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Old 06-11-2013, 15:40   #46
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Re: Best Plan for moving through the Caribbean to Panama?

The problem with Cuba-Columbia is that you may wait a long time for a weather window. The wind direction is OK, but the wind strength and large seas in that area can go on for months at a time. Calmer periods are more rare than boisterous ones there.

Going from Providencia to Cartegana and work your way back gets more to what you suggest while missing that big pressure squeeze zone between Cuba and Santa Marta. It is closer to the wind, though.

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Old 06-11-2013, 16:43   #47
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That is why I advised to go from Cuba to Santa Martha first, then work your way back again.
Thanks. Now I see why that makes sense.
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Old 06-11-2013, 17:01   #48
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The problem with Cuba-Columbia is that you may wait a long time for a weather window. The wind direction is OK, but the wind strength and large seas in that area can go on for months at a time. Calmer periods are more rare than boisterous ones there.
Yes, I just read a report from a couple who crossed from the DR to Columbia in 2010. Their Jordan Series drogue was deployed for several days.
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Old 06-11-2013, 17:18   #49
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That is crazy. The course is straight south, which, with the reinforced trades gives you a broad reach in a fresh gale, which is the best sailing one can have. Every boat heading off shore must be able to do that in joy.
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Old 06-11-2013, 17:31   #50
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Re: Best Plan for moving through the Caribbean to Panama?

Let's see - Pacific Seacraft 34 ////\\\\ Sundeer 64

Both are very well-found boats, but one will enjoy fresh gales and short, steep 10-15' seas more than the other.

How about you put his boat on your foredeck and take him there?

Besides, although I loved Santa Marta, the town is small and the marina expensive. Maybe a better path is to visit Jamaica, go over the top of that Colombia low and shoot for Cartagena?

Regardless, however you get there, Colombia has been one of my very favorite places in the Caribe.

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Old 06-11-2013, 17:34   #51
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Not sure what their experience level was. But they enjoyed the passage and eventually made it home to the Lucky Country.
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Old 06-11-2013, 17:47   #52
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Both are very well-found boats, but one will enjoy fresh gales and short, steep 10-15' seas more than the other.
Too right! We roll with the punches but it's not always very pretty.
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Old 06-11-2013, 20:52   #53
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Santa Marta is the port of entry when you want to visit places before you get to Cartagena, like Bahia Gairaca or Puerto Velero.

This is where our photo archive for this coastline starts; the first part of September is still Aruba where we had another hurricane hit us and then the Venezuelan rocks just off the coast of Colombia. It spans to Januari 2008 IIRC.

http://sv-jedi.smugmug.com/Archive/2007/September

About size: check our buddy boat the "Gecko" in those pics. I believe she was 32' and did just fine in 40 knots with 20' seas. There is no rolling on a broad reach.
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Old 07-11-2013, 04:05   #54
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Thanks Jedi. Great pictures. Looks like great sailing. Our boat loves any reach and excels in 15-25kts.

What worries most about getting around Cabo Gracias a Dios is the current, not the reach. I hate to admit it but our boat is not fast in light airs and will not make a lot of headway against a current in light airs, less so if it is also working into steep seas and/or on a close reach.

For a cat or a larger, faster boat this would be less of a problem.
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Old 07-11-2013, 06:10   #55
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In the above post I meant to say "...not the close reach...". Inferring Jedi's crossing to Columbia might make more sense in our boat than following Mark's route.
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Old 07-11-2013, 06:28   #56
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These capes are tough to round. I remember one on the north coast of the DR that was also an endless affair even with Jedi. The current on the nose and the wind shifts with the cape so that it stays on the nose the whole way. You are much better off by motorsailing ait a very close windangle to get these behind you.

In this case you don't have to if you make your easting in the Bahamas first. The hardest part there is to get around Great Inagua. I have been tacking there for ever too because the current is swift. I believe it was 50nm from Abrahams Bay to Sapodilla Bay and it took me all day

Whatever you do, slow down life and enjoy it, because these lands and waters are as good as it's gonna be. I often meet sailors that go fast, fast to get to (what they think is) the good parts of the world, oblivious to the paradise they hurry through.
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Old 07-11-2013, 07:43   #57
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Re: Best Plan for moving through the Caribbean to Panama?

Hi...... I am off for a "tall ship" experience in a couple of weeks leaving from Panama. (My bareboat charter "jumped ship" at the last minute for Dec.) Have you ever been to Costa Rica? I will be spending a couple of days there before returning and accommodations on the internet are very expensive.
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Old 27-01-2014, 05:11   #58
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Re: Best Plan for moving through the Caribbean to Panama?

Fast forward and we are making our way east through the Bahamas. Current thinking is we will go Great Inagua - Santiago - Montego Bay - Santa Marta - Cartegena. Haulout in Cartegena.

Jedi and others who have done a similar route: is May an OK month for making the Montego to Santa Marta hop, or should we aim for April instead? Any other comments in this route?

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Old 27-01-2014, 15:34   #59
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Re: Best Plan for moving through the Caribbean to Panama?

Why Montego Bay? I would do Port Antonio unless you have an overriding reason not to.
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Old 27-01-2014, 15:39   #60
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Re: Best Plan for moving through the Caribbean to Panama?

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Originally Posted by shanedennis View Post
Fast forward and we are making our way east through the Bahamas. Current thinking is we will go Great Inagua - Santiago - Montego Bay - Santa Marta - Cartegena. Haulout in Cartegena.

Jedi and others who have done a similar route: is May an OK month for making the Montego to Santa Marta hop, or should we aim for April instead? Any other comments in this route?

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Santiago?? Which one?

I only sailed past Great Inagua, never stopped there, had a tough time tacking past it towards Providenciales because of the current. But from there, you should sail to Port Antonio On the NE point of Jamaica. I would not go to Montego Bay at all (not safe IMO); I would beat around the east point of Jamaica and then straight down to Santa Marta.

I would keep well clear from Haiti as well as from Guantanamo.

The later you do this, the lighter the weather, but watch for afternoon fronts coming off the coast of Colombia. May is when these start and will continue to do so the rest of the summer.

ciao!
Nick.
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