Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 19-05-2009, 07:59   #16
Senior Cruiser
 
osirissail's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: A real life Zombie from FL
Boat: Gulfstar 53 - Osiris
Posts: 5,416
Images: 2
Depending upon your normal boat speed you are looking at 3 to 4 days from Luperon, D.R. and 5-6 days from San Juan, P.R. The biggest problem beside weather is all the cruise ships that use that route every day and night. A dozen or more heading north and south makes it resemble the Interstate 95 during rush hour. You should stay right up against the Bahamas Banks or get onto the banks if possible to stay out of their way. The do not slow down and if at night or in seas they will not see you either visually or on radar as small boats are lost in the sea clutter.
The Bahmas has in their laws the right to "innocent passage" through their waters which means you do not have to pay the US$300 but you also cannot go ashore or get off the boat anywhere. Anchoring is okay but you cannot set foot on shore without having checked in.
__________________

__________________
osirissail is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-05-2009, 09:59   #17
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Rhode Island
Boat: Tayana FD-12
Posts: 612
Images: 6
Thanks, the traffic is what I was affraid off. 3-4 days from Luperon seems a bit optimistic. Charts are showing cross current on the banks, vs NW set in the channel. Any thoughts on the lift due to current? Also is there a favourable vs. less favourable area to enter the banks along the channel?
__________________

__________________
phorvati is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-05-2009, 12:54   #18
Senior Cruiser
 
osirissail's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: A real life Zombie from FL
Boat: Gulfstar 53 - Osiris
Posts: 5,416
Images: 2
Here is a routing I have for the Old Bahamas Channel from Luperon to Miami. You can plot the wpt's on a nav system or maps to see if they are of any value to you. Since I do 6-8 knots normally I can make it in the 3-4 days I mentioned. The key is to plan your entry onto the Banks during the morning hours in daylight to assure that you clear any shoal area at the start of the portion over the banks. After that you should not see less than 3 fathoms of water all the way to the exit.
- - --
Route Name: DR-W Luperon to Miami
Depart from: Luperon, Dom Republic
Destination: Dinner Key Miami
Uses Charts: DR1P, 25720_1, 27005, 11013_1, 11465, 11451D
Notes for this route:
Route west from Luperon down the Old Bahamas Channel, across the banks to join the Gulf Stream to Biscayne Channel. Distance = 654 nm Time = 3 days 21:30 hours. 3days, 23 hrs at 6/7kts. Leave at 23:00 to cross Cochinos Banks at 08:00 - Miami at 14:00
At speeds 6/7/8/7/6 time = 3 days 15 hours. Leave at 08:00 get to Cochinos South at 03:00 and Miami at 23:00 (recommend stopping on banks and anchoring for rest for 6 to 8 hours for Miami daylight arrival.)
Leave at 07:00 to get to Cochinos Banks at 08:00-second morning then arrive Miami at 04:30
Leg Name and Position
001 Luperon Harbor 19 53.910' N 070 57.058' W
002 Luperon TP#2 19 54.080' N 070 56.691' W
003 Luperon TP#1 19 54.250' N 070 56.499' W
004 Luperon_VanSant 19 55.000' N 070 56.498' W
005 Join Gulfstream N20W071 20 00.000' N 071 00.000' W
006 Great Inagua SW Point 20 49.000' N 073 47.000' W
007 Bahamas, Santo Domingo Cay Light 21 40.000' N 075 47.000' W
008 Cochinos Banks, South Head 22 00.000' N 076 30.000' W
009 Cochinos Banks NW TP 22 34.000' N 076 44.000' W
010 TP to avoid Shoals to north 22 52.700' N 077 30.000' W
011 Hurricane Flats TP 23 30.000' N 078 30.000' W
012 Orange Cay South TP 24 50.000' N 079 08.000' W
013 Fowey Rocks Light 25 35.000' N 080 05.000' W
014 Biscayne Channel Entrance Green "1" 25 38.730' N 080 08.000' W
015 Biscayne Channel Red "6" TP 25 39.240' N 080 08.900' W
016 Cape Florida Lighthouse TP 25 39.800' N 080 09.550' W
017 Noname Hbr TP 25 40.440' N 080 09.850' W
018 Cape Florida Channel Green "1" 25 41.000' N 080 10.500' W
019 Cape Florida Channel Red "4" 25 41.000' N 080 11.100' W
020 Dinner Key SE Entrance 25 42.400' N 080 13.220' W
021 Dinner Key SE Channel Red "2" 25 42.900' N 080 13.700' W
022 Dinner Key Anchorage 25 43.280' N 080 13.890' W
__________________
osirissail is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-05-2009, 20:47   #19
Registered User

Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 1
Week before last I crossed (on the way from Provo to Key West) the bottom of the Bahama Banks below Andros, direct from Ragged Island to Cay Sal Banks to enter Hawk Channel around Marathon (due to Gulf Stream push). In the area south of Cay Sal I had a lot of what appeared to be tidal current. I had planned to stay south of Cay Sal, but due to the current I ended up on the Banks and exiting the west side of the Cay Sal Banks with no problems. The Navionics chart chip seemed to be accurate in the area. Unlike one of the earlier posts, the only ships we saw along that route were a couple which appeared to have used the windward passage north bound and then went to the east of Cay Sal headed north.
__________________
MooreW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-06-2009, 10:35   #20
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Rhode Island
Boat: Tayana FD-12
Posts: 612
Images: 6
Hi guys, just an Update, I just completed my trip Salinas, PR to West Palm FL, via the Old Bahama Channel.
It took 10 days non stop. I was becalmed for 3 days around Great Inagua / Windward passage due to a high pressure ridge.
I got off of Old Bahama Channel and went onto the banks at Cay Lobos. Somehow I was getting lots of counter current in the channel. Perhaps because I was too close to the banks?
Petar
__________________
phorvati is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-06-2009, 12:41   #21
CF Adviser
Moderator Emeritus
 
Hud3's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Virginia
Boat: Island Packet 380, now sold
Posts: 8,929
Images: 49
Hi, phorvati. Glad your trip went well, and thanks for checking in to let us know you made it OK.

Regarding the countercurrent that you experienced in the Old Bahama Channel... I think that the interaction of the Gulf Stream as it rounds the Keys into the the Straights of Florida, the tradewinds-driven currents pushing WNW from the Greater Antilles into the Bahamas, changing tides, and shifting regional winds can all come together to produce some very complicated and perhaps counter intuitive current phenomena. If you take a look at the Gulf Stream forecast on Passageweather.com's Straights of Florida chart, you can see what I mean.
__________________
Hud
Hud3 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-09-2012, 14:22   #22
Registered User

Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 55
Re: Old Bahama Channel

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobola View Post
I singlehanded my 35' sailboat from Peurto Plata, Dr to Ft. Lauderdale about 14 years ago without any problems.

It was a quick trip as the trades were blowing strong most of the way there.

Was visited by a military helicopter one day and saw lots of shipping every day.

I would highly recommend that route if you don't intend (or need) to stop on the way north.

Bob...
Anything to offer regarding the reverse route ( FLL to Puerto Plata)?
Thanks,
Habana Vieja
__________________
Habana Vieja is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-09-2012, 08:15   #23
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Rhode Island
Boat: Tayana FD-12
Posts: 612
Images: 6
Re: Old Bahama Channel?

Bruce Van Sant "Gentlemen's guide to passages south".
__________________
phorvati is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-09-2012, 10:01   #24
Senior Cruiser
 
osirissail's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: A real life Zombie from FL
Boat: Gulfstar 53 - Osiris
Posts: 5,416
Images: 2
Re: Old Bahama Channel

Quote:
Originally Posted by Habana Vieja View Post
Anything to offer regarding the reverse route ( FLL to Puerto Plata)?
Thanks, Habana Vieja
Two things have changed since 14 years ago -
First. You cannot take a private recreational boat into Puerto Plata, D.R. It is not allowed and there are no facilities for you.

Secondly, the nearest permissible places are - Ocean World Marina about 3 miles west of Puerto Plata and an expensive place since they cater to big rich folks boats.

Luperon, D.R. is the main port for private recreational boats and is about 20nm or so west of Puerto Plata. It has a dangerous entrance channel so you need to do it in the daylight. It is well described in the Bruce Van Sant's books.,

Using the Old Bahama Channel for going from Florida to the eastern Caribbean islands is a much longer round-about way of getting there not to mention the trying to swim up-current and up wind. The Trade Winds are from the east and therefore the least arduous route is through the Bahamas Islands which allow you to travel or tack back and forth to work your way east.

Add in the very narrow width of the Old Bahamas Channel and the very busy presence of Cruise Ships and other commercial vessels and you will be spending a lot of time dodging life-threatening obstacles.

As others have mentioned, if you are in a "hurry" then the "I-65" route of heading north of the Bahamas until reaching about W065 degrees Longitude and then turning south is the preferred route.
__________________
osirissail is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-09-2012, 13:21   #25
Registered User

Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 55
Re: Old Bahama Channel?

Thanks Osirisail and well said. Neither of us nor our boat wants to put up with the banging and thrashing that seems inevitable in the "Thorny Path". I 65 becomes increasingly attractive. If damage to the boat is unavoidable -
and as all know boat damage frequently involves at least a small fortune, the $7000 Yacht Transport fee may be a bargain yet said choice is something of a concession of principle.

Since in our case a CG license to enter Cuba with our vessel is not out entirely of the question, we are trying to identify a route that will allow us to visit eastern
Cuba, then head on to the DR, PR, and ultimately Trinidad via the lesser antilles but have yet to
uncover a route that will present us with the possibility of "smooth sailing"
( other than I 65 which, of course, cancels at least on the outbound trip
the Greater Antilles with the possible exception of PR).

Though several comments in these forums swear that
I 65 will also inevitably present the same conditions ( though not as consistently) as the Thorny Path, those who have worked with good weather sources seem to have
avoided the rough stuff. Also, drawing seven feet the island hopping route
generates additional apprehension.
Mejores Deseos,
Habana Vieja
__________________
Habana Vieja is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-09-2012, 12:21   #26
Senior Cruiser
 
osirissail's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: A real life Zombie from FL
Boat: Gulfstar 53 - Osiris
Posts: 5,416
Images: 2
Re: Old Bahama Channel?

What you call the "Thorny Path" is actually titled the "Thornless Path." In other words what Bruce Van Sant is suggesting are techniques and routes to avoid as much bad conditions as possible.

Having done the route many times it is actually not a bad route. * IF* you are not in a hurry and can wait for good or pleasant conditions. This is not difficult as there are way too many interesting places to stop and explore while waiting. The waiting can be as short as a couple of days or as long as a month depending upon the time of year/season you are sailing. On average in the winter and spring months the "good" weather wind/wave windows occur just before cold front passings and normally about every 4th or 5th cold front will offer a really good window. The cold fronts usually come down every 5 to 7 days.

But for the really "long way around" by heading west to Cuba and then circling underneath (south) of the Cuban island the opportunities are different as you are heading down wind and down current until you pass near the eastern end of Cuba.

If you can get permits/approvals from the US Treasury Department for US citizen visit to Cuba then getting the USCG permit to cross through the "security zone" between Key West and Cuba is easy. For a US Citizen or LPR getting the US Treasury Permit for a private recreational vessel (yacht) are extremely difficult unless you really have "connections" in high places. But not technically impossible.

But anyway, after visiting the north coast of Cuba you can circle around to the south side and cruise towards Jamaica's Port Antonio. From there head east along the south side of Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Finally cross the southern end of the Mona Passage to Puerto Rico and rejoin the other east bound cruisers taking the "Thornless Path" to the Virgin Islands. You are looking at significant time to take such a long route.

Assuming that you are a sailboat and not a power yacht, the I-65 route is for folks in a "hurry" and involves heading northeast of the Bahamas to remain in the westerly winds until you can turn south and use the easterly trades which would then be on your port beam. However, in the Winter/Spring you can pretty much bet on getting caught in one or more gales during the week or so that the route takes.

Thousands of sailors/cruisers have done the "Thornless Path" and those in a hurry usually get pounded and bash their way from the Turks and Caicos to the D.R. and on eastward to Puerto Rico and along the south coast to the Virgins. Those waiting for the "good windows" have a very benign and boring passage - which is my personal favorite way to do the route.

However you need to be sure that your boat is working at its best and you have plenty of "spares" as getting parts and repairs is extremely difficult and expensive until you get to Puerto Rico. And you can expect to "motor-sail" all the way from the Dominican Republic to the Virgin Islands so having a good engine and plenty of fuel is suggested.

Again, thousands have done it successfully so it is not that difficult unless you chose to make it difficult.
__________________
osirissail is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-09-2012, 14:45   #27
Registered User

Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 55
Re: Old Bahama Channel?

Thanks Again Osiris and backed with the experience designated, gives
us a lot to think about. However, the route we were questioning/inquiring was a route that ( with the calmest,most "boring" conditions - if there is such a route) would run from Fort Lauderdale toward the Windward Passage,
( perhaps, once near Cuba's north east shore heading west a bit and stopping at Baracoa on Cuba's north eastern shore,) then returning to and through
the Windward Passage and once through the passage, turning west to Santiago de Cuba
( where facilities are pretty good). If the stop in Baracoa is unrealistic ( i.e. if it would necessarily go beyond our comfort factor, we could scrap that
waypoint and head - from Fort Lauderdale - straight to and through the "windward passage" and go to Santiago.....which involves crossing the Old Bahama Channel.

After that, we would consider heading east to Haiti, Dominican Republic,Puerto Rico ( always on the south side of each island) then, to the BVI's from PR. In your experience, is there a comfortable strategy for sailing/ motor-sailing such
a route ( with the additional factor of 7 feet of draft)?

Mejores Deseos and your ideas are indeed appreciated,
HV
__________________
Habana Vieja is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-09-2012, 08:54   #28
Senior Cruiser
 
osirissail's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: A real life Zombie from FL
Boat: Gulfstar 53 - Osiris
Posts: 5,416
Images: 2
Re: Old Bahama Channel?

Baracoa is on Cuba's north eastern shore not too far from Punta de Maisi and only 58 nm from Matthew Town on Bahamas' Great Inagua. So that would be an easy beam reach.

So from Florida the standard routing through the Bahamas southeastward to Nassau -> the Exumas -> Georgetown -> Clarence Town, Long Island -> Great Inagua would most probably work just fine.

The, assuming you are not a US citizen/LPR, after departing from Baracoa, Cuba, you can hug the coast line using the standard Van Sant "lee" techniques and work your way east and around Puna de Maisi and down southwest and west to Santiago.

Just be careful because only 5nm east of Punta de Maisi is the major shipping traffic lanes north and south and it would be advisable to say inshore of them especially at night. You will also probably encounter roaming USCG patrol vessels and US Naval ships on their way to and from Guantanamo. Hopefully your boat is not a US registered/documented vessel so you could avoid some embarrassing questions and encounters about why you are there and where you came from.
__________________

__________________
osirissail is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
No Boom Lift on an Islander Bahama 30 paulc19 Deck hardware: Rigging, Sails & Hoisting 3 07-06-2015 10:54
Tampa - Okeechobee - Grand Bahama Bradley Sailor Logs & Cruising Plans 4 19-05-2009 14:28
Bahama Cruising - need input Tim Scott Atlantic & the Caribbean 5 05-04-2009 05:41
Bahama Bank Weather shawnbush12 Sailor Logs & Cruising Plans 6 09-02-2009 21:38
Old Bahama Channel & Cay Sal geoffschultz Atlantic & the Caribbean 9 16-05-2006 09:55



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 08:57.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.