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Old 23-08-2011, 08:55   #46
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Re: Panama to the BVIs

I once knew a singlehandler who waited in Cartagena for a year and a half for the conditions you describe.
He than had a delightful downwind sail.
Stay safe.
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Old 23-08-2011, 10:56   #47
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Re: Panama to the BVIs

laurent
using a hurricane to pump the air you need is all well and good. i'd try it myself if it encourages my rhumbline to the bvi's from colon (or the san blas islands). the main thing is pick your windows and not be in a hurry. i have a well found boat but that said i don't want to pound her to pieces. i think according to the prevailing thoughts on the matter (jimmy cornell, pilot charts, etc.)i will have a close reach north to jamaica (first choice), the caymans (2nd) or cuba (3rd) then due east. hopefully by mid to late november everything will be somewhat benign for what we are expecting as we make our way to the bvi's. good luck and stay in touch...
maya
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Old 23-08-2011, 11:14   #48
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Re: Panama to the BVIs

Whatever weathe window you pick it will last 4 days at most.
Immeditaly after the hurricane season, you have winter and the "Christmas Trades".
To say you'll sail a close reach to Jamicia was an understatement for me as it took 13 days to sail from Colon to Grand Cayman.
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Old 23-08-2011, 11:38   #49
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Re: Panama to the BVIs

kinda on topic question....

is this a more doable route during the summer? i have a similar trip in mind (san fran to boston (assuming i ever decide to sail north of the virgins) for mid summer. i have not put a ton of thought into the route as it is a few years away but this thread has me thinking...

(very) loosely formed plan has me heading down the west coast in early summer, thru the canal and into the islands b4 the hurricanes avoid the north east winters by staying in the virgins until march and heading north in the spring.

is there any merit to this notion or do i need to completely reset and start a new plan (idea)?

-steve
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Old 24-08-2011, 06:40   #50
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Re: Panama to the BVIs

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Originally Posted by ssanzone View Post
kinda on topic question....

is this a more doable route during the summer? i have a similar trip in mind (san fran to boston (assuming i ever decide to sail north of the virgins) for mid summer. i have not put a ton of thought into the route as it is a few years away but this thread has me thinking...

(very) loosely formed plan has me heading down the west coast in early summer, thru the canal and into the islands b4 the hurricanes avoid the north east winters by staying in the virgins until march and heading north in the spring.

is there any merit to this notion or do i need to completely reset and start a new plan (idea)?

-steve
It is not clear what month you are proposing leaving the Canal to head N and E.
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Old 24-08-2011, 07:05   #51
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Re: Panama to the BVIs

Why the ... do you have to be somewhere at sometime? With any need of something, sailors should have the need of piece of mind and one of them is no time frame or at the very least a very flexible one. End of November,--to me too soon, still unpredictable seas, sure you can't put to later date...
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Old 24-08-2011, 07:05   #52
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Re: Panama to the BVIs

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Originally Posted by sywindsong View Post
... regards and good luck at all the boat in our situation,
Laurent
Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Laurent.
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Old 26-08-2011, 01:59   #53
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Re: Panama to the BVIs

When we were in Aruba waiting to head to Panama in 2003, The Marina Manager came over and asked me to give him a hand docking a large Cat.
The owner was a wealthy Columbian who had not much sailing experience. He had flown to Australia to pick up the brand new Cat he had bought, paid a crew to help him motor across the Pacific (they jumped ship in Tahiti) and found some more crew to get the boat through the Panama Canal. He then motored the Cat directly East to Aruba by himself, where after helping dock the boat, I met him....

This guy had not much of a clue and did the Panama - Aruba leg without mishap! Some people are very lucky! After inviting us aboard for cold Heinekins in his air conditioned salon, he told us the whole story. He nearly came unstuck just West of Aruba on approach because he had been asleep with the auto pilot on (something he said he did all the time!!!), and suddenly awoke to see breaking waves on reef dead ahead. He averted disaster just in time.

He told us all of this with a non-nonchalant shrug and a smile....

Some people are just charmed...
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Old 26-08-2011, 08:41   #54
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Re: Panama to the BVIs

surfer girl,
interesting. great story!
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Old 21-11-2011, 17:35   #55
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Re: Panama to the BVIs

update. i am now in port antonio (11/10). beautiful place. we left colon (11/2) and headed east to cartagena then we turned north and headed up to kingston. going east from colon was a bit of a bear. once north we had one lumpy day winds of 10-15 NE, but generally it was a pleasant trip. kingston was nice, no problems and then went around to port antonio to stage for the next leg south coast of hispaniola, puerto rico and the virgin islands. roughest part (seas) was in the windward passage trying to get to port antonio from kingston. so far winds are generally up to 15 from NE. so far been trip been good.
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Old 27-12-2011, 13:00   #56
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Re: Panama to the BVIs

all,
i made it. i'm in the us virgin islands. the trip from san antonio was not bad at all but i kept in mind my weather windows and stayed when i had to and left when it was appropriate. i think the route taken was just fine. we stayed in the lee of the islands and when we had to sailed at night. followed all the information that was given from van zant to what was offered here and it all helped. its a difficult route to do but given time and preparation and go when you should and stay when you should, its not that big of a deal. but it is tough and will eat up crew if ready for it and prepared. i started out of panama nov 1 and arrived in st thomas 12/27. it took time and i had to fly home for a couple of weeks. also waiting for those windows, sometimes were a week here and a week there. but that's what you have to do. go when you can and stay when you should. the way i did it the true wind rarely got over 15 its and the seas 4'-5'. i just didn't rush things. san antonio to lle de vache, around cape beata to boca chica, across mona passage to salinas, puerto rico and then the dash to st thomas. i could have done it quicker but that's just the way it worked out.
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Old 27-12-2011, 13:38   #57
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Re: Panama to the BVIs

Congrats and job well done!

Enjoy the rest of your sailing adventure!
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Old 27-12-2011, 14:23   #58
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Well done indeed! I remember how arriving in the Virgins felt like a calm little lake after the passage just done

ciao!
Nick.
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Old 20-10-2012, 18:44   #59
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Re: Panama to the BVIs

thanks so much for the attaboys and help along the way. i sailed the boat down to grenada from the bvi's and now await the end of the hurricane season in grenada marine which is when i return and explore the lovely isles at a more leisurely pace and more enjoyable sojourn. you know it's funny, once you do it, it doesn't seem like that big a deal (like going thru the panama canal), but that's probably true in most things.
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Old 20-10-2012, 20:00   #60
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Re: Panama to the BVIs

What a great thread! Having read all 4 pages of this thread I can say contained herein is more information than I have found elsewhere. I too have been interested in this routing at the same time of year. Rimaya, well done.
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