First trip from Puerto Rico to Virginia and I am considering three possible routes. I was wondering if anyone had made a voyage like this and had some insite.
Boat is a 51 ft Jenneau, 10 years old well equipped and very seaworthy. We have a USCG Licensed for up to 100 feet skipper and an experienced open ocean racing skipper as first mate. We are bringing at least 3 or 4 others of varing experience. No one is a novice and all can stand lone watches if needed. We are planning to depart Puerto Rico in late July (28-30) and would like to be in Virginia by Aug 15.
Route #1 would depart PR heading straight to Bermuda. Then after a could of days in Bermuda, depart for the Hampton, VA. This looks like an interesting sail, and allows us to avoid most possible summer weather, but it is a fairly percise navigation trick to hit Bermuda, it is wide open blue water with a lesser amount of traffic. Higher risk, longer distance and most of the big weather last year was in this part of the ocean. On the other hand, it would be a good way to hone skills and none of us have every sails this direction.
Route #2 would depart PR heading to Cockburn Town, spend an evening, held along the Bahamas, staying inside the outer banks up to VA, but having a place to run if the weather turns nasty and we have some other emergency. Safer, a little shorter maybe, through parts of the Bermuda Triangle and through Hurrican Alley. This a more usual sail for all of us not the mighty blue water sail, but it could take a little longer, more place to stop and reasons to waste time.
Route #3 would take us straight through from San Juan PR to Hampton VA. It is a VERY big challenge, straight across the Bermuda Triangle, over the outer banks and into VA. We have to have everything we need and no where to hide if things go wrong.
It is all too deep to walk home and all has some risk to fun ratio. I am inclined toward Route #2, my partner in the boat wants to see Bermuda, so he likes #1 and although time and provisions could be conserved by #3, no one seems to be voting for it. I know I am opening myself up for some people telling me my thoughts are all silly, but I would like to hear from folks who have made use a voyage to see if I can make the best possible choice for everyone involved.