Saturday, September 20, 2008

Circumnavigation Routes, Part 3

In a comment to my first Circumnavigation Routes post from July 23, "Melissa" recommended the book Chasing Sunsets by Lawrence Pane to go along with the book I had written about, World Cruising Routes by Jimmy Cornell. She said, "We used Chasing Sunsets as a reference book for getting ready to cruise and found its real-life information to be invaluable." That was all the convincing I needed, so I filed away the title in the mental checklist I keep for future orders.

As coincidence would have it, this month's Latitudes & Attitudes features a new column entitled "Cruising Tips" by none other than Lawrence Pane. Melissa was right; Mr. Pane knows his stuff. His tips on the timing of a circumnavigation are the natural complement to planning the route itself (and I quote):
  • Because of the cyclone season, the South Pacific cannot be entered before March and has to be exited by November.
  • Again because of cyclones, the Queensland, Australia coast is not safe to sail between November and March.
  • The most favorable conditions to go up the Red Sea are found in February, March and April.
  • The winter months, November to March, are bad months to sail in the Mediterranean.
  • The best time to cross the Atlantic Ocean is November and December.
  • June to October (sometimes November) is the hurricane season in the Atlantic and Caribbean, so sailing in those months is dangerous.
This advice plays well into the idea of the discontinuous voyage that I presented in that first Circumnavigation Routes post. If you find yourself sailing in an area of the world that is about to enter an unfavorable weather pattern, you leave the boat and return later when it is safe to sail again. Of course, you would want to make sure the boat was safe from the weather, which could mean hauling it out and storing it "on the hard," but even that is not a foolproof strategy, as we will see in my next post.

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