PN Hawaii to Central America and Mexico



Tropical storms:

June to October


BA: 4051

US: 51


BA: 8. 62

US: 152. 153

Cruising guides:

Charlie's Charts of Costa Rica, Charlie '$ Charts of the Western Coast of

Mexico, Cruising Guide Acapuico to the Panama Canal.






Distance (M)

PN341 Hilo


PN343 Mala S



19'45'N, 155'00'W

5'00'N, 140'00'W

7"00'N, 80'40'W

8'57'N, 79'34'W

PN341 Hilo

PN344 Cocos

PN345 Dulce





8'38'N, 83'11'W

Because of the prevailing northeasterly winds, which blow throughout the year on the direct route to continental America, directions for passages to ports in Northern Mexico are similar to those described in PN33. Reaching Mexico from Hawaii by such a roundabout route is so time consuming that one should think seriously before committing oneself to such a passage. The alternative is only marginally more attractive, as it entails a similar detour to the south. Ports in Central America, and especially Panama, can be reached by such a southern route, which is best sailed in late October or November. Recommended waypoints are only listed for such a southern route.

A good starting point from Hawaii is Hilo. From WP PN341, outside Hilo, existing weather conditions should be used to best advantage to reach WP PN342. An area of prevailing SE and S winds extends eastwards from this point and also the east-setting Equatorial Counter cur rent. The route pass es north of the Galapagos Islands with the winds becoming increasingly S and SW so that the route can gradually curve to NE and the Gulf of Panama, where landfall will be made at WP PN343 off Cabo Mala.

Boats bound for Costa Rica may be able to alter course earlier for WP344 north of Cocos Island. The island belongs to Costa Rica and has a good anchorage in Chatham Bay (5 °33'N, 87°02'W). The voyage can then be continued to mainland Costa Rica to WP345, at the entrance to Golfo Dulce and the port of Golfito.

Even in a month when the best conditions can be expected along these routes, such as November, this will be a tough passage and should only be undertaken in extremis after all other alternatives have been considered. It is also essential that the voyage is made in a boat that goes well to windward as much of the passage will be hard on the wind.

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