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first sailed january 2008
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Discussion Starter #1
I was admiring kilarney and wife's recent circ. someday I'd like to do one myself, and no, I'm not one of those fly by night posters that gets the sailing bug in spring and quickly forgets.

I'm on part three of a multi step training program I have set out for myself.

The first part was just teaching myself to sail. Basically owning a boat in Honolulu for about two years and doing day sailing.

Part two was last year, where I spent just around five months cruising. I went all around the Salish sea in the Pacific Northwest. Learning to anchor, fix little things. Really just learning a lot about cruising. I had never been in a dinghy, I didn't know what dinghy to get. I learned some about rigging, solar...maybe most importantly chart reading, interpreting currents, and navigation. It was an extreme success.

This year, next week actually I am beginning part three. It involves me moving to a slightly larger, sturdier boat, with much more complex systems. From my first autopilot, to a good electronics suite. I'm intending to go back to some of my favorites in the pnw and try some new places I missed. Once I feel ready, assuming I do, I intend to sail down the coast, probably offshore, to San Francisco, where I will coastal cruise to Southern California.

Now, I feel that that is enough to focus on right now, but since I am a dreamer, part four does cross my mind from time to time.

Part four will either involve sailing deep into Mexico, or more likely, crossing the pacific, probably Hawaii, since it is familiar and I love and miss it, and it is a great jumping off point to my ultimate dream destination. The South Pacific.

Logistically, I'm wondering how a circ. takes place. Not really the long term planned kind, but more the "well, we mise well keep going" kind, where you just end up continuing. How do you know where you're going? I know that sounds stupid, but I thought about it as I was downloading charts onto a prepaid navionics chip. I was deciding places I would probably go and putting them on. But it only goes from BC to Baja. Say you got to Baja and felt like you could turn right? How do you possibly get all the charts to cover everywhere you may go? And I would assume, often you end up going somewhere completely unplanned. You may think you're going through the med, but as you get into the Indian Ocean, piracy reports intensify and you end up sailing around Africa. You didn't download Africa, you may not even have the capabilities. You can't carry paper charts for the whole planet, you don't want to spend $300'dollars on Navionics Norway on the off chance you end up there, so how do you do it?

I found not just charts but cursing guides indespensible. The pnw has some tricky passages, some anchorages(like pirates cove) that you would never know you could go into unless you had a guide to tell you about it. I don't want to end up on the rocks, I thi the South Pacific and many places are like this. I would think you would need a guidebook for every destination. How else will you know that idyllic anchorage in Fiji is surrounded 355 degrees by an impassable reef, and only at 5 degrees noth is there a gap into the lagoon? I realize exploration is a wonderful thing, but this isn't the age of discovery. Back then they had a lot of shipwrecks learning things that we have access to.

So I can't imagine just sailing off into the horizon and aiming southwest and hoping you hit land in forty days, but I also can't imagine you buy every single guide and chart for the planet. What's the secret? I want to be adventurous and carefree and go where the wind takes me, but I'd also like to know that if I sail 4000 miles to Vanuatu, there's a store there to resupply, or the water is bad and I need to have a filter, or there's diseases and I need vaccinations. Heck, even knowing the fees to enter and visa requirements.
 

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Taking it day by day
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first sailed january 2008
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1,409 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
No good. I already failed almost all of section two

Purchase a boat that is 35 to 45 feet (10.67 to 13.72 m) long.
The boat should be a sail boat. Using the wind instead of fuel will save a lot of money on a journey of this length.
Purchase a boat with a washer and dryer system. Otherwise, you will have to use laundry facilities when you dock at various ports.

Plus I don't have or intend to have a firearm, or a sat phone.

But I do appreciate the link at the bottom to birth control options. I thought condoms only prevented the clap, the drip, and the catfish blues. No idea they had some use in preventing unwanted pregnancy. The other options were a mystery to me since it started talking about pills, and I'm a Christian scientist so I can't take pills. I had to wipe my hard drive just to get the offensive material removed.

Anyone else? Please don't post a link to once upon a potty. I KNOW how to pee at see.
 

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So I can't imagine just sailing off into the horizon and aiming southwest and hoping you hit land in forty days, but I also can't imagine you buy every single guide and chart for the planet. What's the secret? I want to be adventurous and carefree and go where the wind takes me, but I'd also like to know that if I sail 4000 miles to Vanuatu, there's a store there to resupply, or the water is bad and I need to have a filter, or there's diseases and I need vaccinations. Heck, even knowing the fees to enter and visa requirements.
So without getting into the argument about paper vs electronic, one should always have decent charts of every area you intend to visit as well as a selection of bolt-holes in case you can't reach your chosen spots. My choice is paper simply because they're permanent and they often contain info that electronic charts don't.

Having said that, I have an electronic charting system that contains something like 27000 chart files. That would require quite a big boat if they were paper.

For info other than your physical whereabouts/location look at cruising guides, coastal pilots and finally, Noonsite.com.

Oh, and if you're still sailing after 40 days, consider yourself lost :)
 
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1982 Skye 51
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379 Posts
+1 for noonsite as an invaluable resource.

with the exception of the Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego Cruising Guide aka The Italian Guide i have not used a cruising guide in 35k nm from VA to NZ. i get that information through word-of-mouth and, as stated above, noonsite.com. i am not against then, in fact, i would love to have a whole library of them but they are bulky and expensive. i find you can get along just fine without them.

charts are another story. you must have them, right?! the debate about paper vs. electronic is largely moot if you just use electronic charts as if they were paper. too may people like to plug their GPS into their charts and trust that the little red dot is actually where their boat is in relation to the features on the chart. DON'T TRUST THE LITTLE RED DOT!! if you have a full set of CM93 charts you have the same as buying the while world of NOAA charts (up to a cretain scale) and you treat your computer screen as if it were a paper chart--looking at the chart and using dead reckoning to get a good idea of where you think you are, then going on deck to compare that to where you can see that you actually are and comparing that to the chart on your screen--you can be confident in your navigation. after all, there is no "red dot" on your paper chart.

most electronic charts today contain the exact same information as the paper charts you buy from NOAA and some of the providers actually add data that they have surveyed for more popular locations. take small scale charts of each region you want to cruise. they help to get the big picture and they are fun to plot your position on each noon. instead of a book of pilot charts by month, get Visual Passage Planner (VPP) for your computer.

Laundry: do it in a 5-gallon bucket

Firearms: Don't take one, it's more trouble than it's worth.

Condoms: Buy from a developed country, there's too much at stake!

You sound like you are doing this the right way. Just build your experience and your confidence. you'll know when you are ready to turn right and head west.
 

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Logistically, I'm wondering how a circ. takes place. Not really the long term planned kind, but more the "well, we mise well keep going" kind, where you just end up continuing. How do you know where you're going? I know that sounds stupid, but I thought about it as I was downloading charts onto a prepaid navionics chip. I was deciding places I would probably go and putting them on. But it only goes from BC to Baja. Say you got to Baja and felt like you could turn right?
Jimmy Cornell is your man. His WORLD VOYAGE PLANNER:Planning a Voyage from Anywhere in the World to Anywhere in the World is a fantastic resource, and lays out a wide array of options and circular voyages for every ocean, originating from every continent. The great value of this book, is in fostering the awareness that one need not necessarily complete a circumnavigation in order to do some incredible voyaging/cruising. Coupled with his WORLD CRUISING ROUTES, you'll have everything you need in terms of the logistics of long term voyage planning... In addition, Cornell's WORLD CRUISING HANDBOOK addresses the technicalities of visiting each country, much of the same stuff to be found on Noonsite...

Hal Roth's HOW TO SAIL AROUND THE WORLD, like all of Roth's books, is an excellent read... And Beth Leonard's THE VOYAGER'S HANDBOOK I'd rate as another indispensable resource for anyone dreaming of a circumnavigation, an incredible wealth of information...
 

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As we dont want to get into an argument about paper charts Vs Electronic. As you have realised paper charts are very expensive so delete them totally from your planning and mind. An expensive waste of time.
Instead, download from the internet FREE CM93 charts.. It a big download at about 1.5 gbs and use them on the FREE Opencpn. Then you have charts of the whole world!

As you get closer to any place you will get better advice about whats ahead.

So for the Pacific, once you get to Baja you will hook up with other boats heading into the South Pacific... You bee line to them and pick their brains, chat charts and juggle guides. Its very exciting stuff! :)
Doing that you will get cruising guides as they will sell them there wheere theres a market. Or you will get old photo copies for fee. Charlies Charts are an old guide.

Google Earth is your friend and work out how to cache images. Its the only accuract nav system in the south pacific.

Have faith that you will get good information as you get closer.

(I also agree with the others that Noonsite is great and cruising guides are not necessary. So if on a budget you can do without, or very old free copies.)


Mark
 

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Though it is getting harder and harder to get onto commercial wharfs, if you can manage it, seek out the navigation officer (often the 2nd officer, but not always) aboard any commercial vessel, and ask him for "cancelled" charts. Every 6 months or after 3 corrections it is mandatory to retire a chart and they usually end up in the bottom drawer of the chart table, only ever to be used again by bridge officers for training purposes. They are free and this is a wonderful way to get aboard a vessel that has laundry facilities, often a bar and some pretty nice meals should you get invited to dinner, and make new friends. After a few years of this, I ended up with a complete world portfolio of charts and a lot of friends, I ran into now and again, on my travels. However, these are "cancelled" charts and therefor by definition, they have not been corrected for some time; this must be kept in mind when using them.
 
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Swab
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We started off with sextant, tables, paper charts and a hand held GPS. The charts and books are heavy and bulky presenting a storage challenge on a small boat. But we have evolved with technology over the past few years. Starting over again today we would go with the following:

Laptop computer - $250
Pocket inverter - $50
BU-353 GPS receiver - $50 at Radio Shack
Open CPN Navigation software - $0
Complete set of NOAA Raster charts - $0
US Coast Pilot volume 7 .pdf DL from NOAA - $0
Jimmy Cornell's "World Cruising Routes" - $87

Total=$437

Duplicate everything for back up and it is still cheaper than commercial chart plotting systems and MUCH less expensive and more accurate than manual navigation gear and paper charts.

I would add a set of pilot charts for voyage planning but, really, all the information is in Cornell's.

And with that: Where ever the wind blows and when ever you are ready.
 

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Keep doing what your doing. step by step, passage by passage. talking to others who have been there....Personally I'd give your current planned trip a miss and head up to Alaska on the inside passage.
 

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Bristol 45.5 - AiniA
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I think you have gotten some excellent advice here. A couple of things come to mind. Worrying about laundry is so far down the list that you need worry about it until very close departure. For what is worth, we use a large bucket and a toilet plunger. The only problem is that it seems impossible to buy a decent plunger these days - the ones with a heavy, dark red rubber business end. Now they may look similar but it is not rubber it is plastic and does not stand up to laundry use well. We measured out progress not in terms of knots of boat speed but in terms of thousands of miles per plunger. They were cheap to buy and generally available but terrible quality. To rub salt in the wound. We bought two in downtown Cape Town near the train station. Put them in the backpack, took the hour-long train to Simonstown, walked half an hour to the boat and somehow managed to get the backpack upside down enough that they fell in the harbour. I can assure you they do not float.

More helpfully I hope, don't start with the mindset that you are sailing around the world. Break it down by oceans or tropical storm seasons. If you are leaving from the US west coast your first season will last until the cyclone season in the western Pacific. Most people spend this in New Zealand or Australia. There you will have time and advanced infrastructure like boat stores, bookshops etc to plan your next season which will likely take you to Thailand/Malaysia or South Africa where you can get setup for the next big jump. Same thing happens when you get to the Caribbean or the Med after South Africa. You will have more time for reflection and preparation.
 
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1982 Skye 51
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Laptop computer - $250
Pocket inverter - $50
BU-353 GPS receiver - $50 at Radio Shack
Open CPN Navigation software - $0
Complete set of NOAA Raster charts - $0
US Coast Pilot volume 7 .pdf DL from NOAA - $0
Jimmy Cornell's "World Cruising Routes" - $87

Total=$437

Duplicate everything for back up and it is still cheaper than commercial chart plotting systems and MUCH less expensive and more accurate than manual navigation gear and paper charts.

I would add a set of pilot charts for voyage planning but, really, all the information is in Cornell's.
The addition of the BU-353 GPS antenna is almost essential these days as it turns any laptop into a stand-alone, redundant/backup system. They are so inexpensive that you should probably buy 2!

Pilot charts are great but you can also get them on the computer with a computer program called Visual Passage Planner. These are the same charts but allow you to manipulate the criteria and plan out your passages.

I have a copy of World Cruising Routes that I have never used. I find taht the only useful info within is the general season for each route, not the specifics.
 

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first sailed january 2008
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Discussion Starter #14
Ah. Licky me I have one of those two cornell books. Forgot the name. It's basically pilot charts with sections like New Zealand: from Tahiti, from marquesas, from us west coast, and has a little write up and best season etc. it's packed in a box right now to take up to the boat.

Opencpn sounds awesome. I'll look into a laptop with one of those gps. It works on Macintosh right? It's pretty easy to figure out how to download and use everything? This is your backup to your main chart plotter right? It hasn't replaced you lowrance or simrad, which you still use with chips when at you home cruising groud?
 

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1982 Skye 51
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while i have a chartplotter and i keep it running all the time, i increasingly use OpenCPN as my main means of charts. it is SO much more user friendly than my Garmin 4008 and it is much easier to manipulate a computer than using teh buttons on a chartplotter. plus, it has many more featured than my chartplotter.

the number of people out there sailing with a laptop and no chartplotter is rising fast. IMO a chartplotter is now optional. That said, i do like having the two independent systems with that GPS antenna mounted aft.
 

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The best info. comes from people who have done it like Killarney. There's no substitute for first hand experience. There are places like the northern coasts of Australia/Torres Straits, dealing with the Agulhas Current, rounding the Cape that I wouldn't want to tackle without BOTH good charts and guidebooks. Wherever you plan to make landfall, it would be unwise to go without lots of information from charts, guidebooks, local weather and currents. There is just a lot to know about places. Going in blind is inviting trouble.
The most important element is the motivation to do it. There is an incredible amount of planning and research to do after which motivation may wane. I was planning to do it but have since lost that intense desire to circumnavigate. Without that kind of motivation, I believe it would be foolish to attempt.
While there are free charts via NOAA, Brazil, NZ, there are no free charts of most of the world. Some of the data on remote charts date from the 1800s, so cruise guides may be the best bet. There are ways to convert and import Google Maps. Pilot charts are not charting tools but average wind charts. +1 on Cornell's books.
 

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how do one circumnavigate?
get a boat and sail round the globe...
it is really that easy... unfortunately i do not have a boat yet... :(
 

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Bristol 45.5 - AiniA
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Where there are good cursing guides they are very helpful - unfortunately not all guides are very good. In much of the world there are no guides or the guides are so general or so old they are not much help. I think that the age of the cruising guides may be ending because of technology since newer tech - Google Earth, Active Captain, etc are cheaper (often free) and more current. A couple of other good sources of data. The SSCA monthly bulletins have 'letters' from members about their experiences in various locales. These range from useful to terrific. Also sailing blogs can be quite helpful. We used one that had the coordinates of the little patches of sand that can anchor in at Easter Island. Thank you to whoever did the dive and posted those coordinates.
 

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Swab
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Opencpn sounds awesome. I'll look into a laptop with one of those gps. It works on Macintosh right?
I believe so.

It's pretty easy to figure out how to download and use everything?
Well, I can do it. How hard can it be?

This is your backup to your main chart plotter right? It hasn't replaced you lowrance or simrad, which you still use with chips when at you home cruising groud?
No. Open CPN on a laptop with BU 353 and two hand held GPS receivers - one connected to the AIS and one mounted in the cockpit. Then we have a complete duplicate, second laptop etc., for back up. If a "Real" chart plotter will do something Open CPN will not do, I can't see the need for it.
 
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