The Cruising Plan
Sailing Cruise of â€œSpinalongaâ€ â€“ Route Summary
Since its launch in June 2002, we have travelled over 18,000 nautical miles in our sailing yacht Spinalonga.
Since April 2004 we have been living and travelling on the boat.
Journey to date – May 2004 toÂ July 2007
We left Guernsey, our home, on 1st May 2004. We spent four months cruising Spain, Portugal, Gibraltar and the Balearics, and over-wintered near Toulon in the south of France.
In 2005 between April and September we cruised the Mediterranean from the French coast to Corsica, Sardinia, Italy, Ionian islands of Greece, Malta, Tunisia, and returned via the Balearics and south-east Spain to Gibraltar.
In late September we took the boat to the Canary Islands, and departed Las Palmas, Gran Canaria to cross the Atlantic at the end of November. Our crossing was a month long, including a week’s wait for wind!
We arrived in Antigua, West Indies, on New Year’s Day 2006. We spent three enjoyable months going southwards through the islands of Guadeloupe, Les Saintes, Dominica, Martinique, St Lucia, the Grenadines, and finally arrived in Trinidad to sit out the Caribbean hurricane season in safety and â€¦ to have a baby!
Lisa Jade Loller was born in Trinidad on 26th April 2006, and later in the summer Elaine, Daniel and Lisa visited Guernsey (by aeroplane).
We left Trinidad in November 2006, visiting Curacao in the Netherlands Antilles before spending Christmas in the historic city of Cartagena, Colombia. We arrived in the San Blas Islands of Panama on New Year’s Eve.
We enjoyed the San Blas Islands, inhabited by the Kuna Indians, for two weeks before reaching Colon, Panama, and making the Panama Canal crossing. After a few weeks in Panama City, we visited Santa Cruz in the Galapagos Islands in March, before making the 3000 nautical mile trip across the Pacific Ocean to the Marquesas in French Polynesia. The crossing took the whole of April, and we arrived in Hiva Oa in May. We enjoyed these lush and mountainous islands for a month, before leaving for the Tuamotu atolls in June, and then visited Tahiti and the Society Islands in late June and July.
Cruise Plan August 2007 to April 2008
August to November 2007 â€“ South Pacific Islands : Cook Islands, Tonga
We are expecting another baby, and hope to spend time in Rarotonga, Cook Islands around the birth.
November 2007 to March 2008 â€“ New Zealand
In November 2007 we plan to go to New Zealand, to avoid the hurricane season in the Pacific Islands which runs from November to April.
Further Plans 2008/9
After spending a few months in New Zealand, we could return to Europe via the Indian Ocean and the Red Sea, or via South Africa, possibly returning to Guernsey in 2009. Details to be added later!
Initial PlanÂ in 2004Â
Schedule and proposed route options
Our plan is to go sailing from April 2004, for two years, possibly longer.
We would follow routes regularly used by cruising yachts. We would plan the routes and timings to take advantage of trade winds and to avoid known hurricane seasons. We may take on an extra experienced crew, preferably known to us beforehand, for some long passages, especially in view of having a young child on board.The first part of the trip would be simply to go down to the Mediterranean and spend six months or so there to find our feet, we would make more definite onward plans from there. As we have not undertaken this lifestyle before we can not be definite about our further plans now, but could confirm in more detail if required during autumn 2004.
We can however provide some examples of what we may do.
Option 1: Circumnavigation (3 years)
Beginning with an Atlantic crossing in autumn 2004, and ending provisionally summer 2007.
We could follow a route regularly used by cruising yachts, going westwards with the trade winds, mainly in the tropics.
An example of the route we could follow is:
From Europe we can make our way to the Azores or Canary Islands in early autumn. In November or December 2004 we can cross the Atlantic to Bermuda and the Caribbean. In February or March 2005 we can cross the Panama Canal, and then make our way through the Pacific islands possibly including the Galapagos, the Marquesas, Tahiti, Tonga, and Fiji. The hurricane season of late November to March 2006 may be spent in New Zealand or Australia which is outside the hurricane belt. From April proceed towards North Australia and into the Indian Ocean, arriving in Indonesia in October, Singapore, Thailand in December, Sri Lanka, India in January to February 2007, Red Sea in March to April, Mediterranean in summer 2007, and back to Guernsey.
Option 2: Atlantic Cruise
Beginning autumn 2004
There are various options below which could each take a year in themselves and they can be easily combined to make the trip as long as we want.
Part A. Sail down to the Mediterranean and spend six months or even a year/18 months there, as there is plenty to visit and we would never be very far from land or civilisation. This could be a good first cruise.
Part B. From the Mediterranean, sail to the Caribbean in late autumn via the Canaries and Bermuda. A few months in the Caribbean, then return in late spring via Bermuda and the Azores to Europe.
Part C. An additional year could be made by sailing from the Mediterranean as Part B but to Brazil, via the Canaries, Cape Verde Islands and West Africa.
Then along the coast of Brazil to the Caribbean, where we would rejoin Part B.
Part D. If we really decide we like it, we could take a longer route back from the Caribbean, by sailing up the east coast of the U.S. and Canada, before using the Westerly winds prevailing across the North Atlantic to return to Europe via Greenland and Iceland, which we would plan to do during the summer.