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Old 28-04-2011, 13:29   #16
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Re: Gulf stream crossing, weather window.

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Originally Posted by hogfighter View Post
May I ask why you feel the need to stay in deep water? Wind is not going to be blowing for long in the GS, hence the reason the NWS is only showing seas of 3-5 feet. IMHO, the crossing won't be too bad (not pleasant, but not scary) if you leave early enough, but maybe think about heading to Great Harbor Cay just north of Bimini in shallow water. Are you comfortable with night passages?
The forecast for the NWPC is for waves to stay below 1 meter until late Saturday night or early Sunday morning. My suggestion for deep water was based mostly on comfort. Waves tend to build faster in shallow water and are much steeper which I equate with discomfort. In addition with tidal currents coming off the banks one can get into a wind versus current situation which makes the waves steeper and choppier. 1 meter in deep water is not much, but 1 meter of chop in 10 feet of water can be nasty.

The NWPC gives one a better angle with no southing in the gulf stream. NWPC has a slight current from the east, which will be a wind with current situation making for less steep waves and a more comfortable ride. You don't get much tidal effect in deep water in NWPC.

The OP was concerned about getting stuck out in the east winds. Since most people don't actually dislike wind, but the waves associated with that wind I was trying to minimize the effects.

I would probably go, but then again I have a 44 footer, not a 30 footer.
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Old 28-04-2011, 16:46   #17
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Re: Gulf Stream Crossing: Weather Window.

I am a newbie on this site and have a question I am sure you can all answer --- what website do you use to get the wind and water conditions forecasts for the GS and Bahama Banks?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 28-04-2011, 17:01   #18
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Re: Gulf Stream Crossing: Weather Window.

I find that www.passageweather.com does a pretty good job.
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Old 28-04-2011, 17:10   #19
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Re: Gulf Stream Crossing: Weather Window.

It would be a no go for me, though I once counted up and out of the first 20 times I crossed from Florida, 10 were in northers. The very first crossing was from No Name to Gun Cay and we had 6-10 foot seas in the middle of the stream. It was very rough, but we had a great boat for it, though only 30 feet long or so. So, I have some experience at what you don't want to see out there. My general rule of thumb is never to leave right before a front as you never know for sure what they'll be packing. Plus, strong E winds on the nose are no good for getting to where you want to go in the Bahamas, and are miserable if you take the Banks route.
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Old 28-04-2011, 17:21   #20
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Re: Gulf Stream Crossing: Weather Window.

Thanks for the reply Captain Bill. Btw, I just saw a thread specifically addressing my question. I am good to go!
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Old 29-04-2011, 17:35   #21
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Re: Gulf Stream Crossing: Weather Window.

I contacted chris parker from mwxc.com His advice was also to not go. So I have 10 days of vacation and nothing to do now. Anyone want to buy a sailboat, everything new............
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Old 02-05-2011, 09:49   #22
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Re: Gulf Stream Crossing: Weather Window.

Hello everyone,

We'll be doing our first crossing to the Bahamas during the next window. We're considering leaving Miami early on Wed heading to Bimini, then over to Nassau over the next week or so. Any glaring reason to not leave on Wed? We're in a 46' cat.

Thanks,
R. Jason Adams
s/v Kapalua
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Old 02-05-2011, 10:15   #23
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Re: Gulf Stream Crossing: Weather Window.

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Originally Posted by rja View Post
Hello everyone,

We'll be doing our first crossing to the Bahamas during the next window. We're considering leaving Miami early on Wed heading to Bimini, then over to Nassau over the next week or so. Any glaring reason to not leave on Wed? We're in a 46' cat.

Thanks,
R. Jason Adams
s/v Kapalua
I don't see any reason weatherwise not to leave on Weds., but expect to motor across. Leaving from Miami means you'll be doing a lot of southing to counteract the gulf stream which will mean a slow crossing. I'ld expect you'll loose 2 knots VMG to the stream on average. Enjoy your trip!
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Old 02-05-2011, 10:30   #24
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Re: Gulf Stream Crossing: Weather Window.

hmmmm..... this thread is just another great example of "if you're going by sailboat DO NOT try to keep up a schedule". It'll get you in trouble everytime!
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Old 02-05-2011, 11:22   #25
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Re: Gulf Stream Crossing: Weather Window.

I'm sitting in Willy's Water Hole on Andros Island right now, it is East 10-15kts and expected to lay flat for the next couple of days, (passageweather.com agrees).

This is a good time to cross, I made it on a 24' under motor sail, just hang on tight and don't drag when you make Gun-Cat Cay
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