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Old 09-06-2016, 08:33   #1
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Avoiding Venezuela

I posted this into another 'security' thread but should have its own title...

We, and Im sure many others, will passage from the Windward/Leeward islands toward the ABCs and Panama this year. We'll be challenged by the deteriorating state of Venezuela with the potential of more piracy attacks.

Keys to understanding the political and economic crisis in Venezuela | Caribbean News Now

The question is how far is safe enough off the coast and by what means have they available to them? Im presently thinking of sailing back up to say Martinique (with a stop a Carrefour) and then heading across. That would put us 175-200nm off the Venezuela coast. Is it enough? I know there isn't a right answer but there is an informed answer and review. There are a lot of CF members who know this region well with recent knowledge. Can you advise on the local boats, their abilities, type, worthiness, can they travel that far out and return? Apart from the navy themselves of course who can also create havoc for us? Shipping lanes to follow - or not?
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Old 11-06-2016, 11:13   #2
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Re: Avoiding Venezuela

Any feedback?
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Old 11-06-2016, 11:36   #3
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Re: Avoiding Venezuela

Piroges with a couple of 100 hp yamy outboards and few barrels of gas can have maybe those 100 miles range, I'm not sure , 200 miles sounds fair to me, in any case stay in those 170 miles range from any Vene land mass .. my 2 cents.
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Old 11-06-2016, 12:01   #4
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Re: Avoiding Venezuela

Each to their own but the fear factor involved here is way overdone in my opinion. Pirates are not boarding boats that are sailing to the ABC's as far as I know. I know of 2 boardings off that gas rig enroute to Trinidad but I think that's no longer a concern but I'm not aware of any other boarding, does anyone else?? When we left Trinidad we sailed to a line south of the Grenada to Bonaire route and turned left. Never saw another boat the whole way. Backtracking to Martinique seems to me to be way way over the top but I guess we all sail to our fear factor levels. The Western Caribbean is absolutely stunning, so glad we decided to make the trip. There are so many opinions by people that have never made the trip but are very outspoken about the "dangers".
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Old 11-06-2016, 12:11   #5
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Re: Avoiding Venezuela

They go to the outer islands easily. Say to the Aves/Roques. Then just stack some fuel on the Aves and they can easily fetch well over 100 miles into the sea.

I remember an attack (2003, maybe 2004) where the boat got hit about half way from Margarita to Grenada. I can't remember the distance there so just look up your chart.

The more recent attack between Trinidad and Grenada was also Vene guys from the description of the boat.

I would not expect the whole nation to become 100% criminal because of the situation now. Use normal caution like anywhere a state as such does not exist.

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Old 11-06-2016, 16:33   #6
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Re: Avoiding Venezuela

should be an interesting trip report.
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Old 15-06-2016, 08:26   #7
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Re: Avoiding Venezuela

I plan on leaving Curacao next week, headed for Cartagena Colombia. I'm planning to head northwest from Curacao and stay north of Aruba, putting me more than 30nm off of Venezuela.
Piracy isn't exactly one my big concerns given the notorious weather and seas in this area. Should it be??


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Old 15-06-2016, 08:46   #8
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Re: Avoiding Venezuela

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I plan on leaving Curacao next week, headed for Cartagena Colombia. I'm planning to head northwest from Curacao and stay north of Aruba, putting me more than 30nm off of Venezuela.
Piracy isn't exactly one my big concerns given the notorious weather and seas in this area. Should it be??


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Yes, whenever there is a temporary strengthening of the semi-permanent low over the continent, the area behind the hook and towards Panama (Colombia coast) gets very rough. High winds and big seas.

That's where our friends in a Tradewind 35 gave up on their rtw. If you know what a Tradewind 35 is, you know it had to be rough.

NOAA chartlets show a warning when the system present. I have seen a 30ft seas warning only once though.

By today's gribs the most windy moment now is about Friday sustained 30 plus gusts. Otherwise less, and plenty of overcast likely rain too.

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Old 15-06-2016, 16:23   #9
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Re: Avoiding Venezuela

[QUOTE=simonthepom;2144750]I plan on leaving Curacao next week, headed for Cartagena Colombia. I'm planning to head northwest from Curacao and stay north of Aruba, putting me more than 30nm off of Venezuela.
Piracy isn't exactly one my big concerns given the notorious weather and seas in this area. Should it be??


Sent from my iPad using Cruisers Sailing Forum[/QUOT

This area does have a well deserved rep for winds and seas. When we sailed it we had winds to 30 with higher gusts and medium seas but it was downwind so no real big deal. The current helps in places, you'll have a wonderful time. When you are sailing off Venezuela you can stay a bit closer in and the wind and seas are less than further out so it's all very doable as long as your not in a hurry.
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Old 16-06-2016, 01:45   #10
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Re: Avoiding Venezuela

Quote:
Originally Posted by Emerald Sea View Post
I posted this into another 'security' thread but should have its own title...

We, and Im sure many others, will passage from the Windward/Leeward islands toward the ABCs and Panama this year. We'll be challenged by the deteriorating state of Venezuela with the potential of more piracy attacks.

Keys to understanding the political and economic crisis in Venezuela | Caribbean News Now

The question is how far is safe enough off the coast and by what means have they available to them? Im presently thinking of sailing back up to say Martinique (with a stop a Carrefour) and then heading across. That would put us 175-200nm off the Venezuela coast. Is it enough? I know there isn't a right answer but there is an informed answer and review. There are a lot of CF members who know this region well with recent knowledge. Can you advise on the local boats, their abilities, type, worthiness, can they travel that far out and return? Apart from the navy themselves of course who can also create havoc for us? Shipping lanes to follow - or not?
An alternate to sailing north to Martinque is to leave from Grenada on a starboard tack. This will normally give you a fast broad reach. Heading NW to a point that you feel is adequately far off Venezuela. Then gybe and point for Bonaire. You can approach Bonaire and round either the n or s side of the island.
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Old 16-06-2016, 02:00   #11
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Re: Avoiding Venezuela

Hungry people will do anything.
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Old 16-06-2016, 02:50   #12
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Re: Avoiding Venezuela

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An alternate to sailing north to Martinque is to leave from Grenada on a starboard tack. This will normally give you a fast broad reach. Heading NW to a point that you feel is adequately far off Venezuela. Then gybe and point for Bonaire. You can approach Bonaire and round either the n or s side of the island.
South side is the more common approach
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Old 16-06-2016, 02:59   #13
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Re: Avoiding Venezuela

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South side is the more common approach
Yep, and preferred to save some motoring in the island lee. But it does put you closer to Islas Las Aves, Venezuela - the OP subject issue.
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Old 16-06-2016, 03:07   #14
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Re: Avoiding Venezuela

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Yep, and preferred to save some motoring in the island lee. But it does put you closer to Islas Las Aves, Venezuela - the OP subject issue.
Yes it does but this whole Venezuela thing is way overhyped. Cruisers have too much time on their hands and gossip too much. Yes Venezuela and the populated islands should be avoided as there are serious issues within the country but common how many pirate attacks have they had on yachts heading to the ABC's? Don't everyone put their hands up at the same time. You have a much bigger chance of being mugged in most US cities.
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Old 16-06-2016, 07:49   #15
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Re: Avoiding Venezuela

Rounding the S side of Bonaire gives you this unforgettable ride down the lee side of the island. Just stay well off when rounding windward Bonaire shores - more than one sailing boat ended up on the rocks there!

Windwards to ABC is a highway and you will have a fast and pleasant sail. Plenty of current help too.

Have fun!
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