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Old 26-09-2013, 21:39   #61
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Re: Panama to the BVIs

Yes, I am very happy for this thread. I am about to do the same route. I'm in Bocas Del Toro and my next planned stop is San Andres (not sure why everybody wants to skip it). That is about a 2 day trip. I am looking for a very light wind two day beat and it seems I might have one next week. Then I will look for a good window to head to either Jamaica or Cayman Islands. That should be a 3.5 day sail. If in Cayman Islands, look for a very light wind to motor into for 1.5 days to Jamaica or a light northern. Once in Jamaica, my plan is to wait for a northern coming, hopefully one that starts out with a northwest wind and motor out a day ahead of it and then ride the northern wind around the cape before it turns into a northeastern. It's the cape and getting back to the windard shore that I'm worried about. I hope to spend a good deal of time in Boca Chica before heading east again. Any word on what Boca Chica is like?
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Old 26-09-2013, 23:59   #62
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Re: Panama to the BVIs

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Originally Posted by FranklinGray View Post
. . . I hope to spend a good deal of time in Boca Chica before heading east again. Any word on what Boca Chica is like?
For information look to the website of the marina there in the Dominican Republic - Marina Zarpar. Marina Zar Par
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Old 27-09-2013, 06:19   #63
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Re: Panama to the BVIs

We made this trip in late April of 2013. We waited for a window of winds forecast at 15 to 20 and weakening. Set sail from the San Blas on a port tack heading east towards Columbia. 30 hours later we tacked to starboard and sailed north west. As we moved north the winds shifted to true east and we were able to point north to Kingston. The trip took 5 days and was uncomfortable but by no means unmanageable. 42 foot boat, two people. Sometimes we have to sail to weather to make our destination. Waiting for proper conditions makes for safe passages.
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Old 27-09-2013, 06:41   #64
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Re: Panama to the BVIs

Thank you KoKo but at this time of year I prefer to keep the legs short...under 4 days. It is still hurricane season. Plus, the farther west I am, the lower the winds are. That's why I like the idea of going to Caymans first and then going east...lighter winds both west side and north side. I've sailed through the middle of the Caribbean before so I know what that is like.
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Old 27-09-2013, 06:46   #65
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Originally Posted by FranklinGray View Post
Thank you KoKo but at this time of year I prefer to keep the legs short...under 4 days. It is still hurricane season. Plus, the farther west I am, the lower the winds are. That's why I like the idea of going to Caymans first and then going east...lighter winds both west side and north side. I've sailed through the middle of the Caribbean before so I know what that is like.
But also, the further West you are this time of the year, the more risk of hurricanes that pop up in that area instead of crossing the Atlantic with it's time window to make plans and move. Always have a backup plan of where to sail to find shelter. There are not so many, let me try to list what I know:

- Bocas del Toro, Panama
- Rio Dulce, Guatemala
- Havanna yacht club, Cuba

That's it AFAIK. Be safe!
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Old 27-09-2013, 18:51   #66
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Re: Panama to the BVIs

Yes, I know, that's why I want to take short hops. I can get a reliable two-three day weather window, can't get a 5-9 day window this time of year. I've been told by some that there are places to tie up for a hurricane in San Andres...besides, in October, the lower pressure starts on the west coast, so it's fairly weak if it goes over San Andres.

The only thing I'm worried about on this route is if I can find a good weather window from Jamaica to DR. Getting around that cape before a northern clocks around to the NE will be tricky. Anybody know the average speed of the current south of DR and how close it gets to shore?
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Old 27-09-2013, 23:10   #67
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Re: Panama to the BVIs

The Windward Passage will have all the commercial ships traveling from the East Coast and the Panama Cabal, stay in alert. Go well south of that cape DON'T go between that small island and the mainland, and stay in the deeper water. Stay well south of the shoal areas. Going east ln the Caribbean Sea is bumpy.
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