As fall approaches, sailors start thinking about the sunny skies and balmy trade winds of the Caribbean. This year 62 boats are heading south as part of the 22nd annual Caribbean 1500. 53 boats will sail the 1500 miles to the British Virgin Islands while 9 boats will finish in the Bahamas.
The Caribbean 1500 normally starts during the first week of November each year. This years rally was delayed by 5 days late due to tropical storm Sean but they are now closing in on the finish in the British Virgin Islands. Most boats make the trip in about 8-12 days.
The Caribbean 1500 is one of the longest running rallies for cruiser. It annually starts from Hampton Virginia and ends at Nanny Cay in the British Virgin Islands. Alternate routes can also be taken to Green Turtle Cay in the Bahamas. Boats of all shapes and sizes band together to train and sail together.
Many boats come in early and take in the seminars and training provided by the rally organizers. Mandatory safety seminars and inspections make sure the sailors are prepared for the trip. Many sailors return year after year to make the pilgrimage south. Many new sailors join to sail with the seasoned group and experience safety in numbers. Daily weather forecasts are shared with all the cruisers and tracking of all the boats is done using the Yellowbrick satellite tracking system.
All the boats can be tracked on the World Cruising Club website which is now the home of the Caribbean 1500.
If your ever heading south for the winter the Caribbean 1500 may be for you!