Re: A trip from NJ to S. America--Type, journey length, boat details?
OK, I will play, since I am a writer too, but not fiction. We sailed from Chesapeake Bay to the Caribbean in early November a couple of years ago. Some thoughts:
- lots (~150 boats a year) head to Caribbean each year from US in November.; Two reasons for date, it is after the normal hurricane season (although you can get the odd hurricane in November); also most insurance does not cover you until Nov 1 south of Cape Hatteras (North Carolina)
- most go from the Chesakeake, although some leave from further north; further north you are, the nastier the weather although you can (and do) get pasted further south
- generally people aim for the British Virgin Islands and then head further east and down the chain of islands
- in your subject line you mentioned South America; that is hard because of foul currents south of Trinidad; if you wanted to go to Brazil for example the approach would have to be different
- someone mentioned the Gulf Stream; it is a concern but does not extend all that far; check on line and you can see where it is and how wide it is
- the reason for heading towards Bermuda is that you want to get far enough east before getting into the trade winds (google it). In general an L-shaped route makes most sense since you end up going across the trades, which is good, rather than into them
- since your protagonists want to be unobtrusive, it would make sense to hide in the small crowd of boats heading south - ie don't look suspicious
- assuming the above, you could have them go to the BVI and then do a couple of overnights from there; It is easiest and check in and out of the French islands (Guadeloupe and Martinique) since you only have to sit down at a computer and do it yourself; most other islands you are dealing with officials
- don't know if you are looking for them to go an uninhabited island - those are really rare and even rarer to have one with an anchorage
- as to the boat they would take, do your shopping at yachtworld.com - the boats for sail there typically have lots of pictures
- if I am a 'money is not a problem' kind of guy, I might look at a Hallberg-Rassy 43 or slightly bigger (might as well not suffer on the trip)
- it is not like buying a used car and driving away, the boat has to be properly-prepared for a journey like this and well-provisioned; the boat you buy might have been prepped for ocean voyaging and then the owner got ill - that is not too rare unfortunately; now your people only have to go shopping before leaving
Finished the circumnavigation in early February in Grenada. Have to work on a book project for the next several months so the boat will be waiting for next year.