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Old 30-01-2017, 05:41   #1
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Crossing to Bahamas in an East Wind

I'm in Lake Worth sitting around waiting for a weather window to cross over to the Bahamas. There doesn't look to be any south wind windows in the forecast all week, but there is a a light east wind window mid week. Any problem crossing during that (yes I would have to motor it)?
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Old 30-01-2017, 05:50   #2
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Re: Crossing to Bahamas in an East Wind

Hello Cruiserboy1

In my dozen or so crossings that's how I ended up doing it all but a couple of times. Guess I don't have the patience (or the boat) to tack my way across or wait for the "right" winds (which are pretty rare in my experience) so almost every time I ended up motoring or more often, motor sailing across.

I generally hoisted the main, sheeted in tight and picked a course to just keep the main filled which was usually close enough to my planned course that I didn't have to tack. Like that the main would add a knot or so to the speed even with the engine RPMs set lower and kept the boat much steadier.

The M&M rig (main and motor) became my preferred option for making time against the trade winds.
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Old 30-01-2017, 08:27   #3
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Re: Crossing to Bahamas in an East Wind

I'd go in that window. Probably not much help with wind, and most likely a washing machine out there. But who cares? The blue water is just hours away! Enjoy, and have a good crossing.

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Old 30-01-2017, 10:01   #4
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Re: Crossing to Bahamas in an East Wind

Hey there,

Maybe we'll see you out there. We're planning to leave Vero at dawn tomorrow (Tuesday) to cross the stream. Plan is to exit Ft P, hug the coast as long as the dying NW wind lasts - hopefully around Jupiter area. Then when it shifts to east, or maybe even a little SE if the euro model shown by WindyTy is right, we'll turn east and head over to either White Sands or Matanilla depending on what the wind allows. Then stop at Great Sale to rest on Wed. We're expecting to have the wind on the nose for the trip across the bank into Great Sale, but we're hoping it will be light enough for a decent M&M trip (thanks Skip).

We'll listen for you on the VHF!
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Old 30-01-2017, 10:39   #5
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Re: Crossing to Bahamas in an East Wind

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Hey there,

Maybe we'll see you out there. We're planning to leave Vero at dawn tomorrow (Tuesday) to cross the stream. Plan is to exit Ft P, hug the coast as long as the dying NW wind lasts - hopefully around Jupiter area. Then when it shifts to east, or maybe even a little SE if the euro model shown by WindyTy is right, we'll turn east and head over to either White Sands or Matanilla depending on what the wind allows. Then stop at Great Sale to rest on Wed. We're expecting to have the wind on the nose for the trip across the bank into Great Sale, but we're hoping it will be light enough for a decent M&M trip (thanks Skip).

We'll listen for you on the VHF!
Hi Greg,

Thought you just went to the Bahamas. Going back again already? Guess you enjoyed the trip.
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Old 30-01-2017, 11:34   #6
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Re: Crossing to Bahamas in an East Wind

You get what you get. You're waiting for the wind to lay down to cross, so if it's still easterly when it does, that's what you get. If you leave in the dark Wednesday morning, plot your course for West End, and just hold that heading. The stream will drift you north maybe 15 miles and you enter the bank just south of Memory Rock. From there you can make Mangrove Cay by cocktail hour! Next day Spanish Cay where you can clear customs. Easy peasy...
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Old 30-01-2017, 11:47   #7
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Re: Crossing to Bahamas in an East Wind

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Originally Posted by sailorboy1 View Post
I'm in Lake Worth sitting around waiting for a weather window to cross over to the Bahamas. There doesn't look to be any south wind windows in the forecast all week, but there is a a light east wind window mid week. Any problem crossing during that (yes I would have to motor it)?
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According to the GFS model you should have winds under 8 kts starting Tuesday morning continuing into Wednesday. Tuesday looks the best in my opinion. I'd start out at first light, definitely before full sunrise.
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Old 30-01-2017, 12:56   #8
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Re: Crossing to Bahamas in an East Wind

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paperbird View Post
Hey there,

Maybe we'll see you out there. We're planning to leave Vero at dawn tomorrow (Tuesday) to cross the stream. Plan is to exit Ft P, hug the coast as long as the dying NW wind lasts - hopefully around Jupiter area. Then when it shifts to east, or maybe even a little SE if the euro model shown by WindyTy is right, we'll turn east and head over to either White Sands or Matanilla depending on what the wind allows. Then stop at Great Sale to rest on Wed. We're expecting to have the wind on the nose for the trip across the bank into Great Sale, but we're hoping it will be light enough for a decent M&M trip (thanks Skip).

We'll listen for you on the VHF!
We should have stayed in Vero with you.

People keep posting and talking about stopping along the way before checking in. Isn't that way to get in trouble?
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Old 30-01-2017, 14:24   #9
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Re: Crossing to Bahamas in an East Wind

On the other hand I stayed in Vero Beach to watch the Patriots kick ass and since I'm in no hurry maybe I'll stay here a week and watch the Superbowl.

That's after the tide floats me off the underwater hill I managed to find here in Lake Worth and we move 100'
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Old 30-01-2017, 15:06   #10
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Re: Crossing to Bahamas in an East Wind

When I'm at Lake Worth and the conditions are not best for crossing, I take a day trip down to Fort Lauderdale and anchor in Lake Sylvia for the night followed by a daybreak departure. From Port Everglades you may have a bit of close hauled use of the east wind and you will definitely have a better kick from the gulfstream.

My habit is to leave Fort Lauderdale at first light and arrive at Settlement Point (West End) at about 3pm.
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Old 30-01-2017, 15:16   #11
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Re: Crossing to Bahamas in an East Wind

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People keep posting and talking about stopping along the way before checking in. Isn't that way to get in trouble?
Put up the Q-flag and don't go ashore. We bypass Bimini and check in at Great Harbour Cay. The Customs and Immigration never asked why we didn't stop to check in at Bimini. They just want that $300.00 in cash, and everybody is happy(at least in the Bahamas)....just my 2 cents.

I found a shallow spot at low tide in North Lake Worth too. Actually had a neighbor swim over and move my chain off a concrete block on the bottom.
Always an adventure and new challenges await the cruiser. Have fun!

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Old 30-01-2017, 15:21   #12
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Re: Crossing to Bahamas in an East Wind

Skip- there are so many wonderful people and so many amazing sights that we've barely scratched the surface!

Sailorboy- too bad about the hill. I think i know where you are - i remember being very careful around that area last year

While a more favorable course would be nice, its only 35 miles of stream. And we really didnt like Ft L and Miami. So we decided to wait it out stuck to the velcro until a reasonable window opened.

We've heard rumors that a crossing can be glassy and calm, but i think they are just rumors. Haven't seen it yet!

Be safe!
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Old 30-01-2017, 15:24   #13
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Re: Crossing to Bahamas in an East Wind

We often enter the bank and Indian Cay north of West End and with our quarantine flag anchor at Great Sale or Mangrove Cay. We then check in at Green Turtle for our first access to shore. The rule states that you are to clear customs at the nearest point to your entry in Bahamian waters; however, practices vary.
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Old 30-01-2017, 16:08   #14
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Re: Crossing to Bahamas in an East Wind

At 6'4" draft I'm staying away from that Indian Cay channel!
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Old 30-01-2017, 20:59   #15
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Re: Crossing to Bahamas in an East Wind

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We've heard rumors that a crossing can be glassy and calm, but i think they are just rumors. Haven't seen it yet!
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It can happen, even in the winter time. It's really not necessary to wait for a flat calm however. Anything under 10 should be reasonably comfortable for most folks.
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