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Old 23-11-2015, 08:31   #31
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Re: Bahamas bound routing options

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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.
I knew you meant Lake Worth. Just could not resist the joke, from one Pearson owner to another.

Hope you weren't too offended.
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Old 23-11-2015, 08:49   #32
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Re: Bahamas bound routing options

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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.
If you really want a daylight sail you can leave the US early in the morning to arrive in the Bahamas about sunset or a little later. Normally not a good idea but as long as the winds are out of the east you can pull up to the beach just south of West End harbor or on Bimini just north of the harbor entrance and anchor. Both locations are clear right up to the beach with no rocks or reefs to avoid. I have arrived after dark a few times and anchored off the beach so I could travel daylight, get a good nights sleep and the next morning have good light to enter the harbor to clear customs or have an early start to cross the banks in daylight.

If you can it is much better to try reach Sale Cay to anchor since anchoring on the banks can be a little rock and rolly.
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Old 23-11-2015, 08:51   #33
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Re: Bahamas bound routing options

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Originally Posted by Swiss sailor View Post
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.
We've tried anchoring just inside the banks, and have not been happy - too rough.

OTOH, on the way back last time, we were buddy-boating with friends, and we stopped at the little Cay before Memory Rock, and it was fine.

We've also anchored well inside the banks several times. Typical 20' or so water, off the magenta line, just in case, and it was fine.


The first of the referenced tracks had us hove to north of the banks once we were out of the stream, and then anchoring inside the banks. If you read the log, you saw that we laughed at the supposed shallow places as they were no place to be found, and we anchored in 25' before going on to Great Sale. From there we went to Green Turtle to check in. But that was because we didn't know...

Now that we've done it once, if we come in over the banks, we will check in again at Grand Cay (technically, Little Grand Cay; Grand is north of that and has a very nice lagoon to anchor in to the north). That puts us at the top of the Abacos and gives many islands to explore.
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Old 23-11-2015, 09:35   #34
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Re: Bahamas bound routing options

I prefer to depart the well-lit, well-marked Lake Worth inlet in the dark and arrive at West End while it's still light.

You can even motor around the Lake Worth inlet the day before to get comfortable with the marks.

Also, after a 12-hour crossing, you can reward yourselves with drinks and dinner at the Old Bahama Bay resort.


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Old 23-11-2015, 14:18   #35
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Re: Bahamas bound routing options

We have crossed from Lake Worth to West End twice. Once leaving at night getting into West End at 7 AM. We waited for the customs office to open at 9, cleared and then headed back out anchoring at Great Sale just as the sun was setting. The second time we left Lake Worth about 5 AM and got into West End mid-afternoon and went into a slip, then on to Great Sale the next day. We prefer the day light crossing.

The slips at West End are expensive plus they add on a resort fee, water fee and electricity. The rates are higher on the weekends and they can get full, think about a reservation for weekend crossing. Crossing on a small weather window and getting stuck in West End for a week can be very expensive.

In Lake Worth we anchor across from Peanut Island for easy access to the inlet. Getting out in the dark can be confusing with shore lights, ship and tug traffic.

We use a shortwave receiver to get weather from Chris Parker. I would not get a subscription for a couple of gulf stream crossings. Better to spend the money on internet in the Bahamas in my experience.

Bob
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Old 23-11-2015, 18:50   #36
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Re: Bahamas bound routing options

We just docked at West End for clearance and then anchored outside behind the seawall, the holding isn't great but fine if the wind is out of the east (or anything other than SW). We've anchored here half a dozen times now and it's very calm. Once we anchored in the channel to the West which sucked.
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Old 23-11-2015, 18:55   #37
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Re: Bahamas bound routing options

If you join the Royal Marsh Harbor Yacht Club you'll receive a discount at Old Bahama Bay, and many other places in the Abacos.


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Old 23-11-2015, 19:00   #38
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Re: Bahamas bound routing options

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Jcapo, what wind will be favorable for to cross the Northwest Channel?
Anything without a north component.
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Old 24-11-2015, 14:11   #39
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Re: Bahamas bound routing options

Thank you all for the interesting and useful information. Looking forward to seeing you there!
Marco
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Old 24-11-2015, 17:28   #40
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Re: Bahamas bound routing options

Unless there is some reason to go to West End go a little further north to the Sandy Key channel or North of Memory Rock cross the bank and clear Immigration and customs at Green Turtle.
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Old 24-11-2015, 18:00   #41
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Re: Bahamas bound routing options

We just got back in August from an Abaco trip. The plan was to go from Stuart to Great Sale then on to GTC to clear customs.

We arrived at Memory Rocks around 11am and it was a nice trip to Great Sale. Unfortunately for us the winds and waves were out of the south so the anchorage at Great Sale was really rough. the next morning we headed out to GTC and cleared customs around 4pm.
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Old 24-11-2015, 18:27   #42
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Re: Bahamas bound routing options

If I need to wait on the weather before crossing, I find it useful to work my way south on the ICW. It's easier to cross the further south you go. Moving south opens up more options, and as many times as I've crossed, I think I've NEVER actually crossed on the route or timetable I originally planned. It all depends on the wind direction.
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Old 25-11-2015, 05:39   #43
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Re: Bahamas bound routing options

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Originally Posted by wesevans View Post
Unless there is some reason to go to West End go a little further north to the Sandy Key channel or North of Memory Rock cross the bank and clear Immigration and customs at Green Turtle.
Having cleared at GTC, I can tell you it's easy and friendly.

However, you can also clear at Spanish, and, much earlier, if you want to explore and/or fish, at Grand (Little Grand, actually, but everyone calls it Grand Cay after the larger island to the north) - see the exposition on LGC a few posts back.

Waiting until GTC deprives you (other than via backtracking) Foxtown, Cooperstown, and even exploring the ruins on Great Sale (that is, if you observe the letter of the law and don't get off the boat while you use that as a rest stop, for which it's ideal), let alone fishing in the Grand/Little Grand area.

OTOH, if you want to boogie, you can wait until Marsh Harbour where C&I is a short walk from the Union Jack dinghy dock, or, maybe, a night on the Jib Room where I'm told C&I will come to you similar to Nassau. If that is true, likely a night on Harbour View will do the same, and you can fuel and water at the same time...

Love them Abacos...
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Old 25-11-2015, 07:32   #44
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Re: Bahamas bound routing options

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Waiting until GTC deprives you (other than via backtracking) Foxtown, Cooperstown, and even exploring the ruins on Great Sale (that is, if you observe the letter of the law and don't get off the boat while you use that as a rest stop, for which it's ideal), let alone fishing in the Grand/Little Grand area.
Speaking of the letter of the law, there was a discussion last year about some issues with the Bahamas enforcing the rule that requires boaters to clear in at the closest port on arrival in Bahamian waters. Some boats were stopped and were chastised for not clearing in at the first port on their route.

Have not heard any recent reports about this but something to be aware of.
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Old 25-11-2015, 08:43   #45
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Re: Bahamas bound routing options

Our second-referenced trip on the Spotwalla (most recent) had us avoiding a large southerly on Little Sale - north of Great Sale. You can tuck in very close to the rock.

Noting the track, however, we got in touch with a buddy who introduced us to Grand Cay; we checked in at Little Grand, which may become the permanent replacement for Walkers, which is what the stamp said, and went directly to the checkin, thence to the great cove at the top of Grand. Said cove is a perfect hiding spot for anything other than north, if you can stay awake long enough to get there, and the checkin is about a 15 minute dinghy ride if you prefer not to anchor at the wreck, first, to check in (you can also go into the harbor if you're short enough...).
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