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Old 17-06-2015, 13:12   #16
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Re: Is the Caribbean considered "Blue Water"

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Originally Posted by adlib2 View Post
Disagree entirely: You can be across in one day in day light and if need be select your weather window.
You will never encounter conditions found mid ocean.
Whaaa??? Gulfstream off the East Coast US is some of the baddest ass water in the world on the wrong day. You are way off here. Mid ocean can be some of the calmest in the world. Try the Sargasso on for size, for example.
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Old 17-06-2015, 13:22   #17
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Re: Is the Caribbean considered "Blue Water"

Look, Blue Water simply refers to the colour of the water. It is called "blue water" because water is, in fact, blue. In the open ocean and particularly in low latitude temperate to tropical zones the water is poor in nutrients and therefore algal blooms and bacteria as well as phytoplankton are much thinner or nearly absent in some areas. This means the water returns to its actual colour, which, in large volume, is a distinct blue similar to lapis lazuli. It is a common but completely wrong myth that the oceans are blue as they reflect the sky. They are blue whether overcast or not. Coastal waters are usually rich in nutrients run off the continents and therefore have sediment, algae, bacteria, and phyto/zooplankton in large quantities, rendering them between brown and green generally, or black in the higher latitudes.

"Blue Water" in no way signifies whether a stretch of water is treacherous or hostile in terms of currents, waves, etc. Actually COASTAL waters are generally far more treacherous and dangerous than "blue water" without any shadow of a doubt.

It is nonetheless quite interesting to see all the (mis)interpretations of the term applied here.

By the actual meaning of the term, waters in the Eastern Caribbean and much of its centre are most assuredly "blue water" indeed the Antilles generally are a volcanic archipelago which divides an Ocean from a Sea so are "blue water" by any definition really. Beyond which, for those who erroneously equate "blue water" with safety concerns, there are plenty of the latter in the Caribbean. To be sure those in the Bahamas are more concerned with too little rather than too much water. Those in the archipelagoes East and South of the Turks and Caicos are dangerous mainly by virtue of their being poorly charted, having vicious accelleration zones and severe weather potential for 1/2 of the year, as well as their remoteness from aid (there are few rescue services in the true "caribbean" islands, beyond those of the French and the American Antilles, and then only limited). But the water between these islands receives the full fetch of the Atlantic Ocean from Africa, and focuses wind and water in refractive ways Eastwards from them with potentially dangerous results for a small craft. The latter is mitigateable by local knowledge, however.
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Old 17-06-2015, 13:23   #18
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Re: Is the Caribbean considered "Blue Water"

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Whaaa??? Gulfstream off the East Coast US is some of the baddest ass water in the world on the wrong day. You are way off here.
I think what the other poster was trying to say was that you can pick and choose your weather to ensure you don't run into a rough ride crossing the stream because the timing was only a day to cross
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Old 17-06-2015, 13:25   #19
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Re: Is the Caribbean considered "Blue Water"

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Whaaa??? Gulfstream off the East Coast US is some of the baddest ass water in the world on the wrong day. You are way off here.

But it takes a giant dose of stupid to go out in the Gulf Stream on the wrong day. You would have to never listen to weather and not look up in the sky, keep both eyes closed AND plug your ears.

I can't even remember the number of times I've crossed FL to the Bahamas. The only times it has ever been more than a pleasant day sail are the couple of times I ignored the weather report or thought I could beat a front across. Both times I got a bit wet and beat up but still managed to survive the ordeal.
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Old 17-06-2015, 13:27   #20
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Re: Is the Caribbean considered "Blue Water"

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I think what the other poster was trying to say was that you can pick and choose your weather to ensure you don't run into a rough ride crossing the stream because the timing was only a day to cross

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Old 17-06-2015, 13:30   #21
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Re: Is the Caribbean considered "Blue Water"

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But it takes a giant dose of stupid to go out in the Gulf Stream on the wrong day. You would have to never listen to weather and not look up in the sky, keep both eyes closed AND plug your ears.

I can't even remember the number of times I've crossed FL to the Bahamas. The only times it has ever been more than a pleasant day sail are the couple of times I ignored the weather report or thought I could beat a front across. Both times I got a bit wet and beat up but still managed to survive the ordeal.
I don't recall the poster saying Florida to the Bahamas. Indeed he simply said "crossing the Gulf Stream to the Caribbean". If you leave the Chesapeake and try that same, even in a good weather window, it can be plenty wild, I assure you!
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Old 17-06-2015, 13:33   #22
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Re: Is the Caribbean considered "Blue Water"

I always consider "blue water" to be a passage of several days, hundreds of miles offshore. I only think I've really been in "blue water" twice, both trips across the Gulf of Mexico. One trip it was rough as hell, and the other was like going across a great big mill pond.

To me, the great thing about the Bahamas and Caribbean is that it is possible to see so many cool places and never have to go "offshore" or "blue water".

The older I get, the better "easy" looks, and the worse "hard" looks.
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Old 17-06-2015, 13:34   #23
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Re: Is the Caribbean considered "Blue Water"

I like the term "island hopping" to describe the Caribbean and Mediterranean.
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Old 17-06-2015, 13:42   #24
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Re: Is the Caribbean considered "Blue Water"

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I always consider "blue water" to be a passage of several days, hundreds of miles offshore. I only think I've really been in "blue water" twice, both trips across the Gulf of Mexico. One trip it was rough as hell, and the other was like going across a great big mill pond.

To me, the great thing about the Bahamas and Caribbean is that it is possible to see so many cool places and never have to go "offshore" or "blue water".

The older I get, the better "easy" looks, and the worse "hard" looks.
I spend a really large amount of my life crossing stretches of water in excess of 600 miles and I have to say that I don't really understand this attitude. Coastal in many cases is a lot "harder" than offshore ever is. So long as you have the right boat, the right attitude and are reasonably well prepared, deep ocean sailing (so, long distance blue water) is in many ways very easy indeed.
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Old 17-06-2015, 13:53   #25
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Re: Is the Caribbean considered "Blue Water"

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I respectfully but completely disagree with this statement. The biggest boat you can afford with the shallowest draft?!?!? There are much more important things to consider than having a big boat. Shallow draft is invaluable in the Bahamas but not so important elsewhere in the Caribbean.

In response to the original question. I consider it absolutely coastal. Yes, you can get into trouble if you don't pay any attention to what's going on (especially in hurricane season) but you can almost make it from Florida to Venezuela without losing sight of land. Definitely coastal, and i would say a Catalina 22, although certainly at the smaller, lighter end of the scale, would be quite capable of cruising the Caribbean.
I do not disagree with anything in this Post; although, personally I would not take anything less than a 40ft to the Caribbean for cruising and live aboard. This depends on the Skipper of course, but I like my comfort and to be bashed around in an anchorage for days on end it not my idea of fun.
A 22ft generally has an outboard motor and there will be many instances when the screw is out of the water, carrying capacity of fuel & water is limited as are cooking facilities, showers and toilets. Don't even think of asking a female to accompany you or visit, she'll be booking into a hotel.
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Old 17-06-2015, 14:19   #26
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Re: Is the Caribbean considered "Blue Water"

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Whaaa??? Gulfstream off the East Coast US is some of the baddest ass water in the world on the wrong day. You are way off here. Mid ocean can be some of the calmest in the world. Try the Sargasso on for size, for example.
I've been swimming mid Atlantic and then there have been times I've eaten nothing but dry food and drank nothing but cold beverage for days.
I have crossed the Stream many times in all conditions and all I can say if you think the Stream is worse than an Ocean then you have never crossed an ocean in all conditions.
I am not way off, but you surely are !!!
In my opinion the Mona Passage between PR and DR is far worse than the Stream at any time.
I've crossed the Atlantic and Pacific many times and nothing in the Stream compares. But then being in the navy in addition to being a yachtsman I did it in all seasons and at all times of the year.
I'm really concerned with your view point that will lead others into danger if they believe that by crossing the Stream they have encountered the worse the sea has to offer and do you really believe you can remain in the Sargasso or Doldrums indefinitely ?
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Old 17-06-2015, 14:23   #27
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Re: Is the Caribbean considered "Blue Water"

Why is the ocean blue?
Why is the ocean blue?
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Old 17-06-2015, 14:29   #28
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Re: Is the Caribbean considered "Blue Water"

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Maybe it should be rated "Light Blue" 😎
You waited four years for your first post and it's a zinger!


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Old 17-06-2015, 14:33   #29
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Re: Is the Caribbean considered "Blue Water"

It is hard to argue with the facts. Blue is a color and water is water. The Caribbean has both. Look at the pictures

It is when you equate blue water with open ocean passages that the discussion heats up. That the open ocean has more dangers than say Tehuantepec, Cape Horn or Gitche Gumee is only a fact when you consider the vast area of open ocean. Plenty of danger and blue water to be found near shore.

This stirring of the sailing pot over the term, blue water, isn't likely to go away any time soon.


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Old 17-06-2015, 14:36   #30
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Re: Is the Caribbean considered "Blue Water"

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I've been swimming mid Atlantic and then there have been times I've eaten nothing but dry food and drank nothing but cold beverage for days.
I have crossed the Stream many times in all conditions and all I can say if you think the Stream is worse than an Ocean then you have never crossed an ocean in all conditions.
I am not way off, but you surely are !!!
In my opinion the Mona Passage between PR and DR is far worse than the Stream at any time.
I've crossed the Atlantic and Pacific many times and nothing in the Stream compares. But then being in the navy in addition to being a yachtsman I did it in all seasons and at all times of the year.
I'm really concerned with your view point that will lead others into danger if they believe that by crossing the Stream they have encountered the worse the sea has to offer and do you really believe you can remain in the Sargasso or Doldrums indefinitely ?
Well, I'm a commercial skipper and live pretty much full time on the ocean and have been sailing for more than thirty years… and?

Your statement that you have "crossed the Gulf stream many times in all conditions" sits very uncomfortably with your frankly a bit odd statement that "if you think the Stream is worse than an Ocean then you have never crossed an ocean in all conditions". What does the latter even mean? It is perfectly possible to cross Oceans in pretty much nothing more than an F7 and moderate swell at the worst. Indeed this is the most common experience of the Middle Passage E to W. What now? Are you going to randomly cite the Southern Ocean?

So, you've been in the Gulf Stream off Hatteras in a beasting early Spring Nor' Easter and found it much easier than a middle passage crossing of the Atlantic or trade winds passage in the Pacific???

I really honestly don't understand what you are even trying to say.
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