FL to the Caymans - which route? - Page 2 - SailNet Community
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post #11 of 17 Old 05-30-2019
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Re: FL to the Caymans - which route?

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Check in ports are quite limited
Refuleing more limited

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post #12 of 17 Old 05-30-2019
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Re: FL to the Caymans - which route?

I think that just looking at a chart and a pilot chart for the month you want to go, it should be clear enough that going around the west end of Cuba will leave you a hard beat up to the Caymans against the trade winds!
Alternately, you will almost surely get a pasting in the Windward Channel, though you should be going downhill as much as is possible. But then you'll be reaching or running to the Caymans, infinitely preferable to slogging to windward in the Trades, IMO.
As far as encountering the CG, I doubt they have the budget these days to be messing with yachts, especially the ones going the wrong way; in other words toward Columbia!

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post #13 of 17 Old 05-30-2019
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Re: FL to the Caymans - which route?

Why do you say one will get pasted in the Windward Channel? There are always weather windows, and it is downhill with little current. It is a pinch point, but once through it, there are large mountains blocking weather on either side. I just had a look, and this area is currently calm - one would need to motor.

I agree that during the winter, this area has few weather windows, but outside that it opens up.

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post #14 of 17 Old 05-30-2019
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I think the mona has a more nasty rep.
Hispanola is big/long and currrents are more settled/established on its western end.
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post #15 of 17 Old 05-31-2019
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Re: FL to the Caymans - which route?

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I don't see what the perceived difficulty is getting to the Caymans from Miami. Toddle down the Southern Bahamas to the Ragged Islands and enjoy them for a while, head through the windward passage and take a right. Go to the Caymans. It's ~500nm downwind and no current. It can be broken into steps if wanted - Ragged to Port Antonio, then either South Coast of Cuba or North Coast of Jamaica, stopping in several potential places along the way. The longest run this way would only be ~48hrs.

We did the opposite direction a couple years ago. It wasn't nice that way.

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Generally speaking, was the sea state and weather similar to the Leeward Islands?

I spent 10 days there in July and found the bay (on Grand Cayman) was well protected, the leeward side of the island almost becalmed (could barely get a Hobie Cat moving) but the windward side stayed pretty rough the entire time (large waves, rip currents).

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Re: FL to the Caymans - which route?

Yes, that part of the Caribe is open and has typical tradewinds and unstopped seas. To be clear, we did not stop in the Caymans, so can't speak to the islands themselves. We were passaging from Panama to Florida and the wind, seas, and current had us tacking close to the Caymans. We did stop in Port Antonio Jamaica for a couple of days to let a front go through the windward passage.

Florida to Caymans is pretty easy. Caymans to Florida is pretty tough.

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post #17 of 17 Old 05-31-2019
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Downhill thru yucatan channel and grab stream going east.
George Town CI is similar longitude as key west...only cuba is in the way..
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