North American Rally to the Caribbean - SailNet Community

   Search Sailnet:

 forums  store  


Quick Menu
Forums           
Articles          
Galleries        
Boat Reviews  
Classifieds     
Search SailNet 
Boat Search (new)

Shop the
SailNet Store
Anchor Locker
Boatbuilding & Repair
Charts
Clothing
Electrical
Electronics
Engine
Hatches and Portlights
Interior And Galley
Maintenance
Marine Electronics
Navigation
Other Items
Plumbing and Pumps
Rigging
Safety
Sailing Hardware
Trailer & Watersports
Clearance Items

Advertise Here






Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest > General Discussion (sailing related)
 Not a Member? 


Like Tree24Likes
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 01-21-2012
neverknow's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Indiana
Posts: 296
Thanks: 1
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Rep Power: 4
neverknow is on a distinguished road
North American Rally to the Caribbean

I just got my new Feb 2012 issue of Cruising World mag.

They have a article about the 2011 North American Rally to the Caribbean.

2011 North American Rally to the Caribbean (NARC) | Cruising World

First I have to admit I'm currently a power boater stuck in Indiana. So my second guessing here maybe a bit naive.

If the goal of the Rally is to make it to the Caribbean, why not stay close to the east US coast and cross over from Florida? Seems kind of stupid to take such great risk when it is not necessary. Sure maybe you save some time but at what cost?

Any thoughts?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #2  
Old 01-21-2012
eddie nelson's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: central Louisiana
Posts: 110
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 4
eddie nelson is on a distinguished road
What a sad story about the Triple Stars. Another reminder of how unforgiven mother nature can be.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #3  
Old 01-21-2012
TQA's Avatar
TQA TQA is offline
Bombay Explorer 44
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 2,695
Thanks: 0
Thanked 59 Times in 55 Posts
Rep Power: 6
TQA is on a distinguished road
Quote:
Originally Posted by neverknow View Post
I just got my new Feb 2012 issue of Cruising World mag.

They have a article about the 2011 North American Rally to the Caribbean.

2011 North American Rally to the Caribbean (NARC) | Cruising World

First I have to admit I'm currently a power boater stuck in Indiana. So my second guessing here maybe a bit naive.

If the goal of the Rally is to make it to the Caribbean, why not stay close to the east US coast and cross over from Florida? Seems kind of stupid to take such great risk when it is not necessary. Sure maybe you save some time but at what cost?

Any thoughts?
Many people do leave from Florida and island hop East working the weather and local winds BUT it takes much longer, requires much motor sailing and you spend a lot of time close to hard crinkly bits.

The route is well documented in A Gentlemans Guide to Passages South by Bruce Van Sant
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #4  
Old 01-21-2012
neverknow's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Indiana
Posts: 296
Thanks: 1
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Rep Power: 4
neverknow is on a distinguished road
Quote:
Originally Posted by TQA View Post
Many people do leave from Florida and island hop East working the weather and local winds BUT it takes much longer, requires much motor sailing and you spend a lot of time close to hard crinkly bits.

The route is well documented in A Gentlemans Guide to Passages South by Bruce Van Sant

I would think that the risk of a open ocean crossing would out weigh any savings in time or money. I bet that those who lost boats and crew wish they'd done something different.

Suppose maybe those ppl wanted to explore Bermuda too?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #5  
Old 01-21-2012
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: VA
Posts: 2,042
Thanks: 1
Thanked 4 Times in 4 Posts
Rep Power: 9
PalmettoSailor will become famous soon enough
I don't get how on a double handed boat didn't have a strict policy about both PFD's and a teather when on deck, especially in those conditions. According to the husband she was wearing neither.
__________________
PalmettoSailor
s/v Palmetto Moon
1991 Catalina 36
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #6  
Old 01-21-2012
neverknow's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Indiana
Posts: 296
Thanks: 1
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Rep Power: 4
neverknow is on a distinguished road
Quote:
Originally Posted by midlifesailor View Post
I don't get how on a double handed boat didn't have a strict policy about both PFD's and a teather when on deck, especially in those conditions. According to the husband she was wearing neither.
Yea, even on Lake Michigan in the summer. Most of the time I have a inflatable fanny pack on. Esp if the waves are up at all. Anyone going forward to handle lines has to have one on too.

In Triple stars case it just shows that any lax at all in safety in those conditions can cost you your life.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #7  
Old 01-22-2012
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 4,012
Thanks: 0
Thanked 141 Times in 125 Posts
Rep Power: 5
JonEisberg will become famous soon enough
Quote:
Originally Posted by neverknow View Post
If the goal of the Rally is to make it to the Caribbean, why not stay close to the east US coast and cross over from Florida? Seems kind of stupid to take such great risk when it is not necessary. Sure maybe you save some time but at what cost?
First off, understand that "the goal of the rally" is to make money for the organizers, ferrying charter boats to the Caribbean, and selling "Offshore Passage Opportunities" to their crews, and participation to other boats like TRIPLE STARS who'd like to tag along...

This issue has been discussed before, in response to the tragedy aboard TRIPLE STARS and the abandonment of a couple of other boats last November... What follows is a repost of some of my comments at that time...

There's always some risk to sailing offshore, of course, but given a good boat, proper preparation, and a level of competence, it is not as inherently dangerous as you appear to think... Sailing down the coast to Florida, than bashing east out to the islands, is gonna be MUCH longer, and can be a very tough trip... Also likely to be considerably more expensive, the engine will likely see a LOT of use, and money will be spent clearing in and out of various countries along the way, etc...

People really need to start paying attention to Don Street, and his advice offered in his TRANSATLANTIC CROSSING GUIDE written a couple of decades ago... For the typical Mom & Pop cruising couple, a departure from either the Chesapeake, or south of Hatteras, is the way to go...

Quote:

I love the passage out to Bermuda and back, but there are several compelling reasons the Newport-Bermuda races aren’t run in November. Ironic, that the dates of the occurrence of The Perfect Storm coincide with the time most insurance companies give the green light for departures from the East coast to Bermuda and the Caribbean…

Reliable forecasts are generally good for only about 48 hours in the late fall. Leaving from the Chesapeake, or Beaufort, one can be completely across the Stream in that time frame. Leaving from New England, however, one will only be APPROACHING the north wall of the Stream by that time, and a lot can change after that… Cape Hatteras often spawns these intense northeasters, and coupled with the seasonal procession of cold fronts coming off the continent, and colliding with the warm waters of the Gulf Stream south of New England, some very sudden and unpredictable systems can form… And, of course, there’s no where to hide out there…

Don Street knows as much as anyone about the routes to and from the islands from the North Atlantic, and he has long been a strong proponent of departures from the Chesapeake, or south of Hatteras, instead… Bermuda is a gale magnet this time of year, and I’m with Street in believing the way to go is coastwise to the vicinity of Hatteras, and then a straight shot from there…

...

Seems every year out of the last several, a boat or crew has been lost in the fall between the NE and Bermuda… Hasn’t happened on the Street’s route, other than the loss of RULE 62 last year, which had nothing to do with the choice of route, of course… For the sort of boats most of us sail, following Street’s advice seems like a no-brainer, to me…

...

Sorry Paulo, I should have made that clearer…

I did not mean to infer that a particular brand or type of boat, such as an Island Packet, does not belong offshore… I simply meant that such boats, and such crews, should be sailing the route I’ve described above, instead…

An IP 38 may be a very nice boat, and comfortable and secure offshore, but it most certainly does not possess the speed to outrun or out-maneuver a rapidly intensifying storm system of the type they found themselves in… The big Swans and similar charter yachts making the run from Newport to the islands, crewed largely by professionals, they’re a different story, of course…

During our layover in Bermuda, I met some of the crew off a 62’ Bestvaer that had been caught in that weather. Even several days after their arrival in St. Georges; they were still licking their wounds… The boat had suffered significant damage and various breakages to steering and the rig, and considered themselves lucky not to have lost the rig… Here you have a young, very fit professional crew of 5, sailing a $3 million bluewater throroughbred, professionally routed, and who still felt stretched to the limit by what they encountered…

If they had all they could manage to hang on, how overwhelmed do you suppose an older couple on a much smaller, slower boat might have been? That’s all I meant by saying such “Mom & Pop” teams really do not belong in those waters at that time of year, ESPECIALLY WHEN A FAR SAFER AND MORE VIABLE ALTERNATIVE ROUTE EXISTS…
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #8  
Old 01-22-2012
Bristol 45.5 - AiniA
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 3,611
Thanks: 5
Thanked 86 Times in 75 Posts
Rep Power: 9
killarney_sailor is on a distinguished road
Choices to the Virgins

Quote:
Originally Posted by neverknow View Post
I would think that the risk of a open ocean crossing would out weigh any savings in time or money. I bet that those who lost boats and crew wish they'd done something different.

Suppose maybe those ppl wanted to explore Bermuda too?
We went the Chesapeake to Virgins route in 2009 - in fact we left about 6 hours after the rally did. We did not choose to go on the rally because it is very expensive - close to $2000 all in. I am sure there are some benefits - eg social functions and seminars, but I don't think that your safety is much enhanced, but people feel better in company I guess.

As to the options if you are going to the Virgins, there are two, interrelated things to consider: where you are leaving from and going to and the winds.

First the winds - at some point before you get near the Virgins you will head into the SE Trades. The winds are not always from the SE, but the trades are the most reliable winds in the world. Have a look at the pilot chart for November to see.

Second where you are going - if we assume that the somewhere in the Virgins is the target then it is a long way to the east of the US coast. Once you get south of Cape Hatteras the coast swings SW so the east-west distance gets even larger. If you are leaving from Florida you will have to make your easting in the trades which is not easy and not fun.

So, there are three main options for a departure after Nov 1st which is the reality for most people, because a) the chance of a hurricane is much less (not impossible) and b) if you have insurance you are not covered for named storms until Nov 1.

Option 1 - Thorny Path from Florida. Lots of people do it but it will take a very long time and often be uncomfortableand frustrating. You generally stay somewhere until a front comes and then use the disturbed winds of the frontal system to make some progress eastward ie, the frontal system is more powerful than the prevailing trades. Then you tuck in and enjoy yourself until the next opportunity comes. i think the popularity of Luperon in the DR is because of people going this route and giving up with still a few hundred miles to go to windward.

Option 2 - Leave from Chesapeake Bay (this is what the rally does and what we did). The prevailing wisdom is that you make your easting north of the trades and then turn right and have a reach to the Virgins. Generally you go to about the longitude of Bermuda or a bit further before turning. Again the prevailing wisdom is that if things are going well, you do not go into Bermuda. We were not quite close enough to see the lights of Bermuda and it would have been nice since it is one of my most favorite places but we kept going. If you go in, the conditions can change and you will be stuck there - not necessarily a bad thing, but it is out of your control. Boats coming the day after us had two days of gales and went into Bermuda to recover and were there three weeks later.

Option 3 - Leave from somewhere further north like NYC or often Newport. I agree with Jon that this is just increasing the odds against you since your exposure to the more northerly part of the route is much longer and the mid-Atlantic in November can be terrible. We met a professional captain (in the laundromat in St Thomas!) and his boat was one of three Swans (mid 50 foot range) that left Newport together and they got pasted on the way south and this was with good-sized delivery crews.

A final comment, the only problem with the offshore route is that you are exposed to some potentially nasty stuff (we had seven days of 25 to 40 knots) at the beginning of your journey before you have developed the experience and techniques you will have later. It would be a really good idea to do some offshore work before doing this trip - either crew for someone or go to Bermuda in May/June with your own boat for a shakedown. If you are going to do extended cruising you will get bad stuff somewhere and you need have the boat ready for this (and the crew!).
__________________
Back to Grenada in early December. Not sure I will remember how to sail. Will spend the winter and early spring in the Caribbean and then head to Bermuda and the northeast US. Still trying to decide if we will bring the boat to Canada, either in 2015 or 2016.

Last edited by killarney_sailor; 01-22-2012 at 08:31 PM.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #9  
Old 01-22-2012
neverknow's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Indiana
Posts: 296
Thanks: 1
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Rep Power: 4
neverknow is on a distinguished road
Thank you for the input killarney_sailor.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #10  
Old 01-22-2012
SVAuspicious's Avatar
Mermaid Hunter
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: on the boat - Chesapeake
Posts: 3,646
Thanks: 0
Thanked 130 Times in 115 Posts
Rep Power: 9
SVAuspicious will become famous soon enough
Quote:
Originally Posted by JonEisberg View Post
First off, understand that "the goal of the rally" is to make money for the organizers, ferrying charter boats to the Caribbean, and selling "Offshore Passage Opportunities" to their crews, and participation to other boats like TRIPLE STARS who'd like to tag along...
Disclaimer: I count Hank Schmitt of OPO among my friends. I'm an OPO pro skipper, which means I'm one of the guys that bid to skipper boats whose owners approach OPO for help moving their boats. My response is my own and not Hank's.

OPO sponsors the NARC in order to attract more boats so the members of OPO have more boats to crew on. It isn't a money maker. Opening up the rally to individual boats without professional skippers provided more opportunities for OPO members to crew.

It is my understanding that Hank encouraged Triple Stars to take on an experienced crew on more than one occasion.

A word on OPO members. My experience with them has been quite good. Most are professionals in other fields that for one reason or another (usually other life commitments) don't have the time or other resources to sail offshore on their own boats. Many have families that don't share the interest. They get the opportunity e-mails from OPO, check their calendars, and jump on a plane. I've put some great miles behind me with OPO crew, on client boats and on my own.

I read the Cruising World article with interest. I think they neglect the issue of offshore experience. The NARC and other rallies like the Salty Dog Rally that encourage and help participants to take crew are a great opportunity for people to dip their toe into sailing offshore before they leap into the deep end on their own boat.

The article also neglected philosophical differences. Herb Hilgenberg and Chris Parker are very conservative routers. They both work so hard to keep clients out of heavy air that one should plan on doing a lot of motoring. Accordingly, boats just a day or so from Bermuda tacked back and forth for days in bumpy conditions instead of sucking it up and driving through to Bermuda. I blame a lack of communication between skippers and routers, and a lack of experience on the part of skippers. In the case of Susan Gennett her lack of sailing experience can only exacerbate the problem. Ultimately, "hanging out" in bumpy conditions for long periods has risk of damage and injury that may not be so different from sailing toward one's destination in somewhat more but not horrendously greater sporty conditions.

One of the challenges is that resumes are not a great indicator of how well someone will really perform at sea. It's hard to document judgment which is the most important and least considered aspect of seamanship. I sailed with one crew member who had more credentials and more sea miles than I. In an emergency (which he may well have generated in the first place) he was useless. On another trip, I was roused by crew when we lost a jib halyard. On deck (at night in bumpy conditions - why is it always at night) one of the crew was already lying on top of the bulk of the foot and leech of the jib; he wasn't sure what to do but figured keeping the sail out of the water was a good idea. That is judgment. He made a contribution by laying on the sail while I got the head down and another crew flaked the rest of the sail (okay bunched, not flaked). We hooked up the the spare jib halyard and hoisted the headsail back up. That was a great crew.

I've rambled a bit I'm afraid. In the end, enough experienced people on board, good sources of weather information, and good judgment all around but particularly by the skipper is the difference between an adventure and a disaster most of the time.
__________________
sail fast and eat well, dave
S/V Auspicious
AuspiciousWorks.com
beware "cut and paste" sailors.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

By choosing to post the reply above you agree to the rules you agreed to when joining Sailnet.
Click Here to view those rules.

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the SailNet Community forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
Please note: After entering 3 characters a list of Usernames already in use will appear and the list will disappear once a valid Username is entered.
User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.




Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

 
Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may post attachments
You may edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
23 ft North American yippeekayay Boat Review and Purchase Forum 6 01-30-2012 10:32 AM
22nd Caribbean 1500 Rally Departs Hampton, Virginia November 7 - DigitalJournal.com ( NewsReader News Feeds 0 10-07-2011 12:20 AM
Caribbean 1500 Rally aa3jy General Discussion (sailing related) 0 11-14-2010 08:41 AM
North American Market GreatWhite Boat Review and Purchase Forum 19 07-24-2009 08:39 PM
Anyone following the Caribbean 1500 Rally? Brezzin General Discussion (sailing related) 2 11-19-2008 02:54 PM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 10:47 PM.

Add to My Yahoo!         
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
SEO by vBSEO 3.6.1
(c) Marine.com LLC 2000-2012

The SailNet.com store is owned and operated by a company independent of the SailNet.com forum. You are now leaving the SailNet forum. Click OK to continue or Cancel to return to the SailNet forum.