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Old 27-03-2018, 07:32   #1
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passage from Chubb Island to Bimini

Seeking advice: want to arrive in Bimini in daylight - leaving from Chubb Island . How viable is it to leave in the dark (3 am ish) and cross the Great Bahama Bank in the dark? We note a channel that is deep - but what about coral heads? Our charts do not indicate that is a danger - but local experience is best. We are also open to leaving from a different location. Welcome advice.
liv
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Old 27-03-2018, 08:29   #2
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Re: passage from Chubb Island to Bimini

I don't like to leave or arrive in the dark unless I know the area very well. We are about to head to Bimini ourselves, but we are departing from Highborne, so it will be about a 24 hour trip; I prefer that duration because you can both depart and arrive being able to read the water and see land features clearly.

We considered stopping at Chubb, but for our boat it would be an 18hr trip, so we would either depart or arrive in the dark.

I don't think passing over the Tongue of the Ocean is a problem in the dark; it's well marked on the charts and GPS and not too narrow. It can be rough if the weather is not your friend and it's a busy place so you have to keep a sharp watch on other traffic.

Listen to Chris Parker if you can and use your weather applications. Looks like this Friday is a good day for us to leave Highborne; of course that may change...

Fair winds,

Leo
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Old 27-03-2018, 08:34   #3
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Re: passage from Chubb Island to Bimini

hi Leo,

thanks - I too dislike leaving or arriving in the dark! we think the trip will about 15 hours - so cannot have daylight on both ends.

we'll be heading there in May - but it's still enough daylight.

will consider route you are taking!

we will probably have weather routing - and certainly Chris and his broadcasts have become our new best friend.

Thanks and have a great sail!

susan
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Old 27-03-2018, 08:49   #4
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Re: passage from Chubb Island to Bimini

Getting in/out of Chub is really easy in the dark, follow the track you made going in. Once you clear the NW channel marker, stay on the magenta line across the banks.

Use radar and watch for boats anchored on the line, I passed a wooden mast boat anchored exactly on the line in the middle of the night with no lights. Didn't get a radar reflection until <1nm away, passed him a few hundred feet off and lit him up with big lights, never saw or heard anything. Why idiots do that is beyond me.
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Old 27-03-2018, 09:01   #5
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Re: passage from Chubb Island to Bimini

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Originally Posted by DotDun View Post
Getting in/out of Chub is really easy in the dark, follow the track you made going in. Once you clear the NW channel marker, stay on the magenta line across the banks.

Use radar and watch for boats anchored on the line, I passed a wooden mast boat anchored exactly on the line in the middle of the night with no lights. Didn't get a radar reflection until <1nm away, passed him a few hundred feet off and lit him up with big lights, never saw or heard anything. Why idiots do that is beyond me.
We were warned about that. When we crossed from Bimini in January, we anchored at Mackey Shoals but stayed WAY off the line. Didn't want to get run over by someone on autopilot with no one on watch.
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Old 27-03-2018, 09:05   #6
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Re: passage from Chubb Island to Bimini

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Originally Posted by DotDun View Post
Why idiots do that is beyond me.
You can make yourself crazy trying to figure out why idiots do the things they do.

For the scenario you described I don't understand it and I don't want to waste energy trying to figure it out.

As Mama from Forest Gump said "Stupid is as stupid does!"

Your advice is spot on, good lookout always and use your radar should you have one!!
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Old 27-03-2018, 09:08   #7
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Re: passage from Chubb Island to Bimini

thanks - all responses very helpful! we have radar, ais (though many others do not), and generally have two on watch - but we now forewarned!!

thanks,

liv
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Old 27-03-2018, 09:17   #8
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Re: passage from Chubb Island to Bimini

It's a simple passage with min depth over 10' but mostly around 20'. Leave Chubb in deep water ... watch for light post marking NW Providence channel and it's an easy passage across the flats with your equipment and watch persons you can leave anytime.
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Old 27-03-2018, 09:25   #9
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Re: passage from Chubb Island to Bimini

Quote:
Originally Posted by DotDun View Post
Getting in/out of Chub is really easy in the dark, follow the track you made going in. Once you clear the NW channel marker, stay on the magenta line across the banks.

Use radar and watch for boats anchored on the line, I passed a wooden mast boat anchored exactly on the line in the middle of the night with no lights. Didn't get a radar reflection until <1nm away, passed him a few hundred feet off and lit him up with big lights, never saw or heard anything. Why idiots do that is beyond me.

I wrote a piece on this phenomenon awhile back. Thanks for bringing it up again.

The “Magenta Line” :-)

Leave Chub at 18:00 and go overnight. Easy trip.

You can also leave 05:00 and sail to Gun Cay first day, just pull up and drop the hook.

Get a good night sleep and head up to Bimini in the morning :-)

Be careful of the Magenta Line! I avoid it like the plague!
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Old 27-03-2018, 09:45   #10
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Re: passage from Chubb Island to Bimini

My wife and I anchored out on the bank on the way to the Exumas and on the way back. We did this in February and March of 2017. On the way there, we pulled about one nm off the channel with two other boats. It was a very quiet night. On the way back, we did the same thing, but this time we were alone. The seas were calm. We did have an encounter with another boat that was adrift. I eventually was able to contact him on the radio as he was drifting toward us. He was sleeping....We did not maintain a watch, will I will not do again! Otherwise staying on the bank about a mile off the channel is a workable strategy for the crossing assuming it is calm enough.
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Old 27-03-2018, 10:54   #11
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Re: passage from Chubb Island to Bimini

We were sailing close hauled on the magenta line in the Exumas. Boat motoring downwind coming at us on the same line. We tacked away to avoid them when it became apparent boat was not altering course. Chewed out the old man on the wheel. Daughter heard us - who apparently owned the boat that visiting dad was steering - and chewed his a$$ out even more as they were motoring away. He was probably just following orders to steer that line. She apparently hadn't explained right of way concept!
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Old 27-03-2018, 11:00   #12
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Re: passage from Chubb Island to Bimini

thanks - sounds like we need to be extra careful - not a bad habit, anyway!

liv
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Old 27-03-2018, 12:38   #13
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Re: passage from Chubb Island to Bimini

By leaving Chub at 3 AM will that give you a early daylight passage through the NW Channel and past the "light" ? Once on the bank going southerly to Bimini there is the Russel Light and if going northerly there is the Mackie Shoal light -both of these should be during daylight for you for sure.

It is just the entrance to the Channel is a little tight for a night time passage.
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Old 27-03-2018, 12:42   #14
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Re: passage from Chubb Island to Bimini

Made that passage several times and I agree with all of the above. Have not encountered any corral heads. Have fun.
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Old 27-03-2018, 12:50   #15
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Re: passage from Chubb Island to Bimini

hi all,

lots of great info from fellow cruisers - if we leave in the dark - we'd retrace our track in - so hope that would eliminate some of the risk of a middle of the night departure - and we're esp pleased to hear of no reports of coral heads!

liv
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