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  #21  
Old 03-12-2013
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Re: Thorny Path

Using the south coast of Cuba to go to the Caribbean is only a option for US registered boats, when they have a non national on board. For he or she, is the only one allowed to spend money for provisioning purposes, repairs, and etc., while in anyone of the ports along the south coast.
This may be a touchy subject, but I always travel with alternatives.
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  #22  
Old 03-12-2013
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Re: Thorny Path

Yet another interesting thread. Just ordered the Van Sant book. We will be making that passage in the next 4-5 years. Lots of time to plan.
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  #23  
Old 03-12-2013
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Re: Thorny Path

Quote:
Originally Posted by blowinstink View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by rockDAWG
I ordered the book yesterday. But it looks like we are taking to I65 route this time. We will see and remain flexible pending on the weather, soundness of the vessel and crews.
You said the boat is in Florida and you say you are planning to take "I-65".

How does that work???
Probably not very well, in most cases…

The best one could reasonably hope for, is a strategy mentioned by Don Street from south Florida…

Cross the Stream to West End or Lucaya, then wait for the arrival of a cold front… Sail down the NE Providence Channel, and ride the NW through NE progression as far east as you can… If you're lucky, you might be able to lay Puerto Rico by the time you're into the area of established trade winds, again…

I employed that strategy once sailing my own boat from Lauderdale to Harbour Island, Eleuthera... Rode the SW breeze in advance of the front across the Stream, the front arriving just as predicted just after passing Great Isaac... It was a strong front, however, and the ride that night down the NW Providence Channel was pretty boisterous... Still blew hard for two days after arriving at Harbour Island late the following afternoon, enough that I had to anchor up in the lee of the west side of the harbor for another day after arrival... Had I been attempting to go further east, that system would have carried me out pretty far - and would have resulted in a quick passage, but a rather rough and wet one...

I'm guessing the boat the OP is talking about, is the Out Island 41 he was considering delivering from Morehead City earlier in the winter… Definitely not my first choice, in the type of boat I'd want to have to beat from S. Florida out to the Eastern Caribbean… Using Steet's route, probably the best he can hope for is maybe being able to fetch Luperon or Ocean World...(grin)

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So, is there an alternate path for leaving Key West and heading to Cancun area for landfall, then going south on the coast ?
This is NOT a good way to get to the Eastern Caribbean, which is where those following the Thorny Path generally want to go.
On the other hand, if you'd prefer to cross the Stream in direct opposition to it, rather than perpendicular, bypass one of the Western Hemisphere's most beautiful cruising grounds, add perhaps 30% more distance to the amount of open water beating into the trades you'll have to do, and perhaps bring Haiti into play as a possible port of call/bailout point, well… then such a route could be a wonderful alternative… (grin)

Last edited by JonEisberg; 03-12-2013 at 07:32 PM.
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  #24  
Old 03-13-2013
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Re: Thorny Path

Thanks Jon, I will think hard on your words for this trip. The weather predicts very light easterly wind from Sunday to Wednesday. We are thinking motor or motorsail all the way. Hopeful get to Virgins or PR.

What precautionary should I take if the wind starts blowing from the N or NE when we are east of "72 W"? I think it will good for us as long as I stay far from Lee shore.

Your comments is appreciated.
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  #25  
Old 03-14-2013
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Re: Thorny Path

Keep sailing east on the northerlies, if you go south too early you get into the current running north and west.
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Old 03-14-2013
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Re: Thorny Path

My wife found this lighthearted blog of a sailboat that just arrived in Puerto Rico via the Thorny Path. Not a huge amount of technical detail but a very enjoyable read. They seemed to do it exactly right IMHO. Told the admiral to study up on their approach. Van Sant book arrives today.

The crossing entries starts on their blog on January 16th.

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  #27  
Old 03-14-2013
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Re: Thorny Path

I do appreciate how they made great fun of a challenging passage. Particularly note that there was not a big rush for an aggressive passage. Very patient, which was something brought up earlier in the thread. They just waited for their weather windows and had fun while waiting it out. That would be the style that the admiral and I would do. Although the Bahamas likely won't work out for us due to our draft.

Last edited by kellysails; 03-14-2013 at 03:55 PM.
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  #28  
Old 03-14-2013
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Re: Thorny Path

Quote:
Originally Posted by kellysails View Post
I do appreciate how they made great fun of a challenging passage. Particularly note that there was not a big rush for an aggressive passage. Very patient, which was something brought up earlier in the thread. They just waited for their weather windows and had fun while waiting it out. That would be the style that the admiral and I would do. Although the Bahamas likely won't work out for us due to our draft.
This is the attitude you need to have for cruising. You can call them delays or you can call them opportunities. We got stuck in Durban waiting for a window. The yacht club is in downtown Durban and not the nicest spot in the world, but still interesting - at least in day time.
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  #29  
Old 03-19-2013
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Re: Thorny Path

Received Van Sant's book a few days ago, and I can't put it down. Now that's how to take the thorns out of the thorny path. A great read. And I see that while a seven foot draft is not optimal in the Bahamas, it is doable.

I do wonder how to get down below 12 degrees latitude by June 1 using his methodology. It would be a fairly rapid cruise through the Caribbean to make it. I suppose one could start cruising the Caribbean in detail the following season. That makes sense I guess.

Last edited by kellysails; 03-19-2013 at 04:18 PM.
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Old 03-19-2013
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Re: Thorny Path

We went the I65 route so the time constraints were different, but we decided to go south quickly with only brief stops on the way to Grenada. We took our time coming north.
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