Re: BVI to Panama Canal
We went direct from the Windward Passage to Panama and had a great sail with just about the right amount of wind all the way. When we were in the Eastern Caribbean and listening to Chris Parker's weather forecasts he frequently (most days) was talking about 30 knots off the coast of Colombia. That way be a winter pattern only though. Going direct the only place to stop is the east end of Jamaica.
In South Africa doing lots of boat stuff. Departure north from Cape Town around December 15th. Arrival in the Caribbean around the beginning of February, after 5300 miles or so.