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Old 08-11-2013, 12:17   #1
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Mona versus Windward Passage for trip from DR to Cartagena?

I will be leaving within the next 10 days for a trip on my 36' cutter from Luperon DR to Cartagena. I have heard some conflicting opinions on whether to beat along the north coast of DR and take the Mona Passage before turning south, or travel west along the north coast and head through the Windward Passage. In the first case I would have a more favorable (possibly) wind angle after turning south. In the second, I would have an easier time going west, but would potentially have to head somewhat into large seas to arrive in Colombia, if the westward setting current is strong. Does anyone have experience with either or both of these passages on the way south to Colombia. Thanks, Phil
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Old 08-11-2013, 13:06   #2
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Re: Mona versus Windward Passage for trip from DR to Cartagena?

We have crossed the Caribbean north to south and south to north several times and will do so again in January. I would make your decision by planning according to the predicted winds and waves on Sailing Weather - Marine Weather Forecasts for Sailors and Adventurers - PassageWeather.

While I favor going west I would want to be sure I could lay Cartagena comfortably from the Windward passage, accounting for the west flowing current, before I went west.
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Old 08-11-2013, 13:28   #3
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Re: Mona versus Windward Passage for trip from DR to Cartagena?

I would take the western route,it is app 220nm shorter,and a lot easier . did it a long time ago 1982. Ole
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Old 08-11-2013, 13:55   #4
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Re: Mona versus Windward Passage for trip from DR to Cartagena?

Windward!
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Old 08-11-2013, 15:34   #5
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Re: Mona versus Windward Passage for trip from DR to Cartagena?

I would second Moondancer's suggestion. Through the Windward if the winds are much south of east you could end up beating into it plus allowing for the westward set of the current. If the winds are forecast for north of east the Windward Passage is shorter.

This time of year more likely to have winds from ENE to NE but I would check. I have made that passage in winter with really strong winds and was very happy to have the wind aft of the beam.
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Old 08-11-2013, 18:08   #6
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Re: Mona versus Windward Passage for trip from DR to Cartagena?

Landfall in Port Antonio in the NE corner of Jamaica. Great memories there, and treated very very well. An amazing lush tropical landfall between high cliffs and mountain background, such a wonderful contrast to the low and dry Bahamas on the other side of the Windward Passage.
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Old 08-11-2013, 18:14   #7
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Re: Mona versus Windward Passage for trip from DR to Cartagena?

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Originally Posted by Travis McGee View Post
Landfall in Port Antonio in the NE corner of Jamaica. Great memories there, and treated very very well. An amazing lush tropical landfall between high cliffs and mountain background, such a wonderful contrast to the low and dry Bahamas on the other side of the Windward Passage.


Much more laid back than the more touristy areas further west like Ocho Rios and MoBay.
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Old 08-11-2013, 18:23   #8
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Came south thru Windward Passage once on the edge of a front with sustained winds of about 25 knots from the NW. Gap effect amped winds up closer to 35 in the Windward...great ride..surfing to 15 knots...I was having a blast...wife came on deck about 0200 and crushed my groove...she was getting tossed around too much in the bunk...on a cat!
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Old 08-11-2013, 18:44   #9
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Re: Mona versus Windward Passage for trip from DR to Cartagena?

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Came south thru Windward Passage once on the edge of a front with sustained winds of about 25 knots from the NW. Gap effect amped winds up closer to 35 in the Windward...great ride..surfing to 15 knots...I was having a blast...wife came on deck about 0200 and crushed my groove...she was getting tossed around too much in the bunk...on a cat!
And I once had the exact opposite experience, totally becalmed in the middle of the Windard headed south in early summer. The classic painted boat on a painted sea, sails hanging totally limp and not ripple on the water.

Hot as an oven so we decided a swim was in order. Was on board with my wife, 18 month old daughter and a friend. Volunteered to baby sit and let me wife and her friend have the first dip, but when my wife started down the ladder our daughter freaked, grabbed mommy and started crying "no, no mommy, no leave boat". Obviously we taught her a little too well not to fall off the boat and she was not letting her mother in the water.

Oddly enough she didn't mind at all when I went in. Guess I found out which parent was the most important.
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Old 08-11-2013, 18:49   #10
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Re: Mona versus Windward Passage for trip from DR to Cartagena?

Another benefit we used to find going through the Windward. Really good rock and roll on "Guantanamo Bay. American Forces Radio"

Wonder if the station is still there?
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