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Old 30-01-2012, 08:24   #1
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Trip Advice

My family and i have a three month cruise planned from 2/15 until may 15. We planned on having our boat ( fountaine pajot mahi) transported from Tallahassee, Fl to fajardo puerto rico by a captain and then we would begin our trip there.

From there we planned on cruising puerto rico us and bvis for two months and then spend last month traveling back home or at least as far as bahamas. Heres the trouble part the captain picked up the boat 10 days ago and is now in George town, bahamas but the captain we hired says he doesn't have a weather window to move on and wants us to fly him home until weather conditions look more favorable.

This puts serious change to our plans as its unlikely if we wait to have boat in puerto rico before we arrive. So should we hire a different captain. Should we start our trip where we planned on ending it and work our own way down to puerto rico which i have some reservations since this was the part of the trip we felt uncomfortable doing as we are hesitant to make crossing to dominican republic and mona passage to puerto rico on our own in february.

We have done a decent amount of coastal cruising but have never made a crossing like this most we have done was a 24 hour crossing from st. Petersburg florida to panhandle of florida with a captain on our boat. So any advice would be greatly appreciated as this may be the last time we could make such a trip with our kids being at perfect age.
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Old 30-01-2012, 09:47   #2
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Re: Trip Advice

The weather window isn't going to change for a new captain. Since you are not comfortable making the trip to DR & PR by yourselves, you might consider canceling your reservatiions and using your time to cruise the Bahamas.
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Old 30-01-2012, 09:58   #3
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Re: Trip Advice

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The weather window isn't going to change for a new captain. Since you are not comfortable making the trip to DR & PR by yourselves, you might consider canceling your reservatiions and using your time to cruise the Bahamas.
Plus 1 on cruising the bahamas.
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Old 30-01-2012, 10:18   #4
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Re: Trip Advice

First thing you did wrong was not have the contract include this provision. Second thing...did you research this guys credentials before signing him on. Third thing...What is the weather? Is it Hurricane or simply a minor storm? Is your boat equiped to handle a storm. A seasoned Captain should be able to deal with minor weather impacts. Only other avenue is to postpone your trip or find someone more capable if possible. Your post doesn't suggest the Captain's qualifications so this is a difficult call.
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Old 30-01-2012, 10:26   #5
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Re: Trip Advice

They don't call it the Thorny Path for nothing. Rather than beating up the boat and your family, have fun cruising the Bahamas.
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Old 30-01-2012, 10:30   #6
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Re: Trip Advice

Better to fire the captain and run the boat yourselves to the keys then over to the Bahamas. Less expensive, better diving, and no long runs if you choose to do the Abacos.
All the best
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Old 30-01-2012, 10:42   #7
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Re: Trip Advice

I concur about the Bahamas, but you may have done that already? It's hard to say from this end if your captain has wussed out on you or if there are real weather problems. Most delivery people I've met (not many) seem to just push on and get 'er done short of storms... If I had a choice of going anywhere on the path... it would be the Bahamas...
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Old 30-01-2012, 10:51   #8
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Re: Trip Advice

First thing you may want to do is link up with a forecasting service and determine what the weather window really is.
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Old 30-01-2012, 12:15   #9
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We did check his credentials hes transported our boat twice before but mostly coastal. He owns asa school. The weather calls for 15kts20 ktd se for mext 4 days not sure after that with merging seas 7 to 10 for most of thst tome frame. Im not sure if he had other commitments that were coming up but he put it to us that we are paying him $300 per day to sit and wait. Either way i think we will start the trip in georgetown and slowly work our way to turks and caicos enjoying what the bahamas have to offer until theres a weather window and maybe a few boats to flotilla the crossing. We would spend the whole trip there but have family awaiting us in puerto rico that we eventually want to see but no rush.
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Old 30-01-2012, 14:59   #10
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Talking Re: Trip Advice

i totally agree w/ the others about hanging out in the bahamas...they are soooooo much more beautiful than downisland and so many islands to explore...also, no worry about crime, etc. if your "captain" is worried about east winds in the 15-20 range , he must not realize that THAT is the weather pattern in the caribbean on any normal day.

you can put your boat on a mooring in george town, go down there on the 15th, have fun slowly exploring the bahamas out islands and head to p.r. later on when the weather is more settled . instead of the mona passage, check out going under haiti/d.r. on the south side and heading to p.r. that way...be adventurous and you'll see more/have more fun...
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Old 30-01-2012, 15:36   #11
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Tell me more about haiti route. Ive read about it but would like to hear from people ho have done it.
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Old 30-01-2012, 16:10   #12
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Re: Trip Advice

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Originally Posted by 1rkghost View Post
Tell me more about haiti route. Ive read about it but would like to hear from people ho have done it.
I delivered a cat from Jamaica to BVI the other day via the South of Haiti. It is not a nice trip as you are bashing into the prevailing wind all the way. The only decent place to stop in Haiti on the South side is Ile a Vache but customs clearance was a bit of a hassle. the rest of Haiti is rather badly affected still by the aftermath of the earthquake and not really a place to explore at the moment....(ask me how I know!)

From there its a long way across the bottom of DR then Ponce in PR is an ok stop, but you've still got an overnighter to get to the Virgin islands from there.

So sorry to hear about the problems. Looking at the weather, it doesnt look pleasant for the next few days but it aint that bad, so I've sent you a pm!

best for now, Tony
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Old 30-01-2012, 16:24   #13
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Re: Trip Advice

It's tough to get from the Bahamas to Puerto Rico and the VIs in the winter--a real bash. The only feasible way is to wait and wait and wait until you get a calmer stretch and then motor/motorsail as fast as possible in the direction you want to go. I wouldn't recommend it for a family trip unless you are all up for a tough trip.
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Old 31-01-2012, 22:13   #14
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Not sure where your delivery captain started, but it isn't a secret to stay north while making easting from Florida to Puerto Rico. If he is truly delivering your boat and not cruising..there is no good reason to be in George Town. If he got himself north of 26 N and went east he would be motorsailing in light easterlies right now south of a big H pressure for a few days, once he got far enough east he could fall off to a close/beam reach for PR. Get yourself someone else to bring your boat there that is comfortable with an offshore passage.

The prospect of sailing from the Bahamas to Pr/usvi with your family is not impossible, but there is much to know.. It could be quite unpleasant depending on your experience and comfort level. Remember you would be beating for 700 nm into the sometimes unrelenting trades. Stopping on the way is possible, but you have to be prepared to move when you have a window and be tuned in to weather at all times. If your heart is set on this pick up a copy of A gentlemans guide to passages south and you must have a way to get weather on the ssb or by email.

Many cruisers faced with this long beat wait in George town or luperon for months or even years...unwilling to push on for fear of an uncomfortable beat.

Good luck.
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Old 31-01-2012, 22:21   #15
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PS don't go south of Hispaniola on way from bahamas to Puerto Rico. You would give up way too much ground to windward.
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