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Old 30-07-2009, 09:26   #16
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Ya know... if anyone is looking for a book that tells you everything you need to know to get from point A to Point B, when to leave, how to do it... I suggest you buy an RV. There isnt one. They are all tools and just other people's experiences. Take them all with a grain of salt from Roth to Van Sant. Make your own decisions...
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Old 30-07-2009, 09:35   #17
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Well Chris Parkers Weather book came today so I will try to read this and then go back to the weather section in Van Sant's. We don't care how long we hole up in the Bahama / Exumas but I don't want to spend weeks / months in DR. We will get to the Exumas and decide which way to go from there.

Thanks all
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Old 30-07-2009, 09:37   #18
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Old 30-07-2009, 09:40   #19
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I need to add that this string went way off my original question. I was simply asking if those who actually read the weather section of Van Sant's book found it readable and understandable. I was not really looking for a AAA Triptik But I anjoy reading and learning from all of your experiences.
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Old 30-07-2009, 09:43   #20
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Janice,

Once you get to Georgetown there will be seminars and get-togethers of folks that are going further. There will be those that have done the trip many times and newbies. This is the best spot to get more info. As for spending weeks and months in the DR, that's where Bruce lives now so you might talk to him directly. Occasionally he comes up to the Exumas too, in a motor sailer... mostly motor. And, in answer to your post, I find his book readable and understandable although some folks object to his rather blunt style.
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Old 30-07-2009, 09:46   #21
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Janice, My comment above was not directed at you, just a general comment. People seem to like to pick apart book's that people have put together, and sometimes I think the expectation is too high. :>)
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Old 31-07-2009, 09:54   #22
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I was simply asking if those who actually read the weather section of Van Sant's book found it readable and understandable.
I found it readable, accurate, and valuable, although his writing style comes across to me as a little ornery sometimes. People have said that about me also.

Keep in mind that the book was compiled and written in a different time. Back when cruisers didn't have the internet to tell them how to fix their boats, where to stop, where to eat dinner ashore, etc. ad nauseum. We didn't have Chris Parker to tell us whether to leave or stay another day. People once made those weather decisions for themselves. Bruce wrote that book for folks whose only source of weather information was listening to Metal Mike from NWS and scribbling notes with a grease pencil on their laminated charts of the Caribbean.

My own copy of 'Passages South" was read and referred to so many times that it now looks a hundred years old, and once you've memorized the book then it's all understandable, I guess. When we were taking our 1962 30' sailboat down the thorny path in the 90's I can wholeheartedly say that the book was invaluable. Maybe now with an internet full of 'expert advisers' at the ready to dispense advice we can just tuck Bruce's book down into that deep, far locker with the sextant.

Nah, I'll keep mine out front in the book shelf, worn and beaten as it is, and keep telling the newbies who come aboard how it was once the Cruisers Bible for heading South.
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Old 31-07-2009, 10:40   #23
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well put Fishspearit
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Old 31-07-2009, 12:17   #24
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...We didn't have Chris Parker to tell us whether to leave or stay another day. People once made those weather decisions for themselves...
Any skipper who allows Chris Parker (or Bruce Van Sant's book ) to "tell them when to leave or stay" is either completely naive or stupid. A good skipper still makes those decisions for himself, and ultimately bears the accountability.

But to not proactively take advantage of all available information could be considered irresponsible. Experienced weather forecasters like Chris Parker and Herb Hilgenberg provide invaluable services at no charge to those who choose to listen.
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Old 31-07-2009, 12:48   #25
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C'mon Hud, can't you allow even one small grain of embellishment for the sake of making a point?

I can sympathize with the guide book writers like Van Sant, because no matter what they write someone will invariably misinterpret some of it.
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Old 31-07-2009, 12:51   #26
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Shoudda known a guy with a black eyepatch was an embellisher!
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Old 31-07-2009, 15:16   #27
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I found it readable, accurate, and valuable, although his writing style comes across to me as a little ornery sometimes. People have said that about me also....

:
I had the same impression. I've never done the entire path, and for the parts of it I did, I did not follow his step by step instructions. What was helpful for me was that it got me thinking more about weather systems and how one may or may not be able to use certain features of these systems to one's advantage. A very helpful basic lesson for me was to realize cold fronts are not just nasty weather to be hidden from, but can offer an enjoyable ride south. The apparent wind on such a run, may be much preferable into a prevailing wind of 10 knots less. I've certainly had a few times where understanding land and sea breezes came in very handy as well.

Using the weather means both understanding how it works and having some indication as to what it will do (forecasts). I don't think either is more important than the other. They are different pieces of information which when combined can afford more comfortable cruising.
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Old 31-07-2009, 15:25   #28
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Any skipper who allows Chris Parker (or Bruce Van Sant's book ) to "tell them when to leave or stay" is either completely naive or stupid....
I agree. They call them cruising guides for a reason.

In addition to being prone to the same mistakes we all make, the information is general information, not dogma. I have a saying about generalities.
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Old 31-07-2009, 15:58   #29
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Van Sant

I've had dinner on VanSant's boat, he will pretty much tell you it's his opinion, take it or leave it, but he doesnt want to discuss every nuance of it right or wrong... he can be a little ornery.... but hey, it's just him... No one here is a little opinionated right?
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Old 31-07-2009, 16:40   #30
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I have not read it.

I plan to look at this book when (if) I ever head that way. Another opinion on how to do it.

Cove Hopping South to the Virgin Islands by J.A. Rogers
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