SailNet Community banner
1 - 6 of 6 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
61 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
East to West (Med to Caribbean) or West to East (California to Caribbean, via canal) Which will gives us the most bang for our $2800/month budget? We'd love to see the Med (I'm of Greek Descent and my wife Italian) but are unsure if the budget will hold up once we get in to the western Med. We enjoy Central America but are concerned if there enough fun stops along the route to the canal. We were planning on a April-Christmas trip. Also, we'll be sailing with our 8-year old, son, except for any long crossings. So will more kids be in the Med on summer holiday?

Thoughts?

Thx.
Lawson
 

·
Bombay Explorer 44
Joined
·
3,619 Posts
The fact that you ask this question means you should not consider doing it in EITHER direction.

Especially on the timetable you give of April to Christmas which is totally unsuitable for West to East.

Going the other way you should make the Eastern Caribbean for Christmas. I suppose another month might see you through the Panama Canal. After that you will face some real tough sledding in potentially very nasty weather to get to California direct. Jimmy Cornell who knows a thing or too about routing sailboats actually recommends Panama to California via Hawaii and British Columbia. So sail the sucker to Florida from the Eastern Caribbean and truck the boat to California.

Is it your intention to fly to the med and buy a boat there?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
61 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
I was planning on starting in California and sailing south to the canal, then thru to the eastern caribbean, yucatan, florida, the bahamas for x-mas... Hence west to east.

L.

I reread you post and see you seem to think California is my destination. The Destination is the Caribbean. The question is whether to originate in the Med or originate in California.
 

·
Bristol 45.5 - AiniA
Joined
·
4,525 Posts
That trip from California to Florida is not a casual undertaking, in particular at that time of year. Someone on SN lost their boat doing that trip last year or the year before. You might want to search for the discussion.

A general comment, just because a trip does not look bad on a map does not mean it is easy to do.
 

·
Bombay Explorer 44
Joined
·
3,619 Posts
I was planning on starting in California and sailing south to the canal, then thru to the eastern caribbean, yucatan, florida, the bahamas for x-mas... Hence west to east.

L.

I reread you post and see you seem to think California is my destination. The Destination is the Caribbean. The question is whether to originate in the Med or originate in California.
OK then you do indeed have something of a quandary.

Both routes are doable.

You would be leaving California in April for a long hop well offshore direct to Panama. Transit the canal then head North to Florida. This route requires you pay a lot of attention to the weather and it might pay you to join Chris Parkers weather net. See Marine Weather Center - Bahamas & Caribbean Marine Weather Services. You could not dilly dally as there is always the chance of an early season hurrricane.The other option might be to motor sail along the north coast of South America but the current political situation militates against visiting Venezuela. So do Columbia then head North. Have you thought what you would do in hurricane season?

I suppose at first sight this route might appear safer than the other one you posit but in fact it is not IMHO. Although you are never too far from land you risk some severe weather and some hard routing choices could be forced upon you.

So start from the Eastern Mediterranean in April. Say Greece. Yup that makes sense. Greece is a fabulous cruising area. Fairly Easy jump to Italy where you cruising budget will indeed take a major hit so look for the increasingly rare free anchorages. See Sailing West Italy | JimB Sail

Now there is a 'gotcha' Both Greece and Italy are part of the Schengen group of countries. Without a visa you are limited to 90 days in any 180. See http://www.noonsite.com/Countries/Greece/General/RegionalAgreements
AND http://www.noonsite.com/Members/sue/R2010-11-04-1

If a Schengen visa is required, then application must be made to the Embassy or Consulate of the country which is the first port of call. Applications should normally be made to the Embassy in your home country, so pre-planning is important as your passport will have to accompany your application.

Applying for the visa once you have left your home country is very difficult indeed. Not entering the Schengen Agreement Area through the country specified on your application as your point of entry can also cause difficulties.

Travel insurance, including medical cover and repatriation, is also required when you apply for a Schengen visa.
Sailing in the Med in the summer has the reputation of either having too much wind or none at all. This was not my experience the one time I visited but I was in the Adriatic and never got further south than Albania. I almost never needed to motor.

By September you need to be in Gibraltar and looking for a good window to get out the Canaries. This is the most serious passage you will make and expect some bad weather. The risk increases if you leave later.

Explore the Canaries until December and then head to the Caribbean. The trades often do not get established until January but the ARC ARCwill leave come hell or high water on or around 23 November which I think is too early but what do I know. I left in January and had a slow passage for the first 15 days.

Wait till the trades are established, gear down at night and enjoy a great downhill sleigh ride. Stop in Barbados then visit Tobago as getting to either requires some serious windward work once you get the the Windward and Leeward Islands.

So starting in April in Greece and finishing in the Eastern Caribbean be Christmas is eminently doable and will be safer and much more enjoyable in my view than starting in California.

Your son can be with you as far as Gib then pack him off on a plane. You might consider taking on a couple of crew in Gib but that decision could be left for a while.

Again how are you going to get your boat to Greece or would you buy one out there. If you are considering buying yes there are some bargains but there are also some VERY tired old charter boats with MUCH deferred maintenance.

What sort of boat and what sort of boat budget. Your cruising budget will be fine providing you can stay out of Italian marinas. 200 euros a night is common.
 

·
Master Mariner
Joined
·
9,225 Posts
First thing you should do is read up on the eastern Pacific and Caribbean hurricane seasons. Leaving California in April would dump you in both seasons; not much fun. Sailing east out of Panama is doable, but again, not much fun, but in hurricane season???????
Europe to Caribbean has some merit, though barreling through the Med (if you are Americans you only get 90 days in the EU; Schengen Agreement), but not being able to cross the Atlantic before mid-November, leaves you time somewhere like North Africa or the Canaries, just waiting.
 
1 - 6 of 6 Posts
Top