We received a comment from Catherine who asked how we decide where we're going next. She was particularly interested in our decision to head along the south coast of Australian across the Great Australian Bight (GAB) and up the Australia's wild west coast. Most folks don't do this and she wondered why we had chosen this option.
The decision of where to sail to next sometimes takes a lot of effort and research. We look at the world map and then, based on where we are, figure out what options make sense. Weather (cyclone/hurricane season), prevailing winds and currents obviously play a major role in our choice of next destinations. We review wind roses and pilots for historical weather information for particular months of the year.
We also take a look at where other folks have been and how they liked it. There are innumerable resources available on-line. We're members of SSCA (Seven Seas Cruising Assn) and we spend time reading input from other SSCA members to determine their recommendations, how they enjoyed certain areas and what their passages were like. There are lots of sailing blogs and websites to consult.
Once we've narrowed down our options, we begin gathering all the cruising guides and travel guides possible. We're pretty good at trading information with other cruisers which keeps the costs down. We tend to enjoy “off the beaten path” routes for a myriad of reasons (another FAQ to be addressed in the future), but there's nowhere that another cruiser hasn't been before, so we always find adequate information.
I tend to do the research and figure out where I'd like to go. David is always an easy sell. Most of South America was never on the agenda; it just happened. Once we have all the information, we settle on a plan … which usually evaporates in seconds when we hear of another place that we'd like to visit that's more exotic or more remote. Pitcairn Island, Tristan da Cunha or Tasmania … for instance! Too many places and too little time.
To address Catherine's question directly … why cross the Great Australian Bight? First, because it's there. Second, because the rounding of our final Great Southern Cape, Cape Leeuwin, is along that route. Third, because it's “off the beaten path” and fourth, because it's shorter to get to Africa that way, than to go back up Australia's east coast.
Thanks to Catherine H. for asking this question and giving me a good topic to think about and post. Where's your next destination? How do you choose your travel routes?
If you have a question you'd like answered or a topic you'd like discussed, leave a comment or send us an email. We love your input.
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