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Old 27-05-2008, 04:04   #1
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Direct Route - Canary Islands to Bahamas ?


I want to cross the Atlantic in 2 years time, and I was wondering if a direct passage from Gran Canaria to the Bahamas is an option? Because allmost every passage I've heard/read about was from either the canary islands or cabo verde to the more southern islands of the caribbean (barbados, st lucia etc).. Apart from the longer distance, is there another reason why not to aim for the bahamas?


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Old 27-05-2008, 05:36   #2
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It can be done. Columbus did it (San Salvador); Luis Marden did it -- twice, IIRC; lots of others have done it, too.

However, there are two good reasons I can think of to take the more favored/usual southern route:

1) at the time of year when most boats cross (November-Dec) you are likely to have more favorable winds and less likely to run into a "norther"; and

2) you'd miss all of those great destinations in the Windwards and Leewards and the Lesser Antilles if you went direct to the Bahamas :-)

So, why do it if you don't have to?


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Old 27-05-2008, 20:35   #3
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The other thing I'd add to Bill's comment is that it is not that easy to go BACK to visit the Caribe islands later...whereas, if you go there first, everything north and west is basically a reach and much easier to do.
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Old 28-05-2008, 06:14   #4
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Most people sail from west from the Canaries after hurricane season, which is winter in the North Atlantic. The Canaries are at 28N, and the weather fronts can extend down to 18N at that time of year, so the best weather and most consistent trade winds are found south of that latitude. The best direct route to the Bahamas would be to drop southwest to about 18N, then come across to 60W and start coming up, with the option of stopping at any of the Caribbbean islands, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic if the weather turns bad. Last year I went from the Canaries to Ft Lauderdale with a stop in Puerto Rico, and then up the old Bahama Channel--had to go as far south as 14N to keep the trades, but it was a pleasant sail except for the T-storms off the DR.
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Old 28-05-2008, 15:15   #5
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Hey, thanks for the good replies.

The places we would like to visit are; dean's hole in the bahamas, Miami, Havana, and Cancun.
Since the ultimate goal would be a circumnavigation, the reason why I wanted to head straight for the bahamas is because I'm afraid the caribbean will consume to much time if we start at the lesser antilles and work our way up to florida and back down again to panama. I would love to see more of the southern carib, but I have little knowledge regarding the timing involved in cruising. And based on the books and story's I have read, it just seems to me that in a 2-3yr circumnavigation there is not a lot of time to spend in the caribbean...

Anyway there is still a lot to do and learn in the next years, and my plans are flexible, so I'm just gathering as much input as possible. It think its very interesting to hear the thoughts of you experienced cruisers here, so shout away please
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Old 29-05-2008, 10:40   #6
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WHy such a hurry? Seems to me 2-3 years is really rushing it?

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Bahamas, Canaries

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