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St Thomas to Florida

By Sue Richards last modified Sep 09, 2010 10:46 AM

Published: 2010-09-09 10:46:26
Topics: Atlantic Ocean West
Countries: USA , US Virgin Islands

Follow this thread on the noonsite routing and weather forum.

We made Grenada from South Africa and are heading to St Thomas. What would be the best route from St Thomas to Florida in Nov. I have been looking at the old Bahama channel. Would appreciate your thoughts on a route.
Randal Barnhart

I just went from Virginia to St. Thomas in early November via Bermuda (we turned there but did not stop. I would suggest that the route you take to Florida from St. Thomas would depend very much on where in Florida you wished to land and of course on the prevailing weather conditions.

We found that due to a deepening trough and the movements of Hurricane Ida, the wind went from WNW to NE, giving us a squally but quite fast run, but backed right out of the S for the last two days, practically on the nose. Logic and consulting the pilots would suggest a lot of work to windward, unless you intended on getting to the west coast of Florida and used whatever easterlies you could find to go south of Jamaica and Cuba and then NE to Florida...a long but perhaps more comfortable option to the more direct route over sometimes shallow seas.

Mark Dacey

Hi Randall,
I have advised people sailing from the Virgin Islands to all points along the US eastcoast from Texas to Florida, to the Cheasapeake Bay, to New York, to New England, or to Nova Scotia, many, many times. Basically to answer your question, I would say the optimal route depends on:
1. the location(s) of your desired destination(s)
2. on the time of year the trip is made
3. on the size of boat and crew experience, and
4. on the long range weather forecast on the day of departure.
Lots of variables here.
Bob Cook

Regarding the query about the trip from St Thomas to Florida and the Old Bahamas Channel:

We came from St Thomas to Florida in May 2010. We did two legs.

First we followed a route from Charlotte Amalie, direct to PR along the south coast of Cuelebra and then outside to the North between Culebra and Puerto Rico, whereupon we turned west and proceeded along the north shore of PR and the north shore of the Dominican Republic direct to Great Inagua (in the far Bahamas, less then 100 miles north of Haiti and the west end of Cuba).

The second leg proceeded west on the Old Bahama Channel to Sal Cay north of Cuba and then turning direct to Marathon, FL.

Our two legs took us 98 hours and 96 hours. It was perfect for going to the Keys. Another boat with us wishing to go to a spot further up in Florida, chose to go north at Great Inagua and stopped at numerous Bahamian islands enroute.

But we found our trip very enjoyable and fun.

Ed & Sue on Angel Louise