to Panama is the easy part - all down wind
and down seas and you are past the compression
zone. Yes, it can be a bit exciting at times when the trades are honking - but it won't be any different than the Eastern Caribe when the higher trades are up.
Frankly, I don't know why Cornell says Dec-May is the best time to go from the EC to Colombia
. There is a very good chance you will get your butt kicked in that time frame - although it will only be a downhill butt-kicking.
The best time wind
and seas wise is summer, but the squalls can be bad. Overall, late fall and late spring are much better times than winter for this passage
If you are doing a Caribe loop, and not needing to get to the Pacific for the correct season to cross, then I recommend Nov to early Dec to go from the EC to Colombia. Christmas
and New Years in Santa Marta and Cartagena
is fantastic. Then just pick a window to go to Panama. If you have to wait a week or so, there are far worse things in life than being stuck in Cartagena
Colombia. But if you don't mind brisk EC-type trade
winds, then this is no different and all downhill (and only a single
Since Colombia and Panama are pretty much collinear from the EC, I assume Cornell is giving an offshore route
skipping Colombia and a near-shore route that include it? Neither really make that much of a difference time-wise.