The Mexico to Marquesas Float Plan
09 March 2009 | La Cruz
The picture above does a pretty good job of showing an overview of our passage to the Marquesas. We plan on leaving March 21st weather permitting, and arriving in Hiva Oa between the 10-15th of April. The boats that are leaving now are running into light westerly winds and making only 80 miles a day. Visual passage planner says we will average 144 miles a day, but we are planning on a more conservative 125 miles a day.
Leg 1 is usually the most difficult, and many cruisers motor this section due to the fickle winds off the coast of mexico. Our strategy is to quickly get out to the Northern tradewinds, about 2-300 miles offshore, which are more consistent in speed and direction. Leg 2 and 3 takes us to just above the equator, where the wind usually dies somewhere around 5-8 degrees North latitude. Whenever that happens, we will turn due South and motor across the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) to avoid the frequent squalls and thunderstorms. (Leg 4)
We will stop right on the equator to toast Neptune with a bottle of Vueve, take a swim, then keep going until we run into the Southern tradewinds, where we will turn west again and sail downwind to the Marquesas. (Leg 5 and 6)
During our passage, we will be communicating with the fleet every morning to provide our position and let them know everything is alright. We will plan on doing daily blog updates via satphone where you will be able to watch our progress on the "current location" section of the blog and hear how the crew is faring on this long passage. If we miss a day or two, please do not fret, as sometimes life does get busy on the boat. Knowing that you all will be watching closely will motivate us to update it, however. We will also have email aboard from our fyfm2008 email account only, but please make your messages short and with no attachments, as there is a filter that will defer all messages larger than 10Kbytes. If you do a text email, rather than html, you can easily write several paragraphs and get under the 10K filter. Further emergency contact information will be provided to Gene Wollen, who will be monitoring our passage.
If you have any questions about the plan, whether or not we have lost our sanity, ask now, as we will be largely "off the grid" in just under two weeks.