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Old 13-12-2019, 09:17   #1
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Popular routes from Miami to panama

Hi guys, Iím a new comer to this .
Can I please ask the question to globe cruisers what would be a common or popular route from Miami in late January 2020 to panama for this coming season ( March April )
when we head west to Australia.
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Old 14-12-2019, 17:12   #2
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Re: Popular routes from Miami to panama

Do you want to make a cruise out of this or just get there?
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Old 14-12-2019, 17:54   #3
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Re: Popular routes from Miami to panama

The quick route's close around the western end of Cuba then hold hard to the wind down to Panama.
If you're in less of a hurry, then work your way through the Bahamas and take the Windward Passage past Cuba's eastern end, which'll give you an easier ofwind sail onward to Panama, you can even go via Colombia from that end.
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Old 15-12-2019, 08:46   #4
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Re: Popular routes from Miami to panama

As Bob posted, there are basically two popular routes: W of Cuba or E of Cuba...with some possible variations of each.

In theory, either of these routes could be sailed non-stop with a good window. Both also have many good and popular cruising stops if you want to break it up.

The W route has essentially a short and a long version. Short version is as Bob describes, get around the W tip of Cuba then bash like hell to get enough easting to make Panama. Your boat's windward ability/comfort will be a significant factor on this route...what are you sailing?

An alternative is to get in the lee of S Cuba and work your way over towards the Windward Passage then turn for Panama.

The long version of the W route is to make for Isla Mujeres then cruise your way down along the Yucatan Penninsular (Mexico, Belize, Guatemala), hop over to the Bay Islands of Honduras, then wait for weather there to make the jump E before turning S towards Panama. The downside to this route is that jump from the Bay Islands...you can wait a long time for a suitable window to get E. Ive waited up to a month...how horrible...stuck in the Bay Islands for a month!

The E route is basically just get to the Windward Passage then point the boat at Panama. The usual way to do this is via the Bahamas.

Stops on the E route include: Jamaica and Providencia/San Andreas (Colombian islands off the Nicaraguan E coast).

Near Panama the Trades only blow seasonally from roughly Jan-May...and they only blow in E Panama from about Colon thru the San Blas Islands. W Panama almost always has nothing more than light and variable winds. If coming down the W route, via Providencia/San Andreas and bound for Bocas del Toro, then you almost certainly lose the wind once S of 11N...all the way to Bocas. Whereas if you make for Colon or further E during Trade Winds season then you can have a good sail all the way.

Major ocean currents (Florida Current, Gulf Loop Current, and Yucatan Current) are significant foctors to consider on the W route.

I cover these currents & routing considerations throughout the region in more detail in my Western Caribbean Cruising Notes.

https://www.amazon.com/Western-Carib.../dp/B073BDLYQF
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