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Old 13-12-2021, 17:51   #76
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Re: California to Europe

argh, me hearties and yer humer!!
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Old 13-12-2021, 19:01   #77
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Re: California to Europe

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I'd like to try to get a long term outlook on the weather for the N. Atlantic and the Caribbean. Not sure how useful that may be for me, but I'm curious what kind of year 2022 is shaping up to be in those regions. Does this make sense?

Can anyone recommend some kind of almanac for ocean sailors? Or, is there a way to predict, to whatever small extent, what kind of year 2022 is shaping up to be specifically on the oceans? Can we distill useful information from "farmers' almanacs"? That would be a bit more advanced science than what I'm capable of...

And: What are the best routing/weather services out there? Recommendations, please?

To address a few earlier comments. My experience is mostly the Pacific from the Bay Area to San Diego, including all around the Channel Islands and not much more than 100 nm offshore. Eastern Gulf of Mexico too, but that was pleasure cruising and just an exercise in navigation (pre-GPS times). I've sailed in no more than 40-knot winds and never in really big seas. I blew out one sail, I've repaired 2 sails, and I've dealt with various mechanical and electrical failures. I also rewired pretty much the whole boat, and I put in all new electronics and solar. I am fairly handy and have good tools.

I've done everything to gain the peace of mind of having a solid vessel. Acts of God cannot be prevented. Mistakes can, and that is the biggest challenge, always. And that's why all the wisdom and experience you are sharing is invaluable to me. I am not about to relax completely in the false conviction that my boat is impervious to failures or accidents. But I've minimized the chances of the former and working on reducing the latter.

But I'm not sacrificing the thrills of an ocean adventure, amen!
Instead of a Farmer's Almanac, try Pub. 106 - Atlas of Pilot Charts North Atlantic Ocean (including Gulf of Mexico). Free downloads: https://msi.nga.mil/Publications/APC
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Old 13-12-2021, 19:04   #78
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Re: California to Europe

Wow lots of strange advice here for you to weed through, particularly "head east across the Atlantic in late-summer."

Your biggest challenge is Panama to the eastern Caribbean. You want to do it before the Christmas tradewinds establish themselves. The rest is no cakewalk but straightforward (May departure from wherever to Bermuda).

In November 2022, join the Baja Haha fleet from San Diego south, just as hurricane season ends. Then rush down to Panama and get east as fast as you can.
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Old 13-12-2021, 19:43   #79
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Re: California to Europe

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Wow lots of strange advice here for you to weed through, particularly "head east across the Atlantic in late-summer."

Your biggest challenge is Panama to the eastern Caribbean. You want to do it before the Christmas tradewinds establish themselves. The rest is no cakewalk but straightforward (May departure from wherever to Bermuda).

In November 2022, join the Baja Haha fleet from San Diego south, just as hurricane season ends. Then rush down to Panama and get east as fast as you can.
Having sailed from Bahamas south to the caribbean against the Christmas winds - I can only agree that you do not want to sail those if you can avoid them
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Old 13-12-2021, 20:14   #80
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Re: California to Europe

I did the California to Grenada trip which is the majority of your journey and it is possible but it’s not nice. The trip took seven weeks and thousands of dollars in fuel. The southern run down the coast was mainly against the wind and the donkey was on most of the time. We were the only boat to go the wrong way through the canal but was easy to arrange. Then the fun starts! We tried to skim the coast of Panama and on to Colombia but the sea conditions off the coast of Colombia were horrendous and passage through this is close to impossible. Into wind, short steep waves was awful. So we ended up in the Dominican Republic with next to no fuel. Then we finally had a reasonable sail down to Grenada. Watch the American coast for pots and nets, we picked up a couple and had to pay a diver to remove as the water was soooo coldddd.
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Old 13-12-2021, 20:20   #81
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Re: California to Europe

With “Meger sailing experience and possibly alone. Don’t get too goal oriented. Take what you can get and enjoy it. Don’t go nuts on a very difficult goal. Just enjoy the process of trying. If it works out great. If not. Still a good adventure. Got to get there-itis has killed many an adventure.
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Old 13-12-2021, 20:49   #82
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Re: California to Europe

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I did the California to Grenada trip which is the majority of your journey and it is possible but it’s not nice. The trip took seven weeks and thousands of dollars in fuel. The southern run down the coast was mainly against the wind and the donkey was on most of the time. We were the only boat to go the wrong way through the canal but was easy to arrange. Then the fun starts! We tried to skim the coast of Panama and on to Colombia but the sea conditions off the coast of Colombia were horrendous and passage through this is close to impossible. Into wind, short steep waves was awful. So we ended up in the Dominican Republic with next to no fuel. Then we finally had a reasonable sail down to Grenada. Watch the American coast for pots and nets, we picked up a couple and had to pay a diver to remove as the water was soooo coldddd.
This is why you should consider going west. Double the distance but by the time the sailing gets rough you will have a lot more experience.

The roughest part of going west will be when you choose to either go up the Red sea and do the Med or go around the Cape of Good Hope (originally named Cape of Storms). Neither is easy.

On the bright side the Pacific Islands are wonderful - much nicer than the Eastern Caribbean. The journey is well worth it if you have a year or two to spare.
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Old 14-12-2021, 09:24   #83
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pirate Re: California to Europe

Don't let a solo Atlantic W-E crossing faze you..
Everyone has a "1st time".. my 1st time was on Bene 321 from St Martin to Salcombe.. previous experience was UK S coast, Atlantic W Coast and W Med..
Did the 4000+nm non stop over 47 days, total days becalmed 15 including 9 days in the Western Approaches.
Total days over F6 around 8 with one day of F8 for 14hrs.
Departed June 14th passed within 10nm of Terciera, Azores.
By the time you reach the Canal you should be well seasoned to soloing and by the time you lay up for the hurricane season in the Caribe you'll be a Vet..
If you are going up what I refer to as Hurricane Alley (N Caribe-Bermuda-Azores) the earlier one sets off the better as they often track that way.. between Bermuda and the Azores you'll be hit by at least one sustained Norther.. And around 2 weeks to cross.
Direct to the Azores cuts off that leg and takes one under everything in the main and less traffic is also nice.. and one can leave the start till late June and winter on the Algarve or W Med.
The naysayers in the main have never nor would ever do the trip.. to small, to old, to slow and to alone.
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Old 09-02-2022, 11:46   #84
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Re: California to Europe

This was interesting to read.

Since some time has passed, Jane I'd be interested how well you fared and what you decided to do?
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Old 09-02-2022, 13:31   #85
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Re: California to Europe

It's nice to hear from you, rygygtx, glad someone is still interested, cheers.

I took to heart the advice of the majority and decided not to rush it. It "helped" that I ran into a snafu with the Mexican TIP, turned out that previous owner hadn't cancelled his, and it's not enough to just let it expire. A minor saga ensued (who dealt with Mexican bureaucracy will know what I mean), but eventually I got my new TIP and I'm ready to go. Leaving for La Paz at end of February, in 2 weeks.

In the mean time, been busy prepping the vessel. Converted a small water tank to diesel (extra 12 gallons). Still have 90+ gallons of fresh H2O, but now also close to 80 Gallons of fuel. A friend told me, if you have fuel, you can make water, but not the other way around - and I believed him.
I also had the unequivocal pleasure of sailing through a storm of about 50 kts in the middle of the night on the way to Catalina for Christmas, biggest one yet for me. I was happy with both the boat and myself, a nice little boost of confidence. But caught a bunch of crap from the harbor master for being out in that weather, bad boy!

Looking for a carbon stick for my spinnaker and 120% genoa. I've had a hard time handling the big aluminum lug I carry on the mast right now, but I'll take it along anyway until the new one comes in. I have narrowed it down to three options which I list below, and if anyone has a recommendation, I'd appreciate it. As well as on how to have it shipped so it's safe until I come to pick it up, probably in Cabo or La Paz. (Btw, I like the telescoping design for versatility, though potentially more prone to failure?)

FORTE 15' Carbon Fiber Spinnaker Pole (FCT 300T)
FORESPAR Velocity Series 12-22 UXP/UXP Carbon Fiber Pole
SELDEN Carbon Fiber Pole L SELSSC076-22

Current plan is to enjoy the Baja for a time and then sail on after this hurricane season. My son graduates from Cal Poly in the fall and he will join me for the big passage, yeah! Double happy for his company and crew onboard. And other son will join for his summer vacations, so that may turn out also to be for the Atlantic crossing. Would be awesome. Triple-happy!
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Old 09-02-2022, 13:41   #86
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Re: California to Europe

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Originally Posted by JanekPL View Post
It's nice to hear from you, rygygtx, glad someone is still interested, cheers.

I took to heart the advice of the majority and decided not to rush it. It "helped" that I ran into a snafu with the Mexican TIP, turned out that previous owner hadn't cancelled his, and it's not enough to just let it expire. A minor saga ensued (who dealt with Mexican bureaucracy will know what I mean), but eventually I got my new TIP and I'm ready to go. Leaving for La Paz at end of February, in 2 weeks.

In the mean time, been busy prepping the vessel. Converted a small water tank to diesel (extra 12 gallons). Still have 90+ gallons of fresh H2O, but now also close to 80 Gallons of fuel. A friend told me, if you have fuel, you can make water, but not the other way around - and I believed him.
I also had the unequivocal pleasure of sailing through a storm of about 50 kts in the middle of the night on the way to Catalina for Christmas, biggest one yet for me. I was happy with both the boat and myself, a nice little boost of confidence. But caught a bunch of crap from the harbor master for being out in that weather, bad boy!

Looking for a carbon stick for my spinnaker and 120% genoa. I've had a hard time handling the big aluminum lug I carry on the mast right now, but I'll take it along anyway until the new one comes in. I have narrowed it down to three options which I list below, and if anyone has a recommendation, I'd appreciate it. As well as on how to have it shipped so it's safe until I come to pick it up, probably in Cabo or La Paz. (Btw, I like the telescoping design for versatility, though potentially more prone to failure?)

FORTE 15' Carbon Fiber Spinnaker Pole (FCT 300T)
FORESPAR Velocity Series 12-22 UXP/UXP Carbon Fiber Pole
SELDEN Carbon Fiber Pole L SELSSC076-22

Current plan is to enjoy the Baja for a time and then sail on after this hurricane season. My son graduates from Cal Poly in the fall and he will join me for the big passage, yeah! Double happy for his company and crew onboard. And other son will join for his summer vacations, so that may turn out also to be for the Atlantic crossing. Would be awesome. Triple-happy!
Very cool, I'm glad things are going well, despite the TIP snafu, is that only required for Baja? I'm about 1 year behind you to make the trek to MX, though I'll be coming from Galveston

It sounds like you got some great experience in that 50 knot blow, glad you made it through for the better and unscathed! And that's great about your sons, I'm sure everyone will have a blast. I've lusted after Hans Christians for some time, though they're out of my budget I ended up with a Rafiki 37', though I still pine away for a Hans, one day perhaps.

Safe travels!
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Old 09-02-2022, 14:06   #87
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Re: California to Europe

TIP is required for ALL of Mexico.

To OP: be aware that having spinnaker pole (etc) shipped to Mexico will likely incure substantial customs charges and likely surprisingly high shipping costs.
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Old 09-02-2022, 19:16   #88
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Re: California to Europe

To rygygtx:
I believe the TIP is required for all of Mexico, if you pull into a place that has "port authority" officer.

Coming from Galveston, are you thinking the Gulf coast of MX, or Panama and up to Baja? The Sea of Cortez is worth the trip!

Tell me a little about your Rafiki 37. I looked it up on boatdata.com, I like it! Is yours pretty much as spec'd there? 120 gal of fuel and 195 gals of water?!?! Omg.

To sv_pelagia:
Thanks for the heads-up, I will have to look into the customs charges and shipping costs. My other alternatives are to have it shipped to the US and either take it down in my truck or find a boat that will take it for me; or I may consider sailing back home to get it, depending on the timing. Sailing north would likely take a couple of weeks, though after all, I'm in this for the sailing, so...
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Old 10-02-2022, 04:04   #89
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Re: California to Europe

Quote:
Originally Posted by JanekPL View Post
It's nice to hear from you, rygygtx, glad someone is still interested, cheers.

I took to heart the advice of the majority and decided not to rush it. It "helped" that I ran into a snafu with the Mexican TIP, turned out that previous owner hadn't cancelled his, and it's not enough to just let it expire. A minor saga ensued (who dealt with Mexican bureaucracy will know what I mean), but eventually I got my new TIP and I'm ready to go. Leaving for La Paz at end of February, in 2 weeks.

In the mean time, been busy prepping the vessel. Converted a small water tank to diesel (extra 12 gallons). Still have 90+ gallons of fresh H2O, but now also close to 80 Gallons of fuel. A friend told me, if you have fuel, you can make water, but not the other way around - and I believed him.
I also had the unequivocal pleasure of sailing through a storm of about 50 kts in the middle of the night on the way to Catalina for Christmas, biggest one yet for me. I was happy with both the boat and myself, a nice little boost of confidence. But caught a bunch of crap from the harbor master for being out in that weather, bad boy!

Looking for a carbon stick for my spinnaker and 120% genoa. I've had a hard time handling the big aluminum lug I carry on the mast right now, but I'll take it along anyway until the new one comes in. I have narrowed it down to three options which I list below, and if anyone has a recommendation, I'd appreciate it. As well as on how to have it shipped so it's safe until I come to pick it up, probably in Cabo or La Paz. (Btw, I like the telescoping design for versatility, though potentially more prone to failure?)

FORTE 15' Carbon Fiber Spinnaker Pole (FCT 300T)
FORESPAR Velocity Series 12-22 UXP/UXP Carbon Fiber Pole
SELDEN Carbon Fiber Pole L SELSSC076-22

Current plan is to enjoy the Baja for a time and then sail on after this hurricane season. My son graduates from Cal Poly in the fall and he will join me for the big passage, yeah! Double happy for his company and crew onboard. And other son will join for his summer vacations, so that may turn out also to be for the Atlantic crossing. Would be awesome. Triple-happy!

For getting through a storm with 50 knot winds:


For getting yourself into a storm with 50 knot winds, and only a few miles offshore:


In future, stay out of that weather, and be sure you know how. But it's good you've had the experience, because far offshore you will not always be able to avoid it, like you can when a safe harbour is a couple days or less sailing away.


What concerns the pole -- don't waste your money on a new one, and certainly not one which has to be shipped internationaly. It's just a stick. Find a used one, or make one out of a broken windsurfer mast or even a piece of wood. Mexico a great place for that.


Good luck!!
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Old 10-02-2022, 12:17   #90
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Re: California to Europe

Dockhead, please. I have a 40 ft boat. A piece of wood? A broken windsurfer mast??

At worst, I'd consider making my own from a nice piece of carbon tubing, but you can't get relevant ratings on those things, they don't sell "carbon tubing for spinnaker poles".

So I think I'll just buy one appropriate for the boat. If you were getting one, which of the three I listed would you go for?
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