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Hurricane season looming

by Noonsite 30 Mar 11:26 PDT
Puerto Rico © Noonsite

With Spring comes migration planning for Caribbean cruisers as hurricane season approaches. Even more so this year with the announcement by the National Hurricane Centre that it will begin Tropical Weather Outlooks for the Atlantic basin from May 15, two weeks before the official start of the 2021 Atlantic Hurricane Season on June 1.

World Cruising Club's ARC Europe rally from the Caribbean to Europe will go ahead as scheduled in early May for cruisers wanting to sail in company across the Atlantic. With entry restrictions still in place in the BVI, the start destination is likely to switch to Sint Maarten. Due to restrictions in the Azores, entry numbers are being reduced this year, so interested cruisers should contact WCC urgently to secure a place.

Just as many of the boats arriving in the Caribbean last Autumn were Covid-grounded, those planning to exit this Spring will face many of the same challenges. Quarantine on arrival as you move up the island chain has to be taken into consideration - in some islands as much as 14 days - plus the cost of testing in each new country. Careful tracking of the changing protocols is vital.

Puerto Rico as a staging post on the way north should not be overlooked. Its western and southern coastline offers lovely cruising as described by Joan Conover (SSCA) and José Mendez (Marina Pescaderia) in this round up of options for boats migrating north this hurricane season.

Heading south, Guyana, French Guiana and Suriname are all outside the hurricane zone and offer simple entry protocols.

To the west, Guatemala's Rio Dulce is another popular choice for hurricane season, with a wide range of marinas to choose from and straightforward protocols. Honduras Bay Islands can be accessed with some patience and advance paperwork.

For the Caribbean remainers, options are limited. Grenada, always a popular choice because of its great cruising community and for insurance reasons, is filling up. Trinidad and Tobago remain closed. The ABCs are situated to the south of most paths of recent hurricanes, but cases are rising in Curacao and restrictions tightening up there.

The exodus from the Caribbean this year should not be as difficult for cruisers as it was last year. While options are limited, with advance planning and early departure, there's no reason why new cruising grounds, or at least a new base for some exploration inland, can't be found.

Wishing all our readers safe passage and fair winds.

Sue and the Noonsite team

This article has been provided by the courtesy of

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