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Old 17-07-2016, 20:12   #1
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Ches Bay -> USVI Late August

Planning a trip from Chesapeake Bay to USVI in late August with a stop in Bermuda possible but not desired. Obviously this is right in the middle of hurricane season and my hope is to get a weather window clear out to around Bermuda and then if there is a hurricane brewing we can stop in there.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated the boat will be equipped with OPENCPN and a SSB radio with sat phone back up. And can avg 5 knots.

Thank you!
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Old 17-07-2016, 20:22   #2
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Re: Ches Bay -> USVI Late August

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Originally Posted by tchiffriller View Post
Planning a trip from Chesapeake Bay to USVI in late August with a stop in Bermuda possible but not desired. Obviously this is right in the middle of hurricane season and my hope is to get a weather window clear out to around Bermuda and then if there is a hurricane brewing we can stop in there.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated the boat will be equipped with OPENCPN and a SSB radio with sat phone back up. And can avg 5 knots.
===

It's a dangerous plan but I think you know that. It would be far safer to wait until early November like most folks, or in lieu of that, take the ICW down to Florida and follow the thorny path through the Bahamas, Turks & Caicos, DR, PR, etc.
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Old 17-07-2016, 20:36   #3
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Re: Ches Bay -> USVI Late August

Tracking a wave off the coast of Africa that crosses the Atlantic to become a hurricane will give you a long lead time but not all hurricanes come that way, especially early in the season.

If I recall it's 900-1000 miles from Bermuda to USVI which would be an 8-10 day trip. No way you can get a reliable weather window that far out. You might get lucky or you might have to dodge a storm, not always easy or even practical in a 5 kt boat.

Basically this trip you're rolling the dice.
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Old 17-07-2016, 20:39   #4
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Re: Ches Bay -> USVI Late August

yes, i know my strategy here lies primarily in advancements in tropical weather tracking along with ssb grib info and weather routing.
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Old 17-07-2016, 20:46   #5
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Re: Ches Bay -> USVI Late August

yes 11 days is the predicted trip length add one day for extra measure thats 12 days

that can be broken up into 5 days to bermuda and 7 down to st. thomas, our weather window would need a max of seven days and we would be in constant contact with the weather router.

the area of primary concern for me is as we near st thomas we will be close to hurricane origin zone and our only option would be to head as far from the predicted path if one were to occur but as we know hurricane paths can be unpredictable so there is an element of risk but i would like to mitigate that as much as possible and hear from anyone with possible first hand experience on this route

the area of concern would be
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Old 17-07-2016, 23:58   #6
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Re: Ches Bay -> USVI Late August

@skipmac

What do you mean by they don't all start that way?

Can some form randomly by st Martin without warning?
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Old 18-07-2016, 00:00   #7
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Re: Ches Bay -> USVI Late August

@wayne.b

Good point that is another good route to consider but would take much longer. I actually have that book about it,

I was thinking also that that would put in hurricane zone for much longer than going directly and possibly get caught some where in the water even if at a marina
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Old 18-07-2016, 04:36   #8
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Re: Ches Bay -> USVI Late August

Tropical storms can form just about anywhere along your route in late August. You might get 10 days warning or as little as two or three.

Also, make sure your engine is in top shape and you have a lot of fuel. The tradewinds die off in advance of a tropical storm, so you'll be motoring. Even in normal weather, you'll have the mid-Atlantic High to contend with if you go via Bermuda. Not a lot of wind as you traverse it.

Take a look at the NHC Tropical Cyclone Climatology page. It has a lot of good info. Tropical Cyclone Climatology

Here's a historical record of where storms have formed during the last 10 days of August...

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Old 18-07-2016, 04:49   #9
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Re: Ches Bay -> USVI Late August

I'd make just one suggestion and that would to have all of your hiding spots all picked out before leaving in case you have a storm coming and need to go set up your boat for a storm. TCI (Provo
) has Sellars pond in Turtle Cove. North coast of the DR Has Luperon and further south there are some spots in Bahia de Samana. I'd chose the south coast of Puerto Rico because the North coast really doesn't have anywhere to duck into. Ponce and Culebra both offer hiding spots although Ponce would not be my first choice. St. Thomas is of course a well known hurricane hole with the mangrove lagoon inside Benner Bay.

The best route to take this trip is to leave Provo and head straight out into the Atlantic heading towards VG and Tórtola making a single tack towards STT when closing in on the islands. However, This is a 3-4 day sail depending on wind conditions, and I would not suggest this route at the height of storm season. I guess if all was clear from Coast of Africa through the leeward islands you could go for it, but late August, Sept, they roll off south Africa one after another So I'd be cautious.

Good luck with your adventure.
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Old 18-07-2016, 05:07   #10
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Re: Ches Bay -> USVI Late August

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Originally Posted by tchiffriller View Post
yes 11 days is the predicted trip length add one day for extra measure thats 12 days

that can be broken up into 5 days to bermuda and 7 down to st. thomas, our weather window would need a max of seven days and we would be in constant contact with the weather router.
Your time estimates are too optimistic for a 5 knot boat. I'd figure at least 50% longer than that.
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Old 18-07-2016, 07:19   #11
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Re: Ches Bay -> USVI Late August

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@skipmac

What do you mean by they don't all start that way?

Can some form randomly by st Martin without warning?
Hud3 covered this quite well but to emphasize, hurricanes can form just about anywhere in the tropical regions of the Atlantic Ocean including the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean.

This seems to be a bit more common earlier in the hurricane season but that is kind of my casual observation and I haven't really compiled the data from real sources to verify this. I do know for certain that hurricanes that form anywhere around the western side of the Atlantic can form rather quickly and can be right on top of you with fairly short notice.

I also agree that your estimates on the transit times are slightly optimistic. I would add a day or so to each leg to be safe.

I don't like the idea of leaving the Turks and Caicos on a direct sail to the VI. You would be hard on the wind the entire trip, beating and bashing all the way. Been there, done that. Going that route I liked island hopping and taking my time.
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Old 18-07-2016, 10:26   #12
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Re: Ches Bay -> USVI Late August

Mercury will be in retrograde from 8/30 'til 9/22.

A good time to be safely tucked in somewhere.
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Old 18-07-2016, 13:47   #13
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Re: Ches Bay -> USVI Late August

As stated by skipmac:

"If I recall it's 900-1000 miles from Bermuda to USVI which would be an 8-10 day trip. No way you can get a reliable weather window that far out. You might get lucky or you might have to dodge a storm, not always easy or even practical in a 5 kt boat. Basically this trip you're rolling the dice."

At 5 knots you'll make Bermuda in about 7 days and St Thomas for there in about 9-10 days. The best advise I can give is to have your financial affairs in order and your will with a good, reputable attorney. Then cross your fingers and toes because with all the weather info in the world, at 5 knots if a hurricane comes your way, you're toast!
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Old 18-07-2016, 14:00   #14
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Re: Ches Bay -> USVI Late August

Great!!! 2 different threads where a nutter wants to die! This one and a thread about a dude wants to get into Venezualea and buy and sail out a boat.

Wow!!! I dont normally fet this much fun in a day!!

OK so you are going straight into the worst hurricane season for 5 years. Goody! Right, where do you want to die? The Gulf Stream? In Bermuda? In the 1,000 nms between Bermuda and the USVI? Great choices!
I wouldn't die in the Gulf Stream "Grave Yard of the Atlantic" because that's done often.
Bermuda is nice, but too many people.
Best place is that lonely 1,000nms where you can really have time to regret your decision but realise theres just no way out.

Yep, thats best!! Good luck!!!
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Old 18-07-2016, 16:53   #15
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Re: Ches Bay -> USVI Late August

Re: " Planning a trip from Chesapeake Bay to USVI in late August with a stop in Bermuda possible but not desired."

If not desired, WTF are you going that way????
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