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Old 26-12-2010, 19:25   #1
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Ft. Lauderdale to West End ?

Hey folks,

We were planning on leaving from lake worth but a friend mentioned ft. L. as an option with an easier ride in the stream.... The stream would pulls up making it easy or so I was told, your thoughts?

Thanks!
-dennis
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Old 26-12-2010, 19:36   #2
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depends on if you want to sail or motor over to west end,,,, fort lauderdale to west end would give you a push north,,, if you leave from lake worth you are heading east with the gulf stream heading north,,,depends on the wind strength,,,,, either way you will have a good time in the bahamas,,,,lakeworth to fort lauderdale is 1 day of travel then 1 day of travel to the bahamas,,, lake worth is 1 day of travel to the bahamas,,, you decide,
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Old 26-12-2010, 19:38   #3
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if your under sail Ft.Lad - would be a good place to start-if under power id go from LW
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Old 26-12-2010, 20:23   #4
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dennis, Either will work just fine and the weather conditions will determine how easy the Stream is and not your departure point. From Ft. Lauderdale you get a bit of a lift to West End and from Lake Worth you will have to head south a bit to make easting. The strongest current in the Gulf Stream is in the center and not all the way from Florida to the Bahamas. It is lighter as you leave Florida and lighter again as you near the Bahamas. The distance from Lake Worth to Ft. Lauderdale will add extra time to the trip unless you are waiting weather and can head to Ft. Lauderdale while you wait. It is about six of one and a half dozen of another. Chuck
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Old 26-12-2010, 20:25   #5
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I've gone out of Lake Worth and made the passage at night. It is only about 60 miles and you can see the light at West End as you approach. Set a course to steer, don't use your GPS, use your compass to determine your course. Your COG will be North of your course steered. The Cruising Guide will give you estimates of course to steer based on your expected boat speed.
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Old 27-12-2010, 06:25   #6
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Let weather be your guide. Ft Lauderdale gives you more options and a better chance to sail or motorsail. I motorsail from FL to memory rock 2 years ago, while a longer trip than west palm, the stream push added 2-3 knots to my speed, so the result it's a wash.
Tom
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Old 27-12-2010, 06:55   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by speciald@ocens. View Post
I've gone out of Lake Worth and made the passage at night. It is only about 60 miles and you can see the light at West End as you approach. Set a course to steer, don't use your GPS, use your compass to determine your course. Your COG will be North of your course steered. The Cruising Guide will give you estimates of course to steer based on your expected boat speed.
To expound further on the above, the NWS site (and NOAA radio on VHF) will delineate the center, width and speed of the Stream. With a chart, determine your distance across then use your boat's speed to divide that distance to time in transit. Take that time figure and multiply by the average speed of the GS. The resulting figure is the number of miles SOUTH of West End you'll need to pick as a steer point. If you maintain that compass heading, your COG should be right on your destination. Hope all that makes sense
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Old 27-12-2010, 07:08   #8
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We crossed from Fort Lauderdale to West End on February 2, 2005 in our Prout. Left about 4:45 am from the Middle River, and arrived at West End Custom's Dock just before they closed at 5 pm, a distance of 71 nm according to my journal. Conditions weren't rough but they were lumpy and wind direction wasn't as forecast so we couldn't sail. There was also a swell that was not favorable. One of those days that you say, "if it doesn't get any worse than this, we're ok" but not the most comfortable day on the water and definitely a long one. In order to make about 6 knots in these conditions we had to push the engines harder than we like to, and that was pre-overhaul on Sunspot Baby. If you have a great sailing forecast and are staged up to do it, you would have a better trip.

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Old 27-12-2010, 07:45   #9
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We crossed from Fort Lauderdale to West End on February 2, 2005 in our Prout. Left about 4:45 am from the Middle River, and arrived at West End Custom's Dock just before they closed at 5 pm, a distance of 71 nm according to my journal. Conditions weren't rough but they were lumpy and wind direction wasn't as forecast so we couldn't sail. There was also a swell that was not favorable. One of those days that you say, "if it doesn't get any worse than this, we're ok" but not the most comfortable day on the water and definitely a long one. In order to make about 6 knots in these conditions we had to push the engines harder than we like to, and that was pre-overhaul on Sunspot Baby. If you have a great sailing forecast and are staged up to do it, you would have a better trip.

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A couple of things...

First, do you recall the weather forecast for that passage? Was it a good, predicted weather window? Meaning, had winds been from the Southeast to South for at least 24 hours (preferrably 48 hours) then when the wind clocked to the South/Southwest did you begin your passage...usually in advance of a cool front moving through?

Second, can you give the rationale for leaving at ~5 am and arriving around sunset? From my perspective, this is a bit dangerous as the sun will be behind you as you make your landfall...which causes the water to take a glasslike appearance, hiding underwater features. When we make our crossing, we try and arrive with the sun high above or at least mid-morning to mid-afternoon so that we get full visibility. This means a night passage, however.
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Old 27-12-2010, 08:14   #10
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This was only our second cruise. The wind had been northeast, but light, and there was a northeast swell. The forecast was for the wind to move southeast through the day, but it didn't. This is also the only time we have crossed to the Abacos. We have been through the Abacos numerous times, but always when we were traveling north.

Usually we leave from south of Miami, somewhere around No Name Harbor, and plan a daylight arrival in Nassau. You are obviously correct that a daylight arrival with high sun is best, and wind always south of east when crossing the Gulf Stream, which is not a piece of water to be taken lightly.

I was attempting to point out to fla.sailor that it's a considerably longer trip from Ft. Lauderdale than from Lake Worth, and got tangled up in some apparently unnecessary details.

I reiterate that this was not a rough trip, but lumpy, and we wouldn't do it again in those conditions.

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Old 27-12-2010, 08:38   #11
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Everyone make a good point about the crossing, but if you are on a cruising budjet Lake Worth makes the most sense as a place to wait out the weather since you can anchor just inside the inlet. There always seems to be a number of boats waiting a weather window so you are assured of company. Safe voyage say hi if you get to GT
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Old 27-12-2010, 11:16   #12
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I've left for West End from both Lake Worth and from Fort Lauderdale. For me, it all depends on the wind. If it's stronger from the SE, I prefer the advantage of leaving from Fort Lauderdale. If it's light or from the West, I'll, leave from Palm Beach. I'd prefer to leave from Palm Beach to Fort Lauderdale if it's a light northerly. I like that Lake Worth (Palm Beach) has free anchoring and is easy to exit at night, so I'm tempted to leave from there unless the wind really makes Fort Lauderdale the better choice. I often leave at about 3:00 - 4:00 am, since I prefer not to stay up all night if it can be avoided.

After clearing custom's at W.E., I usually anchor for the evening and head through the Indian Cay Passage the next day either for Great Sale or the Grand Cays/Double Breasted Cays area.
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