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Old 04-07-2006, 12:41   #1
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Places, Routes & Cats

As the time begins to count down to delivery (in late July '07), our thoughts have been turning more and more to the places we want to see and how to get there. Our copy of Cornell's "World Cruising Routes" is accumulating dog-ears and margin notes.

As just a bit of background, let me say this: we do not see ourselves as pure sailors for the joy of sailing (although we do enjoy it), but rather as sailors for the joy of where the boat can take us. The problem is that the more time we spend reading, browsing and talking about it, the more places, people and things we want to see! We seem to be re-entering that wonderful time in childhood when a trip to a previously unknown toy store reveals ever more fascinating pleasures to be discovered and explored.

However, reality must intrude. The sea will make sure that too much time spent woolgathering will be harshly punished. While we do not want to be overly obsessive about safety and security, otherwise I would listen more to my other family members who are already convinced that my wife and I have gone off our rockers, neither do we want to be foolish and without proper respect for the forces of nature.

So, on to the topic of this thread: We will be cruising in a Lagoon catamaran (42'), designed with ocean cruising in mind and properly CE certified. But, I certainly realize that this doesn't mean that the boat can realistically be taken anywhere that an ocean touches. So, what are the reasonably realistic limits, bearing in mind that neither of us has any wish to encounter Queen's Birthday Storm-like conditions? E.G., we've recently been reading some of the articles on Patagonia -- sounds great. My first thought, though: Not in a cat. Is that realistic, though? Some talk about cruising cats as only being good for 20 - 20 tropical cruising, yet obviously many cruising cats venture far beyond the tropics.

So, I'm looking for some advice and wisdom. Places I can expect to be able to visit (given reasonable routing and weather planning) and places that I really should not consider putting on the list. As always, like my sig says, "observations are gold", so those with personal experience are especially valued!

Thank you.

Intentional Drifter

Observations are gold; hypotheses, silver; and conclusions, bronze.

Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.--Ben Franklin

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts.--Daniel Patrick Moynihan
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Old 05-07-2006, 02:20   #2

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”... Some talk about cruising (cats) as only being good for 20 - 20 tropical cruising ...”

A gentleman cruiser never ventures North (or South) of about 30 degrees latitude.
Why would you want to be cold?
The “Tropics*” are my ideal cruising grounds.
I don't believe that a typical catamaran would make a very good ice breaker.

* The tropics are the two lines where the sun is directly overhead at noon on the two solstices - near June and December 21. The sun is directly overhead at noon on the Tropic of Cancer (23.5 deg. N) on June 21, and the sun is directly overhead at noon on the Tropic of Capricorn (23.5 deg. S) on December 21.

See also “ Global Wind Patterns”:

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Old 05-07-2006, 03:36   #3
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I read the articles in cruising mags with pictures of boats in high latitudes, ice in the rigging and glaciers in the background, and one question comes to mind. Why.

There are so many beautiful, interesting, warm destinations, that I will never get to them all.

Patagonia? Sure, I would love to see the rugged landscape and dive with the Right Whales, but I say again, there are other, just as interesting places much easier to reach.

Gord said gentlemen sailors stay between 30 – 30. We summer in North Carolina (35 N) but beat it south come mid to late fall.

How about starting with a plan to circumnavigate the Caribbean? If your still hungry go through the canal, hit Costa Rica, Mexico, etc. How about the Galapagos? Wow, would I love to see that. Still hungry? Do the Indo-Pacific. Never see frost on the deck.

Sunspot Baby
She took my address and my name
Put my credit to shame
Sunspot Baby, sure had a real good time
Bob Seger
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Old 05-07-2006, 04:36   #4

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You can be warm or cold, or becalmed - which would you choose?
The historic trade routes lie between the 30's, and are characterized by warm steady moderate winds.
The Hose Latitudes (30 - 40 degrees) are characterized by calm winds. Early sailors would find themselves becalmed for days or weeks at a time at these latitudes.
Beyond 40 degrees, you get colder steady winds again.

Named from their ability to quickly propel trading ships across the ocean, the trade winds (between about 30̊ latitude and the equator) are steady and blow about 11 to 13 miles per hour. In the Northern Hemisphere, the trade winds blow from the northeast and are known as the Northeast Trade Winds; in the Southern Hemisphere, the winds blow from the southeast and are called the Southeast Trade Winds.

The Horse Latitudes are subtropical latitudes between 30 and 40 degrees both north and south, characterized by high barometric pressure, calms, or light/changeable winds, and hot, dry weather.

Between 40 and 60 degrees (N & S) you get the colder weather, and the prevailing Westerlies & Easterlies, which drive most continental weather patterns.

See: “Global Atmospheric Circulation”
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