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Old 03-12-2014, 14:28   #1
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Where to sail July to October (Caribbean)?

If I wanted to take a sabbatical for 4 to 5 months, starting in July, where would it be best to buy a boat and start sailing in the Caribbean? This is more of a 'available wind and hurricane avoidance' question, but also a 'what to see and where to go' question.

I realize starting in July may not be ideal, but that is the time frame I have available potentially. Possibly starting mid-June at the earliest.

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- Ray
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Old 03-12-2014, 14:40   #2
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pirate Re: Where to sail July to October (Caribbean)?

Anywhere from St Martin down to Trinidad... in the one your out of the 'Zone' and the other is only a few hundred miles on a beam reach away from safety..
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Old 03-12-2014, 19:59   #3
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Re: Where to sail July to October (Caribbean)?

Belize is an option for hurricane season cruising. Weather is typically quite nice and hurricanes don't threaten often.

If they do then Rio Dulce, Guatemala (ultimate hurricane hole) is not far away. Many boats head there for hurricane season or when one threatens.

Also Panama...its rainy season, but hurricanes don't happen there.

One caveat on your plan though: just popping in somewhere, buying aboat, and going cruising right away is not impossible, but not likely. Inevitably there always repairs and other issues to deal with.
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Old 04-12-2014, 06:23   #4
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Re: Where to sail July to October (Caribbean)?

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Belize is an option for hurricane season cruising. Weather is typically quite nice and hurricanes don't threaten often.

If they do then Rio Dulce, Guatemala (ultimate hurricane hole) is not far away. Many boats head there for hurricane season or when one threatens.

Also Panama...its rainy season, but hurricanes don't happen there.

One caveat on your plan though: just popping in somewhere, buying aboat, and going cruising right away is not impossible, but not likely. Inevitably there always repairs and other issues to deal with.
If I started in Belize, how about popping down to Roatan? I've been there 3 times, and would love to see the other 2 islands.

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Old 04-12-2014, 07:42   #5
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Re: Where to sail July to October (Caribbean)?

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If I started in Belize, how about popping down to Roatan? I've been there 3 times, and would love to see the other 2 islands.

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You could, but it puts you further from the certain hurricance protection of the Rio. Cruising southern Belize keeps you much closer.

Later in the season (Aug-Sept) tropical weather can form very quickly just N of Honduras. These storms tend to track NW from there so don't normally present a threat to the Bay Islands, but they can. Mitch was a rather dramatic example, the story of the "Phantom" is a sobering account. Reading that before your trip would likely keep your hurricane cautiousness high.

Early season storms tend to form much further E so you have lot more lead time. Late seasons storms pop up almost instantly N of Roatan. The classic pattern for their formation is a tropical wave intersecting Low...pay close attention when you see that pattern setting up on synoptic charts.

There are potential hurricane holes on the S side of Roatan and on Guanaja. In both cases you would be competing with the fishing fleet. Roatan has a lot more of such options.

All three islands have their own unique character and all are interesting and enjoyable in their own way.

Nearby Cayos Cochinos are awesome too, but no hurricane holes there. However Roatan is an easy day sail away.

If I were going to cruise the area in hurricane season, I would cruise the Bay Islands as early as possible, tropical activity is less likely then, and then cross over to S Belize and cruise there till the first sign of serious threatening tropical weather, then run to the Rio. I would minimize my time in N Belize where storms tracking NW are more likely to effect you. When in the Bay Islands I would favor Roatan because it has more potential hurricane holes.
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Old 04-12-2014, 08:34   #6
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Re: Where to sail July to October (Caribbean)?

You do have a ? at the title so I am taking the liberty that everything is open.
We are sail Scily, Italy, Albania, Greece and ending up in Turkey for next winter.

take a look
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Old 04-12-2014, 09:16   #7
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Re: Where to sail July to October (Caribbean)?

Unless you like very hot weather and have good air-con it is not the best time of the year for the Caribbean. Washington to Alaska or Main north however... Depends what you are looking to get out of the trip
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Old 04-12-2014, 11:04   #8
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Re: Where to sail July to October (Caribbean)?

I've read that Panama is a good place to find a cheap boat & the San Blas Islands look like paradise.
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Old 04-12-2014, 13:06   #9
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Re: Where to sail July to October (Caribbean)?

San Blas are a lot like paradise, but lots of lightening there in the Summer. Though there are cruisers who stay there year round.
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Old 30-01-2016, 16:13   #10
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Re: Where to sail July to October (Caribbean)?

Just a quick note about French Harbour, Roatan. Many boats anchor here on the south side when the winds are blowing N or NW rather than on the north side of Roatan. Fantasy Island is a resort located inside the anchorage and the dockmaster is currently Aussie Pete. He is doing a great job offering weekly activities to cruisers (produce truck, bus trip to the supermarket, BBQ night, Pizza Night etc). The palapa bar is a fun place to grab a drink and visit with other cruisers - well done, Pete!
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Old 31-01-2016, 12:34   #11
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Re: Where to sail July to October (Caribbean)?

Anyone ever make the trip from Florida to Bahamas? If so where in Fl and how long did it take?
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Old 31-01-2016, 15:04   #12
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Re: Where to sail July to October (Caribbean)?

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Anyone ever make the trip from Florida to Bahamas? If so where in Fl and how long did it take?
Its just an over night run to Bimini or other nearby points. Plenty of detailed threads here on that run, just give them a search.

Personally, I would not choose the Bahamas for hurricane season.
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Old 06-02-2016, 15:33   #13
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Re: Where to sail July to October (Caribbean)?

The original poster said ' buy a boat ' . Buy in Tortola or St. Martin , sail south , hang around anywhere south of Antigua and be prepared to run south .
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Old 15-02-2016, 17:51   #14
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Re: Where to sail July to October (Caribbean)?

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Its just an over night run to Bimini or other nearby points. Plenty of detailed threads here on that run, just give them a search.

Personally, I would not choose the Bahamas for hurricane season.
We get som good days across the stream though during hurricane season... Winter and spring seem to be crazy...
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