Guadeloupe to Mexico, route advise needed - SailNet Community

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Old 01-31-2013
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Question Guadeloupe to Mexico, route advise needed

We have to sail from Guadeloupe to Mexico quite fast and I am looking for advice for the most comfortable and fast route.

So far I have been considering Guadeloupe-Dominican Republic-Cayman Islands-Mexico (going north of Jamaica) or a direct one-leg route from Guadeloupe to near Honduras and then north to Mexico (passing South of Jamaika). The final destination is Cozumel.

We have to be in Mexico as soon as possible, but one or two stops would make things more comfortable. So far we have ruled out stopping in Jamaica for security reasons and not all the crew have US visas so the Virgin Islands are also not an option. Any ideas will be most welcome. What is the easiest way to utilize the winds and currents to our advantage?
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Old 02-01-2013
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Re: Guadeloupe to Mexico, route advise needed

If time was the most important thing then I think I'd go north of PR, Hispaniola and drop into the Caribbean through the Windward Passage, between Haiti and Cuba. A good current and stronger following winds north of the islands will speed you on your way. The Windward Passage can be a bear sometimes, but going into the Caribbean is best. Going west from there you can stop in the Caymans and then round the western end of Cuba, again with more favorable winds and current and slip into Cozumel. Not much for sightseeing, but you could have a simple quick trip.
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Old 02-02-2013
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Re: Guadeloupe to Mexico, route advise needed

Tanks for the suggestion. Somehow goig into the northern swell of the Atlantic and making such a detour instead of taking the straight line (with the winds, current and swell) doesn't seem right. I am leaning more and more towards the "straight line" route just south of Jamaika, with no intermediate stops.
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Old 02-02-2013
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Re: Guadeloupe to Mexico, route advise needed

I wouldn't necessarily rule out Jamaica due to security concerns... The south coast, yes - but along the north coast, there are a few spots that would present little risk...

The Errol Flynn Marina in Port Antonio is a very nice spot, located within a gated compound... Port Antonio is fairly "rustic", to put it politely, and there are numerous people on the street you really don't want to make eye contact with, but I never felt unsafe wandering all around town during daylight... I stayed within the marina grounds at night, is all... Main problem in Port Antonio is on the weekends, the music from the clubs in town is so loud, and continues all night long, getting any sleep can be very difficult... It has to be heard to be believed, I've never heard music played to such a volume, anywhere... But if you hit Port Antonio between Monday and Thursday, it can be a very nice stop...

The Montego Bay Yacht Club is another pretty nice place, very welcoming to cruising sailors... I don't care much for Montego Bay itself, but the YC is within another compound, and very safe... Nice spot to hang out for a day or two...

Negril was my favorite stop in Jamaica, the only place I felt truly relaxed and comfortable at anchor, I stayed there for about 4 days... Very friendly, relaxed atmosphere, with a more international flavor... Lots of little boutique hotels along the beach favored by European tourists and backpackers... I spent most of my time anchored up in the protected nook right off Hedonism II, the scenery not bad at all...(grin) I was situated right next to the moored local police boat, always felt safe there at night...




Again, I'd definitely avoid the south coast of Jamaica, but any of the spots I've mentioned, I don't think you'd have any real worries at all... Keep in mind, it's been 5 years since I was there, but I haven't heard anything to indicate that things have worsened considerably during the interim...
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Old 02-02-2013
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Smile Re: Guadeloupe to Mexico, route advise needed

Quote:
Originally Posted by JonEisberg View Post
I wouldn't necessarily rule out Jamaica due to security concerns... The south coast, yes - but along the north coast, there are a few spots that would present little risk...

The Errol Flynn Marina in Port Antonio is a very nice spot, located within a gated compound... Port Antonio is fairly "rustic", to put it politely, and there are numerous people on the street you really don't want to make eye contact with, but I never felt unsafe wandering all around town during daylight... I stayed within the marina grounds at night, is all... Main problem in Port Antonio is on the weekends, the music from the clubs in town is so loud, and continues all night long, getting any sleep can be very difficult... It has to be heard to be believed, I've never heard music played to such a volume, anywhere... But if you hit Port Antonio between Monday and Thursday, it can be a very nice stop...

The Montego Bay Yacht Club is another pretty nice place, very welcoming to cruising sailors... I don't care much for Montego Bay itself, but the YC is within another compound, and very safe... Nice spot to hang out for a day or two...

Negril was my favorite stop in Jamaica, the only place I felt truly relaxed and comfortable at anchor, I stayed there for about 4 days... Very friendly, relaxed atmosphere, with a more international flavor... Lots of little boutique hotels along the beach favored by European tourists and backpackers... I spent most of my time anchored up in the protected nook right off Hedonism II, the scenery not bad at all...(grin) I was situated right next to the moored local police boat, always felt safe there at night...

Again, I'd definitely avoid the south coast of Jamaica, but any of the spots I've mentioned, I don't think you'd have any real worries at all... Keep in mind, it's been 5 years since I was there, but I haven't heard anything to indicate that things have worsened considerably during the interim...
Thanks a lot for this suggestion! Is the clearing procedure easy in Jamaika? What does it involve?
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Old 02-02-2013
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Re: Guadeloupe to Mexico, route advise needed

Quote:
Originally Posted by Geko View Post
Thanks a lot for this suggestion! Is the clearing procedure easy in Jamaika? What does it involve?
Clearing in at Port Antonio was simple, 2 different officials come right to the boat... The fees were modest, I seem to recall $25 or thereabouts (My memory could be off, but they were certainly not excessive) A separate trip to the local police station a few blocks away was also necessary, I forget what for, exactly - but that could be done more at you leisure, and wasn't any big deal...

One caution, however... Make sure you understand, and obtain, whatever sort of "cruising permit" they require if you're gonna be making other stops in Jamaica... This was not explained to me fully when I checked in, and when I went to check out in Montego Bay, not having that paper did present a problem, and I had to pay a significant fine (fortunately, I was eventually able to get that refunded about a year later, after writing a letter, and with some help from the manager at the Errol Flynn Marina) I think what happened when I checked in, the guy was under the impression that Port Antonio was gonna be my only stop in Jamaica - which is somewhat common, as it is a popular stop for cruisers coming thru the Windward Passage, and continuing on down to Panama and the Canal...

Another thought, what is your nationality? If you're not an American, why not consider stopping in Cuba? Check in at Santiago, then cruise the Jardines de la Reina, which is probably one of the most pristine, remote bits of 'Paradise' left in the entire Caribbean... A cruise along the south coast of Cuba could be a truly memorable experience...
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Re: Guadeloupe to Mexico, route advise needed

Quote:
Originally Posted by JonEisberg View Post
Clearing in at Port Antonio was simple, 2 different officials come right to the boat... The fees were modest, I seem to recall $25 or thereabouts (My memory could be off, but they were certainly not excessive) A separate trip to the local police station a few blocks away was also necessary, I forget what for, exactly - but that could be done more at you leisure, and wasn't any big deal...

One caution, however... Make sure you understand, and obtain, whatever sort of "cruising permit" they require if you're gonna be making other stops in Jamaica... This was not explained to me fully when I checked in, and when I went to check out in Montego Bay, not having that paper did present a problem, and I had to pay a significant fine (fortunately, I was eventually able to get that refunded about a year later, after writing a letter, and with some help from the manager at the Errol Flynn Marina) I think what happened when I checked in, the guy was under the impression that Port Antonio was gonna be my only stop in Jamaica - which is somewhat common, as it is a popular stop for cruisers coming thru the Windward Passage, and continuing on down to Panama and the Canal...

Another thought, what is your nationality? If you're not an American, why not consider stopping in Cuba? Check in at Santiago, then cruise the Jardines de la Reina, which is probably one of the most pristine, remote bits of 'Paradise' left in the entire Caribbean... A cruise along the south coast of Cuba could be a truly memorable experience...
We all have EU passports and we can stop in Cuba, but the stories about Cuban clearance procedures I have heard are truly dreadful. Since we are looking to make a fast passage to Mexico and any eventual stop will be just for a day of rest, wasting 2-3 days only to get cleared is not an option. I am sure in other circumstances cruising Cuba would be an amazing experience, but this time we just have to get from point A to point B

Maybe we will stop in Jamaika as you suggest, at least we will keep that as an option along the route. Tanks again for the info!
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