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Old 03-07-2020, 12:01   #1
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Pacific Crossing

Well, after much badgering, pleading, encouraging and persistence, my wife is starting to warm to the idea of a Pacific crossing. I am thinking of the following route:

California to Hawaii
Hawaii to Marquesas
Marquesas to Tahiti
Tahiti to Cook Islands
Cook Islands to New Zealand
Spend cyclone season in NZL
NZL to Tonga
Tonga to Fiji
Fiji to Vanuatu
Vanuatu to Australia (probably Gold Coast)

This we'd plan to complete in around 18 months.

Does anyone have any suggestions for alternatives to that route? May be must sees that I've missed or places to skip.

Regards,

Neale
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Old 03-07-2020, 12:20   #2
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Re: Pacific Crossing

I have a similar route in mind, but it does not look like it will be possible the next year. May have to wait another year until the dust settles.

Before going South or West, I wanted to spend a summer in Alaska and most likely a winter in Mexico and possibly Costa Rica. In which case I may skip Hawaii and go directly to Society Islands from Costa Rica or Panama. Will probably skip Galapagos, but not sure yet. Another possibility is to sail to Hawaii from Seattle, and then to Alaska from Hawaii, then down to Mexico.

The route choice will be influenced by the departure time and geopolitical issues. Doing the Seattle-Hawaii-Alaska-California loop avoids checking into foreign countries, so it may be the only option at the time.
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Old 03-07-2020, 12:29   #3
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Re: Pacific Crossing

That's very fast. Lots to see. You'll be flying through.

Passage to NZ might be easier from Tonga rather than the cooks. Try to catch the VaVa'U Blue Water Festival. Lots of fun and some great info. available.
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Old 03-07-2020, 12:30   #4
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Re: Pacific Crossing

I definitely understand to whole geopolitical climate right now. That's no problem, I couldn't see us leaving within a year. May be it will be two years, as from what I read Apr - Jun is the best time of the year to begin the passage to Hawaii. That would put us at Apr or May of 2022.
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Old 03-07-2020, 12:36   #5
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Re: Pacific Crossing

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That's very fast. Lots to see. You'll be flying through ........
Damn, I thought I was allowing plenty of time. OK, since time will not be an issue for us, how long would suggest (give us time to "meander")?
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Old 03-07-2020, 12:45   #6
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Re: Pacific Crossing

What's your cruising experience?
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Old 03-07-2020, 13:37   #7
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Re: Pacific Crossing

If you are heading to the SoPac islands I would recommend skipping HI and go

California --> Mexico / Panama
Mexico/Panama --> Marquesas

I think you'll find sailing conditions a bit better compared to a CA to HI to Marquesas route.
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Old 03-07-2020, 13:57   #8
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Re: Pacific Crossing

California is a great starting point but I would skip Hawaii and either sail south to Mexico for a bit then over to the Marquesas Islands or California direct to the Marquesas Islands.You might want to consider having a shorter stay in the Cooks and then sailing to Niue then to Tonga and finally New Zealand. If you wanted a warmer and less urban experience you also might consider heading to Fiji and then to the Marshall Islands for hurricane season.
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Old 03-07-2020, 13:58   #9
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Re: Pacific Crossing

I, too, would skip Hawaii. Why give up all that easting if heading for the Marquesas? And California makes the perfect jumping off spot for FP. Anywhere from San Francisco to Cabo, leave in March. Once you hit the tropics you’re reaching nearly all the way. Further south from Mexico/Panama you run the risk of Central America stealing your wind for the first 1000 miles. We’ve done an 18-day passage out of Z’town and a 40-day one. Panama can be similar depending on when the monsoon moves in.

The rest is pretty standard Milk Run stuff, many boats spend only one season in the South Pacific, but you can also spend a lifetime.

We’ve spent two summers sailing NZ and love it. Many cruisers park their boats, but there is tons of lovely sailing, quiet anchorages, and fantastic hiking with a dinghy ride to shore.
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Old 03-07-2020, 14:00   #10
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Re: Pacific Crossing

Oh and you should stop and visit the Tuamotus Islands between the Marquesas and Tahiti
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Old 03-07-2020, 14:53   #11
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Re: Pacific Crossing

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What's your cruising experience?
I'm a former racer. Most of my cruising was getting from venue to venue. Haven't sailed much for a while now. That's why I'm not ready to leave tomorrow.
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Old 03-07-2020, 15:35   #12
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Re: Pacific Crossing

Whoa, that’s fast, Arc rally fast. My experience and recommendation is to plan 6 months per location.
My cruising Route is similar excluding Hi. And Au. But included Marshall Islands.
We’re on our 6th year and have just scratched the surface of places to see. Plan is to continue cruising the Pacific for many more years.
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Old 03-07-2020, 16:21   #13
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Re: Pacific Crossing

Quote:
Originally Posted by Neale View Post
Damn, I thought I was allowing plenty of time. OK, since time will not be an issue for us, how long would suggest (give us time to "meander")?
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Old 03-07-2020, 17:40   #14
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Re: Pacific Crossing

You can see lots in 18 months but you can't experience lots in 18 months as the experiences take time. You only get 6 months at a time, remember that. You will of course have lots of nice experiences but when you stay longer you start to bond with the locals and that's when the experiences go from nice to wonderful.

We spent a few years in this general area plus a full year in the Marshall Islands, we would have stayed longer but were not able to.

I don't know what kind of person you are and what lights your fire but keep in mind the milk run is fairly urban in nature with lots of local culture mixed in. We preferred to get off the milk run when it made sense as we enjoy the small villages in the hinterland more than the urban experience of a different country. Many are happier in the urban environment and I get that but think that part of it over and talk with your wife as it's a very different experience. Staying in NZ is like that, buy a used car and spend 6 months enjoying the countryside and bungy jumping and eat great local food. Visit some great museums and take in some sports, it's all good. I enjoyed it a lot as I have family there but if I was looking for the south seas experience it probably wouldn't be in NZ.
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Old 03-07-2020, 18:36   #15
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Re: Pacific Crossing

Quote:
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I'm a former racer. Most of my cruising was getting from venue to venue. Haven't sailed much for a while now. That's why I'm not ready to leave tomorrow.
HAHA....racer's! You weren't cruising from venue to venue...that was a delivery!

Cruising is a whole different mindset. I've never stayed on a starboard tack for 10 days while racing...even in a Vic-Maui.

I raced a lot in my younger days. I raced a few time in my older years just to remind myself how much physical work it requires; which then reminds me of why I enjoy cruising so much more.

(Funny story...a young gal moved from SF to Seattle and wanted to cruise with my friends and I a couple summers. In SF she was a big time racer. The first couple times aboard she was rather anal about sail trim. I tried to tell her if the sails are not flapping about and the boat is moving forward...an extra .05 knots is not going to make a difference while cruising about. On her first long passage aboard we started out and immediately she started trimming. So, I gave her a bunch of double-braid lines and the ditty bag and asked her if she could put a splice in as we head up the sound. 3 hours later she said she was finished. I looked at her and said.."and we didn't have to trim the sail one time did we?")

When you're cruising let mother nature and your heart guide you, not a schedule or calendar or some notion that you need to be someplace by some artificial time constraint.

The place you are is the place you are supposed to be until it's time to go to another place.
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