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Old 05-29-2013, 09:05 AM   #1
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Anybody Ever gone to USVI or Beyond?

Before we bought our trawler we were sailors. We had the dream and goal to sail to the USVIs. We still have that goal/dream. We have been looking for stories and people who have done it in a trawler. They seem to be slim to none. I do know that Bruce Van Sant traded in his sailboat for a trawler and made his way south several times.

We have lived aboard Island Queen for a little over a year now and been making many upgrades and catching up on about 5 years of neglect. We plan on leaving the Keys in April of 2014. The boat should be ready by then (I hope). If not we go anyway. We are going to do the great loop first and then want to head south.

So, has anyone here gone from the US to the Virgins?
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Old 05-29-2013, 10:49 AM   #2
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I think Larry M was in the Caribbean recently in his Krogen 42. He may still be there.

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Old 05-29-2013, 12:03 PM   #3
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Mike: We traveled from the USVI to the US in 2005 and are currently going in the same direction again. Bruce Van Sant's book "The Gentleman's Guide to Passages South, offers some of the best advice.

Patience and not being in a rush is the key plus what time of the year you travel. For us, November/early December and late March to June are good travel times. The trades are not usually blowing hard and you can get several days of lighter winds and flatter seas. Don't rush for you can spend the entire season just day hopping your way there in decent weather. There is so much to see and such great cruising in between.

Bob, on the Defever, Mar Azul, who's a member on this forum did that trip a couple of years ago. Here's the link to his blog.

Mar Azul Adventures | Bob & Elaine's journey through the Caribbean
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Old 05-29-2013, 09:28 PM   #4
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Thanks Larry, We looked at Bob and Elaine's blog. It is nice to see someone doing pretty much the same thing that we want to do. Do you have a blog about your trips? I just can not find much about anyone going anywhere other than US coastal or the Bahamas. We have Bruce's book and plan on following his guidence very carefully.
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Old 05-29-2013, 10:43 PM   #5
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Ditto LarryM. I've spent years in the BVI and USVI as a captain on charter yachts working as a captain/chef team with my wife. The run south from Florida to the USVI is fairly milk-toast if you choose the weather right. And in your size boat, I strongly suggest you follow LarryM's thoughts...wait for it. Along the way, you'll find some terrific places to enjoy the wait. But in a 36' boat you don't want to be out there beating your brains out, or rolling your guts out in head seas, or beam seas. Unfortunately, that's the prevailing sea along your intended route. So wait for it, go for the calms, or as Van Zant suggests, the back sides of northers (with winds/seas astern). From my experience, the best time for power vessels such as yours is summers...which, of course sadly, is the greatest threat from tropical cyclones.
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Old 05-30-2013, 05:08 PM   #6
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I asked a trawlering friend in Puerto Rico about doing the trip in my Monk 36. He felt that it would be safe provided the weather was taken into concideration. This is what he suggested.
As I have made the trip several times, my suggestion for the route is to cross the Gulf Stream and enter by Bimini and head on to Nassau. From there you travel inside the Bahama bank and exit just prior to Great Exuma and
Elisabeth Harbor. From there to Clarencetown in Long Island and then to one of the anchorahes in the Acklins
such as Attwood Harbor and then to the Turks such as Providenciales or South Caicos. The route would then be to
Puerto Plata or preferably to Samana in Samana Bay which has great protection.
From there it's just 80 miles to Puerto Rico and my suggestion would be a landfall in Boqueron
and then head on through the South Coast to Salinas. This route gives plenty of protection and short legs.
The worst parts of the trip would be crossing the Gulf Stream and the leg from the Dom. Rep. to Puerto Rico
through the Mona channel. These, however, are short legs and have good places to wait for the weather break.


From Puerto Rico the USVI are just a hop. I had planned to make the trip before now but family conciderations have kept us close to home. I would have made it an 18 or 24 month trip spending lots of time at many stops along the way and probably the hurricane season in Luperon. A dream trip in my opinion!
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Old 05-30-2013, 07:03 PM   #7
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Old 05-30-2013, 09:38 PM   #8
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Thanks for the imput everyone. We will definitely take our time when we do it. It is good to hear from people who have done it, and others who have the same trip in mind.
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Old 05-30-2013, 10:36 PM   #9
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Hi Steve, may you give your Purto Rico contact direction?
Next week I intend to go to Luperon to bring the boat to San Juan, what do you think I have to do? Leave the boat in Luperon (cheaper) or go to San Juan?
Middle of June js safe to cruise the Mona passage?
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Old 05-31-2013, 10:15 PM   #10
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Sergio, I am trying to make contact with the person who sent me the information on the trip to Puerto Rico. I have no reply yet I am not sure if he has the same email address as soon as I have news I will inform you by private message to your profile page.
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Old 06-01-2013, 06:35 PM   #11
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Thank you, I need somebody in San Juan, because I need to buy something and delivery to there to wait for me.
I cant delivery to Luperon.
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Old 06-17-2013, 06:17 PM   #12
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I am planing the same trip only in reverse, St. Croix to La.
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Old 06-17-2013, 07:32 PM   #13
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I'm going next 20th to Luperon to fix some electrical problem and prepare the boat to the hurricane season. I'll leave it there and go again in the end of the year to navigate across the Caribbean head to South America.
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Old 06-17-2013, 08:11 PM   #14
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Continue on to panama you will love there and Colombia was pretty fantastic
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Old 06-17-2013, 08:11 PM   #15
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Grateful, first, when are you going? Second why would you leave the USVI? lol
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Old 06-17-2013, 08:25 PM   #16
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Actually plan to go Florida intercostal westward and then south along central america back to panama. I hope to begin this journey next winter
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Old 06-18-2013, 08:57 AM   #17
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Gratef, where are you mow?

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Old 06-23-2013, 03:40 PM   #18
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Sergio, I'm in st Croix and the boat is in st Thomas
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