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Old 03-08-2012, 16:43   #1
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California to West Indies

With zero experience in Pacific I was seeking advise an safe stopping off points from San Diego to Trinidad via Panana. Single handed long keel so not particularly manouvreable i close quarters, besides, cheaper to put the hook down and go ashore in the dinghy for provisioning. Aiming to cover distance in 6 weeks.

Thoughs very much appreciated.
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Old 03-08-2012, 18:18   #2
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Re: California to West Indies

Wow, 6-weeks. Tight schedule. What time of year?
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Old 03-08-2012, 18:45   #3
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Re: California to West Indies

Thanks Belizesailor.

was thinking about now or next two weeks.. More as a self delivery rather than cruising. Keep the boat moving but drop into suggested places for provisioning.

what you reckon?
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Old 03-08-2012, 20:42   #4
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Re: California to West Indies

Personally, I would wait until after hurricane season. We have one spinning up on the Caribbean side right now and the season is only likely to get more active this time of year.

Keeping to a schedule transiting the Canal could be a challenge. Small cruising boats are the lowest priority.

Pick up a copy of "The Rains Guide". Very well done and covers your intended route from the Pacific into the Atlantic.

See Mexico & Central America Boating Guides | Cruising Ports | Nautical Charts Mexico Boating

and

See Amazon.com: Cruising Ports: the Central American Route 6.5 (9780963847027): Capt. Pat Rains, GPS charts, color photos: Books.

Also, might want to read up on Tehuantepecer Winds. See as a starting point http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tehuantepecer.
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Old 03-08-2012, 21:28   #5
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Re: California to West Indies

This time of year ya could start for Panama, but end up in Hawyee!! LOL better ck the weather REAL GOOD it can get real hairy this time of year !! Most of the south bound cruisers are all holed up in mexico, waiting for the fall of the year to head south !! just sayin if ya dont mind big wind sailing have fun !!!
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Old 04-08-2012, 01:49   #6
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Re: California to West Indies

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yachtboy View Post
Thanks Belizesailor.

was thinking about now or next two weeks.. More as a self delivery rather than cruising. Keep the boat moving but drop into suggested places for provisioning.

what you reckon?
I reckon that you are very ill prepared for this venture, considering your stated time line and apparent lack of knowledge and experience. Pay attention to the above criticisms of your plan and do some serious reconsideration.

I don't like to act the heavy nay-sayer, but in this case it seems necessary for your well being.

Cheers,

Jim
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Old 04-08-2012, 06:07   #7
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Re: California to West Indies

Having been in the West Indies for the last 2 months I am aware that it is the hurricane season from 1st June till 30th November not least because I am currently in Jamaica which is on the path of current TRS to arrive Monday.

Most hurricane sources between 7 and 15 degrees north move off on a bearing between 275 degrees and 350 degrees until a latitude of 25 degrees when they cut back north east. Hence Panama, Curacao and to a lesser extent Trinidad are clear of all recorded hurricane paths in Carribean since 1891.

The boat in questiontion is a heavy displacement biluewater cruising boat well maintained and ready to go. Since I have I am unable to access the guides at the moment as I am travelling I posted on here hoping to get something more constructive than it can get a bit windy.
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Old 04-08-2012, 07:23   #8
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Re: California to West Indies

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Originally Posted by Yachtboy View Post

(...) Most hurricane sources between 7 and 15 degrees north move off on a bearing between 275 degrees and 350 degrees until a latitude of 25 degrees when they cut back north east. Hence Panama, Curacao and to a lesser extent Trinidad are clear of all recorded hurricane paths in Carribean since 1891. (...)
Yachtboy:

Read here: Bonaire - Island Projection - Climatology of Caribbean Hurricanes - 1851-2010

However, whatever the data says make sure you fully understand THERE IS A RISK and it must be monitored. Avoid being offshore with no access to most recent wx data.

Many boats sail from Panama eastward along the S American coast. Allow for the current (plenty of it) and at places/times it can blow there. I mean BLOW. The headland of Columbia towards ABC can get very, very windy at times with waves to measure. Time this leg to avoid being caught in such a blow.

Good luck & bon voyage,
barnie
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Old 07-08-2012, 11:02   #9
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Re: California to West Indies

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...
Most hurricane sources between 7 and 15 degrees north move off on a bearing between 275 degrees and 350 degrees until a latitude of 25 degrees when they cut back north east. Hence Panama, Curacao and to a lesser extent Trinidad are clear of all recorded hurricane paths in Carribean since 1891....

...it can get a bit windy.
While risks are less along certain routes, I've had friends lose boats in both Grenada and Providencia to hurricanes.

Also, your route down the Pacific coast is definitely head long into historic hurricane paths. Just look up the historic tracks here Historical Hurricane Tracks.

I've sailed in up to Cat 1 conditions, and don't care to experience anything more than that, certainly more than "...a bit windy".

Season aside, one stop I would not recommend, is the Pacific coast of Guatemala. While the officials on the Caribbean coast here (Rio Dulce) are quite cruiser friendly, the officials on the Pacific coast are not. A few friends have had issues there and one had skip the country illegally in order to void having his boat confiscated.
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