Originally Posted by HopCar
Nick, I'm confused. Are you suggesting that it is easier to make the trip in hurricane season rather than before it starts?
Indeed. The only bad thing about hurricane season are the hurricanes. But the trade
winds are gone too, so when you want to make easting in the Caribbean
, doing this on the turn of the seasons is the best option.
I do not recommend to do it on the end of hurricane season (like it is now) because this is when hurricanes can form in the West Caribbean, which would severely spoil the fun of trips in that area. At the start of the season, the hurricanes all form over the Atlantic so that you get ample warning and also they go North and almost never hit the area (it's Bermuda
where you are in high risk of these).
Of course there's always possible freak storms so never take these patterns as certain facts.
I have seen 130' megayachts sail from Panama
East like to Jamaica
or ABC's only to see them return with a lot of damage and tail between the legs a couple of days later. Reinforced trades and the waves (think 20') are hard to beat when on the nose. On the other hand, boats have been reaching from Panama to ABCs in nice South winds or even downwind during summer months. Panama to ABCs is actually pretty safe during all of hurricane season.
Always remember that the only place around the Caribbean Sea that is safe from hurricanes is Panama. All the rest is a risk. We have been hit hard in Grenada
and were lucky in Aruba
and have been under hurricane watch seeking cover in mangroves or fleeing like a bat out of hell many times all over the Caribbean. Be sure to respect these storms but don't dismiss summer for trips in the Caribbean either.