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Old 20-04-2010, 08:33   #1
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Gulf Stream Crossing from FL Keys

I see that most people cross the gulf stream from Ft Lauderdale (area) in the way to the Bahamas. But I am coming from Tampa, stopping in Key West. Should I still cross from Ft. Lauderdale, or can I cross at the keys?
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Old 20-04-2010, 08:56   #2
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Cross from as far South as (otherwise) suits your plans.
Those crossing from Ft Lauderdale, have probably come from further North (or FTL itself) - nobody will travel North to FTL to cross.

ie:
At 5-6 knots, you can steer about:
- 90 True from Molasses Reef to Bimini
- 115 True, from Fowey Rocks to Bimini
- 125 True from Ft. Lauderdale to Great Isaac Light.
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Old 20-04-2010, 08:58   #3
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Originally Posted by mpc7002 View Post
I see that most people cross the gulf stream from Ft Lauderdale (area) in the way to the Bahamas. But I am coming from Tampa, stopping in Key West. Should I still cross from Ft. Lauderdale, or can I cross at the keys?
No need to go up to Ft. Lauderdale, unless you are concerned with minimizing your time in the Gulf Stream. You can depart from say, Key Largo if you want to, or Key Biscayne. A lot depends on where you want to enter The Bahamas.
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Old 20-04-2010, 09:15   #4
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Crossing...

I agree with Speedoo.. The only thing I can add is to stay in your channels, don't get off the beat and path. The area north east of the keys on the gulf side of Florida is extremely shallow.. You can go from 20 feet to 3 feet in a matter of a few meters. So just play it safe through that area.
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Old 20-04-2010, 11:15   #5
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From Key West, head up to Marathon (Boot Key Harbor) and spend the night. Get an early start and shoot up to Rodgriguez Key. Assuming you can average 5 knots (including somewhat of a lift from the stream) it should take you about 9 hours. From Rodgriguez to Bimini's about 75 miles but heading northeasterly you should be broad reaching with a nice lift from the stream so you should easily make it in less than 12 hours. IF you leave at 0'dark:30 you'll have the sun behind you as you make the approach to Bimini and with you draft you shuld have no problem making it into that channel.

Good luck!
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Old 20-04-2010, 11:39   #6
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We made two crossings from No Name Harbor (Key Biscayne). And we have never been to Bimini. If you have good weather, you can anchor at sea on the Bahamas Banks. We checked in at Chubb Cay or Green Turtle Cay.
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Old 20-04-2010, 11:46   #7
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I think where you depart from, all depends on where you want to arrive.

To arrive at the Bimini group I'd choose either Angelfish Creek or the Miami area. (I used Angelfish Creek, but note the draft requirment)

To arrive at West End, I'd probably leave from Fort Lauderdale. (coming from the south as you are) You can't anchor for more than one night in Fort Lauderdale, so if the weather means waiting for a while and if you don't want to pay for a marina, either wait at points south and then head up to time your departure with the right weather or go up to West Palm where you can anchor for free for extended periods of time.

Arriving at Bmini is certainly closer and makes sense when coming from they keys. Departing from Angelfish Creek or thereabouts also avoids all the traffic and bridges further north. The main reason I can think of to consider West End is that you can sail the entire Abacos and cross down the Exumas without ever having to do a night sail, and this allows you to see this island chain. From Bimini to the Berry's requires a longer sail, and more sailing off the banks but it gets you to points south much quicker when coming from the keys.
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Old 20-04-2010, 12:48   #8
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If Bimini's your choice for arrival see the following:

Quote:
April 20, 2010; New Buoys at Bimini
Last week, new buoys were placed at the entrance into the harbour at Alice Town, North Bimini. The buoys replaced those that have been missing for over three years. The buoys were replaced via a joint effort between The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, Bimini Undersea Dive Boat, and Bimini Bay Resort and Marina. The group replaced one of the red buoys and two of the green buoys.
Additional information is available at Latest Bahamas News
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Old 20-04-2010, 17:22   #9
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Where exactly are you headed?
What kind of boat, sail or motor?
Are you willing to sail for 24 hrs?
Tom.
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