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Old 21-10-2015, 16:20   #1
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Route to DR from USVI

Going to USVI from Bahamas. No problem to Turks but after that Van Sant likes the DR coast hugging route via Mona Passage to PR and then on to USVI.

Advice re leaving Turks and a DIRECT route to USVI by passing the DR and PR entirely. A stop in PR is okay but I am trying to GET to USVI in an expedient (i.e a hurry) manner. How far offshore re the shoals in the area and how advisable. Is there something I am NOT thinking about besides a weather window????

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Old 21-10-2015, 16:33   #2
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Re: Route to DR from USVI

Wind, seas, and adverse current maybe??

The tradewinds in that latitude are often quite strong, the current is usually there and adverse, and the waves can be daunting.

But, maybe for a Chay Blythe type in a steel boat which goes to windward pretty well it's doable :-)
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Old 21-10-2015, 17:32   #3
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Re: Route to DR from USVI

more than daunting...the current will be 1-2 knots against you, the trades will be 15-25 against you, the seas will be 4-8 foot on the nose...if you leave from the Caicos..or southern Bahamas; only for the masochistic...the thorny path, ala Van Sant is the way to go...I did this in the late 70's....OR...
before I did the thorny path in my own 35 ft'er... I did 2 charter boat deliveries to the VI's leaving from the northern Bahamas, Berry's...leave on a medium cold front coming off Florida, gaining as much easting as you can, gradually steering more south, southeasterly as the wind dictates. about 7-8 days offshore...
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Old 21-10-2015, 19:44   #4
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Re: Route to DR from USVI

The cross between the Bahamas and DR was daunting and we were going the opposite direction with the wind and waves in our favor.




Still, the waves were so huge we were rocked, and rocked and rocked... it was rough to say the least and we were ecstatic to see the Bahamas.
Good luck to you!
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Old 22-10-2015, 13:24   #5
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Re: Route to DR from USVI

I absolutely agree with Jthaw. We tried it about 8 years ago. The "plan" was to sail from Provo (T&C) to Fajardo, PR. It took about 3 days of beating ourselves and the boat before we got smart enough to turn back to the Turks and Caicos. Then, later, we did the Thorny Passage. Although Van Sant makes a lot of good arguments and has a lot of great advice, that trip is also something of a bitch! You might also think about Frank Virgintino's route, through the Windward Passage and then along the south coast of the DR. I've never done it but there is some sense to it.

As Jthaw implies...once you get below 30 degrees north, you are in the trades. They will blow at 20-30 kt out of the east almost all of the time. So, no matter the route, you are going to be working and working to get east. The offshore route (sometimes called route 66) makes a lot of sense if you don't have an overwhelming desire to see the southern Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos. If you do: It would almost be worth returning north and going offshore.

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Old 22-10-2015, 14:55   #6
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Re: Route to DR from USVI

I knew I went in February for a reason, plus I went north, basically it was a sleigh ride and I went to Great Inagua, mainly because I started from Puerto Plata and didn't want to sail up wind at all, if I could help it There were some large rollers coming south from a winter storm in the atlantic, but I remember no problems. And I love the Great Inagua light, you can see it for twenty miles at least. Fond memories!

I'll agree with the assessments about wind, I chose not to go to the Turks, although I would have liked to mainly because the winds were blowing 15 to 25 out of the ene at the time.
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Old 24-10-2015, 12:39   #7
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Re: Route to DR from USVI

Sounds like my kind of sailing, although I'm no masochist, I'm always intrigued by an "interesting" sail. I saying this on the chance that an extra pair of hands (& the rest of me) might lighten the load, whatever course you choose. And that sounds to be a good part of the challenge. Have CV to PM if this might be helpful. Cover all my own exp and have demonstrated history of 3AM watches on a 47' ketch on a Pacific delivery. Keenly interested in learning the are your sail will cover.
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