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Published April 16 2023
Starling starts her super exciting passage from Jamaica up to New York City. The first big challenge is to get 220nm northeast through the narrow channel known as the Windward Passage. Welcome to the Windward Passage, a narrow stretch of water that separates the Caribbean islands of Cuba and Haiti. The goal is the anchorage on the west side of Great Inagua Island, where they can take the RIB ashore and check into the Bahamas. Great Inagua Island is a remote and unspoiled paradise for nature lovers and adventurers. The island’s Inagua National Park covers over 45,000 acres of pristine ecosystems, including lush mangrove forests, clear lagoons, and stunning coral reefs. One of the island’s biggest attractions is its vast colony of over 80,000 West Indian flamingos, which can be observed up close at Flamingo Lake. In addition to its natural wonders, the island’s main settlement, Matthew Town, offers a glimpse into its colonial past and the warm hospitality of the Bahamian people.
This body of water has a rich history and has long been an important trade route for merchants and travellers. The crew will be struck by the beauty of the surrounding landscapes. On one side, Cuba rises majestically out of the sea, with its lush green forests and vibrant cities. On the other side, Haiti beckons with its rugged coastline and mountainous terrain.
The passage itself is a fascinating challenge. While the passage is relatively narrow, it is known for its strong and unpredictable currents, so it is important to approach it with caution and careful planning. The wind typically blows from the east, so we’ll want to use it to our advantage. It looks like Starling will have very little wind for her passage
Meanwhile, the current is currently flowering in a south easterly direction, meaning there is wind against current – albeit the effect here should be minimal due to the benign conditions. Another important consideration is the depth of the water. The Windward Passage is relatively shallow, and there are many shoals and reefs to navigate around. It’s important we keep a close eye on your depth sounder and adjust course as needed to avoid running aground!
With careful planning and preparation, sailing north through the Windward Passage is a truly thrilling and rewarding experience for sailors of all levels. Let’s see how they get on. Keep checking in!