AN Florida to the Eastern Caribbean

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AN1161 P-ovide"C9 25 50'N, 7G 5CW AN"¡161 P^vide^ce

AN "162 Optimist 25 OG N 65 OO'W ANH.1S3 Ideal 25 QO'N. 6* 3CW ANi 165 Ba-buda 17 30"N. 61 30'W

AM166 Antigja E 17 00 N. 31 38"W

Englisn Harooui i?'00N. 61 45-W'

999 1320

The timing for a direct passage from Florida to the Eastern Caribbean is critical as a summer voyage carries the risk of hurricanes and a winter voyage that of contrary easterly winds as well as northerly storms. Therefore the best time appears to be November, when the danger of hurricanes is low and winter gales are still rare.

The offshore route has the advantage that it can also be sailed in winter, although it has the distinct disadvantage of strong contrary winds once the trade winds are met. The offshore route is more attractive to boats starting from Northern Florida as they can set a direct course, which stays clear of the Bahamas. Boats leaving from ports in Southern Florida can join that same offshore route by taking the NW and NE Providence Channels. In both cases the recommended practice is to make one's easting along latitude 25'N and only turn south after meridian 65 8N has been crossed. In November and December the trade winds are moderate NE, but become E and stronger after January, so even this offshore route should not be sailed too late in winter. Having reached the open sea through the NE Providence Channel, from WP AN1161, the tack will be sailed which makes best easting to WP AN1162, if bound for the Virgin Islands, or AN1163, if bound for one of the ports in the Lesser Antilles. From WP AN1162, the course is altered for WP AN1164, so as to make landfall close to the island of Culebrita and approach St Thomas from the north and west. An alternative way of approaching the Virgin Islands from the NE is described in route AN127 (page 141). Boats bound for Antigua should set a course from AN1163 for AN1165, so as to approach the island from windward. Landfall will be made at WP AN1166, east of English Harbour.

An alternative way to reach the Eastern Caribbean is by the inter-island route that threads its way through the Bahamas, Turks and Caicos, Puerto Rico and beyond, an intricate and time consuming route that still does not avoid the strong headwinds which await one at the end. This alternative is discussed in detail in route AN113.

BLSI IIMI:

Decerrbe1 to May

TKCW \l Sf«7kms:

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Cii-niis:

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I'll ens:

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Cruising Gü'üc to the Carabean.

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