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Miami to Grenada

Discussion in 'General Yachting Discussion' started by Freebird, Mar 21, 2011.

  1. Freebird

    Freebird Member

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    I'm looking for some input from those who have made this trip. I'm delivering a 44' express and the owner wants to make it a combination island hopping/sightseeing tour while overnighting in marinas whenever possible. Needless to say, we're looking for the smoothest water we can find for a boat that size. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
  2. CaptPKilbride

    CaptPKilbride Senior Member

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    Wait for summertime, but go before the hurricane season gets ramped up.
  3. Freebird

    Freebird Member

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    Waiting for summer would be my preference (for a number of reasons) as well, but the owner is talking April. The boat is going to be placed into charter once in Grenada. Nothing is set in concrete at this point, so we'll see. Not sure if waiting until summer would have that much effect on the tradewinds, but that's why I'm on here looking for input. No doubt weather will play a big factor in all this.
  4. Fireman431

    Fireman431 Senior Member

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    Why would you put your dafety on the line to deliver it out of season for his benefit? Tell him to use Dockwise to get it closer and you can fly in for the final leg of the trip.
  5. Freebird

    Freebird Member

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    I don't have any intention of putting my safety on the line to do anything. This is not a pleasure cruise for me but a paying proposition for a trip I would like to make. If he wants to pay me to sit and wait for weather windows, it's his money as I won't endanger my life or that of my crew. I'll stop short and fly home if it comes to that, and I've told him so. He hasn't yet responded to my suggestion we look at waiting until May or June, so we'll see.

    Not being a smart***, but have you made this trip?
  6. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    The weather is not that horrible in April as you are starting to get into the summertime. Just check your weather forecasts and take your weather window's. Miami over to Paradise Island is a good stopping point, as is Sampson Cay in the Exumas, Provo, Ocean World Marina in the DR, San Juan, and down the chain, St. Maarten is a good stop (the french side is a real easy in and out, and so on down the line.
  7. Fireman431

    Fireman431 Senior Member

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    No, I have never made the trip, although I would like to make a few short range crossings, just never had the opportunity. I do make two 250 mile trips each year, just not out into the pond.

    I have spoken with many of my friends that have made short range crossings (Bimini, Bahamas, Cuba, etc) and they have told me of the times when the weather changed and they seriously felt threatened.

    Watching Florida weather for the past 35 years, it appears early-mid May, prior to hurricane season ramping up, would be excellent weather. Just a guess, though.
  8. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    I do LOTS of long range deliveries. I just delivered a yacht from Corpus Christi, TX to Fort Lauderdale March 4th-17th. You cannot change when an owner wants his new yacht taken home. Granted the weather in the Bahamas and Carribbean are generally rouger on average than in the summer months. There are still good weeks or 3 days here and there that are very nice in the middle of winter. Basically when we don't have a cold front down here or on it's way. I just did a 145nm trip across open ocean from Carabelle,FL to Clearwater, FL being 40-50nm offshore during part of it and it was less than 1 foot seas. Weather forecasting has gotten to be pretty accurate out to about 5 days, after that it can still change a bit, but the 5 day forecasts are right about 90% of the time.

    April is close enough to the summer that there should be some very good weather windows.

    In addition to this. I'd recommend leaving Ocean World at dusk, idling through the night and hitting the Mona Passage at daybreak (or as close to it as possible) and running across to PR.
  9. Fireman431

    Fireman431 Senior Member

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    I would love to do that. If you ever are in a spot and need a mate, PM me.
  10. CaptNeil

    CaptNeil Member

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    Hopefully your owner is somewhat seasoned to make this trip. Some of those open water passages are down right nasty even on nice days. Especially leaving DR and crossing the mona passage. It just gets snottty and quick especially in a 44 footer.

    I would suggest a route similar to capt. J's, although I would probably stop in at Staniel Cay after Nassau. Visit the james bond thunderball cave. Exumas to Provo is a long haul so I would probably break that trip into two days with a stop off in San Salvador. Coming into that harbor is fun when there is a nice north swell pushing in. You can check out the place Chris Columbus discovered the new world. Then on to Provo, the diving here is awesome. You can also check out the conch farm. I didn't even know that conch could be farmed??? Then on to DR. I would spend as much time as neccessary in DR for a weather window to cross the Mona passage to fajardo PR. The DR to me can get pretty boring. You are generally trapped in the marina complex without a lot to do or go see on the island. When you get to PR I would do a day trip to el yunque rainforest. It is a cool hike up the mountain through some cool waterfalls. By the time you get to PR you will have found out by now how much the owner has his sea legs. If he doesn't seem to mind the open water passages you could probably hit Martinique. This is probably one of the top ten places to go to people watch. It is such a different place in the carribbean. From here on to Greneda. If however he is not too fond of the open water passages you could hop on down the chains and hit all the small island nations. Each one has its own quirky personality.
  11. Freebird

    Freebird Member

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    Thanks for the additional input guys, I really do appreciate it. One thing I failed to mention is that Haiti and DR are outside the owner's insurance coverage.
  12. Freebird

    Freebird Member

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    Oh yeah, one last point I need to clarify. The owner will not be onboard but a friend of his will and has the owner's blessing in making this a sightseeing tour with no particular timetable. I don't think he has any experience in these waters either, so I'm relying on input from those who have in addition to charts.
  13. Freebird

    Freebird Member

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    I've had others suggest running at night to take advantage of lighter winds. I did a delivery from Sanford, FL to Mobile last November but ran from Clearwater to Steinhatchee and on to Carabelle and Apalachicola and the ICW to Mobile. That beat the heck out of the 230NM Clearwater to Panama City run I did at 8 knots with my 58 Hatt a few years ago.
  14. CaptNeil

    CaptNeil Member

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    Without a stop in DR you are going to have to make the leg from the turks and caicos to PR. If I remeber correctly that is about a 500 nm leg. If you run to fajardo you don't have the mona passage currrents to deal with. You are basically in the open atlantic and the trades are generally from the north. It's those north winds that push the swells into the current coming in between PR and DR that make that mona passage such a bear. In the case of running from provo or grand turk you should have a following sea. However, you'll be crossing some big water that doesn't see a ton of traffic headed south in a relatively small vessel.
  15. Freebird

    Freebird Member

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    I don't think it's quite that far from the TCI's to the next stop as I know some folks who live there who I plan to see on this trip. If it were 500NM, we'd be SOL as we won't have that much range. Based on the info the owner provided (assuming it is correct), we are talking about 350 miles tops (at cruise) with a safe reserve.

    Needless to say, we still have some planning to do in order to make sure this is doable. I'm assuming worst case scenario would be he has to pony up the extra bucks with his insurance company to allow us into the DR. This is one of many issues we're going to have to nail down ahead of time.
  16. CaptNeil

    CaptNeil Member

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    Running at night because of lighter winds sometimes make me laugh. The first time we ran from Key West to Isla Mujeres we left in the afternoon. Very nice steaming into the night as the winds calmed down to just a breath. Then we pass the tip of cuba and it whipped up into a stiff boiling mess. It was stacked and tight for the rest of the night. Long open water passages you will see everything that is not forecast.:D
  17. CaptNeil

    CaptNeil Member

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    You may want to check that out I'm pretty sure that Provo to fajardo is about 500 nm. If you go from Grand Turk to San Juan you may be pushing 350 nm.
  18. Freebird

    Freebird Member

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    You're preaching to the choir on that one! LOL That Clearwater to Panama City run started on the sloppy side when we left around 9:15PM. A few hours later, the moon popped up, and it turned smooth as glass. It stayed almost pefectly flat throughout the day, then when we were headed into Panama City around 1AM (the next day of course), we were in 5 footers or better. Mother Nature will only allow so much planning, the rest is up to her. :D
  19. Freebird

    Freebird Member

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    Yeah, I looked at that and think you're right. We're gonna have to get a rider on that insurance policy or pack on some fuel bladders. Not sure where we'd put them on a 'Dancer.

    Stay tuned. :D
  20. Fireman431

    Fireman431 Senior Member

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    Freebird, what vessel did you take from Sanford to Mobile? Did it come from Monroe Harbor, Boat Tree, or an individual residence? I'm moored at Monroe Harbor.