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Old 30-12-2018, 11:12   #1
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Boston-Bermuda-Caribbean Best month?

We’re thinking about changing up our cruising plans and going the “Endless Summer” route. I’d like to get some advice on what’s the best month to sail from Boston to Bermuda, then on to various points in the Caribbean. Ideally, I’d like to do it in the Fall at the tail end of the hurricane season in order to spend the following five months in the sun.

When do most seasoned cruisers make the trip, and which island seems to be the first Caribbean destination to re-supply?

Thanks

Ken
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Old 31-12-2018, 12:33   #2
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Re: Boston-Bermuda-Caribbean Best month?

I'm kind of surprised there weren't any responses to this common question, maybe the title didn't generate any interest? Still looking for advice on when is the best time to sail across to Bermuda from Boston.

Thanks
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Old 31-12-2018, 12:59   #3
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Re: Boston-Bermuda-Caribbean Best month?

Grabbed my attention......!want to learn for a couple of years from now for wife and i
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Old 31-12-2018, 13:27   #4
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Re: Boston-Bermuda-Caribbean Best month?

The simple answer is outside of the hurricane season and the winter gale season. Unfortunetly, the North Atlantic is not a simple place to sail in a small boat.

If you are doing the "snowbird" passage south at the end of summer it is a very tough call, because there really is not a gap between the end of the hurricane season and the gale season that is measured in "months". Sometimes there is no real gap at all.

Now, LOTS of people do this passage in November. And every year some of them get hammered--badly.

The best answer is be ready to leave in mid October, and watch for a useful weather window. Be ready to jump as soon as you get a gap that looks good to you. If you are not comfortable making that call, hire a professional weather router to help. In any event, pick your best time, go fast, and be prepared for very rough weather if things go pear-shaped on the forecast.

There are lots of resources available to give a more timely, complete and nuanced answer to this question that you can get from postings here. By far the most popular and the best is World Cruising Routes by Jimmy Cornell. If you are planning to cross oceans, just buy one--and read it.
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Old 31-12-2018, 13:48   #5
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Re: Boston-Bermuda-Caribbean Best month?

If you are heading out to make it the shortest passage, then as Billk says you wait till the risk of a hurricane is low in early Nov. Then you are looking for a window where you don't get slammed by a winter front. If you are south bound and the weather is still good, no need to stop in Bermuda. It will probably be easier to get a window if you start from further south. Another possibility would be to do the Bermuda jump earlier in the year and lay the boat up there. Fly back after hurricane season to complete the passage. BVI makes a good landfall.
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Old 31-12-2018, 14:16   #6
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Re: Boston-Bermuda-Caribbean Best month?

Early November is the "least worst" time to go around the end of fall. From Boston, your route is going to be determined largely by getting through the Gulf Stream and then consulting the forecast about whether to shade west or east. 90% of the time you'll probably just be staying close to the rhumb line.

Crossing the Gulf Stream up off New England is complicated by the fact that it broadens out with a lot of larger eddies. You want to avoid fighting an eddy and instead use them to your advantage or at least thread between them. There are a few sources that give you timely info on the the stream is doing so you can plan your route accordingly.

Another option is to head down the coast inside the stream to Beaufort NC and then depart offshore from there. Crossing the GS is fairly straightforward there, as you'll be through it within 48 hours and so have less risk of the weather bucking the forecast and making the crossing miserable. But, that strategy will make for a longer trip overall.
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Old 31-12-2018, 14:50   #7
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Re: Boston-Bermuda-Caribbean Best month?

Strongly suggest going to Norfolk area (Hampton Roads). That a less than 48hrs from Long island sound (so add a day or 2 ). Several rallies leave from there- check out Salty Dawg Rally. From there it's a 7 to 10 day passage to BVI. (about 1400 miles.). Some people stop in Bermuda which is a little out of the way (normal route is west of Bermuda)
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Old 31-12-2018, 15:44   #8
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Re: Boston-Bermuda-Caribbean Best month?

i have done this trip several times out of barnegat light nj. as others have said norfolk is a great place to leave from in early nov. wait for a good weather window ,be patiant and you can get a 4 or 5 days of nw. the steam is narrow so u can cross it quickly .the faster you get se the better most lows come off the carolina coast and track e or ne. 50 or 60knts is common with these.there are 2 rallys that leave when the weather is permits so maybe a good place for info. leaving from new england your exposure is much longer. ive enjoyed the trip every time,last time was solo and was my favorite nov.2016 ps im no weather guru just a old commercial fisherman out of barnegat light that cant spell or type so take for what its worth. neal
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Old 31-12-2018, 15:47   #9
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Re: Boston-Bermuda-Caribbean Best month?

Ken,

Perhaps lack of replies were due to your recent post regarding the intended sale of your Oyster? Did you end up changing your minds?

I've done that trip in November. As Sunjin says Nov is the "least worst". Through Cape Cod Canal, provisioning stop in Bermuda and then stopped in the Bahamas - but then, we were on our way to Panama, and ultimately, getting the boat back to NZ.

Will it be in a new boat or your Oyster 52? (Just curious)

Happy New Year!
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Old 31-12-2018, 20:45   #10
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Re: Boston-Bermuda-Caribbean Best month?

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Ken,

Perhaps lack of replies were due to your recent post regarding the intended sale of your Oyster? Did you end up changing your minds?

I've done that trip in November. As Sunjin says Nov is the "least worst". Through Cape Cod Canal, provisioning stop in Bermuda and then stopped in the Bahamas - but then, we were on our way to Panama, and ultimately, getting the boat back to NZ.

Will it be in a new boat or your Oyster 52? (Just curious)

Happy New Year!
Little Wing
The Oyster 53 will remain for sale in Itay; but if we don’t find a buyer, we intend to keep using it this summer to see Greece and beyond. The boat is priced very competitively and is turn-key ready to cruise, so we’ll keep on using it until a reasonable buyer appears. We’re finding it very difficult to sell a non VAT paid boat in Europe and we’re not interested in dealing with the bottom feeders. The 62 will sail down to the Caribbean to be made available for charter use November through April. If the 53 remains unsold at the end of 2019, it will also be placed into charter service in Sardinia for 2020.
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Old 01-01-2019, 03:08   #11
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Re: Boston-Bermuda-Caribbean Best month?

I would go early. Much earlier. Before Hurricane season. Then, Go well south.
Possibly April or May to Bermuda. June is Hurricane season, insurance may be an issue.
Hurricanes can be avoided. Much easier than N Atlantic depressions.
Early season Hurricanes tend to be further South, less severe, don’t usually achieve named status until they are approaching the Caribbean.

Or if you want to go later. just don’t bother with Bermuda stick to coast. I have no idea how your mast fits in with the ICW. Even if you have to go outside a few times, it’s likely a more pleasant trip.

Going via Bermuda late in the year. You will have to deal with the N ATlantic. Then heading S from Bermuda you still have it for a while.
Then you won’t.

You’ve got a fair old ways to go with advers, little or no wind till you get far enough South to catch a fair wind.
Can you motor through it. Yes. If you have the fuel capacity.

From my perspective a late season trip in November is just asking for a rough time. Later gets worse.
Yes it can be done. Wait for the right window. Expect some Nasty weather maybe not to Nasty but moderately nasty. get to Bermuda and wait for the right weather to head south.

Best route. Rather than trying to go from Bermuda South. Go east in spring. Enjoy the Azores. I’ve never been there just seen them from a distance. Then via Portugal Gib Spain. Canaries then Cross to Caribbean with the ARC or Not.

A hell of a lot further. Less risk of crap weather, and your boat taking a beating.
It’s a long way. Or a very long way with some nice stops.

Or enjoy the Maritimes in the Spring and Cross to the Uk France etc then head south to join the ARC.

Of course it also depends on where you have been before and what you want to see. Other than the Sea.

If I really wanted to go via Bermuda then head south skipping going east.
I would go in the Spring, I would head right down to the Southern Windwards. For the Main part of Hurricane Season.

I would still consider early part of Hurricane Season a reasonable risk. If you have good means of getting a weather chart. Know the warning signs,

Of course this is probably contrary to most advice. Just what I would consider.
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Old 01-09-2020, 15:35   #12
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Re: Boston-Bermuda-Caribbean Best month?

Well, Kenomac, what did you come up with? We are contemplating going from New England out to Bermuda in Oct/Nov of 2021. Hang out for a few weeks and then head south to Bahamas or Caribbean. I've begun collecting information and as usual there are a lot of opinions on the internet
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Old 01-09-2020, 15:51   #13
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Re: Boston-Bermuda-Caribbean Best month?

Salty Dawgs depart the first weather window after November first. They have Chris Parker as weather router who also helps you pick your way through the Gulf Stream and eddies. Departure is from Hampton, Va but sone boats join from a few other marinas. It is not uncommon for the rally to wind up in Bermuda if the weather forces things. Some boats plan a Bermuda stop anyway. The rally goes to Antigua now. The Bitter End Yacht Club on Virgin Gorda was the long running destination but they never recovered from Maria and the BVI has been generally unwelcoming to cruisers and rallies. It’s a good group, the rally is affordable and Antigua is a nice place. If you are interested:

https://www.saltydawgsailing.org/
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Old 02-09-2020, 03:22   #14
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Re: Boston-Bermuda-Caribbean Best month?

Quote:
Originally Posted by LoudMusic View Post
Well, Kenomac, what did you come up with? We are contemplating going from New England out to Bermuda in Oct/Nov of 2021. Hang out for a few weeks and then head south to Bahamas or Caribbean. I've begun collecting information and as usual there are a lot of opinions on the internet
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Fair winds,
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Old 02-09-2020, 03:54   #15
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Re: Boston-Bermuda-Caribbean Best month?

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Originally Posted by LoudMusic View Post
Well, Kenomac, what did you come up with? We are contemplating going from New England out to Bermuda in Oct/Nov of 2021. Hang out for a few weeks and then head south to Bahamas or Caribbean. I've begun collecting information and as usual there are a lot of opinions on the internet
I'm based in Bermuda and have made these passages maybe 20 times. Post #4 basically echoes my views for an autumn passage. Many times I have been ready to go in mid-November but have not found an acceptable window until late December, so you have to be patient. I've only been hammered once, in December 2008.


Having said that, as time goes on I am generally more and more inclined to make these passages in late spring or early summer when scheduling permits. May, June and July have generally yielded the best passages for me. Then go South and either cruise Grenada, Trinidad & Tobago, Suriname, Guyana etc. or lay up until November/December.
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