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Old 29-08-2014, 06:44   #1
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Best route from U.S. East Coast to BVIs?

(in Nov): Starting Annapolis, I'm thinking a) ICW to Beaufort, ESE to about 65W and then south to Tortola (as recommended by Don Street) ...

As an alternate (and a completely different destination) ... ICW to Fla. keys to Yucatan peninsula, although the confluence of the GS and the Yucatan current looks like it could be a bit tricky.
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Old 29-08-2014, 07:32   #2
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Re: Best route from U.S. East Coast to BVIs?

Whats your question? To go to the Caribbean or Mexico?
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Old 29-08-2014, 07:37   #3
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Re: Best route from U.S. East Coast to BVIs?

Sorry, Mark, the title isn't quite right. It should be "to go south" with regard to the best route. POs of my boat started their RTW by going with the second option (ICW to Fla. to Yucatan).


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Old 29-08-2014, 08:03   #4
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Re: Best route from U.S. East Coast to BVIs?

Haven't done it myself but I hear the ditch is worth doing down the East coast. They make it sound like a pretty cool trip in the book Embarrassment of Mangoes.
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Old 29-08-2014, 08:04   #5
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Re: Best route from U.S. East Coast to BVIs?

The Caribbean, as in the islands, are unmissable. If you go to Mexico first you are unlikely to sail 1,000nms back into the trade winds. But from the caribbean you can go anywhere because its all downwind.
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Old 29-08-2014, 09:07   #6
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Re: Best route from U.S. East Coast to BVIs?

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The Caribbean, as in the islands, are unmissable. If you go to Mexico first you are unlikely to sail 1,000nms back into the trade winds. But from the caribbean you can go anywhere because its all downwind.
Thanks, Mark: Understood that it's an either/or proposition. I've been thinking about it for years and am finally planning for next year. I am not going to jinx it by suggesting it's the start of a circumnavigation, but it potentially could be.

How did you go?
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Old 29-08-2014, 09:44   #7
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Re: Best route from U.S. East Coast to BVIs?

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Haven't done it myself but I hear the ditch is worth doing down the East coast. They make it sound like a pretty cool trip in the book Embarrassment of Mangoes.
You can't easily get from Florida to the BVIs. If you are an experienced bluewater sailor join the SAlty DAwg Rally leaving from Hampton, VA to the BVIs on Nov. 2. Or take the ICW, do the Bahamas, Turks and Caicos, Puerto Rico, Virgins route. That way the terrible, awful, unbelievably bad days of going upwind in the Trades are broken up.

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Old 29-08-2014, 09:46   #8
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Re: Best route from U.S. East Coast to BVIs?

Yeah, again, I understand that it's either/or


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Old 29-08-2014, 09:54   #9
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Re: Best route from U.S. East Coast to BVIs?

If you don't have a time frame to be to the BVI for work etc, just do as most do and take the island path. Why miss all that anyway?
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Old 29-08-2014, 09:58   #10
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Re: Best route from U.S. East Coast to BVIs?

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If you don't have a time frame to be to the BVI for work etc, just do as most do and take the island path. Why miss all that anyway?
What's a reasonable time-wise for, say (quite hypothetically), BVIs to DR to Jamaica to San Blas islands (Panama)? Is it easily doable in a Nov.-April time-frame?
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Old 29-08-2014, 10:30   #11
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Re: Best route from U.S. East Coast to BVIs?

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What's a reasonable time-wise for, say (quite hypothetically), BVIs to DR to Jamaica to San Blas islands (Panama)? Is it easily doable in a Nov.-April time-frame?
Its all easy and quick.

But the BVI's are not the be all and end all to the Caribbean. They are probably the Bahamas for Floridians...

Beaufort to BVI's is a simple run down because the rhumb line is out a long way compared with starting anywhere in Florida. Its that 65 W longitude you want to run down. A few days in the BVI's and you are ready for the more international flavous of the 2 St Martins, St Barts and sup on some french wine. Thats where the 'real' world cruising starts imho. All of a sudden theres interesting accents, high living, charming anchorages, lickerty-split hundred million dollar yachts and a style and class that will neatly juxtapose with the rest of the world. What a place for New Years Eve!

the most expensive island, St Bart, has the cheapest French red wine of the whole Caribbean. Go figure!
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Old 29-08-2014, 10:41   #12
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My partner and I spent ~3 months last year just on the ICW from Annapolis to Miami. I highly recommend the trip. We skipped GA and went outside to St. Augustine (incredible town). The ICW was an incredible time but probably not worth doing more than twice. It's a great intro to cruising for Americans. Everyone down the ditch was rich in experience and willing to chat.

Not much in Florida though. St.Augustine and the keys (really just the lower keys). The Jump over to the Bahamas is also an easy sail. We spent another ~3 months just exploring the islands.

I recommend going the island route unless your pressed for time. So much to see and experience, I wouldn't want to miss any of it.

We did our trip on a Lagoon 37 TPI. Good luck and get out there already!
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