Thanks, Chuck, for the universal advice with which I would agree. I'm aware of the variables, and have been flying in and sailing out of distant ports
for years. Interestingly, the Deepwater Horizon blowout/oil spill was the mother of all variables that led us to leave the boat in Isla Mujeres this past May. Weather rules in my decision making regarding going offshore
, and my crew knows that. Motoring over flat calms is the least of my worries - I'll carry more than enough diesel
at 7 kts all the way across (one benefit of a 42' catamaran
with large tankage and storage). I mentioned using various sources of weather input. Input from cruisers actually out on passage via the NW Caribbean Net is one very good source. I participated in that net as we cruised from Panama
to Isla Mujeres this year, providing my local conditions and hearing from others all the way to Florida
, and the information was excellent. The volunteer weather forecaster was as professional as they come. Our Sirius satellite
weather receiver as well as a paid subscription will complement that source. Still, I appreciate all input, and would like to hear from others who have made this passage recently.