Sailing strategies

Boats with a draft of less than 2m can sail through the interior areas of the Bahía de Santa Clara and the Bahía de Cárdenas in protected waters, making passages to both the west and the east relatively comfortable and easy in this stretch. But from the Bahía de Cárdenas to the Marina Hemingway it is a 70-80M passage in open water with little or no potential shelter along the way. From east to west, so long as northers are avoided the wind should be at your back, making this an easy run. The last stretch should be made as close inshore as possible to avoid the current that runs to the NE along the coast.

From west to east, it can be a hard beat to windward. The best time to make this passage is at night when the wind and seas tend to be a little calmer. The coastline is well lit, with a string of major lighthouses, and no off-lying dangers until the eastern tip of the Península de Hicacos is reached (at which point you can head into the protected waters of the Bahía de Cárdenas). If the boat is well found, and the crew do not mind heavy-weather sailing, a favorable wind will be found during the early stages of a norther, but the winds are likely to blow at 25-30 knots, and maybe more.

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