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Old 04-11-2013, 21:46   #31
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Unfortunately, I have not found my favorite beverage anywhere in the Caribbean. The closest I found was a grocery store in Curacao where they had a single bottle of a competitors IPA. My second favorite brand, at least. Unfortunately, it was a financial choice between buying this one bottle of beer or buying 3 gallons of bottom paint for our boat. Michele forced me to go with the bottom paint. But I look forward to meeting with you and will certainly let you buy me a bottle of the swill they call beer down here. I will return the favor by showing you my secret tricks for splicing octoplait - something I have purposefully kept hidden from Jedi in order to prevent him from gaining the last piece of knowledge he needs to take over the world. Of course, he seems to have cracked the secret of the perfect cocktail, so I may selfishly trade world domination for a nice drink in a fancy glass…. Mark
my last octo eye splice took me a day
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Old 05-11-2013, 06:52   #32
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Re: Best Plan for moving through the Caribbean to Panama?

The place most people rave about in the western caribe is the south coast of Cuba. Second best is Guna Yala. Not so much for sailing as just hanging.
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Old 05-11-2013, 07:43   #33
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Re: Best Plan for moving through the Caribbean to Panama?

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my last octo eye splice took me a day
Just did 4 of them in 90 minutes

Mark
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Old 05-11-2013, 11:30   #34
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Hey guys, was digging through my stuff and found some sailing directions shared with me by Hugh from S/Y Scotia (man, I wish I could have spent some more time with him).

Following up on that lead found the US government sailing diections site and download for Cuba (go figure!) and the Western Caribbean there. That's exactly what I was looking for:
http://msi.nga.mil/NGAPortal/MSI.por...2&pubCode=0010

Also downloaded the free crusing guide for Cuba from:
http://www.freecruisingguides.com.
Seems like the guy who wrote it has been advocating the western Caribbean for a long time.

Also found this blog from a family that did the Bahamas-Cuba-Caymans-Belize route:
http://smithtribesailing.blogspot.com
Mark's blog is also going to be very useful.

I already had all the charts, but hope to bump into somebody along the way who has done the route .

Time for some study! Got a couple of months to plan the Bahamas-Cuba-Caymans-Belize route. Looks like it will be a great run.
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Old 05-11-2013, 18:03   #35
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Pack extra cash for the Caymans visit
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Old 05-11-2013, 18:05   #36
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Re: Best Plan for moving through the Caribbean to Panama?

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Pack extra cash for the Caymans visit
Free moorings and free check-in/out when we were there a year ago.
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Old 05-11-2013, 18:32   #37
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Free moorings and free check-in/out when we were there a year ago.
Well yes, but I recon one would want to go ashore, buy a drink, do some shopping etc.
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Old 05-11-2013, 18:37   #38
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Re: Best Plan for moving through the Caribbean to Panama?

Mona Passage is little longer but possibly safer. West P.R. is beautiful with some good surf . The current coming out the Gulf can be intense at times .
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Old 06-11-2013, 13:16   #39
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Re: Best Plan for moving through the Caribbean to Panama?

I've run into an issue routing the Western Caribbean. Given the prevailing winds, current and the topography it seems like a real chore to get south from Belize, Guatemala and Honduras. Seems like Belize and Guatemala are better options for someone moving north and west through the Western Caribbean. Would anyone care to comment?
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Old 06-11-2013, 13:46   #40
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Re: Best Plan for moving through the Caribbean to Panama?

I am enjoying this thread. I live in Costa Rica and travelled up to Honduras to Puerto Cortez to meet a sailor and help him get to Panama. I also sailed along the western Caribbean en route from TX to Bocas del Toro, Panama. Here is what I found. As a spanish speaker I enjoyed the locals at Puerto Cortez. This would be a great place to get work done on your boat, as they have the capacity to haul out, and local work is very inexpensive. It is a naval yard, so it is safe. This is east of Rio Dulce Guatemala, which is fantastic! The Bay islands are here, great for diving. The areas I would avoid would be Belize, and Nicaragua, as there is not to much safe harbor in Nicaragua. The Northerly trades set up sometime at the end of December, and once a cold front passes south enough across the US to stir up the Caribbean, the swells are steep, short period, and out of the N to NE. Usually large seas for months on end until the end of March, sometimes longer. They are short period which makes them pretty uncomfortable. The islands of San Andres and Providencia would be really nice to see as well. As far as safety, there are cruisers in the area such as Rio Dulce that stick together and help watch each other's stuff. I think your experiences traveling will help you a lot, so enjoy!! I would not miss the areas of Portabello, or the San Blas islands, as this is as close to unscathed culture as you are likely to see in this part of the world... Happy trails!!
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Old 06-11-2013, 13:50   #41
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Re: Best Plan for moving through the Caribbean to Panama?

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I've run into an issue routing the Western Caribbean. Given the prevailing winds, current and the topography it seems like a real chore to get south from Belize, Guatemala and Honduras. Seems like Belize and Guatemala are better options for someone moving north and west through the Western Caribbean. Would anyone care to comment?
We had to motor from Cabo Gracias a Dios to Panama, as there was not too much wind when we traversed during the month of December. Great wind in the Gulf of Mexico, but no wind South of Cabo GAD. North winds set up around Christmas however, and they are some of the most constant and continual solar generated winds in the world. Everyday... however, the swells are usually 12 ft + with 6-7 second period. Uncomfortable IMHO.
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Old 06-11-2013, 14:06   #42
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Re: Best Plan for moving through the Caribbean to Panama?

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I've run into an issue routing the Western Caribbean. Given the prevailing winds, current and the topography it seems like a real chore to get south from Belize, Guatemala and Honduras. Seems like Belize and Guatemala are better options for someone moving north and west through the Western Caribbean. Would anyone care to comment?
Yes, I mentioned that in previous posts. It depends on the time of year. Right now there are light westerly winds, but when the trades pick up you will be beating east for a couple hundred miles. It's not so far/bad from the Bay Islands of Honduras, but its a lot easier once you round the eastern point of Nicaragua.

If you visit Cuba, you can angle down from there or go to the Caymans (not much to see) or Jamaica and angle down from there.

Mark
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Old 06-11-2013, 15:25   #43
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Re: Best Plan for moving through the Caribbean to Panama?

Thanks Mark. Like you said earlier it makes Guatemala a little harder. Sounds like it is best done in May/June before hurricane season, or November/December before the trades set in. Well, something to think about. I will let you know what route we end up taking.
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Old 06-11-2013, 15:31   #44
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Re: Best Plan for moving through the Caribbean to Panama?

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We had to motor from Cabo Gracias a Dios to Panama, as there was not too much wind when we traversed during the month of December. Great wind in the Gulf of Mexico, but no wind South of Cabo GAD. North winds set up around Christmas however, and they are some of the most constant and continual solar generated winds in the world. Everyday... however, the swells are usually 12 ft + with 6-7 second period. Uncomfortable IMHO.
Thanks for relating your experience.
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Old 06-11-2013, 15:34   #45
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That is why I advised to go from Cuba to Santa Martha first, then work your way back again.
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