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  #11  
Old 05-06-2013
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Re: How to Proceed...

I would stop in NSB because I am picking up my uncle for the gulf crossing. Also, my grandparents (sailors) live in NSB so I wanted to stop and visit for 2 or three days before I started the leg to West Palm Beach.

I had not really considered the Keys... Could you explain why they would be a better option during hurricane season? Are the keys less prone or have better hurricane holes than the abacos or turks and caicos or Puerto Rico?
I mean, i guess I could cruise around the Northern regions (Abaco's) and have plenty of time to run back to the keys if that were the case. However my whole intention of reaching Rico faster is to find work and start living there for six months or a year. If I float around I will be burning up resources. I am sure I could find work in the Keys at a bar or restaurant if I had to but again, why re they the better choice during hurricane season?
I will get the book you have recommended.
Also, why do you consider NSB so bad? It is a bit narrow but other than that seems fine.
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Old 05-06-2013
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Re: How to Proceed...

A bit sideways from the subject, but -
I have been told that it can be difficult for newcomers to find work in Puerto Rico, especially if they don't speak spanish. I have no personal experience on this, but I was told this by a lady who lived there for some time.
Something to think about. Anybody else have an opinion on this?
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  #13  
Old 05-07-2013
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Re: How to Proceed...

Here is some good historic hurricane info.

Tropical Cyclone Climatology

Are you prepared to pay all the entrance/exit fees from each of the countries you will visit or escape to?
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  #14  
Old 05-07-2013
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Re: How to Proceed...

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Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
Here is some good historic hurricane info.

Tropical Cyclone Climatology

Are you prepared to pay all the entrance/exit fees from each of the countries you will visit or escape to?
I had not actually, thank you for bringing that to my attention.
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Old 05-07-2013
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Re: How to Proceed...

I am in a bit of a quandry it seems. I, to be honest, am not comfortable with my present skills going to Rico via route 65 or 66 as I would be alone at sea for almost or more than a week during hurricane season-- that seems pretty risky.
The thorny path sounds like a fun adventure, but again I have hurricanes to think about. I am not lieing when I say I am still leaning on this approach--simply bc of finances. I worry about boating around losing funds too long and becoming destitute before I have the oppurtunity to make Rico, find anchorage, and I assume have a week or two for finding a job.
Option three has me hanging out in the Abacos and running to the Keys or perhaps Man-o-War Cay harbor in case something develops-- however daily I would be losing money.
Four has me staying in the Keys so I can hold a job- But I have 0 charts for the keys, no prior knowledge, have never visited or done any research and I am a week from departure.

Eight weeks really is not enough time to make the sail? I envision myself crawling 1-2 knots all the way down the islands by how you are describing i the passage. You are right in that I DO NOT want to lose my house in the first few months.
The cyclone chart shows very little activity in my proposed area until August, though with the crazy weather we have had this year I think the law of averages may not apply this season...
Could someone please explain why the Keys are such a better hold up?
Do you think $2000 is enough to make the move/trip? Im budgeting $25 daily.
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Re: How to Proceed...

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Originally Posted by Harborless View Post
I had not actually, thank you for bringing that to my attention.
You're going to want to be a student of this site:

http://www.noonsite.com/Countries/Ba...rc=Formalities

Good news for you, being under 34 ft, is the Bahamas fee is only $150. You will find that, in the islands, some may try to grab a few extra bucks. Be educated and polite.

You're going to want to be very familiar with customs and immigration procedures and requirements for each country, which differ. Certainly, some cruisers have ditched the departure requirements, but only when they don't expect to return for a long, long time or ever. That is a bad idea, if you may need to find a hurricane hole. Do not try to ditch the immigration requirements, or risk losing everything.
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Re: How to Proceed...

Unfortunately, the current unemployment rate in Puerto Rico is over 14%. It seemed devastating in the states, when it got over 9%. Finding a job may be tough. I have heard, however, that there are jobs picking coffee in the hills in 90 deg temps that people just don't want to do. Only rumor.
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Old 05-07-2013
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Re: How to Proceed...

The idea of the Thorny Path is not to fight against against the constant Trades and currents at a very slow, very uncomfortable rate. Rather it is to sit in a harbor until a frontal system comes through and use the short-lived favorable winds generated by the system to dash to the next harbor where you wait for the next favorable winds. At this time of year the frontal systems are way north so you might wait for a very long time. I think van Sant's approach is for the post-hurricane season, after November 1. Read the book to see how it works.

As for seasonality of hurricanes, we purposely crossed the Indian Ocean to get to South Africa before the cyclone (hurricane) frequency increased. We had to abandon Mauritius a lot sooner than we thought we would because a tropical storm was developing. TS frequency in the month was 3 in 10 years. It developed into a Category 3 storm (130 knots). There had never been a cyclone recorded in that month. Averages are just that, they don't tell you what is happening in any particular year and it was a waning La Niña year which should have made conditions even better.
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Re: How to Proceed...

Thanks so much for your advice and help.
I am not concerned about finding a job- I have loads of experience in the service industry with terrific references. I see little problem finding a serving or bar tending job at a resort,bar, or restaurant.
If after a month no job was forthcoming, the Virgin islands are only a short leap away.

I still have no received any knowledge as to why the keys are a better area to be during cane season then the bahamas caicos or rico?
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Old 05-07-2013
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Re: How to Proceed...

OK I see from your profile that you have an Amf Paceship which is a 26 ft sloop and those came with a single cylinder 8 hp diesel.

You will find it almost impossible to make headway motoring upwind into the typical short sharp seas known as the Caribbean two step. Butting into these for days will break you and your boat.

The tried and tested strategy is to WAIT for the winds to turn and the seas to diminish. This happens mostly in winter. You might get some windows in summer but the usual tendency for the winds is SE which is bang on the nose for you. You need to be in Elizabeth harbor Great Exuma by January at the latest and start weather watching and taking every opportunity to make easting.

You are too late for this year and you need more money unless you have a reserve that you can tap if something breaks. [ Bank of mum and dad ?]

Clearance fees alone
Bahamas $150
Turks and Caicos $400 There is a lower charge if you make a single stop to refuel I believe. This would be unlikely to apply to you.
Dominican Republic $68 minimum plus 'despacho' fees at ?$15? a pop.

Why not spend the summer in the Bahamas with a close eye on the weather so you can run to a good hurricane hole.

BTW all bets are off if you get another Andrew, ask the locals about what happened in Hatchet cove which was thought to be one of the best hidey holes.

Re finding a job in the islands esp. in the hospitality sector. This is very unlikely as the tourism business is waaaay down. Everybody is hurting down here.

Last edited by TQA; 05-07-2013 at 02:56 PM.
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