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  #1  
Old 09-16-2008
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Pacific Cruise - Dreamland

Hey look. I got a real charge out of some of the stuff that wase referred to in the Red Sea thread so what the heck, here is another hyperthetical.

We all dream. I've said before that my ambitions include sailing North West America (Canada and the US) and to be honest I've long felt that if I was to do it I would either fly over and steal Raining's old girl or buy something over there...

But...........

If one was to sail to the US from Australia with the idea of returning to Oz how would YOU do it ? Or alternatively leave from the US but you have to get home without necessarily circumnavigating.

Don Street wrote a fabulous book on a Pacific Circumnavigation and I'd love to emulate the Street's voyage but starting in Oz, head north to Japan then across the top and down the American West Coast to Chile and the Straits of Magellan before North West back to OZ.

It could be done and even missing the cylcone season down here and the hurricane season up there is just a matter of sitting out a month or two in the Solomons.

Over the top could get nasty but the Street's boat Whisper was a sound craft while not a brick outhouse by any stretch.

That would have to be one amazing cruise.

I stress again, dreamland stuff, but nothing wrong with that eh ?
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Old 09-16-2008
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Originally Posted by tdw View Post
If one was to sail to the US from Australia with the idea of returning to Oz how would YOU do it ?
I'd probably do something like what SimonV did

But, I would either sail down the CA coast first and down to Baja or sail across to HI on my first passage; then maybe skip French Polynesia for the issue of putting down a deposit just to visit. But I'd definitely sail across all of the polynesian islands; spending plenty of time at each to take in the beauty and check out the coral reefs and atolls. I would stop at some islands that are uninhabited and atolls that very few people would ever see since they are "on the way" to OZ. Definitely would want to have someone for crew along; I don't think I would want to go on long passages alone like Simon did.
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Old 09-16-2008
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. . then maybe skip French Polynesia for the issue of putting down a deposit just to visit.
To miss French Polynesia is to miss some of the best cruising grounds in the world. Remember that French Polynesia stretches from the Marquesas all the way west to the Society Islands and includes the Tuamotus. This is where the word "paradise" is brought to life.

The deposit (called a bond) that you have to lodge is the cost of an airfare back home for each person on board and, yes you do lose some of it in exchange rates and commissions but to go past all these fantastic islands and not stop - this is what the South Pacific is!! I reckon if you by-passed all of this you would set a new world record - you would be the first boat to ever do it

Of all the places we stopped at, the only ones I have a yearning to return to are the Society Islands (Bora Bora, Moorea, Tahiti). And the Tuamotus are legend in their pristine natural beauty.

And here's another basic truth - in all of the places we stopped in FP, we were never once asked to check in or prove that we had paid a bond. The problem of course is that whenever you arrive in a new country, you have to provide a paper trail from the one you last visited and it would be really hard to convince the authorities that you have taken five or six months to sail non-stop from the US to Samoa

Go there, pay the bond and enjoy - life is too short to by-pass this region.

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I don't think I would want to go on long passages alone like Simon did.
You're going to have to do some. From the US you have 2 choices - Marquesas or Hawaii. Either way you're into 3 weeks at sea.


Andre
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Old 09-17-2008
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Thanks for your input Andre. Maybe I need to start an Indian Ocean thread next....

Does this mean the no one out there has a yen (pardon the pun) to cruise Japan ?

I know its a bit isolated and on the way to nowhere but damn I'd like to do it. I'd like to go to Korea as well but the North is absolutely out (no way will you get an entry visa) and even in the south visiting yachties are not encouraged. A shame.

It would make sense once in Japan to look at crossing the far Nth Pacific to Alaska via the Aleutians.

Then of course Vietnam comes to mind. China is not going to be open for years to come yet but I'm told that Vietnam is getting easier.
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Old 09-17-2008
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I believe the book which you reference earlier is "Two on a Big Ocean" by Hal Roth. He, his wife Margaret and "Whisper" a 35" Spenser, built in Vancouver, B.C in 1965, circumnavigated the Pacific in the early 70's. They didn't skip Polynesia, but the roughest part of the trip was the Aleutians.
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Old 09-17-2008
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Does this mean the no one out there has a yen (pardon the pun) to cruise Japan ?
I've never personally had a yearning to cruise Japan and I guess it depends on which cultures you wish to expose yourself to.

We met a couple cruising a year or so ago who had been to several "interesting" places, one of them Japan. If I recall the discussion correctly, they were disappointed and said that this was one place they would not bother returning to.

The food was inedible (to them at least), the authorities were overbearing and the people not very friendly, no anchorages - only harbours and marinas. Nobody spoke their language, very few spoke English (in the areas they visited as cruisers) and communication was a struggle against impatience. This will no doubt be different in the major centres but they said it was a real problem.

And these folks had been cruising for years and had long since concluded that they needed to fit in wherever they went and they tried really hard to do that. They said their concerted efforts to fitting into Japan had no material benefit.

So read into that what you will, it's only the opinion of one vessel and there may be hundreds who will contradict - but it strengthened my resolve to keep Japan as a maybe, sometime, on-the-way kind of destination.

Andre
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Old 09-18-2008
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Originally Posted by Omatako View Post
I've never personally had a yearning to cruise Japan and I guess it depends on which cultures you wish to expose yourself to.

We met a couple cruising a year or so ago who had been to several "interesting" places, one of them Japan. If I recall the discussion correctly, they were disappointed and said that this was one place they would not bother returning to.

The food was inedible (to them at least), the authorities were overbearing and the people not very friendly, no anchorages - only harbours and marinas. Nobody spoke their language, very few spoke English (in the areas they visited as cruisers) and communication was a struggle against impatience. This will no doubt be different in the major centres but they said it was a real problem.

And these folks had been cruising for years and had long since concluded that they needed to fit in wherever they went and they tried really hard to do that. They said their concerted efforts to fitting into Japan had no material benefit.

So read into that what you will, it's only the opinion of one vessel and there may be hundreds who will contradict - but it strengthened my resolve to keep Japan as a maybe, sometime, on-the-way kind of destination.

Andre
I've been to Japan on a number of occasions and while all those trips were business related and I didn't see much of the country outside of Narita and its surrounds I like what I did see and experience.

Foodwise, no problems for me. I already eat Japanese at least twice a week and on my visits there my only problem was not eating too much. I'm sure I would miss the variety that we enjoy in Australia but hey, I'd cope.

The Japanese are renowned as an insular people. Knowing that in advance then no big deal for me. I doubt that I would do much inland travel and would be trying to keep away from large population centres.

It has to be admitted that I don't necessarily travel to meet people. I travel to see the country, observe the people , eat their food and drink their booze. I've described myself in other threads as an anti social son of b***h, I was not completely joking.
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Old 09-18-2008
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I share your dream of circumnavigating the Pacific, not at all sure that I'll get to do it, or even a good portion, but it's definitely my dream. Being in the PNW we plan to do a trip (or two) to Alaska, Laurie can gain some confidence about blue water, and then we may head south. I could see just the leg down the west coast to Chile taking a year or more, the way I would like to do it. Then across the Pacific, to the islands, NZ, Australia. I would like to head north to Hawaii and then to the Aleutians, down the Alaskan coast to home. Ahhh...dreams, love em.

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Old 09-18-2008
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I share your dream of circumnavigating the Pacific, not at all sure that I'll get to do it, or even a good portion, but it's definitely my dream. Being in the PNW we plan to do a trip (or two) to Alaska, Laurie can gain some confidence about blue water, and then we may head south. I could see just the leg down the west coast to Chile taking a year or more, the way I would like to do it. Then across the Pacific, to the islands, NZ, Australia. I would like to head north to Hawaii and then to the Aleutians, down the Alaskan coast to home. Ahhh...dreams, love em.

John
That's what these threads are all about. Have you read "Two on a Big Ocean" ?

(Thanks Glen, I was at the office and couldn't remember the title)

A Pacific Circumnav would have to take me three years I'd reckon. Certainly the American West Coast would be one of them, Sydney to Japan another and back across the Pacific to Oz via NZ I'd hope would be the third.

But that Nth Pacific passage is the big worry.
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