How do we get back to Denmark?

 

All roads lead to Rome – says the old expression. We’re now almost in the middle of the Pacific and are beginning to think about what we are going to do from here. We live by the motto:

“We have no plan and by God we’re going to stick to it!”

Despite that motto, a little planning is necessary, if for no other reason than the need to be in hurricane free areas during hurricane season, which is six months out of the year.

So, having said that – how do we get back to Denmark?

Since all roads lead to Rome – this is a multifaceted question – there are a number of possibilities. The traditional road, also known as “The Coconut Milk Run” runs across the Pacific in the trade winds belt and in past times, before pirates around the Horn of Africa became an issue, across the Indian Ocean, up through the Red Sea and the Suez Canal, east across the Med, past the Rock of Gibraltar, around Capo San Vincente and north to Denmark.

Piece of cake.

There are, however, other, more exotic solutions.

The Pacific Loop

pacific loop rute

Pacific Loop

Let’s start with the Pacific Loop, a solution some west coast Canadian and American cruisers use. The route is from Australia north over the Philippines to Japan. Spend six months in Japan waiting out the hurricanes then sail a bit north to Russia, turn to starboard and cross the northern Pacific hugging the Aleutian Islands. Turn south and follow the Canadian and American west coasts, continue southward along Mexico and Latin America until you reach Panama again. Through the canal, over the Caribbean, up to Bermuda across the Atlantic to the Azores and there you are – in Europe.

Hell – another piece of cake.

This route would be filled with adventure and sailing challenges. Japan and Russia would be interesting to visit. Alaska has always been high on Vinni and my list of “must see” places and here we would see it from the sea. Sailing along glaciers through ice floes along rugged mountains and rocky coastlines. Certainly, the sailing challenges abound here.

The American west coast doesn’t have many places to visit but there ones that there are, are in interesting cities, Seattle, Portland and San Francisco. Mexico and Latin America are said to be truly special and you can still find sleepy fishing villages and deserted beaches along the coast. Everything you dream about (and we found before). A life for vagabonds.

This is absolutely a possible solution and one we have considered more than once and quite carefully. Unfortunately, the Pacific Loop takes three years (at least). Adding three years to our intended seven to eight year little sailing sojourn means I’ll be 76 or 77 years old when we complete. That is too old.

Unfortunately, we will have to say; in our next lives (sigh, we’ll have to retire at twenty in our next lives if we are going to do all we want – double sigh).

Round Cape Hope

kap håb ruten

Cape Hope Route

Of course there is always south of Cape Hope. Across the Indian Ocean from Australia to Capetown, over the south Atlantic to Brazil, north through the Caribbean to Bermuda, across the north Atlantic to the Azores and there you are – back in Europe. This route adds a year, so the time is not a real problem, but the route is almost exclusively water, water, water. A long passage across the Indian Ocean. A long passage from South Africa to Brazil and a long passage from Bermuda to the Azores. Vinni and I don’t have anything against sailing passages, but we’ve been there, done that, and got the t-shirt. We’ve also been to South Africa and while we want to go again, we don’t really want to add a year’s sailing just for that. It would be nice to visit the Caribbean again – but water, water, water.

Cape Horn

kap horn rute

Cape Horn – piece of cake (yeah- right!)

Assuming we really tough, there is always the possibility to go south around Cape Horn. If we do that then we are Cape Horners (a very small community) and we don’t have to rise when the Queens enters the room. That would be a real advantage considering the number of times the Queen comes visiting. (WOW!). It is possible (just barely possible) that I could be talked into this solution, but it will be a cold day in hell before Vinni would do it. Cape Horn is not for pansies and while I would venture to claim that Vinni and I are not pansies, there are brave decisions and there are silly decisions. Neither Vinni nor I feel any great need to call ourselves Cape Horners – so this one stays on the drawing board.

Have Capri sailed to the Med

thailand ruten

Have Capri sailed – red line indicates where Capri would be on a ship

Our thoughts right now (remember – we have no plan) are to sail to Thailand in a couple of years and put Capri on a boat and have her sailed to the Med. It isn’t terribly expensive (everything is relative) but this means we don’t have to sail through the pirate areas at Africa’s Horn. We also get to spend a couple of years sailing in the Med before returning to Denmark. This solution is the one that we find most appealing (at the moment). A couple more years in the Pacific, a couple of years in the Med and return to Denmark in 2023 or 2024, meaning we’ve spent seven to eight years circumnavigating. I’ll only be 72 (!) and we can go on to other exciting adventures (like driving from Alaska to Cape Horn).

Some will maintain that if we put Capri on a ship from Thailand to the Med, that we will not be true circumnavigators – we don’t care. That piece of the circumnavigation is one long passage and Vinni and I have proven we can sail passages, no matter how long. Neither one of us has a burning desire to visit the Middle East so it is no great loss to skip the Red Sea and the Suez Canal. This will probably be what we will do – but remember:

“We have no plan and by God we’re going to stick to it!”

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