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Old 10-03-2010, 09:53   #46
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Fantastic Thread!

My wife and I are attempting to decide whether our first "big cruise" should be the Keys or Bahamas. This thread has been very helpful.

Question: In late October, can I sail outside from Morehead City NC to Biscayne Bay without fighting the Gulfstream the entire time?

Thanks,
Bill
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Old 10-03-2010, 12:09   #47
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I don't necessarily agree that it makes sense to head further south to improve your speed over ground. If you are in Lake Worth and the weather is right - GO! Don't spend another day, many bridges and expensive marinas all to save 2 hours on your crossing, especially when Lake Worth is an easy pre-dawn exit and anchoring is free. However if the winds are predicted to be strong SE for some time, I agree heading further south is worth it.

On this trip, I crossed from Lake Worth on a light norther. (to West End) One of the easiest crossings I've ever had. Had I continued south, it would have been another week of waiting.

Hitting the Abacos first adds more time if the Exumas and points south are you goals. The advantages are that the Abacos are a great warm up and you can get all the way to the Exumas with day sails only, and you can time your crossings easier. Simply plan your time in the Abacos to arrive at Little Harbour with a window to head south. 2 day sails later you are in the Exumas. Alternatively, spend some time in Eleuthera.
You only have two easy day sails not on the banks. The gulf stream and Little Harbour to Eleuthera. When heading to Bimini, you must still cross the stream, but then also have a long sail to the Berry's which means overnight or anchoring in the open. Once in the Berry's, you have another crossing to New Providence or there abouts.
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Old 10-03-2010, 12:54   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bchaps View Post
My wife and I are attempting to decide whether our first "big cruise" should be the Keys or Bahamas. This thread has been very helpful.
Question: In late October, can I sail outside from Morehead City NC to Biscayne Bay without fighting the Gulfstream the entire time?
Thanks, Bill
The Gulfstream trucks on North and eastwards all year. The technique I use for heading south "outside" is to hug the coastline about a mile offshore unless shoals and other obstructions require a greater distance offshore.
- - Most major current streams have "eddies" that peel off the main flow and curl back into the main flow. These are known as "counter-currents" in the area were the eddie is flowing opposite the main flow. It is possible to make use of these countercurrents to assist in making distance southbound.
- - From Morehead City you only have to pass Cape Fear / Frying Pan Shoals - which I normally cross just shoreward of the Red #16 outermost bouy - and then turn southwest and hug the coastline. I normally average out the distance between a straight line between the minor capes and and the beach. Drifting further offshore whenever shoaling or other obstructions require it.
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Old 10-03-2010, 13:06   #49
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hey, so i was the one who started this thread wanting advice on the golf stream and got lots of tips...we crossed after motoring down the ditch to biscayne bay, we didnt stay at "expensive marinas", when we couldnt find a bay, we simple pulled as far over as we could with the draft of our boat and anchored.this may not be the right way, but it worked and with very little night traffic i will continue to do it this way.as for the golf stream, picking your day to go is the most important in my opinion.also this once again might not be the right way, but we put as much sail up as we felt confortable with.20 degrees of lean may feel terrible, but being able to anchor in a new port in daylight was worth it in our books.
bchaps-the stream isnt the funest day crossing, but once you get moving across it, it will feel less daunting....or it did for us anyways..good luck
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Old 10-03-2010, 13:13   #50
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Glad to hear you are across and enjoying your cruise. Enjoy!

G.T. now, but unfortunately about to head home. I miss the Bahamas already!
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Old 10-03-2010, 13:29   #51
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we are enjoying the cruise alot...in nassau for spring break then heading down to exumas, currently across from the green parrot.the boats name is "good day cooter" if anyone from the forum wants to stop by for a beer, always welcome
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Old 10-03-2010, 13:36   #52
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What's goes on for "Spring Break" in the Nassau area?

Exumas so much warmer than here in the Abacos. Enjoy.

A few of my favorites:

Allans for the Iguanas.

Staniel for a nice small town and the Thunderball cave.

Square rock to Helmut Island for some great Gunkholing and beautiful beaches.

Enjoy!
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Old 20-04-2010, 14:03   #53
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This is an oldish thread, but I just wanted to say we went, we used a lot of advice picked up here, we had an incredible time, and we just got back a few days ago.

In Bimini, to clear customs, we were able to pull right in near the Government Dock seawall and anchor on the little beach near where the ferry from South Bimini lands. Customs never asked if we were staying at a marina.

We visited Morgan's Bluff on Andros, then crossed to the Exumas and slowly picked our way down to George Town and back.

On the homeward trip, we went all the way up the channel to the Bimini Bay Resort and anchored just south of their dinghy dock. We could pick up their free wifi (handy for looking at PassageWeather.com for planning the crossing), and they even gave us free day passes to go into the resort, use the pools, and shop in the shops. Nice treat after two months on a rather spartan boat.

We kept a blog, which has a lot of photos. It'll be old news for any veteran Bahamas cruisers, but for people like me a few months ago, planning out a first trip, there may be some helpful stuff -- or at least good fodder for dreams. . . .

Seafever's Web Diary

Thanks again to all.
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Old 20-04-2010, 15:33   #54
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its amazing.the post i just read, reads like our story.first time crossing, we didnt hit exumas, (skipper jumped off paradise island bridge,broken femur).i also kept a blog, and now, here i sit in the bimini bay marina anchorage, using there wifi.checking the weather waiting for the day to go.i would like to know how you got free day passes though.our boat is also quite spartan in style.im glad this thread helped even one person besides us.if you have facebook.check out my blog.
neil_buehner@hotmail.com
this trip was carnage from day one.
cheers.
neil
oh, thanks everyone who posted on this thread to make life just that little bit easier this winter.
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Old 20-04-2010, 16:50   #55
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For the day passes, we went into the Reception building (I think it was called). It's the large orangish building to the left of the dinghy dock as you look northward from the anchorage. Not the small Bait & Tackle building where you see the ice machine, but more to the left (west) from there, and maybe a bit inland.

We sort of neatened up and made ourselves look presentable, as after two months on the boat we were a bit salty and scurvy. . . . And we mentioned to the woman at the front desk that we were on a sailboat anchored nearby and could we please visit the resort? It might help to mention you want to buy a meal at one of the restaurants, or something that would benefit them financially. In any case, we didn't say that explicitly, and they were still very welcoming. Everyone was very friendly.

They give you a little plastic wristband to show if security asks. But security never did ask, or maybe they just noticed from a discrete distance. Once you have that wristband, you're free to swim in the pools and roam around the resort.

They also have computers in the lobby for the use of guests, and we told some other cruisers about them so they could e-mail their families, who were wondering if they'd made it across the Stream. . . .

So far, Bimini Bay is A+++ cruiser-friendly.
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