As One Chapter Ends Another Begins

Asia, via the North Pacific is still a goal.

Last Days in the Atlantic for a Bit

But now that transiting the Panama Canal, a set structure in time and space, has been done, I have time to take a breath.

I want to enjoy the Pacific Northwest, British Columbia and Southeast Alaska.  These areas provide the spectacular scenery of Norway with wildlife that has been long gone from Europe.

The western coasts of Central and North America pose a formidable challenge for little boats: long stretches of coastlines with inaccessible harbors when you most need them and predominantly head winds and seas.

If I’ve learned anything in the last few years, this Krogen does not like head seas.  They make for a miserable ride that takes twice the time and fuel.

Dauntless Rests In Fish Hook Marina, Golfito

So, the first step is understanding that with any northerly component to the winds, one must stay put.

We are also constrained by a relatively short cruising period, 5 months, maybe 6 at best.  That’s 150 to 180 days.  Climo says that the winds are northerly 66 to 75% of the time. That means of those 150 days, maybe only 45 are useable.

In those 45 days, I can reasonably assume that gets me about 2100 nm or someplace in Northern Mexico from Golfito.

The following summer, 2018, I’d have 2400 nm or about 49 days to get to the Pacific Northwest.

Lastly, in the third year, 2019, that time will be spent in British Columbia and Southeast Alaska.

So, I now have a more realistic time table.

Three seasons of cruising, also means three seasons of idleness.  And we all know that idle hands are the devil’s workshop. So, while Dauntless is safely tucked in, I must keep busy at an affordable pace.

The west coast is considerably more expensive than Northern Europe, thus I find myself having to be open to new money saving strategies for the winter in particular.

Since re-crossing the Atlantic, I have been slow in updating my digital log.  Maybe because the data simply does not change very much:

  • In 2016-17, Dauntless fuel consumption remains constant at 1.45 gallons per hour or just above 4 nm/gallons. This number is only 1/10th of a gallon different from 2015.
  • My costs, total expenses for Dauntless and for myself have averaged just less than $100 per day for everything. This is also slightly less than 2015.  While marinas in southern Europe were much more expensive than northern Europe, the large number of passage and anchoring days equalized that cost.  Also, a passage day, 24 hours x 1.5 gallons = 35 gallons per day at $2.5 = $90/day.  So, using fuel for 24 hours pretty much equals the cost of a marina and eating and drinking.

The long-range plan, a circumnavigation in a 30-year Kadey Krogen, is still the plan.  I’m already thinking of where I am crossing my track and what comes after that.  Northern Europe, Sweden and the Baltic still have an attraction that is hard to beat, but who knows.

I’m always thinking of the future; reflecting on the past.  While that doesn’t leave much time to appreciate the here and now, it’s who I am.  I get far more enjoyment having the Plan come together, then just winging it.  I can read a hundred self-help books about living in the moment.  What they all have in common, is that they are written by people who are adept at living in the moment and figured out how to monetize that.

 

So, this finds me taking a break from D right now.  We’ve been together almost 24/7 since November.  My nephew Micah went home to enter Law School, so I decided to take a little break and do a little reconnoiter for this coming winter.

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.