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Old 16-12-2011, 13:39   #1
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sailing from Bay of Islands to Jamaica

HI all,

I am sailing to Jamaica in March. right now i am in northern mexico and am planning to head south over the next two months. I have looked at the pilot charts and it seems it might be doable to make that northeastern sail in march. Although the winds are predominitely out of the northeast, there seems to be, according to the wind roses, a fair amount of easterly and south easterly winds. my plan was to sail from the islands to Isla Santanilla and anchor. Then sail to the Caymens before turning south towards Montego Bay. Has anybody made this sail before? any advise or input on actual wind experienced at this time of year?

cheers,
hank
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Old 17-08-2012, 14:42   #2
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Re: sailing from Bay of Islands to Jamaica

I'm wondering how this turned out. We are planning to sail from the Cayman's to Jamaica in Spring of 2013. Interested in how it went for you.

Thanks
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Old 17-08-2012, 14:51   #3
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Re: sailing from Bay of Islands to Jamaica

Have sailed that area a few times and from Cayman to Jamaica it will probably be a beat unless you happen to catch a cold front to ride south.

Only once did I see strong winds but that trip which if I recall was in Jan, it blew steady 25-35 kts for several weeks non stop.

Assume you have researched security in Jamaica but if not I would recommend caution. Beautiful country and beautiful people but drugs and crime in recent years have gotten pretty bad.
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Old 17-08-2012, 19:31   #4
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Re: sailing from Bay of Islands to Jamaica

I've done it the other way round. Bahamas-Jamaica-Bay Islands...much easier that way you know.

Jamaica, is a very beautiful island, but with major problems. I was happy to leave it in my wake.

Santanilla. I have not anchored there, but have friends who have. Not much protection and rolly. Does not sound very restful to me. The kids who man the military outpost are apparently quite welcoming to guests -- because they don't get many.

Bay Islands. Have spent a lot of time cruising the Bay Islands. All good. Each has a unique character. Just south of there: Cayos Cochinons is a very special place, but I suggest you avoid the mainland -- lots of security issues in Honduras these days.

Wahoo: If you are coming from NOLA, why not head ESE to Florida and then go the other way round?
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Old 18-08-2012, 09:17   #5
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Re: sailing from Bay of Islands to Jamaica

We are in Rio Dulce and beginning to plan next year's sail to the Eastern Caribbean. I was looking for specifics from someone who had done it in the last couple of years. Thanks for the comments.
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Old 18-08-2012, 10:45   #6
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Re: sailing from Bay of Islands to Jamaica

Quote:
Originally Posted by wahoo40 View Post
We are in Rio Dulce and beginning to plan next year's sail to the Eastern Caribbean. I was looking for specifics from someone who had done it in the last couple of years. Thanks for the comments.
If the information so far does not answer then perhaps you could let us know exactly what specifics you are looking for?

I don't think you will get any more specific on the winds, either force or direction. You know the wind roses on the pilot charts are just averages based on the winds over many years. To get an average of 15 knots in a wind rose means you will see 5 knots at times and 20 knots at times and more. In my experience having sailed those exact waters a number of times you will, on average, see what the pilot charts say. I recall about 50-60% of the time the winds were what the average predicted on the pilot charts said. The other 40-50% of the time the winds were significantly more or less than the average on the pilot charts.

If you are expecting to learn the exact direction and strength of the winds for your dates, well....
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Old 18-08-2012, 11:31   #7
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Re: sailing from Bay of Islands to Jamaica

Most folks heading east from the Rio either go up and over via Mexico or down into the SW carib and across S America. I've lived here on the Rio for awhile and don't recall many people heading straight for the Cayamans/Jamaica (normally almost dead into prevailing winds).

I have a buddy who used to move boats for the Moorings from Belize to the Eastern Carib. They just carried extra fuel and plowed into, but these were deliveries not pleasure cruisers.

This is of course a down side to the Rio -- everywhere is to windward from here!

I'm having lunch today with a friend who has a place in the Cayamans. Will discuss with him.
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Old 18-08-2012, 12:58   #8
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Re: sailing from Bay of Islands to Jamaica

From my experiance and i have been there many ,many times(19 since 1983)you will have to motor the whole way !!You will be headed into the trades..the drama about the so called "drug wars" has ended with the extridition of Dudas Coke to the US...As long as you stay off the back streets at night you should be ok and if you sail to the south coast you can go out at any time and you should be ok..the north coast tourist areas like Mobay and Negril are going to be like any tourist trap, but when you leave these areas everthing is going to be alright(Ital mon!) No one should go into Kingston, alone, during the night or the day!Ganga is everywhere!Do not buy it in the towns and do not "take it" from anyone that insist that it is free and not to worry!They are setting you up!The police are watching around the corner!If you do partake of the herb,buy one spliff and do what you must with it and then throw it away,never carry any amount around with you ,it is everywhere and there is NO need to have it on you!The police are the last people that you want to call if there are problems!Call the tourist police if you need help and should a regular policeman give you grief tell him you are going to call the tourist police and he will likley leave you alone..not that you will have to do any of this but, just in case..good luck and you should have a lot of fun if you are at all a sociable type of person...DVC
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Old 18-08-2012, 15:03   #9
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Re: sailing from Bay of Islands to Jamaica

Just had lunch with a friend who used to live in the Caymans. They used to sail down to Swan Island to go diving. He used to do this late in the season and into hurricane season because the trades tend to shift a bit SE that time of year.

So, Rio-Cayamans-Jamaica route based on a mix of my local knowledge and his: The winds tend to be light along the Honduran coast (south the Bay Islands) due to the land effect of Honduras. Once you get up to the latitude of the Bay Islands you get into the Trades...often really pumping just N of Roatan. For the least time pounding to windward, you could run along the Honduran Coast, then up to the Bay Islands, then Bay Islands to Caymans (optionally stopping in at Swan). From there, no matter what time of year, going east in prevailing conditions is going to be a bitch. You could wait in the Cayamans for a front and then catch that to Jamaica or just pound it out to Jamaica. This is why people don't tend to go this way.

Personally, if I were to leave the Rio for the Eastern Carib, I would probably take the up-and-over route via Mexico. Getting through the straits of Florida can present it's challenges due to prevailing winds, but you can work you way through the Keys or wait for a front. Down through the Eastern Carib and then downwind trades sail all the way back to the Rio.
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Old 18-08-2012, 15:41   #10
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Re: sailing from Bay of Islands to Jamaica

Chuck on Soulmates made this trip a few months ago. He is down in Trinidad for the hurricane season. Maybe he'll stop by here and comment.

John
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Old 19-08-2012, 08:44   #11
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Re: sailing from Bay of Islands to Jamaica

We are just in the planning stage but for sure we will spend time in Belize. ( The 6 weeks spent there this summer wasn't enough. But then my Captain was born there so it's been my 2nd home since 1972. ). We will get Wahoo back to Isla Mujeres then over the Yucatan Channel before eventually making for the Caymens and Jamaica, mon. We understand the wind and crime patterns. Any of you have favorite ports or anchorages?

Also just wondering if anyone has been or heard of cruisers anchoring at Nevassa Island. It seems a perfect point to stop on the way to the DR. We read about a research boat that spent a week there out of Jamaica.

Again thanks for all the help. This forum is a wealth of info and opinions.
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