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Old 28-04-2017, 21:50   #31
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Re: Mississippi to Venezuela next month

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Originally Posted by Dave the Canuck View Post
Only missed April 1 by 26 days.

BTW. I spent a couple of weeks in Venezuela about 35 years ago (Yup. Time flies.) and it was great. Damn shame the way things worked out.
And I've spent the last 37yr in the US. It was great. Damn shame the way things worked out.
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Old 28-04-2017, 22:15   #32
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Re: Mississippi to Venezuela next month

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Originally Posted by drvlikhell View Post
Hey yall, I'm new here and I came to ask for advice to help my friend. He's extremely computer challenged, to put it mildly, and there's no way he'd figure out a forum. On the flip side, I'm not very educated in nautical terms. I had to look up quite a few things like leeward vs windward over the past few days while doing research for my friend, so please forgive me if I have to ask for a definition for something that Google fails with.

Ok, to the point! My friend has a 25 foot sloop and he's going to sail from Mississippi to Venezuela next month via the Caribbean. He'll be sailing single handed, no motoring unless there's no wind and the current takes him backward. He's marginally experienced with sailing, but he's never gone farther than the barrier islands of MS. It's quite a stretch compared to what he's used to, but he's made up his mind, he's going, and that's it.

The first questions are about the route.

Should he go North or South around Cuba?

If North, should he go all the way north around the top of the Bahamas to avoid the trade winds? Or is it too late or too far to try to avoid them now?

Which ever is the best path for this time of year, can anybody give specifics, like where to turn to get south of the northern Caribbean islands if not already going South of Cuba? And which islands to stay close to, or maybe away from?

Next up is about supplies and customs. My friend doesn't care about stopping and hanging around or seeing sights, he just wants to sail. I read a few posts about whether or not you have to check in and out with customs when stopping for fuel/supplies and the general answer is that yes you do. But there were some places mentioned that give you 24 hours without having to do any paperwork or pay any fees as long as you're just getting supplies. However a lot of the things I read were over 10 years old. Can anyone give some specific places that currently give you 24 hours like that? My friend doesn't have a lot of money to spend, and if he has to pay $300 every time he stops for supplies that's going to seriously cut into his budget.

Lastly, what do you guys recommend for charts and course plotting. By some miracle, my friend manages to successfully use a GPS. I saw there are some marine specific Garmin devices that have charts that can be gotten used on eBay for a couple hundred bucks. That's right in his price range, are they a good idea?

If there are any recommendations that yall can think of, I'd be glad to hear em. Except for the recommendation not to go, or go later in the year. My friend won't hear it. In his mind, he's already gone.

Thanks a whole bunch and sorry for some real noob questions.

So from MS your friend wants to take the Gulf ICW east then south to Ft. Meyers then cut across FL taking the Okeechobee Waterway, then south to Miami. Wait for a weather window and cross into the Bahamas. Then south following the island chain.

The site Noonsite has a lot of current or at least recent info about customs, immigration, provisioning and services along the way.

Find out what kind of boat he has. We can give better advice knowing that.

Generic advice for the boat would be to get 3 100' pieces of 3/16" chain for anchoring, a 25lb delta anchor, a 20-25lb Mantus/Rocna/Manson Supreme anchor, and a Fortress FX-11 or -16 anchor. And 3 150' sections of 3/8" or 7/16" 3 strand nylon anchor rode.

He needs to get an slightly oversized autopilot (Simrad TP-10 should be fine) and you should get him the book by Lee Woas that explains a bunch of different sheet to tiller self-steering arrangements. Also get him some small blocks and surgical tubing.

He needs a drifter headsail for light wind sailing. He needs a spinnaker pole or a whisker pole.

He needs a bimini over the cockpit. With a short time horizon, he can get a cheap one from Amazon.
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Old 29-04-2017, 17:11   #33
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Re: Mississippi to Venezuela next month

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Originally Posted by Adelie View Post
And I've spent the last 37yr in the US. It was great. Damn shame the way things worked out.
Brought on a chuckle, followed by quiet sobbing...

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