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Old 18-06-2012, 09:36   #1
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Caymans to where???

Looks like we're about to find ourselves owners of a boat in the Cayman Islands... right in the hurricane season and very exposed.

Current owners were inclined to head down to San Blas, but looking at Cornell that doesn't appear to be an easy option... shallow banks, steep seas and strong winds.

Any thoughts for alternatives?

Seems a better run to Honduras/Guatamala area... shorter distance, better wind direction, and seem to remember hearing Rio Dulce is pleasant and a good hurricane hole.

Thoughts?
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Old 18-06-2012, 09:44   #2
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Re: Caymans to where???

I understand the Panama/lower central america area etc is fraught with huge thunderstorms most the summer.... (can anyone confirm this?) Might be just as easy to head to Grenada or Trini...?
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Old 18-06-2012, 10:00   #3
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We're headed to Rio Dulce for the season - but maybe we'll go to Roatan first, depending on the weather and when we can get out of Key West. Trinidad would be a very long and ugly slog, from what I've heard and read, especially on a new-to-you boat. Looking forward to hearing how others advise you, who have experience in the W Carib.
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Old 18-06-2012, 10:08   #4
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Re: Caymans to where???

Sounds like similar thinking and was also considering Roatan first.
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Old 18-06-2012, 10:25   #5
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Re: Caymans to where???

Check out this thread:
Getting Out of the Rio Dulce !
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Old 18-06-2012, 10:39   #6
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Re: Caymans to where???

sent you an email out lining the reasons for not getting trapped in rio dulce!

a lot will depend on what you plan on doing once hurricane season is over,if you plan on heading into the pacific panama/cloumbia is the obvious choice as you wont have to fight your way east from honduras!

how ever if planning on going to the usa it might not be such a bad spot or east to the west indies .
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Old 18-06-2012, 10:45   #7
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Re: Caymans to where???

Have a look at this. Puerto Aventuras :: Marina ::Riviera Maya

I have asked about this place and have been assured that it is an approved hurricane hole and that there have been a number of yachts resident for a couple of years but I have not had a chance to visit and ask the residents personally. It is only a short hop from the Caymans, and relatively close to get down to Rio Dulce.
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Old 18-06-2012, 11:55   #8
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Re: Caymans to where???

Quote:
Originally Posted by atoll View Post
sent you an email out lining the reasons for not getting trapped in rio dulce!

a lot will depend on what you plan on doing once hurricane season is over,if you plan on heading into the pacific panama/cloumbia is the obvious choice as you wont have to fight your way east from honduras!

how ever if planning on going to the usa it might not be such a bad spot or east to the west indies .
Thanks Atoll,
Got your email. Some good thinking there.
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Old 18-06-2012, 12:15   #9
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Re: Caymans to where???

Quote:
Originally Posted by VirtualVagabond View Post
Thanks Atoll,
Got your email. Some good thinking there.
no worries,you are probably fairly safe there till august.
if water temp is higher than normal in the gulf of mexico then the trend is for hurricanes to track north of the islands.
in other years where gom is cooler they track south of the islands!
might want to check this out.

maybe somebody can post some links to this years hurricane prediction forecast.
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Old 18-06-2012, 13:30   #10
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Re: Caymans to where???

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no worries,you are probably fairly safe there till august.
if water temp is higher than normal in the gulf of mexico then the trend is for hurricanes to track north of the islands.
in other years where gom is cooler they track south of the islands!
might want to check this out.

maybe somebody can post some links to this years hurricane prediction forecast.
South Coast of Jamaica is looking the most appealing.
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Old 18-06-2012, 13:42   #11
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Re: Caymans to where???

From the Caymens it's really head SE to the ABC's and work your way back east along the chain, or head east to Jamaica and then keep going.

The problem with Jamaica is there is nothing on the southern coast as all for boaters. Some very nice cruising grounds, but most of the anchorages are partially exposed, and there are no repair yards at all. Boat parts are very expensive, and hard to find, and people to do work just can't be found (except for wood work, and sewing). Though it is a better jumping off point for the ABC's than the Caymens.

Going east is pretty brutal because of the prevailing winds and current (you will be upwind and up current the whole way to Hispanola). And I wouldn't want to stop there unless you have to.
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Old 18-06-2012, 17:29   #12
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Re: Caymans to where???

Quote:
Originally Posted by VirtualVagabond View Post
South Coast of Jamaica is looking the most appealing.
hurricane hole in montego bay,with sheltered overnight stops in negril,bluefields,black river etc then a clear beam reach south in deep water.
much safer and easier than going the other ways

Jamaica Cruising Guide » The Forgotten Caribbean – Jamaica
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Old 18-06-2012, 18:43   #13
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Re: Caymans to where???

Come back to Jamaica...
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Old 18-06-2012, 19:27   #14
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Re: Caymans to where???

more good advice here from nick on jedi who has done the trip

Getting Out of the Rio Dulce !
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Old 18-06-2012, 19:57   #15
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Re: Caymans to where???

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more good advice here from nick on jedi who has done the trip

Getting Out of the Rio Dulce !
I was just about to post here too The sail is easy this time of year as there are no trade-winds, just tropical waves with depressions, storms or worse... but you see those coming from the Azores already.

You may even find that taking enough diesel is the biggest problem but even that solves itself when the next tropical wave catches up with you.

I would wait for little to no wind, then motor straight to Port Antonio across Jamaica north coast. Just wait for the weather window with little to no wind.

From there it is a nice sail into the safety of Panama (leave as a wave passes unless there are too many big squalls in it), but if you have time to enjoy yourself, do the Colombia coast like I describe in the other post. Once you get south of the northern point of Colombia (Punta Galina) you are safe from hurricanes.

cheers,
Nick.
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