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post #1 of 6 Old 07-14-2010 Thread Starter
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Smile Mike Mc Neil from Toronto, Canada

Ahoy all, new to this community, but not to the water. Born half fish and just cannot be in it, on it, or around it enough. Family is from the Maritymes of Canada, so I guess it's in the blood, lol. Purchasing a boat of my OWN this month (sorry all, I'm done crewing for others, lol) and setting off for an extended cruising vacation filled with sun, sand and surf.If you ever lived in Canada during winter, you'll know why I'm totally stoked about it, lol.
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post #2 of 6 Old 07-14-2010
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Good luck, Mike. We belong to the Whitby YC but currently have the boat in Florida between major cruisers - going back in October and leaving again after hurricane season is over. Where are you planning to go?

Back home on Lake Ontario after something over 36,000 nm circumnavigator. Not surprisingly there is a lot of stuff I want to get done on Ainia both cosmetically and functionally. Getting an early start so it will be ready to go for next summer (Lake Superior?).
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post #3 of 6 Old 07-14-2010 Thread Starter
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Smile Thanks :)

Am planning to sail down the canadian and U.S. Atlantic coast , to the Carribean, and on to Mexico.At that point, assuming I am confident in my Boats abilities/Seaworthyness, I am considering 2 options; 1. Continuing down to Panama, and transetting the Canal, and sailing up the Pacific coast to B.C. and in near future, points onward. 2. Spending the winter touring the Carribean, and in the spring, taking the Gulf stream across.

There are many variables before my decision will be made. But it is about time for me to get out there.The hum drum of this land locked existance just isn't for me, lol.

Can you offer any advice directly on sailing the North/Central/South Atlantic in Nov/Dec? And possibly the the Central and South Carribean in winter?I would be grateful for any and all info and advice.
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post #4 of 6 Old 07-14-2010
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Some thoughts

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Originally Posted by SaltyMike77 View Post
Am planning to sail down the canadian and U.S. Atlantic coast , to the Carribean, and on to Mexico.At that point, assuming I am confident in my Boats abilities/Seaworthyness, I am considering 2 options; 1. Continuing down to Panama, and transetting the Canal, and sailing up the Pacific coast to B.C. and in near future, points onward. 2. Spending the winter touring the Carribean, and in the spring, taking the Gulf stream across.

There are many variables before my decision will be made. But it is about time for me to get out there.The hum drum of this land locked existance just isn't for me, lol.

Can you offer any advice directly on sailing the North/Central/South Atlantic in Nov/Dec? And possibly the the Central and South Carribean in winter?I would be grateful for any and all info and advice.
A few observations for what they are worth:
- a good purchase if you do not have it is Jimmy Cornell's World Cruising Routes. It basically tells you when you can go from A to B all over the world (crossings, not coastal trips) and would help you to determine scheduling. It also tells you what route to take from A to B (often not a straight line because of prevailing winds and currents)

- you might want to take your time to develop experience before setting off across oceans. For example, spend a first winter in the Bahamas - reached with one controllable overnight trip from Florida; then go from there - a good first offshore trip is from New York or Newport to Bermuda and back; it is a 4 to 7 day passage (depending on the boat and conditions) - not a casual undertaking to be sure but not too far; Can be done as an early summer trip from Toronto in about 5 to 6 weeks

- with some experience you could go to the Eastern Caribbean using what is called the Thorny Path; this is a slow trip that requires fairly short passages against the prevailing wind. The alternative is to go offshore which is about 1500 nm (generally in November because of hurricane risk) and it is not a trivial trip

- going to either BC or Europe is also not something to be considered without a well-found boat that you know really well and quite a bit of experience. We were going to go to Europe after last winter but Europeans we met in the Caribbean scared us off with tales of how expensive sailing is in the western Med and Western Europe (at least south of Scotland and Scandinavia). The only reason for going to BC, if you later want to go into the Pacific, is if you want to live and work to save some money for later traveling or you really, really have to go there - it is a long way and hard work. Otherwise get your experience in the Atlantic/Caribbean and when you go through the Canal just head west

- most importantly, get sailing; buy a cheap boat to gain experience on; crew for people either on Lake Ontario or beyond; I have been sailing for almost 40 years and am still learning like crazy - that is one of the great joys of the pastime

Back home on Lake Ontario after something over 36,000 nm circumnavigator. Not surprisingly there is a lot of stuff I want to get done on Ainia both cosmetically and functionally. Getting an early start so it will be ready to go for next summer (Lake Superior?).
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post #5 of 6 Old 07-16-2010 Thread Starter
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Thanks for the Advice and Info

I am not quite totally inexperienced, merely lack blue water/Off shore experience.I have spent my life, on and around boats and the water.The St Lawrence , The Great lakes, etc. I have crewed on both power yachts and sailboats, and am a carpenter, that is also VERY mechanically inclined. I am presently starting to race with a couple friends, to refresh my seamanship. And in fact, I have just moved back to Toronto, having lived and worked in B.C. for the last 4 yrs, hence why I was considering the Pacific Coastal trip.

You advice is sound however, and fits in with what I was figuring.I had absoloutely no intention of trying to cross the pond 'til Spring/Summer of next yr.This winter was to be for refreshing my seamanship, getting to know my new boat ( which is a Westsail 32) and her behaviors, and getting the off shore experience and confidence I need to cross the pond next yr.The question ios whether it'll be the Atlantic, or Pacific I choose to set out in.

I will pick up the book you suggested, and would ask one further piece3 of advice; can you recommend a good Navionics system( digital chart plotter) as there are so many out there, hoping you're experience can put me onto the right one for me, thanks again for all the advice and info, nothing is more valuable that experience.
Mike
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post #6 of 6 Old 07-16-2010
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I would not pretend to be an electronics expert. Be aware that Navionics is a brand of electronic charts that is used by several makers of chartplotter. I have a Raymarine C60 system and it is fine but I would not suggest it is the best or that Navionics charts are the best. Everyone has their own favourite. I bought what I did because the price was very good and the installed base is huge. When I ran into a glitch with the install, the technical help from Raymarine was dead on.

If you go with a Navioncs system they produce charts of a number of types that work with various plotters. I like the Gold XL charts because each cartridge ($200 to $300) covers a very large area, for example, one cartridge covers most of the South Pacific short of New Zealand. The Platinum charts have features like air photos of harbours that would be nice, but you need a more costly plotter and each cartridge covers less.

Good luck with your planning

Back home on Lake Ontario after something over 36,000 nm circumnavigator. Not surprisingly there is a lot of stuff I want to get done on Ainia both cosmetically and functionally. Getting an early start so it will be ready to go for next summer (Lake Superior?).
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