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Old 13-05-2016, 11:01   #16
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Re: Crossing to Bahamas Via West Palm or Ft. Lauderdale

Quote:
Originally Posted by theodyssey View Post
everyone - this is fantastic. thank you.

and correction: yes. I meant heading SE [as opposed to NE]. sorry about that.

from this and the people I've spoken to, leaving at night would be best, but with me being a newbie, I'm a bit uncomfortable with that, so plan on leaving Palm Beach at first light, which should at least give me a few hours of proper light once I get to West End.

would love any anchorages you all might have around there, as the one marina seems to be charging ridiculous amounts of $ [not to mention a $15 water fee - even though it's undrinkable?!] just to clear, and then leave.

again - thanks to all. this helps ease the worry a bit. ha.

In the West End area I've anchored in both Cross Bay and the anchorage around behind the entrance wall kind of off the Beach Bar (on the bank), several times in each. The bank location gets quite a current and the bottom is fairly scoured and hard. Cross Bay can get some surge depending on what the weather has been doing and is obviously not where you want to be if there is any chance of a northerly wind. both of these locations are an easy dingy ride into the Marina.

I've also anchored behind the crescent shaped sandbar just north of Sandy Cay and in the "deep water" tongue extending south off the Indian Cay passage.

I usually day sail from Lake Worth/West Palm, leaving before sunrise in the winter. If there is a stiff wind with a strong southerly component forecast to last a while, I head down to Fort Lauderdale and department from there. but I see no reason to do this if winds are favorable for a Lake Worth departure, especially given the anchoring limitations at Fort Lauderdale.

While I usually use the Indican Cay passage, there is a much easier, more straight forward option (with no reefs) just north of Sandy Cay that I used to exist last time, that is not as far north as Memory Rock.
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Old 13-05-2016, 16:28   #17
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Re: Crossing to Bahamas Via West Palm or Ft. Lauderdale

Buy the Explorer Charts. You will need them for navigation. Will also have some basic info on crossing, customs check-in, etc. Been in Exumas for a month and now back north. Nassau today.

Oh, and this has been a horrible summer for weather. Lots of late season norther. I have heard Chris Parker say three times, this should be the last norther, and it wasn't. With the strong winds though, at least we've sailed every where. Little gasoline use!
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Old 17-05-2016, 08:07   #18
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Re: Crossing to Bahamas Via West Palm or Ft. Lauderdale

thanks again to everyone for the information. it really means a lot. should be leaving sometime this weekend [bridge closing here put a halt on things], or early next week. no doubt will have 1001 more questions once I arrive, so thanks in advance.

ps - picked up the Explorer Charts as suggested, and am very glad I did/you all told me to.
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Old 18-05-2016, 16:51   #19
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Re: Crossing to Bahamas Via West Palm or Ft. Lauderdale

Do you have an ssb receiver on board? Some way to get weather? First step was to get the charts. Next item is weather. There is a lot of crappy weather happen now, and you don't want to just jump into the gulf stream uninformed. We've been at chub cay for two days now watching rain and lightening hoping for it to clear up for our 80 nm run to Bimini. Which will include spending the night anchored on the banks. This stuff takes some planning. Ditto foe crossing the gulf stream. It can be benign, or it can be a real bear. Do your homework. Don't be a coast guard or BASRA liability.
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Old 18-05-2016, 16:55   #20
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Re: Crossing to Bahamas Via West Palm or Ft. Lauderdale

Eric - I will come find you on the dock and give you the run down, I just crossed over on may seventh in a 13-17kt norther and it was spectacular, came back Monday night in 20-25kts out of the south east, Marti and Mary have fun, see you soon! ill be heading back around first of june
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Old 18-05-2016, 17:00   #21
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Re: Crossing to Bahamas Via West Palm or Ft. Lauderdale

If you are so unskilled in navigation that you do not know how to plot current vectors you should not go in the big ocean.
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Old 19-05-2016, 06:10   #22
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Re: Crossing to Bahamas Via West Palm or Ft. Lauderdale

this time of year it is going to get harder and harder to find a good sailing opportunity. other pertinent information:

the gulfstream is at your door step at lake worth inlet. there is typically 2 to 3 knots of north current at the sea buoy 1 mile out. the gulf stream is worst thru 79.40" (the first 20 miles) after that it tapers off and you can even get a counter current as you approach the banks...

when you are in the stream keep the bow pointed straight east, c.o.g will be way north of east, but if you try to stem the stream even a little speed will take a huge hit and you just want to get out of it as soon as possible.

I would skip west end and aim high on the bank and go clear in at grand cay. its 100+ miles but once you are on the banks you can anchor or drift and catch some sleep. west end will be tough to lay unless you get a good SW breeze, or leave from ft.lauderdale.

if you get an E clocking S or SE breeze you can run the east breeze down the beach to the south and then point her east or north of east when the wind gets enough south in it... tiller pilot???
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