cruising guide for north east caribbean - SailNet Community

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  • 1 Post By billyruffn
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Old 02-15-2013
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cruising guide for north east caribbean

We have just purchased a powercatf in USVG and wish to take it from there to Florida where we will then have it shipped to Australia.

We are having difficulty finding cruising guides that we can purchase that will assist us on our voyage.

We are planning the trip for April to go via Puerto Rico, Dom. republic, Turks and the Bahamas, with minimal stops.

Any assistance on where to get advice for this would be fantastic. Tony and Jean
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Old 02-15-2013
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Re: cruising guide for north east caribbean

You want the Gentleman's Guide to Passages South by Bruce van Sant.

It covers the area you are discussing.

It is principally aimed at those going from Florida TO the USVI but works fine in the other direction.
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Old 02-16-2013
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The Explorer charts to the Bahamas are terrific and also will do for cruising guides as well. Other than that, the van Sant book is decent.
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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.
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Old 02-16-2013
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Re: cruising guide for north east caribbean

You won't need much in terms of guides until you get to the T & C's and Bahamas as there aren't many places to stop along that route in a power boat. Save your money for good charts which you can find in the VI to get you to PR and then, once in San Juan you can buy what you need to get to and through the Bahamas. Your best bet for paper charts are the chart books -- you'll need to by several for the Bahamas and T&C. A few good paper charts will get you from the VI to the Dom Rep.

From the VI your first stop with fuel might be in or around Fajardo on the eastern side of PR. There are several marinas there -- see http://www.noonsite.com/Countries/PuertoRico/Fajardo for a listing. Alternatively, if you have a good day (not much swell) and can make some speed, San Juan is only 65-70 nm from St. Thomas, so you might consider doing that in one hop. Stay a mile or two offshore and be sure to drag a fishing line. The waters just off SJ are some of the best in the world for sport fishing. I've caught fish both times I've make the trip from Culebra to SJ.

San Juan is the best place to stop on the north coast of PR and in SJ one of the better places to tie up and refuel is Club Nautico Club Nautico de San Juan - 80 years of Tradition and Commitment to Puerto Rico No need for a guide here as the dockmaster can tell you anything you want to know. Call ahead for a dock reservation as they don't have many transit slips. If they can't accomodate you there's another marina across the channel from Club Nautico.

The next leg is a bit longer ~250 nm from San Juan to Ocean World on the north coast of Dom Rep just west of Puerto Plata. Website is Welcome to Ocean World Marina, a full service caribbean yacht-boat marina in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic.. The approach is straight forward and there's a chartlet on the website. Use Google Earth to have a look. Don't bother with either Puerto Plata (a commercial port) or Luperon, which is 12 miles further east from Ocean World. Ocean World is the easiest place to deal with DR officialdom. You'll probably find hands out in the other ports. Ocean World caters to power boats and foreign yachts so they help keep the BS that can come with DR customs / immigration in line. Once again, the marina staff can point you to anything you need in terms of provisioning / chandlery. This is a safe place to rest for a few days -- swimming pool and good restaurants within walking distance. Skip the "Bravissimo Show".

From there you'll need a cruising guide to the T & C and one for the Bahamas. You can find those here tp://www.landfallnavigation.com/bookscruisebahamas.html or other places on line.

Have fun. If you want I can give you some tips on sightseeing along the way, but it sounds like this is planned as a delivery.
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Last edited by billyruffn; 02-16-2013 at 06:30 PM.
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Re: cruising guide for north east caribbean

Thank you for such detailed info. The 250nm leg in an unfamiliar boat is a little daunting, particularly as we usually rely on sail power and our motors are our back up.
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Re: cruising guide for north east caribbean

Best check the boat out, mate. When you go over to the dark side you risk more than your soul.

Take a slow stroll down the north coasts of PR and DR and you'll see what I mean about few places to stop. There are probably a few places you could put in, but you're not going to find many marine tradesmen on the dock.

If you're concerned about the 250 nm on your second or third day out in a new (to you) boat, you might consider bumping along the south coast of Puerto Rico, where there are a few more places to stop, seek shelter, fuel and mechanical assistance should you need it. You can also stop in Samana, in the DR, which breaks the trip somewhat, but here you have the same issues with DR officialdom I referred to in my original post. I haven't done with the south coast of PR or been anywhere in the DR except Ocean World and Luperon, but have heard of many boats that have stopped in Samana.

If it's any consolation, the US Coast Guard is very active in this part of the world and if you get into deep do-do (i.e. lose the engines altogether) you can probably expect someone to come to your assistance. I'm not sure I'd want to have a break down in some small DR port as it can be expensive and time consuming to get parts through customs. Better to be absolutely confident in the engine(s) before you start -- either that or ship it to FL.

How big is this boat?

Last edited by billyruffn; 02-16-2013 at 07:17 PM.
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