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jkilpatrick 29-03-2012 13:56

Thorny Path-Westbound
I am sailing a 36' single engine trawler from Tortola to South Florida begining May 9. I read about the Thorny path, but no one talks about going westbound. I will hug the coastline of SD then Provo and Bahamas. Is this direction much easier, will I have a current pushing me along, and what is the most most affortable way to get wi-fi. Should I use a Satallite phone for this function. I would love any advice as this will be my first trip.


AllezCat 29-03-2012 14:04

Re: Thorny path-westbound
You most definitely need to buy the book.
And do the opposite - mostly get further off-shore to get following seas current.
Otherwise, it has great info on ports, clearing etc
And Westward isn't thorny...

Kettlewell 29-03-2012 14:35

Re: Thorny path-westbound
It might be a bit "thorny" depending on how your trawler does downwind in big seas. Pretty much you will be with prevailing winds and seas, but it will be offshore conditions for some of the stretches. The typical 36-foot trawler is not very comfortable in those conditions. Obviously you will want to go when the wind and seas are down, and then sit if things perk up. What is your range? Fuel stops are few and far between so that takes some careful planning. Make sure you have the Explorer Charts for the Bahamas as you really need the detail up there unless you plan on bypassing the out islands and stick to major harbors.

jkilpatrick 29-03-2012 18:17

Thorny Path Westbound
I will take a trawler from Tortola to Miami, leaving May6. I have read much about this trip, but it is about the East bound sailing. Any tips on going westbound. Is it easier, should I take a different course, how rough is the ride. Also I need some help on getting Satellite feed for wi-fi.


jkilpatrick 29-03-2012 18:22

Re: Thorny path-westbound
Thanks for the update. I have plenty of gas, 450 gallons, I will get the charts. Any recomendations for stopping in SD republic north shore?

Ram 29-03-2012 18:23

Re: Thorny Path Westbound
Should be easier your going with the wind

AllezCat 29-03-2012 18:24

Re: Thorny path-westbound

donradcliffe 29-03-2012 18:34

Re: Thorny path-westbound
I've done the trip twice, and never heard of SD. Its over 1000 miles, so you better plan on bringing more fuel or stopping.

The first trip the winds were light until the last 100 miles into Miami. Perhaps because of the light winds we had 0.5-1 knot current against us until the last 200 miles. It was in May and there were lots of thunderstorms.

The second trip it never blew less than 20k, and we made it in less than 5 days, but it was plenty rough, especially the last day. On that trip the current was with us, and there were no thunderstorms until we hit the Florida coast.

jkilpatrick 29-03-2012 18:44

Re: Thorny path-westbound
Dominican Republic is where I will make several stops. We will then stop in Provo for gas and take several days off, then to Georgtown, Bahamas, a few days off then on to Miami. Ipand 10 days from Tortola to Provo, a week to Georgtown and another week to Miami, then four days to Naples. This will be slow as the boat speed is about 7-8 knots.

denverd0n 30-03-2012 05:03

Re: Thorny path-westbound
A satellite phone won't give you "wifi." It will allow you to send and receive e-mails with no more than moderate sized attachments. If you are looking for high-speed wifi, for surfing the web and such, then the only options when you are out at sea are extremely expensive--tens of thousands for the hardware, and then thousands per month for the service.

Canibul 30-03-2012 06:44

Re: Thorny path-westbound
do you know where you're going to tie up in Provo?

jkilpatrick 30-03-2012 06:53

Re: Thorny path-westbound
May 16-19 time frame

Captdon_u 31-03-2012 01:07

Re: Thorny Path-Westbound
Hey J,

I'd go with Allezcat's note about buying the book. Buy all the books you can, and charts. Too much information is not a bad thing if you're fresh to any area.

I've done about a dozen deliveries to/from Miami - PR. Never stopped in DR though. Always took extra fuel to get past that.

I've also spent time in Mona pass, diving, and currents there are difficult. stay well offshore the NE coast of DR. It's in the book.

And head into South Side Marina, I think that's the name, south side Provo, for fuel. Owner Bob will take care of you. A bit tricky to get into but worth it.



Hud3 31-03-2012 02:31

Re: Thorny Path-Westbound
I think that Steve Pavlidis' sailing guides for the islands you plan to visit would be the books to buy, along with the Explorer charts. Van Sant's book is targeted at sailboats headed in the opposite direction.

It should be a pleasant, easy trip that time of year. The only issues we faced were a few thunderstorms as we approached the Bahamas.

GordMay 31-03-2012 08:26

Re: Thorny Path-Westbound
Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Capt. Don.

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