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Old 29-12-2011, 11:31   #16
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Re: At Lake Worth Inlet waiting to cross

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Originally Posted by capngeo View Post
Yup..... run south a ways down Biscayne Bay first and leave from Caesar Creek or even Key Largo.... save you a lot of crabbing in the Gulf Stream
This is good advice. While you are waiting, run down the coast to Biscayne. The little harbor there (is it No Name harbor or...? I forget...) will be full of people who are mostly waiting to cross. This angle is great for crossing, although you will still be crabbing about 20 degrees or more for the first few hours!
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Old 29-12-2011, 13:48   #17
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Re: At Lake Worth Inlet waiting to cross

Get a Good weather window head out at first light,steer 126 degrees,Remember when entering Bahama water you are required to clear in at the first port of call.That would be West End.If you cross the bank before clearing in you are breaking the Bahamas law.
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Old 29-12-2011, 18:28   #18
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Re: At Lake Worth Inlet waiting to cross

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Get a Good weather window head out at first light,steer 126 degrees,Remember when entering Bahama water you are required to clear in at the first port of call.That would be West End.If you cross the bank before clearing in you are breaking the Bahamas law.
not sure that is correct...? I believe "first port of call" is first time you stop, ....not upon entering the territorial waters. I've never checked in before Chub in the past.. anyone else..?
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Old 29-12-2011, 18:53   #19
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Re: At Lake Worth Inlet waiting to cross

My info comes from a friend who by passed West End en Route to the Abacos,He was stoped by a Baham's Defense Force Vessell around Great Sail.Questioned as to where he entered the Bahamas.He replied Memory Rock and wa stold he should have gone to West End as this was the closest to his point of entry.Nothing came of it and he was told to go to Treasure Cay and clear.
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Old 29-12-2011, 21:39   #20
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Re: At Lake Worth Inlet waiting to cross

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Originally Posted by ASIMPLELIFE View Post
My wife and I are new to sailing. We are in our mid 40's. We purchased our 37 Irwin sloop last year and spent every day working on it. She is finally complete. We have sailed her down from Jacksonville, Fl and sitting at peanut island hoping to meet some folks to travel with to the islands since this is our first time. We are in no hurry and can go anywhere. Any suggestions?
Lots of boats headed to the Abacos gather in your area waiting for the next weather window to cross. Peanut Island is beautiful but most boats don't anchor there in the winter for more than a couple days because there is better protection from the frontal passages at the Lake Worth anchorage a couple miles to the north.

We were anchored in the Lake Worth anchorage for a month about this time last year and had to skip the first two weather windows due to work conflicts but caught the third one in mid January. If you leave your VHF on 16 you will hear boats looking for who else is waiting to cross to the Bahamas. We met lots of people this way that we later ran into in the Bahamas and are still good friends with today.

The "crossing together" thing is very informal. Some boats stick together, others do their own thing and some are in between.

When a weather window shows up, a dozen or boats will clear out and cross to the Bahamas at about the same time. Some will go to West End, but the majority of them go on the Bank at Memory Rock or White Sand Ridge and continue on to Great Sale Cay to spend the night. Then they go on the next day and clear in at Green Turtle Cay and wait to get around the Whale.

If you don't have it already, subscribe to Chris Parker's weather service here: Marine Weather Center - Meet Chris Parker You can listen on SSB if you have it or if you have internet access he does a simulcast online. You will hear boats in Lake Worth asking him when he thinks the next good weather window for crossing to the Bahamas will arrive.

Have fun!
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Old 29-12-2011, 22:30   #21
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Re: At Lake Worth Inlet waiting to cross

casual - i had that experience this summer. we crossed west palm, memory rock, great sale, spanish cay, then cleared in at green turtle. i wanted to avoid west end and i didn't want to check in at spanish because they have a $100 dock fee just to tie up and clear in. at green turtle you can anchor or moor in black sound and then walk to the customs office.

we anchored overnight at memory rock, then anchored the next day behind great sale. we were stuck there for three days with a dozen other boats while we all waited for the weather to settle down. then we went on and anchored off spanish. the next day we picked up anchor to sail the remaining seventeen miles to clear in at green turtle. of course, all this time i'm flying 'Q' flag.

i'm sailing out of the anchorage, heading for the coast of abaco island and the turn south, when my wife informs me that theres a 'big boat' coming up behind me. i don't even turn around, just assume it's a yacht coming out of spanish cay and he's got me on his eyeballs. then she tells me the boat is getting 'real close'. i'm about to turn around to look when a voice comes over the handheld vhf and this conversation ensues...

'one step, p49'. (i'm 'one step', 'p49' is bahamas defence force patrol boat 49)

'p49, one step'.

'one step, go to 14'.

'one step going to 14'. i switch to 14.

'p49, one step standing by on 14'.

'one step, what was your last port of call?'

'p49, last port of call was west palm beach florida'.

long pause.

'one step, what is your destination?'

'p49, my destination is green turtle cay'.

long pause.

'one step, you must clear at your nearest port of entry. in your case you should have cleared at west end'.

'p49, i came by way of memory rock, great sale, spanish cay'.

long pause.

'one step, next time clear at west end'.

'p49, understand clear at west end'.

p49 then backed off, then pulled away to my far left and headed south.

a couple of hours later i cleared at green turtle. a very pretty young customs agent had me fill out the forms and pay my $300, cash only. a few days later i met up with another cruiser who told me he got to the customs office around 4 pm to clear and the girl asked him if he would come back the next day as she had to catch the ferry. all very casual....
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Old 30-12-2011, 06:57   #22
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Re: At Lake Worth Inlet waiting to cross

I,have done the same,many time's leaving the St.Lucie Inlet,taking the best point of sail and entering the bank N of Memory rock,setting a course for Great Sail,and continuing to Green Turtle,I have never been stopped.After hearing from a fellow I meet at a resturant concering the 1st port of call rule,I will in the future clear at West End.No sense rocking the Boat.It Is There Country.
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Old 30-12-2011, 07:12   #23
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Did any sailboats head out this morning?
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