AN Lesser Antilles to Greater Antilles

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Koule AN75A AN750 St Lucia W


AN751 Pojo "7 JS'N. 57 12'W


10 UN c0 2G,W


AM 753 Sara iS OCN ck £5'W

La Romana '•8Z5'N r.S5r-w Santo Domingo

18'28'N, 69'53'W

533 586

Knutc AN75C AN750 St Lucia W

AN756 -.5'N.76 15'W


Port Antonio

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S4b 926

AN750 St Lucia W

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19'59'N, 75'53'W

I^S^iJjiiji 954

Not such a popular cruising destination as the Lesser Antilles, the large islands of Cuba, Hispaniola, Puerto Rico, and Jamaica are mainly visited by yachts en route to other places. From islands south of Antigua, direct offshore routes lead across the Caribbean Sea to the south coasts of all the Greater Antilles. Ports on the north coasts of all these islands can be reached in easy stages if setting off from the Virgin Islands. The north coast of Hispaniola, islands in the Turks and Caicos, as well as some of the Bahamas, are best reached through the Mona Passage.

While experiencing the typical Caribbean weather pattern of winters dominated by the NE trades, punctuated by northers, and summers threatened by hurricanes, these large islands affect local weather conditions considerably due to their height and position. Normally the winds along the coasts moderate at night as cooled air flows off the hills and out to sea. This land breeze can be quite strong at night off all the islands, so as to counteract the trade winds completely and give calm conditions. In winter the prevailing NE trades can become more easterly along northern coasts. During this period the islands are affected by northers, which bring strong N or more often NW winds and cold temperatures to the north and west coasts of the islands. These winds come without much warning and often out of a clear sky, although some indication may be the wind veer ing gradually to S and SW. In summer the trade winds have a more southerly component and winds tend to be much lighter, the sea and land breezes being prominent. Thundery squalls are common over the whole area, especially in the late afternoon close to land. Some of the most violent squalls in the Caribbean, short but sharp with lightning and heavy rain, occur off the south coast of Cuba. Because the high islands block the passage of N winds, line squalls are more associated with the northern coasts of Hispaniola and Cuba. Jamaica is a little more sheltered than the other islands and has less seasonal change, the winds being generally lighter and more variable. The Greater Antilles are in the middle of the hurricane belt and hurricanes accelerating through the Caribbean frequently hit the shores of these islands on their curved path northward. Their eastern shores are more frequently affected than the western shores.

When coming from any of the islands in the Eastern Caribbean, set course for WP AN751,10 miles south of Cabo Rojo, the SW extremity of Puerto Rico. To pass through the Mona Passage (Route AN75A), alter course for WP AN752 so as to stay clear of the shallows, and rough seas associated with them, east of Cape Engano on

In winter, this route benefits from both favourable winds and current. The offshore passage can be made at any time outside of the hurricane season. Between December and April, at the

Hispaniola. Boats intending to stop on the west coast of Puerto Rico are warned that the official port of entry is Mayaguez (18D12'N, 67°07'W) and not Boqueron. All boats, including those flying the US flag, must stop at the former to clear in. A convenient port of entry into the Dominican Republic is Samana, on the north coast of Hispaniola.

Favourable conditions are experienced on westbound routes, which stay south of the islands, at almost any time of the year, especially if bound for ports on the south coast of Hispaniola. Boats sailing this route (AN75B) should set a course for WP AN753, off Saona island, at the SE point of Hispaniola, and then alter course for either La Romana or Santo Domingo.

Boats bound for Jamaica and beyond (AN75C) should make for WP AN754, off the small island of Alta Vela, south of Hispaniola, where those intending to call at the Jamaican capital Kingston should alter course for WP AN755. Boats bound for ports on the north coast of Jamaica should steer for WP AN756, off Northeast Point, and then make for their port of destination. Finally, boats bound for Cuba (AN75D) should alter course from AN754 for WP AN757, off Cape Tiburon, from where it is a clear run to Santiago de Cuba, the nearest Cuban port of entry to this route.

height of the winter trades, fair, if strong winds, can be expected as well as the favourable Antilles Current. Light winds and occasional calms can be expected at the change of seasons, especially in

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