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Old 17-01-2010, 09:40   #1
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Miami to BVIs

Taking our 46 ft Cat to BVIs around Feb 20'2010. What is quickest route? Is there a forum for others planning same.

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Old 17-01-2010, 11:02   #2
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That could be a very rough trip that time of the year. Starting that far South, the winds will be primarily on your nose and, as lows come off the coast of the US, quite windy with high sea state.
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Old 17-01-2010, 21:25   #3
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There is primary two routes - the northern non-stop or I-66 route leaves anywhere from the northern Bahamas to Norfolk and heads east staying about the tropical trade wind belt until you get to about W66 longitude then turns south to the Virgins. Reportedly it can take from a week to two week to do the route. You can probably expect some nasty weather/waves at least once.
- - The other route is done in short jumps through the Bahamas riding in front of the cold fronts that sweep off the southeast USA. Miami to Nassau/Exumas/Mayaguana then cross to the Turks and Caicos. From there south to cross the trades to the Dominican Republic (normally Luperon but OceanWorld/Puerto Plata is an option). Then the next weather window east along the D.R. north coast to either Samana or direct to Puerto Rico. Finally short early morning day hops along the south coast of Puerto Rico until you get to the Virgins.
- - Theoretically possible to do it in a month or two, but normally it takes 3 months all depending upon the nature of the various cold fronts and how much fun you are having in the various stopping places. This route can and usually involves some serious crashing and bashing to windward - motor sailing. More details are available from previous posters in the CF search function.
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Old 18-01-2010, 07:15   #4
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I have done the through the islands route twice...one was a delivery and took 8 1/2 days and the other was just my wife and I and we did it in 3 weeks with a week layover in Puerto Rico...both trips were brutal and we beat the hell out of the boats. Oririssail is right take three months! Buy the 'Thornles Path' by Van Sant.

Febuary is a little early to get out in the Atlantic on the I-66 route so I would go through the Bahamas. Early in the year the nothern lows dipping down help by giving you winds with north and west in them but also give you wind into current with bigger waves to bash into.

As a very experienced friend who has done the trip a dozen times says..."It is all uphill which ever way you go!"

Next time I go to Trinidad from Miami I am going via Bermuda, Ireland, Scotland, the Med and the Cape Verde Islands...its off the wind and with the current so I think it might be easier!
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Old 19-01-2010, 19:42   #5
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Bahamas to Tortolla,BVI

Taking Route 66 (sort of speak) from the Bahamas, any comments are appreciated on best departure latitude heading east to minimize the tropical trade wind belt. Is Rum Cay too far south to head out?

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Old 20-01-2010, 04:47   #6
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The idea is to stay north of the Tropics which is 22.5 deg North latitude. If you look at the NOAA wind/waye forecast charts ( Radiofax Charts - New Orleans )for the next three days you will see that you would have to be up at about 30 degrees North Latitude which is about even with Georgia and the Carolinas before you would get out of the easterly trade winds. And at this time of year you would be in some serious waves and seas. It is advisable to have onboard weather fax capability such as SSB radio or satellite data links so you can determine when to turn south when you get in the area of 66 West longitude.
- - So from the Bahamas including Rum Cay considering the weather for the next 3 days you would have to sail north about 100 to 500 nm before being able to sail east. The distance you need to sail north from Rum Cay equals the distance - as a bird flies - to Puerto Rico. And then you have to turn and sail east and then south. All of that is why so many people just slog east through the Bahamas, T&C, D.R. and south side of P.R. on the Thorny Path.
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