Originally Posted by Canibul
Thanks for the info. Did you do that in the Wildcat? Did you have radar
on the boat? I haven't replaced our fried one yet, but I did add an AIS
receiver. Not integrated into any chart package, though. I've been studying the charts and see the references
to a traffic separation scheme. Haven't been able to find much positive info on going into Haiti. We were helping the Star of the Sea missionary program a few years ago, and they invited me to make the trip to Ile a Vache with them but it didn't happen. Did you skip Gt. Inagua entirely?
Yes, in the Wildcat which has RADAR. Timing worked out so we transited the shipping
lane area during day light so didn't really need it. I was tracking some targets on RADAR, but we never got close. And listening to them and traffic control (Cuban?) on VHF
so aware of their intentions. Visibility is typically good in the area so I would be OK with just AIS & VHF
We skipped Haiti. Things were worse there at the time and I think my insurance
excluded it also. Haiti would still be a security
concern for me...its a terminally F'up country. Though cruisers do stop in there.
Skipped Great Inagua...favorable conditions and making 8 knots, so why stop? Anchorage doesn't look so good anyway, but I've never anchored there.
Personally, once I get into the groove of being underway I would rather just keep going. Its not very restful to disrupt the routine just to have a restless night in a crappy anchorage (one of my least favorite things...I would rather be underway in a full gale). But, on short runs of just a few days, I do really well with power naps. I just need someone to take watch for about 30 minutes and then I'm good to go for another 6 hours. Habit from decades of being a hardcore workaholic and running boats. Your personal sleep needs may differ.
If you stage to GI then its only about 230nm to Port Antonio. Diverting to Haiti, or S Cuba, is a significant % of the total distance. Doesn't seem worth it to me unless I were going to spend some time in either place (or both...now there is more of a cruising itinerary!...GI, Haiti, Cuba, Jamaica). As we transitted the area of the shipping
lanes, I was dreaming of visiting Cuba again, when a USCG chopper appeared at low altitude off my starboard side like they had mind penetrating RADAR. ;-)
The entrance at Port Antonio has potential to be hazardous (lots of rocky shoreline), but is wide, well marked, and well charted so not likely to be a problem. Its a pleasant place to spend some time....partially because of the tall security
fence that surrounds it. Making landfall in Jamaica
is a dramatic contrast to the Bahamas
...Jamaica is mountainous, lush, and beautiful...even Crhistopher Columbus commented on its beauty.
What's your citizenship & vessel registry? S Cuba could be an option.
When do you plan to make the run?