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Travel Time and Distances

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

--