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Old 10-12-2010, 11:13   #16
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For goodness' sake DON'T try to go into Bimini in the dark. I did once. Let a couple of Bimini marina operators talk me into it over the cell phone.

Spent the rest of the night stuck on a sandbar. Luckily the weather was much calmer than the weather you're talking about the next few days. Otherwise the story would not have turned out happily.

I also vote wait several days until better weather. That's an exposed route with very little shelter available if something doesn't go as planned.
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Old 10-12-2010, 11:25   #17
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Never done that trip myself but the words of caution from those who have makes sense looking at the 'Big Picture'... wind over current/tide..? never bodes well..
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Old 10-12-2010, 13:15   #18
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Joe,

Cancelled my plans to go Sunday - too dicey in case the front comes in earlier than expected.

Now looking to go later next week after the front clears, looks like a possible opening Thursday / Friday if the front doesn't stall.

Meanwhile, I'll be hanging out at Coconut Grove, Dinner Key.

Planning to go into Bimini Sands, called there this morning and they said they had plenty room.

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Old 10-12-2010, 13:30   #19
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we are sending you guys nice cold nasty storms every 3 days now--is la nina-- wont let up until feb or march--most likely march....big winds and lots of cold-- colder as these storms this year are mimicking last years pattern of avoiding san diego and crossing th mountains high north and sdown idaho to teejass then to you guys-- watch yer weather an be safe--
looks like another reallly cold year at mardi gras, unless mardi gras is later in the year...
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Old 10-12-2010, 13:37   #20
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Prudent decision.

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Old 10-12-2010, 14:25   #21
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Once you guys get a window, another option to consider is bypassing Bimini AND Nassau. Sail over the top of Bimini or through Cat/Gun Cay and then sail overnight across the banks to Morgan's Bluff, Andros. It's a really laid back place, perfect for getting into the island vibe.

Once you arrive and drop the hook, dinghy into the little harbor and head for the bar. If someone doesn't ask, just mention that you would like to check in and Immigration & Customs will make their way out to the bar eventually.

From there, you have lots of options open and you can avoid the main harbor in Nassau (not so pleasant IMO) and/or the tricky entrance to Bimini. Before you leave, make sure you trek over to Morgan's Caves to see if YOU can find where he buried his treasure.

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Old 10-12-2010, 16:15   #22
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Don't forget thunderball grotto and the pig beach along with staniel cay,,,, if heading to andos head southeast to middle creek then east to the exumas,, almost a straight shot
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Old 10-12-2010, 17:57   #23
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CharlieJ had the best advice. I have crossed numerous times and once pushed it with a 30 knot NW going to port lucaya. We ended up turning around and heading back to Lauderdale. All I can say is Horrible Trip. Schedules can be deadly.

One other thing I would mention is that heading to Nassau, if there is a strong NW, the north west providence channel can also get nasty as you pass the tongue.

Ken
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Old 10-12-2010, 18:31   #24
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This front has already come in sooner then expected......
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Old 11-12-2010, 04:58   #25
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Duncan,

I too have decided to pass on this 'window'. Using this thread, let's share our views on the next likely window as better conditions develop.

Many thanks to all who have shared their views and experiences!

Best, Joe
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Old 11-12-2010, 05:11   #26
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I have crossed the gulf many time from flat time to 15 footers,,, it makes for a bumpy ride but if the boat is safe,,, and the crew can handle the waves it really is not that bad.... one thing to remember that i do love ruff weather,

one i crossed to the bahamas in a 27 foot stiletto catamaran most people thought I was nuts,, 20 knots of wind nw going to ne,,, waves 15 plus,, that made for a wild ride,,,
i do carry an ebirb, and filed a float plan with the USCG,,, made them aware of were and when i was going, called them by land line when i reached bimini,,,,

on my boat is made for a wet ride but loved every minute of it,,

I am also the person that puts a chart plotter on a jetski along with and extra 18 gallon tank and head to the bahamas,,,, spends a week touring long island sound, port washington to block island, to newport to thames river to albany back around staten island back to port washington

also been to bimini and back on it

photo shown below is a sister ship for the stiletto and the jetski

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Old 11-12-2010, 05:54   #27
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Gulf stream

Good idea to delay, Later looks good. After this front it looks like a week of relief. Check out Passageweather.com and others. Check around... there are a lot of boats looking/waitng to cross over and many are very experienced. A buddy boat is not a bad thing. We are currently in the Abacos having crossed just before thankgiving. Could have taken a row boat. Two days later the 180 ft freight boat was delayed by heavy seas. Do Do hapens fast in the strights of florida.
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Old 11-12-2010, 07:11   #28
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I agree with CharlieJ. If there is any N component in the wind the crossing will be ROUGH. I did a forced crossing with the Admiral and have regretted it every since. Not that you can't do it, it's just going to be uncomfortable, but like I've been told, "The boat can (hopefully) take more than you can." Good luck, wait for a better forecast....
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Old 11-12-2010, 12:32   #29
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Originally Posted by nautical62 View Post
I did cross last winter after sustained north winds died to about 7 NW knots for 24 hours, which is similar to what I see as predicted for Saturday night into mid day Sunday. It was an easier crossing than I expected.
Similarly, I left after strong north winds when wind turned to SE. First half was a bit lumpy, after that it settle down and was a nice crossing. I don't think you need to wait 24 hours, but you do need a good forecast for the next 2 days, to give you time to cross the banks and find a place to ride out the next front.
Tom
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Old 11-12-2010, 13:17   #30
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I might be going tonight after all. I see this as a 5 on a scale of 10, certainly not smooth but not really tough either. and will wait in Bimini till the front passes. Seems to me that this is an average decent window for this time of year. Not on any schedule but got to go with my judgment; who knows what next week will bring. All the best, Joe
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