East Versus West

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Route to the East in BLUE; to the west in GREEN

So one of my dedicated, alert readers emailed me and asked the obvious question, “Since you want to spend time in the Med, why not go to Korea via the Suez Canal and Indian ocean?”

Great question. It’s been more than a year since I last looked at the charts and the route to the east.

So, I just looked at it again. Nothing changed. Sometimes Plate Tectonics does not work as fast as one would wish for.  Probably have to wait another few hundred million years before the Horn of Africa is considered another continent. But then the Pacific will be smaller by then also!

Don’t think I’ll wait.

Gibraltar to Yeosu, Korea via the Suez Canal, 10,000 nm.

So why don’t I want to go east:

  • Even though it’s about 30% or 3,000 miles shorter, and
  • we could spend a good time in the Mediterranean.

The disadvantages:

  • Avoiding the Red Sea and the Suez Canal. I have read many accounts of boats transiting both; none of them very positive.
  • I don’t like dusting. We don’t like deserts or hot dusty climates.
  • The Red Sea would be difficult; the Indian Ocean would be impossible. Jimmy Cornell’s book, “World Cursing Routes” is my bible.  It shows the difficulty of trying to go west to east against the prevailing winds 11 of 12 months in the northern Indian Ocean. Trying to time the one month of “good” winds is a fool’s errand.
  • Though the pirate situation is better than it has been and is now not much better off the west coast of Africa, it’s still an issue on a problematic coast.
  • Straits of Malacca. Even more lawless than the Horn of Africa.
  • We want to enjoy Korea before seeing Southeast Asia.

Gibraltar to Yeosu, Korea via the Panama Canal, 13,000 nm. Though longer, why do we want to go this way:

  • Like a magic carpet ride, the trade winds will whisk us from the Canary Islands all the way through the Caribbean to the Panama Canal. winds
  • Sometime in Central America will be nice.
  • Looking forward to seeing the west coast of the US; a coast that I have driven along numerous times, yet have never seen from the sea.
  • Spending time in the Pacific Northwest and Southeast Alaska.
  • Crossing the north Pacific in July should be easier than the Atlantic. Also, the Aleutians provide stopping spots.  The Bering Sea has a little east to west counter current.
  • Seeing northern Japan
  • Seeing the Aleutians. Check out this story:

http://www.powerandmotoryacht.com/boats/cruising/cruising_the_aleutians_aboard_a_65-foot_fleming#.Vl3i2PmrQU0

So that’s about it.

Thanks for asking.

The south coast of South Korea. Many islands.

The south coast of South Korea. Many islands.

 

 

 

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