting out of Panama once you go through the Canal is tough that time of year. Best times to head north out of Panama is in Nov when the threat of hurricanes is low and the tradewinds have not kicked in yet, or late April, early May after the trades lay down.
Heading to the Windward Carib0 islands into the teeth of the trades is just boat and crew breaking passage. Heading north toward Fla (or Bahamas) via the Caymans or Jamaica is more doable.
Doing this trip in under a year will be very tough on the boat and crew.
Indeed. I think it's a two year trip however you cut it.

6 knots average (144 miles a day) is not realistic where there are calms and anything upwind. A well sailed HC40 might do 144 mile days in the trade winds and possibly in the North Atlantic, but East around most of the miles won't be like that.

And consideration should be given for longish stops to repair the boat -- stuff will break, especially after the first offshore passage.

And for sure you don't go NE out of the Panama Canal. It looks shorter on the chart but making miles against the trade winds in those latitudes is futile. Not merely unpleasant. She needs to go North until she gets out of the trades, so yes, Florida, U.S. East Coast, and even so there will be plenty of upwind sailing, and plenty of waiting for weather windows. The good thing about going up the U.S. East Coast, however, is that you can do it in hurricane season, since you are always close enough to a safe harbour.

Still, all this is why I recommended going West around. Much easier, faster sailing, using the trades instead of fighting them. If going to the Med, this would be a no-brainer. Going to the Baltic then you have the somewhat difficult bit going up the European Atlantic coast. But even so, that's a lot less uphill sailing than East around, and it will take the same two years. It's half a circumnavigation however you cut it.



P.S. There is a third way to do this trip, and that's the Northwest Passage. Not for the OP, but I would just consider that as a slight possibility if it were me. Much, much shorter -- could be done in one summer -- IF the ice is open enough, which you never know. You would need a strong motor and a couple tonnes of diesel fuel and the boat would have to be PERFECT.
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Old 08-12-2021, 02:41   #18
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Re: California to Europe

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.........

Still, all this is why I recommended going West around. Much easier, faster sailing, using the trades instead of fighting them. If going to the Med, this would be a no-brainer. Going to the Baltic then you have the somewhat difficult bit going up the European Atlantic coast. But even so, that's a lot less uphill sailing than East around, and it will take the same two years. It's half a circumnavigation however you cut it.



P.S. There is a third way to do this trip, and that's the Northwest Passage. Not for the OP, but I would just consider that as a slight possibility if it were me. Much, much shorter -- could be done in one summer -- IF the ice is open enough, which you never know. You would need a strong motor and a couple tonnes of diesel fuel and the boat would have to be PERFECT.
Not sure your recommended west about is good advice. That changes a 7,000 mile trip into 18,000 mile trip ( or there abouts). There is going to be a ton more wear on the boat and the crew. And no, it is not all easy downwind sailing, not even close.
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Old 08-12-2021, 02:48   #19
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Re: California to Europe

I’d agree it’s a two year trip. I’d also completely agree that west around is the way to do it

This is NOT a trip to be rushed or to push the weather window on especially with “ meagre “ experience.
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Old 08-12-2021, 03:18   #20
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Re: California to Europe

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Not sure your recommended west about is good advice. That changes a 7,000 mile trip into 18,000 mile trip ( or there abouts). There is going to be a ton more wear on the boat and the crew. And no, it is not all easy downwind sailing, not even close.
Well, she'll make up her own mind. But East around is not 7,000 miles -- it's at least 9,000, and possibly 10,000 miles depending on the routing, to get into the Baltic, and probably half of that or more is upwind or upwind-ish. It might be faster than West around in a well-crewed boat which goes upwind, but not for a short handed HC40.

West around is mostly downwind or beamish, sailing with the trades for at least 70% of the mileage. Much, much easier, and faster sailing. The Pacific Milk Run will be done in one go and a lot of miles knocked back that way. East around is a series of difficult, seasonally limited passages and will take the same two years at the end of the day. The toughest part is getting North up the Euro Atlantic coast, but even that is not anything like trying to get North through the Caribbean -- you're not fighting trade winds, so you can wait for a good window, plus you can always just sail out to the Azores then up to Falmouth. Then lastly, East around you will be crossing the high North Atlantic however you cut it, unless you take a long detour via the Azores, and that is not for the faint of heart (and not for the inexperienced for sure).

Even in my boat, which is fairly decent upwind, and which is strong enough for the high North Atlantic, I would go West around (if not the NW passage). YMMV.
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Old 08-12-2021, 03:22   #21
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Re: California to Europe

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I’d agree it’s a two year trip. I’d also completely agree that west around is the way to do it

This is NOT a trip to be rushed or to push the weather window on especially with “ meagre “ experience.

Indeed. Whichever way she goes, East or West -- there needs to be plenty of time for waiting out wrong seasons, waiting for weather windows, and fixing the boat. I appreciate that the OP has limited time, but this can't be done safely or pleasantly in less than two years.


Also, we don't know what the state of her boat is, and her equipment. Getting a boat ready for a half-circumnavigation, even if the boat is in apparently good condition already, can be very time consuming. And costly.
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Old 08-12-2021, 03:32   #22
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Re: California to Europe

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Well, she'll make up her own mind. But East around is not 7,000 miles -- it's at least 9,000, and possibly 10,000 miles depending on the routing, to get into the Baltic, and probably half of that or more is upwind or upwind-ish. It might be faster than West around in a well-crewed boat which goes upwind, but not for a short handed HC40.

West around is mostly downwind or beamish, sailing with the trades for at least 70% of the mileage. Much, much easier, and faster sailing. The Pacific Milk Run will be done in one go and a lot of miles knocked back that way. East around is a series of difficult, seasonally limited passages and will take the same two years at the end of the day. The toughest part is getting North up the Euro Atlantic coast, but even that is not anything like trying to get North through the Caribbean -- you're not fighting trade winds, so you can wait for a good window, plus you can always just sail out to the Azores then up to Falmouth. Then lastly, East around you will be crossing the high North Atlantic however you cut it, unless you take a long detour via the Azores, and that is not for the faint of heart (and not for the inexperienced for sure).

Even in my boat, which is fairly decent upwind, and which is strong enough for the high North Atlantic, I would go West around (if not the NW passage). YMMV.
I'm not advocating either direction, as they will both be tough. One is just far shorter than the other. You can use the term Milk Run to make it all sound like boat drinks with little umbrellas in them, but the reality of putting that many miles on is very different. I just finished crossing the Indian Ocean this week. It is far from a milk run. In between the Pacific and Indian Ocean you have 3,000 miles of Indonesia. You only have 3 cyclone seasons to avoid, including the totally odd ball North Indian Ocean season that has two peaks instead of one.
So no, it isn't an easy run, it is a ton of miles and really wouldn't be fun as a delivery.
YMMV
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Old 08-12-2021, 03:36   #23
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Re: California to Europe

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I'm not advocating either direction, as they will both be tough. One is just far shorter than the other. You can use the term Milk Run to make it all sound like boat drinks with little umbrellas in them, but the reality of putting that many miles on is very different. I just finished crossing the Indian Ocean this week. It is far from a milk run. In between the Pacific and Indian Ocean you have 3,000 miles of Indonesia. You only have 3 cyclone seasons to avoid, including the totally odd ball North Indian Ocean season that has two peaks instead of one.
So no, it isn't an easy run, it is a ton of miles and really wouldn't be fun as a delivery.
YMMV

Well, this I agree with. As I said, it's a half-circumnavigation. Should not in any case and in either direction be done in a hurry -- would not be fun.


Where are you now? Are you transitting the Gulf of Aden?
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Old 08-12-2021, 03:39   #24
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Re: California to Europe

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Well, this I agree with. As I said, it's a half-circumnavigation. Should not in any case and in either direction be done in a hurry -- would not be fun.


Where are you now? Are you transitting the Gulf of Aden?
Went across the N Indian Ocean from Malaysia, then to the S and am in Cape Town now.
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Old 08-12-2021, 04:18   #25
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Re: California to Europe

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Indeed. Whichever way she goes, East or West -- there needs to be plenty of time for waiting out wrong seasons, waiting for weather windows, and fixing the boat. I appreciate that the OP has limited time, but this can't be done safely or pleasantly in less than two years.


Also, we don't know what the state of her boat is, and her equipment. Getting a boat ready for a half-circumnavigation, even if the boat is in apparently good condition already, can be very time consuming. And costly.
We've made the run from Denmark west over the Atlantic, through the canal, out to the Societies, then north over Hawaii and are now in Washington waiting to go the Alaska.

The run down the west coast should be ok (there are places to bail if necessary) Once through the canal, I'd head up the coast edging out to the Caymans, then depending on the trades, wither run for florida or go north and run along the US coast.
The classic route form there is Bermuda, then the Azores, then north through the English Channel, Kiel canal and you are in the Baltic

I seriously doubt if you can average 140nm per day. Our boat is a performance Jenneau and we cannot average that - especially not sailing upwind.

Think perhaps 110-125 nm per day (even that can be a stretch).

You will need to figure in at least several weeks spent somewhere repairing something big that has gone wrong (do NOT ask me how I know this).

Good luck - as Dockhead notes - westover, via the Coconut Milk Run might be easier - especially singlehanded
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Old 08-12-2021, 04:40   #26
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I seriously doubt if you can average 140nm per day. Our boat is a performance Jenneau and we cannot average that - especially not sailing upwind.

Think perhaps 110-125 nm per day (even that can be a stretch).

You will need to figure in at least several weeks spent somewhere repairing something big that has gone wrong (do NOT ask me how I know this).

Good luck - as Dockhead notes - westover, via the Coconut Milk Run might be easier - especially singlehanded
I fully agree on the daily average, on a delivery (that size) anything over 100nm/day is a good run. Often get unrealistic schedules from owners basing their ideas on what they've done on one or two day runs down the coast in favourable conditions.
They forget the cost in fuel that can be involved achieving it.
If you want to do it in 18mths to two years go East.. if you go West you may never get there.
Where's the fun without a challenge..
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Old 08-12-2021, 04:49   #27
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Re: California to Europe

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Jane.

I apologise in advance, for my negativity; but, I suspect/fear that you may be planning an unsafe voyage.
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Old 08-12-2021, 06:52   #28
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Re: California to Europe

I would feel remiss if I did not mention a very old saying within sailing circles. And it is a very old saying for a very good reason...


"The most dangerous thing aboard a sailboat is a schedule."
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Old 08-12-2021, 07:02   #29
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Re: California to Europe

Have the boat shipped!
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Old 08-12-2021, 07:43   #30
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Re: California to Europe

In addition to what denverdOn posted, I would add that an excellent piece of safety equipment is a 3 x 5 inch file card taped over the chart table.


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