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Old 17-06-2015, 14:41   #31
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Re: Is the Caribbean considered "Blue Water"

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Originally Posted by Muckle Flugga View Post
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.
Being a single handler for most of my long passages I couldn't agree more.
Many times I've gone way offshore to get away from the coast and shipping lanes in order to sleep. Other than a few hurricanes the only times I damaged my keel & rudder is close to shore.
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Old 17-06-2015, 14:41   #32
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Re: Is the Caribbean considered "Blue Water"

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Originally Posted by Cap Erict3 View Post
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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You are likely correct about the latter. But blue water has a specific definition, and it is indeed to do with the colour of the water. That a blue water sailor or boat is generally considered to be one who/which is equipped to cross large expanses of water over long terms in a self sufficient manner is somewhat accidental. The only reason it tends to refer to such as such is simply that such as do are likely to encounter a LOT of, well, water that is blue in colour, and such as do not, are not. It says nothing about the dangers inherent in such passages, and quite clearly coastal waters are more dangerous than ocean waters, with the sole caveat of self sufficiency and remoteness from rescue.
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Old 17-06-2015, 14:42   #33
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Re: Is the Caribbean considered "Blue Water"

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Being a single handler for most of my long passages I couldn't agree more.
Many times I've gone way offshore to get away from the coast and shipping lanes in order to sleep. Other than a few hurricanes the only times I damaged my keel & rudder is close to shore.
Well now here we do agree.
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Old 17-06-2015, 15:08   #34
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Re: Is the Caribbean considered "Blue Water"

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Originally Posted by Muckle Flugga View Post
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.
I just don't like sailing at night. I do it, when I need to, but I just don't enjoy it anymore. But, I agree, except for having to pull long watches, most of the time, it's a lot more comfortable farther away from land.
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Old 17-06-2015, 15:11   #35
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Re: Is the Caribbean considered "Blue Water"

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I just don't like sailing at night. I do it, when I need to, but I just don't enjoy it anymore. But, I agree, except for having to pull long watches, most of the time, it's a lot more comfortable farther away from land.
I remember many years ago when I first qualified as skipper my mother used to like to tell me: "Now be sure you stay close to land!" To which I would reply: "Would you say the same if I was an airline pilot?"
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Old 17-06-2015, 15:15   #36
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Re: Is the Caribbean considered "Blue Water"

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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.

Looks like we are both being defensive of our statements and if my diction is hard to understand let me summarize by saying the ocean can produce more violent conditions than the Stream. PERIOD.
I've sailed single handed N to S around Cape Hatteras and Cape Fear in January. Yes! it was rough.
Also sailed the northern route E to W from UK to Newfoundland in November, and yes !! It was rough.
My last Atlantic crossing from St, Maarten to Las Palmas, Mediterranean a few years ago was in April and quite pleasant only encountering a few squalls around the Azores.
Doesn't alter the fact that Oceans throw up higher seas and winds.
During the spring in the Caribbean there are many large cruise line vessels repositioning to the Medi for the summer season. They can be found busy installing plywood dead lights over all lounge windows in preparation for the crossing. Have never experienced that for any coastal passage.
I expect readers can glean what they will from our posts and form their own opinions.
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Old 17-06-2015, 15:16   #37
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Re: Is the Caribbean considered "Blue Water"

If one is colour blind does it matter what colour the water is as long as it is wet and able to float your boat?
Another thought (brain snap??) is this thread headed the way of "The criteria of Blue", now up to page 46.
Let the discussion continue.
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Old 17-06-2015, 15:27   #38
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Re: Is the Caribbean considered "Blue Water"

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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!
Well in his first post he did mention the Bahamas saying he is aware there is a lot of open water if you go around the Bahamas to the Caribbean.

So I did make the assumption that he would cross FL to the Bahamas if he was taking a small boat but I forget the risks from making assumptions.

If you're talking about Chesapeake or New England to the Caribbean then I'm 100% in agreement. In fact I've commented several times in previous threads that, contrary to common opinion, leaving fall from New England to the Caribbean is potentially a very dangerous trip. People say it's a good time to sail south, I say it's the time to go south with lower odds of getting your butt kicked that earlier or later in the year.

Every two or three years an early Nor'easter or a late tropical depression (or sometimes both as happened in the Perfect Storm) will come through and boats and lives are lost. I got caught in the Gulf Stream off Hatteras once in Oct in a gale doing a delivery on a 90' trawler. I wouldn't want to experience that again in a large, well found boat, much less a small, weekender.
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Old 17-06-2015, 15:39   #39
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Re: Is the Caribbean considered "Blue Water"

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Well in his first post he did mention the Bahamas saying he is aware there is a lot of open water if you go around the Bahamas to the Caribbean.

So I did make the assumption that he would cross FL to the Bahamas if he was taking a small boat but I forget the risks from making assumptions.

If you're talking about Chesapeake or New England to the Caribbean then I'm 100% in agreement. In fact I've commented several times in previous threads that, contrary to common opinion, leaving fall from New England to the Caribbean is potentially a very dangerous trip. People say it's a good time to sail south, I say it's the time to go south with lower odds of getting your butt kicked that earlier or later in the year.

Every two or three years an early Nor'easter or a late tropical depression (or sometimes both as happened in the Perfect Storm) will come through and boats and lives are lost. I got caught in the Gulf Stream off Hatteras once in Oct in a gale doing a delivery on a 90' trawler. I wouldn't want to experience that again in a large, well found boat, much less a small, weekender.
I had not put the two together so assumed he was talking about any possible such passage.

Worst storm and seas I have encountered in more than 30 years ocean and coastal sailing was off Hatteras in the Stream in a Nor'Easter in March or April 1989. I can't remember the precise date though could find it out. It was certainly cold and I remember when we arrived into the Chesapeake there were saltwater icicles on the forward rails. But off Hatteras in the Stream setting into the teeth of a big Nor'Easter? Extraordinary violence. Aghulas can produce this as can a few other places, but strong offshore/coastal streams with intense temperate lows are just to be avoided!
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Old 17-06-2015, 15:51   #40
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Re: Is the Caribbean considered "Blue Water"

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Looks like we are both being defensive of our statements and if my diction is hard to understand let me summarize by saying the ocean can produce more violent conditions than the Stream. PERIOD.
I've sailed single handed N to S around Cape Hatteras and Cape Fear in January. Yes! it was rough.
Also sailed the northern route E to W from UK to Newfoundland in November, and yes !! It was rough.
My last Atlantic crossing from St, Maarten to Las Palmas, Mediterranean a few years ago was in April and quite pleasant only encountering a few squalls around the Azores.
Doesn't alter the fact that Oceans throw up higher seas and winds.
During the spring in the Caribbean there are many large cruise line vessels repositioning to the Medi for the summer season. They can be found busy installing plywood dead lights over all lounge windows in preparation for the crossing. Have never experienced that for any coastal passage.
I expect readers can glean what they will from our posts and form their own opinions.
Well I sure would like to be more friendly than defensive… but I still don't really get or agree with what you are saying here. One thing, for example, it hasn't escaped my notice that the Gulf Stream is an oceanic current and runs, well, in and across the North Atlantic Ocean. So where you get the distinction I have no idea???

Further, areas of steep rise onto continental shelves such as the Grand Banks or Biscay, particularly where they are associated with current, such as the area off Hatteras and the likes of the Aghulas can produce the most violent seas anwhere on Earth. This is not really particularly arguable. Your example of the cruiseliners is not mysterious. The Caribbean outside hurricane season is generally pretty predictable and tranquil. The passage past the Azores and through the intertropical zone back to Europe? Not so much.
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Old 17-06-2015, 16:56   #41
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Re: Is the Caribbean considered "Blue Water"

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I had not put the two together so assumed he was talking about any possible such passage.

Worst storm and seas I have encountered in more than 30 years ocean and coastal sailing was off Hatteras in the Stream in a Nor'Easter in March or April 1989. I can't remember the precise date though could find it out. It was certainly cold and I remember when we arrived into the Chesapeake there were saltwater icicles on the forward rails. But off Hatteras in the Stream setting into the teeth of a big Nor'Easter? Extraordinary violence. Aghulas can produce this as can a few other places, but strong offshore/coastal streams with intense temperate lows are just to be avoided!
Same here. Haven't been around the Cape of Good Hope so haven't gotten to experience what Agulhas can do but I've crossed the Caribbean several times in all seasons. Haven't been through the Mona Passage but crossed the north and south sides several times. Even caught a hurricane in San Juan PR. Of all the places I've been, a winter gale in the Gulf Stream was the worst I've seen. We had waves breaking over the top of a cabin almost 30' over the water and that got my attention.
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Old 17-06-2015, 17:57   #42
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Re: Is the Caribbean considered "Blue Water"

Per Merriam-Webster

Definition of BLUE WATER

: the open sea

Blue Water | Definition of blue water by Merriam-Webster
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Old 17-06-2015, 18:00   #43
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Re: Is the Caribbean considered "Blue Water"

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Per Merriam-Webster

Definition of BLUE WATER

: the open sea

Blue Water | Definition of blue water by Merriam-Webster
Thats just as clear as Blue Water but then in the big picture, who really cares??
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Old 17-06-2015, 18:00   #44
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Re: Is the Caribbean considered "Blue Water"

Here's a picture of the Gulf Stream by Winslow honer
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Old 18-06-2015, 03:45   #45
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Re: Is the Caribbean considered "Blue Water"

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Here's a picture of the Gulf Stream by Winslow honer
Thread drift alert: commenting on a fictional drifter.

I have always liked this W Homer piece but also always felt the presence of the square rigger in the faint distance rather detracts from its ambience and message.
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