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Old 15-02-2012, 11:07   #31
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Re: Small Craft Sailing to Dry Tortugas in December

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Originally Posted by DoiNomazi View Post
if i get stuck for 14 days in the DT I may lose my day job, so I might just stay there for good..
The park service is looking for rangers!
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Old 15-02-2012, 11:08   #32
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Re: Small Craft Sailing to Dry Tortugas in December

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Originally Posted by belizesailor View Post
Another thought: As mentioned, conditions can get a bit ugly in the open water before you reach the Tortugas. And, you may encounter some commercial traffic/fishing vessels along this route. Be sure you're prepared for this -- especially if you get caught out at night -- have an effective means of signaling them aboard (very bright flashlight, hand-held VHF, flares...).
2 strobes, one on deck, one on the mast, and a vhf, possibly a second vhf for safety.

whistle and a small air horn, we'll get flares too.

should i look for a small cannon?..
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Old 15-02-2012, 11:08   #33
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Re: Small Craft Sailing to Dry Tortugas in December

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The park service is looking for rangers!
too old for that.. don't they have a certain age limit?
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Old 15-02-2012, 11:34   #34
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Re: Small Craft Sailing to Dry Tortugas in December

Kayak Sea Anchors

A few years ago I researched crossing the gulf in a kayak. This tug towards sea kayaking began when i was anchored off the coast of belize. I was watching the sun rise one beautiful morning, sipping my tea in the cockpit, when i observed a few kayaks round the northern point of the anchorage and glide silently past my stern, heading south towards Guatemala. So quiet and peaceful. Years later and I still can see it so clearly.

I looked for the research material I accumulated but cannot find it. The little bit I remember about storm prep was that a bow deployed anchor was best, running with the wind was disastrous. These sea anchors were also good for rest stops, kind of like pulling over and parking for a while. Your thread has awakened that curiosity and intrigue for micro cruising :-). Are you using a kite for a sail?

I really think your best bet is to also find hard core sea kayakers, storm prep in a kayak is very different than a sail/power boat.If you plan on going in December you must take it for granted that you will face at least a small storm.

Cheers,
Erika
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Old 15-02-2012, 11:53   #35
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Re: Small Craft Sailing to Dry Tortugas in December

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Originally Posted by DoiNomazi View Post
if i get stuck for 14 days in the DT I may lose my day job, so I might just stay there for good..
Hey, there's an upside to everything!

I got stuck in the Bahamas once and went to a great deal of effort and expense to get back to work. I look back now and puzzle..."what the hell was I thinking?"

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Old 15-02-2012, 11:58   #36
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Re: Small Craft Sailing to Dry Tortugas in December

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Originally Posted by Ocean Girl View Post
Kayak Sea Anchors

A few years ago I researched crossing the gulf in a kayak. This tug towards sea kayaking began when i was anchored off the coast of belize. I was watching the sun rise one beautiful morning, sipping my tea in the cockpit, when i observed a few kayaks round the northern point of the anchorage and glide silently past my stern, heading south towards Guatemala. So quiet and peaceful. Years later and I still can see it so clearly.

I looked for the research material I accumulated but cannot find it. The little bit I remember about storm prep was that a bow deployed anchor was best, running with the wind was disastrous. These sea anchors were also good for rest stops, kind of like pulling over and parking for a while. Your thread has awakened that curiosity and intrigue for micro cruising :-). Are you using a kite for a sail?

I really think your best bet is to also find hard core sea kayakers, storm prep in a kayak is very different than a sail/power boat.If you plan on going in December you must take it for granted that you will face at least a small storm.

Cheers,
Erika
yes, at least one sail. This is the silly video of our Maiden Voyage http://vimeo.com/35050722

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Old 15-02-2012, 12:01   #37
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Re: Small Craft Sailing to Dry Tortugas in December

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Originally Posted by belizesailor View Post
Hey, there's an upside to everything!

I got stuck in the Bahamas once and went to a great deal of effort and expense to get back to work. I look back now and puzzle..."what the hell was I thinking?"

so true. why bother?..
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Old 15-02-2012, 13:49   #38
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Re: Small Craft Sailing to Dry Tortugas in December

Your craft looks doable for the crossing, your timing is the main problem. I've spent the last 15 years on the Gulf of Mexico, and have been to the Dry Tortugas. If you don't mind storms, choppy seas, and have a very flexible time line, december should be fine. I personnally plan to go early summer after the spring storms, but before hurricane season (June-November). During Hurricane season the Gulf is very calm inbetween tropical waves. I've seen it in August as flat as a pond, you could see your own reflection on the water.

One thing to be aware of The crossing from KW to DT is exposed to the Atlantic ocean, and is part of the Gulf stream. A storm far out in the Atlantic can send huge rollers across.

The last time I was there the trip over was a cakewalk, but on the trip back clear skies, but I would see these huge waves appear on the horizon several minutes apart that would hit my 36' boat like a ton of bricks, then dissappear behind me. Getting back was an ordeal, if I didn't have a strict timeline I would have turned back and waited a few more days.
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Old 15-02-2012, 14:06   #39
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Re: Small Craft Sailing to Dry Tortugas in December

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Originally Posted by capn_billl View Post
Your craft looks doable for the crossing, your timing is the main problem. I've spent the last 15 years on the Gulf of Mexico, and have been to the Dry Tortugas. If you don't mind storms, choppy seas, and have a very flexible time line, december should be fine. I personnally plan to go early summer after the spring storms, but before hurricane season (June-November). During Hurricane season the Gulf is very calm inbetween tropical waves. I've seen it in August as flat as a pond, you could see your own reflection on the water.

One thing to be aware of The crossing from KW to DT is exposed to the Atlantic ocean, and is part of the Gulf stream. A storm far out in the Atlantic can send huge rollers across.

The last time I was there the trip over was a cakewalk, but on the trip back clear skies, but I would see these huge waves appear on the horizon several minutes apart that would hit my 36' boat like a ton of bricks, then dissappear behind me. Getting back was an ordeal, if I didn't have a strict timeline I would have turned back and waited a few more days.
being swept away by a strong current without help from the wind is problem#1 and capsizing because of a larger wave is problem#2!

water, food, navigation and communication I can handle, but I am thinking about solutions to those 2 problems.

Is there any boat traffic between KW an DT around Christmas?

Thank you.
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Old 15-02-2012, 17:37   #40
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Re: Small Craft Sailing to Dry Tortugas in December

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Originally Posted by capn_billl View Post
The last time I was there the trip over was a cakewalk ... Getting back was an ordeal ...
My experience exactly. I didn't have a time limit but was out of water so I had to slog it out.
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Old 15-02-2012, 18:27   #41
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Re: Small Craft Sailing to Dry Tortugas in December

Portage to Portage Paddling Project - Home

Here is a guy who did long distance kayaking. But, I don't know how far offshore he got, or if he ever had to travel at night.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DoiNomazi View Post
Is there any boat traffic between KW an DT around Christmas?
I would assume so. Lots of people go down to the keys over Christmas break. It might not be a bad idea to find out if some other people are going that way.
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Old 15-02-2012, 20:03   #42
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Re: Small Craft Sailing to Dry Tortugas in December

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Originally Posted by SunDevil View Post
Portage to Portage Paddling Project - Home

Here is a guy who did long distance kayaking. But, I don't know how far offshore he got, or if he ever had to travel at night.



I would assume so. Lots of people go down to the keys over Christmas break. It might not be a bad idea to find out if some other people are going that way.
of course, I'd love a small flotilla of sailing yaks, but... we seem to be the only ones...
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Old 15-02-2012, 20:08   #43
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Re: Small Craft Sailing to Dry Tortugas in December

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Originally Posted by DoiNomazi View Post

Is there any boat traffic between KW an DT around Christmas?

Thank you.
There are usually two tour boats that go there each day from KW.

When we were there in April of 2010 there were two days they did not go because the east winds were 30 or more.
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Old 15-02-2012, 20:46   #44
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Re: Small Craft Sailing to Dry Tortugas in December

I have been the the DT 6 times this last year, I love it, and you will too. I was there this last December and yes the wind blew every day 15-30kts out of the east to north east, not sure if this is normal but that is what we had for 2 weeks. The current should not be to much of a concern, if you stay close to the small islands to Marquases Key there should be no curent. Once you go by Marquases Key you have about 40 miles half of which are in shallow waters less than 20ft deep, then the last 20 miles in 100ft deep waters. I think your boat should have no problems getting there, but if you have the winds we had, it could be chalanging to get back, but like was previously posted there is a large power cat that comes to the island from KW everyday, and several float planes also land there daily. So if the weather is not agreeable after you get there, buy a ticket on the fairy back to KW and bring your gear with you. Others do it, they bring all there camping gear, food, water on the boat for a week or so. You might want to buy a ticket to the DT while in KW just in case everything goes bad, with the ticket you might be able to get water from the fairy on a daily basis. They bring out a large cooler and let anyone drink from it, at least I had no problems. Long story short, if you prepare, and it sounds like you are, you will have a great time, and a great story to share.
Good luck

If you want to PM me for more details feel free.
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Old 15-02-2012, 20:59   #45
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Re: Small Craft Sailing to Dry Tortugas in December

I forgot to menton that the Cuban,s regularly make the trip across the gulf stream in far less sea worthy craft's with nothing more than a compus, and a prayer.
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