Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 03-03-2015, 10:38   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Illinois
Boat: Irwin 37 CC Ketch MKIII
Posts: 8
Ft Lauderdale to West End to Grand Cays

Hello everyone!

My wife and I are finally ready to set out on our first long term cruise next month.

We will be looking for a weather window any time after April 3rd to leave Port Everglades for West End, Bahamas. I have been watching the weather for the last few months with the cold fronts, but what do you guys watch for in the spring? I've heard that the cold front cycle doesn't last as long as it does in Winter. Ideally we'd like to have settled weather as this is our first gulf stream crossing. Our boat is an Irwin 37 CC ketch.

We plan to clear in at West End, anchor to the north of the harbor for that night, and then cross onto the banks via Indian Cay channel the next day to Mangrove Cay. Following a day at Mangrove we will head over to Grand Cays. Any suggestions along our route? We want to take it slow to ensure we can hit the Indian Cay passage at the right tide (prefer half rising) and just don't want to be rushed, in general.

Thanks for your help!

Dan
Follow the Horizon - Follow your Dreams.
__________________

__________________
Follow your Dreams. Follow the Horizon.
www.followthehorizon.com
followthehorizn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-03-2015, 11:37   #2
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 22
Re: Ft Lauderdale to West End to Grand Cays

I've made that trip several times. For the most part April is a good time to start. The chances of a cold from are slim. The trip from Ft Lauderdale to West End should take about 9 hours. Customs closes at 5:00 but if your within radio range they may wait for you. Entering the bank via Indian Cay is pretty easy The last time I was through there 2 of the 3 markers were missing. Keep well clear of the Baracuda Shoals mark. You don't need to stop at Mangrove as you can make Great Sail in one day and the anchoring is better on the west side of Great Sail. From Great Sail you can go around either the north or south end. Unless you're going to Double Breasted Cays it's shorter the south way. Your next stop should be Alans - Pensacola where you must visit the Alans- Pensacola Yacht Club. Just go to the dinghy docks and follow the well marked path. In you need any further information feel free to contact me.


Capt Morgan
S/V Chase The Clouds
__________________

__________________
Captn morgan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-03-2015, 12:53   #3
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 71
Re: Ft Lauderdale to West End to Grand Cays

We tried anchoring for the night just North of West End (and the $$$ Old Bahama Bay marina). We were about 75 yards off the flat point/beach area. We had a bad bad time of it. Boat swung on conflicting winds/tide - wrapped anchor rode around our keel, drug the anchor, went aground. All in all a sleepless night. Perhaps we just picked a bad spot, but it realy sucked.


Perhaps a second anchor kedged out would have eliminated the swinging?


We werent tryng to be cheap, it just didn't seem to make sense to pay $100+ for a few hours being tied to the OBB docks.


Yes, up the channel and towards Mangrove - no problem. I concur with Morgan's advice and go on to Great Sail. You can pick your quadrants of protection there - a decent shoreline/bay no matter which way wind comes from.


Enjoy - have fun!


There is NOTHING quite so cool as seeing that Bahamas blue water for the first time under your keel.
__________________
bratzcpa is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-03-2015, 07:45   #4
Registered User

Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Illinois
Boat: Irwin 37 CC Ketch MKIII
Posts: 8
Re: Ft Lauderdale to West End to Grand Cays

Thanks for your help! I think you both are right about continuing on to Great Sale rather than stopping at Mangrove. Mangrove will be our backup if for some reason we get a late start from West End and don't want to continue on the bank at night.

I've read about the terrible anchoring at West End and we may end up forking over the $160/night + tax for the marina slip... disappointing, but we will be comfortable at least. We are planning on leaving Port Everglades around 3AM and will surely be too tired that evening to do the anchor watches that West End would require.

We are getting excited as we get closer to our departure time frame (weather permitting)! We will wait for pretty calm seas as this will be our first gulf stream crossing on our own boat.
__________________
Follow your Dreams. Follow the Horizon.
www.followthehorizon.com
followthehorizn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-03-2015, 10:47   #5
Marine Service Provider
 
AnchorageGuy's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Wherever the boat is!
Boat: Marine Trader 34DC
Posts: 4,618
Re: Ft Lauderdale to West End to Grand Cays

Near West End we anchor in an area called Goodwill Channel which is nothing more than a deeper channel in a large shallow bank. To the east there is nothing but open water and the Little Bahama Bank, and to the west, other than the rock called Indian Cay, there is the open Atlantic to the coast of Florida. So settled weather is a must. But there's not much in the way of current, good holding in clear water and sandy bottom and right off the channel. From there it's a pleasant trip to Great Sale, again if the weather is settled. For those familiar with anchoring on the Banks, it's pretty much the same.
__________________
Chesapeake Bay, ICW Hampton Roads To Key West, The Gulf Coast, The Bahamas

The Trawler Beach House
Voyages Of Sea Trek
AnchorageGuy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-03-2015, 08:43   #6
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 22
Re: Ft Lauderdale to West End to Grand Cays

I previously posted a reply but thought I would add a couple things. I've found that Dodge's Cruising Guide to the Bahamas is very helpful and accurate. I've never been to the Grand Cays so can't give any help there. If you continue south and as you get close to Green Turtle you should be able to pick up the Cruisers Net each morning at 8:00 on VHF 68. Very helpful info for cruisers. Also Google the Abaconian, that's the weekly newspaper of the Abacos.

Yes I agree with other posts, spend the bucks and get a dock at Old Bahama Bay. Anchoring is challenging on the outside. Also OBB and most other marinas in the Abacos have 50 amp service so you will need the proper adaptor.

Captn Morgan
S/V Chase The Clouds
__________________

__________________
Captn morgan is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Bypassing West End,Grand Bahama? gbanker Atlantic & the Caribbean 6 15-12-2013 11:32
Crew Wanted: crew from West End/Freeport, Grand Bahama to Charleston, SC Hutaw Crew Archives 0 05-05-2012 13:25
West End, Grand Bahama to Ft Lauderdale (today) baj7777 Atlantic & the Caribbean 0 18-05-2011 15:02
West End, Grand Bahama to Ft Lauderdale baj7777 Sailor Logs & Cruising Plans 1 18-05-2011 10:19
Ft. Lauderdale to West End wahoo40 Atlantic & the Caribbean 2 28-05-2009 17:59



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 04:11.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.