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post #1 of Old 12-24-2006 Thread Starter
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6 months from West Coast Florida round trip??


We've just bought a bluewater boat on the East Coast ( I meant East Coast Florida by the way...) and plan a round trip starting from Florida. The trip will start beginning of December 2007 and end somewhere in June of 2008. I know it's a year away but we're trying to plan ahead. We would appreciate some opinions on a possible itinerary.

Here is some information that might help:

We are a family of four; my wife, myself and two daughters - will be aged 12 and 14 (grades 7 and 9) at the time. We have extensive coastal cruising experience on the West Coast (Pacific Northwest), including taking our previous sailboat (which is currently for sale....a VERY well fitted out Dufour 36 in perfect condition - lying Sidney Vancouver Island) to Alaska and back. I'm the only one with some limited offshore experience (one trip around Vancouver Island and one 7 day trip from Aruba to Grand Cayman).

Our new boat is a well equipped "go anywhere" bluewater boat (Shearwater 39).

We would certainly like to cruise the Bahamas. However, we would really like to visit a Spanish speaking country since both our children are taking Spanish in school. Since they're also taking French, it would also be great to visit a French country but that doesn't seem possible.

We don't want to try and do too much. We want to take it "relatively" easy and smell the roses along the way. Bear in mind that we're going to homeschool so we will need time to just stay in one place and work on that.

I've been thinking perhaps Cuba, but the political hassles and uncertainty regarding the US Coast Guard's handling of foreign flagged vessels (we are Canadian) returning from Cuba probably rules that out.

Puerto Rico and the Spanish Virgins seem to be a LONG beat away, directly into the wind and no fun for anyone, so that's out.

So here are the options as I see them at this early point:

1) VERY laid back: Staying in the Bahamas for the entire 6 months. Getting our "Spanish immersion" in Florida if possible.

2) More challenging: Bahamas - then from Inagua (or Providencialis), to Little Cayman, then Grand Cayman, then to Cancun - then back to the Floriday Cays and Miami

3) Bahamas, Cayman (Brac, Little, Grand), Belize, Yucatan, Florida Cays

The last two bring us to Spanish Mexico but introduce some significant open passages. That per se is not a problem (at least they are downwind). I'm more worried this is trying to do "too much". I'd really like to hear from those who know these areas and have sailed these itineraries. I notice that the trip up from the Yucatan to the Florida Cays can involve a lot of beating.

Also, if there is anyone with children more or less the ages of ours planning a similar trip at approx that time, we'd like to hear from you as well.

Any ideas appreciated. This will possibly be the only trip on that coast before we truck the boat over to the West Coast.



Last edited by magnusmurphy; 12-24-2006 at 08:37 PM.
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