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B dock

The best cruising grounds during the northern hemisphere winter

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Caribbean?

Mexico?

Central America?

Patagonia?

Pacific Islands?

Southern Asia?

Been thinking a bit about being a snow bird cruiser, any opinions on areas to research? I like some convenience and character but also like lonely and hard to get to places as well.  Mono or Multi-hull?

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Highly recommend Pacific Mexico for a starter season. Fall in sea of Cortez  Baja side, early Dec head for gold coast Mazatlan to Z town work your way back up when the southerlies start head back to the Sea till Hurricane season.

 

Still can get lots of alone time and a pretty wide range of everything good in Cruising, lots a awsome locals and some very nice cruisers whose experience is all over the map.

It's one country so easy paperwork and great food and people.

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3rded. Have spent ~ 3.5 years there in 2 cruising boats. Some of the nicest folks and very inexpensive.

Mono is fine, but do get a good flopper stopper anti roll device to hang from a boom or spinnaker pole because some anchorages are affected by Pacific Swell. Not in the Sea of Cortez of course.

Caribbean - very touristy and boats are seen as a cash cow by the locals. Harder to get stuff, etc. Have to think about a safe place to leave your boat (hint Grenada would not be my first choice after H.Ivan but people still leave their boat there)

Central America - CR is costly, El Salvador and Honduras have a lot of crime. 

Pacific Islands - one way trip unless you like to beat upwind in the trades

SE Asia - would be my 2nd choice

Patagonia- is cold even in their summer. Like Alaska. 

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I have spent a bit time in Baja, always land or kayak based and that area is definitely magical.  Leave/store the boat in La Paz during the summer?  What about the eastern side of central america? Panama the safest area?

What about an eventual clockwise circumnavigation of the north pacific.  Mex- central am- pacific island-japan- Alaska- SF/LA  take about 4-6 years/seasons? Japan and Alaska would be obvious summer time seasons.

What about basing out of Australia for a south east asian route?

Wife not too keen on major blue water crossings, but she could fly to each seasons spot, though.

I thinking around 40 to 45 feet, and a faster lighter vessel as opposed to slower classic blue water boat, is that wise given I have limited cruising experience now.

Options are pretty endless so feeling I need to develop a game plan now and bring the pieces into place within a few years.  Maybe it is better to just buy a solid boat in a nice spot and figure it out as I go.

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2 hours ago, Zonker said:

Not in the Sea of Cortez of course.

Yeah, it's got its own washing machine vibe. :)

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If I had to do it over again this is the advice I would give.

Find a flipable sound boat in so cal or MX and take a couple seasons in Pac MX.  You don't need all the bells and whistles.  People cruise the coast in just about everything, it is very manageable.  After a couple seasons everything you listed above will be alot clearer.  We have lots of friends who have taken a winter sabbatical and done it while still working.

The lifestyle is not something that is universal and all people get something different out of it.  Rather than trying to build the dream out of a book or online, go do it. No better teacher than experience and Cruising is a hell of alot more fun than some seminar.

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I like the Bahamas and have friends that have snowbirded there for several years. If their covid travel requirements aren't too restrictive then we're hoping to spend the winter/spring there this year. 

What we like: the water/beaches are amazing, great fishing and lobstering, good snorkeling, lots and lots of anchorages. It's easy to get away from the crowd if you want. One couple we know operates around George Town. They'll spend a few days in GT provisioning and socializing and then head out for a week of remote anchoring e.g. down to the Raggeds or Jumentos. Off season you can return to FL and store the boat on the hard. A small cat, like a PDQ36, is ideal. The shallow draft is amazing and gets you into more places.

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Monsoon season getting over in Thailand, indonesia by end of novemeber. The area between Phuket to langkawi is amazing and would take years to explore. Plenty of services, boatyards, marinas when u need that sort office thing. 

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19 hours ago, B dock said:

Caribbean?

Mexico?

Central America?

Patagonia?

Pacific Islands?

Southern Asia?

Been thinking a bit about being a snow bird cruiser, any opinions on areas to research? I like some convenience and character but also like lonely and hard to get to places as well.  Mono or Multi-hull?

I’d have to say one of the best Northern Hemisphere cruising grounds in winter is Desolations Sound, on the British Columbia, Canada coast.  http://www.canadianyachting.ca/destinations/canada/2188-the-wonder-of-winter-cruising (The link shows a bunch of pics of powerboats, but just imagine a bunch of masts and sails instead :-)

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23 hours ago, B dock said:

Caribbean?

Mexico?

Central America?

Patagonia?

Pacific Islands?

Southern Asia?

Been thinking a bit about being a snow bird cruiser, any opinions on areas to research? I like some convenience and character but also like lonely and hard to get to places as well.  Mono or Multi-hull?

The northern winter is cyclone season in SoPac so that’s not a great option. Even if you don’t get a storm it’s more rainy, hot and sweaty.
 

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Winter is for skiing.

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6 hours ago, Cruisin Loser said:

Winter is for skiing.

Fuck snow.

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Well..... Patagonia ticks the 'hard to get to' box.

 

Southern Summer? Only time you can go down to the Peninsula...

However... Chilean Patagonia west of Ushuaia and Cabo Froward is generally wet, windy, humid  and overcast in the summer.... the winter is far better...

And you avoid the crowds...

Let me know if this link doesn't work..

https://www.docdroid.net/bO63FbL/20202-chilean-anchorages-pdf

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10 hours ago, SASSAFRASS said:

I think in your case it's for varnishing haha.

Little known fact - Maine is the natural habitat for the reclusive Varnish Elves. For years I've left boats there for the winter and when I come back they're nicely varnished. Amazing. They do seem to have access to one of my credit card numbers, but hey, elves gotta eat, too.B)

We just came back to Texas for a little work. Restive is being borrowed by a guy I first met here who is taking his daughter and grandkids for some fun this weekend. 

Ive been talking with the Canadian helicopter skiing operator I've been using for many years, If the Canadian border policy remains through February, it's going to be pretty tough on their business, which is the largest employer in some small towns in BC. I might have to suffer and spend a lot of time in Taos. 

 

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5 hours ago, B.J. Porter said:

Fuck snow.

You'd have a whole different attitude if you were a skier. Have you tried skiing in NZ?

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2 hours ago, Cruisin Loser said:

Little known fact - Maine is the natural habitat for the reclusive Varnish Elves. For years I've left boats there for the winter and when I come back they're nicely varnished. Amazing. They do seem to have access to one of my credit card numbers, but hey, elves gotta eat, too.B)

We just came back to Texas for a little work. Restive is being borrowed by a guy I first met here who is taking his daughter and grandkids for some fun this weekend. 

Ive been talking with the Canadian helicopter skiing operator I've been using for many years, If the Canadian border policy remains through February, it's going to be pretty tough on their business, which is the largest employer in some small towns in BC. I might have to suffer and spend a lot of time in Taos. 

 

Say "Hi" to Mr  A. Guy for me. 

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5 hours ago, Cruisin Loser said:

You'd have a whole different attitude if you were a skier. Have you tried skiing in NZ?

Bucket list for when I get down there is for sure ski/climb Aoraki/Cook.

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4 hours ago, Elegua said:

Say "Hi" to Mr  A. Guy for me. 

Yeah, it’s Tucky. I think for four, Restive is more comfy than the tri.

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7 hours ago, Cruisin Loser said:

You'd have a whole different attitude if you were a skier. Have you tried skiing in NZ?

I used to own skis. I don’t anymore.

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Winter is for cruising and surfing. Location, location. I don’t do cold. 

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16 hours ago, B.J. Porter said:

Fuck snow.

This. IMO snow & ice is best observed from the inside of a heated pilot house. If at all.

FKT

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1 hour ago, Fah Kiew Tu said:
17 hours ago, B.J. Porter said:

Fuck snow.

This. IMO snow & ice is best observed from the inside of a heated pilot house. If at all.

FKT

I lived in New England and dealt with enough of that fluffy white bullshit to not be overly romantic about it.

If I want to see snow, I'll drive to it. I don't want to live with it anymore.

I used to ski, back in my 20s. But we lost interest when we watched one of my wife's peers sort of fuck up his life with a ski injury (can't deliver babies or do surgery with a broken arm). It's not something we're about to take up again now, we've been there. My left shoulder was kinda wrecked skiing in my 20s with an A-C joint separation, I don't need to be courting injuries at this point in my life. It's just not worth it.

Especially with how completely insane the costs of gotten, and I'd have to rent everything, get cold weather clothing, etc.

These were taken at a ski resort in north Island, NZ...we went there because it was used in the off season to film a few scenes in the Lord of the Rings. They must make a lot of snow there, because the terrain underneath makes New England spring "rock skiing" look like a causal roll in the meadow.

This was where some of the battle scenes at the beginning of the Fellowship were shot:

IMG_8475.thumb.JPG.31b4de954d42ea4ed1e9952fa0722be6.JPG

This is the wall Gollum (Andy Serkis) climbed down in The Two Towers when he first attacked the hobbits.

IMG_8462.thumb.JPG.aac6a33c128f344682ebd6f76edfb1c0.JPG

This was some of the ski slopes.

IMG_8452-001.thumb.JPG.a00399d5d1d56b5c95924735e18d9799.JPG

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On 9/12/2020 at 1:59 PM, B.J. Porter said:

I used to own skis. I don’t anymore.

 “If you stay in the tropics too long," says Tim, 57, "you go troppo. We were ready for a change.”

 https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/sports/1999/04/13/around-the-world-without-leaving-home/7080c67f-8bb3-4608-bc51-f4b70be9437f/

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On 9/11/2020 at 9:55 AM, Jud - s/v Sputnik said:

I’d have to say one of the best Northern Hemisphere cruising grounds in winter is Desolations Sound, on the British Columbia, Canada coast.  http://www.canadianyachting.ca/destinations/canada/2188-the-wonder-of-winter-cruising (The link shows a bunch of pics of powerboats, but just imagine a bunch of masts and sails instead :-)

From the linked article:

"The sounds of ice in the water will be a new experience. It makes a horrible crunching sound as it passes the hull – and you may wonder whether your boat is being ground to bits while under way. But experienced winter cruisers rarely have more than a scratch or two on their boot stripe from ice. Fiberglass stands up well, while those with aluminum boats may have to be more careful."

Could that bit about FG and aluminum in ice be a typo?

Steve

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12 hours ago, Panope said:

From the linked article:

"The sounds of ice in the water will be a new experience. It makes a horrible crunching sound as it passes the hull – and you may wonder whether your boat is being ground to bits while under way. But experienced winter cruisers rarely have more than a scratch or two on their boot stripe from ice. Fiberglass stands up well, while those with aluminum boats may have to be more careful."

Could that bit about FG and aluminum in ice be a typo?

Steve

I'd reckon. I've bashed a lot of aluminium boats into ice without problems. Don't think a f/g boat would stand up at all well to the same treatment.

Of course steel is better still if you're going to places where there's lots of ice.

FKT

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Define 'ice'.....

This is about as bad as it gets in Patagonia... it's never bothered my FG boat.... but then I don't 'bash into ice'.

IMO  damage to rudder or prop is the greatest risk...

DSC_0835.jpg

IMG_3739.jpg

IMG_3604.jpg

IMG_2344.jpg

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1 hour ago, Cisco said:

Define 'ice'.....

3/10 pack or thicker. That last shot of yours is maybe 1/10, hard to say.

We put jet drives in one of our workboats to stop prop damage. Of course then we needed to put grids over the intakes to stop sucking in bits of ice. There's no total solution.

I'm not going to debate whether you can push ice about with a f/g boat, obviously you can do that. However claiming that f/g is more abrasion resistant than aluminium WRT ice abrasion is a bullshit claim. It simply is not so. Try running that claim past a materials scientist or engineer if you want to see them laugh at you.

FKT

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I don't think I ever suggested pushing ice around... simply showing what you would be dealing with in Chile.... which I suspect is much the same as you would be dealing with in BC. The wandering track in the second pic above shows how you deal with even very light ice.... a piece the size of a football makes a quite disconcerting noise if you smack it.

Biggest risk is anchoring somewhere with fresh water entering from a stream or whatever... and having it come in cold(er) overnight. Doesn't take much ice to immobilise the average cruising boat regardless of construction. I recall a french lady yachtsman  ( since deceased ... forget whether it was on the side of a mountain or in a helicopter..) anchoring in Eberhardt for the night.... didn't get out for three weeks....

You wan't to go up to the Amelia Glacier in winter? Not going to happen whatever the boat. 

I did have a rather nice photo taken as close as we got to Amelia... can't find it so here is Seno Pia West Arm.....

 

IMG_4798.jpg

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^^^ hey, I remember those jerrycans !

and nobody has mentioned Bay of Islands, this place is really going down down down :rolleyes:

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4 hours ago, Cisco said:

I don't think I ever suggested pushing ice around... simply showing what you would be dealing with in Chile.... which I suspect is much the same as you would be dealing with in BC. The wandering track in the second pic above shows how you deal with even very light ice.... a piece the size of a football makes a quite disconcerting noise if you smack it.

Biggest risk is anchoring somewhere with fresh water entering from a stream or whatever... and having it come in cold(er) overnight. Doesn't take much ice to immobilise the average cruising boat regardless of construction. I recall a french lady yachtsman  ( since deceased ... forget whether it was on the side of a mountain or in a helicopter..) anchoring in Eberhardt for the night.... didn't get out for three weeks....

You wan't to go up to the Amelia Glacier in winter? Not going to happen whatever the boat. 

I did have a rather nice photo taken as close as we got to Amelia... can't find it so here is Seno Pia West Arm.....

 

IMG_4798.jpg

Nice pix. Somewhere I've a huge collection of ice & iceberg photos. Always wanted to cruise Patagonia, seems unlikely to ever happen now.

Brent Swain once claimed that his boats were so strong that they could break their way through 3" thick solid ice. My comment was - only if dropped from a great height given he had a 20HP engine.

Pity nobody ever did it (drop him from a great height that is).

FKT

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