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Old 12-11-2015, 02:27 PM   #1
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South American circumnavigation

I am considering a circumnavigation of South America. Starting in Cartagena heading to Panama, through the canal and making a counter clockwise voyage and ending in Cartagena. Has anyone here made this trip?
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Old 12-11-2015, 02:49 PM   #2
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We have friends who did it in their sailboat in a roundabout way. They left Panama to Galapagos, to Easter Island and then Chile before they headed south. They cruised six months or so on/off, leaving their boat and going back to Canada.

Here's a link to their blog. They arrived in Chile May 2011.

Curare's Adventures
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Old 12-11-2015, 06:03 PM   #3
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Read Joshua Slocum......(first one to do it.....)
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Old 12-11-2015, 07:19 PM   #4
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If you haven't already, you might want to post your question to Cruisers & Sailing Forums.
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Old 12-11-2015, 08:31 PM   #5
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JJ

What kind of vessel are you contemplating for this rigorous journey?
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Old 12-12-2015, 09:13 AM   #6
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30-something years ago I went to a CCA presentation by Miles and Beryl Smeeton about rounding Cape Horn as recounted in their book "Once is Enough". They actually attempted it twice.

You'd have to be bat-shit crazy to want to do this.


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Old 12-12-2015, 11:09 AM   #7
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30-something years ago I went to a CCA presentation by Miles and Beryl Smeeton about rounding Cape Horn as recounted in their book "Once is Enough". They actually attempted it twice.

You'd have to be bat-shit crazy to want to do this.


Keith
Understand we want to travel both sides of South America one day. We want to cross the Atlantic and Pacific. But...rounding Cape Horn-no way in hell. No Drake Passage for us. Let's see, short and very steep waves, rogue waves to 100', ice. Anything in there appealing?

Why? Just to be able to say you did it? Like the chicken to get to the other side? You do realize that 70% of the time the chicken gets run over by a car?
And what boat are you imagining yourself doing this in? I'd suggest rethinking this one.
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Old 12-12-2015, 11:19 AM   #8
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I have been to two presentations by guys who have done the Horn in sailboats, well equipped sailboats with full crews and full instruments. One guy was quite clear that they were faced with a decision to go right or left around an iceberg. Nothing told them which way to go, so they went left. If they had gone right it would have been a death trap as there were several more bergs hidden to the right.

The second was an account of a crew on the 1987 Whitbread(?) race and the crew was exhausted as several/many/most had to be on deck at all times watching for dangers.

Best of luck, the Panama Canal was built for a reason.
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Old 12-12-2015, 11:21 AM   #9
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plus this would be the wrong direction to do this given prevailing winds. Mind you, I am not sure there is a right way.
Having been down to the Roaring 40's on a ship several times I am pretty certain I would not want to be there in a small boat. Slokum and Shackleton not withstanding.
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Old 12-12-2015, 11:25 AM   #10
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If it was a desirable route, there would be no Panama Canal. Went to a lot of work to be able to avoid it.
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Old 12-12-2015, 12:03 PM   #11
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You can circumnavigate SA without going outside, going south you would come inside at Puerto Montt, Chile, and stay inside using either Magellan Strait or Beagle Channel to Ushuaia, Argentina, then out to the Atlantic. Marina's in Ushuaia have pleasure boats like ours, sailboat rentals, etc. Met a guy in Cartagena in 2005 who made the trip outside (solo) in a Whitby 42. This fellow was married to a local and probably still lives there, I'll pm you my contact information (which is not current).
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Old 12-12-2015, 01:36 PM   #12
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Egret's logs and writings are the penultimate current tome on how it can safely be done in a small vessel. In their case an N46 with full Nordhavn backup and an experienced crew. One thing for sure, big big anchor, two of them in fact with lots of rode.

They even came across a DeFever 44 that has been cruising the waters for several years. Capt Bligh did the rounding, after he was put off the Bounty.

Forget about insurance though, it won't matter anyway if you lose your vessel you'll likely be with it.
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Old 12-12-2015, 02:04 PM   #13
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I'd ask over at cruiserlog.com or sailnet.com as you may get more relevant feedback. The sail related forums tend to be populated with more adventurous souls, the bulk of power boaters have feet of clay.

You'll certainly be far more likely to find folks that have circumnavigated SA there.
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Old 12-12-2015, 02:31 PM   #14
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Another source of information is the NoonSite, specifically for Chile, since it's 2600 miles long including the Cape.

http://www.noonsite.com/Countries/Chile

http://www.noonsite.com/
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Old 12-12-2015, 06:13 PM   #15
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There have been many sailboat that have done this trip, currently I have a friend in Chile on his sailboat. Most sailboats when rounding counter clockwise follow the route described above of the Galapagos, Robinson Crusoe Island etc which is not the route I want to take for many reasons (distance, current, fueling up (the Galapagos are crazy $$)). But no matter how you slice it there are some long passages involved since Peru is to be avoided. I guess my main question is: is there a inside current to the Humboldt current? Is it recommended or is there a lot of fishing traffic (20% of the worlds seafood comes out of the Humboldt current.) Ports of call, parts , provisioning, access to fuel, safety, red tape, etc.
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Old 12-12-2015, 06:33 PM   #16
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I have no intention of rounding the cape and plan to do the inside (without rushing and taking my sweet time) To be fair, the Beagle, Drakes and the straights of Magellan are all riddled with dangers of their own and present even the most seasoned of crew with challenges. Keep in mind that Chile is done in day trips and not navigated at night. These routes are full of fishing vessels that travers these waters everyday. This is no a no-mans land of boating, but it is to be treated with great planning and respect.


I think the Smeetons were an amazing couple and wrote some amazing books. They did attempt the cape west to east (the wrong way) twice with failure and on their third attempt made it setting a world record at the time for speed. Cape horn is the Everest of the sea and definitely a mountain I have no intention of rounding.
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Old 12-12-2015, 06:56 PM   #17
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But no matter how you slice it there are some long passages involved since Peru is to be avoided. .
I have cruised off the Peruvian coast. Why avoid it?
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Old 12-12-2015, 07:13 PM   #18
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I have cruised off the Peruvian coast. Why avoid it?
Cruising off the coast appears to be safe. It's the land that's questionable today. Guerilla groups and robberies. High costs of entering and some law enforcement set ups to get more money. Shining path is active and especially attacks US citizens.


http://www.noonsite.com/Countries/Peru

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Old 12-12-2015, 07:51 PM   #19
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I think the shining path are in the Andes on the Amazon River side. Far from the Pacific coast.
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Old 12-13-2015, 05:50 AM   #20
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Yes my decision to skip Peru is based on noonsite. I am currently in South America and I am not squeamish about guerillas since they do not seem to be sea born groups (if we exclude Castros attack on Cuba aboard Granma), however if I were in Bogota getting into a cab I would be worried. Its not just the warnings on the opening page that has lead me to this idea, it was all the members live accounts that I read. They all seemed to have a common theme of getting the boat stripped from head to toe, dingy and motor stolen, forcefully boarded and completely shafted by the port and port agents, along with paying 800-1200 USD for entry. I have had my experiences in these sorts of places and know that I would not enjoy it. I think a better plan is to take a bus from Ecuador, see the things you want to see, stay in a hotel and return to the boat in Ecuador when finished. In the end it will be cheaper and a lot less hassle. I don't mind make the long run and skipping it.
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