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Old 12-02-2012, 12:33   #1
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Outside from West Palm to the Keys

is this possible due to proximity of gulf stream and prevailing winds? i am wanting to hug the coast and bypass the intracoastal thru south florida. anyone done it this way? thanks.

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Old 12-02-2012, 12:46   #2
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Re: outside from west palm to the keys

I had a nice run from Hollywood to Marathon on the outside. A front had just passed over and we were able to sail all the way. We kept the depth sounder reading between 150' and 200' and didn't see too much in the way of foul currents, mostly 1/2 knot or so, and even picked up a 1/2 knot fair counter-current for a couple of hours. We made 115 nm in about 20 hours.

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Old 12-02-2012, 12:58   #3
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Re: outside from west palm to the keys

Make shure you have line cutters on your shaft as the coastline is littered with quite a few (legal and illegal crab (lobster) traps) some of the markers are clearly visible but some are just under the surface and extremely dificult to cut or untangle.
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Old 12-02-2012, 13:01   #4
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Re: outside from west palm to the keys

It's a fairly easy trip. Stay in as close as you are comfortable. I usually stay about 1/2 to 3/4 of a mile offshore from Ft. Lauderdale to Miami due south and angle out near govt. cut to the last bouy before the sea bouy and then turn more sw to biscayne channel. A lot of people travel closer to shore than I do. The more southerly the wind is the closer to shore the current is. The fun is coming north. Go a mile or so east of the sea bouys. I've averaged 10+ knts. sog in my westsail.
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Old 12-02-2012, 13:18   #5
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Re: outside from west palm to the keys

Main thing is to get the right wind so it isn't on the nose. You have to stick quite close to shore to avoid the current, but you'll know it the moment you stray too far out as your speed will drop right off. There can be quite a bit of traffic going in and out of Ft. Lauderdale and Miami, both commercial and pleasure, and you have to let the big boys have their way in the channels. After a frontal passage with a NW wind it can be a dream sail with little in the way of waves.
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Old 12-02-2012, 13:35   #6
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Re: outside from west palm to the keys

We have done it many, many times and all of the advise above is good. Except I don't ever remember seeing any trap floats in any of our trips up or down the coast. Maybe it was the time of year we travel. Chuck

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