Good day, all. Went a couple years without a cruising boat and nearly lost
my sanity, so I bought another one. Planning on leaving Charleston for the Exumas
in mid-November and returning in late January or early February. I know, too early to come back, but I still work and I can't take that long off. I'll have to settle for 8-10 weeks. It is what it is.
I have cruised the Exumas
before. In 2009, we sailed our IP35 to the Exumas via the Abacos and Eleuthera. This time, I am going to avoid the Abacos and Eleuthera and just spend as much time as possible in the Exumas.
My question pertains to route
possibilities. The first part of my route
will be Charleston offshore
to southern Florida
, not further south than Ft. Lauderdale. From there, I'll cross with a weather
window to Nassau
. I was considering going the deep-water route, north of Great Stirrup Cay and then down to Nassau
to clear in and top off the tanks
before heading to the Exumas. Lately, I've been giving more thought to going onto the banks just south of Bimini
and continuing on until near dark, getting well off of the beaten path and anchoring
up for the night before carrying on to NW channel light, and then ultimately to Nassau.
My question is this: is 6.5' too much draft
for this route? I've read repeatedly that depths are generally 10'-20' on the banks, but I'd hate to be constantly paranoid about thin water
while crossing such a long stretch of banks. It seems that I may have more peace of mind going the deep-water route, but I would clearly be able to get more rest and have better sea state crossing the banks. Any input is appreciated.