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Old 09-02-2012, 20:00   #1
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Marathon to Bahamas

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Looking for info on going from marathon to abaco's. Should we check in at bimini?

If the weather won't cooperate, can we day hop up toward miami and then cross; with a 5'6" draft? Where would we stop along hawk channel?

We'll be doing this around the 1st of March
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Old 09-02-2012, 20:31   #2
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Re: marathon to bahamas

Bimini about as good a spot to check in as any. You can check in at Cat Cay but last time I looked into that you had to pay to use the dock for checkin.

I have day tripped up Hawk Channel a couple of times. Finding a good spot to drop a hook may take a little planning and will depend on the direction and strength of the wind at the time but I never had a problem. Sometimes just in the lee of an island.

Activecaptain is handy to see where others have anchored.
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Old 10-02-2012, 03:16   #3
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Re: marathon to bahamas

I am a big fan of Bimini...easy check-in and has it's own brand of funkiness.
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Old 10-02-2012, 05:08   #4
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Re: marathon to bahamas

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Originally Posted by Waterway Guide View Post
I am a big fan of Bimini...easy check-in and has it's own brand of funkiness.
+1 on Bimini! Def one of my fav Bahamian Islands!
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Old 10-02-2012, 07:33   #5
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Re: Marathon to Bahamas

Rodriguez Key, an easy day sail from Marathon, is the standard stop to hang out before crossing the stream if you are going to Bimini. If you destination is the Abacos, then it might be better to go up to Miami and cross over to West End.

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Old 10-02-2012, 07:45   #6
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Re: Marathon to Bahamas

We leave from Rodriguez Key when heading to the Exumas and check in at Bimini. We leave from Lake Worth when heading to the Abacos and check in at West End.
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Old 10-02-2012, 07:51   #7
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Re: Marathon to Bahamas

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Originally Posted by gettinthere View Post
Search won't work on my droid!

Looking for info on going from marathon to abaco's. Should we check in at bimini?

If the weather won't cooperate, can we day hop up toward miami and then cross; with a 5'6" draft? Where would we stop along hawk channel?

We'll be doing this around the 1st of March

Marathon to Rodrigous Key off Key Largo to Key Biscayne to West End in the Bahamas(check in there-stay at marina). Take ship's channel east(located north of West End) then to Sail Key to Green Turtle Key then on to Marsh Harbor.
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Old 10-02-2012, 07:56   #8
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Re: Marathon to Bahamas

If you do settle on a West End entry, for sure don't go up to Lake Worth to cross. Although the distance to West End is less you'll achieve a better time from Lauderdale or Miami with the Gulf Stream vector in your favor. Bimini suits, but if your heading for the Abacos, you'll need to cross from some point like Royal Isle near Spanish Wells to enter up near Little Harbor. ...or take HDG137's good advice above; however, if your purpose is to keep the crossing simple, I'd hop up to Lauderdale, anchor in Lake Sylvia and take an early morning out of Port Everglades for the approximately 9 hour crossing to West End if you make ca. 6.5kts.
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Old 10-02-2012, 08:13   #9
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Re: Marathon to Bahamas

Rodrigous key looks very uncomfortable in east winds. Should I be overly concerned?
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Old 10-02-2012, 08:54   #10
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Re: Marathon to Bahamas

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Originally Posted by gettinthere View Post
Rodrigous key looks very uncomfortable in east winds. Should I be overly concerned?

Rodriguez Key is not an all weather anchorage and has no protection from the East. It can get quite rolly if the wind picks up. Also, you might have to drop the hook a few times before anchoring since there are many spots in the "anchorage" that have shallow sand over coral bedrock. All that said, if you want to sail to the Bahamas, you'll have the best angle on the wind and will get a nice push by the Gulfstream as well. There are more protected anchorages near Angelfish Creek and Key Biscayne but then you'll be beating into head seas for a Cat or Bimini landing. I wouldn't be concerned unless its blowing from the East in the 20's. Good luck and good sailing, Ron
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Old 10-02-2012, 08:54   #11
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Re: Marathon to Bahamas

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Rodrigous key looks very uncomfortable in east winds. Should I be overly concerned?
Rodriguez Key is exposed to the east and can get choppy, but it's still outer reef protected and you should be fine. If you have the 5' draft and leisure time, you can also consider cruising Bayside from the bridge at Long Key and up through Biscayne Bay all full of protected anchorages, but your 5' is near the maximum. You would be fine unless, ironically, there's a big east wind that blows the Bayside water level down.
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Old 10-02-2012, 09:41   #12
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Re: Marathon to Bahamas

gettinthere, From Marathon we often go to South Riding Rock, enter the banks, anchor for the night and then move on to Chub to clear in. You should have a good 72 hour weather window for this route. If you are going to the Abacos, I would suggest you head up to Key Biscayne, cross to Bimini with the first weather window, clear in at Bimini and then move into the Abacos. You can of course go straight from Marathon to Bimini riding the Stream north but it keeps you in the Gulf Stream a little longer than we like in case the weather window slams shut. Chuck
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Old 10-02-2012, 13:42   #13
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Re: Marathon to Bahamas

Rodriguez Key can be tolerable in an east wind, particularly if you have a shallow draft. I spent a night there a few years ago in a catamaran with 20 kts of wind out of the east. I eased up close to the island in about 4-5' of water to minimize the fetch. It was a comfortable night.

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Old 10-02-2012, 14:17   #14
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Re: Marathon to Bahamas

Last year we went straight from Marathon to Bimini. Got there faster than expected doing about 10 knots in the stream.
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Old 10-02-2012, 14:44   #15
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Re: Marathon to Bahamas

I agree with ReMetau.....get out in the stream and go along for the ride! You'll be going with the stream pretty much the whole way. I suggest going to West End rather than Bimini to take full advantage of the Gulf Stream, but Bimini is a more interesting stopover than West End.
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