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Old 08-30-2017, 06:44 PM   #1
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SoCal to the Caribbean

Crew,

My buddy and I are in the initial planning phase of cruising his Bayliner 5788 from SoCal to Florida via the Caribbean chain beginning November 2018. So many questions! Has anyone here ever done it?

Route- obviously south past Baja Ca. Then along the mainland Mexico coast south to the canal. After the canal the question then becomes North to Cancun east to Cuba and on into the Bahamas. Or, after the canal head west along the north coast of S. America and into Aruba, Grenada and on up through the Caribbean island chain to Cuba then Fla.

Medical needs and prep. Shots?

How to clear customs in countries we plan to stop at, pass or decide to put into?

Weapons?

Charting?

Weather/sea info and forecast?

Com- VHF, SSB, Sat phone, other?

There's so much to plan and prepare for. The above is just a start but hopefully will generate conversation and discussion.
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Old 08-30-2017, 07:54 PM   #2
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Pat Rains has written several books on Mexico and the area. You might look them up.
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Old 08-30-2017, 08:30 PM   #3
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I found Pat Rains book to be poor at best. Very dated and not helpful. Freya Rausher for Belize and Mexico, Eric Bauhaus for Panama, and Chris Doyle for Eastern Caribbean much better sources of info. I have covered Panama to Florida and the Eastern Caribbean in the pat two years, so this is a recent opinion.

As suggested to me when I was planning this trip, you may want to consult cruisersforum.com as well. Seems more of there members are cruising tose areas.

Do some more research and try to narrow down your questions, as at this time they are almost to broad a scope to answer.
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Old 01-23-2018, 05:15 PM   #4
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Currently living aboard a cruising fulltime on the pacific side of Mexico and the two best books out there are by Heather& Shawn, great pictures, discriminations, coordinates and suggested cruising routes. It is the current Bible down here.
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Old 01-23-2018, 07:33 PM   #5
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That is an ambitious plan and from my reading of your questions, you have a lot to learn. Some answers and guidance below:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Gandee View Post
Crew,

My buddy and I are in the initial planning phase of cruising his Bayliner 5788 from SoCal to Florida via the Caribbean chain beginning November 2018. So many questions! Has anyone here ever done it?

Route- obviously south past Baja Ca. Then along the mainland Mexico coast south to the canal. After the canal the question then becomes North to Cancun east to Cuba and on into the Bahamas. Or, after the canal head west along the north coast of S. America and into Aruba, Grenada and on up through the Caribbean island chain to Cuba then Fla.

Medical needs and prep. Shots?

Read up on the State Department's recommendations for the countries you might visit. Doubt if there is anything unusual, malaria maybe.

How to clear customs in countries we plan to stop at, pass or decide to put into?

Get any long range cruising guide and they will discuss the procedure. See Blue Water below.

Weapons? Forget it. The risk is low that having one will help and the potential for trouble is high with a weapon on board. Some countries will require you to declare and leave them with the authorities. I suspect that often you don't get them back.

Charting? Check with Blue Water Books and Charts- bluewaterweb.com for cruising guides and charts.

Weather/sea info and forecast?

You might want to subscribe to a weather routing service.

Com- VHF, SSB, Sat phone, other?

SSB is of limited value. VHF and sat phone, yes.

There's so much to plan and prepare for. The above is just a start but hopefully will generate conversation and discussion.
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