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Old 03-01-2014, 18:59   #1
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Route planning question from BVI to San Blas, Panama

It's blowing 25+ and the rhumb line shows a build up of strong winds and steep seas off the Colombian coast. Just wondering if I can effectively avoid this or is it par for the course on this route?
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Old 03-01-2014, 19:22   #2
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This area of rough seas varies seasonally and with changes in the weather. Take a look at pilot charts for the trends.

When are you planning to leave? And, are you planning a non-stop run there? You might could use some intermediate stops to work around this area or wait for it to settle down a bit.
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Old 03-01-2014, 20:34   #3
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Re: Route planning question from BVI to San Blas, Panama

Right now is the time for stronger than usual tradewinds to build. They will be less in the spring and summer. The Colombian low pressure system that builds those winds/seas moves around a bit. You can certainly pick a window when it is reasonable. Sometimes they are short and few between, other times they are open for long times.

If you really are in the Indian Ocean, you have some time to go yet!

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Old 04-01-2014, 16:30   #4
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Re: Route planning question from BVI to San Blas, Panama

Thanks for the tips.... I need to update our status. We are in the BVI now and looking for a window to sail directly to San Blas next week. Looks like the current storms in the North Atlantic are squeezing the wind in theses latitudes. Probably just have to wait it out.
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Old 04-01-2014, 17:21   #5
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Re: Route planning question from BVI to San Blas, Panama

The good news is it is all down wind. Even now, the winds off the Colombia point have been subsiding for a couple days at a time before blowing again. However, they are honking right now and may stay that way for a couple months. Maybe sail to Aruba and wait for/pick a window. Or just take your chances - it is only 1-2 days through the windy wavy part. Just be aware that those are pretty tough conditions there at times.

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Old 04-01-2014, 17:48   #6
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Re: Route planning question from BVI to San Blas, Panama

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Thanks for the tips.... I need to update our status. We are in the BVI now and looking for a window to sail directly to San Blas next week. Looks like the current storms in the North Atlantic are squeezing the wind in theses latitudes. Probably just have to wait it out.
Have to wait it out. This whole week looks bad.
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Old 04-01-2014, 21:09   #7
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Re: Route planning question from BVI to San Blas, Panama

Enjoy some time in the ABC's and I would never skip Cartagena either. Even Santa Martha would be on my list.

We did every feasable anchorage between Aruba and Cartagena and loved it (but don't recommend them all). We saw up to 45kts winds, 20' seas but all downwind sailing through paradise and easy.
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Old 05-01-2014, 18:54   #8
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Re: Route planning question from BVI to San Blas, Panama

Jimmy Cornell suggests avoiding this route if possible during the winter trades but we have no choice. Just wondering if it is any better to stay north of the rhumb line in deeper water or south of the rhumb line closer to the Columbian coast? Any further suggestions?
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Old 05-01-2014, 21:30   #9
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Re: Route planning question from BVI to San Blas, Panama

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Jimmy Cornell suggests avoiding this route if possible during the winter trades but we have no choice. Just wondering if it is any better to stay north of the rhumb line in deeper water or south of the rhumb line closer to the Columbian coast? Any further suggestions?
You have no choice? Sure you do, you can delay or cancel the trip.

The choice is going far offshore or close to shore. Everybody has a different theory on this but I think they all get their share. If in a hurry, I would go for optimal wind angles; if no hurry, I would visit all the anchorages again.
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Old 06-01-2014, 06:25   #10
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Re: Route planning question from BVI to San Blas, Panama

Hey Loz we are also trying to get over to panama from the BVI's. Right now we are in Virgin Gorda and have been trying to figure out what the weather is doing between here and panama. What weather sources have you been using?
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Old 06-01-2014, 13:31   #11
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You have no choice? Sure you do, you can delay or cancel the trip.
....
+1. You ALWAYS have a choice. It may not match your preferences, but no such thing as no choice.

Unless falling out of an airplane....hitting the ground is really not optional...choosing when/if to leave on a crossing...totally optional. Don't lose perspective...thats dangerous.
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Old 06-01-2014, 17:01   #12
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Re: Route planning question from BVI to San Blas, Panama

Of course, the freedom to choose! Seems the trades will moderate slightly next week so that might be the window for us. We are "Moana Roa" and left North Sound this morning for Anegada. Aurora please PM us and maybe we can sail in company?
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Old 07-01-2014, 07:16   #13
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Re: Route planning question from BVI to San Blas, Panama

They have moderated right now - only 20kts in that area. They were 35kts yesterday.

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Old 07-01-2014, 08:35   #14
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Re: Route planning question from BVI to San Blas, Panama

Fantastic! Off to San Blas asap....
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Old 07-01-2014, 08:41   #15
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