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Old 24-01-2023, 13:52   #1
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Carribean to Boston

I'm looking at sailing my Cat in May/June from Martinique to the Boston area.

Anything I should be aware of, regarding weather and routes ?

I just sailed from Barcelona to Martinique this past December. The boat handled it very well. But we had very nice weather for the whole trip. The Tradewinds were easy to deal with.

I never sailed in the northern Atlantic... And I am a bit nervous about it.

Thanks!
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Old 24-01-2023, 14:54   #2
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Re: Carribean to Boston

I would stop in Bermuda just because it is such a nice place to spend a week or so. From there you have the choice to get to Boston either directly or through Long Island Sound via the Cape Cod Canal, or even NYC if you have the time and inclination. Going through Long Island Sound allows many interesting spots like Mystic Seaport (make a reservation to spend a night there), Newport, etc. Should be an easy and pleasant trip at that time of year.
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Old 24-01-2023, 14:56   #3
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Re: Carribean to Boston

I'll be spending the whole summer in that area. My question was more towards weather and route from the Caribbean. I know it can get nasty going south in November. What about may/June ? Thanks!
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Old 24-01-2023, 15:16   #4
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Re: Carribean to Boston

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Originally Posted by MartyB View Post
I'll be spending the whole summer in that area. My question was more towards weather and route from the Caribbean. I know it can get nasty going south in November. What about may/June ? Thanks!
Late April and early May can be very unsettled and boisterous. Late May and June are fine. You want to watch for a large storm system working it’s way to Cape Hatteras as they will often intensify as they collide with the Gulf Stream and work their way northeast.
I try to leave New England by mid-May when running down to Bermuda. Look for a weather window and you’ll be fine…you have the Gulf Stream in your favor.
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Old 24-01-2023, 15:24   #5
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Re: Carribean to Boston

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I would stop in Bermuda just because it is such a nice place to spend a week or so. From there you have the choice to get to Boston either directly or through Long Island Sound via the Cape Cod Canal, or even NYC if you have the time and inclination. Going through Long Island Sound allows many interesting spots like Mystic Seaport (make a reservation to spend a night there), Newport, etc. Should be an easy and pleasant trip at that time of year.
Martinique to Boston, Bermuda is a very long ways off route.

This time of year it seems like it would be far easier to just run the Thorny path backwards. The wind will be at your back or broad reach most of the trip.

There are numerous islands to duck behind when the weather is bad.

Then follow the Gulf stream up the US East coast.

Duck into one of the many marinas during the occasional cold front.

OR depending on draft follow the ICW during bad offshore days.

North Atlantic in Mid winter can be bumpy, and early spring isn't much better.
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Old 24-01-2023, 16:21   #6
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Re: Carribean to Boston

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Martinique to Boston, Bermuda is a very long ways off route.
How so? It's very much in line between Martinique and Boston. The Thorny path is a much more indirect route.
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Old 24-01-2023, 17:15   #7
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Re: Carribean to Boston

Sailing back to the east coast from the Caribbean in late spring/early summer is a nice sail. Bermuda is five days from the virgins, Charleston is seven days. If a tropical storm spins up you stop and let it go by. Sailing south in November is a bit spicier.
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Old 24-01-2023, 17:53   #8
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Re: Carribean to Boston

In 2020 we sailed late June from Dominica to Beaufort, NC non stop. It was a good sail. We have some weather as we approached the Gulf Stream and hove to one night to let the squall line pass. Then we had to run hard to beat another front into Beaufort. We had Chris Parker as a wx router, worth while.

Coming South from the Delaware this year was OK, but not nearly as comfortable, days of 8’ beam swell, and we nearly tangled with a bad system. But we survived with few stories worth telling.

I would avoid thr Thorny Path. Rocky stuff there that causes holes in your boat. Seriously, off shore is, to me, FAR more relaxing and safer. Especially short handed.

Obviously others have different risk assessments.
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Old 24-01-2023, 18:15   #9
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Re: Carribean to Boston

Eventually you will have to contend with the Gulf Stream as it meanders northwards. This is a crap shoot as it can change direction from day to day, but it does influence weather.

Bermuda is a nice and pleasant stop over. Keep a firm grip on your wallet while there, as prices will shock you.

Odds are that somewhere along the way, you are going to have to deal with some adverse weather.

I've sailed to Bermuda three times in the May/June timeframe, and every trip, either getting there or returning, I have had to deal with some unpleasant weather, lasting 2-3 days. The Bermuda Triangle curse....who knows ?? Just reef down and plough thru' it.

As Capn Bill above has suggested, a far more pleasant route would be to work your way back thru' the island chain in a westerly direction and enjoy the trip, which can be done in several hops. From the B'mas catch a ride on the Gulf Stream going north. There are numerous destinations along the east coast of the US where you can check in. If you have the time, this would be my recommendation as well.

If you are under time constraints, you'll have to throw the dice. Typically the winds in the north Atlantic circle around the so -called " Bermuda High" in clockwise direction, which predominates from spring thru' fall.

I've had times of zero wind out there, but also some blustery conditions.

There really is not telling as things change from year to year, but hope this gives you some guidance.
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Old 25-01-2023, 10:50   #10
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Re: Carribean to Boston

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In
I would avoid thr Thorny Path. Rocky stuff there that causes holes in your boat. Seriously, off shore is, to me, FAR more relaxing and safer. Especially short handed.

Obviously others have different risk assessments.
Plenty of water if you don't hug the shoreline too closely.

And for me an easy sail is to cruise a few days, then drop anchor, and take a nap.

I see the point of the direct route guys. 10 to 12 days of absolute misery beating into Atlantic storms, and you're there. Or wait months for a good weather window.

Or take a month, and see the islands, stop for repairs if needed, spare parts are available or can be ordered on most islands, and have a vacation.

OP was concerned about new to him boat, unknown previous owner deferred maintenance, and offshore weather.

If OP had done this trip repeatedly before he would be unlikely to be asking advice on the internet.


The rocks, and coral aren't a problem if you watch your charts, and cross the banks during daylight.

I've sailed parts of the thorny path, and found the trip back North was quick, and easy.
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Old 25-01-2023, 12:15   #11
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Re: Carribean to Boston

I have done the Caribbean to New York, rather than Boston, with a stop in Bermuda, at this time of year a couple of times and very much enjoyed the trip. Other than a couple of squalls around 25 knots, nothing more than 18 or so.
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