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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest > General Discussion (sailing related) > Best route - Belize to Virgin Islands?
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Thread: Best route - Belize to Virgin Islands? Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
07-08-2008 02:46 AM
souljour2000 I would follow the Gulfstream like the Spanish always did...they chose Havana as a rendezvous point for good reason.This was the fastest and safest route during hurricane season when they often travelled. I wouldnt tempt fate during primetime hurricane season..staying north and nearer to some ports seems like the more prudent route.
07-08-2008 02:28 AM
camaraderie CL...I don't think anyone was sarcastic. The reply I gave you was accurate. You CAN sail from EASTERN Venezuela straight to the BVI OR elect to island hop first to Trinidad and then on up the chain. The PROBLEM is getting to EASTERN Venezuela against the strong trade winds and seas. It is a long uphill and uncomfortable undertaking particularly in such a vessel.
BTW...thanks for disclosing up front that you are not interested in this trip except as a writer. That really makes me feel like my time on this thread was well spent. (Now THAT is sarcasm.)
07-08-2008 01:40 AM
captainslady Camraderie's reply above led me to think that you COULD get below the hurricane belt and then work up from Trinidad. No, I'm REALLY NOT A MASOCHIST, just a writer trying to get it right, and thinking I could get some good technical ideas from you guys, not sarcasm. So thanks for the last, btrayfors.
07-07-2008 10:05 PM
btrayfors Already asked and answered. And amplified (by Camraderie).

Sure, anything's possible. But are you really such a masochist?

The adverse winds and currents are stronger down there, as noted.

Taking the "direct route" and "making easting when you can" in a wooden motorsailer with an "old GM 6-71" isn't my idea of anything I'd wanna try.

Bill
07-07-2008 08:17 PM
captainslady OK, so if the boat is positioned in Columbia, would it be possible to go to Venezuela, then Trinidad and North up the island chain to the Virgins? I know its about 700 miles from Venezuela to the BVI, and one guy said you could do it direct and get some easting when possible. But sailing friends I know said, no way could you do that. I am very familiar with hurricanes in that area, rode out at least 10 or more on my boat in the BVI, so would consider that in the planning.
07-07-2008 08:13 PM
sailingdog Takes a bit longer to do it that way though.
Quote:
Originally Posted by sgkuhner View Post
Probably the easiest way would be the way we did it. Go down to Panama, through the Canal, head west riding the trades through the Pacific, use the trades to cross the Indian Ocean to South Africa in October, around the cape of Good Hope in January then from Capetown head to St Helena and from there to Brazil and then on to Granada and then up the Caribbean islands to St Thomas. 70% of your trip will be down wind.
07-07-2008 08:09 PM
sgkuhner Probably the easiest way would be the way we did it. Go down to Panama, through the Canal, head west riding the trades through the Pacific, use the trades to cross the Indian Ocean to South Africa in October, around the cape of Good Hope in January then from Capetown head to St Helena and from there to Brazil and then on to Granada and then up the Caribbean islands to St Thomas. 70% of your trip will be down wind.
07-07-2008 12:45 PM
camaraderie The only advantage to heading south and along the south American coast is that you quickly get below the hurricane belt and then can work your way up along the island chain or stay put in Trini or Venezuela until the season is over or at least gives you a 5 day window to sail north directly. It is as Bill says though a MUCH more difficult bash to windward than the thorny path which is tough enough but shorter.
07-07-2008 12:39 PM
btrayfors Nothing I'd wanna try, unless I were in a destroyer or larger ship :-) A "60' wooden motorsailer with an old GM 6-71" just doesn't cut it, IMO.

The trouble is, any more direct route will pit you against prevailing tradewinds and currents. You do not want to consider these lightly. The tradewinds are not gentle breezes, they can blow like hell, both in the direct path Belize-Virgin Islands or, particularly, along the north coast of Columbia and Venezuela.

Belize is 1,370 nautical miles west of St. Thomas (rhumbline). That's a hell of a long ways to be punching into strong winds and headseas.

The currents are also strong. And, as mentioned, the hurricane season is just starting. You really don't wanna be caught out in the middle of the Caribbean in a big blow.

Sorry, but the only other way I'd tackle the direct route is in a 747. They go to windward just fine :-)

Bill
07-07-2008 12:31 PM
captainslady
More direct route?

Would there be any possible way to get from Belize to the Virgins on a more direct route, motorsailing with lots of fuel? I had a friend who came through the Panama Canal heading that way somehow, had to turn into Columbia for repairs it was so rough, but is there no other way to do it, considering weather and time of year?
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