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