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Ecuador to Panama in December

By doina — last modified May 14, 2008 11:21 AM

Published: 2008-05-14 11:21:35
Topics: Pacific Ocean East
Countries: Ecuador , Panama

Can you advise if a December passage from Bahia Caraquez in Ecuador to the Western Panamanian islands is within an acceptable cruising window for taking advantage of southerly winds. I believe most cruisers head North from Ecuador in October or November before northerlies are expected to set in. Our limited experience in this area is that southerlies tend to be the prevailing winds for a great part of the year. Is there a "no go" time of the year for this passage when northerlies are strongest?

You may have southerly winds for about the first half of that passage, but north of that, the prevailing winds for much of the year are northerlies, and they are definitely the prevailing winds in the Bay of Panama. A passage in December may be feasible, but you should count with the possibility of contrary winds. Those northerly winds are influenced by the NE trade winds blowing in the Caribbean Sea, so the more established the winds there, the stronger they blow in the Pacific.

Jimmy Cornell, noonsite