Monday, July 19, 2010

Tentative Schedule for Ainia, late 2010-early 2012 v. 1.1

I thought that those reading the blog would like to know what our plans are for the fall and next year. I put it all into a table to make it easier to follow. The plans seem quite precise with all of these dates, but they really are not. Within the constraints of government restrictions (eg only 90 day visa in French Polynesia), if we like where we are we will stay longer. if not we will move on to the next stop.

We will be following the standard 'coconut milk run' except for the rather large detour to Ecuador and then heading to Easter Island and Pitcairn from the Galapagos. This means that we will enter French Polynesia from the southeast (Tuamotus) rather than northeast (Marquesas). It means that our longest passage will be around two weeks rather than three+ weeks if we went from Panama to the Marquesas (with a stop in Galapagos)

I will post more later about some of the research and preps we have been doing to get ready for this.



Voyage (d)

Anchor (d)


Fort Pierce, FL (Nov 1)

San Blas Islands, Panama (Dec 2)



Visits to Keys and/or Cuba; likely; AN 117B1; possible stop in Cayman Islands or we will go the other way around Cuba AN 114 and spend some time in the Bahamas and likely stop in Jamaica

San Blas

San Blas (Dec 20)


San Blas

Panama City (Pacific side of country) (Jan 3)

14 (total)

Includes Canal transit and major provisioning; problems over Christmas week?


Bahia, Ecuador (Jan 11)


May include coastwise along coast of Panama; elements of PT 11 and PT 12 2


Bahia (Feb 20)


Boat kept on mooring at Puerto Amistad; Land ‘cruise’ in Ecuador and (mainly) Peru including Machu Picchu 3; provisioning before departure


Galapagos (Feb 25)


elements of PT 11 and PT 12


Galapagos (March 12)


Likely using local excursion boat for touring4


Easter Island (March 26)


PS 12

Easter Island

Easter Island (April 2)


As anchoring conditions allow5

Easter Island

Pitcairn Island (April 10)


PS 15

Pitcairn Island

Pitcairn Island (April 13)


As anchoring conditions allow6

Pitcairn Island

Mangareva, Gambier Islands, French Polynesia (April 15)


PS 16


TBD (somewhere in Fiji)

~ 200 days from French Polynesia to 7; likely stops include Cook Islands and Niue; without much hassle and considerable cost, the visa in FP is only good for 90 days so we will spend the extra time further west


Northern New Zealand (Nov 10)


PS 488


  1. These plans are tentative as to specific dates at any stage.
  2. Sailing times are based on typical conditions likely in the specific area and tend to be pessimistic, ie Ainia can be expected to do better than most of these so there will be more time at anchor and for local cruising.
  3. Route to French Polynesia via South America, Galapagos, Easter Island, Pitcairn and Gambier was chosen because it breaks down the long distance from Panama to French Polynesia (Marquesas) 3790 nm into more manageable chunks and allows visits to a number of very interesting locales. It also goes to less visited parts of French Polynesia, rather than Marquesas which seem, according to some accounts, somewhat overwhelmed by cruising boats.


1 These designations refer to routes in Cornell’s book, World Cruising Routes (we have 4th ed)

2 I considered the possibility of coastwise cruising along the coast of Colombia as well but it may be too dangerous; we may stay a hundred miles or so offshore. I will be making further enquiries.

3 This is the not the ideal time to visit Ecuador and Peru since it is the rainy season but there is no alternative other than adding an extra year to the voyage. We will be traveling the Lonely Planet way using buses and staying in less costly hotels. In general, touring here is very inexpensive.

4 Galapagos are easier to visit than in recent years where you would have to plead an ‘emergency’ to get to stay for more than 48 hours. Still there are only two ports open. If you want to cruise to other places in the (surprisingly large) island group you need to hire an approved naturalist/guide and spend a lot of money (more!) on an agent. In general, everything there is quite pricey.

5 Easter Island has one small harbour which may not be available and rapidly changing weather can mean that you have to move quickly from one side of the island to another if anchoring.

6 Pitcairn has extremely marginal anchorage conditions (at best). Some cruisers who visit are not able to get ashore at all.

7 The possibilities in this nearly seven months are huge and will require much more research.

8 Some people keep their boats in Fiji for the cyclone season but New Zealand is much safer and sounds like a lovely place to visit. Also it is a great place to get any work done that is needed on the boat.


Rhys said...

Bruce, I have the latest World Cruising Routes by J.C. (2009, sixth edition) and would be happy to loan it to you. I also have the latest Admiralty Ocean Routes book.

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