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TOPIC: SoCal to the Caribbean

SoCal to the Caribbean 31 Aug 2017 02:39 #1

  • Jim Gandee
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Crew,

My buddy and I are in the initial planning phase of cruising his Bayliner 5788 from SoCal to Florida via the Caribbean chain beginning November 2018. So many questions! Has anyone here ever done it?

Route- obviously south past Baja Ca. Then along the mainland Mexico coast south to the canal. After the canal the question then becomes North to Cancun east to Cuba and on into the Bahamas. Or, after the canal head west along the north coast of S. America and into Aruba, Grenada and on up through the Caribbean island chain to Cuba then Fla.

Medical needs and prep. Shots?

How to clear customs in countries we plan to stop at, pass or decide to put into? Distance offshore?

Weapons?

Charting?

Weather/sea info and forecast?

Com- VHF, SSB, Sat phone, other?

Pirates?

Canal procedures?

There's so much to plan and prepare for. The above is just a start but hopefully will generate conversation and discussion.

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Jim Gandee
1989 3888
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SoCal to the Caribbean 31 Aug 2017 03:00 #2

  • aluxury1
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You will miss the Superbowl.......

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Brett
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SoCal to the Caribbean 31 Aug 2017 03:04 #3

  • canoel
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This sounds like a grand adventure Jim.
The admiral and I would like to do this very trip when we retire.
I am interested to hear how it goes, and what others may say that have done it.

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Joel
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SoCal to the Caribbean 31 Aug 2017 03:09 #4

  • The Other Gary
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No guns if you land in Mexico period. Bahamas and Cuba are OK but may be sealed while in Cuba.

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SoCal to the Caribbean 31 Aug 2017 05:03 #5

  • simbad
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Sounds amazing. I would love to do that trip too maybe from Seattle though. I think I will one day but finding the time is hard.
Is the boat equipped with air conditioning? I would think that would be a major consideration for me in the humidity and heat.
You should check out the YouTube video from flemming yachts. The title is alaska to Nova Scotia. It has some good detail on a big part of that trip including the Panama Canal and locking details. Seems easy enough. It's an amazing watch.

Look forward to hearing about the plan as it unfolds.

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SoCal to the Caribbean 31 Aug 2017 12:19 #6

  • Up the Creek
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Here is a link to the Tony Fleming video mentioned above.

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SoCal to the Caribbean 31 Aug 2017 17:00 #7

  • Norton Rider
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Look for Passagemaker Magazine Back Issues. Over the years I've read articles of at least a couple of boats that have done it. In one case at least it was done from the Caribbean to California.

There's one area that is supposed to be quite treacherous, with high winds and waves forming quickly. I forget the name of the area but it is the gulf that runs roughly from Santa Maria de Huatulco to Tapacula in Mexico. Apparently a lot of weather planning is required to cross at the right time.

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SoCal to the Caribbean 31 Aug 2017 17:51 #8

  • Jim Gandee
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Thanks for all of the info thus far!

Norton, I think you're referring to the Gulf of Tehauntepec. Will look into that. I've been in 10 footers between Ensenada and Cedros Island but fortunately that was a following sea so not so bad.

Creek, thanks for the vid link!

Simbad, the boat is actually in Portland so I suppose that's the official starting point. And yes, the boat has three A/C units on board! :)

Gary, been in Mexico, no one searched the boat. We'd feel a whole lot better if we had some protection. Jury's still out.

Canoel, need to look into internet connection to maintain a blog or at the very least keep the BOC updated with progress reports!

Luxury, the Super Bowl commercials are over rated! :).

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Jim Gandee
1989 3888
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SoCal to the Caribbean 31 Aug 2017 21:12 #9

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Jim Gandee wrote:
Norton, I think you're referring to the Gulf of Tehauntepec. Will look into that. I've been in 10 footers between Ensenada and Cedros Island but fortunately that was a following sea so not so bad.


That's it! www.boatus.com/cruising/feelfree/previousarticle.asp?bid=3398

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SoCal to the Caribbean 01 Sep 2017 00:49 #10

  • Opu
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Regarding firearms in Mexico: Don't do it! If the authorities find firearms or ammunition on your boat or your person. you will spend far more time in jail than you might imagine. You are presumed guilty without a trial, although you may be tried with an inevitable guilty verdict. You will also likely lose your boat.

Have I convinced you yet?

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Dick
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SoCal to the Caribbean 01 Sep 2017 02:12 #11

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Jim Gandee wrote: Thanks for all of the info thus far!

Norton, I think you're referring to the Gulf of Tehauntepec. Will look into that. I've been in 10 footers between Ensenada and Cedros Island but fortunately that was a following sea so not so bad


The offshore winds in this area that roar down from the mountains are known as Tehauntepeckers

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Mike
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SoCal to the Caribbean 01 Sep 2017 15:14 #12

  • Jim Gandee
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The offshore winds in this area that roar down from the mountains are known as Tehauntepeckers


Researched those winds and the cause. Will be on the look out in that area. Many suggest a close shore routing to remain in protected waters. The blow boaters seem to be the most affected transiting this area.

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Jim Gandee
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SoCal to the Caribbean 01 Sep 2017 16:47 #13

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Jim Gandee wrote:

The offshore winds in this area that roar down from the mountains are known as Tehauntepeckers


Researched those winds and the cause. Will be on the look out in that area. Many suggest a close shore routing to remain in protected waters. The blow boaters seem to be the most affected transiting this area.


Did a delivery of a 43' Morgan from Panama to Hawaii in 1997. Though you are going the other way, I have first hand experience with the Force 10 Tehauntepec winds. Since we had sails to stabilize the boat while facing those winds and seas, it was passable. However, if we could have avoided it, we would have. I cannot imagine doing it in a motor vessel. The time of year will be an important factor.

Before we left, we met a 55' sailboat anchored in Balboa that had made the pass a few times. They said, "If Papagayos is blowing, Tehauntepecers - what they called the Tehuano wind - will be treacherous." Our passage was in mid November, and they were right. 35-40' seas, and a ESE to SSE wind in the 50's.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Papagayo_Jet#/medi...the_Papagayo_Jet.png

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Kevin

SoCal to the Caribbean 02 Sep 2017 15:30 #14

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As someone who knows a thing or two about firearms I would NOT bring any weapon of any kind into Mexico. There's a lot of problems now in Mexico between the gangs and the issues at some of the major resorts. IF searched and you should always plan for the worst and hope for the best but if found you'd be hoping for an awful lot!

Are there any other weapons that could be considered non lethal like a spear gun? As long as you have dive gear on the boat then the spear gun would be fitting.

Sounds like one heck of a trip though and hopefully you're able to either blog about it to keep us posted here. Seems like all the fun places have treacherous passages to get through before the fun (Gulf of Alaska, Queen Charlotte Sound, this windy place you're talking about etc. etc...). Having that boat in the Caribbean would be super fun though! I don't think I'd try that voyage in my ole' 4788 so I'll live vicariously through you.

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SoCal to the Caribbean 02 Sep 2017 18:01 #15

  • knuckledragger
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Personally I would rather just pay a Mexican cop some cash if need be than be caught in a situation without a firearm. Also, I suggest buying some fuel bladders. Going through customs everytime you want to fill up would be a major hassle.

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SoCal to the Caribbean 05 Sep 2017 04:21 #16

  • iceclimber
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Weapons talk and "bribing mexican officials" is plain stupid. Don't.

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SoCal to the Caribbean 05 Sep 2017 15:21 #17

  • Jim Gandee
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Going through customs everytime you want to fill up would be a major hassle.


This raises the question of must one actually stop in each country to clear customs? Some countries don't have many miles of coastline and easily bypassed. If bypassed I wonder if there's a minimum offshore distance one must maintain?

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SoCal to the Caribbean 05 Sep 2017 15:38 #18

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Jim Gandee wrote:

Going through customs everytime you want to fill up would be a major hassle.


This raises the question of must one actually stop in each country to clear customs? Some countries don't have many miles of coastline and easily bypassed. If bypassed I wonder if there's a minimum offshore distance one must maintain?


Of course you can bypass a country. The distance off shore would be whatever that country claims as their territorial waters. Remember it's their Navy what would be boarding you, so it's their territorial claim that you need to be aware of.

Avoiding Nicaragua and Honduras might be preferable, if the boat has the capability.

The challenge is fuel stops in a 5788. I'm not familiar with the range of the 5788 so that would be a starting point.

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KEVIN SANDERS
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SoCal to the Caribbean 05 Sep 2017 16:32 #19

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The other thing to be aware of is the fuel they sell. I follow a blog of someone in a 42' Kady Krogen making their way down South America and then heading across the Caribbean to Puerto Rico. They spent a lot of time calculating their trip across and measuring their fuel because they did not want fuel in Columbia because it was biodiesel and they were afraid of possible having it "clean" their tanks and clog their filters. According to them all marine diesel in Columbia is biofuel. Plot your usage and calculate your fuel stops and check ahead if this matters to you.

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SoCal to the Caribbean 06 Sep 2017 00:40 #20

  • Opu
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You don't have that much cash. The Mexicans have absolutely no sense of humor when it comes to firearms.

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Dick
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SoCal to the Caribbean 09 Sep 2017 21:50 #21

  • Checks Five-Oh
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A good read for you would be "The Big U". Passage-maker from Alaska to Labrador.

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SoCal to the Caribbean 10 Sep 2017 06:49 #22

  • Jim Gandee
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A good read for you would be "The Big U". Passage-maker from Alaska to Labrador.


Already ordered! Thank you.

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Jim Gandee
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SoCal to the Caribbean 10 Sep 2017 11:53 #23

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Checks Five-Oh wrote: A good read for you would be "The Big U". Passage-maker from Alaska to Labrador.


I've been reading this myself, it definitely provides some insight to the trip, although their boat is arguably a little more capable. :O

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SoCal to the Caribbean 10 Sep 2017 16:16 #24

  • Jim Gandee
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Kev,
I understand you're looking at making the "Big U" east to west. What's your timing and planned routing? I'd like to exchange info with you if practical.

Thanks

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Jim Gandee
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SoCal to the Caribbean 11 Sep 2017 15:42 #25

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Jim Gandee wrote: Kev,
I understand you're looking at making the "Big U" east to west. What's your timing and planned routing? I'd like to exchange info with you if practical.

Thanks


Some flux now as have a job opportunity but if that doesn't happen (probably 50/50) then I'll be departing Savannah in November, skipping leeward islands (key west to cuba to cancun) then down from there.

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