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Ocean outlook: Caribbean Sea, Atlantic and Mediterranean

by Noonsite 31 Mar 15:55 UTC
Caribbean Sea © Noonsite

Caribbean Sea:

The Association of Bahamas Marinas has created a new mobile app available for both IOS and Android to complement their existing website. The App provides real-time updates about all member marinas, allied service members, as well as current information on travel protocols, fishing rules and entry requirements for the Bahamas.

Visiting Cuba on their way south to the Caribbean, Scottish cruisers Sally and Simon Currin received a friendly welcome in a country of contrasts, where few cruising boats go. Some useful tips and recommendations for cruising Cuba in this report.

Denise Simpson, resident cruiser in the Dominican Republic, reports that February saw greatly increased boat traffic for many areas of the DR, particularly Marina Puerto Bahia, Samana which reported a full-house for the first time, with boats also anchoring out to take advantage of their services. This marina on the NE coast of the DR, welcomes pets (dogs and cats), has special rates for SSCA members and is child-friendly with lots of cruiser activities for all ages. Both this marina and Ocean World Marina in Puerto Plata have English-speaking officials on-site for check in. Luperon Bay now has a Wildlife Refuge "no work" zone for all boats.

SY Kookaburra visited Jamaica this month and report easy clearance, no fees to check in and some enjoyable land-travel.


If you are planning a Spring passage from Northern Europe, down to the Mediterranean around the Iberian peninsula, this article from the archives by experienced sailor Dody Stiller offers some excellent routing and navigation advice. While this coastline is benign in calm conditions, strong winds from the S/SW coupled with a full moon and rain, can exaggerate currents, cause breaking seas and result in port closures - all extremely dangerous to the sailor on passage. This month many Portuguese ports have had periods of closure due to strong winds causing dangerous entry conditions - use this website to check for the status of port openings.

The Maritime Search and Rescue Co-ordination Center in Lisbon (MRCC) provide a service for recreational vessels under 12m making a coastal or transatlantic voyage between national and international marinas, whereby they monitor you during transit. Daily position reports can be made via VHF, phone, email or through the FollowMe@Sea platform. A free service well worth using.


When US Sailors, Cindy and Michael Hanson, arrived in the Mediterranean in December 2022 after sailing from the Seychelles, they wanted somewhere warm to spend the winter. The new Ayia Napa Marina in Cyprus turned out to be the ideal location.

Nick Laing, who sails most summers in Croatia, has left some useful feedback on the Croatia page (click on the speech bubble icon to see comments).

Following extensive repair work on the Corinth Canal, Greece, following a landslide in January 2021, the Canal will re-open for the summer season on 1 June.

?More than 100 migrants died in yet another Mediterranean tragedy after their boat was wrecked in rough seas off the coast of the southern Italian region of Calabria. According to migrant monitoring groups, more than 20,000 people have died or gone missing in the central Mediterranean since 2014.

If cruising in Europe this summer, the introduction of the new EES exit/entry system into and out of the European Union will have an impact on cruising plans for 3rd country nationals. Expected to be implemented by May 2023, EES will mean that passports no longer need to be stamped, but will require biometric checking and the use of special equipment. This will likely mean current flexible options for yacht clearance in Europe (at marinas or online) will be replaced by more stringent clearance requirements at ports of entry only. Bear this in mind when working out where to clear into Schengen on first arrival, however, it is still not yet known how rigidly EES will be implemented for pleasure boaters.

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