Passage Planning Canada to Caribbean - SailNet Community
Caribbean East and West and including the big islands and the east coast of Central America and Northern littoral of S. America

 
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post #1 of 8 Old 4 Weeks Ago Thread Starter
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Passage Planning Canada to Caribbean

December is awful late for that trip from that far north. I'd think more toward early November or so if you really aren't interested in getting into some pretty severe weather on your way to Bermuda. I've actually had much better luck with the weather in mid to late October if there's a break in the hurricanes and if your boat is fast enough (or you power through the calms and just '"git 'er done") maintaining a 6 knot average, you can do the trip within the forecast from your departure.
Crossing the Stream to Bermuda can be very unpleasant almost anytime, but the later you go, the more temperature difference there will be between the cold arctic air and water coming down into the warm Gulfstream and the more violent the weather will be. This is localized weather which no weather router can predict, so I wouldn't put much faith in them anytime you are crossing the Stream.

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Re: Nova Scotia to British Virgin Islands

I was in the North Atlantic on a Cunarder in early November nearly 60 years ago and still vividly remember how violent the weather was. The seas were absolutely mountainous.

Attempting it in December on a small boat is foolhardiness bordering on the suicidal.

I, myself, personally intend to continue being outspoken and opinionated, intolerant of all fanatics, fools and ignoramuses, deeply suspicious of all those who have "found the answer" and on my bad days, downright rude.
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Re: Nova Scotia to British Virgin Islands

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Originally Posted by SloopJonB View Post
I was in the North Atlantic on a Cunarder in early November nearly 60 years ago and still vividly remember how violent the weather was. The seas were absolutely mountainous.
Attempting it in December on a small boat is foolhardiness bordering on the suicidal.
I disagree that going south in December is foolhardy bordering on suicidal. 60 years ago the weather forecasting systems weren't as good as they are nowadays, so choosing the right time to depart was tougher back then. Boats have been going out into uncertain weather on crossing for centuries.

When I went down from Hampton to St. Martin in December, I hung around until the weather forecasts gave me a clear shot to go south. It was 8 days on passage and while the winds were strong and the waves high (albeit with a very long period), it was well within what an oceangoing boat could deal with. Storm systems that can make a passage tough are pretty big and with modern forecasting and modern communications systems (either satellite phone or SSB) one is forewarned and can avoid them entirely or at least skirt around the edges.


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Last edited by MarkofSeaLife; 4 Weeks Ago at 03:35 AM.
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Re: Nova Scotia to British Virgin Islands

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I
Apples and oranges!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Hampton Va and Nova Scotia are 1200 miles apart and most of that is north/south, not east west.
That 1200 miles into the North Atlantic and through the Gulfstream, which as I said makes it's own, completely unforecastable weather. could very well be foolhardy bordering on suicidal just as SloopJonB said, especially for those without extensive heavy weather experience.
On one early November voyage between Newport and Bermuda, we had an ESE 70 knot blow in the Stream that lasted about 7 hours followed by an almost instantaneous 40+ knot blow from the ENE that lasted about 24 hours, both completely unforetasted. The seas were some of the steepest and most treacherous I've seen outside of a hurricane at sea. Forecast called for 15 to 25 ENE.
I have also made the trip the next year with a sister ship, leaving within an hour of each other. I did my usual and powered through the calms and made Bermuda literally minutes before a SE gale set in, in which many boats reported 50 foot seas. Our sister ship went with a well known weather forecaster, playing the currents, etc. and arrived 40 hours later with considerable damage.
Let me assure you that once you are in the sh*t in the Stream, there is no turning around or better way to go. At best, if you can lay a course to the closest point to get out of it, you may still have to go through it again to get south, or just give up and go back, waiting 'till next year, as many who underestimate the Stream often do.

"Any idiot can make a boat go; it takes a sailor to stop one." Spike Africa aboard the schooner Wanderer in Sausalito, Ca. 1964.
“Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing - absolutely nothing - half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.” ― Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows

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Last edited by MarkofSeaLife; 4 Weeks Ago at 03:42 AM.
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Passage Planning Canada to Caribbean

I split a thread and here is the edited discussion that looks interesting

The premise of the discussion is to sail from Canada, Nova Scottia to the BVIs in November or December.

A personal attack etc was removed Please play the thread, not the poster


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Re: Passage Planning Canada to Caribbean

FWIW,

The Previous Owner of my small boat was crew on a 39’ Ericcson that was heading from Halifax to Bermuda in early November. Insurance said to not leave before Nov. 1. Their first couple of days were quiet, then they were in a storm for a couple of days.

They were eventually picked up by a Ukrainian ore carrier. My friend, not given to exaggeration, said that the boat was literally coming apart, bulkheads broke loose etc.

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Re: Passage Planning Canada to Caribbean

Last December! And the conditions were not that bad!

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-...ifax-1.4949986

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Re: Passage Planning Canada to Caribbean

That looks like a flat calm compared to what I saw. It was a 22,000 ton liner and when it went over the top of some of the waves the props would almost come out of the water - the entire ship shook from the vibration as they neared the surface.

I, myself, personally intend to continue being outspoken and opinionated, intolerant of all fanatics, fools and ignoramuses, deeply suspicious of all those who have "found the answer" and on my bad days, downright rude.
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