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Old 15-04-2013, 14:09   #1
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Route to Cienfuegos from Grand Cayman

Despite having sailed to Cayo Largo from Cayman the route to Cienfuegos appears a bit more complicated but maybe not, so that is why I am asking anyone who has actually made the trip to help.
Initially my plan was to sail directly to Cienfuegos from Cayo Largo however after reading Calder's Cruising Guide I am not quite sure.
The problem appears to arise with 4 major issues some easy, the others not so sure.
#1 The so called Prohibitive Zone surrounding Bahia de Cochinos which extends past the rumb line from Cayo Largo to Cienfuegos.
Can this be ignored??
#2 And if not, having to sail more east brings you across Banco de Jagua which does not sound like a pleasant place to be!
#3 The Katabatic winds per Calder make an early morning approach much safer for entering Cienfuegos?
#4 Reef/shallow water north and east immediately leaving Cayo Largo which appears the least of my problems. However all my local charts are currently on my boat and will probably figure that out for myself when I have them in front of me.
Anyway I know this is long winded but would appreciate the suggestions from anyone who has actually made the trip.
It appears that maybe a better approach would be to sail from Grand Cayman to Little Cayman and then that would pretty much be a clean shot to Cienfuegos.
Thanks so much.
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Old 21-04-2013, 06:54   #2
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Re: Route to Cienfuegos from Grand Cayman

HI
You will not get into the Zona Prohibida when running the proposed route.

Banco de Jagua is a nasty area. It is highly visible in daylight. But still, one needs to keep 2 to 3 nm away from it especially at night. On your proposed route you need to keep 2 to 3 nm east of its eastern edge located at roughly 8034.6'W.

If you havent been before, it is best to enter Bahia de Cienfuegos in daylight. If you arrive in the dark then hove to and wait til daylight to enter. At this time of year the winds will be pretty light at night and the katabatic winds shouldnt be a problem. By morning the easterlies will start to build again so head in before they build too much.

Yes, you will be well clear of the shallow water north of Cayo Largo.

From the Caymans, the run up to Cienfuegos is a nice beam or even broad reach in the prevailing easterlies. You could pull into Cayo Largo if necessary but be very cautious about entering through Pasa Mal Tiempo at night. If you arrive at night I highly recommend entering through the pass just west of Mal Tiempo (Cayo Hijo de los Ballenatos) Though Mal Tiempo is buoyed the markers are confusing and not well placed. Ballenatos is also marked, easy to use and can be entered at night if necessary.

Entering Bahia de Cienfuegos is easy, lots of deep water and well marked as it is used regularly by cargo ships.

Have a good trip
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Old 21-04-2013, 07:37   #3
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Re: Route to Cienfuegos from Grand Cayman

We went up & back a couple of years ago. Very nice sail on the way up, beam reach. Hove to half way up for dinner and then carried on. Arrived at entrance a bit before 1000 and enter easily.
The trip back the wind shifted to the SE which made Cayman on the nose. Took a bit longer back but was still a nice sail.
One of my favorite trips.
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Old 22-04-2013, 05:21   #4
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Re: Route to Cienfuegos from Grand Cayman

Many thanks to you both for taking the time to respond.
Looking forward to the adventure.
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Old 30-07-2013, 09:59   #5
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Re: Route to Cienfuegos from Grand Cayman

Did this adventure pan out? If so how did you go?
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Old 30-07-2013, 11:21   #6
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Re: Route to Cienfuegos from Grand Cayman

great trip
recommend it highly
navigation took a little planning but easy to accomplish.
you can email me privately for any specific questions you might have.
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