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Old 12-06-2013, 21:06   #1
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St Martin to Panama in One Piece

We're sitting in St Martin waiting for a weather window to sail to Panama.

Early next week there are going to be potential gale force winds off Columbia, so we wait.

Or we could sail to the ABCs and try to work our way along the coast, but at the moment the outlook is for high winds down there too.

Just about everyone we bump into has their horror story of passing Columbia when sailing to Panama.

What has been the experience of others here?

Vic
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Old 12-06-2013, 21:17   #2
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Re: St Martin to Panama in One Piece

If it was me... I'd go straight to Panama from St Martin...

just me
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Old 12-06-2013, 23:02   #3
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Re: St Martin to Panama in One Piece

We sailed down to Dominica then turned for panama late in the season, passed close enough to south america if needed to change course but did not, picked the weather and had very light winds all the way for 5 days.

The feared choppy seas was not to be seen
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Old 12-06-2013, 23:18   #4
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Re: St Martin to Panama in One Piece

20 years ago, I did Antigua to Panama. direct in late May or early June. Almost all DDW with medium to heavy winds. Did the middle 5 days with the main double reefed and prevented, and the #3 poled out. Made great daily runs, but I would have hated to turn around for a MOB or any other reason. The Aries steered the whole way.___If you have a reliable windvane or enough crew for downwind sailing, then it will just be a windy trip.___Just my opinion.____Grant.
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Old 13-06-2013, 06:11   #5
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Re: St Martin to Panama in One Piece

Thanks for the input.

It's our inclination to go direct too, and listening to Chris Parker it looks like there may be a weather window for a departure a week from now.

Vic
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Old 13-06-2013, 06:16   #6
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Re: St Martin to Panama in One Piece

we went the other way - panama to jamaica and as you waited on a wx window and talked to chris -- we had a great sail - 48 deg on the wind for 5 days with winds not over 15k - so you would be doing a down hill sail and wow sure would be better than our close haul --
good luck and wait and enjoy the san blas - they are incredible

just our thougts and opinion
chuck patty and svsoulmates
in angra azores
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Old 13-06-2013, 06:29   #7
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pirate Re: St Martin to Panama in One Piece

Hi Vic.. did it straight from Marigot Bay to Colon in 6 and a bit days.. wind of the stern quarter most of the way with jib and mizzen.. kept around 100 miles off the Columbian coast.. nothing bad.. just a bit rolly polly....
Have a grand crossing...
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Old 13-06-2013, 06:52   #8
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Re: St Martin to Panama in One Piece

We went from the Bahamas through the Windward Passage directly to Panama and never had winds over 20 knots. The strong winds off the coast of Colombia seem to be a very common occurrence but they do seem to be localized so if you stay north a bit you miss them. I would go direct. If you go the ABCs and then west you will get much stronger winds.
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Old 13-06-2013, 07:28   #9
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Re: St Martin to Panama in One Piece

Quote:
Originally Posted by VirtualVagabond View Post
We're sitting in St Martin waiting for a weather window to sail to Panama.

Early next week there are going to be potential gale force winds off Columbia, so we wait.

Or we could sail to the ABCs and try to work our way along the coast, but at the moment the outlook is for high winds down there too.

Just about everyone we bump into has their horror story of passing Columbia when sailing to Panama.

What has been the experience of others here?

Vic
Well, you must balance possibly strong but regular conditions off Columbia's tip with the risk of getting a possibly pretty unpredictable TD/TS/TC at where you are sitting.

I have looked up NWS radiofax files and yes with this configuration you are likely to get strong Columbian trades ;-). Gribs forecast 25 to 30 knots in the 48+ horizon, for a time. Meanwhile there are no signs of another TD forming in the tropical Atlantic, so you may have your reasons to be sitting out.

We sailed the waters (ABC to Panama) and the boat ahead was a sturdy Tradewinds. They got scared and turned round. We sailed our much smaller (26') thing and got to Panama without any issues. The wind piped up and we just adjusted our sailing mode to heavy going and that's that. Strong weather for a time but nothing dangerous for a well prepared, well sailed boat.

The weather is caused by a stationary rather than traveling system and the current is with you so the seas tend to build tall, but not irregular.

Cheers,
b.
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Old 13-06-2013, 08:00   #10
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Re: St Martin to Panama in One Piece

All good input, thanks

Right at the moment we appear to be in the best place to grab that weather window when it comes, and there are no immediately obvious threats in the Leewards.

My immediate concern is rising temperatures... in the refrigerator!
Just another day on a boat I guess...

Vic
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Old 13-06-2013, 08:18   #11
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pirate Re: St Martin to Panama in One Piece

Quote:
Originally Posted by VirtualVagabond View Post
All good input, thanks

Right at the moment we appear to be in the best place to grab that weather window when it comes, and there are no immediately obvious threats in the Leewards.

My immediate concern is rising temperatures... in the refrigerator!
Just another day on a boat I guess...

Vic
Take turns in there... 2 overloads them..
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Old 13-06-2013, 08:33   #12
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Re: St Martin to Panama in One Piece

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Take turns in there... 2 overloads them..
But it's much more fun with two.
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Old 13-06-2013, 08:51   #13
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pirate Re: St Martin to Panama in One Piece

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But it's much more fun with two.
Cause and effect.... Fun = ^^ temp^era^ture ^^
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Old 13-06-2013, 09:49   #14
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Re: St Martin to Panama in One Piece

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Cause and effect.... Fun = ^^ temp^era^ture ^^
Hence the refrigerator.
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Old 13-06-2013, 11:00   #15
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Re: St Martin to Panama in One Piece

You guys are hopeless!!!!

But the little man in the fridge... puts the lighty on...

Must have something because Sandy keeps going back there...
but with it so cold...

Bastard... that's why he's raising the temp!!!
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