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Old 28-02-2012, 19:52   #1
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Is Anyone Trying to Cross This Week

Anyone trying to cross before the winds come Sunday? Or should we wait until after the N blow out?

w
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Old 28-02-2012, 20:26   #2
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Re: Is anyone trying to cross this week

Assuming you are talking about crossing the Gulf Stream from Miami to the Bahamas????
It would be nice if you gave a hint where you are and what you want to "cross."

If you are hoping to cross the Gulf Stream from Miami, I would hope that you are downloading and reading the weather reports for the southern Florida region - Coastal/Great Lakes Forecasts by Zone - South - Miami, FL

Then you can make your own decision when to "cross" - after all, you are the "captain" and responsible for the safety of you crew and vessel - don't ever rely on somebody else to tell you what you should do - they won't be there to save your butt when things go wrong.

That said, the above forecasts, look the best for a motor sail across on Thursday and for sailing on Friday/Saturday. But remember any forecasts more than 48 hours out are subject to possible significant change.
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Old 29-02-2012, 05:31   #3
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Re: Is Anyone Trying to Cross This Week

Let me rephrase the question. We are a 27 footer and a first time crosser. Looking for a buddy boat to cross with. (Friday most likely)
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Old 29-02-2012, 17:05   #4
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Re: Is Anyone Trying to Cross This Week

For first timer's I usually suggest two ways - if you want to motor-sail across from Miami/Biscayne Bay to Gun Cay and/or Bimini, then look for winds and seas that are at their minimal (i.e., less than 15kts and less than 3 feet). Usually this occurs when the winds are southeast to south.

Secondly, to sail across without an engine operating, then you need winds from the South to West. This is because you will be pointing the boat southeast to try to compensate for the northward current of the Gulf Stream.

There is a technique called "minimum time crossing" which involves taking a heading of not further southward than 105 magnetic. This keeps the boat moving eastward at your best sailing speed and you accept any northward offset caused by the Gulf Stream. Once you get close to the other side you can sail north or south to find your chosen entry point onto the Bahamas Banks.

Assuming a desired entry onto the Bahamas Banks near Gun Cay to Bimini, you need to compensate for about 25nm of northward movement caused by the Gulf Stream. If you started your crossing 25nm south of Gun Cay and Bimini on the Florida side (down around Key Largo) and sail eastward you would end up on the other side by Gun Cay and/or Bimini. Check a map to measure the offset you would need.

What you do not want to do is end up pointing the boat south-southeast trying to hold a course line and make zero or minimal (1 or 2 kts) speed over the ground towards the Bahamas. I also recommend a day crossing or a departure at or before sunrise to avoid being out in the Gulf Stream after dark when all the Cruise Ships are trucking south like big rigs on I-95.

Be sure to have the Explorer Charts before you leave Miami, etc., they are available in West Marine and other boating/chart stores. My favorite entry point onto the Bahamas Banks is an Explorer Chart waypoint named "Triangle Rocks" which is about half way between Bimini and Gun Cay. It has a very wide open and deep, safe entry onto the Banks. Once on the Banks you can proceed, or anchor behind Gun Cay or over by the "sunken ship" for some snorkeling, etc.
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Old 29-02-2012, 17:41   #5
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Re: Is Anyone Trying to Cross This Week

What is the entry fee to the Bahamas these days?
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Old 29-02-2012, 19:44   #6
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Re: Is Anyone Trying to Cross This Week

If your boat is 27 feet LOA, it is US$150. If your boat is bigger than 34 feet LOA the charge is $300. No other charges for anything - unless - you use the services of a marina%2
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Old 10-03-2012, 11:33   #7
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Re: Is Anyone Trying to Cross This Week

We have been in Bimini for days, The winds across the stream were great motor sailing at 7.5+ knots in a 27 footer. Once we got here we had 25-40 knots for a week. We checked in 7 days 14 hours after getting here. LOL

Trapped in Nixon Bay.

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