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Old 08-07-2014, 11:52   #1
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Location: st petersburg, fl
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Sailing 30'er from Tampa to Panama

Anyone out there have sage advice for this trip? Preferably with experience...

I'm considering leaving St Pete for Bocas Del Toro. The ultimate goal is to spend a season there surfing - the main questions being:

1. Is my Oday 302 "good enough" for this voyage? She did superbly in the Bahamas for 4 months, though with only 30 gals for water and 20 for fuel I became well acquainted with jerry cans :-/ I don't want to hear about the keel falling off - it's been addressed.

2. Routing? St Pete > western/southern cuba > cayman> san Andres> bocas? There are some smaller islands between the caymans and bocas. Stop or push through? Skip Cuba? Should be a reach to broad reach most of the way in November, though with a light counter current, according to pilot charts. I've had the boat in 40kt winds and 20' seas for 48 hrs or so, and though unpleasant, she handled it well (following seas and a very broad reach/run).

In the end, I'll make my own decisions about going, but I know there are skippers out there with much experience in this area of the world. Those experiences are like currency. Please share. Thanks.

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Old 08-07-2014, 12:16   #2
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Re: Sailing 30'er from Tampa to Panama

We have done this trip. I like going to the nw coast of Cuba with a night or two on the hook inside the reef. Then across to MX down through Belize, the Rio then over to the Bay Islands. From the Bay Islands out to the Vivarillos, down to Low Key then on to Providencia and San Andres then Bocas. Wind will not be favorable in places but that that is how it goes. The short cut by Honduras and Nicaragua should be avoided (pirates.)
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Old 09-07-2014, 12:41   #3
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Re: Sailing 30'er from Tampa to Panama

Thanks Guy. Is there a radius in which the "pirates" are a real concern? Even the Vivarillos and low key aren't very far off the coast.

How was the beating to weather in that section? I'm tempted to make wasting along the southern coast of Cuba to take advantage of the counter current, but obviously Cuba for Americans has it's own set of intricacies.


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Old 11-07-2014, 10:53   #4
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Re: Sailing 30'er from Tampa to Panama

Most security problems for cruisers in the area have occurred close in or anchored along the Honduran/Nica coasts. I don't recall any problems that have occurred on the usual route over the Nica banks via Vivorillos. Nor any in the Vivorillos.
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