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Old 19-04-2020, 05:02   #1
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Possible sail from Fajardo, PR to New Jersey

Hi,
I've been following the threads about moving boats north during this pandemic since a close friend has asked me to help him move his boat north in late May. My sense is that conservative sailors might forget about this year's sailing season because things are too unpredictable to think about heading north (or anywhere) anytime soon. Assuming things change by late May, can you help me understand the conditions I should expect at sea if we stay outside and make a run straight to NJ? Please excuse the naive question. I'm a petite female, 66 years old, who loves to sail, and is happiest when I am at sea. I crewed for my friend when he took his 51 Beneteau Sense to Bermuda for the America's Cup races and helped him move his boat from Grenada to Fajardo last year. I also helped another friend move his boat from Salem, MA to New Jersey this past summer. I'm good reliable crew in good conditions but have never been on a boat that hit bad weather or really rough seas. My friend is going to contract for weather routing, but let me know up front that we will likely be at sea for at least 8 days and maybe as long as 11 days, and we will most likely be far from land most of the time. In late May or early June is it likely we will hit some bad weather moving this boat north? And, we might have time, weather dependent, to quarantine in PR for a few days after flying down to the marina to pick up the boat, but if we get a weather window that says leave now, we will head out to sea before we have time to find out if any of the crew was infected with Covid on the flight down. Does all of this sound too risky?

Please be kind. I own a Cape Dory Typhoon Weekender, that I have sailed on on Barnegat Bay in New Jersey for 32 years. My husband is not a sailor, so I feel lucky to have a friend like Jose who occasionally includes me on long trips on his beautiful boat. Since I sold my business a few years ago, my goal has been to crew for Jose as often as possible. So, I really want to go on this trip but don't want to be stupid, and I don't have enough offshore experience to know how to evaluate Jose's plan.

Thank you in advance. Be well and be safe.
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Old 19-04-2020, 05:19   #2
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Re: Possible sail from Fajardo, PR to New Jersey

That is about the best time of year for the sail. You should be fine. A lot depends on your personal definition of 'bad weather'. You would be unlikely to get a depression from the north (or south for that matter) but you could get the odd squall with winds in the 30 knot range. These are nasty but do not last long. Check to see if your friend has any experience with heaving-to. You can heave-to for an hour or three to let the squall disappear. Also, you can generally see them on radar if you have it and go around them or wait while they pass.

You should be aware that your passage will be longer than any forecasts you get before you leave and once you are a week out a router's report may or may not help you to dodge anything, but they will tell you what to prepared for.

Have a great trip, should be fun.
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Old 19-04-2020, 05:25   #3
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Re: Possible sail from Fajardo, PR to New Jersey

A straight shot PR to NJ is fine , but Bermuda is on the way , and if you have time its great stop.

"In late May or early June is it likely we will hit some bad weather moving this boat north?"

That time of year "bad weather" can be 25K 30K or so.Hardly very bad as you will be offshore enough that the fetch will flatten all the small bumpy waves , and you will simply go up and down.

No guarantee , but I flew the area for 3 years and 080/15 K was the norm.
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Old 19-04-2020, 05:33   #4
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Re: Possible sail from Fajardo, PR to New Jersey

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, catwhispurrr.
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Old 19-04-2020, 06:13   #5
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Re: Possible sail from Fajardo, PR to New Jersey

Following as we are looking at Caribbean to East Coast mid June.

If the boat has a SSB HF radio and/or sat phone then you can get weather forecasts (GRIB ) and also talk to the weather router.

I’ve been advised By a weather router to wait until June to leave.

But also you can download some Sailing Direction charts to get typical wind strength and much other data.

https://msi.nga.mil/Publications/SDEnroute
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Old 19-04-2020, 06:50   #6
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Re: Possible sail from Fajardo, PR to New Jersey

I've done the Northbound (Caribbean to CT) twice. About 7 yrs ago it was Tortola to Ct and on the way back we were advised (Herb) to head into Bermuda as a Gale was approaching. That was about May 20th. Two years ago started from Antigua on May 15th and made Ct in 11 days with no stops. No bad weather other than a brief squall as we approached the Gulf stream.
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Old 19-04-2020, 07:56   #7
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Re: Possible sail from Fajardo, PR to New Jersey

Thank you all for your prompt replies and words of encouragement. I was just about to let Jose know I was in when he called me to disinvite me! He is going to participate in the Salty Dawg trip that heads north on about the 20th of May and thinks the earlier departure might mean we will hit rougher weather than the later departure. He wants me to test my ability to handle rough seas and rough weather when there will be multiple bale out options, which there won't be this trip from PR to NJ. Good news he is considering me for crew if he joins the rally to Maine this summer. I'm disappointed but trust Jose and it sounds like other crew members had concerns about me too.

Thanks again.
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Old 19-04-2020, 10:12   #8
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Re: Possible sail from Fajardo, PR to New Jersey

Diane
You should check out crew positions forum here on CF there might be something that might interest you.
Love the name of your typhoon
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