San Juan PR to Miami - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 7 Old 12-29-2011 Thread Starter
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San Juan PR to Miami

I'm not the navigator on this trip but would like to hear routing suggestions from others. We are leaving in a couple of weeks (Jan 8 2012)

The boat is a Morgan 46.

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post #2 of 7 Old 12-29-2011
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Always nice to have a picture..... Is this to be nonstop? A cruise? Inside or outside the Bahamas? How close do you want to get to Cuba?

Disclaimer.. never done this trip but it looks interesting...


Ron

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post #3 of 7 Old 12-29-2011 Thread Starter
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The basic purpose is to reposition the boat to Miami. We're not in a big rush but it's not purely a pleasure cruise.

thanks for the pic.
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post #4 of 7 Old 12-29-2011
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A good reference for this is Jimmy Cornell's "World Cruising Routes": http://www.amazon.com/World-Cruising.../dp/007140869X
Noonsite is also a good reference for info on places you might stop at: http://www.noonsite.com/Countries/TurksCaicos
Also of concern is the normal prevailing winds in January which I believe are from the E/NE. There is a special map that shows prevailing winds by month (can't find a link for this). The biggest concern would likely be how/when to cross the Gulf Stream as it is known to be rough (read miserable) when the winds are out of the north, against the current.
NOAA has a product called 'Radiofax charts' for the Caribbean which can be useful for checking wind/wave action where you will be heading: http://weather.noaa.gov/fax/gulf.shtml
One thing to be said for the northern route Faster shows in his chart is that you would be able to stop at various Bahamian islands to rest and recoup. This route is also farther from Haiti and Cuba, if you are worried about boat people finding you out on the ocean. The downside is that you'd more likely get to FL around Palm Beach or further north.
I've only gone from Tortola to Turks & Caicos by boat and that was a 3 day ride. From there you could mostly do long day sails to your next anchorage. Final hop across the Gulf Stream is nearly a full days sail.
The southern route may be slightly more direct but you might encounter more shipping.
The good news is that heading west is usually considered to be 'downhill' (eg., with the waves). Heading east to the Caribbean is called the 'thorny path' or some such as it is all 'up hill'.
Have fun.
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Last edited by CalebD; 12-29-2011 at 09:34 PM.
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post #5 of 7 Old 12-30-2011 Thread Starter
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Thanks for the input
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post #6 of 7 Old 12-31-2011
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I did San Juan to Cape Canaveral, FL last April in my boat -- non-stop it was a six day trip. We took the route shown on Fasterís graphic up the windward side of the Bahamas to the NE/NW Providence channels, then into the Gulf Stream to Cape Canaveral. I considered the other route up the Old Bahama Channel, but decided against it for crew scheduling reasons.

If youíre headed to Miami the two are roughly the same mileage and the pros-cons are these:

1. The Old Bahama Channel (OBC) route places you in the lee of the Bahama banks most of the trip and so you will avoid the ocean swells from N. Atlantic winter storms for much of this route. In April we had a few days of uncomfortable seas when long period swells came from a northerly direction and wind was from the east at 20-25 kts. If weíd been in the OBC it would have been a smoother ride.

2. The OBC route has few places to stop along the way. If youíre not sight seeing thatís not an issue. If you want to break the trip the route via the Bahamas is probably better although you will pay $300 for a cruising permit the first place you put into the Bahamas.

3. The OBC route will set you up for an easier ride once you get to the Gulf Stream whereas the other route forces you to cross the stream north of Miami and then move south along the FL coast. This takes you a bit out of the way and puts weather in the Stream more in play --frequent cold fronts this time of year can bring strong winds from the north against the Gulf Stream for several days at a time. The winds associated with these fronts are often stronger the further north you are.

4. Fishing might be better in the OBC. Last spring we were moving so fast we didnít have much chance to fish.
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post #7 of 7 Old 12-31-2011 Thread Starter
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Thats great info in detail. I'll print your message out and pass it on to the Navigator/Captain/Owner/Friend

ML
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