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Old 26-09-2013, 14:23   #1
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East coast to the Abacos from other than Florida

Hi all,

The family and I are preparing to head south in the next month or so from Annapolis. I am interested in others experience with jumping offshore from the east coast to the Abacos. Other than the ICW to Florida, what are some good spots to jump off from and head offshore to make the trip. Also, what is the latest in the year you would consider this a viable alternative. I know weather is subjective and each window is different, just looking for generalities here. Thanks in advance.
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Old 26-09-2013, 15:00   #2
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Re: East coast to the Abacos from other than Florida

Easiest way is to come down the ICW to Beaufort, NC then shoot over the stream and come in either at Walkers Cay or any eastern Abaco cut. If you are in the Vega I would work my way all the way down to lake worth Inlet and then hop over to West End.
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Old 27-09-2013, 02:28   #3
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Re: East coast to the Abacos from other than Florida

We've made this trip from Annapolis twice, leaving in late October. Both times we encountered very cold weather until we got to far south. There's a reason most snowbirds leave in September or early October. I would not go offshore any later in the season unless I had a cockpit enclosure.

Also, Abacos can get cold and windy in January and February, especially with nor'easterlies. Most cruisers head to the Exumas or farther south.


West Marine and the boat show offer seminars on going south that I've found are both helpful.
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Old 27-09-2013, 05:15   #4
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Re: East coast to the Abacos from other than Florida

Thanks for the replies. The soonest we could leave is mid october. I any other good spots to jump off from?
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Old 27-09-2013, 06:20   #5
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Re: East coast to the Abacos from other than Florida

The off-shore weather has now changed: the Bermuda high has broken down and the fall lows are starting to march through. While there are tropical waves off the Caribbean that could turn into tropical systems.

You can work south now down the ICW and close inshore until you get to Georgia or Florida. In a small boat, I used to do it in a Corsair F31 which was fast but hardly robust, the further south the easier the crossing to the Bahamas. Miami to West End rides the Stream and takes, in favorable winds out of the south or west, 20-24 hours even in a small boat. It is much easier to push south on the US side where there are multiple safe havens.

Then it is a matter of waiting for a window that will give you favorable wind across the Gulf Stream without the danger of a strong northerly low or a late tropical storm. Unless you are expert in weather it might be worth subscribing to Chris Parker's weather prediction service.
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Old 28-09-2013, 06:55   #6
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Re: East coast to the Abacos from other than Florida

I agree that Miami to West End likely is the easiest. But if you have a good weather window, Lake Worth to West End is OK, too. Another option is Miami to Bimini.
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Old 28-09-2013, 07:44   #7
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Lake Worth to West End is easy in a weather window and takes about 12 hr. next favorite is No Name harbour just south of Miami to Bimini, also about 10-12 hr
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