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Old 27-01-2011, 15:53   #1
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Crossing the Gulf Stream in NW Winds ?

I've been waiting for S/SW winds in Miami to cross to Bimini. The winds are supposed to be lightish (10-15 knots) out of the NW over the next couple days. How bad would the gulf stream be under these conditions?
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Old 27-01-2011, 16:13   #2
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NO PROBLEM, Go for it! A northerly component to the wind at 10 to 15 knots is fine. Steady over 20 and it gets a uncomfortable, over 30 really scary, at around 40... down right dangerous!

(If you can maintain 7 knots)... I prefer a pre dawn departure and sail in daylight, as it is less disorienting. The holding in Bimini is non existent, but we had a very nice stay at the Blue Water Marina.

I prefer to leave from anchor, just inside Biscayne channel, as Government cut can be busy, and being just a bit further south will make for less crabbing against the Gulf Stream.

Enjoy... Wish it was us! Mark
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Old 27-01-2011, 16:15   #3
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Could be a bitch if it goes higher than 15 knots- we have 2-4 mph at this moment maybe a night crossing would work?
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Old 27-01-2011, 16:18   #4
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How bad may be in the eyes of the beholder. The only thing I can caution you on is that the weather services lies a lot. The forecast wind strength is usually way under estimated and is generally for the coastal areas and stronger off shore. In all of our years we have never crossed in a north of any kind. You may wait a long time for a south or southwest. But even a light to moderate west or east wind will get you across OK. When the fronts pass, the winds go NW to NE to E, and if another front is on its heals, will go to NW again. And that is what you need to look at. When is the next front due. Remember, once you get across you still need time to get somewhere secure. Chuck
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Old 27-01-2011, 17:00   #5
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Just go for it!! Its no biggie
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Old 27-01-2011, 17:12   #6
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Remember as bad as it can get, and make no mistake it can get bad, you'll know fairly quickly as the stream is just a bit offshore that today is not the day and ports not far away if you turn back. I'd still keep a close eye on the wind forecast. But crossing with a northern component is not always as bad as some would think. If you have family on board I'd still wait it out for the right conditions. Head down to Gilberts and anchor off for a few days and have a few beers until the stars align.
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Old 27-01-2011, 17:35   #7
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I crossed last year in 8-10 and it was easier than many stronger SE winds I've crossed in. My worry would be the same as others have said and that's the margin of error if it gets stronger than forecasted.

If it's a day crossing, you can turn around easily enough. Not so easy on a night crossing.
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Old 27-01-2011, 17:47   #8
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I crossed last year in 8-10 and it was easier than many stronger SE winds I've crossed in. My worry would be the same as others have said and that's the margin of error if it gets stronger than forecasted.

If it's a day crossing, you can turn around easily enough. Not so easy on a night crossing.
Im wondering why its not so easy to turn around on a night crossing _ ?
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Old 27-01-2011, 18:02   #9
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Im wondering why its not so easy to turn around on a night crossing _ ?
A Returning to a Florida inlet with pleny of light, during hours I'm normally awake and finding a place to anchor while it's still light.

B. Arriving back to Florida after dark, at a time I'm normally asleep and I'm tired, having to negotiate an inlet I don't know well and anchor at night. Having to evaluate how the wind affects sea state at night.

Personally, I find A. much preferable, but that's just me. I understand others may feel differently.
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Old 27-01-2011, 19:13   #10
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It might be one thing to cross the stream in 5'-7' square waves, but I haven't heard anyone mention trying to get into Alice Town with a westerly component to the wind, if you are headed in there. They recommend not trying to enter the channel into Alice Town with west winds because of cresting seas on a lee shore. Also the channel makers might be missing.....again.
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Old 30-01-2011, 14:31   #11
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Hey everyone- thanks for the replies. We crossed yesterday, leaving Gov't Cut around 6am. The winds started off light from the NW built to mid teens, occasionally hitting high teens, and died considerably about 10mi out of Bimini. Wasn't too bad at all!
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Old 30-01-2011, 15:24   #12
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Thumbs up on your crossing!

Question....any GPS problems along the way? I figure you guys out sailing can answer the question, related to another thread.

Thanks,
Ralph
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Old 30-01-2011, 15:31   #13
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We didn't use the GPS much, we set a compass heading leaving Miami and stayed on that heading until Bimini was sighted. However, the GPS worked while leaving Miami and once in Bimini (it may have worked in between as well, I just wasn't looking at it).
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Old 30-01-2011, 17:03   #14
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Thank you for your reply, and ENJOY the Bahamas! Wish we were there.
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