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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest > General Discussion (sailing related)
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Old 04-25-2012
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Circumnavigating the Pacific

Just a question that I couldn't find a good answer on and google was little help. I was watching The Weather Channel this morning and saw Matt Rutherford as he was talking about his recent solo trip around the America's. And it crossed my mind to wonder if anybody had done it around the "Pacific Ring of Fire", circumnavigating the Pacific Ocean solo? Wikipedia did not have anybody listed, let alone anybody solo. What are other "last frontiers" of the global sailing world that have yet to been successfully completed? It's really neat to see that with all of our technology and "infinite wisdom" that there is still frontiers here on earth that are still there!
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Old 04-25-2012
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Re: Circumnavigating the Pacific

It is entirely reasonable to circumnavigate each of the basins (north and south) of the Pacific and both are done with some regularity. Basically you head west in the tropics (trade winds) and swing away from the equator to take advantage of the westerlies to the north and south. Doing the entire basin in one trip would be much tougher since one side of the trip would be going to windward in the westerlies (with foul currents and storms that would be much more of an issue going into the winds than with them).

I can't get too excited about 'frontiers' myself, and at this stage become somewhat artificial. You could set out to be the first person to circumnavigate Long Island while standing on one foot and singing "Satisfaction" backwards I suppose - haven't heard of anyone doing that. Seriously, I wonder if anyone has circumnavigated Eurasia and Africa in one continuous voyage. That would be a long one.
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Finished the circumnavigation in early February in Grenada. Have to work on a book project for the next several months so the boat will be waiting for next year.
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Old 04-26-2012
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Re: Circumnavigating the Pacific

I think Africa has been done recently, but Eurasia would be really tough and long. Might be shorter to head for the north pole from the Bearing Strait and come back south on the Prime Meridian. I couldn't imagine the distances that would have to be covered! Wow!

I'd bet that tacking either North of 50*N or South of the 50*S parallels would be not so fun and take seemingly forever. I'm not advocating a certain parallel that has to be met, but I assume that it would have to be on in which a westward heading would have be against the wind. Maybe head west in the Northern Hemisphere and then east in the Southern Hemisphere? I'm a really green and new sailor, so I honestly have no clue as to waters that are not land locked, so how difficult is it to sail against the westerlies and the currents that drive them? An ever constant thousands of miles of tacks?
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Old 04-26-2012
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Re: Circumnavigating the Pacific

It would be doable but a pretty miserable trip in any case. Likely long tacks with some reaching available as the frontal systems passed through (lots of gales and storms to be had). A north Pacific circuit makes some sense since there is more land available or you could go west in the trades in the South Pacific and then head northward (to Japan, Aleutians, southern Alaska and BC. In the south you would not have to be as far south as 50°, likely somewhere between 35 and upper 40s, but still a very challenging place to be.
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Finished the circumnavigation in early February in Grenada. Have to work on a book project for the next several months so the boat will be waiting for next year.
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