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Old 07-21-2003
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Crusing World routes

The August issue of CW has an article about routes from the US east coast to the VI. I am headed out from GA. would it be good to sail East right out or head South to Fl then across? I feel like Georgia is stuck right in the middle of good jumping off points- exactly between Beaufort and Miami!
we have a 40 sailboat, and intermediate level crew. Thanks for your thoughts.
Paul
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Old 07-21-2003
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Crusing World routes

Well...if you want an offshore passage then the only way to go is East/NE first...then south. If not...then the "Thorny Path" through the Bahamas, Dom Republic, and PR is the route which limits passages to 24 hours or less on each leg. A great book on making this cruise "thornless" is "A Gentleman''s Guide to Passages South" by Bruce VanSant.
Once you are down in Florida..you have 700 miles of easterly bashing into strong trade winds to get to the VI...so the "thornless" passage is the only practical alternative.
Hope this helps...GB
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Old 07-21-2003
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Crusing World routes

Paul, I sailed both routes and would take the East and the South route any day. Some folks will head for the Abacos in mid November and wait for a big norther to push them south after a day or 2 of easting from the Abacos.
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Old 07-22-2003
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Crusing World routes

Heading for the Abacos was our original plan. If this was the case, then we would sail down the FL coast to cross at one of the busy routes near Lake Worth. I posted a message for crew to Beaufort, but I am not sure if that is gaining anything. If I read your messages correctly, we should head East, which is towards Beaufort roughly, and then turn S or SE at the right point. This appears to add several hundred miles, but maybe better sailing. what would you do?
Paul
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Old 07-22-2003
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Crusing World routes

Paul, I would not go anywhere until the tail end of hurricane season, which would be some time in late October, then I would head to the Abacos and wait for a big weather system coming from the north to provide a boost south.

Another option is bring a lot of extra fuel in plastic jerry cans lashed to the stern and just head east, and/or east southeast (from your location), around the Bahamas, motoring as needed, and then slowly turn toward the south toward the USVI. Itís better to get your easting further north as opposed to further south because itís a long hard slog beating to windward once you get into the trade winds.

While waiting for hurricane season to wind down you could check you engine spares and stock items you might need, like water pump parts, injectors, filtersÖetcÖ

Ideally itís nice to be (eventually) heading straight south to the Virgin Islands rather than the south east, once you get into the trades. A good motor and sufficient fuel will help you get there if needed. Have a SSB on board? You could make contact with someone in the USVI or BVI to let you know exactly which direction the trades are coming from to help determine how far east you will need to sail. The idea being that you don''t want to do a hard beat to windward once you are several hundred miles away, toward the north.
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