The circumnavigation route was planned to transit the Caribbean Sea, Pacific Ocean, Coral Sea, South China Sea, Indian Ocean, Red Sea, Mediterranean Sea, and Atlantic Ocean. It called for landfall on six continents, all except Antarctica.
Generally speaking, we followed the plan — although there were many small detours and deviations along the way.
We sailed from Florida through the Caribbean Sea, then through the Panama Canal and across the Pacific Ocean to French Polynesia; then from Bora Bora to Tonga via the Cook Islands. From Tonga, we crossed to the North Island of New Zealand and then, via Fiji and Vanuatu, to Australia (where we cruised as far south as Sydney and as far north as Darwin). From Australia, we sailed north through Indonesia to Singapore; through the Malacca Straits to Malaysia and Thailand; across the Indian Ocean to the Maldives; and through the Arabian Sea and Gulf of Aden to the Red Sea, making landfall in Eritrea and Egypt. After transit of the Suez Canal, we crossed the Mediterranean Sea to Turkey, then cruised Greece and Croatia before heading west to Italy, the Balearic Islands, Spain, and Gibraltar. We began our Atlantic crossing in the Canary Islands and made landfall — after changing course to avoid a late-season tropical storm — in Trinidad, where we crossed our track to complete the circumnavigation.
As to timing, we could have completed the trip comfortably in about three and a half years. Because we stayed 18 months in New Zealand and an extra year in Sydney, Australia, we stretched it to six. (And I wouldn’t trade that extra time for anything!) We know many people who have circumnavigated in two years, so we know it can be done. But in our view 3-4 years is about right as a good planning minimum.
Details of the route follow:
- The Caribbean Sea
- The Pacific Ocean, Coral Sea, Tasman Sea, and Arafura Sea
- The Indian Ocean, Timor Sea, Java Sea, Andaman Sea, Arabian Sea, Gulf of Aden, Red Sea, and Gulf of Suez
- The Mediterranean Sea, Aegean Sea, Ionian Sea, Adriatic Sea, Tyrrhenian Sea, Balearic Sea, and Alboran Sea
- The Atlantic Ocean