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Old 15-02-2010, 08:55   #16
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Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Now in Davao, the Philippines.
Boat: Leopard 40 catamaran
Posts: 121
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We did this trip April 2009 on a Leopard 40, and it was glorious. Did a brief blurb for SSCA (the perfect passage) and there is info on my website also.
Based on experience (not expertise), I suggest using Grib files (or a weather forecaster) look for a weather window with a prolonged norther. We never saw any south winds that lasted very long. Just as the norther starts, cross the Gulf stream, and get past the Bahamas (through, or north of), so you can continue this Eastern reach as the wind fills in. Stay north to make sure the trades are well to the south. We had lumpy seas and 20-25 knots of wind for only about 12 hours. Depending on the direction of the trades, you should be able to cut the corner a bit before L 65, and pick up the trades for more reaching to the BVI.
It took 7.5 days, reaching all the way, but we heaved to for several hours to assure a daylight arrival at Virgin Gorda (a spectacular sunrise and rainbow on Easter morning).

The conventional wisdom for this route is to wait for a period of no wind, carry lots of fuel, motor to L65, and anticipate at least one storm. We motorsailed the first day as the wind filled in, to make sure we didn't lose our weather window.

Be prepared to catch fish, but you'll need to clear the weeds from your line frequently.

Robert W.

Life shouldn't be a race to the finish line - enjoy the journey.
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