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Old 22-11-2015, 12:42   #16
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Re: Bahamas bound routing options

We're going to be heading across around December 10th from West Palm to West end and then down to Chub, Nassau and the Exumas. I have to agree with an earlier poster that the Exumas are really beautiful, further south and more out of the continental weather patterns than the Abacos and just plain good cruising.

We've done tons of crossing from Key Biscayne to Bimini then on to Chub et al. It's a nice angle on the stream and if you leave very early a very easy day run arriving in Bimini with daylight.

No matter what you choose have a fantastic time! It's all good :-)

(Pic From Bimini Big Game) :-)
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Old 22-11-2015, 12:58   #17
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Re: Bahamas bound routing options

If you are in Stuart if you get local knowledge go from St Lucy inlet if not go North to Ft Pierce Inlet from either place then to a way point approximately 15 NM of memory rock then to Great Sail Key (a good place to spend the night) then to Green Turtle Key to clear immigration and customs. If you look at your chart you will find this rout makes the most sense. To go to Lake Worth Inlet (Palm Beach) from Stuart takes a day. As to weather it makes no difference where you leave from in Florida to go to the Bahamas if it good it is good if not it is not. Good is < 10 k from NW to NE, < 15k E to S, <20 S to NW. A three day window is good. I used to go to Lake Worth but it waist day unless you just want to see Palm Beach. 63" air draft is good on the inter coastal until the Julia Tuttle (55') in Miami Bach.
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Old 22-11-2015, 13:51   #18
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Re: Bahamas bound routing options

Fantastic info here! Thank you all!
I think we won't do an overnight for the first crossing. We tend to aim for West End or Bimini to make a landfall at a marina or at least a good anchorage near a settlement.

Many unfavorable coments towards anchorages around West End (we draw 5 ft).

I certaily will consider to sign up with Chris Parker for weather (we have vhf, a SSB tuner and a sat-phone).

How many hours were your sailboat crossings on a calm day? I think I will calculate for 5 knots per hour. This eould make up for a 12 -13 hrs crossing, right?
Fair winds
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Old 22-11-2015, 14:07   #19
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Re: Bahamas bound routing options

Quote:
Originally Posted by Swiss sailor View Post

...

I think we won't do an overnight for the first crossing.
...

How many hours were your sailboat crossings on a calm day? I think I will calculate for 5 knots per hour. This would make up for a 12 -13 hrs crossing, right?
Fair winds
Marco
On a calm day you have to motor.

We sailed or motor sailed the two passages you saw on spotwalla. The second one was 21 hours from anchor up to anchor down, Ft. Pierce to Great Sale.

Personally, we love sailing at night; if you MUST have a daylight front-to-back, you may have to do Bimini or similar, and motor all out whether sailing or not...

But getting to the departure from which you can do that will take some time, inside or out...
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Old 22-11-2015, 18:35   #20
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Re: Bahamas bound routing options

I will be following this thread, because I'm planning to do the same in March / April 2017, i.e., Fort Worth to West End, West End to Great Sale, Great Sale to Green Turtle Cay and Abacos. It will be my first passage to the Bahamas.
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Old 22-11-2015, 19:17   #21
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Re: Bahamas bound routing options

If you leave Lake Worth inlet around 3:00am, you should easily make West End by 3:00pm, with some extra daylight to get a slip at Old Bahama Bay.




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Old 23-11-2015, 04:13   #22
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Re: Bahamas bound routing options

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I'm planning to do the same in March / April 2017, i.e., Fort Worth to West End.
Fort Worth to West End is a pretty good trip.




Sorry I just couldn't resist.
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Old 23-11-2015, 04:15   #23
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Re: Bahamas bound routing options

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How many hours were your sailboat crossings on a calm day? I think I will calculate for 5 knots per hour. This eould make up for a 12 -13 hrs crossing, right?
Fair winds
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Hi Marco,

On a calm day I would plan 12-13 hours from dock to dock unless you are anchored far from the harbor exit.
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Old 23-11-2015, 05:16   #24
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Re: Bahamas bound routing options

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If your goal is the Abacos I would skip Bimini and cross from Lake Worth, or a bit south, to Memory Rock or Matanilla shoal and on to Green Turtle. Stop at Great Sale if you like. All depends on weather.

If you cross to Bimini keep going across the bank to Morgan's Bluff on Andros and then to the top of the Exumas. The Exumas is where the real Bahamas start, IMO.
I agree 100%, skip West End, cross by Memory Rock, and scoot on over to the Abacos.
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Old 23-11-2015, 05:29   #25
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Re: Bahamas bound routing options

Quote:
Originally Posted by jibstay View Post
If you leave Lake Worth inlet around 3:00am, you should easily make West End by 3:00pm, with some extra daylight to get a slip at Old Bahama Bay.




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OP had expressed a desire to sail in daylight...

If you're going to sail at 3AM you might as well make a night of it, and arrive in full daylight...

Which is exactly why we like sailing at night
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Old 23-11-2015, 05:48   #26
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Re: Bahamas bound routing options

Oops - meant Lake Worth. I was thinking to leave about 1AM to be fully assured of landfall with the sun high in the sky. With 15 knot winds my 36 foot Pearson will do 6 knots consistently.
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Old 23-11-2015, 07:22   #27
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Re: Bahamas bound routing options

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Originally Posted by skipgundlach View Post
OP had expressed a desire to sail in daylight...



If you're going to sail at 3AM you might as well make a night of it, and arrive in full daylight...



Which is exactly why we like sailing at night

I agree with you, that a launch in the very early morning hours is a valid option. It is just that we potentially feel more confident to be out on the ocean with the first light in the morning. Remember that we never crossed yet and thus trying to reduce risk, uncertainty and stress as much as possible.

When choosing the route via Memory Rock, would we find a place to anchor on the bank with ease? Or would you suggest to proceed to Greate Sail Kay?

Your routes do look very straight forward. My Admiral is not very experienced an never had to follow a narrow channel on a plotter or a map. So sailing for 20+ hours would be a personal effort on my side.
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Old 23-11-2015, 08:14   #28
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Re: Bahamas bound routing options

Hi,
I have made the crossing you are contemplating many times. Please get "The Cruising Guide To Abaco" by Steve Dodge. It has all the information you need (waypoints, etc)
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Old 23-11-2015, 08:22   #29
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Re: Bahamas bound routing options

Best route to Abaco, IMHO, is Lake Worth to Memory Rock (the waypoint, NOT the rock!). Been doing that one several years now. Once you are on the banks you are in shallow water again and can anchor almost anywhere. Just get off the route line and turn on some lights.

Best time to leave for a sailboat is 9 pm, again IMHO. You dont want to arrive in the Bahamas at night. Our motorsailing crossing time is about 14 hours on that route. By the way, if its too rough to cross from Lake Worth its too rough to cross further south as well.

And dont go without the Dodge Guide. I also bring the Explorer Chart Book but I am a wee bit anal about navigation....
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Old 23-11-2015, 08:28   #30
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Re: Bahamas bound routing options

Good Day everyone,

I am following this thread as Jessica and myself are planning on a similar trip in the near future. Hope to see everyone over there!
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