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Old 03-01-2014, 08:33   #1
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Going to the Carib

Hey fellow cruisers,

I am new to this forum and happy to introduce me. I am Gunter from Germany.

My wife and I bought a new boat, very nice!! A Bavaria 32. Now we have sailed last year in the Netherlands, to Texel and back. And we learned quickly.

Now we have both 4 months sabatical and decide that we want to sail to the carribean. Because we heard many great stories.

So a few questions.

1. Is it very difficult to go there? Like storms and big waves? We want to go from Netherlands to Spain to Caribbean. Or via France, but we prefer not to go north of England like planes, because that seems a little bit cold in my opinion.

2. I am color blind, so I am little bit scared about the lights at night. Because how can you see the difference between red and green.

3. Also we have no experience, but we think, we will get much once we are on the water. So do we need any books? or maps maybe?

4. The boat has some nautical equipment, but I also have an ipad and found some great apps. Can I just use that? Or do you need more tools?

We want to leave in 4 - 6 weeks, because other our sabatical is over before we are even on board.

This is it so far. Look forward to receive some tips from you fellow cruisers!
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Old 03-01-2014, 08:46   #2
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Re: Going to the Carib

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Gunter.
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Old 03-01-2014, 08:47   #3
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Re: Going to the Carib

Thanks buddy!
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Old 03-01-2014, 09:08   #4
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pirate Re: Going to the Carib

Quote:
Originally Posted by xavcarib View Post
Hey fellow cruisers,

I am new to this forum and happy to introduce me. I am Gunter from Germany.

My wife and I bought a new boat, very nice!! A Bavaria 32. Now we have sailed last year in the Netherlands, to Texel and back. And we learned quickly.

Now we have both 4 months sabatical and decide that we want to sail to the carribean. Because we heard many great stories.

So a few questions.

1. Is it very difficult to go there? Like storms and big waves? We want to go from Netherlands to Spain to Caribbean. Or via France, but we prefer not to go north of England like planes, because that seems a little bit cold in my opinion.

I would recommend you sail down to the Cape Verde islands to make the crossing.. the trade winds will be settled this time of year and you should make a quick smooth crossing.
The hard bit is getting from Holland to Cabo St Vincente for the jump to the Canaries. The English Channel and the Bay of Biscay can be seriously bad this time of year as you can see with the current weather.. at the moment there are reports of seas in the Biscay between 11 and 20 metres depending which part of the Bay you are in.. also down the Portuguese West coast the sea's are pretty big right now.

2. I am color blind, so I am little bit scared about the lights at night. Because how can you see the difference between red and green.

That should be no big deal as the angle of the bow and aft lights will give you the info as to whether its coming straight at you or moving left to right or vice versa across your path.. you'll see those long before the G and R nav lights.

3. Also we have no experience, but we think, we will get much once we are on the water. So do we need any books? or maps maybe?

I would recommend you carry paper Passage charts.. 4-5 should cover the whole area you'll be travelling.. a Pilot book for the Carib would also be good.

4. The boat has some nautical equipment, but I also have an ipad and found some great apps. Can I just use that? Or do you need more tools?

I don't know if an I.pad is usable.. I use a Notebook W7 with a program called Nimble Navigator and has World charts CM93 plus you'll need a GPS puck.. a separate hand held GPS would also be a good idea
We want to leave in 4 - 6 weeks, because other our sabatical is over before we are even on board.

This is it so far. Look forward to receive some tips from you fellow cruisers!
I would also recommend a Pilot Atlas of the Atlantic/Med... Stanford Marine or similar..
It will be a rush.. maybe 2 months to get to the Carib if you push it.. weather windows for getting far enough South being the main factor..
Good Luck..
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Old 03-01-2014, 09:11   #5
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Re: Going to the Carib

Hi Gunter and welcome to the forum but from your questions I am not really certain you are serious and might be making a joke?

If you are serious and considering a trip to the Caribbean, based on the questions you ask I think it would be a very good idea to learn a lot more about weather, seamanship and navigation before you attempt the trip.

First you will certainly need maps or charts. Could you drive from Hamburg to Munchen with no map, no GPS and no road signs (there are no road signs on the ocean)? Could you find the train station in Frankfurt with no maps, no GPS, no signs and no one to ask directions?

Yes there could be strong winds and big waves. Have you been watching the weather in Europe? Just in the last couple of weeks there were strong storms across the UK and western Europe. Storms strong enough to sink your boat. If you want to leave in 4-6 weeks you will be sailing from Germany in winter weather when a storm can arrive quickly. Also, crossing the Bay of Biscay in the winter can be very dangerous.

You need to study the ocean winds and currents. You would not sail north to go to the Caribbean even in the summer. The winds in the north blow mostly from the west but you want to sail east. Go south to Gibraltar and you are starting to reach the trade winds that blow from the east and will push you in the right direction.

There is much more to discuss but I hope you see some of the issues.

Good luck

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Old 03-01-2014, 09:17   #6
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Re: Going to the Carib

Your enthusiasm is admirable but you might want to slow down a bit and gain more experience prior to undertaking such an adventure.
My advice would be to fly to the Caribbean and charter somewhere such as the BVI's or Grenadines.
4 months is not a very long time to make two ocean crossings and see the Caribbean. Weather is something you must gain respect for and it will not always be in your favor regarding a time schedule.
Good luck on your adventure in whatever you choose.
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Old 03-01-2014, 09:40   #7
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Re: Going to the Carib

Hi Guys,

Caradow, that is not a bad idea at all. Although.. It is very expensive isnt it?

Skipmac, thanks for your very extended information. I do agree with you. Although I thought today things are quite easy. Especially because you can download weather maps.

I also found an app for that. But maybe you are right and I will try to gather some information.

Boatman, thanks so much. I really was not aware of the fact that waves could be soooo high. I can imagine in the middle of the ocean, but already in the north sea sooo high. Amazing. I try to find more information.

Thanks buddies.
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Old 03-01-2014, 10:02   #8
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pirate Re: Going to the Carib

Try looking here.. www.crewbay.com .. you'll find folk looking for crew to help them cruise the islands for expenses only towards food etc.. for example...

Cruising the Caribbean Crew wanted: Recreational Crew Vessel: Sailing Boat Size:36 f Location: Netherlands Antilles Destination: Guatemala Logged in: 1 days ago Rik's S.V.: Hi sailors, divers, My name is Rik and I sail my sail 36 ft Najad around the world. Comfort and safety come before speed, so no hurry, no rush, no race. At this moment cruising the warm waters of the Caribbean, - See more at: CREWBAY - Find boats, Yacht jobs, Crew jobs, Boating experiences and travel the world
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Old 03-01-2014, 10:15   #9
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Re: Going to the Carib

Quote:
Originally Posted by xavcarib View Post
Hey fellow cruisers,

I am new to this forum and happy to introduce me. I am Gunter from Germany. Hello Gunter and welcome.....

My wife and I bought a new boat, very nice!! A Bavaria 32. Now we have sailed last year in the Netherlands, to Texel and back. And we learned quickly.

Now we have both 4 months sabatical and decide that we want to sail to the carribean. Because we heard many great stories.

So a few questions.

1. Is it very difficult to go there? Like storms and big waves? We want to go from Netherlands to Spain to Caribbean. Or via France, but we prefer not to go north of England like planes, because that seems a little bit cold in my opinion. As others have mentioned, things can get rather "Lumpy" this time of year through the Channel, Bay of Biscay especially, your 32 footer may not exactly be comfortable in any major sea's.

2. I am color blind, so I am little bit scared about the lights at night. Because how can you see the difference between red and green. I would recommend an AIS, at least you'll know the direction of commercial vessels that are in close proximity...and that may be of concern to you.

3. Also we have no experience, but we think, we will get much once we are on the water. So do we need any books? or maps maybe? Well, this is tricky Gunter...experience is one thing you simply can't achieve overnight..do you really want to roll the dice by crossing the Atlantic now? There's always next year..? I would suggest taking your time and collect some sea time on your new boat in variable sea states and get comfortable with her...then think to yourself, a couple of weeks at sea with no one around to assist you, can you really handle any situation that you may encounter??? The Med might be a good area to get familiar with your Boat.

4. The boat has some nautical equipment, but I also have an ipad and found some great apps. Can I just use that? Or do you need more tools?
I would recommend at least two independent GPS systems, but, you must have Paper Charts...don't rely on Electronics...they will fail at some point, just when you really need them.

We want to leave in 4 - 6 weeks, because other our sabatical is over before we are even on board. 4 - 6 weeks not a lot of time to get ready...you have all the safety gear, MOB, ditch bag etc etc. Sat Phone?
SSB?

This is it so far. Look forward to receive some tips from you fellow cruisers!
So, Gunter.....IMHO I would recommend that you don't rush into something that you may not be ready for....that Blue Stuff out there looks really pretty...but, she demands a lot of respect and can bite you in the bum really quickly.
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Old 03-01-2014, 11:36   #10
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Re: Going to the Carib

Dear all,


Thank you so much for the replies. My wife and i have evaluated some of your feedback and read some more on the internet regarding to ocean crossings.

Also we talked about our goals and the reasons and feelings we shared to take up such a voyage.

The ultimate freedom was our mutual answer, so I joked why we got married. She laughed out loud. Then after some wines we decided that this crossing can cost much energy and also faces some risks, so in terms of freedom, this might not be the most for the hand laying option.

So we decided to rent a campervan and go surfing and chilling in france / spain / portugal and possibly Morocco.

I think I will look around for an old volkswagen or old mercedes or so, but i will leave that to another forum.

Only question remaining is if i should keep or sell the boat. But that is what I will figure out later.

Thanks again buddies!!! Tails up!
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Old 03-01-2014, 11:55   #11
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Re: Going to the Carib

Well very well......
Do you know how to surf?
There are some great waves in Portugal!
Enjoy your sabbatical
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Old 03-01-2014, 12:05   #12
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Re: Going to the Carib

No i think about taking some lessons then in morocco. Seems nice for pros and starters both. And the advantage is that if it is too difficult you can enjoy a gt on the beach and enjoy nature.
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Old 03-01-2014, 12:08   #13
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pirate Re: Going to the Carib

Quote:
Originally Posted by xavcarib View Post
Dear all,


Thank you so much for the replies. My wife and i have evaluated some of your feedback and read some more on the internet regarding to ocean crossings.

Also we talked about our goals and the reasons and feelings we shared to take up such a voyage.

The ultimate freedom was our mutual answer, so I joked why we got married. She laughed out loud. Then after some wines we decided that this crossing can cost much energy and also faces some risks, so in terms of freedom, this might not be the most for the hand laying option.

So we decided to rent a campervan and go surfing and chilling in france / spain / portugal and possibly Morocco.

I think I will look around for an old volkswagen or old mercedes or so, but i will leave that to another forum.

Only question remaining is if i should keep or sell the boat. But that is what I will figure out later.

Thanks again buddies!!! Tails up!
There is another option.. hire a delivery skipper to sail it to Almerimar in the Med for you and base your cruising from there
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Old 03-01-2014, 13:44   #14
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Re: Going to the Carib

Are we not the most influential sailing forum on the internet????

here a guy buys a brand new bavaria 32, then asks us if he should do a transat, we say no, so he says ok, i'll sell it, buy an old vw, and go surfing.

now tell us, what other forum could so change a persons life in a few brief posts???
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Old 03-01-2014, 13:49   #15
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Re: Going to the Carib

Well said Onestep, his heart couldn't have been in it as much as it needs to be....
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