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  Topic Review (Newest First)
01-06-2009 04:26 PM
Originally Posted by xort View Post
No experience at all...but I read a magazine in a Holiday Inn express once. The mag suggested to do a clockwise tour of the Atlantic. Go from USA to Europe via Bermuda first and then back to the E. Carib and up thru Bahamas on the return. For this you might want a different time of year for departure to Europe?
Now that is the long way to get to the sunny Caribbean!

There's an article on the trip in the November 08 Sail magazine available at A Year Afloat With The Family with a slightly different route to the one above, but it gives an idea of the timing involved in the two crossings.
01-05-2009 05:10 PM
xort No experience at all...but I read a magazine in a Holiday Inn express once. The mag suggested to do a clockwise tour of the Atlantic. Go from USA to Europe via Bermuda first and then back to the E. Carib and up thru Bahamas on the return. For this you might want a different time of year for departure to Europe?
01-05-2009 04:31 PM
either one is fine

Either way is fine - just depends on your comfort level, time and patience. My wife and I did the NY to Bermuda to BVI route and returned through the Bahamas. Carib 1500 is fine but you have to be willing to live with the rally lifestyle. Personally, I think i would go crazy on the coastal route waiting for a weather window every couple of days.
12-10-2008 05:33 PM
jimmalkin In the early 70's I delivered boats to/from the Caribbean/New England Area. Never did the Thorny Patch (you ought to read Bruce Van Sant - Gentleman's Guide to Passages South and Tricks of the Trades) and only went via Bermuda or via Norfolk to Morehead City and then outside.

I would second (or third) the idea of the Caribbean 1500 for the first run south - as BillyR says, you will get at least 1 blow - you may spend a good bit of time with a reef and hard on the wind. Bermuda is a great 1/2 way point but it is 1/expensive and 2/a bit of a weather magnet. I'd do the Bahamas on the way north and enjoy the ride.

You've got time and I'm sure will have fun planning and thinking it through.
12-05-2008 12:54 PM
gypsysailing "Eastern seaboard" and "western carib" are a bit vague but I do agree with the offshore option. "western caribbean" leaves me wondering.....
11-21-2008 08:31 PM
billyruffn My vote goes for the offshore route -- it's faster. You'll be in the BVI 10-12 days after leaving Norfolk and have a full season of Caribbean sailing ahead of you. Take the other route and you won't be their until the season's half over. You need to watch the weather closely (especially for a late season tropical cyclone), and count on one gale (35 kts +) as a cold front passes over you once you cross the Gulf Stream. If you're boat's in good shape, it is not a difficult passage, but it does require care and planning. You might consider joining the Caribbean 1500 rally which leaves from Norfolk in early November. It's not cheap (~$1200), but you'll have good advice in preparing, consistent weather reporting and others to accompany you as you make the passage. As mentioned above, you can do the Bahamas on the way home by sailing downwind vs beating your brains out going to weather. They don't call it a 'thorny path' for nothing.
11-21-2008 04:58 PM
btrayfors Here's another vote for the offshore route when heading south. Plan a stop in Bermuda...great place to visit and to await a favorable weather window to jump off for the Virgin Islands. Best time to leave: early November.

After you've had your fill of the Eastern Caribbean islands, plan a leisurely trip up through the Bahamas in the spring. This would get you to a jumping off place for the Azores in good time (summer). Having already visited Bermuda, you might choose to go right on past if the weather is right and head for the Azores.


11-21-2008 01:35 PM
camaraderie Killarney...You could still go down island offshore then come back through the Bahamas before jumping up to Bermuda/Azores. Your wife is right...the Abacos and Exumas are NOT to be missed!
11-21-2008 09:17 AM
Time is not an issue

We are really not on a schedule at all and will likely not be returning directly to the US. In all likelihood we will go to Europe from the Caribbean via Bermuda and Azores. One of the reasons for considering the Thorny Path is the chance to see various places on the way. The admiral really wants to visit the Abacos for example.

BTW, if we did go offshore we would seriously consider the Caribbean 1500. Oh well, at least I have time to think about this.
11-21-2008 04:36 AM
dongreerps I have done the thorny path twice, and enjoyed both trips. Both times on a relaxed schedule, but a schedule none the less. For that reason we did a lot of motor sailing when ever the weather was acceptable. When it was not, enjoyed the area. Sounds like you have the time. Use it to enjoy some of the really beautiful islands and people.
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