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Old 21-10-2018, 05:13   #16
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Re: Guatemala to the leeward islands

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Quite a few boats available here in Chaguaramos, Trinidad
The same can be said of course for Martinique and Guadaloupe. We were looking at Catamarans there this spring and saw lots of possibilities. Ditto naturally or actually far more so in Florida where we are now on GAIA. Suspect there are more boats at lower prices than anywhere in the world, particularly monohulls. Including ours but as a steel hulled junk rigged Colvin Gazelle schooner she is not everyone's cup of tea.

Have fun looking and if you need more specific help we will be here in Florida, Port LaBelle until December when we head to the Bahamas.

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Old 21-10-2018, 05:28   #17
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Re: Guatemala to the leeward islands

Btw, meant to add, in reference to your comment alluding to safety when sailing with family, the safest place in the Caribbean as well as one of the most interesting and most friendly is no doubt at least in our mind, Cuba. We have spent a total of more than a year there in three different visits and might go back this season. The Eastern Caribbean, although of course still beautiful and very much worth visiting has been spoiled by the likes of us. In Martinique alone there are thousands of boats and sailors like us. All great fun but no more the Caribbean of old.

The Bahamas is also a friendly place but there as well sailors, or should I say cruisers, are everywhere. No doubt there are an increasing number in Cuba but the island is still as of old. A throwback in time which will not change until there the politics change in the USofA

It is not widely appreciated but Cuba really is the safest and most interesting place in the whole of the Caribbean.

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Old 21-10-2018, 08:43   #18
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Re: Guatemala to the leeward islands

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Thank you all for your feed back and advice. To expand slightly, whilst I am an RYA Yacht Master, I have not been out for a while also want to try to ease my family into cruising (wife and 8+9 yrs old) slowly; off shore sialing is more my thing then then Helens who up to now, id more of a day Island hoping cruiser.

......
1400 miles to weather into the teeth of the tradewinds is a pretty sure way to sour a rookie crew on cruising. I've seen it sour experienced crew.
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Old 21-10-2018, 09:55   #19
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Re: Guatemala to the leeward islands

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Quite a few boats available here in Chaguaramos, Trinidad
Unless there is just one particular boat that you must have and it happens to be located in Central America, do the above. If you start in Trinidad you then have the family doing beautiful reaching and run up along all the islands of the Carib so they can get used to cruising before doing the longer hops.

I envy having choice of being able to buy a boat in Trinidad. Here on West Coast with boat already owned, we have the pain of long trip from Canal to the Eastern Carib. Needs two cruising seasons at the rate we travel, with a summer dry storage in Florida.
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Old 22-10-2018, 02:17   #20
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Re: Guatemala to the leeward islands

if you want to go to the leeward islands option 3 is probably the best, but if you are not passing by Cuba there is not much point in going there.
As many have said the real caribean starts in the grenadines and south.

I would sail up to Belize,It's beautifull and close enough to get hold of the boat and be able to come back if there is any need to do so.
Then sail down to los Roques and ABC or Colombia passing by caiman islands or san Andrés and providence depending of the winds,(it will be the begining of the trade wind season) then hop around the san Blas islands and panama, both sides of the "canal", before doing the big jump.

I was planning to do the same route and had my boat totally refit to do so in Rio Dulce.(they did a fantastic job).
Now my plans have changed and I have my boat for sale in Belize.
its a real blue water cruiser 45 ft with central cockpit.(if you are interested contact me)

enjoy
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Old 23-10-2018, 06:39   #21
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Re: Guatemala to the leeward islands

Because forums are for everyones two cents..... FWIW.... Sailing up along the southern US may prove beneficial for a new to you SV in regard to the availability of parts and locations to put in for supplies and keep you close to emergency services until such time as you are assured that your SV is ready for cruising. Once you are ready to head to the leewards, there is still plenty of culture to see on your way and you may be better fitted for the adventure.

Just to let you know, I am plenty jealous as my life situation would not allow for me to take this on. Until then, I will continue to explore what is near and live vicariously through you all as you venture about in warmer climes and adventurous far away ports.

Good luck, be safe, and God speed to you and your family.
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Old 23-10-2018, 06:59   #22
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Re: Guatemala to the leeward islands

And with the weather windows available in December, the route from Mexico to Florida can be done reaching (and with the current) instead of bashing your way upwind towards the Cayman islands.

We tried the bashing first when we left Guatemala in 2014, but decided the North of Cuba route was better before we even made it to the Bay Islands of Honduras. The weather was great from Isla Mujeres to the Florida Keys.

But, then you're going to have the bash from Florida to the Caribbean anyway.

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Old 23-10-2018, 07:00   #23
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Re: Guatemala to the leeward islands

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Originally Posted by Captain Bucknut View Post
Because forums are for everyones two cents..... FWIW.... Sailing up along the southern US may prove beneficial for a new to you SV in regard to the availability of parts and locations to put in for supplies and keep you close to emergency services until such time as you are assured that your SV is ready for cruising. Once you are ready to head to the leewards, there is still plenty of culture to see on your way and you may be better fitted for the adventure.

Just to let you know, I am plenty jealous as my life situation would not allow for me to take this on. Until then, I will continue to explore what is near and live vicariously through you all as you venture about in warmer climes and adventurous far away ports.

Good luck, be safe, and God speed to you and your family.
Good suggestion. I've done work and repair on boats on various islands and agree 100% that it is much easier to do in the US.
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Old 23-10-2018, 07:12   #24
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Re: Guatemala to the leeward islands

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And with the weather windows available in December, the route from Mexico to Florida can be done reaching (and with the current) instead of bashing your way upwind towards the Cayman islands.

We tried the bashing first when we left Guatemala in 2014, but decided the North of Cuba route was better before we even made it to the Bay Islands of Honduras. The weather was great from Isla Mujeres to the Florida Keys.

But, then you're going to have the bash from Florida to the Caribbean anyway.

Matt
I've gone both ways and gotten hammered both ways. One trip from the Caymans to Ft Lauderdale we caught a front in the Straights of Florida with strong N-NE winds. Against the current it got pretty bouncy, very steep, pointed top waves that launched us into the nest trough with a big bang. We pulled into the Dry Tortugas and hid out for a few days until things calmed down a bit.

One way or another to get from Central America to the eastern Caribbean there's going to be some bashing involved. Best one can do is take a lot of time, pick the best weather windows and minimize the pain.

Easiest trip I ever had was a Jan trip to the VI from Jamaica. It was rough for a day or so at the start but we got under the lee of Hispaniola and found a complete calm. Had plenty of fuel so we motored due east all the way to PR.
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Old 23-10-2018, 07:47   #25
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Re: Guatemala to the leeward islands

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Originally Posted by heforeman View Post
Thank you all for your feed back and advice. To expand slightly, whilst I am an RYA Yacht Master, I have not been out for a while also want to try to ease my family into cruising (wife and 8+9 yrs old) slowly; off shore sialing is more my thing then then Helens who up to now, id more of a day Island hoping cruiser.

Plan is to sail for 2019 in the Caribbean and build up everyone sea legs and experience, probably hang out in the ABCs over Hurricane season before crossing the panama dec 19 and the out through the pacific once everyone is more comfortable with not seeing land for 3 weeks.
I like option 3. It would provide the opportunity to visit Caymans, cuba, PR etc but I dont want to put the family off. Otherwise I might get to meet me in PR and pick up some crew and push East on my own. Didnt know about insurance in Cuba , thanks. Ideally I wanted to buy in the Leeward/windward Islands. I am still in Australia and have not purchased the boat yet. Looking to buy mid Nov 18 and need to take boat location into consideration. Thanks for your advice, Rich

There are some very nice boats for sale in Grenada.....and they aren't badly priced. This person, Denise is a very good contact there, a good start:https://www.facebook.com/groups/1597...10240685949092

If you're interested in a Stevens 47, fully updated and ready to go.....you can contact me here via pm.

Good luck in your search!
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Old 23-10-2018, 07:56   #26
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Re: Guatemala to the leeward islands

A few more available in Grenada:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1597...10240685949092

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1597...10255042614323
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Old 02-11-2018, 11:04   #27
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Re: Guatemala to the leeward islands

I can appreciate your concerns about going west to east . Our boat is currently in Linton Bay , Panama . We sailed to the Caribbean in 2006 , did the Eastern Caribbean for 5 years , it was nice .We sailed from Grenada to Bonaire in 2011 and spent 3 years going back and forth from Curacao to Bonaire ,our favorite place in the Caribbean ,no hurricanes ,more sun ,less rain and the best diving and snorkeling in our opinion . Colombia was awesome ,great for land travel . The San Blas Islands will beat any other sailing destination in the Caribbean , peaceful ,quiet anchorages ,beautiful tropical islands , beautiful sailing inside the reefs . No crowded anchorages and very few charter boats . This will be our third winter in the San Blas ,and then we are sailing back to Canada to sell the boat . The route that we are planning in April , is to leave from Chichimi , San Blas Islands and try to point high enough to make Jamacia , then on to Ilse de Vache Haiti and then through the Windward passage to the Bahamas ,the either along the East Coast of the US or out to Bermuda ,then back to New Brunswick ,Canada . That's if we don't sell our boat while in Panama . Leaving in December to head west to east could be a real slug and bumpy ride.
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Old 03-11-2018, 03:02   #28
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Re: Guatemala to the leeward islands

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ur boat is currently in Linton Bay , Panama . We sailed to the Caribbean This will be our third winter in the San Blas ,and then we are sailing back to Canada to sell the boat . The route that we are planning in April , is to leave from Chichimi , San Blas Islands and try to point high enough to make Jamacia , then on to Ilse de Vache Haiti and then through the Windward passage to the Bahamas ,the either along the East Coast of the US or out to Bermuda ,then back to New Brunswick ,Canada . That's if we don't sell our boat while in Panama . Leaving in December to head west to east could be a real slug and bumpy ride.

We did San Blas to Jamacia back in 20011 (I think) and as you late in the year. It was a total sail at about 50deg on the wind - if you have AIS it will help as there is a narrow area with a lot of lvcc coming through before Jamaica - we got within 20nm of Jamaica and could not make it without a lot of tacking - we pulled the sails and sailed into the bay on the top of Jamaica - can not check in there but CG did let us go ashore after they found where we came from - from Jamaica maybe hop along the coast of Cuba -
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