CHAPTER 2 THE OVERVIEW

YEAR 1. EUROPE TO NEW ZEALAND

13,000 MILES

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Leave Canary Islands as soon as possible in the New Year.

It will take around three weeks to cross the Atlantic Ocean.

Then take two months to cross the Caribbean Sea to Panama.

From Panama you go south across the equator until you reach the winter tradewinds, which will blow you across the South Pacific Ocean from Galapagos to French Polynesia, to Cook Islands, to Tonga and then New Zealand and Australia.

These winds blow between April and October. So you could leave Panama in April, have a stop at Galapagos on the equator, and pick up the winds of the southern hemisphere in early May.

Sail six months visiting all those South Pacific islands and in November drop down to New Zealand where you will be south of the cyclones. It is nice and warm there in the southern summer. It is a great place to spend Xmas.

 

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YEAR 2. NEW ZEALAND TO THAILAND

5,000 MILES

In the New Year you could cross to Sydney and explore the Aussie coast slowly northwards. Until the cyclone season finishes and the trade winds start again in April.

Then you have the rest of the year to sail Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore to Thailand. Thailand is another great place to spend another Xmas.

YEAR 3  THAILAND TO CANARY ISLANDS

9,000 MILES

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In the northern winter the trade winds will blow all the way from Thailand past Sri Lanka, Maldives and India to the Red Sea. Be in the Red Sea by the 1st April because that is when the trade winds finish in the Indian Ocean.

Now the Red Sea is next. It is difficult because the winds will be against you. By now it is springtime and it is the best possible time of year for this passage.

Unless you are in a real hurry you could take around 10-12 weeks to get to Suez Canal. This is the hardest part of the entire circumnavigation.

You need a strong boat, excellent anchors and lots of patience.

Also this is the most interesting and exciting part of your world circumnavigation. Do not even think about the political problems as they do not affect you at all. The weather is bad but the exploring and discovering is superb. It is possibly the best in the world. There is a whole new culture here that will uncover new delights at every turn. Definitely do not miss the countries of Arabia. And open your mind as it is nothing like home. Isn’t this why we travel.

That schedule will put you in the Med before the end of June. You have six months to cross the Med and get back to the Canary Islands ready to cross the Atlantic Ocean in January.

The Mediterranean is not good for sailing. There is usually no wind at all. When the wind does blow it is often too strong to use and you will be forced to seek shelter. Also the most likely breezes that may blow will be from the west and will blow against you. Be prepared once again to use your motor. You only need to average around 16 miles per day. I like to spend my mornings motoring to the next harbor, and my afternoons joining in with the cappuccino and chardonnay society. The harbors are interesting and easily accessible but expensive. There are often good free anchorages in the lee of the harbor wall. When you do need to use a marina the cost will be high. You do often need to use the marinas as the weather in the Med is difficult and unpredictable.

You could pass through Gibraltar in November and have an enjoyable month exploring Morocco and then another month in Canary Islands.

There it is, your circumnavigation completed. It is pleasant, it is warm and it is unlikely that you will ever experience winds exceeding gale force.

SUMMARY:

SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE

Tradewinds April to Oct at Latitudes 3-25 degrees.

Cyclones Dec to March at Latitudes 7-25 degrees.

NORTHERN HEMISPHERE

Tradewinds Nov to March at Latitudes 3-25 degrees

Hurricanes April to Oct at Latitudes 7-25 degrees

SUMMARY OF STARTING POINTS:

From USA you leave from Mexico or Panama heading west across the Pacific Ocean towards Australia. Start this passage on 1 st April.

From Europe get yourself through Gibraltar in November and set out across the Atlantic Ocean from Canary Islands around Xmas.

 From Australia plan to leave from Darwin in June.