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Old 23-05-2009, 05:43   #1
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s/v Soft Air Underway to Cartagena

Some of us have been following CF member Soft Air as he purchased a Cheoy Lee 41 Offshore Richards in the BVI, and prepared to sail her back to his home in Colombia. I thought you might be interested in following his passage.

S/Y Soft Air departed San Juan Friday morning, enroute to Cartagena. He's carrying a SPOT Messenger GPS tracking device which shows that he departed San Juan sometime around noon on Friday, 22nd May, and has cleared the Mona Channel at this point.

The NOAA marine weather forecast:

MONA PASSAGE SOUTHWARD TO 17N-
422 AM AST SAT MAY 23 2009

...SMALL CRAFT SHOULD EXERCISE CAUTION...

.TODAY...EAST SOUTHEAST WINDS 13 TO 18 KNOTS. SEAS 4 TO 6 FEET.
ISOLATED THUNDERSTORMS IN THE MORNING. NUMEROUS SHOWERS.
.TONIGHT...EAST WINDS 9 TO 14 KNOTS. SEAS 4 TO 5 FEET. ISOLATED
SHOWERS.
.SUNDAY...EAST SOUTHEAST WINDS 11 TO 16 KNOTS. SEAS 4 TO 5 FEET.
ISOLATED SHOWERS.
.SUNDAY NIGHT...EAST WINDS 15 TO 20 KNOTS. SEAS 4 TO 5 FEET.
ISOLATED SHOWERS.
.MONDAY...EAST SOUTHEAST WINDS 10 TO 15 KNOTS. SEAS 4 TO 5 FEET.
ISOLATED SHOWERS.
.MONDAY NIGHT...EAST SOUTHEAST WINDS 11 TO 16 KNOTS. SEAS 4 TO
5 FEET. ISOLATED THUNDERSTORMS.
.TUESDAY...EAST SOUTHEAST WINDS 11 TO 16 KNOTS. SEAS 3 TO 5 FEET.
ISOLATED SHOWERS.
.WEDNESDAY...EAST WINDS 10 TO 15 KNOTS. SEAS 3 TO 5 FEET. ISOLATED
SHOWERS.
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Old 23-05-2009, 06:10   #2
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Thanks for the heads up, Hud.
Here's hoping JC has a fair passage.
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Old 23-05-2009, 06:47   #3
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Sounds like a good comfortable run is possible......i2f
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Old 23-05-2009, 06:53   #4
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Old 23-05-2009, 08:45   #5
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I guess I'll have to rely on your posted screen shots from Spot, Hud. JC sent me the link twice now, but all I get is the orange banner at the top and a blank page.

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Old 24-05-2009, 06:43   #6
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s/y Soft Air had logged about 220 nm by 0600 today, approximately 42 hours since departure. SOG calculates to about 5.2 knots on average.

JC didn't share a "float plan", but it appears that he's headed for the ABCs. If so, he's got about 250 nm to go--a couple of days. Aruba would be a good spot to wait for weather, if necessary, for the potentially rough passage along Colombia's north coast to Cartagena.

It looks like he has pretty good sailing conditions...

SYNOPSIS FOR CARIBBEAN SEA AND TROPICAL N ATLC FROM 07N TO 22N
BETWEEN 55W AND 65W
530 AM EDT SUN MAY 24 2009

SYNOPSIS...A SURFACE TROUGH OVER THE CENTRAL GULF OF MEXICO
WILL MAINTAIN WEAK TRADES ACROSS THE W CARIBBEAN THROUGH THE
MIDDLE OF THE WEEK. HIGH PRES NEAR BERMUDA WILL MAINTAIN FRESH
TRADE WINDS ACROSS THE EASTERN AND CENTRAL CARIBBEAN THROUGH
THU.

E CARIBBEAN E OF 75W TO THE LEEWARD AND WINDWARD ISLANDS
530 AM EDT SUN MAY 24 2009

.TODAY THROUGH THU...S OF 14N E OF 72W E TO SE WINDS 20 TO 25
KT. SEAS 6 TO 8 FT. ELSEWHERE E TO SE WINDS 15 TO 20 KT. SEAS 5
TO 7 FT. SCATTERED SHOWERS AND ISOLATED TSTMS N OF 18N THROUGH
TONIGHT.


NW CARIBBEAN N OF 15N W OF 75W
530 AM EDT SUN MAY 24 2009

.TODAY AND TONIGHT...E TO SE WINDS 10 TO 15 KT. SEAS 3 TO 5 FT.
.MON THROUGH TUE...S OF 18N E OF 80W E WINDS 15 TO 20 KT. SEAS 3
TO 5 FT. ELSEWHERE SE WINDS 10 TO 15 KT. SEAS 2 TO 4 FT.
.WED AND THU...S OF 18N E TO SE WINDS 15 TO 20 KT. SEAS 4 TO 6
FT. N OF 18N SE WINDS 10 TO 15 KT. SEAS 2 TO 4 FT.

SW CARIBBEAN S OF 15N W OF 75W
530 AM EDT SUN MAY 24 2009

.TODAY AND TONIGHT...N OF 11N NE TO E WINDS 10 TO 15 KT. SEAS 3
TO 5 FT. S OF 11N NW TO N WINDS 5 TO 10 KT. SEAS 1 TO 3 FT.
.MON THROUGH TUE...N OF 13N E OF 80W E WINDS 15 TO 20 KT.
SEAS 4 TO 6 FT. ELSEWHERE N OF 11N NE TO E WINDS 10 TO 15 KT.
SEAS 3 TO 5 FT. S OF 11N NW TO N WINDS 5 TO 10 KT. SEAS 1 TO 3
FT. SCATTERED SHOWERS AND TSTMS W OF 80W.
.WED AND THU...N OF 11N E OF 80W E WINDS 15 TO 20 KT. SEAS 4 TO
6 FT. N OF 11N W OF 80W NE TO E WINDS 10 TO 15 KT. SEAS 3 TO 5
FT. S OF 11N NW TO N WINDS 5 TO 10 KT. SEAS 1 TO 3 FT. SCATTERED
SHOWERS AND TSTMS.
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Old 25-05-2009, 11:43   #7
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No SPOT Messenger updates from Soft Air so far today.

It looks like he'll be see a little more wind as he makes his way south.

SYNOPSIS...TROUGH N OF THE AREA WILL MAINTAIN WEAK TRADES
ACROSS THE W CARIBBEAN THROUGH TUE. HIGH PRES E OF BERMUDA WILL
MAINTAIN FRESH E TO SE TRADE WINDS ACROSS THE EASTERN AND
CENTRAL CARIBBEAN...BEFORE EXTENDING INTO THE WESTERN CARIBBEAN
BY MIDWEEK. A TROPICAL WAVE ALONG 60W WILL MOVE W ACROSS THE
WINDWARD ISLANDS THIS AFTERNOON AND INTO THE E CARIBBEAN TONIGHT.

E CARIBBEAN E OF 75W TO THE LEEWARD AND WINDWARD ISLANDS

.THIS AFTERNOON THROUGH WED...S OF 14N E TO SE WINDS 20 TO 25
KT. SEAS 6 TO 8 FT. ELSEWHERE E TO SE WINDS 15 TO 20 KT. SEAS 4
TO 6 FT. SCATTERED SHOWERS ALONG TROPICAL WAVE THIS AFTERNOON.
.TUE NIGHT THROUGH FRI...S OF 15N W OF 65W E WINDS 20 TO 25 KT.
SEAS 7 TO 9 FT. ELSEWHERE E WINDS 15 TO 20 KT. SEAS 4 TO 7 FT.
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Old 27-05-2009, 06:18   #8
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JC has updated his position--the latest is as of 0638 this morning. He's altered course, toward Colombia and away from the ABCs, perhaps deciding the weather favors making his move.

CARIBBEAN AND TROPICAL ATLC W OF 55W...
A 01Z ASCAT PASS SHOWED 20 TO 25 KT TRADES PERSISTING OFF THE
VENEZUELAN COAST. 20 KT WINDS WERE REPORTED AT BUOYS 42058 AND
42059 IN THE CENTRAL AND EASTERN CARIBBEAN RESPECTIVELY...TODAY
WILL SEE AN UNBROKEN SWATH OF FRESH TRADES FROM EAST OF THE
LESSER ANTILLES ACROSS THE CENTRAL CARIBBEAN TO THE BELIZE
COAST...WITH PERSISTENT 20 TO 25 KT WINDS OFF WESTERN VENEZUELA
AND EASTERN COLOMBIAN COASTS. THIS STRONGER FLOW IS ALLOWING
SEAS TO BUILD TO 9 FT OFF VENEZUELA AND MAY REACH 10 FT BY LATE
IN THE WEEK. LITTLE CHANGE IS EXPECTED IN THIS PATTERN FOR THE
NEXT SEVERAL DAYS.
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Old 27-05-2009, 08:33   #9
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Did he change course May 24, at waypoint 9?
Is waypoint 11, approaching Santa Marta, his current (6:38) position?
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Old 27-05-2009, 08:52   #10
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That's right, Gord. Here are times and positions for those two waypoints:

Waypoint #9
Latitude : 16.1911
Longitude :-68.0615
Time :Sunday, May 24, 2009 5:41:59 AM

Waypoint #11
Latitude :11.5
Longitude :-73.6519
Time :Wednesday, May 27, 2009 6:38:04 AM

He's chosen to send each report manually at times that he chooses, rather than have the SPOT device do it automatically every 10 minutes or so.
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Old 27-05-2009, 12:05   #11
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Hud, what are you using to get the weather? Do you know if JC has SSB and is using any of the Caribbean nets? We leave Durango, CO on the 3rd of June and sail from St John around the 6th for a month at Los Roques/Venezuela.
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Old 27-05-2009, 12:26   #12
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You can Google "NOAA" with appropriate additional keywords like "marine forecast + Caribbean", or "Caribbean + discussion", and find a lot.

For example, the tropical marine weather discussion is here: Marine Weather Discussion

Various forecast by zone are here: NWS National Weather Service Marine Forecasts

I believe JC has an SSB onboard. All the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean weatherfaxes are here: Radiofax Charts - New Orleans These are the same ones available via SSB and Pactor to your laptop while at sea.

Marine weather SSB broadcast schedules and frequencies: http://www.caribbeancompass.com/ssb_radio09.pdf

I always liked listening to Eric on 3855 kHz LSB at 1030 UTC.
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Old 27-05-2009, 20:04   #13
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Okay, he crossed the Rio Magdelena. His next waypoint will show if he got his rudder fouled with debris or not ;-)

Also, he's not stopping anywhere! All those nice anchorages we talked about, he passed them all!

ciao!
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Old 28-05-2009, 05:31   #14
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Successful passage!

As of 0613 this morning, Soft Air was about 10 nm north of the entrance to the harbor at Cartagena. Congratulations on a successful first passage, JC! It's a little too early for a cold beer, but go ahead and have one anyway!
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Old 28-05-2009, 06:25   #15
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I bet he glad to finally be home. Now that' he is home he will find time to explore many anchorages.....GOOD ON YOU! young fella.........i2f
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