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Old 13-06-2013, 11:08   #16
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Re: St Martin to Panama in One Piece

We sailed the Columbia coast two winters ago. Most wind we experienced was 35 gusting 40kts. On the stern so not so bad. We ducked into Marina Santa Marta and enjoyed a few days there. Check Passageweather.com to give you an idea of the winds in the Caribbean. Good luck on your passage.
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Old 14-06-2013, 17:30   #17
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Re: St Martin to Panama in One Piece

Vic, if you had time, going to the ABCs would be a wise move. We spent Xmas there in 2011, then New Years in Santa Marta and arrived in the San Blas a few days later.

But it is now June, so you have to really get moving. If you dont want to spend a year in the Caribbean (now that would be a better alternative!), it would be wiser to go straight to Panama. Many seem to arrive in Panama with horror stories and various breakages, especially those who come from the ABCs or Colombia.

Here is a taste...



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Old 14-06-2013, 18:07   #18
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Re: St Martin to Panama in One Piece

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Vic, if you had time, going to the ABCs would be a wise move. We spent Xmas there in 2011, then New Years in Santa Marta and arrived in the San Blas a few days later.

But it is now June, so you have to really get moving. If you dont want to spend a year in the Caribbean (now that would be a better alternative!), it would be wiser to go straight to Panama. Many seem to arrive in Panama with horror stories and various breakages, especially those who come from the ABCs or Colombia.

Here is a taste...



Hi Jim,
Great videos.

The weather seems to be a bit all over the place this year, and it is late.
Next week there are likely to be gale force winds off Columbia, and right at the moment a tropical low is making the ABCs rather unpleasant.

It looks like a wx window could happen on Thursday with good conditions for leaving St Martin and moderating conditions off Columbia by the time we get there.
I don't know if we'll have time to spend a few days in San Blas but we will if we have to wait for a canal transit date.
Otherwise it will have to be next time around.

We know all the good reasons to spend another season in the Caribbean, but we have personal reasons for needing to get back to Aus this year.
C'est la Vie.

Vic
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Old 14-06-2013, 18:19   #19
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Re: St Martin to Panama in One Piece

We just did the colombia trip, 2 weeks ago.
You can straight shot it but I would not.
I would not miss Bonaire, and once you are there, the wx windows are more immediate and closer, and easier. Supplies are great, check in is free, and the diving is the best! There is free Wifi, and the moorings only cost $10 per day. Oh, Great Laundry etc...
From Bonaire we went between los monjes, and then clipped the corner at Cabo de la vela. Stopped there for a nights sleep, then left the next day direct to the San Blas islands, another do not miss!
Its the wrong time to go through the canal, so why not come here to the San Blas?

Can send you more info by email if you like. See our web page for our position reports.

The thing about the coastal route is that you can dial up the wind you want, literally is a knot less every 2 miles in or out, so if 35kts is not comfortable get closer and you will have 25. Also the near coastal gives you a nice current boost, 2 knots! We saw 10 knots and more several times.

Near 5 bays, the wind is high near the coast, but its 20 miles of "hanging on" and then you can duck towards Sta Marta and get the shelter behind that cape.

See you here soon!
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Old 14-06-2013, 20:11   #20
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Re: St Martin to Panama in One Piece

Geez, Vic. Just go straight to panama from St Martin.
Stay the hell away from the ABC's. they are one of the worlds best locations for wind surfing. And what do they need? STRONG WINDS ALL THE TIME.

Just go straight downhill to Colon.

By the way, Vic, there are no weather windows. you are in the Hurricane season! 20 knots IS the weather window! 100 knots is the flip side.

Get the F down there now before July!


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Old 15-06-2013, 06:48   #21
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Re: St Martin to Panama in One Piece

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Geez, Vic. Just go straight to panama from St Martin.
Stay the hell away from the ABC's. they are one of the worlds best locations for wind surfing. And what do they need? STRONG WINDS ALL THE TIME.

Just go straight downhill to Colon.

By the way, Vic, there are no weather windows. you are in the Hurricane season! 20 knots IS the weather window! 100 knots is the flip side.

Get the F down there now before July!


Mark
LMAO... Time is the enemy and we wish we could play around here more, but that will have to be the next time around.

So, we are going direct and there is benefit in letting the effects of the current tropical low effecting the area off Columbia pass.

20 kts doesn't worry us... this barge is happy with that.

Maybe not a wx window, more like a half open shutter, coming up for departure on Thursday, Columbia should have moderated by the time we get there, and on to Panama.

And I thought this life was supposed to be relaxing!

Vic
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Old 15-06-2013, 06:52   #22
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Re: St Martin to Panama in One Piece

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Originally Posted by sy_gilana View Post
We just did the colombia trip, 2 weeks ago.
You can straight shot it but I would not.
I would not miss Bonaire, and once you are there, the wx windows are more immediate and closer, and easier. Supplies are great, check in is free, and the diving is the best! There is free Wifi, and the moorings only cost $10 per day. Oh, Great Laundry etc...
From Bonaire we went between los monjes, and then clipped the corner at Cabo de la vela. Stopped there for a nights sleep, then left the next day direct to the San Blas islands, another do not miss!
Its the wrong time to go through the canal, so why not come here to the San Blas?

Can send you more info by email if you like. See our web page for our position reports.

The thing about the coastal route is that you can dial up the wind you want, literally is a knot less every 2 miles in or out, so if 35kts is not comfortable get closer and you will have 25. Also the near coastal gives you a nice current boost, 2 knots! We saw 10 knots and more several times.

Near 5 bays, the wind is high near the coast, but its 20 miles of "hanging on" and then you can duck towards Sta Marta and get the shelter behind that cape.

See you here soon!
Very tempting, but we've run out of time and we have to get into the Pacific asap.
But we will be back and will make sure we can enjoy the area more, particularly San Blas.

Vic
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Old 15-06-2013, 08:06   #23
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Re: St Martin to Panama in One Piece

Not wanting to start a new thread, anyone have any experience with a more southerly route to Panama that includes the ABC's?
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Old 15-06-2013, 08:52   #24
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Re: St Martin to Panama in One Piece

Sure, leave the A island and head to Panama (well, don't hit Punta Galenas - but after that it is a straight shot). It is all down wind and nothing is in your way (see previous warning).

If you choose to go to Columbia first (highly recommended), stay close to the coast. The higher winds and waves are off shore, while the coast is more moderated. You can even almost day-hop to Santa Marta or Cartagena, but if you have the weather window, I strongly recommend going straight through. You may be holed up in an anchorage for a long time waiting for another window.

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Old 04-07-2013, 10:55   #25
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Re: St Martin to Panama in One Piece

are we there yet?
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Old 09-07-2013, 16:11   #26
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How was the leg, Vic?

Stop off in the San Blas?
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Old 09-07-2013, 16:18   #27
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Re: St Martin to Panama in One Piece

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How was the leg, Vic?

Stop off in the San Blas?
I wish we had. We'll definitely have to come back and take it slowly next time.

We're getting measured this week and should be through the canal next week.
If there are any delays of a week or so we'll head back to San Blas for a few days.

Vic
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Old 10-07-2013, 18:02   #28
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Re: St Martin to Panama in One Piece

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Sure, leave the A island and head to Panama (well, don't hit Punta Galenas - but after that it is a straight shot). It is all down wind and nothing is in your way (see previous warning).

If you choose to go to Columbia first (highly recommended), stay close to the coast. The higher winds and waves are off shore, while the coast is more moderated. You can even almost day-hop to Santa Marta or Cartagena, but if you have the weather window, I strongly recommend going straight through. You may be holed up in an anchorage for a long time waiting for another window.

Mark
We are planing on doing Grenada to the ABC'S then on to Cartehenga and San Blas leaving early August from Grenada. My understanding was that once you leave Aruba you should go to the 2000 metre line to avoid the steep inshore waves . I have heard so many horror stories about the passage between Aruba and Cartehenga . More info on how you could "almost day hop" to Santa Marta would be appreciated.
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Old 10-07-2013, 18:10   #29
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Re: St Martin to Panama in One Piece

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We are planing on doing Grenada to the ABC'S then on to Cartehenga and San Blas leaving early August from Grenada. My understanding was that once you leave Aruba you should go to the 2000 metre line to avoid the steep inshore waves . I have heard so many horror stories about the passage between Aruba and Cartehenga . More info on how you could "almost day hop" to Santa Marta would be appreciated.
this trip is only dangerous,aruba to cartagena,when you have winds f 5-6,wait for a lull in the weather,f 3-4 and you will have a smooth ride.
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Old 10-07-2013, 18:35   #30
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Re: St Martin to Panama in One Piece

We had big wind and big seas off shore. Eventually we got tired of spilling our coffee and headed for the Columbia coast. The weather definitely moderated and by the time we were off Cartagena we were down to 5kts from all over the place. We ended up with a couple of days motoring to Panama.

But the dolphins were nice

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