I was waiting for others to join in, and offer some help. Honestly, I think many may believe that you aren't serious because of your boat. I bothered to look it up, and find-
At least nine Alacrities are told to have crossed the Atlantic, according to Russel Marine itself.
San Felipe, Baja to Costa Rica
Two brothers named Bob and Jeff Crum and a girl named Jennie sailed their Alacrity "Delfina" in the Sea of Cortez. After trailering the boat to San Felipe they sailed 3000 miles to Costa Rica where they sold the boat not wanting to sail back upwind.
So, with that out of the way, I'll add a few thoughts. If you don't know where you want to cruise, do some studying. Pick up a Waterway Guide for the Bahamas. Also, buy yourself at least one of the Explorer Charts
. There are three...The Near Bahamas, the Exumas
and Raggeds, and the Far Bahamas with Turks & Caicos. The Near Bahamas include the Gulf Stream
crossing, so that's what I would buy to start.
Many people check in in Bimini, if planning a cruise of the Exumas
. Others check in at West End if cruising Abaco
So, once you figure out where you want to go, you'll need to find a place to leave your vehicle and trailer (unless you have other options?) If you leave Fort Lauderdale
, it's 68.6 NM to West End. If you leave Key Largo
, it's 53.5 NM to North Bimini. My first trip to Bimini, we left from No Name Harbor (just south of Miami), and ended up nine miles north of Bimini. It was a much longer day than we had planned, but fortunately left at 0430 and made it to Browns Marina(North Bimini) with time to check in. Now, we still leave No Name, but head
more north onto the Bank and check in at Bullocks Harbor in the Berry Islands.
Keep in mind, you will return well north of where you left your vehicle and trailer. I won't bore you with the probability that you won't make it to the Bahamas and back in 2-3 weeks (unless you get very lucky). Maybe in the summer months.
So now you are in the Bahamas. Bimini or West End. You've done the scary Gulf Stream
crossing, but now where to? Do you know how far it is to Nassau
from Bimini? There isn't much between the two you know? From North Rock (north of Bimini), it's 33.7 NM to Mackie Shoal, 30 NM to Northwest Channel Light, and 49.3 NM to Nassau
. So more than 60 miles across the open Great Bahama Bank with no place to hide. and about 50 miles across the very deep (2500 meters) open waters to Nassau Harbor. Of course Nassau probably isn't where you really want to stay, but from there you are an easy day sail away from Allen's Cay in the Exumas. That's where the fun begins.
From West End, it's approximately 90 miles to Green Turtle Cay. Again, very little in between. So, you see, just getting to the Bahamas isn't that far, but getting to the good stuff is much more challenging. And forget your 4-5 knot
boatspeed for planning. Most of the time you'll have 15 knots from the East or Southeast, making it a bash to get where you want to go.
Most of us cruising the Bahamas don't spend any time in any hotels. We do sometimes eat at restaurants. Figure $20.00 for a cheeseburger and fries, or just about anything else. If you need to buy provisions, the cost is not that much more than Florida prices for many things, but double (and more) for other things.
Without being much more specific about your plans, I certainly can't help with budgeting. For sure, just as with cruising here in the USA, Marinas
and restaurants will kill the cruising budget. Other than that, the costs are mostly limited to fuel
, and booze (for me). The cost of the good stuff (relaxing at a beautiful anchorage, swimming in gin clear water
, walking a deserted white beach, meeting other cruisers and locals, and just enjoying life) is $0.00.
PS- I think many of the photos shown here were at Cat/ Gun Cay, south of Bimini. http://katieandjessieonaboat.com/category/bahamas/
Maybe someone with experience in this area will pipe up. I've never been there myself.