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Old 29-11-2009, 11:25   #1
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Which Way Should I Go?

Hi all,
Planning a trip to the VI in mid to late Jan. Leaving from Slidell, La, close to New Orleans. My problem is deciding on routing. The choices are head to Isla Mujeras, then the S. side of Cuba. Other choice is to head to Key West, then try to decide best routing from there. With the prevelant east winds, I am wondering if maybe the Isla Mujeras choice isn't the best, and do a long southrely tack from there, then just a northerly tack to the virgins. Any and all suggestions are appreciated. I do not have the Gentlemans guide yet, but plan on getting it soon.
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Old 01-12-2009, 15:45   #2
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Which way to go

I don't know the answer to your question but suspect Key West/Bahamas/South to be best only because you don't have to fight both current and wind. In any case I'm heading to Isla Mujeres in late January aboard "Randy Jo" to visit the Caribbean coast of Mexico, Belize, and the Rio Dulce. If you take the Isla Mujeres route let me know and let's compare departure/crossing plans.
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Old 03-12-2009, 09:52   #3
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Just my 2 cents, but going the Mujeres route seems to add an AWFUL lot of distance to the overall route. From Slidell, you will add what, maybe 300 miles of West that you'll have to make back up on a looong southerly tack and back north, which will also add quite a bit of distance/time.

At least if you head south to the keys and then east, you have the stream on your stern for a little while anyway, rather than fighting the yucatan current. And you also have a number of places to stop if/when weather takes hold (winter isn't really the time to be stuck out in the middle of the western carib. There's only a smattering of options when the weather acts up - caymans, Providencia, San Andres...not much else down that way for quite a while on a S tack out of Mujeres)

But then again, if you don't mind, or prefer stronger winds and longer legs, maybe that's the way to go. Just some thoughts....that's all...

Good luck, and enjoy.

USCG Lic. Capt. Rob Welling
Professional Delivery Captain
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Old 03-12-2009, 10:43   #4
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Slidell to Key West and then you are into wind and current and it is a miserable trip worst 2000 of the 35,000 miles I have sailed (done it twice)...I would try and pick up NW winds of the northerly lows dipping south to make easting and southing either through the Old Bahama Channel or the Bahamas and the Turks but you will probably motor a great deal so the trip (we ran the engine for 238 hours from Miami to St Martin) has to be planned for getting fuel. Both trips I had over 50 gallons in cans.

Mexico/Central America to the Islands is usually much harder and sometimes nearly impossible in winter.

"Remember, experience only means that you screw-up less often."
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