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Old 20-11-2014, 10:44   #1
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Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: St Pete
Boat: Sabre 34
Posts: 341
Planning For Exumas Trip

Well, after many years of waiting the time has finally come for me to do some cruising.

I plan on departing from the St Pete area with my wife of 37 years and cruising through the keys then cross to the Bahamas for 2 or three months then north to the New Jersey area for 4th of July with the grandkids. Gorilla sailing is not my forte', but I have 50 years of coastal sailing experience.

I would like to work my way north through the Exumas to the Abacos in order to take advantage of warmer temps. Perhaps leaving the Abacos for FL and north the first week of May.

My departure target date is yet to be determined and I would like some thoughts from those that have done this before, regarding:

What's the best time to leave south FL for the Bahamas to get good weather , Feb? March? My only time commitment is to be in Barnegat by July 4th, and I really don't want to get too far north too early and be cold!

Any suggestions for a route to the southern Exumas from the FL keys with a 4 ft draft? Or is the " Gentlemen's Route" the only way for me?

I'd also like to get some contact info for other CF members to watch out for during the adventure.

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Old 20-11-2014, 10:57   #2
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Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Toronto
Boat: CS36Merlin, "La Belle Aurore" Ben393 "Breathless"
Posts: 6,819
Re: planning for Exumas trip

You're going to have a great time. We're Rick and Doreen on Breathless (B393) and we'll be there in January. Going down to the boat in Fernandina Beach at the end of the month. Then work our way to Miami and then across.

As for the best time to cross, just sit in the Keys or Miami and wait for a window. Very hard to predict how Jan, Feb or March is going to be. Just wait and a window will come along. Don't stop till you're in the Berrys or Nassau. We normally cross when a front is starting and keep going to Nassau before the wind clocks right around and into the east again. With a 4 foot draft you'll be fine everywhere.

Haven't been to Abaco for a few years but when we used to come home that way we'd go to Great Sale Cay and wait for weather and then go north to Mantanilla Shoal and then ride the stream to Port Canaveral.

Heading north in the stream
Rick I
Toronto in summer, Bahamas in winter.
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Old 20-11-2014, 18:48   #3
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Kemah, Tx.
Boat: Hunter 36
Posts: 1,398
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Re: Planning For Exumas Trip

Hey, you guys have a great trip. We have left No Name Harbor on Dec 15th and May 1st. Both were great crossings. Just get that window you like and go.

We checked in at Great Harbor Cay Marina in the Berry's. One official comes aboard and checks you in (both, Customs and Immigration) and collects your money. Easy. There is a good anchorage outside that harbor where you can wait out weather before heading down to Nassau. That's the place to provision if you need anything.

Once away from Nassau, enjoy the Exumas! Since we can't make it this year, could you please stop at Big Majors Spot and feed the piggy's for us?

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