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  #1  
Old 12-05-2008
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gypsysailing is on a distinguished road
Texas to Venezuela Routing

I'm considering taking a 68' motor sailor (read "pig to weather") from Galveston Bay to Puerto La Cruz, VN. Any suggestions regarding routing
would be appreciated. December or January departure.
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Old 12-05-2008
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If you're going to do something that foolish, at least wait until the trades calm down in the late spring. Even then, it's a long way to weather.

Take lots of fuel and don't forget something to defend yourself from the nice "fishermen" you may encounter off the VN coast.

BTW, why would you want to go to VN? I know a guy, native Spanish-speaker, who lives winters in St. Croix and for years kept his boat in PLC during the hurricane season. His sister lives permanently in PLC -- she used to look after the boat for him. He says he won't go near the place -- it's just not safe. Bad enough that foreign yachties are getting shot, but apparently even the locals are concerned for their safety in the current environment.
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Old 12-06-2008
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Bad decision...not a place to go right now.
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Old 12-06-2008
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sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice
And why would you want to go in a MOTOR SAILER??
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Old 12-06-2008
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gypsysailing is on a distinguished road
I really didn't ask this group whether or not to go to Venezuela....I've been a number of times, know the concerns and am willing to deal with it...thanks. Anybody care to address my question? Maybe not....that's ok too.
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Old 12-06-2008
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Sorry...but I thought Billy answered that in the first response. I was just adding a comment given the violence this year. What do you still need answered abou routing?
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Old 12-06-2008
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Gypsy,

I could say that if you've been there a number of times, you should probably know how to get there. But.... that would be snarky and the hollidays are upon us...my wife tells me that if I'm not good Santa will leave coal in my stocking, so.....

Okay! First to Florida; then, a choice. If you have time and don't mind an extra mile or two head north in the ICW (mast height?) to enjoy spring in the Carolinas before heading offshore in late April or May direct Tortola / St. Martin....OR, from Florida cross the GS at or above Miami, transit the Bahamas (draft?) to the Thorny Path to DR, PR, USVI, BVI and St. Martin. Then steer S by SE to the Windwards before shaping a course direct Hugo-land.

Now, if a contrarian spirit lives in you, try this: from Galveston steer for the Yucatan Channel, then to Jamaica and then direct to the Socialist Paradise. It's much shorter and you'll get to experience the joys of contrary currents, headwinds everyday, and lots of bumps -- all before arriving totally exhausted just in time to have some nice local fella rob you of your last gringo dollar.

Enjoy!

PS -- send us a post card!

PPS -- in your OP you said you were "considering" the trip. The guys were just providing a little info for you to "consider".

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Old 12-09-2008
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I have had to make the trip in the winter before and it was ROUGH. If you are going to go I would travel along the Mexican,Belize, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Panama, Columbia coast. The reason is that you can travel in the weather windows with a place to hide out in between. Also if your navigation is good you can travel behind the reef line in windy weather to stay out of the slop. Lastly you can plan your fuel stops better since it is a motorsailer. The trip is a little longer but lots of nice places to see. Personally I going to Belize in the middle of April of '09 from Florida.
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Old 12-09-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by funsailthekeys View Post
I have had to make the trip in the winter before and it was ROUGH. If you are going to go I would travel along the Mexican,Belize, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Panama, Columbia coast. The reason is that you can travel in the weather windows with a place to hide out in between. Also if your navigation is good you can travel behind the reef line in windy weather to stay out of the slop. Lastly you can plan your fuel stops better since it is a motorsailer. The trip is a little longer but lots of nice places to see. Personally I going to Belize in the middle of April of '09 from Florida.
That was how a friend of mine did it about 24 months ago. Seems the easiest path for that time of year.

I will say from a lot of personal experience in the gulf in the winter, a January/Feb crossing in the gulf is the absolute worst time to do it. I have been caught in nasty (read: unpredicted) storms. Some good freinds of ours spent three days heaved to before giving up and limping back. The other two (and the one I mentioned that hopped to Columbia) said they would NEVER do that crossing in winter again.

Just fyi. But the info FSTK gave seems about as right as it is going to get. Good luck on your trip.

- CD
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Old 12-09-2008
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gypsysailing is on a distinguished road
Thanks guys. My trips down have always been in the summer departing from my base in the Virgin Islands so I"ve hopped down to Grenada then jumped over. I was thinking in the winter months, NE winds prevailing, I would head to Key West, then to Bahamas, wait for a norther then follow it crossing between DR and Cuba and then on. Final destination may be Grenada or may be Ven.....not sure yet, talking to yards about repairs now.

Any other ideas??? I appreciate the input.
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