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Old 15-04-2009, 06:43   #1
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San Juan, Puerto Rico to Cartagena, Colombia Passage

Hi fellow cruisers, this is JC on board sv Softair at the San Juan bay, here is the boat:


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We (2 or 3 persons) are going to initiate a passage from San Juan, Puerto Rico to Cartagena, Colombia where I used to live (going to San Blas Islands later on this year) I would like to request your different point of views regarding WEATHER for this passage, we would like to get as much feedback as possible. Our planned route is San Juan to the north waters of Puerto Rico and from there straight to Cartagena.

Thanks in advance,
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Old 15-04-2009, 07:02   #2
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Hi, JC.

I've not done that passage, but I have been paying attention to Caribbean weather for the last five years or so.

You'll likely have a good passage this time of year. The Trades are still blowing pretty consistently from the East, and the summertime tropical waves haven't begun yet. The weather off the north coast of Colombia can get pretty nasty, from what I've seen. There's a persistent Low that frequently sits there and churns things up. Some have described that area as some of the roughest sailing that they've encountered, so take care.

Have a safe voyage.
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Old 15-04-2009, 07:07   #3
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I've not made that passage either, but if your concern is weather, I'd go around the east side of Puerto Rico, around Fajardo and down the Vieques passage into the caribbean. Adds a few miles but avoids the Mona passage that can be nasty in weather.
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Old 15-04-2009, 07:26   #4
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Thanks Hud and Retired Sailor, we will consider Fajardo instead of mona.

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Old 15-04-2009, 07:42   #5
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I was just through the Mona Passage a week and a half ago, and it was as calm as a lake, but RS is right, it can really get nasty. The good part is that you'll be transiting the eastern portion, in the lee of Puerto Rico. I would check PassageWeather.com before you shove off and go the Mona route if it's not blowing a gale. It'll save you a half day on your passage, and heading back to Farjardo is against wind and current.
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Old 15-04-2009, 07:45   #6
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Thanks Hud I think your rational makes sense...going that way unless Wx shows nasty waters.
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Old 15-04-2009, 08:24   #7
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HAHAHAHAHAHAHHAAAAAA, Have a safe, and wonderful sail home.......i2f
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Old 15-04-2009, 09:38   #8
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i2fro where the hell have you been? sailing? I don't see your posts that frequently now haha

Thanks for your wishes, we will try very hard to have fun lol
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Old 15-04-2009, 09:44   #9
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I was just through the Mona Passage a week and a half ago, and it was as calm as a lake, but RS is right, it can really get nasty.
Did you see any humpback whales? I was there a month ago and saw a few pretty active pods a few miles offshore. It was really calm that day as well. I saw a report of humpbacks sighted off New York a few days ago, so could be they've already made their passage north.

I just checked the passage weather site and you're right, there's a low sitting above Colombia blowing in the 30s and stirring up the seas.
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Old 15-04-2009, 10:13   #10
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Checking passageWeather.com here too and trying to figure the best window around April the 20th to sail to Cartagena...
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Old 15-04-2009, 10:33   #11
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Don't really see a window situation, just the persistent low that Hud talked about. But it doesn't look real nasty, just some rough sailing the last day. The mona passage also looks OK, though as you know the caribbean can have these minor micro waves forming and passing quickly at any time -- like we had last night and this morning. At least you should have a nice broad reach most of the way, and maybe some following seas the last day.
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Old 15-04-2009, 10:37   #12
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RetiredSailor I agree with you if this pattern continues as passageWeather.com is showing I can surely expect a nice broad reach and the "usual" rough seas around the north coast of Colombia that are precisely known by that, other than that it looks like the right time to do it before we are officially declared into the hurricane season.
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Old 15-04-2009, 15:45   #13
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Did you see any humpback whales? I was there a month ago and saw a few pretty active pods a few miles offshore. It was really calm that day as well. I saw a report of humpbacks sighted off New York a few days ago, so could be they've already made their passage north...
It was nighttime when we went through, so no opportunities for whale spotting. I did see a humpback between St. Thomas and Culebra a few years ago. It breached in front of us and startled the heck out of me. Majestic animals!
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Old 01-01-2012, 11:28   #14
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Re: San Juan, Puerto Rico to Cartagena, Colombia Passage

Hi all... I know this thread is a bit old, but it was helpful. We recently got posted to Colombia for work and have been looking for a 20'-30' cruiser to sail on a decent-sized reservoir close to Bogota. There are not a lot of boats in this market, and when they come up they are very overpriced. One thing we were considering was sailing one from Puerto Rico to Cartagena. For those who have done the passage through the Leeward islands, is this something to do on such a small boat? We chartered a 52' Beneteau in the BVI 2 years ago, and the stretch from Virgin Gorda to Anegada was fun, but big swells that tossed the boat about pretty good. We're trying to determine whether it's safer to sail ourselves, or hire a crew... and get an idea on prices.
Any thoughts?
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Old 01-01-2012, 11:36   #15
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Re: San Juan, Puerto Rico to Cartagena, Colombia Passage

It's been a while since he put his boat up for sale, but you might want to contact JC to see if it's still on the market in Cartagena.

Cheoy Lee Offshore 41 Ketch, Designed by Ray Richards

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