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Old 03-10-2012, 12:59   #1
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Passage from Bahamas to Colombia

I plan on checking out of the Bahamas on the southern most Island (Inagua) and then heading directly south between Cuba and Haiti down to Cartagena. I "think" the best weather window would be mid November but I thought I would check the forum to see what others think would be the safest time to cross the Caribbean sea. Thoughts?

Franklin
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Old 03-10-2012, 13:32   #2
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Re: Passage from Bahamas to Colombia

Just to add, I know Mid Nov is still officially hurricane season but usually not much occurs after the first week of Nov. I would wait until Dec to be sure but I am kind of concerned about the christmas winds...I hear they can be pretty bad and that area just north of Cartagena is bad enough without a storm. So that is why I "think" mid Nov would be best. Hoping somebody on here can either agree or disagree with some advise.
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Old 03-10-2012, 13:38   #3
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Re: Passage from Bahamas to Colombia

We are heading down the same route end Feb/ March next year ... yeah ... watching the replies with great interest
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Old 03-10-2012, 13:43   #4
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Re: Passage from Bahamas to Colombia

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We are heading down the same route end Feb/ March next year ... yeah ... watching the replies with great interest
I did read somewhere that Feb and March are very windy months but I can't remember where. It's good to know I'm not crazy in wanting to take this route. You are the first I've heard besides me wanting to take this route.

On paper is looks like wonderful sail...a reach or broad-reach all the way down. That's what I need. Since I've left Texas, it's been nothing but fighting the wind going east and I'm tired of going east.
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Old 03-10-2012, 15:01   #5
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Re: Passage from Bahamas to Colombia

I don't know about November - but at the beginning of August we sailed Great Inagua to Santa Marta, Colombia (after a quick stop at Ile a Vache, Haiti). We waited for weather both at Great Inagua and at Ile a Vache - good sailing through the Windward Passage - then we sailed south from Haiti between two tropical waves (the second of these became Ernest, but we were safe in Colombia by then). From what I've heard, the Christmas Winds are quite fierce. Even in a good weather window, and before the Christmas Winds, expect 25 knots and 10+ ft seas as you approach Colombia.
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Old 03-10-2012, 15:07   #6
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Re: Passage from Bahamas to Colombia

Also considering spending next summer in Cartagena or Trinidad and then Cartagena.

John
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Old 03-10-2012, 15:08   #7
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Re: Passage from Bahamas to Colombia

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... expect 25 knots and 10+ ft seas as you approach Colombia.
Was it like that when you were there? If so, were the waves more rolling, steep or just a little steep?
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Old 03-10-2012, 15:12   #8
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Re: Passage from Bahamas to Colombia

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Also considering spending next summer in Cartagena or Trinidad and then Cartagena.

John
You mean instead of up here in the Florida/Bahamas area? That was my original plan, but after my beat out to Key West, I decide not to do an 8 day beat to Colombia, so I stayed in Marathon for a while, then Miami for a while and just now got to the Bahamas.

I do plan on spending the next 14 months down around the Colombia/Panama area and then transiting the canal.
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Old 03-10-2012, 15:18   #9
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Re: Passage from Bahamas to Colombia

I need to be out of the hurricane box for insurance purposes. This year in Brunswick, GA and hopefully next year way South. Florida/Bahamas is in the box for me.

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Old 03-10-2012, 15:24   #10
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Re: Passage from Bahamas to Colombia

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I need to be out of the hurricane box for insurance purposes. This year in Brunswick, GA and hopefully next year way South. Florida/Bahamas is in the box for me.

John
I totally understand. Me being a single handler and already having a substanual claim in the past, the only insurance I can afford is 4 very good anchors and a good harbour. I pick my harbors carefully as I know what it's like to ride out a hurricane, but when I left, my intention was to be out of the box too but plans so often change, at least for me they do.
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Old 04-10-2012, 02:30   #11
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Re: Passage from Bahamas to Colombia

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Was it like that when you were there? If so, were the waves more rolling, steep or just a little steep?
Big rollers - not steep.

Most of the crossing from Haiti to Colombia was 15-20 knots and 6-8 ft seas, which is about as good as it gets, from what I've heard. The last day, we saw 20-25 knots and 8-10 ft seas - the last night, as we waited for dawn off the coast, we saw 30-35 knots and 12 ft seas.
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Old 04-10-2012, 06:13   #12
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Re: Passage from Bahamas to Colombia

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Big rollers - not steep.

Most of the crossing from Haiti to Colombia was 15-20 knots and 6-8 ft seas, which is about as good as it gets, from what I've heard. The last day, we saw 20-25 knots and 8-10 ft seas - the last night, as we waited for dawn off the coast, we saw 30-35 knots and 12 ft seas.

Is the stream current much of an issue? I assume you were on a reach the whole way, right? Average speed?
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Old 04-10-2012, 07:10   #13
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Re: Passage from Bahamas to Colombia

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Is the stream current much of an issue? I assume you were on a reach the whole way, right? Average speed?
we did not go west but came east from panama after visiting cartagana - which is one of the greatest cities around - but there is no stream there - there is a semi permanent lo that sits over colombia and the windy corner can get quite windy - and the winds get worse at night - if they get down to 20k it is a good day -

some folks do the trini thing and then head to grenada to the abcs then cartagena and hope to get far enough off shore to miss the really bad stuff - almost no one is leaving from trini to the abc via venz as way way to dangerous - even the fool hardy are now avoiding venz -

when we were in cartagena a few boats did come in via the bahamas route and they all agreed it was a tuff run but doable - specially if you lay off the windy corner as much as you can -
our runs from panama to cartagena and back were just beautiful sails ---- BUT our run from panama to jamaica had to be delayed until we got a good wx window as the seas and winds were both unmanagable last year for quite a while

just our opinion
chuck patty and svsoulmates
in trinidad for hurricane season
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Old 04-10-2012, 07:20   #14
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Re: Passage from Bahamas to Colombia

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... but there is no stream there
Thanks Chuck. Some very good info there. As for the current, I am referring to the Gulf stream that comes from the equator thru the Caribbean sea to the Gulf. I will be crossing that stream but don't know how strong it is in the C. sea. I'm wondering if it will cause me to have to point more east to adjust for the westward current and if so, how much?

Once again, thank you. It's good to hear that the city is a good city. I can't wait to get there.

I'm also wondering if I should go a bit east when the winds are moderate so that when I get farther south where the winds are stronger, I'll be able to take them a little aft. Sound like a good idea?
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Old 04-10-2012, 07:39   #15
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Re: Passage from Bahamas to Colombia

It can get pretty rough around Cartagena. We went by in January a coupe of years back and had the biggest, steepest waves in our entire circumnavigation when we were about 50nm out from Cartagena. A TV screen that had sat happily, unsecured (we are on a cat) took off and landed on the floor when one wave hit us. Weather wasn't particularly bad at the time... blue skies, 25-30 knots but big waves!
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