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Old 25-04-2014, 06:55   #1
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Key West to Boca del Toro Panama

Looking for recommendations for time of year to travel, best route (inside/outside, east/west of Cuba) and ports for provisioning.

We have a 40 ft. Islander motor sailor with new Yanmar (75 horse) and 224 gallon fuel (160 gal. water) she is a 20 ton vessel.

Please, your advise is welcome!
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Old 25-04-2014, 06:58   #2
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Re: Key West to Boca del Toro Panama

KW> Dry Tortugas> Isla Mujeres> coast hop the rest of the way
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Old 25-04-2014, 07:43   #3
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Re: Key West to Boca del Toro Panama

I'm curious on out this routing too... Would you be better of making as much westing out of Key West, as practical then turn south when nearly north of Isla Mujeres? It seems to me this would keep you well north of the stream. Thoughts?
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Old 25-04-2014, 09:29   #4
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Re: Key West to Boca del Toro Panama

Key West to along the north coast of Cuba to Isla Mujures. If you want to anchor inside the reef along Cuba there are a couple of spots that seem to be accepted by the Cubans as ok to use without checking in. As long as you don't go ashore anyway.
Another area of interest is the eastern tips of Honduras and Nicaragua. One should probably keep offshore and sail out to the Vivarillos and not get to close to the coast. I don't think you would call them pirates but poor fisherman will hold you up sometimes. This is nothing new and is local knowledge.
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Old 25-04-2014, 13:20   #5
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Re: Key West to Boca del Toro Panama

While I could see that routing would give you access to safe harbor, wouldn't it also put's you directly into and against the current of the Gulf Stream? I don't know I've never done this trip so I'm asking? I'm Interested in doing this run next winter and my initial thoughts were to make westing out of Key West, not southing.
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Old 25-04-2014, 15:22   #6
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Re: Key West to Boca del Toro Panama

Quote:
Originally Posted by tryrsh View Post
While I could see that routing would give you access to safe harbor, wouldn't it also put's you directly into and against the current of the Gulf Stream? I don't know I've never done this trip so I'm asking? I'm Interested in doing this run next winter and my initial thoughts were to make westing out of Key West, not southing.
Well you end up crossing the flow at about 90deg. Along the north coast of Cuba heading west, you don't see any current. The crossing from Cuba to MX can be pretty rough even in good wx, (read 6-8' @3-5 sec) if you don't pick the right day.
I wouldn't make any bets, but it might be faster than going out to the Dry Tortuga's then working you way further west then south.
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Old 25-04-2014, 16:26   #7
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Re: Key West to Boca del Toro Panama

Here is a link to the South Atlantic Pilot Charts... Good source of current and wind info. On your route as planned, you will be bucking the Caribbean current all the way to Isla San Andreas / Isla Providencia where you pick up the Panama Gyre heading into Bocas. Know lots of folks who have made that route, but my preference heading into Panama is the long way around. Headed back to the States, a great ride.. Bocas to San Andreas, around Cabo Gracias de Dios to Isla Mujeres, then up the Florida straits.

Last time I made that run, it was 15 days under sail, Colon to Charleston.
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