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Old 26-02-2009, 08:02   #1
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Texas to VI in June

We are (loosly) planning a journey to the Virgin Islands from Corpus Christi TX. Due to familiar commitments the earliest that we can leave is the end of June. Looking at other threads this doesn't look like the best time, but... Has anyone taken this trip? Is there a better time to embark upon such a voyage? Any advice on a viable route?

We had been looking at heading down to Belize or some other port in that region. We have a "new to me" boat that was veerrrrry unloved by the previous owners and are hoping to find a less expensive place to make our upgrades.

Thanks in advance for any input that you might have!

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Old 26-02-2009, 09:21   #2
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I would think it a lot easier to sail from Corpus Christi to Belize than the Virgin Islands. If you went in the Fall, there is a group that departs from Galveston Bay to Isla Mujeres every year. From there you could sail the coast to Belize. June can get a little dicey in the Gulf.

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Old 26-02-2009, 12:00   #3
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Well, plenty of people sail in the Gulf and northern Caribbean during hurricane season, but it’s a risky time to be making long east bound passages.

The conventional cruising route from TX to VIs would be a multiday sail across the Gulf to FL. From there you sail through the Keys, jump to the Bahamas, and island hop southeast - eventually jumping off for the Mona Passage and the southern coast of PR where you can coastal sail east to the VIs. This takes a long time and the longer it takes, the more fun you are likely to be having.

We met a singlehander in St. Maarten who had sailed east from Jamaica. So the southern route is possible. But even if you have good weather all the way, you will be sailing against the prevailing trade winds, and it will not be fun.

Given the time of your departure, I think the better idea for this summer is to head south to the western Caribbean via Isla Mujeres. The farther south you go, the less likely you are to get in hurricane trouble. Don’t know about inexpensive boat work in that region, but I have heard Guatemala and Cartagena, Colombia recommended.
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Old 26-02-2009, 14:08   #4
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The easterlies weaken in the summer, so beating to the east isn't as brutal as it is in the winter. But the reason that they weaken is because the tropical waves coming across the Atlantic from Africa disrupt the tradewinds. These waves sometimes develop into tropical storms or even hurricanes. So it's a crap shoot. You might have a fairly uneventful passage, or you might have a very "interesting" one.
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Old 26-02-2009, 16:55   #5
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I am pretty usre the VI will not qualify as a less expensive place to upgrade your vessel. Some more experienced sailors can comment on better places like Trinidad or Venezuala.

Are you coming to visit or to leave your boat for a while?
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Old 02-03-2009, 08:16   #6
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In June, with prevailing southeasterly winds at 20-30kts common, getting from CC to Isla or Belize can be "intersting". At least you have a serious blue water cruiser for the Gulf chop.

I'm certainly NO expert - but I would not come all the way west to CC to go to Mexico. You should be able to make south Florida from CC without going to weather - and I'm guessing that's why you are going to CC?

Boat work around here is stacked up because of Ike in Galveston/Houston. Normally, it's a bargain. Not now.

In any case, please look us up when you get here - if you have any problems or questions please call: 210.663.8079.

Bill Streep
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