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Old 05-06-2016, 09:39   #1
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Bahamas wx planning

Seasonally speaking...planning 12 months or more out... What's the best 2 - 4 week weather 'window' to sail from St Augustine to Abacos and back? Gotta' put in for vacation time... Focus is surveying marine life on Little Bahama Bank and the Abacos. Sea Breeze is an Irwin 43 with 5' draft.
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Old 05-06-2016, 09:51   #2
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Re: Bahamas wx planning

June / July is nice. August to close to the peak of hurricane season.
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Old 05-06-2016, 11:38   #3
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Re: Bahamas wx planning

Agree with the last post. June/July is the most settled weather period. The down side is that it can be dreadfully hot with high humidity and little in the way of breeze. Makes for great visibility on the bank though!


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Old 05-06-2016, 12:56   #4
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Re: Bahamas wx planning

We were also told June/July.. but you never really know. Right now the weather in the Bahamas is not so nice (loads of squalls). Each year is a different.

We passed through this May and had some pretty nice weather. Only 2 days with strongish winds out of the north. The rest of the time was beautiful ESE winds usually 10knots or less.
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Old 05-06-2016, 16:20   #5
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Re: Bahamas wx planning

Too many thunderstorms in June for me - Barometer Bob - Abacos, Bahamas



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Old 05-06-2016, 16:30   #6
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Re: Bahamas wx planning

Late April and May
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Old 05-06-2016, 16:40   #7
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Re: Bahamas wx planning

Would guess the best weather is similar to South Florida, December to April. January or February should be perfect.
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Old 05-06-2016, 16:53   #8
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Re: Bahamas wx planning

Your first problem is getting there on a schedule. You don't want to cross the Gulf Stream if there's any north in the wind forecast (e.g. NW, N, NE). The wind blowing against the Gulf Stream current can create steep sided waves that are quite dangerous. Northerlies are frequent from December to the end of February. It is not uncommon for boats to sit in Florida for over a week checking the weather each day for a safe weather window to cross. This last winter was especially bad. I heard of some boats that just gave up after waiting for weeks in Florida.

You have the same problem crossing back. So in this season you could spend three weeks of your vacation waiting for your crossing windows. And the Bahamas can be quite cool in this season. You'll occasionally see a local wearing a ski parka in January in the Abacos.

By March the northerlies are rare and the southerlies return and it becomes warmer. Almost everyone likes to be in the Bahamas in March (including spring break people) so it can be crowded

April tends also to have lovely weather. Cruisers start to go home in April and crowds go down. Some cruisers have insurance policies that require them to be as far North as Virginia by June 1 hurricane season.

Late April to May may be the best combination of good weather and low crowds. But many cruisers have left so there isn't as much social fun -- if that's your thing.

June-July is when lots of sport fishing boats come from Florida

August - October is low season. Many places close. Hurricane risk. Humid.
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Old 05-06-2016, 17:56   #9
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Re: Bahamas wx planning

Lots of good info - April/May seems to be the consensus averaging all the opinions. Thanks!
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Old 05-06-2016, 19:26   #10
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Re: Bahamas wx planning

Quote:
Originally Posted by CarlF View Post
Your first problem is getting there on a schedule. You don't want to cross the Gulf Stream if there's any north in the wind forecast (e.g. NW, N, NE). The wind blowing against the Gulf Stream current can create steep sided waves that are quite dangerous. Northerlies are frequent from December to the end of February. It is not uncommon for boats to sit in Florida for over a week checking the weather each day for a safe weather window to cross. This last winter was especially bad. I heard of some boats that just gave up after waiting for weeks in Florida.
I'm planning a crossing in this time frame, solo most lokely, 30 ft sail. Anyone with first hand experience? Seems eminently doable.
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Old 05-06-2016, 19:40   #11
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Re: Bahamas wx planning

Quote:
Originally Posted by CarlF View Post
Your first problem is getting there on a schedule. You don't want to cross the Gulf Stream if there's any north in the wind forecast (e.g. NW, N, NE). The wind blowing against the Gulf Stream current can create steep sided waves that are quite dangerous. Northerlies are frequent from December to the end of February. It is not uncommon for boats to sit in Florida for over a week checking the weather each day for a safe weather window to cross. This last winter was especially bad. I heard of some boats that just gave up after waiting for weeks in Florida.

You have the same problem crossing back. So in this season you could spend three weeks of your vacation waiting for your crossing windows. And the Bahamas can be quite cool in this season. You'll occasionally see a local wearing a ski parka in January in the Abacos.

By March the northerlies are rare and the southerlies return and it becomes warmer. Almost everyone likes to be in the Bahamas in March (including spring break people) so it can be crowded

April tends also to have lovely weather. Cruisers start to go home in April and crowds go down. Some cruisers have insurance policies that require them to be as far North as Virginia by June 1 hurricane season.

Late April to May may be the best combination of good weather and low crowds. But many cruisers have left so there isn't as much social fun -- if that's your thing.

June-July is when lots of sport fishing boats come from Florida

August - October is low season. Many places close. Hurricane risk. Humid.
We were in Bahamas this year from April thru almost end of May. I think we had four northerlies come thru during that time.
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Old 05-06-2016, 21:48   #12
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Re: Bahamas wx planning

Quote:
. Re: Bahamas wx planning
Would guess the best weather is similar to South Florida, December to April. January or February should be perfect.
Too many cold fronts.
You could get lucky though. I have sailed to and from the Bahamas year around,
sometimes it can be beautiful and warm in January, other times cold, grey and rainy.
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Old 05-06-2016, 22:28   #13
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Re: Bahamas wx planning

I get nervous about having my boat in the Bahamas in hurricane season. I don't want to put my boat at risk for hurricanes.

If I am chartering a boat in the Bahamas, then I would go for a time when there is the least chance of rain even in hurricane season. I might lose my money for the charter, but at least I would not have to worry about my boat.

I remember one charter where it rained all week on us. We survived.
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