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Old 17-01-2010, 08:49   #1
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Fort Lauderdale to BVIs

Have a Robertson & Caine 46' Cat in FLL. Was planning on taking 5-6 weeks on the Thorny Path, but because of time constraints, have decided on what my "delivery boat" friends call Route 66. Suggested route from FLL>Cat Cay>Stirrup Cay(Berries) and up to Abacos. Wait for a clocking south wind and head due east to 65 Longitude and head south and hopefully make BVIs before SE wind clocks back around. Makes sense- if as an alternative we want to ply through the Exumas and choose the same strategy out from Rum Cay, would appreciate comments from those choosing that latter route.
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Old 17-01-2010, 09:10   #2
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Go East Young Man

No way you're going to make it to the BVI before a wind shift....it's 1,000 nautical miles from FTL!

Doubt if it much matters which route you take thru the Bahamas. Some boats ride the Gulf Stream a bit, go north of Grand Bahama, and get as much easting as they can.

Once you get to about 64-65W -- the longitude of the BVI -- you should have a decent slant on the wind. Some begin turning south before reaching that longitude, but in a cat you might want to hang on a bit longer with the easting.

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Old 17-01-2010, 09:14   #3
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I agree with btrayfors , in any case be ready for upwind and pounding sailing, we have here in st marteen north east winds for the last 10 days, with some ocasional clocking to SE ,Cheers.
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Old 17-01-2010, 11:14   #4
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Not a good time of year to make that trip. Northeasters will come off the US about every 5 days. Right now the trades are non-existant because of a large low coming off the Coast producing counter winds. From my view here in Oyster Bay, St. Maarten - we have winds out of North to NorthEast around 30 knots with 8+ foot seas.
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Old 17-01-2010, 17:12   #5
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What is the rationale for heading so far north around Grand Bahama before heading east? Seems logical to head to Abacos (Marsh Harbor) and wait for a weather window.
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Old 17-01-2010, 18:16   #6
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Originally Posted by SAMPATICO View Post
What is the rationale for heading so far north around Grand Bahama before heading east? Seems logical to head to Abacos (Marsh Harbor) and wait for a weather window.
Depends, of course, on the weather. However, you might find:

1. Not much difference in mileage (and get a boost from the Gulf Stream); and
2. Easier navigation.

Look at a detailed chart. If you're going to Marsh Harbour, you've either gotta go north around Gt Abaco, or way south around it's southernmost point, then north.

In the end, the choice will depend on a whole host of factors which you have to consider.

Bill
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Old 21-01-2010, 00:32   #7
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This is an excerpt from my log book on board "Whisper", an unpaid delivery adventure with a good friend.
10:45 AM March 17, 1995 to June 1, 1995
Sailing down the coast destined for Ft. Lauderdale on a beautiful day with the intention of over nighting there prior to heading across to the Bahamas. Near Hillsborough Inlet we decided to head ESE instead for 'Great Isaac Lighthouse and the Bahamas. As the wind was from the SW we worked on a 2 hour watch set up and sighted Great Isaac at about 3AM. The wind changed to the W at 15 knots with storms all around us, which we were lucky to miss. Prior to entering the channel into 'Great Stirrup' a squall did catch us 25-30 knots, but passed quickly. The description of the approach in the 'Bahama guide' was quite accurate. ADD: stay on 110 degrees as the 'well marked channel' does not start for about 2.5 miles after the turning mark. The 'green' pylons are not green but just plain wooden poles. The 'cut' into the harbour is not visible until you are just about in it. It is located directly under the tall radio tower behind the largest visible hill.
117nm
Great stirrup cay to Market fish cay10am March 19, 1995
A beautiful deserted anchorage between the 2 southern most cays. The approach in carries 8-10' of water all the way. The bottom is sand and grass and completely devoid of life. Fenton worked and swore at the gear box all morning, but with all the effort, we still only have forward, no neutral or reverse. Had an incredible afternoon and evening. We went snorkeling on the coral reef just outside the entrance between the cays E of our anchorage. Within 2 minutes Fenton announced with snorts and screams the passing of 2 10lb crays (lobsters). We managed to catch between us. After a bit of exploring we returned to 'Whisper' to feast on our catch. We had to cook the tail & legs separately as the beast was to big to fit into our largest pot.
Market Fish caysto Whale Cay 0800 - 1330
to be continued
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Old 21-01-2010, 01:46   #8
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Market Fish caysto Whale Cay 0800 - 1330 March 19, 1995
The planed destination was actually was about 7 miles further north 'Frozen Cay', but the sailing conditions were so perfect that we decided to keep going. The approach between 'Whale' & 'Little Whale' is over numerous submerged coral patches (10-12'). The rocky coral head mentioned in the guide book is well to the southern end of the entrance and breaks at low water. The afternoon was spent eating, sleeping and eating. I introduced Fenton to 'sashimi' (Japanese raw fish), sauteed trevally fillets 'namus' - a Torres Strait Island fish salad - and Austrian pancakes. The anchorage was a bit unsettling as we anchored too close to the entrance - right in the middle of a strong tidal surge. Had 10 other boats in the anchorage with us.
Whale Cayto West Bay (New Providence) March 22, 1995
Well we changed our mind again, or I should say the weather did. We decide to head straight for 'New Providence" as the conditions were just perfect. To crown it off, we landed a 40lb dolphin fish (Mahi Mahi) just a few miles out from the anchorage ??? Don't ever anchor in there in a westerly! We had the worst night of constant pitching and rolling. This is probably a great anchorage in an easterly. Neither one of us could want to leave there soon enough. We departed at 0730 for 'Highbourne Cay' and the start of the 'Exumas' The dolphin fish we caught on the way was quite a chore to fillet but provided us with a hige bowl of 'Namus' made by Fenton and at least six other meals.
West Bayto Highbourne Cay 0730 - 1630 March 23,19995
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Old 21-01-2010, 19:47   #9
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Hi all,
rather than cluttering up this forum, you will find the continuation of the log of this trip in the forum on my website. We arrived in St.Thomas on June 1, 1995, 2 1/2 months!
I did however do a delivery from St. Thomas to Miami in 3 days going through the channel between Cuba and the Bahamas on a 50' yacht with 30knots behind us!
Happy sailing and cruising
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Old 22-01-2010, 01:44   #10
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Seems I can't edit my last post? I found that the the rest of the log of this trip is too long for my forum also so I created a blog where you will find the rest of the trip plus others as I get around to it.

http://infinity2001.blogspot.com/201...-stthomas.html

Happy sailing and cruising!
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Old 04-02-2010, 10:36   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by speciald@ocens. View Post
Not a good time of year to make that trip. Northeasters will come off the US about every 5 days. Right now the trades are non-existant because of a large low coming off the Coast producing counter winds. From my view here in Oyster Bay, St. Maarten - we have winds out of North to NorthEast around 30 knots with 8+ foot seas.
To me it looks like a good "forecast" and a good time of the year . I don't think you should really care about what's happening in St.Maarten while pondering a departure from Florida , and as to the general forecast , the trades being slack means less upwind work , and after you cross the Gulfstream and get East of the Bahamas a stiff Northeasterly is a favorable wind . I'm doing the very same trip on an identical boat later this month . Usually take that same "Route 66" ( I had never heard that name , wonder where it comes from) without he stops and rarely go due East until as far as 65W, depends on how close to the wind I can sail .
I'm hoping for 7 days , unless one of those Northeasters comes along , in which case it may be 6....

Have a safe passage!
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Old 04-02-2010, 11:44   #12
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key west to bvi

I'm doing the same trip in a 45' leopard. In key west waiting on weather. Going to s riding rocks to chub cay probably north of eleuthera then to 66 degrees staying north of 25 degrees then south to jost van dyke. Did the thorny path last year and want no part of easting into trades. Any comments or advice would be appreciated.
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Old 04-02-2010, 11:54   #13
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this is some interesting stuff, thanks. I have been plotting a bunch of alternate places to island hop when we buy our boat sometimes this spring and have to bring it home to the TCI from Florida (likely place to buy it).

Unless we can find one in the USVI, PR, DR, or the BVI, of course. that would be easier, coming back, wouldn't it?
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Old 04-02-2010, 12:02   #14
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My friend Dana just made it from Cat Island, where he stopped to weld some rigging, to San Juan, in his 50 ft. Morgan/Catalina "One Love": in little more than a week. I believe he made the trip nonstop, so he must have had favorable winds.

Just shows all bets are off in an El Nino year.
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Old 04-02-2010, 14:06   #15
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It's not a bad trip through the bahamas, real nice. If I remember its only a day and a night sail from george town to provo t+c did it a few times a coupla years ago, stayed in t+c a coupla months, a little choppy but nice. You get beat hard from the dominican republic to anything east.
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