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Old 25-09-2012, 18:34   #1
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Ft. Lauderdale to Cartagena

What would be the best sailing course from Ft. Lauderdale, Fl. To Cartagena, Colombia?
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Old 26-09-2012, 08:33   #2
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Re: Ft. Lauderdale to Cartagena

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Originally Posted by pclark2576 View Post
What would be the best sailing course from Ft. Lauderdale, Fl. To Cartagena, Colombia?
That's about 1100 miles and the main problem is that Cuba gets in the way so you have to decide if you are going to go East-about or West-about of it!

On balance, I prefer to go round the Eastern edge of Cuba which gives you a reasonable angle across the Caribbean down to Cartagena.

The first bit to Cuba is against wind and current but bearable!

Tony
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Old 26-09-2012, 15:38   #3
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Would it be fair to say that once I head south, east of Cuba I should have the prevailing winds and currents on my beam?
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Old 26-09-2012, 15:49   #4
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Re: Ft. Lauderdale to Cartagena

Should do! I always find its a lot rougher and windier in the Western Carib (compared to the Eastern end where I live). Its a function of the waves having a longer fetch then sort of bunching up as they get into the bag with nowhere else to go! Tony
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Old 26-09-2012, 16:32   #5
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Re: Ft. Lauderdale to Cartagena

Did that...go to Great Inagua Bahamas, to wait for the right weather, then watch out for that thing that lives off Baranquilla, you will have to bear away.
We ended up rhumb lining it from the Windward passage to Cartagena, but the last day we had to bear off to leeward, just keep a comfortable point of sail and it will calm and then you can make up the lost miles and head for Boca Chica.
The trades blow across the Caribbean sea, some of the current becomes the Gulf Stream after going north up the Yucatan. Some of it curves down south and then comes against the wind of Baranquilla, it gets ugly there.

IMHO its better to make the easting down the Bahamas, than round the West of Cuba.
Trying to find our track to post here for you...
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Old 27-09-2012, 08:06   #6
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This is very helpful. What are the harbors like at iguana?
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Old 27-09-2012, 14:30   #7
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Re: Ft. Lauderdale to Cartagena

I've did this trip twice last year. I would avoid Matthewson Town, Great Inagua at all costs. Here is my guide: Guide to Cartagena, Colombia from Miami, Florida - Waves Jordan Yacht Brokerage
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Old 28-09-2012, 07:25   #8
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Thanks Richard, lots of great info. What kind of conditions can I expect in the windward passage. During the months of Jan-Feb.
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Old 28-09-2012, 07:53   #9
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Windward Passage

Been through a number of times and always had reasonable weather, much better than you typically see further south when you hit the Caribbean. My trips across the Caribbean exactly matched what Richard reported.

A couple of trips a little earlier in the season I have been totally becalmed in the Passage.

On the other hand, on one trip we sometimes saw as many as 5-6 waterspouts around us. Fortunately none came our way but sure did keep our attention.
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Old 28-09-2012, 10:09   #10
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Re: Ft. Lauderdale to Cartagena

We just traveled from Key West to Santa Marta, Colombia. First of all - Cuba is SO in the way, isn't it? We decided that it didn't make sense to go west of Cuba - even though, from KW, we were already much further west than you are in Ft. Lauderdale. If you go west, then you will have to sail east once you get south of Cuba, beating into seas/winds that are commonly BIG.

Based on our experience:

We did our easting through the Bahamas and then went to Great Inagua. As President of the International Great Inagua Fan Club, I must ask you to disregard the comment to avoid Matthew Town.

We were in Great Inagua for 8 days. Click here for the noonsite report. And here for a blog post about our visit.

And here is a taste of what you might see in Great Inagua:


After an easy sail through the Windward Passage and a detour to the extraordinary Ile a Vache, Haiti, we had winds and waves forward of the beam, both increasing as we approached Colombia (30-35 kn and 12-14 ft seas on the evening before we arrived in Santa Marta).
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Old 28-09-2012, 19:13   #11
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Thanks Joy The info is great. The more I learn the more excited I get.
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Old 17-12-2015, 13:12   #12
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Re: Ft. Lauderdale to Cartagena

Only able to stop and top off but the people there sure we're nice and the dock master, she was the nicest.


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