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Old 08-10-2014, 21:27   #1
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Isla mujeres to florida tips..

We plan to sail from isla mujeres to tampa in december .has anyone done this and can tell us which route to take, how to tackle the gulf stream and any more tips about this passage are wellcome....

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Old 08-10-2014, 21:38   #2
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Re: Isla mujeres to florida tips..

The Gulf Stream will be helping you along for the first leg so I would hang with it for a while if wind and weather permit, then turn north to Tampa.

If a cold front blows through it can get nasty with the wind against the current so pick your weather window before you leave Mexico. In December you could see frequent fronts depending on how the season develops.

You have lots of places to stop if the weather gets uncomfortable. I waited out one nasty front at the Dry Tortugas.
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Old 08-10-2014, 21:48   #3
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Re: Isla mujeres to florida tips..

I haven't done it but friends of mine have made the trip from Belize to Charlotte Harbor and used the stream and gone by the Dry Totugas.


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Old 08-10-2014, 21:58   #4
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Re: Isla mujeres to florida tips..

Thanks for the replys. Skipmac i looked at the noaa charts for the current and it makes a big loop going north from isla mujeres and then turning east and south to the florida straits.your suggestion is to folow it north and then east and when it curves south to leave it and sail north ?

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Old 09-10-2014, 10:15   #5
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Re: Isla mujeres to florida tips..

Hi, just watch the weather for a good window with no "north winds" as we call them here in Tampico, Mexico. They usually blow out down around the tip of the Yucatan so I don't think you will encounter any problems with these with your desired course but it never hurts to be aware...God bless and have a great trip...
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Old 09-10-2014, 11:13   #6
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Re: Isla mujeres to florida tips..

Another option is sail along the north coast of Cuba until you are ssw of Key West. You would always have the option to duck in and anchor overnight inside the reef.
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Old 09-10-2014, 14:02   #7
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Re: Isla mujeres to florida tips..

Quote:
Originally Posted by shaisimon81 View Post
Thanks for the replys. Skipmac i looked at the noaa charts for the current and it makes a big loop going north from isla mujeres and then turning east and south to the florida straits.your suggestion is to folow it north and then east and when it curves south to leave it and sail north ?
Yes, more or less. I would stay flexible on the route and alter the plan according to conditions at the time.

First the Gulf Stream also loops into the Gulf of Mexico and you could in theory follow that loop more or less north for a boost. However that loop is not as consistent in location and speed as the main stream towards the Straights of FL. If you have internet access there are online maps that show the daily meanderings of the currents. Check that just prior to departure to get an idea on this.

Then you should take into consideration the winds and how fair they are for which course. If the winds are on the nose for following the Gulf Stream east towards the straights, rather than beating into that might be better to go ahead and head north. If the winds are more SE and conditions good stick with the easterly course for a bit.

In any case I would plan to turn north no farther than the longitude of the Tortugas.
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Old 09-10-2014, 14:14   #8
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Re: Isla mujeres to florida tips..

today (from passageweather.com)

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Old 10-10-2014, 07:26   #9
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Re: Isla mujeres to florida tips..

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today (from passageweather.com)

Interesting. Assuming the winds were favorable with the Gulf Stream following this track the best course for Tampa would be to head north from the Yucatan.
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Old 10-10-2014, 11:40   #10
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Re: Isla mujeres to florida tips..

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Interesting. Assuming the winds were favorable with the Gulf Stream following this track the best course for Tampa would be to head north from the Yucatan.
Careful of the countercurrent in that eddy though!

Right now I would agree, follow it to almost the latitude of Tampa (slightly south) then turn east. However, Pilot Charts show prevailing winds of NE to E in October, which complicates this particular situation substantially. In fact, this is basically a NE course, which is going to be problematic given the prevailing winds in that region, the stream may actually be the lesser consideration. pete
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Old 10-10-2014, 12:43   #11
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Re: Isla mujeres to florida tips..

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Careful of the countercurrent in that eddy though!

Right now I would agree, follow it to almost the latitude of Tampa (slightly south) then turn east. However, Pilot Charts show prevailing winds of NE to E in October, which complicates this particular situation substantially. In fact, this is basically a NE course, which is going to be problematic given the prevailing winds in that region, the stream may actually be the lesser consideration. pete
Just so.

If I left today I would head due north from Isla Mujeres and alter course direct to Tampa Bay when it was bearing 40-45 degrees.

Winds today in the Gulf and FL west coast are 10-15, more or less out of the east. Wish I was out there sailing right now
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Old 10-10-2014, 15:01   #12
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Re: Isla mujeres to florida tips..

Quote:
Originally Posted by shaisimon81 View Post
We plan to sail from isla mujeres to tampa in december .has anyone done this and can tell us which route to take, how to tackle the gulf stream and any more tips about this passage are wellcome....

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Firstly, take a look at the Pilot Chart for the Gulf of Mexico for December . With that start tracking the rate at which lows pass over the Southern US in mid-November. As they do so, the winds will go then southerly then westerly than northwesterly then northerly. That will give you about 3-1/2 days of fair sailing with about a 20 mile lift per day from the stream until you get to about 25 north or better sailing north and then north-northeast then northeast. Assuming your boat is capable of 120 mile days, you should be able to make it to the north westerly flowing counter current along the southwest Florida coast just north of Boca Grand in that time. From there the easterlies will lift you north.

FWIW...
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