Our current plan is to circumnavigate the globe over six years aboard our Leopard 48 catamaran, “Panache.” The map below shows our expected route. Each ellipse represents one year.
We started from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida on January 12, 2017. The first year is in the Caribbean. We headed south through the Bahamas and then down through the Leeward and Windward Islands until we reached Granada in early June. We then headed west to the “ABCs” (Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao). We were in Cartagena in October and the San Blas Islands off Panama in November.
We left Panache in Colon, on the Caribbean side of the Panama Canal, when visited family back home in December.
The map below shows our route through the Caribbean during Year 1.
South Pacific - Part 1
This year, we will go through the Panama Canal to the Pacific and out to the Galapagos Islands. From there it’s our longest passage (about 3 weeks without land) to the Marquesas, the gateway to the South Pacific.
We received a one year long-stay visa in French Polynesia (see our blog post to learn about the process). As such, we will be able to learn about the culture of French Polynesia and take time to learn the French language.
We will stay in French Polynesia, from the Marquesas to Bora Bora, for the year. Thankfully, the west side of French Polynesia does not get hurricanes and we are able to stay there during the hurricane season.
South Pacific - Part 2
During our second year in the South Pacific, we will spend six months going through the rest of the islands to Fiji.
Major stops are Tahiti, Moorea, the Cook Islands, Niue, and Tonga. In November we will head south to New Zealand to avoid the tropical cyclone season in the South Pacific.
After touring New Zealand on land for a couple of months, we will be returning to the South Pacific and visiting Fiji, Vanuatu, New Caledonia and then over to the Great Barrier Reef in Australia.
We plan to join a flotilla out of Darwin, Australia in July and cruise in company up through Indonesia and the west coast of Malaysia.
We will finish off our third year in Phuket, Thailand.
It’s then from Phuket to the Andaman Islands, Sri Lanka, Bombay and the Maldives. At this point we will make a decision whether to sail up the Red Sea (obviously dependent on the pirate situation) or put Panache on a freighter and pick her up in the Med.
This year is all about the Mediterranean Sea – Turkey, Greece, Croatia, Italy, France and Spain. We plan to pop out through Gibraltar in October and cross the Atlantic from the Canaries in Nov/Dec. At this point we will need to decide if we head north to Ft. Lauderdale and sell the boat to do something else entirely, or keep sailing onward.
All that said, circumstances change and the only thing that’s guaranteed is that our plan will definitely not be “as planned”.