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Old 10-04-2011, 20:03   #1
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Two Months Free: Advice Needed Regarding Thorny Path

Hi All,

So as fate may have it, myself and 2 friends will have 2 months off of work starting at the beginning of May (around the 5th). We decided that we would like go on a sailing trip on my friend's 39' Ericson that he's been living on in the Keys. I wanted to see if anyone had any advice or recommendations on trips that would be suitable & safe (relatively) for this time period.

I've read quite a bit about the thorny path, which seems extremely appealing based on the destinations. However, I've read that it can be quite a rough trip due to the prevailing trade winds that we'd be going against.

On the flip side, I haven't been able to find too much information on trips from the Keys down to Isla Mujeres and the Central American coast during this time period. Does anyone have any experience making this trip during May and June?

Ultimately, my friends and I are looking for any recommendations on quality routes, and their respective anchoring locations, that can be taken during this time period. I myself don't have too much sailing experience but my two friends do, though not much open water experience.

Any advice/comments on these two routes and/or alternatives is greatly appreciated, thanks in advance.

PMac
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Old 10-04-2011, 20:49   #2
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Re: 2 months free, advice needed

Welcome aboard and enjoy.

Sorry I can't help you with the trip, have onlt gone that way by shrimp boat in the 60's..
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Old 10-04-2011, 21:03   #3
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Re: 2 months free, advice needed

Rather than get involved in an international trip that might leave you stranded since you only have two months - I would suggest a circumnavigation of lower Florida. Especially for young men this might be more exciting and rewarding.
- - From/ after exhausting the "opportunities" in Key West you head up the west coast of Florida working up to Sarasota - a reportedly "hot" spot for young people and then maybe St Pete/Tampa. After that backtrack to Ft Myers and transit the Okeechobee Canal to Stuart then down the east coast to Ft Lauderdale and Miami before returning to Key West.
- - That will easily consume the two months and any breakdowns or problems enroute will not strand you in a foreign country. Not too mention the great places for some action along the way.
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Old 11-04-2011, 07:37   #4
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Re: 2 months free, advice needed

If I had May and June free to sail from SE Florida, I'd head over to the Bahamas, with no set final destination, but lots of ideas. Certainly, there are other options with that time, but that's what I'd choose.
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Old 11-04-2011, 08:29   #5
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Re: 2 months free, advice needed

As luck would have it, this has been quite well discussed recently:
Thorny Path
Heading to Lower Caribbean via Thorny Path

Hope these help!
Oh, and welcome aboard!
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Old 11-04-2011, 12:16   #6
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Re: 2 Months Free: Advice Needed about Thorny Path

With only two months to spend, the Bahamas would be ideal. Trying to beat your way along the Thorny Path to the Lesser Antilles for only a few weeks of cruising doesn't make any sense to me. Save them for a time when you can spend the whole six months +- season enjoying the islands.
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Old 11-04-2011, 13:33   #7
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Re: 2 Months Free: Advice Needed about Thorny Path

Being a sailboater means (weather window sailing) and in that light, the Abacos (Bahamas) can provide everything required to make two months of living on board a memorable experience. If you prefer subjecting yourself to all kinds of torture, don't wait for the "windows" and fight the forces of nature, just to see who wins.
All the best,
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Old 11-04-2011, 13:59   #8
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Re: 2 Months Free: Advice Needed about Thorny Path

agree with the others. mexico not a good place to be. keys and bahamas much better and you will be done before the big storms roll thru.
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Old 13-04-2011, 18:56   #9
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Re: 2 Months Free: Advice Needed about Thorny Path

Be prepared to motor to make east, watch the weather (SSB radio is a must)...have fun!
Tom
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Old 13-04-2011, 20:38   #10
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Re: 2 Months Free: Advice Needed about Thorny Path

Welcome aboard. Have fun out there.
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Old 03-05-2011, 12:21   #11
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Re: 2 Months Free: Advice Needed about Thorny Path

Hi All,

Thanks so much for all the responses, we've decided that we're going to do the Bahamas. Sadly, I'll be only able to a part of the crew for 17 days total. Apparently my work isn't that keen on giving me that much unpaid leave! That being said, are there any "must see" places in the Bahamas that I should plan on going to, i.e. great scuba locations, islands, etc?

We'll be leaving on May 13th and I'll be returning on Memorial Day, the 30th. Since I'll be leaving in the middle of the trip, I'll have to fly back to Austin (where I work) from the Bahamas. Has anyone here flown into/out of the Bahamas that can recommend a good airport for me to leave from?

The rest of the crew will have until June 19th so any recommendations for trip of this length would be appreciated as well.

Thanks again!
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Old 04-05-2011, 22:57   #12
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Re: Two Months Free: Advice Needed Regarding Thorny Path

Hey everybody,
This is a fellow shipmate of PMac's and there are some developments so I wanted to chime in. Because of the difference in flight prices between Freeport and Nassau it looks like we'll be staying in the Nassau area so some friends can join us halfway through.

Does anybody have recommendations on particular islands to visit or snorkeling spots anywhere around Bimini and Nassau? I did some research and it looks like there is some awesome black coral reef in Bimini and there are also some nice spots on the East side of Andros and also off of the coast of Nassau itself. Has anyone been to these spots or others and have any preferences?

Thanks for the advice in advance!
Lars
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Old 05-05-2011, 07:00   #13
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Re: Two Months Free: Advice Needed Regarding Thorny Path

The Exumas are more convenient to Nassau, than are the Biminis.

The Biminis are more proximate to Miami or Ft Lauderdale, than Nassau.
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Old 05-05-2011, 07:39   #14
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Re: Two Months Free: Advice Needed Regarding Thorny Path

My husband only had 2 weeks off of work when my dad and I were in Abaco. He flew into the airport near Treasure Cay which is a short hop to Marsh Harbor. Met up with him in Marsh Harbor (good place to provision) and cruised back with us.

As far as Bimini goes, the wreck of the Sapona is a mile or so (ish) S of S. Bimini Island. GREAT snorkeling!!!! If you're going to be in the area, I highly recommend it. Been there a couple of times. Lots of fish. 15-18' water. Very easy to find. Extends some 15-20' above the water. Old freighter of Henry Flagler's that got sunk in the same hurricane that trashed his railroad in the Keys. Was used as a restaurant during the days that Hemingway used to hang out there and was later used as a bombing target in WWII. Pretty cool. The Bimini Road is supposed to be N. of Bimini nearby. The 3 Sisters rocks E of N. Bimini have some nice fish too. Andros has extensive reefs but be careful. There are not many places to anchor. Fresh Creek has a nice reasonably priced marina that you could stage from. We stayed there for a week last spring. Have friends on the Naval base. If you go to Andros, you might want to rent a car and check out the Blue Hole National Park. Friends drove us out there one day. The blue holes are kind of like Florida springs on steriods. Beautiful. Can't say a whole lot about Nassau. Big cities don't appeal to us. Just used it as an overnight stop in between Abaco and Andros. Hope this helps.
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