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Sanitie10 01-18-2010 06:52 PM

Puerto Rico to Ft Pierce
I am planning to take my 34' sailboat from Fajardo to Ft Pierce in mid February and I'm looking for advice. I have sailed/cruised the Eastern Caribbean extensively but have not yet done this trip. What cruising guides do you recommend, any stops (what about Great Inagua?), etc. The boat does not have refrigeration so we will need to stop and get ice along the way. Unfortunately, time does not allow a leisurely trek.

Thanks for all your good advice.

Salty Sandy

CharlesCook 01-19-2010 09:24 AM

Are you looking for crew ?

Charles at CharlesCook dot com

gofishin 01-19-2010 09:38 AM

Santi 10, I did this trip 4 yrs ago, Tampa, Rosey Rhodes P.R, via Bimini-Nassau-Exumas-Provo-Mayaguana-Luperon-Samana, D.R.- Mayaguez and S.Shore, P.R. Much easier going with the flow as you will be. We used the cruising guide by Bruce Van Zant, THORNLESS PATH, which was very helpful. Ice and fuel were available, though not always directly in some of the out islands. I also sailed from Marina Del Mar, P.R. to Ft.Lauderdale last June via Great Inagua which has fuel and ice available, but not much protection at anchor. I'd try to reach Mayaguez from Fajardo, ice up and choose good weather for to cross the Mona Passage for Luperon, then Great Inagua, and if time is still an issue at that point, thru the Old Bahama Channel to any harbor in S. Fla. or Bimini if you need to wait for wx for the Gulf Stream crossing. Hope this helps. Have a safe trip. Todd

Sanitie10 01-19-2010 07:54 PM


Thanks for the good advice. I will go to Mayaguez first. And for the Thornless Path tip. Looking at Luperon, it looks like a big beat to windward if you go in the bay but will read Van Zandt's book first.

Now for some gear questions: Do you know if it is possible to rent an EPIRB? The local safety gear places have not called back, they may go south for the winter themselves.

I sure can't wait to go south and get outta this cold, rainy, dark New England, if only for two weeks.


gtod25 01-19-2010 08:36 PM

makes no sense to rent when you can buy a;

FastFind 210 GPS Personal Location Beacon

for $299.

Click here for a great review.

Full disclosure; I sell the little beasts in WM, but you don't have to to buy them from me. Give the gang in Salinas my regards if you go South around PR.


2140 01-27-2010 07:49 PM

I've done deliveries from Tortola to St. Petersburg, FL a couple of times. Also picked up a boat on Great Inagua and took it to Florida once. Of course, you are going through Old Bahama Channel, which is the best way to go. Wind should be off the quarter or stern all the way unless you get a norther, which can happen at the time of year you are going.

The last time through there was in a 32' Beneteau. We did the entire trip from Tortola to St. Pete in nine days. You should be able to hit Key West in five day from PR. Forget the ice unless you stop at Great Inagua. There isn't much there though and if it were me I would skip it also and just plan on warm water and soda and food that doesn't have to be refrigerated after the ice runs out in a couple of days.

Sanitie10 01-27-2010 08:52 PM

Capt Tony,

Thanks for the advice. What do you mean by the Old Bahama Channel? Skate past Great Inagua then past Cuba up to Miami? Or go the more inter island route and end up in the New Providencia Channel. Pardon my complete lack of local knowledge - looking at the charts up through the middle looks pretty scary until the tongue of the ocean. Again, Thanks!! All advice great appreciated.


2140 01-27-2010 10:45 PM

Yes, the Old Bahama Channel runs between Cuba and the Great Bahama Bank. Once you get into the Staights of Florida, you pick up a 4 to 5 knot boost in speed from the north flowing Gulf Stream for a fast run to Ft. Pierce, or you can pop into the Intracoastal Waterway if the weather looks bad. This time of year you don't want to go too far north while heading in a north direction without being able to run for cover if bad weather hits.

The only reason to go north on the eastern edge of the Bahamas and then through Providence channel is if you want to do some Bahamas crusing. If your goal is to get to Florida reasonably quick, the Old Bahamas Channel is the way to go.

Check out the pics on my photo site (see my profile) for some of the "excitement" in the Channel.

Need help?

Sanitie10 01-28-2010 09:05 AM


How many days did your trip take? From Mayaguez or thereabouts?


2140 01-28-2010 09:55 AM

I can tell you that the delivery from Tortola to St. Petersburg took about eleven days (not counting time spent in Key West). My day count was off in my previous post - the delivery was a few years back. :)

I pulled out the log from the trip and it shows we left May 2 at 1800 hours and arrived in Key West May 10 at 0750 hours. The boat spent part of the day in Key West before leaving for St. Petersburg at 1400 hours. We arrived at The Moorings docks (this was a delivery for The Moorings) on May 12 at 0200 hours.

You should be able to do better than my time on the delivery. First, your boat is bigger (the delivery was a 32 Beneteau). Second, we left from Tortola which adds a day or two of time you won't have to spend since you are leaving from Puerto Rico.

Hope this helps. I can send you the log if you think it might help further. PM me for my direct email address.

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