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Old 22-06-2019, 12:14   #16
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Re: Jacksonville to Bahamas and the Exumas in late December 2019

Thanks for all of the excellent information. We are pretty much in the same position as the OP; boat to be located in JAX shortly (Marina at Ortega Landing) and plan to head over to Abaco and perhaps further south after Christmas.
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Old 22-06-2019, 14:43   #17
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Re: Jacksonville to Bahamas and the Exumas in late December 2019

It’s all about the weather. Come on down the ICW and visit with us at Halifax Harbor Marina in Daytona.
Continue south and pick your spot to jump out. With good weather you can go outside and stay somewhat close to shore looking for the southbound eddy current.
Best jump off for crossing begins at Ft. Pierce. If the weather isn’t perfect for crossing contine south in the ICW.
There are so many options but personally I want to get into the Bahamas as soon as possible. You can clear in at West End and transit Abaco or sail south for the Exumas. Getting across the Gulf Stream is job one. Pick your weather window and jump as early as you can.
Sailing south via the Bahamas is so much better than a southbound ICW route.
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Old 25-06-2019, 12:41   #18
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Re: Jacksonville to Bahamas and the Exumas in late December 2019

Last time I went to the Exumas, I went offshore Charleston SC to Brunswick GA, then Brunswick to West Palm Beach (Lake Worth). Then ICW to Ft. Lauderdale, then crossed over to the banks just north of Bimini and through NW Channel to Nassau (27 hours Ft.L to Nassau). From there, went up and down the Exumas ad-nauseum. The water and weather are definitely warmer in the Exumas than in the Abacos (I've spent winter in both more than once), and there are fewer and less severe cold fronts in the Exumas.
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Old 25-06-2019, 19:14   #19
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Re: Jacksonville to Bahamas and the Exumas in late December 2019

I am at Harbor Town Marina here in Jacksonville, FL and I am thinking that we may leave sooner then late December. I am think that we may leave in early November if I see a good weather window. That would give us another month to 6 weeks to explore. The responses here look like 3 months is just not enough time to do exploring safely and enjoy it. Keep the post coming I am enjoying all the information.
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Old 25-06-2019, 19:41   #20
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Jacksonville to Bahamas and the Exumas in late December 2019

Quote:
Originally Posted by NahanniV View Post
Did you go swimming ?

I found the water temperature markedly warmer in the Exumas over the Abacos.


Not much, but the idea is for him to go to the Exumaís not the Abacoís.
Iím not trying to talk him out of going to the Exumaís. Iím just saying itís nicer to be sailing South to the Exumaís already being in the Bahamas as opposed to doing your South run in the US is all.
The temp in the Abacoís when compared to the exact same northerly spot in the US is going to be awfully close, itís not warmer in Fl.

The only difference is would you rather be sailing in the Bahamas, or waiting on bridges in the US running down the ICW to Miami?
Your choice of course, but beating against the steam all the way from Jax to Memory rock may not be a good idea.
To sail from memory rock to Lake Worth or the reciprocal had me holding 30 degrees into the stream when I was in the center, itís an almost 4 kt stream when your in the middle, in fact heading North to Brunswick from Stuart I made over 240 miles in 24 hours, by sailing 6 kts in the stream, by GPS speed never was less than 10 kts.

Itís far more logical to go back to the US from Memory stock to Ft Pierce, than its to go to Memory Rock from Ft Pierce.
Actually sailing time from memory rock to Ft Pierce due to the stream is almost identical to going to Lake Worth, but not the reciprocal.
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Old 26-06-2019, 10:04   #21
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Re: Jacksonville to Bahamas and the Exumas in late December 2019

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Originally Posted by Kf4eok View Post
I am at Harbor Town Marina here in Jacksonville, FL and I am thinking that we may leave sooner then late December. I am think that we may leave in early November if I see a good weather window. That would give us another month to 6 weeks to explore. The responses here look like 3 months is just not enough time to do exploring safely and enjoy it. Keep the post coming I am enjoying all the information.
Three months cruising in the Bahamas will fly by in the blink of an eye! Stay as long as you can!
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Old 26-06-2019, 11:27   #22
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Jacksonville to Bahamas and the Exumas in late December 2019

The other thing is one poster brought up that you may spend a week in Lake Worth waiting for a weather window, Iíd say that may even be optimistic, lose two weeks going and another coming back. Adding travel time and your three months can shrink to a month and a half or less.
But every day you can extend that three months, adds a day in the Bahamas
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Old 26-06-2019, 14:13   #23
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Re: Jacksonville to Bahamas and the Exumas in late December 2019

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Originally Posted by PuttingDoctor View Post
Best jump off for crossing begins at Ft. Pierce. If the weather isnít perfect for crossing contine south in the ICW.
There are so many options but personally I want to get into the Bahamas as soon as possible. You can clear in at West End and transit Abaco or sail south for the Exumas. Getting across the Gulf Stream is job one. Pick your weather window and jump as early as you can.
Sailing south via the Bahamas is so much better than a southbound ICW route.

===


I concur 100%. There is no need to go as far south as Palm Beach or Ft Lauderdale unless conditions are unfavorable for crossing the Gulf Stream and you just want to keep going. The sooner you can get to the Bahamas, the easier things will get. Under no circumstances would I go farther south than Palm Beach/Lake Worth inlet.
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Old 02-11-2019, 00:05   #24
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Re: Jacksonville to Bahamas and the Exumas in late December 2019

We have decided to leave November the 3rd or 4th or 5th. We have also decided to make the cruise 6 month long instead of three. The boat is almost loaded and ready to go. We will be making videos of our trip. We will post the videos on YouTube Youtube and on patreon.com we also have a satellite tracker on the boat for those that want to track us along the way.
It looks like we will sail along the cost to below the cape then start the crossing somewhere.
Let the adventure began.
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Old 02-11-2019, 04:24   #25
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Re: Jacksonville to Bahamas and the Exumas in late December 2019

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Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
Iíd motor on down to Lake Worth, then cross to vicinity of Memory rock
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There is no need to go as far south as Palm Beach or Ft Lauderdale unless conditions are unfavorable for crossing the Gulf Stream and you just want to keep going.
No one would have left Lake Worth for West End twenty-five years ago. It is only the advent of electronic navigation driving autopilots that led to that. Too bad electronics don't do set and drift calculations.

Crabbing against an ocean current is a fundamentally bad idea. A 6 kt boat will be set North 25 nm. A 5 kt boat will be set North 30 nm. Trying to fight that by crabbing will make a 10 hour hop into twelve to fifteen.

From Jacksonville I'd just head East until you're across the Gulf Stream (sea water temperature will tell you) and then aim South to the port of entry you choose. I usually use Marsh Harbour but they aren't open yet after Dorian.

If you don't want to do a multi-day jump then get South 25 or 30 nm below your chosen port of entry and cross there. DO NOT STEER TO A WAYPOINT. Steer to a due East heading and let the Gulf Stream sweep you North to your destination.
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Old 02-11-2019, 06:59   #26
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Re: Jacksonville to Bahamas and the Exumas in late December 2019

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Crabbing against an ocean current is a fundamentally bad idea. A 6 kt boat will be set North 25 nm. A 5 kt boat will be set North 30 nm. Trying to fight that by crabbing will make a 10 hour hop into twelve to fifteen.
I disagree. You're still sailing for 12-15 hours, whether it's a slow crab or crossing 90į to the stream and trucking south for hours to compensate. We left from Ft Pierce, went south along the coast to Jupiter, then went to crab across. The plan changed with an unforecast storm, but the plan was sound nonetheless. We checked in at Lucaya on Grand Bahama. It's rarely mentioned, but it's got stuff to do, cheap rum, etc. and makes a good spot to jump off to the Berry's then on to Nassau and the Exumas.
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Old 02-11-2019, 07:15   #27
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Re: Jacksonville to Bahamas and the Exumas in late December 2019

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No one would have left Lake Worth for West End twenty-five years ago. It is only the advent of electronic navigation driving autopilots that led to that. Too bad electronics don't do set and drift calculations.
Myself and many others often crossed from Lake Worth to West End in the 1970's and 80's with dead reckoning and an RDF. We usually took a heading of 120 degrees to make the 90 degree target and left at night to insure a daylight landfall. I think 11 to 13 hours at the helm trading watches was typical. We weren't disappointed with the time,..we were on sailboats.
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Old 06-11-2019, 13:22   #28
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Re: Jacksonville to Bahamas and the Exumas in late December 2019

First time I sailed the Bahamas, we went to the Exumas via the Abacos and Eleuthera. Second time I went to the Exumas, we sailed offshore down to Ft. Lauderdale, and then crossed over to Nassau (27 hours) and then down to the Exumas. Either route is fine, but with what Dorian did to the Abacos, I think I would go to the Exumas via South Florida and Nassau.
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Old 21-11-2019, 02:01   #29
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Re: Jacksonville to Bahamas and the Exumas in late December 2019

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Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
We crossed over to memory rock just before Christmas last year, it wasnít cold at all.
We never noticed any difference in weather between the Abacoís and the Exumaís they just arenít that far apart.

Since he has limited time, I say cross and do your traveling in the Bahamas, being in the US headed South isnít going to be any warmer

Navionics in the Bahamas can get you into trouble. Get C-map as itís Explorer data as I believe the old Garmin was.
Iím a fan of the Aqua Map app as it is pure Explorer chart, not just the data, but it matches the printed chart exactly.
Many thanks for your advice! Explorer Chart on my iPad with Aqua Maps are great... Overlay the ActiveCaptain and Waterway Guide Anchorages are the icing on the cake
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