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Old 15-03-2019, 07:54   #1
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Sailing route Key West to Bocas Del Toro in May.

Looking for most preferred routes for time/safety not sightseeing. Was thinking of hugging Cuba west end towards Cayman onward.? Thanks in advance for any advice! Lee
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Old 15-03-2019, 07:55   #2
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Re: Sailing route Key West to Bocas Del Toro in May.

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Looking for most preferred routes for time/safety not sightseeing. Was thinking of hugging Cuba west end towards Cayman onward.? Thanks in advance for any advice! Lee
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Old 15-03-2019, 08:40   #3
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Re: Sailing route Key West to Bocas Del Toro in May.

All against the current. Will be interested in some experienced response too!
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Old 15-03-2019, 15:47   #4
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Re: Sailing route Key West to Bocas Del Toro in May.

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All against the current. Will be interested in some experienced response too!
There are counter currents with the Gulf Stream but yeah looking for a response from experience.
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Old 16-03-2019, 08:41   #5
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Re: Sailing route Key West to Bocas Del Toro in May.

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Old 16-03-2019, 08:43   #6
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Re: Sailing route Key West to Bocas Del Toro in May.

The best route is east around Cuba, through the Windward Passage. Then it's a straight shot to Bocas with the wind at a more favorable angle. You will have about 4 days of motoring into the wind getting around Cuba, but once you get below Hispaniola, you'll have the trade winds pushing you.

If you go west and then to the Caymans, it's not as good a wind angle from there to Bocas.

We did the trip around the east side in 1012, and headed to Cartagena instead of Bocas. Bocas would have been a much easier destination.
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Old 16-03-2019, 08:45   #7
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Re: Sailing route Key West to Bocas Del Toro in May.

If you can wait for the right weather window, sail around the east side of Cuba and head down to Bocas. Did that 3 times and once to Cartagena, worked great. Of course it works much better when starting up north (Miami or FL) but you can do it from Key-West too. Just a longer way to go but the ride down will be much smoother.
Your boat's sailing characteristics are what will make make the difference or even determine what you route you take. In my boat (for example) there is no chance I could head down the west side.
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Old 16-03-2019, 09:02   #8
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Re: Sailing route Key West to Bocas Del Toro in May.

Actually the three times that I have made the crossing from Sarasota to Grand Cayman, we have crossed straight down from the dry Tortugas to the north coast of Cuba, and there has been a strong counter current heading west all the way to Cabo San Antonio. Grand Cayman is almost exactly halfway to Cartagena were we had been headed. To bocas del toro, should be about the same, and there is always Old Providence and or San Andres if anything breaks down or you need a rest. Old Providence (Providencia y Santa Catalina) is beautiful and pristine, english spoken, San Andres I dont care about, they are both Colombian. Stay away from the Miskitos.
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Old 16-03-2019, 12:02   #9
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Re: Sailing route Key West to Bocas Del Toro in May.

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MY bad on that link. Please disregard.
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Old 16-03-2019, 15:12   #10
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Re: Sailing route Key West to Bocas Del Toro in May.

Sounds good. Did Key West to Grand Cayman same time of year. Counter currents of about 2kt along the north coast of Cuba. Wind mostly dead ahead, we motored most of the way. Cuba has at least one oil rig off that coast. Looked like a drilling platform, could see the drill casings being lifted into place. They didn't answer any of our calls on several freqs. Could be operated by the Chinese. They sent out a gun boat to look us over, no problem. They probably just wanted to make sure we weren't going to hit their rig.
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Old 16-03-2019, 18:14   #11
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Re: Sailing route Key West to Bocas Del Toro in May.

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