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bell ringer
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I may be heading out next year and don't have any plan/schedule other than head south to warmer weather (starting from NE USA). But I do want to go to Bermuda along the way. But I also really want to cruise more of the SE US instead of going to Bermuda and then just heading south to the islands.

So what would be a good jumping off place that would also be a good spot to return to in order to continue the US part of the cruise?

Or would it really be better to just sail south all the way to Key West and then backtrack "up" to Bermuda and then head south after toward the islands?
 

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bell ringer
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
To which "islands"????
Florida keys? cuba? Bahamas? Caribbean?

Are we mind readers this week? :p
No one reads my mind, not even me. :laugher

Islands to me are all the same, it means Bahamas/Caribbean. Remember I don't really have a destination, other than visiting Bermuda, and am just planning to cruise "around".
 

bell ringer
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I'd consider doing a loop. Florida to Bemuda to Charleston SC then back down the coast,
I haven't really spent any time looking at route yet (which is why I asked), but it wouldn't seem to me that Bermuda to Charleston would be a good route given the wind/Gulfstream considerations.
 

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Don, if you have no plans you ca not acheive anything.

I think you should head down here and buy me some beers while I teach you a few facts of life, sonny.

BTW, from Bermuda heading directly to the Caribbean is a piece of cake as you are already at 65W.
You would need to be a Goose De-Lux to give up that easting to go to anywhere and then have to dig your butt upwind again. :eek:

The time to do Florida and the east coast is when you have the wind behind you, and the current behind you and that aint southbound.
 

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I may be heading out next year and don't have any plan/schedule other than head south to warmer weather (starting from NE USA). But I do want to go to Bermuda along the way. But I also really want to cruise more of the SE US instead of going to Bermuda and then just heading south to the islands.

So what would be a good jumping off place that would also be a good spot to return to in order to continue the US part of the cruise?

Or would it really be better to just sail south all the way to Key West and then backtrack "up" to Bermuda and then head south after toward the islands?
2 problems with what you're proposing...

First, Bermuda is hardly "along the way" if you're starting from the NE, but still want to cruise the SE coast as far as the Keys...

Second, there's this little factor known as 'Hurricane Season' that makes the timing of such a jaunt problematic... I have difficulty imagining what time of the year you'd perform the 'backtrack' maneuver from Key West to Bermuda, thence to the Caribbean, in a more or less continuous fashion.

Bermuda is a great place destination, no question... I think a better plan might simply be to sail out there and back to NE in June, before hurricane season kicks into gear... For one thing, would be the perfect shakedown for an extended cruise... And, that time of year, a departure and return to NE is no problem. If you're heading to Bermuda in the fall, however, I believe you want to jump off from either the Chesapeake, or Beaufort, and not anywhere north of there...

Then, in the fall, work your way down the East coast along with everyone else...

Sure, it's nice to have "no plans", but at some point, you really have to decide where you (or, your insurance company) wants you to be for hurricane season...
 

bell ringer
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Don, if you have no plans you ca not acheive anything.

I think you should head down here and buy me some beers while I teach you a few facts of life, sonny.
I have a plan, just that it is loose in details. (good cruiser plan overall I think)

I suspect all I would learn in that one is that an Aussie can out drink me ;)

BTW - who you calling sonny :p
 

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Don,

As Jon points out the trip is dictated primarily by hurricane season and secondarily by the NW winter lows. It all depends on the time of year you plan to sail.

Your plan is actually valid for a Fall departure from the NE!

Work your way south along the US coast in October having the ability to run for shelter if threatened by a late hurricane or an early winter storm. We did this twice and visited all the lovely places, like Charleston, on the East Coast. If you stay close to land there is often a south going counter current to aid your passage.

Our insurance dictated that we could not go south of the Florida line before Nov 1.

We then spent Christmas in Florida and the Keys and went to the Bahamas in early Spring.

Getting from the Bahamas to the Caribbean down the thorny path is hard work and is more easily done in late Spring, before hurricane season, by going east out to 65W. The problem is that the best course to windward, out of the Abacos, is often towards Bermuda. It is important to make easting on the starboard tack so that you do not get south too early and run into the west going current. The last time we did that trip I told the crew that Bermuda might just be en-route if we wanted to sail all the way. On one trip we actually sailed towards Bermuda for 2 days before we got a wind shift that enabled us to sail east.

After a few weeks in Bermuda you sail due south with the north pole star directly aft and you then arrive in the Caribbean in May/June just in time to deal with hurricane season! Which is another thread.

This route is a 'pretty route' with lots of nice places to visit and avoids the complications associated with the Salty Dawg, crossing a wide part of the Gulf Stream in a winter storm or the Thorny Path, bashing into a 1-2 knot current and 15 knots trade winds going east just north of Hispaniola and Puerto Rico.

The route is based on the the theory that you want to visit as many nice places as you can while avoiding going hard to windward.

http://www.sailnet.com/forums/vessels-lost-missing-danger/105421-rallies-gone-wrong.html

Good luck Phil
 

Mermaid Hunter
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I may be heading out next year and don't have any plan/schedule other than head south to warmer weather (starting from NE USA). But I do want to go to Bermuda along the way. But I also really want to cruise more of the SE US instead of going to Bermuda and then just heading south to the islands.
I'd do Newport to Bermuda, spend a few days there (not that much to see), and then head for Norfolk. ICW and coastal hopping South to Key West. Go backwards through the Bahamas from South to North and get East for the Caribbean.

You'll have to pay attention to hurricane season and local weather.

Have you been offshore before?
 

Bristol 45.5 - AiniA
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Some very useful advice here, Don. Strangely enough having a fairly carefree cruising life does involve some careful planning. I think I would agree with the advice to go NE to Bermuda in May/June. Bermuda is not a place with many attractions as such, but the general feeling of the island is terrific. I would suggest 1 to 3 weeks there before heading back. Come back to somewhere like the Chesapeake and head south from there when the weather and insurance dictates. Our insurance said north of Hatteras until Nov. 1.
 

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Don
roughly within 50-100 nm the distance to Bermuda is the same whether you leave from Newport RI or from Charleston Sc. So I would probably think about Norfolk to Bermuda to Charleston then down the Se coast then out to the "islands"...just my .02
 

Master Mariner
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Why in the world you'd want to cross the Gulfstream twice in one season if you didn't have to baffles me, so here's another idea. Newport to Bermuda. Bermuda to the Antilles. Cruise the Windward and Leewards in the winter, then hunkering down somewhere for the hurricane season, doing maintenance and partying w/ all the others doing the same. After hurricane season, sail up the islands to St Martin (if you hunkered down in Grenada or Trini), across to the BVI's and west to Central America or the Yucatan, via Jamaica. Then you can ride the stream back to the Keys and up the East coast to wherever you please. A two season plan, but with the best possible wind angle (except from Yucatan to Miami, but most of that can be easily done in short hops).
 
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Mermaid Hunter
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Why in the world you'd want to cross the Gulfstream twice in one season if you didn't have to baffles me
Explain to me. What's the big deal? I cross the Stream a bunch of times a year.
 

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Bristol 45.5 - AiniA
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I have not found the Gulf Stream to be that big an issue in the dozen or so times I have crossed.
 
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