AN Virgin Islands to Jamaica

Wävpoints: ;

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Distance (M)

Kouit -WS2U AN820 St Thomas l¡ÍilB¡|¡IIfÉJÍli|l¡li|

AN8P3 Bcr -íquer 18'35'N, 67°10'W AN824 Mona 18'00'N. 67'40'W AN825 Alta Vela AN826 Plumb

Kingston

705

AN820 St Thomas

AN823 Borinquen AN824 Mona AN825 Alta Vela AN827 Northeast

Port A v.iviio Ocho Rips

686 724

The direct route from St Thomas (AN82A) leaves Vieques Island to starboard, and takes its departure from WP AN821, 10 miles SE of Vieques. Course is then set for WP AN822 to stay well clear of Puerto Rico. Those who prefer to call first at San Juan, Puerto Rico, will reach Mona Passage by sailing along the north coast of Puerto Rico to its western extremity (AN82B). From WP AN823,5 miles NNW of Cape Borinquen, a course can be set through the Mona Passage to WP AN824, ESE of Mona Island. Both routes will then set course for WP AN825,10 miles south of Isla Alta Vela, off the southern tip of Hispaniola. From WP AN825 those intending to call at the Jamaican capital Kingston should alter course for WP AN826 off Plumb Point in the approaches to Kingston. Boats bound for ports on the north coast of Jamaica should steer for WP AN827, off Northeast Point, and then make for their port of destination. If bound for the Gulf of Mexico, one of the ports on the north coast of Jamaica will probably be preferable. From WP AN827 a course can be set for either Port Antonio or Ocho Rios, both of which are official ports of entry. At the western extremity of Jamaica lies Montego Bay (18°28'N, 77°56'W), also a port of entry and a convenient port of departure for westbound boats.

An alternative route (AN82C) stays north of both Puerto Rico and Hispaniola and uses the Windward Passage to regain the Caribbean Sea. No waypoints are listed as this route entails mainly coastal cruising. The advantage of the direct routes described earlier is the certainty of better winds, whereas by keeping to the north of the large islands, the trade winds are blocked and one may have to rely on coastal breezes. This is particularly the case in late spring and early summer when the trade winds have a southerly component and therefore Caribbean passages have a much better chance of favourable winds.

As with most trans-Caribbean passages, the best time is the transition months of April-May, before the start of the hurricane season, or November, at the start of the safe sailing season. Generally, favourable winds and currents can be expected along the offshore routes described above.

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