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Old 26-04-2017, 21:05   #1
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Mississippi to Venezuela next month

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.
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Old 26-04-2017, 23:39   #2
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Re: Mississippi to Venezuela next month

Venezuela now, you gotta be kidding.
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Old 27-04-2017, 03:00   #3
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Re: Mississippi to Venezuela next month

Why did your friend choose venezuela as his destination?
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Old 27-04-2017, 03:49   #4
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Re: Mississippi to Venezuela next month

He needs another destination. Is this a joke? Watch the news. There are no supplies available in Venezuela. Food shortages, water and sanitary problems - the people there in your friend's income bracket are just trying to survive. Picking a route is the least of his worries.
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Old 27-04-2017, 04:03   #5
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Re: Mississippi to Venezuela next month

He will be killed in Venezualea. Dead.

He is sailing directly into Hurricane season. He must not go until hurricane season finished in November.

He must clear into every country no matter if he just anchors for 10 minutes. He can have his boat taken from him by the country if he is caught.

The only country that's stupidly expensive is Bahamas (oh, and Venezuela) everywhere else is cheap.

If he doesn't know where to turn he should not go.

My suggestion, wait to November and sail from Florida to the Bahamas, over the top to the Caribbean Islands and cruise up and down them.
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Old 27-04-2017, 04:30   #6
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Re: Mississippi to Venezuela next month

Quote:
Originally Posted by drvlikhell View Post

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.
===

I'm still trying to figure out if this is a troll or not. If not, your friend is terribly misguided. First and foremost US citizens are not welcome in Venezuela at the present time so even if your friend is fortunate enough to get there, he will probably be given a hostile reception at best. Secondly, that's a very challenging voyage for an inexperienced person and he'll be lucky to make it half way. If he's not to be dissuaded, best bet is to route him along a path where he'll have time to learn without getting totally over his head. Start by heading east along the Gulf coast to the vicinity of Carrabelle, Florida and then offshore to Clearwater, and then south to the Florida Keys. That will give him some experience but still within US waters and with fairly ready assistance available. From the Keys there are many well known routes down through the Bahamas and Caribbean. It's unlikely he'll make it that far but if he does, it's simply a matter of continuing south through the Leeward and Windward Islands to Grenada, Trinidad and Venezuela. With the exception of the Bahamas most of the entry and exit fees are fairly reasonable but that will be the least of his expenses. There is a lot of valuable information here: www.Noonsite.com and here: www.activecaptain.com
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Old 27-04-2017, 05:52   #7
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Re: Mississippi to Venezuela next month

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, drvlikhell.
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Old 27-04-2017, 06:08   #8
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Re: Mississippi to Venezuela next month

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.
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Old 27-04-2017, 07:07   #9
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Re: Mississippi to Venezuela next month

I'm siding with those who believe this is a troll post.

So many things wrong, I wouldn't know where to start. If your friend is half as incompetent as you imply, do him a favor and go sink his boat before he heads out.
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Old 27-04-2017, 07:23   #10
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Re: Mississippi to Venezuela next month

Maybe the guy is a Chavista and needs to get to Venezuela asap to fight for President Maduro and the Socialista revolution.

Quote:
Originally Posted by valhalla360 View Post
I'm siding with those who believe this is a troll post.

So many things wrong, I wouldn't know where to start. If your friend is half as incompetent as you imply, do him a favor and go sink his boat before he heads out.
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Old 27-04-2017, 07:40   #11
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Re: Mississippi to Venezuela next month

this has to be a troll post as no one but no one with half a brain goes to vene anymore--especially from usa. is certain imprisonment an death. awesome post tho--good troll.. 25 ft boat?? impressive.
if not a troll post, have him try to make it to dry tortugas. mebbe he will learn the capabilities of both boat and self by then.
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Old 27-04-2017, 08:12   #12
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Re: Mississippi to Venezuela next month

Throw a great party for your friend before he leaves and say good bye cause you ain't gonna see him again.
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Old 27-04-2017, 08:16   #13
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Re: Mississippi to Venezuela next month

Quote:
Originally Posted by wayne.b View Post
===

I'm still trying to figure out if this is a troll or not. If not, your friend is terribly misguided. First and foremost US citizens are not welcome in Venezuela at the present time so even if your friend is fortunate enough to get there, he will probably be given a hostile reception at best. Secondly, that's a very challenging voyage for an inexperienced person and he'll be lucky to make it half way. If he's not to be dissuaded, best bet is to route him along a path where he'll have time to learn without getting totally over his head. Start by heading east along the Gulf coast to the vicinity of Carrabelle, Florida and then offshore to Clearwater, and then south to the Florida Keys. That will give him some experience but still within US waters and with fairly ready assistance available. From the Keys there are many well known routes down through the Bahamas and Caribbean. It's unlikely he'll make it that far but if he does, it's simply a matter of continuing south through the Leeward and Windward Islands to Grenada, Trinidad and Venezuela. With the exception of the Bahamas most of the entry and exit fees are fairly reasonable but that will be the least of his expenses. There is a lot of valuable information here: www.Noonsite.com and here: www.activecaptain.com
Yeah! waiting for the other shoe to fall.

But if not, this is the best advice. If things go sour he is close to US shores initially and good stopping places the rest of the trip.

The "washing machine" (Gulf of Mexico) can whip up quick. So this is another reason to stay close to shore in a small boat on that leg.

SO come on what's the punch line?

Anyway welcome aboard!
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Old 27-04-2017, 08:41   #14
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Re: Mississippi to Venezuela next month

I stopped reading after the first few paragraphs.

If you are a friend sink his boat before he puts OTHER people in danger, not just himself.

On second thought the Darwin Awards need some 2017 nominees :-)
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Old 27-04-2017, 08:50   #15
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Re: Mississippi to Venezuela next month

Is "your friend" on any three letter agency lists? April 2017 join date plus details indicate a "bug out"...
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