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Old 30-01-2015, 15:29   #1
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Caracas to South Carolina; which route to take across the Caribbean sea?

Regardless of all the bad hype about Venezuela, we will possibly be buying a bargain boat there, and will need to sail it to South Carolina from Caracas. We have never sailed this stretch before. It looks like there could be a few possible routes. The time of the trip will be around March to April. Does anyone know or possibly have sailed this route or part of it before please? Any suggestions for a route plan are all welcome, including locations of good marinas along the way, as there is not much available in Venezuela. Thanking you in advance for your kind assistance.
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Old 30-01-2015, 15:51   #2
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Re: Caracas to South Carolina; which route to take across the Caribbean sea?

I haven't sailed the first leg, but know several cruisers who have sailed a similar Caribbean portion from the ABCs. And it's what you would expect - direct to the Windward Passage, then up the Old Bahamas Channel to Florida. Then ride the elevator most of the way to SC. Aiming for the Mona Passage runs the risk of the wind being a bit too far forward, but in the spring this is less likely as the trades tend to move a bit S of E. But via the Mona would be longer anyway. This decision may hinge on whether you want to stop someplace. Much better to stop in PR than Haiti, for example. This should be a terrific trip in the spring. Good luck.

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Old 30-01-2015, 16:27   #3
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Re: Caracas to South Carolina; which route to take across the Caribbean sea?

If you depart with good forecast you will make MP easily.

b.
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Old 30-01-2015, 16:40   #4
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Re: Caracas to South Carolina; which route to take across the Caribbean sea?

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If you depart with good forecast you will make MP easily.
Well, don't know about "easily" - don't know what boat this is. That time of year the forecast won't vary much: 15-20 ENE to ESE with higher gusts, chance of squalls. The apparent wind would be a lot further aft and the going more comfortable footing off to the WP. But then you have to harden up even further than you would have to MP to get around the east tip of Cuba. Pick yer poison.

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Old 31-01-2015, 08:47   #5
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Re: Caracas to South Carolina; which route to take across the Caribbean sea?

Maybe this falls into the Grandmother and egg-sucking but check out the routing charts for the month you want to go. Very helpful in route planning.
Atlas of Pilot Charts - Covering the Major Oceans of the World


Best of luck.


Cheers
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Old 31-01-2015, 09:15   #6
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Re: Caracas to South Carolina; which route to take across the Caribbean sea?

Are you trying to make it a quick trip or are you willing to take your time and cruise through the Antilles?
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Old 31-01-2015, 12:58   #7
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Re: Caracas to South Carolina; which route to take across the Caribbean sea?

With a brand new boat (to you), I'd sure be nervous taking a straight shot north to go through the Windward Passage. If you'd owned the boat for a while and gotten the bugs out...and there will be bugs, then I'd consider it. But if there is a problem on the way, you are not going to find much help in Haiti or Cuba. So with that as prologue, slog East to the Windward and then work your way North up the island chain. By the time you get to the Virgin Island, the boat should (hopefully) be ready for the remainder of the passage. And you'll be enjoying lovely islands along the way.
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Old 31-01-2015, 13:17   #8
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Re: Caracas to South Carolina; which route to take across the Caribbean sea?

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slog East to the Windward and then work your way North up the island chain.
Boy, I wouldn't wish that on my worst enemy.

If a shakedown is deemed warranted, better to head over to the ABCs and work out problems there.

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Old 01-02-2015, 11:24   #9
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Re: Caracas to South Carolina; which route to take across the Caribbean sea?

Thank you all for your replies they are useful. We will most probably be looking for the quickest route bearing safety in mind with sailing a new (to us) 40 foot catamaran. The main determining factor will be how well we can stock the boat in Venezuela, considering the current situation there. Helping us decide whether to hit a course for the windward passage via the ABC's to stock-up, play it safe and hop up the windward islands or aim for the Virgin Islands although a bit further than the W.P. route.
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Old 01-02-2015, 11:51   #10
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Re: Caracas to South Carolina; which route to take across the Caribbean sea?

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play it safe and hop up the windward islands
Which islands are you referring to as the Windwards? These are generally considered the ones from Grenada to St. Lucia or Martinique. There is no reason for you to beat yourself up going there - all to windward from where you're starting.

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Old 01-02-2015, 12:09   #11
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Re: Caracas to South Carolina; which route to take across the Caribbean sea?

I am referring to the Islands you mentioned above to the windward side. However heading towards the windward passage seems like the most direct route as you mentioned before.
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Old 01-02-2015, 12:40   #12
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Re: Caracas to South Carolina; which route to take across the Caribbean sea?

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I am referring to the Islands you mentioned above to the windward side. However heading towards the windward passage seems like the most direct route as you mentioned before.
OK, roger. I misunderstood your statement. My bad.

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Old 01-02-2015, 12:55   #13
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Re: Caracas to South Carolina; which route to take across the Caribbean sea?

I've done that trip in the opposite direction delivering a boat, plus many trips to and from the VI'S and PR. If you're sure the boat is seaworthy, I'd go north and take PR on the west side. If you have to stop, that would be the place to do it. The Old Bahama Channel is going way out of your way and it is doubtful the boost from the Gulf Stream will make up the time. I'd head straight for you destination once out of the Caribbean.
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Old 01-02-2015, 14:24   #14
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Re: Caracas to South Carolina; which route to take across the Caribbean sea?

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The Old Bahama Channel is going way out of your way and it is doubtful the boost from the Gulf Stream will make up the time. I'd head straight for you destination once out of the Caribbean.
If he could make the Mona Passage from the ABCs your suggestion is a good one - after the Mona stay north of the Silver Bank and east of all of the TCI and Bahamas. And this avoids the potential windward work in the Windward Passage. A good idea. But making the Mona is the question and almost requires he not go to the ABCs and gets wind no further north than about 080. Follow that Earthead?

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Old 01-02-2015, 14:53   #15
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Re: Caracas to South Carolina; which route to take across the Caribbean sea?

We all have to start somewhere so a little bit more explanation about "gets wind no further north than about 080." would be useful please?
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