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Old 06-12-2014, 09:02   #1
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Crossing to Nassau from Bimini

We are looking at this crossing in the next couple days. WE have a 30 foot Catamaran. We had a not so comfortable crossing of the gulf stream a week ago and this longer passage has me a little uneasy. We broke one rudder and a backstay. Weather looks good with 5-15 north winds for the next 5 days. The North front is not predicted to get strong this far south. I know that North winds for the Straights of Florida is a bad idea but is crossing the Bahama banks and the tongue of the ocean a bad idea in mild north winds? Straight line distance is 105 nm. We are thinking of breaking it into 2 days.
Anyone have any suggestions?
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Old 06-12-2014, 10:12   #2
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Re: Crossing to Nassau from Bimini

We did Nassau to Bimini non-stop. I had planned to anchor on the Bank, but was too bumpy, so kept going. I don't see any problems with north winds on the bank, or the tongue. I disagree about that cold front. Wednesday looks pretty nasty for that trip, looking at passage weather. Leave early Monday, but expect residual swell from the NE, but maybe a long interval. I would definitely get to Nassau before Wednesday. Just my opinion.

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Old 06-12-2014, 10:19   #3
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Re: Crossing to Nassau from Bimini

Should be fine contingent on a good weather window.. That stretch of water doesn't seem to be as bad as crossing the Stream. It can get choppy in winds, but too shallow to make anything very big.. at least that I've seen. I suggest leaving early enough to get to Chub cay for a stop before going on to Nassau.
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Old 06-12-2014, 10:31   #4
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Re: Crossing to Nassau from Bimini

You should be fine if the wind goes to the east and blows before you get to the Tongue of the Ocean zip over to Frazers Hog Cay and anchor until you get better weather. North is good to get to Nassau.
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Old 06-12-2014, 11:35   #5
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Re: Crossing to Nassau from Bimini

+1 north is good for that leg😳


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Old 06-12-2014, 12:54   #6
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Re: Crossing to Nassau from Bimini

Scuba,
From Nassau to Chub you can get some big swells/waves generated on a North wind depending how strong and long it has been blowing. Better to leave at the beginning of a North wind than after it has been blowing for a few days. Once to Chubb, you're protected from the waves by the bank but when you get to NW Providence Light, you're open to the full force of the wind across the bank. The Bahama Bank is much like Florida Bay where you can get closely spaced waves that make for lumpy conditions. Your decision should be made based upon how comfortable you and your crew need to be but it would not be considered a dangerous crossing in those winds and you can sail the entire distance. Good luck and good sailing.
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Old 06-12-2014, 13:15   #7
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Re: Crossing to Nassau from Bimini

Quote:
Originally Posted by rognvald View Post
Scuba,
From Nassau to Chub you can get some big swells/waves generated on a North wind depending how strong and long it has been blowing. Better to leave at the beginning of a North wind than after it has been blowing for a few days. Once to Chubb, you're protected from the waves by the bank but when you get to NW Providence Light, you're open to the full force of the wind across the bank. The Bahama Bank is much like Florida Bay where you can get closely spaced waves that make for lumpy conditions. Your decision should be made based upon how comfortable you and your crew need to be but it would not be considered a dangerous crossing in those winds and you can sail the entire distance. Good luck and good sailing.
He's going the other way! Bimini to Nassau. North wind is fine.
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Old 06-12-2014, 13:17   #8
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Re: Crossing to Nassau from Bimini

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Originally Posted by rognvald View Post
Scuba,
From Nassau to Chub you can get some big swells/waves generated on a North wind depending how strong and long it has been blowing. Better to leave at the beginning of a North wind than after it has been blowing for a few days. Once to Chubb, you're protected from the waves by the bank but when you get to NW Providence Light, you're open to the full force of the wind across the bank. The Bahama Bank is much like Florida Bay where you can get closely spaced waves that make for lumpy conditions. Your decision should be made based upon how comfortable you and your crew need to be but it would not be considered a dangerous crossing in those winds and you can sail the entire distance. Good luck and good sailing.
I think he's going the other way....?
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Old 06-12-2014, 13:23   #9
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Re: Crossing to Nassau from Bimini

Do Bimini to the tongue, you can anchor north of bar its good protection before you get to chub , then make the easy trip to Nassau when you have good weather.

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Old 06-12-2014, 13:38   #10
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Re: Crossing to Nassau from Bimini

North is good. Waves on the bank should not be bad. The Gulf Stream is the bad part of the trip. Crossing that is a kind of rights of passage. From here on it gets better as long as you pay attention to the weather. Any kind of north component in the wind for the Gulf Stream is bad. Even without that it is not fun often as the current pushes you north so fast. From Ft. Lauderdale I don't even try anymore to make Bimini and instead head for the North side of Bimini to anchor there. This time with the weather window really short we went through to Chub in one go.

Break it into two legs. Bimini to Chub Cay. Anchor just outside the Marina entrance. It will give you good protection from the north. You can also go 1and 2 miles further and anchor at Diamond Cay or Bird Cay. We just came by Chub a week ago and anchored near the marina entrance. We always clear in at Chub. This time we stayed one night as the weather got quite bad and a south easterly wind made all anchorage quite rolly.

Chub to Nassau is ok in north wind too. If it gets too hard to try to make Nassau aim for West Bay and rest there. You can then select if you go around the North or south of New Providence. We only go past Nassau when the weather dictates. Otherwise we cross the bank south of New Providence to Highborne or there abouts.


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Old 06-12-2014, 13:39   #11
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Re: Crossing to Nassau from Bimini

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
I think he's going the other way....?

Thanks, Cheech, you're correct. However, the considerations will be the same. R
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Old 06-12-2014, 15:09   #12
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Re: Crossing to Nassau from Bimini

Get over to Chub Cay. With your draft there are lots of good anchorages. Wait for a good weather window for the Chub to Nassau run.

You can get some really big waves in the Tongue of the Ocean, but they are usually spaced pretty far apart. I've made that crossing with North winds, and 15 to 20 foot waves, and it was actually a very pleasant crossing (although the entrance to Nassau will look a little rough in those conditions, remember that cruise ships go through it).
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Old 06-12-2014, 15:20   #13
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Re: Crossing to Nassau from Bimini

THanks for the encouragement. We plan to leave Tomorrow (Sunday) and take 2 days so we will arrive Monday afternoon. The front is just slowly coming around now and is not supposed to get ugly until Wed. Should be plenty of time to get across. Passage weather rocks!
Thanks for the hints on the anchorages at Chub cay. We will likely try to hit that. Makes for a long first day (76nm) but the second day hop across the tongue would be a breeze and give us more options on our landing in Nassau. We have an almost full moon tomorrow. Winds are not supposed to go over 15 and mostly 10 ish so might be a slow run but flat and slow is better than fast and hard on this little catamaran. She just pounds too much.
Really appreciate all the input.

ST
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Old 06-12-2014, 16:24   #14
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Re: Crossing to Nassau from Bimini

Hi, Scubatony,

we must have crossed the Gulfstream at about the same time - we went over about 10 days ago, and we were motoring into headwinds from 20 to 32 kts for about 40 hours - heading southeast, but progressing northeast. Thank god the northerly arrived only after we were well clear of the Gulfstream - it blew us onto the Banks nicely.

We're in Spanish Wells right now, and we will use the North Wind to progress further south - maybe we'll see you somewhere in the Exumas! Look for Fat Cat...

Oliver
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Old 06-12-2014, 19:52   #15
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Re: Crossing to Nassau from Bimini

What kind of cat?

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