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Old 21-04-2012, 10:46   #1
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Best Route - Key West to Cartagena in June?

We're planning on departing for Cartagena before hurricane season gets too far along. My original plan was to go Key West to West of the Dry Totugas, then across the stream to Cuba, to the Yucatan Channel, then East around the southern shore of Cuba to Grand Cayman, then straight to Cartagena.

Then the suggestion was - why not Key West to the Bahamas and the windward passage to Jamaica then straight to Cartagena?

Looks either route requires beating eastward for a portion of the time before being able to head South.

Considering typical June winds, which route would you take?
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Old 22-04-2012, 18:38   #2
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Re: Best Route - Key West to Cartagena in June?

Guess there's nobody home here right now?
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Old 22-04-2012, 19:23   #3
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Re: Best Route - Key West to Cartagena in June?

You'd be good to check out Jimmy Cornell's World Cruising Routes. You can purchase on Amazon.

I know it lists routes in the Caribbean Sea. Good Luck!
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Old 22-04-2012, 19:33   #4
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Re: Best Route - Key West to Cartagena in June?

I just got back from a delivery last week... I stopped in Key West, and went westabout Cuba.... could have stopped in the Grand Caymans, but did not. Did a straight shot.

You are gonna want a paper chart of Cartagena. There is a submerged jetty that does not print on the Garmin chip well.
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Old 22-04-2012, 19:50   #5
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Re: Best Route - Key West to Cartagena in June?

It is going to be difficult either way.

Maybe you have looked at pilot charts already, but just to be sure: These NGA pilot charts (free) show wind patterns, currents, probability of larger waves, and tropical storms.

For the North Atlantic, the pilot charts are here:
Maritime Safety Information

More specifically:
May: http://msi.nga.mil/MSISiteContent/St...106/106may.pdf
June: http://msi.nga.mil/MSISiteContent/St...106/106jun.pdf
July: http://msi.nga.mil/MSISiteContent/St...106/106jul.pdf


This should help you to decide, based on your judgement, your abilities and your boat.

Dirk
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Old 23-04-2012, 08:59   #6
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Re: Best Route - Key West to Cartagena in June?

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Originally Posted by s/v 'Faith' View Post
I just got back from a delivery last week... I stopped in Key West, and went westabout Cuba.... could have stopped in the Grand Caymans, but did not. Did a straight shot.

You are gonna want a paper chart of Cartagena. There is a submerged jetty that does not print on the Garmin chip well.
Thanks. When you refer to the submerged jetty, are you referring to the 'rock barrier' that the chart shows goes across the mouth of Boca Grande? Or is there another one?

I was planning to avoid that entrance and use the Boca Chica entrance. Any issues I need to be aware of here?

How long did the total trip take from Key West? I'll pretty much be following the same route you did. If beating to windward to get to Grand Cayman turns out to not be worth it, we'll just do the straight shot as well.
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Old 02-05-2012, 14:12   #7
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Re: Best Route - Key West to Cartagena in June?

Windward Passage
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Old 02-05-2012, 14:19   #8
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Re: Best Route - Key West to Cartagena in June?

Key West to Cartagen I think a little at risky to do it now. I sailed Cartagena to Jamaica to the South of Cuba and around to Hemmingway to Key West. Suggest you go East of Cuba, and plan as many stops as possible due to weather issues. Good luck.

My suggestion really is to go to the Rio Dulce. Clean water not the barnacle invested waters of Cartegena Bay. Great stainless work in Cartagena though.
Lock up your outboard as the thiefs are rampant there.
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Old 02-05-2012, 15:21   #9
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Re: Best Route - Key West to Cartagena in June?

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Originally Posted by oldjags View Post
We're planning on departing for Cartagena before hurricane season gets too far along. My original plan was to go Key West to West of the Dry Totugas, then across the stream to Cuba, to the Yucatan Channel, then East around the southern shore of Cuba to Grand Cayman, then straight to Cartagena.

Then the suggestion was - why not Key West to the Bahamas and the windward passage to Jamaica then straight to Cartagena?

Looks either route requires beating eastward for a portion of the time before being able to head South.

Considering typical June winds, which route would you take?
This is a great question and there should be a lot of experianced answers. I have only made the sail from Key West to Canal Zone three times.
Depends upon where you are starting from, but if you start from Key West I would suggest motor sailing the Old Bahama Channel to the East end of Cuba then South to Cartagena. After rounding Cuba try making as much easterly as possible for the first couple days. You can stop in Port Vita(port of entry), Cuba for fuel. ALOHA
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Old 02-05-2012, 15:32   #10
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Re: Best Route - Key West to Cartagena in June?

Hi, We did that trip in June 2007. Pretty easy apart from running aground in Current Cut Bahamas.

We went out the Lake Worth inlet, down the Bahamas to anchor at Great Inagua, waited for weather there, and then went through the Windward Passage, and past Navassa straight shot to Cartagena, BUT!!!! there is this THING that lives just off the north coast of Colombia. It is caused by a reverse current loop against the trade winds, the harder the wind, the bigger the thing gets. SO plan to bear away when things get rough on your second last day, do a loop and enter Cartagena at the Boca Chica.

My daughter recreated the route some time back, and I just did a GPX for you, here is our track, the dates are wrong...

Why not get hold of Chris Parker to do a one trip WX plan for you?
Attached Files
File Type: gpx matt-cart.gpx (16.2 KB, 95 views)
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