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Old 07-09-2012, 06:06   #1
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Ocean Currents Locations Florida to Central America

I'm sailing from Florida around Cuba to Central America. Can anyone recommend a website that shows coordinates for the locations of the ocean currents for passage planning?
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Old 07-09-2012, 06:33   #2
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Re: Ocean Currents Locations Florida to Central America

Here is a link to the November pilot chart (you did not mention what month you were thinking of doing this so I just picked November). The third page shows the caribbean basin, and the green arrows show the current.

The currents around there are pretty stable and I think that will be the easiest for you to work with. But there are various more 'real time' ocean current websites. for example, one is at NOAA ocean currents and another here NCEP ocean current
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Old 07-09-2012, 06:43   #3
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Re: Ocean Currents Locations Florida to Central America

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Island Breeze.

I hope one of these might help.

caribbean sea surface currents circle pattern (same area for a week) 31 aug 2012 0600 gmt 71w 76w 13n15n red radar building up at 75 to 85w Paranormal UFO Aliens WOW! Severe Storm Predictions

Currents: Observations, Tidal Flow Predictions, Circulation Model | www.caricoos.org

The Loop Current

NOAA HF Radar Server

Asset Viewer (IOOS)

Surface Currents - HF Radar | www.caricoos.org
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Old 07-09-2012, 08:48   #4
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Re: Ocean Currents Locations Florida to Central America

You've already gotten some good links so just a few more comments:

The axis of both the Gulf Stream and the Yucatan Current are relatively consistent in the areas you plan to sail, but be aware that the Gulf Loop Current can vary dramatically. But, this is only really an issue in the Gulf west of Florida and well north of Cuba.

Jennifer Clark is a well know Gulf Stream guru. Her web site is Jenifer Clark's Gulfstream. Her services include current gulf stream analysis charts and custom routing. Chris Parker's focus is marine weather, not currents per se, but he also offers custom route planning which includes consideration of ocean currents. See http://www.caribwx.com/.

Playing the eddies (research warm and cold eddies) and counter currents can make a big difference in your VMG. Research those a bit and look at up-to-date images to find them along your route.

Be aware that any significant wind counter to any of these major currents can result in a dramatically worse sea state (both in terms of height and wave period). Dangerously dramatic at times. Carefully consider wind direction and velocity in your planning.

The Straights of Florida can be thick with commercial traffic -- a bit like playing in the freeway -- Radar, AIS, and very careful watch keeping are especially important here.
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Old 07-09-2012, 21:40   #5
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Re: Ocean Currents Locations Florida to Central America

Thanks to everyone for such a helpful and quick response, this is good information.

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