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Old 06-01-2015, 16:51   #1
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Sailing From Panama East

Has anyone sailed east from Panama to the BVI's?


Curious about routes and timing?

DW
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Old 06-01-2015, 18:45   #2
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Re: SAILING FROM PANAMA EAST

We have not, but have several friends who have. Let's just say you won't be doing that trip twice…

If you are intent on going East to get there, then the route is East. Otherwise, you can travel Northish and Eastish and circle back down Southish for a more easy trip.

Timing East is usually best in the summer when the winds are lighter and you may even get occasional Westish winds. Another option if you go the alternate route above is to do in in the late winter/early spring when you still have a chance for some cold fronts to press down deep and give you NW-N winds.

Mark
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Old 06-01-2015, 19:10   #3
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Re: SAILING FROM PANAMA EAST

Are you cruising or delivering? Cruising you could leave Colon in early May after the trades died out. Head to the Caymans, then Fla and cruise the US east coast. After hurricane season leave from Virginia with one of the rally's and sail to the BVIs.
Very little windward work and no beating into the trades
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Old 06-01-2015, 19:11   #4
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Re: SAILING FROM PANAMA EAST

The route less traveled for sure. Uphill all the way. I've talked to a few folks who've gone E along the S American coast and said never again. Though it does give you some options for tucking in and waiting for weather (some of questionable security). Up and over thru the NW Carib is fairly common. Straight to BVI of course would be a real bitch.

We plan to go E as far as Santa Marta, Colombia this year, but will probably sail back to Panama from Colombia.

Weather patterns are really unstable in the corner between Panama and Colombia...esp in summer months. Discussed this area with Chris Parker and he wont even hazard a forecast much more than 24 hours out.
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Old 07-01-2015, 08:56   #5
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Re: SAILING FROM PANAMA EAST

I don't know about East but we did Panama - San Andreas - Providencia - Hobies - Guanaja in a 30 foot boat and it was great.
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Old 07-01-2015, 10:14   #6
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Re: SAILING FROM PANAMA EAST

Quote:
Originally Posted by Duckwheat View Post
Has anyone sailed east from Panama to the BVI's?


Curious about routes and timing?

DW


yes we have. we left the san blas islands in late march and sailed to the bloody bay jamaica in very late march. we used chris parker for wxrouting plus our own analysis of the grib files to pick a weather window for it.

we sailed for 5 days at 45 or so degrees on the wind at 15 to 20 knots. we kept trying to tack to head to kingston and it just would not work. we got within 20 miles of bloody bay and headed the wrong direction so pulled the sails and motored in.

over all it was a good uphill run. Oh hope you have ais as there are a couple of narrow channels with big ships coming through.
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Old 07-01-2015, 11:15   #7
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Re: SAILING FROM PANAMA EAST

DW,
Not sure when you are planning to do this....
But, as others have posted it is upwind and at this time of year (January-Feb), it can be a real hard beat....but later (typically April-June), although still upwind, things are better...

I assume you have pilot charts, or have looked at them on-line??

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duckwheat View Post
Has anyone sailed east from Panama to the BVI's?
Curious about routes and timing?
There is another thread directly on this, that you will find helpful...
Suggest Some Routes Panama to Nanny Cay

Here's just a snippet...."In Dec and Jan, winds in central Carib. especially as you leave Panama and are north of Columbia, will be stronger (expect 20+ kts TRUE), and the seas will be bigger (6'-10')....that means 25-30 kts apparent..."


Here's a snapshot of the January Pilot Chart for the Caribbean...




I hope this helps....

Fair winds..

John
s/v Annie Laurie
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Old 08-01-2015, 10:24   #8
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Re: SAILING FROM PANAMA EAST

Hey I appreciate the responses. I am in the PNW and we are going to cruise Alaska spring of 2017.

The plan like most folks from the PNW is to go down the coast and across the Pacific.

I want to go to Europe first. So I am either going to load Vagabon up and haul her to the east coast or Great Lakes so I can hit the ARC Europe in late May. I am not sure which May.

That is the reason for the question. Probably 10k to get her east, probably worth it and avoid the beating.

DW
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Old 08-01-2015, 10:35   #9
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Re: SAILING FROM PANAMA EAST

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The plan like most folks from the PNW is to go down the coast and across the Pacific.



DW
Ya lost me here... across the pacific?

Where does the Pacific come into your plan post Alaska and gunking down the West coast to Panama?

That aside... i'd love to hear about the Alaska leg. I will eventually sail South out of SF to Panama and up the East coast to Boston. Ideally, I would leave SF for Alaska to Seattle and then South to the canal but sailing up the coast is brutal and out to Hawaii to Alaska isnt much better so I am torn.

-steve
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Old 08-01-2015, 13:00   #10
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Re: Sailing From Panama East

Option one would be down the coast, Galapagos Isl and then across the Pacific.

I may still do that, but I am seriously thinking of going to Europe first. That would require me to truck the boat to the east coast or sail up wind from Panama to the Bermuda and across.

That sail east is going to be a pain in the ass.

DW
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Old 08-01-2015, 13:27   #11
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Re: Sailing From Panama East

South into Ecuador is a pain in the ass (well... SLOW) too.

-s
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Old 08-01-2015, 13:54   #12
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Re: Sailing From Panama East

Quote:
Originally Posted by Duckwheat View Post
Option one would be down the coast, Galapagos Isl and then across the Pacific.

I may still do that, but I am seriously thinking of going to Europe first. That would require me to truck the boat to the east coast or sail up wind from Panama to the Bermuda and across.

That sail east is going to be a pain in the ass.

DW
At the right time of year, and waiting out the weather, it is not a bad sail from Panama to FLA. Getting to the BVIs is much more of a slog.
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Old 08-01-2015, 18:51   #13
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Re: Sailing From Panama East

Your proposed east trip is completely doable and in fact not uncommon, but it has nothing to do with the BVI's. Mark Cole explained it pretty succinctly.
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