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Old 08-12-2009, 20:59   #1
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Little Bahama Bank at Night?

Is it reasonably safe to transit the Little Bahama Bank at night? I am referring specifically to the area West of Great Sale Cay at about 2708N.

We are thinking ahead to next year's trip to the Abacos and our thoughts are to depart Lake Worth shortly after Noon, enter Little Bahama Bank south of White Sand Ridge at about 2707N, and head for a point a mile northwest of the light on Little Sale Key. We would take a route that would avoid Double Brested Bars, Barracouta Rocks, and the shoal charted at N 2704 W 7824. This would put us just North of Great Sale Cay at daybreak and we could continue on to Green Turtle Cay in daylight.

Looking at the Explorer Charts, the Bank in this area seems to be relatively deep and free of hazards. My concern is whether there are uncharted sand bars and coral heads along this route.

We would be sure to watch the weather and all that good stuff. Any input/advice from those who have been there/done that would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 08-12-2009, 21:10   #2
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I use to make that run for 10 years and after about a dozen daylight crossings I started doing it at night ,the area where you enter the bank will be the shallowest after that it gets deeper as you go to as i remember about 18 feet- there are a few uncharted heads on the way and are deep enough to pass over,in the day light we would always make a stop and pull out the bugs- good luck and have fun!
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Old 09-12-2009, 04:03   #3
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At night you have to stay on the GPS transit lines and from memory there are a couple of places where there are dotted lines around obstructions...one is the 'rock in the middle of the earth' (or some simmilar local name) which is bigger than a house.
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Old 09-12-2009, 04:14   #4
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At night you have to stay on the GPS transit lines and from memory there are a couple of places where there are dotted lines around obstructions...one is the 'rock in the middle of the earth' (or some simmilar local name) which is bigger than a house.
That rock is neatly all the way across the bank near the easter side
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Old 09-12-2009, 04:35   #5
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I don't remember, anymore, but the following rings bells.

There are 3 ways to get on the western side of the Little Bahama Bank:
Crossing White Sand Ridge: 27̊ 17.0N x 79̊ 10.3W
Passing by Memory Rock: 26̊ 57.151N x 79̊ 06.234W
Via Indian Key Pass near West End: 26̊ 43.10N x 79̊ 00.29W

Boating in the Bahamas - Onto the Little Bahama Bank
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Old 09-12-2009, 04:43   #6
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I don't remember, anymore, but the following rings bells.

There are 3 ways to get on the western side of the Little Bahama Bank:
Crossing White Sand Ridge: 27̊ 17.0N x 79̊ 10.3W
Passing by Memory Rock: 26̊ 57.151N x 79̊ 06.234W
Via Indian Key Pass near West End: 26̊ 43.10N x 79̊ 00.29W

Boating in the Bahamas - Onto the Little Bahama Bank
I use to use the Indian key Pass and thats very shalloow, i have bumped the bottom on low tide there with a 3 ft draft , but clear all the way across after that first few hundred yards- use to be a few poles to guilde you thru, keep the poles on the north side
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Old 09-12-2009, 06:36   #7
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Thanks everyone. It sounds do-able, then. Just wanted to make sure that we were not doing something that's consdered a big no-no.

This forum has been a great resource for us. I don't post much (mostly because I don't know much), but I am often lurking in the forums and have learned a ton of stuff here. We are really excited about this trip and we hope to see some of you out there.
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Old 09-12-2009, 07:03   #8
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If things get dificult and you have to anchor you need to be at least a 1/2 miles off the transit lines or you will get run over by a 'credit card sailor/boater' on auto pilot watching his DVD collection...A friend actually managed to hit an island with his 65 ft powerboat, ripping out all his drives...
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Old 09-12-2009, 09:06   #9
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Here's another idea...sail south to Hillsboro Inlet. Leave from there late in the evening, sailing to memory rock. Now you have the Gulf stream pushing you to make crossing it easier-you could add 2knots to your boat speed rather thasn loosing up to that much fighting it from Lake Worth. We have done that 64nm in approx 9 hours. Now with daylite, you can push on until the crew gets mutionious. Bob
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Old 09-12-2009, 09:22   #10
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Here's another idea...sail south to Hillsboro Inlet. Leave from there late in the evening, sailing to memory rock. Now you have the Gulf stream pushing you to make crossing it easier-you could add 2knots to your boat speed rather thasn loosing up to that much fighting it from Lake Worth. We have done that 64nm in approx 9 hours. Now with daylite, you can push on until the crew gets mutionious. Bob
the only troble with that is your motoring south about 40+ miles and if you figure that in along with the time, (bridges if inside)it may not be worth it.. it depends i suppose, i would uselly leave at 1am in my trawler and get there at sunup check in and off we go again-
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Old 09-12-2009, 09:42   #11
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There is the ocean route...hillsboro is an easy sail (23nm) from LW. Stay close to shore and pick up the counter current. I would rathe take the time to benefit from the Gulf Stream rather than extend my time in it. Bob
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Old 09-12-2009, 11:40   #12
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I have made this trip a dozen+ times and yes you can transit the bank at night. The area is reasonably well charted, w/ few hazards. Our preferred route though is to leave LW Inlet early morning at slack and head for a WP 2nm south of memory rock, set course for Mangrove Cay and drop the hook just in time for the evening sun downer. From LW Inlet to MR takes us between 8-9 hours motor sailing, and is a good compromise angle to cross the stream.

Steve
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Old 09-12-2009, 16:30   #13
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If things get dificult and you have to anchor you need to be at least a 1/2 miles off the transit lines or you will get run over by a 'credit card sailor/boater' on auto pilot watching his DVD collection...A friend actually managed to hit an island with his 65 ft powerboat, ripping out all his drives...
I did the memory rock route, and I headed several miles north of the transit line to avoid the mangrove cay and ended up anchoring for a few hours, with my anchor light on of course. I did slow down a bit (<5 knts) just in case.
Tom
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Old 09-12-2009, 16:37   #14
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If we do the Memory Rock/Mangrove Cay route, do we go North or South of Great Sale Cay? North side looks a little deeper, but draw a bit less than 5 feet so depth is not a big concern. Distance looks about the same.
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Old 09-12-2009, 16:45   #15
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If we do the Memory Rock/Mangrove Cay route, do we go North or South of Great Sale Cay? North side looks a little deeper, but draw a bit less than 5 feet so depth is not a big concern. Distance looks about the same.
Go North side, as If my memory server's me there are some scatered rocks on the south side -
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