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Old 26-01-2022, 14:49   #1
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Passage to Isla Mujeres

Hello fellow members. I will be making a passage from Ft.Myers to Isla Mujeres, Mexico in the mid February, weather permitting. It is my first passage in that direction. I don't want to go straight to Isla Mujeres as I have to pick up a few things in Key West on the way there. So the plan is to go to Key West first, than from there cross Golfstreem and head to Cuba. Than sail along the coast all the way to the west end of Cuba and than sail to Isla Mujeres (20-24 hours estimate).
I would really appreciate all input and comments from members. Any pointers, what to watch for, suggestions, etc. etc. This passage will be made on 95 Catalina36.

Thank you.

pzmaria
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Old 26-01-2022, 15:50   #2
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Re: Passage to Isla Mujeres

First, get exit paperwork from the CBP at the Key West airport.

Second, the current moves north pretty strongly as you approach Isla Mujeres from the west end of Cuba, so do not sail rumb line.

Third, you will need to make the rounds in Isla Mujeres, starting at the Port Captain, and ending with an onboard Agricultural inspection. We had to go over to the mainland to get a TIP (Temporary Import Permit).
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Old 26-01-2022, 18:35   #3
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Re: Passage to Isla Mujeres

Thanks for your response. I have a custom broker waiting in Isla Mujeres, she will do all legwork for me.
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Old 26-01-2022, 19:01   #4
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Re: Passage to Isla Mujeres

I live in St Pete and have looked at the same crossing. My first inclination was Key West to reduce the distance. Then I looked at the Gulf Stream (current status off Windy). Leaving from KW didn't seem like such a good idea given it puts the Gulf Stream on the nose for much of the trip. Looks like departing from Ft Myers might be a better route?

What are other's thoughts on managing the GS from points north?

Peter

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Old 26-01-2022, 21:55   #5
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Re: Passage to Isla Mujeres

Quote:
Originally Posted by mvweebles View Post
I live in St Pete and have looked at the same crossing. My first inclination was Key West to reduce the distance. Then I looked at the Gulf Stream (current status off Windy). Leaving from KW didn't seem like such a good idea given it puts the Gulf Stream on the nose for much of the trip. Looks like departing from Ft Myers might be a better route?

What are other's thoughts on managing the GS from points north?

Peter

Attachment 252013
Sweet tool, I didn't know windy.com had that feature.

Agreed, Ft. Myers looks to be the better route unless the OP really needs to go to Key West. First 1/3 of the trip, you have a small following current, cut across the stream at a right angle, then take the counter current south before crossing stream again at a right angle.

If dead set on leaving from Key West, I would head due west about 125-150 miles, then cut across the stream similar to the Ft. Myers route.

Trying to duck down towards cuba means you are going to be going dead into a 2.0-2.5kt current. For your average 35ft sailboat, that can easily eat up 40-50% of your STW making for a very slow trip even if slightly shorter distance.

(Obviously, wind and wave conditions to be considered)
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Old 26-01-2022, 22:54   #6
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Re: Passage to Isla Mujeres

You could also work your way to the Dry Tortugas and stage form there. It starts you 70 miles farther west. That's 70 miles less gulf stream you have to fight.
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Old 28-01-2022, 09:35   #7
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Re: Passage to Isla Mujeres

Quote:
Originally Posted by pzmaria View Post
Hello fellow members. I will be making a passage from Ft.Myers to Isla Mujeres, Mexico in the mid February, weather permitting. It is my first passage in that direction. I don't want to go straight to Isla Mujeres as I have to pick up a few things in Key West on the way there. So the plan is to go to Key West first, than from there cross Golfstreem and head to Cuba. Than sail along the coast all the way to the west end of Cuba and than sail to Isla Mujeres (20-24 hours estimate).
I would really appreciate all input and comments from members. Any pointers, what to watch for, suggestions, etc. etc. This passage will be made on 95 Catalina36.

Thank you.

pzmaria

We are heading in the reverse direction of your cruise, in a couple weeks. Do not get closer than 12 miles from Cuba or you may get a visit from the USCG.
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Old 28-01-2022, 09:43   #8
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Re: Passage to Isla Mujeres

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We are heading in the reverse direction of your cruise, in a couple weeks. Do not get closer than 12 miles from Cuba or you may get a visit from the USCG.
I believe the OP is Canadian. He can tell the USCG to piss up a rope.
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Old 28-01-2022, 09:53   #9
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Re: Passage to Isla Mujeres

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Originally Posted by fishead View Post
You could also work your way to the Dry Tortugas and stage form there. It starts you 70 miles farther west. That's 70 miles less gulf stream you have to fight.
Agree totally, a good stop coming down from Ft. Myers.

M
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Old 28-01-2022, 10:26   #10
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Re: Passage to Isla Mujeres

15 years ago I left sw Florida to Key west in February and then passed to the north side of Cuba. We had a norther blow in behind us and had 35 to 45 knots of wind that turned around from every direction, creating 15 to 20' washing mach seas for 2 days. Make sure of your weather!!!
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Old 28-01-2022, 11:35   #11
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Re: Passage to Isla Mujeres

The current, and maybe the wind, will be against you on the north of Cuba. The wind was near zero in late April. Watch out for the oil rig the Cubans have there. They sent out a gun boat to watch us and make sure we cleared the rig. No problem with them except they didn't acknowledge any of my radio calls stating our intentions. I understand the Chinese are pretty much running their oil exploration and production platforms, maybe they don't speak English or Spanish.
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Old 28-01-2022, 12:08   #12
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Re: Passage to Isla Mujeres

Having sailed clockwise around Cuba I would not contemplate your route. Go south of Cuba if you possibly can, it may look further but will definitely take half the time and a tenth of the effort.
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Old 28-01-2022, 12:26   #13
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Re: Passage to Isla Mujeres

The Canadian vessel can be boarded by the USCG, all they do is call the Canadian authorities to get permission which WILL BE GRANTED and will board, this agreement is with allmost ALL country's, also before 9/11 the captain had the right to deny a boarding if it was in his opinion putting the vessel in harms way, not any more, freedom of the seas does not exist any longer
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Old 28-01-2022, 13:05   #14
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Re: Passage to Isla Mujeres

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Having sailed clockwise around Cuba I would not contemplate your route. Go south of Cuba if you possibly can, it may look further but will definitely take half the time and a tenth of the effort.
I assume you meant this hyperbole as tongue-in-cheek. From Dry Tortugas, Isla Mujeres is 360 nms. Head east and keep Cuba to starboard is about 1350 nms.

Peter
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Old 28-01-2022, 18:38   #15
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Re: Passage to Isla Mujeres

In '99 we sailed the opposite course in our FP Antigua 37 cat. The current didn't seem much of a factor for or against - and with 15-18kn NW winds, had back-to-back 200nm days on a close reach, single reef to slow a bit in the seas, making 8-9.5kn. Right at a 400nm trip to Ft. Myers.
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