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Old 03-07-2011, 00:50   #1
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Caribbean Sailing in July ?

Hey guys,

I'm planing a delivery of 38' 1999 catamaran from Key West, Fl to the Pacific side of Nicaragua. Originally I had been planing on waiting until the end of November to avoid Hurricane season, but have read recently that hurricanes are very rare in the Caribbean in the month of July. So now I'm planing on flying to Florida, keeping a close watch on the weather, making sure the boat is ready to make the passage and sailing non stop to Panama to lower potential exposure to foul weather. Just wanted to get some outside opinions and hopefully some conventional wisdom on the subject. Thanks.

Zach



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Old 03-07-2011, 04:50   #2
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Re: Caribbean Sailing in July?

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Zach.
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Old 03-07-2011, 06:48   #3
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Re: Caribbean Sailing in July ?

there has already been one TS in the Western Carib/Gulf of Mexico this season. This is where they tend to develope in the early part of the summer. I saw on the news the other day that water temps were already in the 82-84 degree F range which is pretty warm. Conventional wisdom is based on historical data, and no matter what the cause, most reasonable people acknowledge climate change is on us and who knows what we will begin to see? I don't know cruising routes but if you were below Cuba and a storm blew up you could head south which would make sense since the storms tend to move north. Good luck. Dave
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Old 03-07-2011, 09:10   #4
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Re: Caribbean Sailing in July ?

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Old 03-07-2011, 09:24   #5
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Re: Caribbean Sailing in July ?

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Originally Posted by nicasailandsurf View Post
, but have read recently that hurricanes are very rare in the Caribbean in the month of July. Zach


Your death would be rare too. But you would still be dead.

Is it worth dying for?



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Old 12-07-2011, 10:55   #6
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Re: Caribbean Sailing in July ?

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Originally Posted by nicasailandsurf View Post
...I'm planing a delivery of 38' 1999 catamaran from Key West, Fl to the Pacific side of Nicaragua. Originally I had been planing on waiting until the end of November to avoid Hurricane season, but have read recently that hurricanes are very rare in the Caribbean in the month of July. ...
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Your death would be rare too. But you would still be dead....Mark
Nobody really answered the question satisfactory in my opinion but I get the point that mark made... I also personally think that waiting until after hurricane season would be prudent especially in a slow moving sailboat.

I have also heard that freak storms can pop up throughout the winter months december-february in the Carribean making sea passage quite uncomfortable for sailing. If someone could confirm this for me - that would be helpful and appreciated as I too am planning a similar trip to Panama
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Old 12-07-2011, 11:04   #7
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Re: Caribbean Sailing in July ?

the one named storm in cribean came here to mwsico--didnt pass go nor stop for payment of 200 dollars--just died over central mexico. until sept, there is less chance of named storm formation in carib(spozedly)--- dont know the odds for formation over azores. if you sail wisely you can do anything-- keep a weather eye and a report daily. watch azores, fla, western carib. goood luck.
then there are storms in mid summer-wasnnt katrina a midsummer storm???
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Old 12-07-2011, 11:45   #8
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Re: Caribbean Sailing in July ?

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Originally Posted by nicasailandsurf View Post
Hey guys,

I'm planing a delivery of 38' 1999 catamaran from Key West, Fl to the Pacific side of Nicaragua. Originally I had been planing on waiting until the end of November to avoid Hurricane season, but have read recently that hurricanes are very rare in the Caribbean in the month of July. So now I'm planing on flying to Florida, keeping a close watch on the weather, making sure the boat is ready to make the passage and sailing non stop to Panama to lower potential exposure to foul weather. Just wanted to get some outside opinions and hopefully some conventional wisdom on the subject. Thanks.

Zach



If your watching the weather, one of the best sites for hurricane predictions is this retired meteorologist,s daily blog. He gives a lay persons viewpoint, plus a very technical analysis of developments to look for with plenty of maps and data.

Palm Harbor Forecast Center | Hurricane forecasts for you…
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Old 12-07-2011, 11:51   #9
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Re: Caribbean Sailing in July ?

You can do it. Just time it well so there is nothing scary coming... of course I wouldnt do it this week though.
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Old 12-07-2011, 12:32   #10
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Re: Caribbean Sailing in July ?

I've heard that a person can jaywalk across a freeway during communte time, if they time it right.

Always remember it only takes one hurricane to screw-up your passage.

During this time of the season a tropical whatever can form in the mid-Caribbean Sea and travel north gaining strength as it goes. Events leading to a hurricane can be very quick to form and changing weather patterns can occur on a four day cycle. A weather window can slam shut while you're in transit.

We should all learn a leason from Hurricane Lenny which defied logic.
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Old 12-07-2011, 13:53   #11
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Re: Caribbean Sailing in July ?

At 8am this morning there were 2 possible hurricanes in the Caribbean reported by the NHC.
At 2 PM both were not considered able to develop into hurricanes in 48 hours.

What will it say at 8PM?

So it basically means you have 48 hours weather window. To get the boat ready, clear out, sail away, arrive, clear in at a port of entry, then move to your secure anchorage.

Unless you are lucky enough to make the decision at 8AM just before the Customs and Immigration office opens, you could well have to wait till tomorrow. Its 15.40 here now, could I get to Customs before 1600? Its next open in 16 hours!

So in my mind it means we can really only plan a 24 hour sail in Hurricane areas.
Grenada to Trinidad = 70nms is a good one. Easy done incl admin.

My plan is 194 nms, longer but safer than going it Trinidad under most conditions.

Whearas Key West to Colon is 1,040nms with too many places in the middle where you're miles from any port, and other areas where its untennable - Off the boarder of Honduras and Nicaragua. You couldnt go through there in a storm.

So unless coast hopping in 24 hour hops I think its not prudent in the hurricane season.

But, hey, its my first season here and I'm learning!
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Old 12-07-2011, 15:18   #12
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Re: Caribbean Sailing in July?

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Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Zach.
I'm going to have to agree with GordMay on this one. Of course, MarkJ has a point too.
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Old 12-07-2011, 15:31   #13
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Re: Caribbean Sailing in July ?

Zach, We sailed the Western Caribbean in June and July. Other then the tropical issue, it may be the best time to sail south, lighter easterly trades. One approach you might consider is to head south through the Bahamas, through the passage between Cuba and Haiti, south towards Honduras, if a storm brews head for the Rio Dulce, and then south to Panama. This route will give you lots of options to hide if something comes up. But you need to get started now, The later you start the better odds of tropical systems. You will need a good source to be in daily contact with someone that can monitor the weather. Chris Parker would be an excellent source for this. Chuck
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Old 12-07-2011, 15:36   #14
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Re: Caribbean Sailing in July ?

while you are reviewing your options .. i would suggest you do some light reading: at the mercy of the sea by john kretschmer
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