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Old 02-11-2010, 10:57   #16
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If you really do get a southwesterly then it will be part of the frontal passage or quick change from the Tomas storm effects - in either case you'll have quickly changing conditions and seas-against-wind and might be in for a tougher passage than you would normally have. A 50' cat is a fast beast indeed so you might be able to use the windshift to your advantage but I'd be checking the NHC site immediately after each update and be tracking www.windguru.com and www.weathercarib.com as well - to be at sea and have Tomas recurve and put you in the wrong quadrant would make for an uncomfortable vacation.
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Old 02-11-2010, 11:46   #17
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I've attached a seven day forecast for the Virgin Gorda airport location from Windfinder.com. The winds in the 20-25 kt range are forecasted to begin clocking from East on Friday, go through the southern quadrants on Saturday and Sunday, and end up from the West on Monday, 8th Nov. I think that these unusual gyrations are the result of the strong trough that's supposed to move off the East Coast on Friday, picking up Tomas as a hitchhiker and moving him out into the Atlantic.

These sort of wind patterns can play havoc with charterers and cruisers unfamiliar with the weather patterns because many assume the winds will be from the East, as almost always is the case, and anchorages with southern and western exposures will be safe.
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File Type: pdf Virgin Gorda Airport.pdf (229.3 KB, 40 views)
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Old 02-11-2010, 12:57   #18
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The passage may not be doable next week. As of now residual waves from Tomas up to 10-14 feet may persist most of the week. Between St.Maarten and St. Barths, the sea is shallow and this area tends to be rougher as the waves come across this shelf. The wind may be from the South and die as the storm moves away to the North-East.
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Old 02-11-2010, 13:43   #19
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Yikes! It sounds like a real mess right now. Is Tomas still affecting the area with the wind it is stirring up now even though it is so far West or is just the surge created when he was in the area of the Grenadines?
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Old 02-11-2010, 14:24   #20
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We're in the Tradewinds flow right now. Tomas isn't affecting the Antilles at this point, but once he turns North and Northeast (and perhaps East), and intensifies back to hurricane strength, he'll be sucking in a lot of air--enough to make the winds clock around here in the islands.

Take a look at passageweather.com to see what the models think will happen.
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Old 02-11-2010, 21:25   #21
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I will look for suitable achorages for sure. I can't sleep in rolly seas. Would the Pinney's Beach anchorage on Nevis be ill-advised with a West or South swell? I am not exactly sure where on the island it is. Any anchorages or harbours that you would recommend in the area given the unusual conditions?
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Old 03-11-2010, 01:01   #22
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While the whole mooring field at the old Four Seasons / Pinney's Beach looks wide open on the charts, I've found it comfortable and very calm every time I've been there. I haven't been there with a pure south wind or even a westerly since those conditions are extremely rare but would guess that it would become uncomfortable since there is no protection at all - but any west swell wouldn't have much fetch to it so it might still be acceptable, particularly in a catamaran. The worst anchorage I have ever experienced anywhere was Basseterre on St. Kitts, despite benign overall conditions the rolling was so bad that I was reduced to crawling belowdecks and ended up weighing anchor at 2am since I knew that I wasn't going to get any sleep... I should have heeded the warnings in the guidebook.
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Old 03-11-2010, 03:30   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luv2 View Post
I will look for suitable achorages for sure. I can't sleep in rolly seas. Would the Pinney's Beach anchorage on Nevis be ill-advised with a West or South swell? I am not exactly sure where on the island it is. Any anchorages or harbours that you would recommend in the area given the unusual conditions?
The mooring fields along the western coast of Nevis are completely open to swells from the west through south. If they are large swells, i.e., over 2 meters, you probably don't want to be there. Most locals go over to the SE peninsula of St Kitts and anchor in Majors Bay. Not totally protected, but better.
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Old 08-11-2010, 12:11   #24
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Looks like the problem is going to be not enough wind, not too much. At least the weather is better then what we had this last week. Lots of wind, clouds, and even more rain.

Did you charter a Catana from Dream Yachts? They have the only 50' I know of.
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Old 08-11-2010, 13:38   #25
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I think luv2 was sailing last week. I hope he comes back to give us a trip report!
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Old 10-11-2010, 09:56   #26
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Still Sailing!

Hi to all, we are in Antigua now. We made an epic passage all the way from Statia to Antigua during the daylight hours! I am not too sure how many boats can say that but I would imagine not many. It was a total fluke! We were going to sail to Nevis but the wind was perfect for the passage the rest of the way to Antigua so we went through the narrows at noon and headed out. We got cornered by a squall in the narrows between Nevis and St Kitts which made for an exciting few minutes. Especially because we had a full Jenneker at the time. We managed to get the sails down just as the squall hit. We all got soaked but otherwise unscathed! We cleared the outer shoals and then went full sails toward Antigua with only a whisper of hope of making it before dark. As Antigua came into view we were sustaining above 8 knots and held that speed for the entire crossing. It was awsesome. We pulled into Jolly Harbour and picked up a mooring ball at 5:30PM and went to town to celebrate with a good meal and many libations. Both boat and crew performed magnificantly! We are planning to sail around to English Harbour this afternoon, stay for two nights and then it's on to Barbudu. Any advice on this passage would be appreciated! I am a little nervous about northern Antigua and Barbuda reefs and finding a quiet anchorage. Wind are light and seas are heavy and from the south. I will continue to report and check the Forum whenever I can get on the Internet. SO far, so good though. We are having a blast!
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Old 10-11-2010, 10:03   #27
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Congratulations on that passage - the wind must have been perfect. I've done the Antigua - Virgin Gorda trip via St. Kitts/Nevis/Statia/Saba before at high speed but would not have dreamed that speed in the opposite direction could be possible!
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Old 10-11-2010, 10:40   #28
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Good to hear you're having some good sailing, luv2, but sorry you missed Nevis.

We enjoyed being anchored in the shallow bay at Spanish Point in Barbuda; very isolated and pretty. Just follow Chris Doyle's sailing instructions for getting in through Palaster Reef, and you'll be fine.
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Old 16-11-2010, 15:57   #29
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Well my 10-day sailing adventure is over now but I have a lifetime of great memories to look forward to. Thanks to everyone who offered advice and opinions along the way. We spent four nights in Antigua with perfect weather and great scuba diving. The winds were light at times and fine the rest. A huge highlight came from an unexpected anchorage in Carlisle Bay. This is a gorgeous bay containing a very upscale resort. They, somewhat reluctantly, took us in for dinner, drinks and live music for the night. It helped that I read about it in Doyle's guide so we knew to dress as elegantly as we could. This involved pulling on a decent collar shirt and our least rinkly pair of shorts. We got a few side-looks for the sandles but it couldn't be helped as it is a bit of jaunt through the sand from the dingy dock. The food and drinks were fantastic and we all sang Bob Marley with the band after the liquor took hold. The staff were all greatly amused but I am not sure I can say the same for the other guests. The bill was a little over $700 for the five of us but we all thought it money well spent. The next night we explored English Harbour and Nelson's Dockyard and made it to Shirley Heights for sunset. The next day we tried to dive on the wreck in Deep Bay but the visibility was about 2 inches so we abandoned it and went around the corner to St John's to stock up on beer. At 5PM we left St John's for an overnight sail back to St Martin. The wind was inexplicably perfect again so we cruised quite comfortably into the darkness. Never having sailed at night before I was, at first, a little shocked by the differance between night and day sailing. (Insert pun here) As soon as the blackness fully set in the crew was all struck down by sea sickness. A few gingerales and some gravol later, a few were back on their feet. This came as a great relief to me. The rest of the night was spent stairing into the darkness, watching falling stars, and quietly contemplating life's rich pageant. It was a truly awesome trip! I am jealous of anyone that is still out there and wish you all the best.

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Old 17-11-2010, 02:02   #30
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It sounds like a wonderful trip. I, too, have come to enjoy night passages and locating falling stars (I just hope that some of those wishes will finally come true!). Did you visit the "Mad Mongoose" bar? Hear the steel drum band up at Shirley Heights? I have only 2 weeks left to go before I return to the Caribbean and 3 weeks before I get to St. Martin but am counting the hours already...
How long did the passage back to St. Martin take?
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