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route nassau to st thomas

Discussion in 'General Yachting Discussion' started by insatiable, Apr 4, 2013.

  1. Navatech

    Navatech New Member

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    OK, I can see your point. However, in that case, and considering that none of my legs are going to be more then 24 hours in duration (and quite a few will be roughly half that), do I really need a satellite phone? Couldn't I just contact them whenever I'm refueling/resupplying/stopping-over or otherwise in cellular/internet range?

    I'm sorry if I'm being a nag but having looked into satellite phone service ($$$) I'd really like to save that cost (if at all - safely - possible). Perhaps I'm not as smart as I'd like to believe but I really don't see a major change occurring in less then 24 hours.

    And, even if it would, there's not much I could do about it other then speed up, consider alternatives etc and I'd do that anyway if I saw telltales (e.g. barometer dropping, wind picking up, clouds darkening etc).
  2. Capt Bill11

    Capt Bill11 Senior Member

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    Yes you could do it that way. And even better you could get an Email from them at some of those stops that have WiFi you'd have a written report to look over. If you do it by phone only I would suggest recording the voice report they give you to listen to it again at you leisure.

    Nag away! That is why we are here. :)
  3. Navatech

    Navatech New Member

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    Thanks. Safety is paramount. Especially as I want to do this as a family thing.

    Talking about safety, if it happens that we get a major malfunction on the way, will I have to be towed (expensive) or limp (not safe) the whole remaining way or can I park the boat in any of the marinas on a monthly basis? Is space available regularly?
  4. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    I think it's overkill. It's nice to have, but I'd rather have an EPIRB if I have to choose. You will be at a marina everynight, you can check your weather everynight. A hurricane is not going to pop up and be a threat from one day. Weather forecasts are very reliable these days out to 3 days.
  5. Old Phart

    Old Phart Senior Member

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    I dunno
    Leave them home, spend the SatPhone savings on life insurance.

    If you have a successful voyage, show them film at eleven.

    If not, RIP, and do so knowing their financial future is secure.

    Hopefully, the EPIRB will direct Search and Rescue to your body.

    Remember the Bounty.

    http://www.yachtforums.com/forums/163992-post28.html
  6. Navatech

    Navatech New Member

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    Not a choice. I already have the Sirius receiver equipment. The difference between a "just audio" (i.e. music, talk shows etc) plan and one that includes weather information is negligible. As I will want the audio the weather is a no brainer.

    And no, I wouldn't even think of going without a registered EPIRB. Perish the thought!

    Exactly the point I was making a few posts back.
  7. Navatech

    Navatech New Member

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    Nah... What's the fun in that? The family that plays together stays together. We've previously (bare boat) chartered several times. Great fun was had by all. I'll have more then enough fishing trips with just the mates.

    Not necessary. The family is already well taken care of in that regard :)

    As I already alluded earlier, I'd have no problem waiting out the weather. I'm not in a rush to get anywhere as long as I'm somewhere (relatively) safe.
  8. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    I wouldn't do the trip without an EPIRB, raft and sat phone

    Sat phone rentals are like $100 a week, air time about $1 a minute it is actually cheaper than roaming in the Bahamas and cell coverage is limited, especially in the out islands.

    Wifi works in some places but it can not be relied on
  9. Silver Lining

    Silver Lining Member

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    I have been doing the planning for this trip for the last year or so. Need to arrange enough time off from work and such to make it happen. But I want to add a few relevant comments about making this trip in a 50 ft Viking SC. First, we would do this with the whole family, and some of the trip there and back would only be with one or two of my kids, (both in their teens, certified and passed boating course, and travel in boat annually several thousand miles per year in the Bahamas and up and down east coast.)

    For certain I would have an offshore life raft, epirb (we carry two) and some kind of satellite communications for emergencies. I bought this year an InReach satellite communicator, as a compromise. Only $15 to $35 per month and allows text messaging in both directions worldwide using the Irridium sat network. It also has a tracking function (on line tracking of coordinates) so those on shore can track progress and has emergency SOS signal on Irridium network to GEOS SAR.

    For weather if you have internet access then a combo of sites like passage weather.com and NOAA etc. should provide an acceptable level of predictability for at least three days out. The problem is that at some smaller islands the internet can be out for days at a time. So that is my biggest concern but maybe text messaging on the InReach will satisfy this or I also remember being told that there is some kind of weather only receiving devices at a reasonable price.

    There are also a couple of good guides for this trip, Passages South by Bruce Van Sant and Caribbean Passagemaking by Les Weatheritt. These have many useful details on how to minimize rough weather effects on the passage and many anchorages that could come in handy if foul weather were to hit. The Van Sant guide is a detailed book on this exact passage with much useful info.
  10. Navatech

    Navatech New Member

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    I have 2 (registered) EPIRB's. One on the boat (hydrostatic release and auto start) and one (manual) on the 10 pax raft. That raft is in addition to the 11' RIB (15 HP Yamaha). I also have 2 radios. Plus 2 waterproof handhelds. I really don't see the advantage of a sat phone.

    Are you saying they don't have internet cafe's?!... How do the tourists update their Facebook status'?!...
  11. Navatech

    Navatech New Member

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    A question about security

    I have heard some (most probably old wife) tales about pirates. Specifically around the Dominican Republic, around Cuba and around Jamaica. Am I correct in assuming that these are just "tall tales"?!...
  12. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    It all depends. It depends on the issue and circumstances. If you can limp to the closest port, limp there and get the issue fixed. Get towed if you ultimately have to. Carry as many spares as you can.
  13. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    I've never come across any in all of my travels down there. I had a small boat run out near us on radar when I was at night on a 109' en route to DR. It got within a mile, but we never physically saw it. We picked it up to 20 knots and went back towards the island they came from.
  14. Capt Bill11

    Capt Bill11 Senior Member

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    I would still rent a SAT phone if I were you. But that said, I've done that trip a number of times and can't recall having much of any problem getting on the Internet at every stop along the way.
  15. Capt Bill11

    Capt Bill11 Senior Member

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    That has been my experience as well. I would have a couple of very, very bright hand held spot lights on board that you could use to blind the driver and crew of any boat that comes close at night. Having guns on board is up to you. But I rarely ever do.
  16. kkreicker1

    kkreicker1 Senior Member

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    We never go close to the Dominican Republic. Its best to do a 24 hour run Eastern Tip of the Turks and Caicos Islands to PR or St. Thomas.

    But thats just what we do.
  17. Navatech

    Navatech New Member

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    But WHY do you do it THAT way?
  18. Capt Bill11

    Capt Bill11 Senior Member

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    Why do you do that?
  19. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    I've been in and out of the Dominican many times. I've also transited close to the Northern coast many times at night and have never once had an issue. The only drawback with the D.R. is it's a pain to check in and check out of the country. Or that you have to check out and then in again from port to port in the DR.
  20. kkreicker1

    kkreicker1 Senior Member

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    My dad and his captain had several close calls when going close to D.R. I would always fly down and go out with them. Still to this day he and I both take the northern route and avoid any stops until we reach P.R. or St. Thomas.