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Old 20-03-2011, 08:29   #1
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routes to the Bahamas????

We are planning a trip to the Bahamas next spring. So I'm wondering about a couple of routes, that I've been contemplating. We would be starting out from Southwest Florida, and going through the bridge at Marathon. My boat draft is 3 foot. The first route would be on to the banks at gun/cat over to Chubb and then through the Hole in the wall, and on up into the Abaco's. My reasoning for doing this is that from our first two trips to the Bahamas most of the wind seemed to be from the South which means that if you do the traditional route from West End on down your sailing into the win most of the time. Has anybody done this route , or do you have other recommendations for for accessing the Abaco.
The other route you were thinking about is to be Exhumes rather than going the traditional route I would like to get onto the banks south of Andros and get into the ship's channel. I don't know if accessing the banks south of Andros is a possibility or not?
One more thing that I think that I have heard people talking about doing a shortened the route to Chubb is to go on to the banks at riding rock has anybody tried this.
Any other different routes or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. We do have Explorer charts, and some cruising guides both to the exhume and to be Abaco's
thanks for any help or advice. .. m
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Old 20-03-2011, 08:48   #2
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Re: routes to the Bahamas????

If you have the Explorer Charts your answers are found in those books. All the routes are charted or can be charted from the Explorer Charts.
- - Only the around the south end of Andros Islands route would be a bummer not because of draft but as you would be heading south and southeast dead into the prevailing winds/seas.
- - Also with your draft you can get across the Abacos from the south to north at Spence Rock and Cave Cay and not have to go out into the Atlantic by rounding Hole in the Wall and heading north to Little Harbor. There is a some nasty water that way.
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Old 20-03-2011, 09:13   #3
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Re: routes to the Bahamas????

I have entered at South Riding Rock, and spent a peaceful night at anchor in about 12' of water, before clearing at Chubb the next day. The only concern I had was two large barracuda that seemed just a little too curious when I went snorkeling! My draft is 4'7", so you should not have any difficulties.
The last time I did that route was pre-GPS, and I didn't have a Loran, so it was DR all the way. I will be happy to go the same route again, this time with my trusty iPad / GPS!
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Old 20-03-2011, 10:35   #4
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Re: routes to the Bahamas????

Quote:
Originally Posted by mangomike2 View Post
We are planning a trip to the Bahamas next spring. So I'm wondering about a couple of routes, that I've been contemplating. We would be starting out from Southwest Florida, and going through the bridge at Marathon. My boat draft is 3 foot. The first route would be on to the banks at gun/cat over to Chubb and then through the Hole in the wall, and on up into the Abaco's. My reasoning for doing this is that from our first two trips to the Bahamas most of the wind seemed to be from the South which means that if you do the traditional route from West End on down your sailing into the win most of the time. Has anybody done this route , or do you have other recommendations for for accessing the Abaco.
The other route you were thinking about is to be Exhumes rather than going the traditional route I would like to get onto the banks south of Andros and get into the ship's channel. I don't know if accessing the banks south of Andros is a possibility or not?
One more thing that I think that I have heard people talking about doing a shortened the route to Chubb is to go on to the banks at riding rock has anybody tried this.
Any other different routes or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. We do have Explorer charts, and some cruising guides both to the exhume and to be Abaco's
thanks for any help or advice. .. m
From Marathon why not zoom up to Rodriguez Key and then leave from there for West End and the up, around Memory Rock and across to Little Abaco. Rodriguez to West End is only 128 miles or so and you'd get a heck of a lift from the stream. You could likely do it in 12 hours or so with an easterly, southeasterly. No?
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Old 20-03-2011, 12:23   #5
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Re: routes to the Bahamas????

yes, the trip to West End is very good. Even across the banks if it's doing the normal Southeast you can sail. But, from thereon our experience has been that you're headed southeast and southwest going down the island chain and sailing is nonexistent. If on the other hand You Go in a Cat and then over to Chubb and out through the hole of the wall you're going pretty much east ,should be able to sail that. Then for the rest of the trip you're doing some kind of North.the other thing about starting at West End if you're just going to do the Abaco you wind up motoring down the chain and turning around and maybe sailing back up. Work on a hoping tojust make a loop from south to north, clearing out of West End. Of course then you got that nasty problem of going south into the Gulf Stream. What we have done about that in the past is to head straight for Bimini, out of the stream. And then turn to Miami. Not perfect but better than going slowly across the stream, and getting puts North. Maybe, like the rest of life, there is no perfect way to do the trip. but we are playing around with it. We had looked at the Abaco Bight couple of times before and we may still do that, it looks interesting.keep the ideas coming.
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Old 20-03-2011, 18:10   #6
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Re: routes to the Bahamas????

If I was in the keys and wanted to travel to the Abacos, I'd wait if necessary in the Miami area and then head up to Fort Lauderdale when the conditions are right. (I'd anchor in the Miami area because anchoring is limited in F.L.) From there the current and prevailing winds should be in your favor heading to West End.

The nice things about starting with the Abacos for a first trip is it's a reasonable day sail to arrive at West End and then you are on the Little Bahamas Bank. From there on you can travel the Abacos with no night sailing and be on the relative protection of the banks the whole time.

If you want to continue south, it's day sail crossing to Eleuthera (Egg or Royal) and a day sail from there to the top of the Exumas.

Starting at the top of the Abacos does have the disadvantage of being against the prevailing winds once you get past about Allan's-Pensacola, (W.E to Sale is actually more NW.)but it can be short days with the lower days of the banks. Depending on when you go in "spring" you may also get some cold fronts to help go south.
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