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Old 13-03-2015, 13:02   #16
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Re: Florida to Bahamas - General Provisioning Q's

I've been crossing to the Bahamas for 30 years and let me give you a piece of advise. Of course you'll check the weather and sea state before you go, but I find that roughly 50/50 accurate.

Here's the trick I use. No matter what the weather says, go to the Beach before you go and look at the horizon. If you see elephants marching on the horizon (figuratively speaking), don't go! Unless you like having someone punch you in the stomach the whole way. If you see a smooth horizon (looking east towards the Bahamas) go quick.
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Old 13-03-2015, 15:05   #17
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Re: Florida to Bahamas - General Provisioning Q's

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I've been crossing to the Bahamas for 30 years and let me give you a piece of advise. Of course you'll check the weather and sea state before you go, but I find that roughly 50/50 accurate.

Here's the trick I use. No matter what the weather says, go to the Beach before you go and look at the horizon. If you see elephants marching on the horizon (figuratively speaking), don't go! Unless you like having someone punch you in the stomach the whole way. If you see a smooth horizon (looking east towards the Bahamas) go quick.
I read an article where one of the Albury's from Hopetown, who had made over 200 crossings, said basically the same thing (the elephants thing).

I've always thought a simpler rule was just don't cross in any wind that has a "N" in front of it, or more than 20 knots from any other direction, and that has always worked for me.
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Old 13-03-2015, 19:13   #18
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Re: Florida to Bahamas - General Provisioning Q's

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Hey everyone,

I am planning a voyage from Ft. Pierce to the Bahamas . . .
You've got a beautiful Caliber. We're looking at the 35LRC and would make similar trips in it. Enjoy your trip.
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Old 14-03-2015, 09:05   #19
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Re: Florida to Bahamas - General Provisioning Q's

Thanks Tetra!

And thank you to everyone else for the information. I am not sure about buying a $200 Explorer chip just for the short trip over there, but I will update my Navionics Gold charts with the most recent download. I have my flags and going to start the food provisioning this weekend. I will be taking a cat and dog with me as well- is there anything I need to do regarding clearing them into the country?
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Old 14-03-2015, 22:09   #20
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Re: Florida to Bahamas - General Provisioning Q's

Yes on clearing in animals. Do a search on dogs and Bahamas - there are several recent threads.
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Old 15-03-2015, 04:57   #21
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Re: Florida to Bahamas - General Provisioning Q's

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I

I've always thought a simpler rule was just don't cross in any wind that has a "N" in front of it, or more than 20 knots from any other direction, and that has always worked for me.
Last 2 crossings it was 5-10 ESE, but built to 15 and became very nasty out there. We never pounded on our leopard 38 but it was rough.



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Old 15-03-2015, 07:35   #22
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Re: Florida to Bahamas - General Provisioning Q's

With your time schedule, you need to get moving on the pets now! We just got this done last week. The average wait is several weeks unless you FedEx the paperwork to them and pay the extra $5 to have it faxed back to you. The info and form are here:

http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j...88198703,d.eXY

You also have to get a vet signature on the returned paperwork ... supposedly within 24 hours of leaving. Try to find one that will leave the date blank for you ...

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Old 15-03-2015, 07:38   #23
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Re: Florida to Bahamas - General Provisioning Q's

Oh .. btw, we called the Bahamas Dept of Agriculture before sending our paperwork and they said the cost is now $10.75/animal rather than $10.00 as stated on the instructions

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Old 15-03-2015, 19:39   #24
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Re: Florida to Bahamas - General Provisioning Q's

Ok thanks for the link about the pets. Luckily I do have a vet sheet with a blank date so I'll be good to go with that.


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Old 16-03-2015, 07:26   #25
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Re: Florida to Bahamas - General Provisioning Q's

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Last 2 crossings it was 5-10 ESE, but built to 15 and became very nasty out there. We never pounded on our leopard 38 but it was rough.



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That's the problem with defining "rough". It's not going to be the same for everyone. And, as I get older, "Rough" applies to milder and milder conditions.

Only Gulf Stream crossing I ever had I would call "rough" was my first one, that I did one night with 20 knot winds out of the north, on a 38 foot sloop. I was young, back in the eighties, when I was in my twenties, with four other guys (only one of whom in the boat who had ever crossed it before). And, we knew it would be rough, but not knowing any better, we went anyway. We ended up in waves around ten feet high, but the big problem was how steep they were and how close together the crests were.

I won't say for sure it was the most horrible time I ever had on a boat, but it was definitely in the top three. We were hitting the bottom of troughs, and burying the bow with water coming back halfway to cockpit some times (everything in the boat got wet from leaking hatches). I never get seasick, but I sure was that night after my watch was over and I tried to sleep in the forward v-birth. I was going completely weightless laying there at times and after getting sick I went back out to the cockpit and rode it out there the rest of the way.

When we arrived off Bimini, around five the next morning and hove to, waiting for enough light to go in, I actually considered jumping in and swimming to the beach a few times as we would get within a few hundred yards of it, because I wanted off that boat so bad.

Since then, I've made many more passages across. I've crossed in 4-5 foot waves with 10-15 knot winds (but, not out of the north) a few times and I just don't consider that a rough passage. I've never been across on a flat calm day that I used to see a lot when I lived down there, out of bad luck and a certain amount of impatience. (My sister in law motorsailed across one night in very light winds when she said it was as flat as a pancake). But, I won't ever do it the way I did it that first time.
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Old 16-03-2015, 08:26   #26
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Re: Florida to Bahamas - General Provisioning Q's

Group9, wow that sounds horrible! I am dreading bad conditions having the pets on board but obviously planning for the worst


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Old 16-03-2015, 09:14   #27
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Re: Florida to Bahamas - General Provisioning Q's

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Thanks Tetra!

And thank you to everyone else for the information. I am not sure about buying a $200 Explorer chip just for the short trip over there, but I will update my Navionics Gold charts with the most recent download. I have my flags and going to start the food provisioning this weekend. I will be taking a cat and dog with me as well- is there anything I need to do regarding clearing them into the country?

Did not know they made chips. You can find used explorer charts for $20 to $40, new around $60? Been a while since I purchased.


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Old 16-03-2015, 09:48   #28
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Re: Florida to Bahamas - General Provisioning Q's

DO NOT use Navionics if you have a choice and if you're stuck with Navionics DO NOT rely on them. Explorer paper charts, Garmin or C-Map electronic. Navionics Bahamas charts suck big time.


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Old 16-03-2015, 09:56   #29
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Re: Florida to Bahamas - General Provisioning Q's

Provision until your boat will hold no more. EVERYTHING is at least double the stateside price over here!
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Old 16-03-2015, 10:21   #30
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Re: Florida to Bahamas - General Provisioning Q's

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Group9, wow that sounds horrible! I am dreading bad conditions having the pets on board but obviously planning for the worst


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Live and learn. If you wait long enough, you will get a good weather window. No sense in starting your trip out by getting beat up.

I like staging out of no-name harbor, the best, and coming in at Gun Cay, and then clearing at Chub Cay, but I've left from Port Everglades, too and entered at Bimini, too.

Once, you're over, about the only weather you get this time of year are the fronts, which can blow up to 40 knots or so at times.

You'll have a blast!
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