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Old 01-04-2012, 08:37   #16
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Re: Thorny Path-Westbound

We are planning to make the same trip soon. Have read the Van Sant book and will probably follow it for the way home (to JAX FL). Planning to coast up the north coast of the DR for a crossing tothe Turks and Caicosand on to the Bahamas. Any suggestions on this route?
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Old 02-04-2012, 19:49   #17
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Re: Thorny Path-Westbound

Did a delivery trip, Nanny Cay to NE Florida this past August. (I got a rider from the insurance co. to cover the late trip.) Sail boat had been out of commission for the last three years, so we day sailed from Tortola through the Spanish Virgins, along the south coast of PR to Point Roja. With all the debugging we had to do, we jumped off from there and sailed direct across the Mona Passage, offshore the northeast coast of Hispaniola, bypassed the Turks and Caicos and stopped for fuel in Rum Cay in the Bahamas. It was a very easy run. Decided the DR didn't have anything we needed, although from ten miles out the northeast of the island is stunning.

Watch for shipping in the Mona Passage. We saw more traffic there than the rest of the trip combined until the Gulf Stream - which is even busier.

From Rum Cay, direct to Marsh Harbor for a crew change, then up the Sea of Abaco and across the Stream to Florida.

Painless. If you have time, make more stops. Reference books - up-to-date editions - can steer you to fuel; if you're prudent that shouldn't be much of an issue. August conditions we totally benign between the hurricanes (we were about a week and a half ahead of Irene - and watching very closely).

In May you should see fairly nice breezes most of the way. If you have steadying sails, check 'em out before you go and plan to use 'em. If you want to avoid big waves, the south coast of PR will provide some help and not too much added distance. And stopping is easier on the south coast. Otherwise, avoid a dead downwind course to minimize rolling.

There aren't many places to stop in the DR other than Luperon. And you need to stay well offshore of the northeast coast in any case. That led us to bypass the DR altogether, but you're not on a delivery, so suit yourself.

Fair winds and following seas, Cap'n.

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