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Old 12-03-2019, 06:41   #16
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Re: Hurricane season in the Caribbean

Someone recently told me that with the current situation in Venezuela the A,B, C’s are becoming more dangerous. He said the Dutch Navy packed up and left which has opened the area to intruders with a 40 mile range from the Venezuela coast.

Any current reports on this situation?
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Old 12-03-2019, 07:43   #17
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Re: Hurricane season in the Caribbean

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Originally Posted by hpeer View Post
... He said the Dutch Navy packed up and left which has opened the area to intruders with a 40 mile range from the Venezuela coast.
Any current reports on this situation?
When did he think they left? I can't find any reference to their departure.


The Dutch Caribbean Coast Guard patrols the territorial waters of Aruba, Bonaire, Curaçao, St. Eustatius, St. Maarten, and Saba.
Four new high-speed patrol boats manufactured by Louisiana, USA-based shipbuilder Metal Shark for the Dutch Caribbean Coast Guard (DCCG) have been recently commissioned on the island of Curaçao. The vessels are the first to be delivered to the DCCG under a 12-boat order announced last year.

Royal Netherlands Navy
The Royal Netherlands Navy contributes to security in all parts of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, including the Dutch territories in the Caribbean. Commander Netherlands Forces in the Caribbean (COMNLCARIB) is responsible for the activities of Dutch naval units in the area. There are 2 Dutch naval bases on Curaçao and 1 on Aruba.

Dutch Navy - Curaçao Chronicle
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Old 16-03-2019, 15:50   #18
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Re: Hurricane season in the Caribbean

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We sailed our Oyster 55 to Cartagena last year and had plans to sail on to Panama to leave our boat in Bocas del Toro during hurricane season. Panama is officially in the hurricane zone according to our insurance company, but it hasn't experienced a hurricane in the last 100 years, unlike the east coast of the US which is not in the hurricane zone but has severe hurricanes periodically. We decided not to leave the boat in Panama because of reports of frequent lightning storms frying electronics. Also, it is very humid during the rainy season and unless your boat is in a marina which will faithfully monitor your dehumidifier(s), you will have mold on everything when you return to the boat. I haven't confirmed that, but have had several reports of it.

So we sailed north from Cartagena to Turks and Caicos and then on to Annapolis. It was a wonderful beam reach all the way across the Caribbean to T&C. We went through the gap between Jamaica, Haiti and Cuba and had to motor, then the wind returned after we cleared the mountains of Haiti and Dominican Republic.

In Cartagena we stayed at Club de Pesca. It is farther away from ferry traffic than the other major marina and has a bus stop right outside its land entrance. This made it super convenient to tour the city, which is absolutely charming.
Thank you for this. Really helpful and the first rule I have heard of anyone sailing from Columbia to Turks and Caicos.
Could you tell me what time of year you did this trip and how long it took you?

Many thanks.
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Old 16-03-2019, 15:51   #19
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Re: Hurricane season in the Caribbean

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Originally Posted by GordMay View Post
When did he think they left? I can't find any reference to their departure.


The Dutch Caribbean Coast Guard patrols the territorial waters of Aruba, Bonaire, Curaçao, St. Eustatius, St. Maarten, and Saba.
Four new high-speed patrol boats manufactured by Louisiana, USA-based shipbuilder Metal Shark for the Dutch Caribbean Coast Guard (DCCG) have been recently commissioned on the island of Curaçao. The vessels are the first to be delivered to the DCCG under a 12-boat order announced last year.

Royal Netherlands Navy
The Royal Netherlands Navy contributes to security in all parts of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, including the Dutch territories in the Caribbean. Commander Netherlands Forces in the Caribbean (COMNLCARIB) is responsible for the activities of Dutch naval units in the area. There are 2 Dutch naval bases on Curaçao and 1 on Aruba.

Dutch Navy - Curaçao Chronicle
Good to know. Thank you for this level of detail.
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Old 16-03-2019, 19:27   #20
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Re: Hurricane season in the Caribbean

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Originally Posted by Rachinwokingham View Post
Thank you for this. Really helpful and the first rule I have heard of anyone sailing from Columbia to Turks and Caicos.
Could you tell me what time of year you did this trip and how long it took you?

Many thanks.
We sailed in early May. It took about 3 days to reach the Haiti-Jamaica-Cuba triangle and another day and a half to reach Providenciales north shore in Turks and Caicos. When we arrived we had to wait for high tide to be led into the harbor by a pilot boat. We spent a few days there and then sailed to the Chesapeake in 6 days.
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Old 17-03-2019, 07:12   #21
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Re: Hurricane season in the Caribbean

Thank you. Going north to the US in summer is the other option of course and it sounds as if it has some advantages. If we stay around Grenada, the ABCs and Colombia in the summer months I guess we will be constantly watching out for southern straying hurricanes and our insurance will be high. I also heard it's very hot in Colombia in summer. Still researching. ..
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Old 17-03-2019, 11:22   #22
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Re: Hurricane season in the Caribbean

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Originally Posted by Rachinwokingham View Post
Thank you. Going north to the US in summer is the other option of course and it sounds as if it has some advantages. If we stay around Grenada, the ABCs and Colombia in the summer months I guess we will be constantly watching out for southern straying hurricanes and our insurance will be high. I also heard it's very hot in Colombia in summer. Still researching. ..
If you are going to stay on your boat through hurricane season, it seems to me that being in Grenada-Trinidad or the ABC's would be rather limiting. I've heard that the ABC's are sort of boring unless you are a diving enthusiast. Grenada is beautiful and used to be considered outside the hurricane zone, but after a devastating hurricane several years ago, most insurance companies consider it in the zone now. Trinidad is usually considered outside the zone, but it has some problems of its own plus the proximity to Venezuela. The upper east coast of the US has many interesting possibilities, some historic cities like Charleston SC, Chesapeake Bay cities like Annapolis and Baltimore, New York City (you can sail right through it on the East River), Long Island Sound, Block Island and Newport RI, Martha's Vineyard, Cape Cod and the Cape Cod Canal. The coast of Maine is wonderful with so many bays, islands, and inlets. It's very different from the Caribbean, but beautiful in a different kind of way, and refreshingly temperate in the summer. And if you have time, Nova Scotia.

Cartagena was blazing hot in early May. I can't imagine that it would get any cooler later in the summer. But don't skip it. It is a marvelous city. Spend a week there. Maybe use it as a base and take little trips to other cities in Colombia.
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Old 18-03-2019, 12:07   #23
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Re: Hurricane season in the Caribbean

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Originally Posted by Dr. Sea View Post
If you are going to stay on your boat through hurricane season, it seems to me that being in Grenada-Trinidad or the ABC's would be rather limiting. I've heard that the ABC's are sort of boring unless you are a diving enthusiast. Grenada is beautiful and used to be considered outside the hurricane zone, but after a devastating hurricane several years ago, most insurance companies consider it in the zone now. Trinidad is usually considered outside the zone, but it has some problems of its own plus the proximity to Venezuela. The upper east coast of the US has many interesting possibilities, some historic cities like Charleston SC, Chesapeake Bay cities like Annapolis and Baltimore, New York City (you can sail right through it on the East River), Long Island Sound, Block Island and Newport RI, Martha's Vineyard, Cape Cod and the Cape Cod Canal. The coast of Maine is wonderful with so many bays, islands, and inlets. It's very different from the Caribbean, but beautiful in a different kind of way, and refreshingly temperate in the summer. And if you have time, Nova Scotia.

Cartagena was blazing hot in early May. I can't imagine that it would get any cooler later in the summer. But don't skip it. It is a marvelous city. Spend a week there. Maybe use it as a base and take little trips to other cities in Colombia.
Thank you again. I am now researching the likelihood of meeting a hurricane on the East coast of the US between June and November. We met an American sailor yesterday who told us that you have to go all the way north to Maine before you are truly out of the path of any hurricanes and that heading south in November is tricky as late season hurricanes have been known to strike a far north as New York.
On the plus side we would have insurance cover. ..
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Old 18-03-2019, 12:35   #24
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Re: Hurricane season in the Caribbean

Rach-
While the likelihood of being struck by a hurricane on the US east coast has, historically, been less as you get north of the Baltimore/DC area, in recent years all the rule books have been thrown out. In NYC September is still considered prime hurricane season, and in recent memory Tropical Storm Sandy (not even hurricane rated!) devastated a wide area, including NYC. In the 1970's if you said "Tornado?" a New Yorker would have said "No, we're not in Kansas, we don't have that problem here." These days? Yeah, we've got those too. Rare--but no longer unheard of.

There is good shelter on the north side of LI Sound, for instance up the rivers in CT. But really, even MA has taken surprising hits from the "megastorms" in recent years.

Unless you want to bring the boat to Maine...yeah, having insurance may be the most feasible hurricane protection. Folks all over the east coast of the US have been getting rude surprises in the last decade.
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Old 18-03-2019, 13:08   #25
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Re: Hurricane season in the Caribbean

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Rach-
While the likelihood of being struck by a hurricane on the US east coast has, historically, been less as you get north of the Baltimore/DC area, in recent years all the rule books have been thrown out. In NYC September is still considered prime hurricane season, and in recent memory Tropical Storm Sandy (not even hurricane rated!) devastated a wide area, including NYC. In the 1970's if you said "Tornado?" a New Yorker would have said "No, we're not in Kansas, we don't have that problem here." These days? Yeah, we've got those too. Rare--but no longer unheard of.

There is good shelter on the north side of LI Sound, for instance up the rivers in CT. But really, even MA has taken surprising hits from the "megastorms" in recent years.

Unless you want to bring the boat to Maine...yeah, having insurance may be the most feasible hurricane protection. Folks all over the east coast of the US have been getting rude surprises in the last decade.
It sounds as if the only 100 percent hurricane proof plan is to sail back to the Med. I just saw that even Trinidad got its first tropical storm in 2017. I think I would rather be in the US than in Trinidad or Curaçao if we were to be unlucky and get caught out. And I don't think we'll risk doing anything without storm insurance.
Many thanks for the info. It's a big help.
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Old 18-03-2019, 17:06   #26
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Re: Hurricane season in the Caribbean

It's true that hurricanes can strike almost anywhere along the east coast of the US, but the likelihood is much less there than in the Caribbean, especially the farther north you go. And you are right that if you need repairs from storm damage, you are much better off to be in the US rather than the Caribbean. Many of the boats that were damaged by Hurricane Irma in the Caribbean were shipped to the US for repairs. There weren't enough boatyards in the entire Caribbean to repair the boats and getting parts was a nightmare.

You will also find that your insurance will be much cheaper in the US than in the Caribbean. When I go offshore more than 150 miles my insurance premium more than doubles. I keep my boat in Annapolis when we aren't sailing it offshore, and I don't worry about it.
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