Travel Time and Distances by sea


Travel by sail in the 18th century is an uncertain thing indeed.  Pirates, storms, reefs, all can add to or drastically shorten the trip.  These events aside, a bigger impact comes from prevailing, adverse, contrary or absent winds  and the effect of currents.
Travel between two points in one direction can be drastically different when going in the other.  Winds in the Caribbean are predominantly from the South east, making trips against that wind a time consuming business.

Caribbean travel in miles

Destination

Barbados Cartagena Havanna Nassau Old Providence Port Royal Portobello San Juan Tortuga Vera Cruz

Depart
From

Barbados

Cartagena

1,100

Havanna

2,000

1,170

Nassau

1,400

1,120

380

Old Providence

1,420

420

800

1,250

Port Royal

1,200

540

800

680

450

Portobello

1,440

320

1,100

1,250

290

620

San Juan

600

880

1,150

850

1,150

700

1,200

Tortuga

1,000

780

650

460

790

350

870

470

Vera Cruz

2,500

1,770

1,000

1,300

1,350

1,350

1,620

2,070

1,600

.

Caribbean travel in days

Destination

Barbados Cartagena Havanna Nassau Old Providence Port Royal Portobello San Juan Tortuga Vera Cruz

Depart
From

Barbados

7

12

8

9

7

9

4

6

15

Cartagena

7

7

7

3

3

2

5

5

11

Havanna

36

21

2

13

15

20

20

12

6

Nassau

20

21

2

10

6

14

15

9

8

Old Providence

9

9

5

7

3

5

14

10

8

Port Royal

10

8

5

4

3

10

6

3

8

Portobello

9

2

7

7

2

4

7

5

10

San Juan

12

5

7

5

7

4

7

3

12

Tortuga

18

7

4

3

5

2

7

9

10

Vera Cruz

45

33

8

18

24

17

30

26

22

 

Atlantic crossings can be every bit as uncertain.   Sailing west is faster, due to winds and currents, then sailing east.

Atlantic travel in days

Arrival

Barbados Dahomey Boston Cadiz Capetown Nassau New York Southampton

Depart
From

Barbados

28

14

28

55

8

12

36

Dahomey

35

49

27

27

43

47

53

Boston

34

65

36

92

14

4

36

Cadiz

36

12

52

39

44

50

26

Capetown

45

10

59

37

80

84

63

Nassau

20

48

6

39

75

4

42

New York

30

63

3

35

85

10

30

Southampton

50

35

40

12

51

58

42