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Old 18-11-2010, 07:19   #1
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Best Time to Sail from Morehead City to St John ?

My ex and my young son is sailing to the Caribbean before Christmas with less than the best crew. How late is too late? I sailed there with him in December '87 and it was frankly, a bit miserable. I want my son to have an adventure but the date of departure is creeping closer to Christmas.
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Old 18-11-2010, 07:26   #2
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My ex and my young son is sailing to the Caribbean before Christmas with less than the best crew. How late is too late? I sailed there with him in December '87 and it was frankly, a bit miserable. I want my son to have an adventure but the date of departure is creeping closer to Christmas.
It all depends on the route.... inshore you've the option of the ICW for those crappy days but.... then you've a bash into winds and currents at the bottom...
Anytime...
Offshore.... clear the Stream and head for Bermuda then run down to the VI's..
January - April can be a bit wet n wild... sometimes
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Old 18-11-2010, 07:34   #3
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He's planning on sailing across the gulf stream south of Bermuda and then south to the Virgin Islands. The boat is a good foul weather boat with good equipment but I'm just a bit worried. Thanks for replying. Meg
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Old 18-11-2010, 07:38   #4
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Just spoke to a couple who did this in December one year and said it was a great ride...I think it also depends on the year...and that is not always predictable...
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Old 18-11-2010, 07:56   #5
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I've gone the first week of December and had a great ride. You need to start after a front passes, go east and pick up the trades South of Bermuda. See the Caribbean 1500 topic on this forum if you want to see how bad it can be.
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Old 18-11-2010, 08:06   #6
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It can be a rough trip, especially if you get tangled up in a low going up the coast. Getting a good weather window is harder the later you leave, but not impossible. Its more important to wait for a good window the later you leave, as the fronts penetrate further south. We have typically left around the first week of December.
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Old 18-11-2010, 08:49   #7
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I'll add my confirmation to Highheels, Donradcliffe, etc.

If you get a good break in the winter cold fronts then leaving US in December can be fine or it can be pretty bumpy, even in October. In case you don't understand the implications of the weather issues, a cold front on land usually brings stronger winds at sea.

The later you wait the cold fronts are usually more frequent, usually stronger and usually push further south. But as we all know, predicting exact weather conditions is inexact. Overall trends and averages sure but exactly how it goes one year to the next is variable.

Just watch the weather carefully and don't get impatient to leave to meet a schedule.
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Old 18-11-2010, 08:57   #8
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Just watch the weather carefully and don't get impatient to leave to meet a schedule.
Words of Wisdom indeed....
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Old 18-11-2010, 09:40   #9
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Great advice...

...as it is all about the weather window AND not being tied to a schedule (or if tied to a schedule of some sort, you must have a "NO-GO" date).

Look into getting weather info from Chris Parker and if you have an SSB, getting in contact with Herb Hilgenburg (aka Southbound II).

Fair Winds,
Mike
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Old 19-11-2010, 06:37   #10
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Thank you everyone for your experience. When we left in 87 we had a schedule to keep and that is NOT the way to do it! You have reassured me. Thanks again.
Happy Sailing
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Old 19-11-2010, 12:43   #11
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Too early is hurricane season/ Too late is winter gale season.
Done it twice, got beat up both times. Make sure you understand how to plot hot n cold eddys. do not heave to in the stream, you may wind up in Newfoundland.
Leave on the back of a low. strong winds, but downwind. If you leave in nice weather and a low comes behind you, you will get headwinds . remember, wind goes towards the low!
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