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Old 30-10-2009, 10:11   #1
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Panama to Cartagena Dec 1 . . . Advice, Please, on Conditions

We will be traveling to Cartagena on Dec 1 to be there for Christmas. We can not go earlier.. Any advice on conditions, weather and route would be appreciated. I have not made the trip before except by air.

Hunter 42 passage. Thanks Panama James
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Old 30-10-2009, 12:17   #2
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Spend some time in the San Blas if you can. Conditions will be lumpy. Listen to Chris Parker's SSB weather net for forecasts.
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Old 30-10-2009, 15:16   #3
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Originally Posted by Panamajames View Post
We will be traveling to Cartagena on Dec 1 to be there for Christmas. We can not go earlier.. Any advice on conditions, weather and route would be appreciated. Thanks Panama James
Have a reliable weather source to monitor the weather. Conditions vary but the main reason the winds blow in the Caribbean is that there is a perpetual low pressure area down there. Gale force winds are the norm for most of December. It rains an average of 285 days a year in the San Blais, and four inches of rain per storm can be expected.
The sail from Cartagena to Aruba is rated as the fifth most difficult in the world per the harbormaster at Cartagena who also claims that 85% of the boats attempting to sail to Aruba turn back.
That said, I left Panama on December 1, 2001 and sailed to the Grand Caymans, singlehanded, on the worst passage I've ever encountered. The wind and swells and current all conspired to come from slightly different directions making the beat to windward one SOB of a sail. The wind send instrument on the mast head blew off! A micro-burst ripped the mainsail from the mast. etc. etc.
Do be careful John
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Old 30-10-2009, 18:25   #4
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Panama to Cartagena
As its just Panama to Cartagena then I think its quite a simple sail. We went the other way last year, but a bit further offshore.

The story is this accelerated wind off the Andes along venezuela colombia coast.

We stayed outbaord of that. But I think its disappated by Cartagena. So you shouldn't have any problems.

More likely is the affect of the ITCZ and exactly where that is when you go.

Load lots of diesel and motor from squall to squall, then sail in the squalls.


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Old 30-10-2009, 18:51   #5
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Contact Jeff and Jose Allen aboard SV STRAVAIG, currently lying in Cartagena. PM for e-mail address.
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Old 30-10-2009, 22:06   #6
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Hey, another friend of Stravaig ;-)

About the passage: Colon->Porto Bello (dinner at El Drake)->Isla Linton (see/feed the monkeys)->Chichime(yeah! San Blas!)->Holandes Cays(a little Dutch)->Snug Harbor(relax)->Isla Pinos(best of the San Blas)->Sapzurro(yeah! Colombia and red snapper at Trini's restaurant)->Isla Fuerte(rest but rolly)->San Bernardo's(rest again)->Rosario's(do we really want to go to Cartagena?)->Cartagena.

Might as well have some fun on the way!

cheers,
Nick.
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Old 30-10-2009, 23:50   #7
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Jedi took the same route we did, wasn't too bad a trip, then the angle for Grand Cayman was much easier.
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