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Old 17-01-2016, 12:29   #1
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Florida to Bimini, Bahamas

I know there are probably a few threads on this, buy im a rookie to the site and cant really locate the threads.
My question is, where is a good spot to start from when leaving Florida, to head to Bimini, Bahamas. Also i read a few other forum sites about "Northern Winds" can someone put that in dummy terms for me. I will be on a 24ft powerboat. Thank you all in advance
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Old 17-01-2016, 12:46   #2
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Re: Florida to Bimini, Bahamas

Rodrigues Key or Key Biscayne will allow you to get a push from the Gulf Stream.
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Old 17-01-2016, 12:55   #3
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Re: Florida to Bimini, Bahamas

I've never made the run in a power boat, so hopefully someone who has will pipe up. But here is my 2cents

Don't leave when the winds are coming from the north, the Gulf Stream runs from the south, so when the two meet you have bad steap waves like you've never seen before.

Advice you didn't ask for---- Just be sure to have plenty of fuel and a clear nice weather window. Remember the current will drive you north so plot route accordingly. I'd talk to the locals, get their input on your vessel, route, and timing. Be sure to leave a float plan with family. We just left Bimini a couple months ago, be sure to visit the shark lab, if you are into that, really cool.
Hope that helps
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Old 17-01-2016, 12:57   #4
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Re: Florida to Bimini, Bahamas

24ft...single engine?
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Old 17-01-2016, 14:21   #5
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Re: Florida to Bimini, Bahamas

yes 24ft single engine, also so when the winds are blowing south dont go. what would ideal wind conditions be? I guess calm would be the best but as long as they arent blowing south we should be fine?
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Old 17-01-2016, 14:22   #6
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Re: Florida to Bimini, Bahamas

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24ft...single engine?
yes. is that good enough?
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Old 17-01-2016, 14:23   #7
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Re: Florida to Bimini, Bahamas

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I've never made the run in a power boat, so hopefully someone who has will pipe up. But here is my 2cents

Don't leave when the winds are coming from the north, the Gulf Stream runs from the south, so when the two meet you have bad steap waves like you've never seen before.

Advice you didn't ask for---- Just be sure to have plenty of fuel and a clear nice weather window. Remember the current will drive you north so plot route accordingly. I'd talk to the locals, get their input on your vessel, route, and timing. Be sure to leave a float plan with family. We just left Bimini a couple months ago, be sure to visit the shark lab, if you are into that, really cool.
Hope that helps
where did you start from? did you go to alice town? also can you explain what i need to do when i get there, provisions?
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Old 17-01-2016, 14:24   #8
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Re: Florida to Bimini, Bahamas

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Rodrigues Key or Key Biscayne will allow you to get a push from the Gulf Stream.
so it would be better to start way south florida vs lets say ft lauderdale area?
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Old 17-01-2016, 14:29   #9
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Re: Florida to Bimini, Bahamas

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Originally Posted by Anchor Mgmt View Post
yes 24ft single engine, also so when the winds are blowing south dont go. what would ideal wind conditions be? I guess calm would be the best but as long as they arent blowing south we should be fine?
when the winds are blowing from the north or any northern component DONT GO. That leaves south, southwest or southeast.
s/v Aquila
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Old 17-01-2016, 14:37   #10
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Re: Florida to Bimini, Bahamas

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yes. is that good enough?
Maybe.

The passage from Miami to Bimini in your boat may well be a 2-3 hour trip depending on where you leave from and the weather conditions. I am not sure what your plans are once you get to Bimini but my first concern would be ground tackle. If you are staying at a hotel and keeping the boat in a marina that may not be such a concern. Also not sure what type of VHF you have or navigational stuff.

Winds with a North component can cause square waves over the Gulf Stream. Not so much so from a South component. The thing is it may take a day or two after the winds die down for the waves to die down. It is usually possible to look out to sea from the shore and assess the state of the waves.

Bottom line is in the right weather window the crossing is easy, and in the wrong weather window it would probably be a disaster in your boat.
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Old 17-01-2016, 14:43   #11
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Re: Florida to Bimini, Bahamas

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Maybe.

The passage from Miami to Bimini in your boat may well be a 2-3 hour trip depending on where you leave from and the weather conditions. I am not sure what your plans are once you get to Bimini but my first concern would be ground tackle. If you are staying at a hotel and keeping the boat in a marina that may not be such a concern. Also not sure what type of VHF you have or navigational stuff.

Winds with a North component can cause square waves over the Gulf Stream. Not so much so from a South component. The thing is it may take a day or two after the winds die down for the waves to die down. It is usually possible to look out to sea from the shore and assess the state of the waves.

Bottom line is in the right weather window the crossing is easy, and in the wrong weather window it would probably be a disaster in your boat.
yikes, ok maybe i need to bring it back a notch and stay near the coast. maybe like destin or even hang around the florida keys
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Old 17-01-2016, 15:04   #12
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Re: Florida to Bimini, Bahamas

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Old 17-01-2016, 15:11   #13
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Re: Florida to Bimini, Bahamas

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yikes, ok maybe i need to bring it back a notch and stay near the coast. maybe like destin or even hang around the florida keys
Just plan it well and watch the weather. Maybe find another boat to go buddy with. I know a couple of people who crossed when it was calm and said it was like glass.
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Old 17-01-2016, 15:17   #14
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Re: Florida to Bimini, Bahamas

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where did you start from? did you go to alice town? also can you explain what i need to do when i get there, provisions?
We left out of marathon, stopped at Sombrero reef for a nice swim, then rode the stream to Bimini. We checked in at Bimini Blue Water, do not recommend. We'd go to big game or to south Bimini , Bimini sands Marina( call ahead to see if customs office is open, I think they are only there during high season).

To check into Bimini we had to go to customs at the big game club, then immigration which is a 5min walk up the road. Everyone was very courteous. As soon as we checked in we left the marina and anchored outside the harbor on the northwest side of the island. Even though we paid for the night at blue water, the harbor was way too rough with big fishing vessels throwing big wakes, lots of black flies, no breeze.

What will take you three hours to cross took us about 24.

Pic is approach to north Bimini harbor
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Old 17-01-2016, 16:22   #15
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Re: Florida to Bimini, Bahamas

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yes 24ft single engine, also so when the winds are blowing south dont go. what would ideal wind conditions be? I guess calm would be the best but as long as they arent blowing south we should be fine?
No, when the winds are blowing FROM a NORTHERLY direction, its not a good time to cross....winds are defined based on where they are blowing FROM.

Whats your plan if your engine craps out half way across?

There can be LOTS of commercial traffic in the FL Straits. VHF at the helm, AIS, RADAR, RADAR refelctor...all a good idea.

Its only roughly 50 miles, but if the wind sets up against the Stream it can get dangerously ugly.
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