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post #1 of 5 Old 10-21-2011 Thread Starter
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Bahamas to Virgins route

This was posted at SSCA. Curious what the consensus here is?

I was reading in the SSCA bulletin an article by Frank Virintino about this route. From Bahamas he strongly recommends going SSW around Haiti and then sailing the south coast of DR en route to the virgins. He says it only adds 200nm but by my calculations it is more like 300nm. Also he makes no mention of customs issues in Haiti but it was not clear if he recommends stopping or not.
Now we have made the trip the other way (easy way) with no significant wave issues through Mona or the north side of DR. Obviously we had a good window. My question for all you is what is your opinion? North side DR, or south? I am really interested to know how most feel about this. Now I am pretty sure I know which way I am going this spring after hanging in the Bahamas for a few months, but how about everyone else?

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post #2 of 5 Old 10-21-2011
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I cant see how this works without going very very far offshore off the south coat of Hispaniola then tacking back to BVI. Either way, lots of beating if the wind gets any more southerly component....assuming s.e. tradewinds. Lots of offshore time is what I think the Gentlemans Guide to Passages South (Thorny Path) hopes to avoid.

Otherwise, port hopping the north shore of Hispaniola or south shore...same prevaling wind pattern only now the island of Hispaniola is now a lee shore.

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Last edited by night0wl; 10-21-2011 at 10:55 AM.
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post #3 of 5 Old 10-21-2011
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In April we went due east from the Abacos out to 66W and then south of the trades and it was a very benign trip. Some motoring and some sailing towards Bermuda but much easier than driving into the trades.

Friends who went south of Cuba had a much harder trip.
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post #4 of 5 Old 10-21-2011
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For what it's worth, winds on the west side of Hispaniola are generally very light and there are no services available anywhere. There's no real Haitian Coast Guard presence to my knowledge and a U.S. Coastie working here just laughed when I asked him about customs/check-in procedures a couple of weeks ago. It would be worth trying that route, though, for the opportunity to stop at Ile a Vache, a tiny, 5-mi x 3-mi island on the south coast near Les Cayes where both Henry Morgan's pirate ship and the famous Canadian schooner Bluenose are both reputed to have sunk. There's said to be significant drug trafficking through there, but otherwise it's like going back in time. I personally love the place but haven't been able to find any decent charts. There was a poster on here a while back who built a traditional Haitian sloop there with the help of some locals a couple of years ago. He loved it.
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post #5 of 5 Old 10-23-2011
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If not too far south in the Bahamas I too would vote for the I-65 route, 65W then south. As Yorksailor mentioned, it'd be a lot easier than beating to windward.

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