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Old 24-04-2014, 11:07   #1
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Planning a year long trip

Hi all, I was hoping for some advice. My fiance and are planning on taking a year off from University to do some cruising. We will be starting from Cape Cod in the fall and heading south. Our only requirement is to make it down to St Croix to pick up a third crew member who will be meeting us there December 23rd. If anyone has advice on good routes, places to see, suggested literature, or just suggestions in general they would be greatly appreciated!
-Cheers!
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Old 24-04-2014, 11:34   #2
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Re: Planning a year long trip

The Gentleman's Guide to Passages South
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Old 24-04-2014, 16:34   #3
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Re: Planning a year long trip

You absolutely must see Great Dog Cay in the Virgin Islands. It is gorgeous and has a beautiful swim-through. See map and image below. We've been many times and it's always worth a few days' sail out of the way.

Make sure to snorkel it at night. Swim through and turn upside-down to see the colors....amazing!!!





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Old 25-04-2014, 08:55   #4
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Re: Planning a year long trip

Wow those pictures look beautiful! Great Dog Cay is going on the list for sure. Thanks hogHunter!
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Old 25-04-2014, 09:42   #5
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Re: Planning a year long trip

There was one other place that is absolutely amazing, should be one of the seven wonders of the world. This is worth going days and days out of your way to see!
Puerto Mosquito is a bay in Vieques, Puerto Rico (see maps below for specific location). It is the brightest bioluminescent bay in the world.
I don't have any photos of this because there are no photos that could capture the awe of this place.
We did the same thing as you, my fiance and I quit our jobs and headed out for a year in the Caribbean and Bahamas on our sailboat. Here is our blog from the trip: Two and a Half Sailors | Sailing Adventures of Free Spear-It

Island of Vieques off of Puerto Rico:



Puerto Mosquito on Vieques:



This will be one of the best experiences of your life!
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Old 25-04-2014, 10:06   #6
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Re: Planning a year long trip

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
The Gentleman's Guide to Passages South



The book to read to plan this trip.

A quick summary of the main issues.

About the latitude of Florida you hit the trade winds. 99% of the time they come from the E or NE or SE but basically east. So if you leave from Florida to the USVI you are beating dead against the wind for 1000 miles. So how to deal with, minimize or avoid altogether this issue?

1. If Florida and/or the Bahamas are on your itinerary then you can island hop from Florida all the way to the VI. You can break up the trip into short legs, max about 150 miles by stopping at all the little islands, DR and PR on the way. This way you can play the weather and take advantage of the occasional front that gives you fair winds or at least do the windward bashing in short bits and rest up in between.

2. I-65. Leave from north or central Florida and sail as close to east as you can straight out into the Atlantic until you reach 65 W longitude and turn south.

3. Follow the detail instructions in the Gentlemans guide. More or less sail very early, nights, etc to take advantage of the land/sea breeze effect.

4. If you can avoid Florida then go south to NC and sail to Bermuda. From there it's a relatively easy sail south to the VI.
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