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Old 24-03-2016, 10:43   #16
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Re: HELP! Dominican Republic

Hello h2o,

We always tend to err on the side of caution, so please read this and take the advice as you see fit. Many people we have met/encountered over the last six + years at on and off at sea have had qualifications ranging from professionally rated seamen/women with years of experience at sea all the way down to basic self-taught sailing and navigation over a few weekends. Surprisingly, not all the most qualified have been the best sailors and vice versa.........however a good strong knowledge base is always 'the best tool in the box' when the 'merde frappe le ventilateur" as can often be the case when at sea. In Grenada a few years back, we met a family with 3 small children sailing on a semi-restored 80 year old, 22 foot, sailing ketch......and they made it safely from the UK through the Panama Canal back home to New Zealand.

Both my wife and I have RYA Yachtmaster qualifications (which has requirement just 'a smidgeon' above the quals for the US ASA108 exam), which we both managed to gain in just a little under a year of step-up training through the lower qualifications in an intensive environment and it has been well worth it; you can see the syllabus here: Yachtmaster Ocean | Exams | Learning | Courses & Training | RYA. We both now have well over 25,000 Nm behind us, including 3 Atlantic crossings, and we're still learning new things!

My point here, and I am being far from patronising, is really that what you don't mention is whether you have any offshore passage making experience/qualifications? Does your 1500 Nm consist of short hops/day sails? Etc etc.

I just want you, and every other sailor, to be safe at sea. That's paramount and the first priority; enjoying it is a very close second, but will never be fully realized if there are any doubts in your mind about the first!

So your question...... we get around a lot and have sailed from Ft Lauderdale to George Town on Bahamas to Cockburn Harbour on South Caicos to Fajardo/Culebra on Puerto Rico to Coral Bay on St John USVI to Virgin Gorda/Anegheda BVI to Blowing Point, Anguilla to then down through the islands to Grenada.......'cause we like the route and the islands. We've done this route (of about 1650 Nm one way) back and forth six times; slowest timescale of 18 months (much more enjoyable and some great layovers!), with a fastest timescale of just under 28 days, the latter being with max weather planning, missing out a few stops, a great resilient crew and a lot of good luck ;-).

So you could, experience dependent of course, quite easily sail from FL to DR (following the first part of our route or) best create your own that you are comfortable with!

As for safety in the islands, it's all subjective as you will have read in these blog pages, and even on this thread. On occasion we've reported serious safety incidents to Noonsite that they have failed to report onwards (what we call sheer negligence, but that's just our opinion;-)) as they have clearly been sponsored by those particular marinas/companies. Let's get real here, do you believe half of what to read on trip advisor reviews? Amazon reviews? It's all either way too much big money involved or individuals with personal axes to grind; sure you can sift through the chaff to get an idea, but it's still best to go check it all out for yourself.

We've seen BIG trouble around in places that others haven't and enjoyed perfect peace in places that many would not go.

So, to close and if you do set sail, take your best smile and optimism with you and always keep your lookout on the land as you should at sea.

Fair winds!
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Old 24-03-2016, 10:58   #17
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Re: HELP! Dominican Republic

If you have a good boat you are familiar with keep it. The trip to the DR is the best thing. The DR is fun but it aint the Bahamas on the way getting there! Just hanging out in the DR is great. They don't allow you to just go wherever you want though, and you must check in at each new spot. There's nothing more than a long overnighter from FL to the DR.
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Old 24-03-2016, 11:42   #18
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Re: HELP! Dominican Republic

Hey Cheechako,

Intrigued by your post and, obviously, even more so by your vessel's alleged SOG, as you advise h2o "...there's nothing more than a long overnighter from FL to the DR...".

Even as the crow flies, which is an improbable and unrealistic track for a real-time passage, the shortest transit would be about 600 Nm. That would make your boat one heck of a mover....just saying.
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Old 24-03-2016, 11:55   #19
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Re: HELP! Dominican Republic

Quote:
Originally Posted by Piton View Post
Hey Cheechako,

Intrigued by your post and, obviously, even more so by your vessel's alleged SOG, as you advise h2o "...there's nothing more than a long overnighter from FL to the DR...".

Even as the crow flies, which is an improbable and unrealistic track for a real-time passage, the shortest transit would be about 600 Nm. That would make your boat one heck of a mover....just saying.
I'm assuming you are going thru the Bahamas with stops.... not one long trip! As the context of my post indicates.
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Old 24-03-2016, 12:48   #20
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Re: HELP! Dominican Republic

Thank you for that clarification..........although, admittedly, I was half hoping for a good yarn including details of your new super speedy stealth yacht
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Old 25-03-2016, 03:15   #21
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Re: HELP!! Dominican Republic

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Originally Posted by Hudson Force View Post
It was posted that the O'Day is 35 feet.

I'm confused by your suggestion to sail from the southern Bahamas to Jamaica and then to the Dominican Republic. This seems far off the track with double the distance and increasing the task of making way to the east against the prevailing winds. Did you really mean "Jamaica"?

Hudson Force -- we like to wander and visit and step out of the ordinary (that is why we went to Albania twice when everyone advised against it) (and if we get lucky wait till you see what we do this summer) -- and yes Jamaica - from the southern Bahamas a couple of days of sailing to Port Antonio and a visit to Jamaica then a hop over to Ile a Vache where you do not have to check in and then a sail along the south coast of the DR - just have to watch the winds on Cape Beata - from the DR a nice sail across the bottom the Mona to PR --
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Old 25-03-2016, 06:12   #22
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Re: HELP!! Dominican Republic

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...a visit to Jamaica then a hop over to Ile a Vache...
Have you made this journey before? What you are calling a "hop" is 140 nautical miles directly into the prevailing wind and current. Not what most sailors would characterize as a "hop," I don't think.
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Old 26-03-2016, 03:05   #23
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Re: HELP!! Dominican Republic

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Have you made this journey before? What you are calling a "hop" is 140 nautical miles directly into the prevailing wind and current. Not what most sailors would characterize as a "hop," I don't think.
Yes we have done it - in fact we had to skip Ile a Vache as there was a long term blow coming in that would affect Cape Beata so we did a 2 day sail around the cape before wx set in for more than a week at the cape - Pre Cape was good sailing but getting around the Cape was not possible - how do we know? we were checking our own weather and working with Chris Parker as was another boat. We saw what Chris did - a nasty on the Cape and took his advise and rounded the Cape pre storm. The other boat said no not an issue. They got caught behind the Cape and had to wait for well over a week to round it.

As for a hop -- yea to us it is hop. To others it may be a great journey but to us 140nm is a hop.
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