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post #1 of 38 Old 03-24-2020 Thread Starter
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caribbean Cruising Guide

The owner canceled the trans-Atlantic I was going to do with him because of uncertainty of open boarders and such. Now he just wants to get his boat back to the States from St Thomas before he is prevented by any travel bans, leaving him stuck in a hurricane zone with no insurance.

Since he has moved his departure date up more than a month, the crew we had lined up can't do it now. So it will be a double handed trip. We plan on getting the boat to Charleston, but may go further north depending on weather. He usually keeps it on Nantucket for the summer.

Rather than do a direct shot we think we may hug the Caribbean Island chain in case we need to head to shore for some sleep. I have two questions:

Can someone recommend a good cruising guide(s) for that area, and

What type of watch schedule would you recommend.
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Re: caribbean Cruising Guide

If the owner and his boat are in St Thomas, he’s already in the United States. I’ll be around St John in a week or two with the same plan to head north prior to hurricane season on our boat. As a US citizen on a US documented vessel he cannot be banned or turned away from coming in off the Atlantic into any US port.

Facing the same issue a few days ago only going solo, I’d simply locate the current path of the Gulf Stream and follow it north staying on the western side and keeping a close watch on the wind forecast. Instead, I’ve opted to head over to USVI and wait until late May. Things will change.

Disclaimer: I could be way off on this, as it’ll be my first time heading north.

Last edited by Ken111; 03-24-2020 at 04:44 PM.
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Re: caribbean Cruising Guide

Stay clear of the Stream in winds with north component.
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post #4 of 38 Old 03-24-2020
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Re: caribbean Cruising Guide

From usvi...
Once you hit the bahamas, you can day hop your way to and up the east coast
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Re: caribbean Cruising Guide

If you are in the USVI, you are definitely NOT already in the US. St Thomas is a duty free port and as such it is not the US.
If you want to avoid clearing into the US when you arrive, stop in PR and clear in there, which will make it a coast-wise voyage.
As for pulling in anywhere between PR and the US for a quick night's sleep without clearing in (I believe all those countries are closed), the consequences are extremely severe if you are caught, including prison and forfeiture of the vessel. While you might get away with it in normal times, every country has extra patrols out to catch folks who might be trying to enter illegally to avoid the pandemic. We've had the Grenada CG boat here checking papers twice in the last three days and it's normally more like twice every couple of months.
If you are lucky, and it is pretty early in the season to get lucky, you could make the trip very easily. At any rate the best route would be east of Silver Bank, T&C and the Bahamas to the Northeast/Northwest Passage, through that to the Gulfstream off of Palm Beach. Plenty of sea room if the weather goes bad!
That way you ride the Antilles Current up outside the islands, giving you a pretty nice push, then in the Stream which is an even better push. If you get too tired to sail on, you can practice heaving to, and sleep for a few hours as you run up from St.T. to the NE/NW Passage as there is little traffic out there. It also should be a reach, not a run, as the southern route is, which is much easier sailing course for most boats.
The run from PR to the Gulfstream staying just offshore of PR, the DR and Cuba is pretty much dead down wind and the seas are often 12 to 15 feet and close together. Should a norther blow in, you will have a lee shore and clawing off could be a real hassle. The Old Bahama Channel between Cuba and the Bahamas is very narrow, 90 miles long and can have quite a bit of traffic, right at the time you'll probably be the most tired.
I've done the trip both ways numerous times and the outside run is definitely the easiest and safest.

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post #6 of 38 Old 03-24-2020
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Re: caribbean Cruising Guide

No US passport necessary if in the USVI, the US purchased St Thomas along with St John and St Croix from Denmark a long, long time ago; just like Alaska was purchased from Russia; welcome to the good old US of A.:
https://traveltips.usatoday.com/need...mas-62193.html

On another note: The USVI including St Thomas closed it’s borders for 30 days 8 hours ago: https://www.travelmarketreport.com/a...es-its-Borders

You and the boat owner are probably better off staying right where you are. IMHO

Last edited by Ken111; 03-24-2020 at 06:46 PM.
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Re: caribbean Cruising Guide

Quote:
Originally Posted by Slayer View Post
The owner canceled the trans-Atlantic I was going to do with him because of uncertainty of open boarders and such. Now he just wants to get his boat back to the States from St Thomas before he is prevented by any travel bans, leaving him stuck in a hurricane zone with no insurance.

Since he has moved his departure date up more than a month, the crew we had lined up can't do it now. So it will be a double handed trip. We plan on getting the boat to Charleston, but may go further north depending on weather. He usually keeps it on Nantucket for the summer.

Rather than do a direct shot we think we may hug the Caribbean Island chain in case we need to head to shore for some sleep. I have two questions:

Can someone recommend a good cruising guide(s) for that area, and

What type of watch schedule would you recommend.
Regarding a watch schedule for two people, here’s what worked well for two of us on an Oyster 62 going from Virginia to Antigua. As skipper, I was “ON” 4am until 7pm with time for a one hour nap sometime during the day and Bogdan watching things on deck whenever I was occupied with other things. Then Bogdan would take over around 7pm with both of us being awake until around 10pm when I’d go to sleep in the saloon. No hesitation to wake me if needed or if he got tired. Bogdan would sleep from 4am until around 9am and take a nap sometime in the late afternoon.

Basically we were following our body rhythms, and it worked well for 9 days. A rigid 4hours on then 4 off didn’t work. When it’s just my wife and I we do something similar, except I tend to sleep in the cockpit.

Last edited by Ken111; 03-24-2020 at 07:19 PM.
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post #8 of 38 Old 03-24-2020
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Re: caribbean Cruising Guide

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No US passport necessary if in the USVI, the US purchased St Thomas along with St John and St Croix from Denmark a long, long time ago; just like Alaska was purchased from Russia; welcome to the good old US of A.: IMHO
Wow, you're pretty sure of your misinformation, aren't you?
I have no idea what your post is supposed to mean, but a US citizen can go to Canada w/o a passport, so according to you that makes it the US, right?

Ask anyone who has flown to the States from the USVI and they will tell you that you must go through customs and immigration. From PR you don't.
I've been making voyages and flying back and forth since 1979. I'm not guessing or making things up.

II suggest you follow your own misinformation and return to the mainland on your boat so you and your boat can revel in the consequences. Especially in these days of increased border security.

"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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Re: caribbean Cruising Guide

New forum rule:

No railing down on other posters until after March 31.
Angry and neg post quarantine.

After March 31, let the dogs out.
They will need to pee anyway....
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Re: caribbean Cruising Guide

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Originally Posted by RegisteredUser View Post
New forum rule:

No railing down on other posters until after March 31.
Angry and neg post quarantine.

After March 31, let the dogs out.
They will need to pee anyway....

Let’s make it Easter....President says he wants to see everyone in the churches.
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