Crossing the Caribbean Sea – Apr 23-28, 2017
Planning the Route from Bahamas to Bonaire
Mark has been watching the weather patterns for this journey since departing Georgetown in the Bahamas. He would check the weather models multiple times a day, trying to anticipate a pattern. We need 5 days of decent weather with decent sea state to make it as comfortable as possible.
One option (and most common) is to sail across the Northern side of Haiti and Dominican Republic, then either run South through the Mona Passage (notorious for really bad sailing conditions), to Bonaire or head to Puerto Rico (across the Mona Passage) if there were weather issues. We could then wait in Puerto Rico for another passage window or leave the boat there for hurricane season while we head back to the states. We have flights booked from Bonaire to the states in Mid-May. Timing was an important factor. We didn’t think we had another opportunity to “wait” for another weather window.
We decided against the Northern route for multiple reasons. The primary one being a Tropical Storm turned Hurricane in the North Atlantic that was forecasted to cause heightened waves in the area. We didn’t want to take taller waves from the side. The catamaran sails best with the waves coming from behind. The more direct from the side, the worse the hull hammer and center flex, and an increased risk of turning turtle (getting flipped upside down). The northern route would also be an additional 150 plus nautical miles to the overall trip, which equates to an additional day plus, eliminating our 1 day cushion. We also REALLY did not want to leave Uno Mas in the middle of the Caribbean in Puerto Rico, being more exposed to possible hurricanes, in our opinion.