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Old 02-07-2011, 16:45   #1
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Hypothetical gulf stream crossing

Assuming I leave from the Beaufort inlet, heading for Green Turtle Cay Abacos, what would be the most efficient route in a Westerly Centaur?
It seems the Gulf stream is about 50 miles wide, so what does one encounter after that? Is the Atlantic more settled once out of that current or does it become turbulent as the different temperatures meet?
I am estimating this trip would be five to six days in ideal conditions or is that hopeful?
The simplest route looks like following 77 degrees straight down but that would I assume, mean a long track into the stream pretty much head on. Though I did notice on one of the gulf charts a break in the stream around that route.
Best time of year? November? or wait til May?
Has anyone actually taken this route?
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Old 02-07-2011, 17:10   #2
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Re: Hypothetical gulf stream crossing

There is a counter current inside the stream as you go south. November would be a good time to go and you could bounce your way down inside or join the Carib 1500 fleet to the Bahamas on Nov 7th; they will have a small fleet of sailboats going to the Bahamas on the East side of the stream.
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Old 02-07-2011, 17:21   #3
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Re: Hypothetical gulf stream crossing

I assume that counter current is the break I saw in the stream perhaps?
Don't have the money to join the Bahamas 500 but would love to know the routing they are using.
Many thanks
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Old 02-07-2011, 17:40   #4
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Re: Hypothetical gulf stream crossing

Crossing the Stream and heading south down the eastern side is not a bad strategy, BUT, the North Atlantic in November and even through February, can be a place you don't want to be at any point. The weather can be severe and with that kind of distance, anything can happen. That is why most go down the coast and wait for a two to three day window to cross over. There were several boats in the Caribbean 1500 that ran into serious problems because the organizers were set on a schedule. So that might not be good advise. May is a good month to go to the Bahamas, the anchorages are much less crowded and the prices tend to drop a bit. The weather patterns and the Northers are fewer and less severe. But from June on, you will have to keep a close eye out for Tropical Weather. As to wind direction and location of the Stream, this is always fluid and what may be the case today or next week will change at any moment. So you will need up to date Stream and weather information, just prior to heading out. Chuck
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Old 02-07-2011, 17:48   #5
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Re: Hypothetical gulf stream crossing

Thanks for that Chuck. Following the coastline or taking the ICW are the obvious alternatives. But, that is a loooong trip I believe and also, I'm not prepared to be hassled by police with a toilet fetish. I'm sure some people accept it as a part of protecting us from some threat or other but I find it totally unacceptable. Avoiding the much longer trip and the pathetic law enforcement is my main reasons for choosing the direct route.
Is the Atlantic as volatile on the other side of the stream? I assume any northerly winds will have less effect on the waves as in the stream itself.
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Old 02-07-2011, 18:03   #6
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Re: Hypothetical gulf stream crossing

The potty police is really only one guy who operates from Daytona to New Smyrna. If you did want to go across from FL, it is really easy to skip this area entirely offshore. If you are going from NC, I would go in Sept. The weather really turns nasty and unpredictable by Nov., but you can get good weather windows and forecasting in Sept. Many people wait until Nov. simply because their insurance requires it. If you do not have this requirement, then you have many more options for a safe and enjoyable passage.

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Old 02-07-2011, 18:19   #7
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Re: Hypothetical gulf stream crossing

He seems a busy bloke from what I read LOL !! Somebody is paying wages for this nonsense while the state goes broke. Ridiculous innit? That and losing a lot of folk like me that would love to spend money in a more receptive place.
September may be a bit too soon I think. We have a lot to get prepared when we get to the boat on a permanent basis. I'm hoping I can be ready in about a month from mid August though so still possible. Thanks for the headsup
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Old 02-07-2011, 18:37   #8
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Re: Hypothetical gulf stream crossing

hopping down the coast will make for an easier avoidance of the stream when you cross. You dont have to stop anywhere near Daytona/smyrna. Maybe head for Ft Pierce and cross from there...
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Old 02-07-2011, 18:43   #9
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Re: Hypothetical gulf stream crossing

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Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
hopping down the coast will make for an easier avoidance of the stream when you cross. You dont have to stop anywhere near Daytona/smyrna. Maybe head for Ft Pierce and cross from there...

Yup fort pierce could be an option thankee.
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Old 02-07-2011, 18:56   #10
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Re: Hypothetical gulf stream crossing

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Originally Posted by Hillbillylad View Post
Thanks for that Chuck. Following the coastline or taking the ICW are the obvious alternatives. But, that is a loooong trip I believe and also, I'm not prepared to be hassled by police with a toilet fetish. I'm sure some people accept it as a part of protecting us from some threat or other but I find it totally unacceptable. Avoiding the much longer trip and the pathetic law enforcement is my main reasons for choosing the direct route.
Is the Atlantic as volatile on the other side of the stream? I assume any northerly winds will have less effect on the waves as in the stream itself.
The Atlantic is the Atlantic and although the affects of the Gulf Stream are gone once you cross it, it is no place to be in the wrong conditions. We have used Herb Hilgenburg from Southbound II for weather routing in the Atlantic and he does an excellent job of keeping us out of trouble. As for potty police, we have done the ICW 20 times or more and NEVER encountered any problems with potty police. I know first hand that others have, but it is not a situation that would stop me from making the trip any time. Chuck
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Old 02-07-2011, 19:03   #11
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Re: Hypothetical gulf stream crossing

Thanks for that Chuck. I shall investigate the direct route and the longer route via Fl. My heart wants to go direct but my brain is telling me to head south first. Early days so we shall see.
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Old 02-07-2011, 19:09   #12
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Re: Hypothetical gulf stream crossing

Good luck to you whatever route you take and most importantly, stay safe. Chuck
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Old 02-07-2011, 19:12   #13
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Re: Hypothetical gulf stream crossing

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Originally Posted by Hillbillylad View Post
Thanks for that Chuck. I shall investigate the direct route and the longer route via Fl. My heart wants to go direct but my brain is telling me to head south first. Early days so we shall see.
And it's your stomache that may have to pay the price
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Old 02-07-2011, 19:20   #14
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Re: Hypothetical gulf stream crossing

LOL without a doubt. It is my main concern and I will be loaded with every remedy I can lay my hands on. The only thing that scares me is that I might be incapacitated with seasickness and put us at risk.
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Old 02-07-2011, 19:50   #15
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Re: Hypothetical gulf stream crossing

just did this trip in the other direction - it took 4 days from Marsh Harbour to Beaufort. If you do go offshore you want to cross the Gulf Stream more or less perpendicularly which would be a course of something like SE or SSE. Once you are across sail the rhumb line to Abaco. I think this wouldnt be such a bad idea if you are prepared for offshore passages since weather reports are more or less accurate 5 days out which is how long it would take. Of course, sometimes they are wrong, so you have to be ready for anything. Also bear in mind that the cuts into Abaco arent always calm enough to get through so you have to have a backup plan (either heave to or continue on to the leeward side of one or another of the Bahamas)
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