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Old 30-12-2017, 02:51   #16
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Re: Gulf Stream Crossing Weather

ASCAT winds and actual observations are showing the NW shift today.

A couple of ship observations further N are showing winds in the 20 knot range...something to keep an eye on during the day.

http://www.ndbc.noaa.gov/radial_sear...50&ot=A&time=2

What are you guys waiting to jump seeing where you are?
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Old 30-12-2017, 03:58   #17
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Re: Gulf Stream Crossing Weather

300530 DEC 17 Lake Worth winds N at 6 To 8.
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Old 30-12-2017, 04:54   #18
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pirate Re: Gulf Stream Crossing Weather

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Originally Posted by belizesailor View Post
Earlier this week the models were indeed jumping all over the place, but so far this NW shift has been more consistent and most models agree...whereas before (for the S shift) they did not.

And, Im a lot more confident in a < 24 hour forecast than days out.

Tomorrow will tell...
My post was intended only as a picture of acceptable wind conditions.. and decreased sea's.
I too am not naÔve enough to accept as fact a forecast so far ahead..
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Old 30-12-2017, 05:44   #19
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Re: Gulf Stream Crossing Weather

I answer the question, 0 knots from the north and no north wind for at least a day.
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Old 30-12-2017, 06:25   #20
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Re: Gulf Stream Crossing Weather

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I answer the question, 0 knots from the north and no north wind for at least a day.
Thanks for a direct answer - however it sounds like the standard “book answer”...how many times have you crossed and what were your worst wind/sea state conditions?
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Old 30-12-2017, 06:29   #21
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Re: Gulf Stream Crossing Weather

Belize,
Vero Beach City Marina
8:30am
Very light North wind
Foggy
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Old 30-12-2017, 06:56   #22
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Re: Gulf Stream Crossing Weather

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Originally Posted by malyea View Post
Thanks for a direct answer - however it sounds like the standard “book answer”...how many times have you crossed and what were your worst wind/sea state conditions?
Well the book answer is the right answer based on a vast amount of experience. I'm crossed twice. Once going from Lake Worth in a S-SE wind that had 5-10+ seas and was rolly but not too big a deal. Once coming back from Bimini area to Lake Worth with almost no wind but had been from north the day before and there were 10-15' swells that rolled us all over the place and was by far suckier.

If you want permission to go aganist the "book" common wisdom, just go.
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Old 30-12-2017, 07:00   #23
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Re: Gulf Stream Crossing Weather

If your all talking about Sat today the seas are up to 8ft in the gulf stream. Doesn't sound pleasant. I'm also in west Palm waiting but will probably move south as it doesn't look good for the next week.
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Old 30-12-2017, 07:45   #24
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Re: Gulf Stream Crossing Weather

A north wind of ten knots is quite doable as long as it's not clocking quickly and you're going from Lauderdale/Miami to North Rock. This is in a case where the wind has not been blowing hard from the north prior to the ten knots. You must remember that you're steering about 130 degrees in a boat that does six knots.

It is quite acceptable if you're only going to Bimini and don't mind waiting for the next front to head further east/south.

I go directly to Nassau and the problem with the north wind clocking is that if you're not fast enough it's in the east and it's a slog across the Bank and worse in the Tongue of the Ocean. I have had to stop at Frazers Hog Cay more than a couple of times when the wind got ahead of me.

As for coming home it's nearly always a rolly night ride to Lake Worth from New Providence via North Rock.

I use Passage Weather and it has been quite reliable for the day and a half it takes to get from Miami to Nassau. Problems only arise if you've been waiting a bit in Miami and get antsy so you take a less than optimum window. I sometimes did that in the past but have become much more patient in my old age.
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Old 30-12-2017, 08:09   #25
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Re: Gulf Stream Crossing Weather

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Originally Posted by Vasco View Post
A north wind of ten knots is quite doable as long as it's not clocking quickly and you're going from Lauderdale/Miami to North Rock. This is in a case where the wind has not been blowing hard from the north prior to the ten knots. You must remember that you're steering about 130 degrees in a boat that does six knots.

It is quite acceptable if you're only going to Bimini and don't mind waiting for the next front to head further east/south.

I go directly to Nassau and the problem with the north wind clocking is that if you're not fast enough it's in the east and it's a slog across the Bank and worse in the Tongue of the Ocean. I have had to stop at Frazers Hog Cay more than a couple of times when the wind got ahead of me.

As for coming home it's nearly always a rolly night ride to Lake Worth from New Providence via North Rock.

I use Passage Weather and it has been quite reliable for the day and a half it takes to get from Miami to Nassau. Problems only arise if you've been waiting a bit in Miami and get antsy so you take a less than optimum window. I sometimes did that in the past but have become much more patient in my old age.
I think this is a really good summary to answer your question. As others have mentioned, if it's been out of the north for a few days and the waves are big, it's no fun in more than about 10 knots. Even in light winds out of the north, if its just starting to subside, you're going to be bouncing around a lot and if you wait just one more day for things to die down you'll enjoy it a lot more. If the wind is just clocking around to come out of the north, I might use 15 knots as my maximum, but then, as Vasco said, if it continues around to be out of the east, you'll be tacking into it once you're across, but that's sailing....

Since you asked, my perspective comes from only 3 crossings but I've also used the stream a few times while delivering boats from Florida to NE but have avoided it when the winds weren't favorable. One crossing was flat calm during the summer, then about a 12 knot breeze out of the SE headed to Lucaya out of Fort Lauderdale, and then a horrible mistake that led me to find myself crossing with winds over 40 knots (saw 68 knot gust) out of the north and seas so big/steep/frightening you'll think I'm lying if I tell you how big they were. But with a pair of binoculars on a clear day you can look out and see the sea state in the stream from a 3 or 4 story building (or up your mast) in Florida. If it looks like there's a herd of elephants out there on the horizon, wait a little longer.
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Old 30-12-2017, 10:54   #26
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Re: Gulf Stream Crossing Weather

Generally really good info; thanks! More on the expanded root of my question... I’ve sailed/crossed the stream with 10 to 15 kts northerly wind in the area from NE Florida up the Carolinas (the stream is a bit wider/slower there) - but have never crossed in the area of south Florida ... so I’m comparing how conditions may be different as judged by experienced sailors given that waiting on book answer perfect conditions keeps many boats with anchors set rather than sails set. Thanks for the good info - hope to cross in early Feb after sailing down from St Augustine. Cheers.
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Old 30-12-2017, 16:52   #27
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Re: Gulf Stream Crossing Weather

Done it from Lauderdale to West End 6 times now. However we're in a 37 ft cat. The Admiral doesn't like anything from the beam forward and honestly I don't either in the cat. Hate the slamming. Our experience is the fronts come through quickly once they hit east/SE. As soon as it clocks to south we're usually on it unless it was blowing hard from the N /NE for quite a few days, then the ocean swell is still left over from that direction and the top waves are from the wind direction. That's no fun for us. Usually it fully clocks back to NW by the end of the day after going S/SW so that's your window, if the sea state is allowable? Usually rain and thunderstorm activity is all along the Florida coast behind you but eventually crosses to West End by the end of the day so you want to be tucked in by dark! Then you might be stuck in West End from 2-5 days till it settles down and you can jump to Great Sale then Green Turtle. If your lucky enough to get West to NW winds not blowing too bad the second day, then get out of West End and around the corner to at least Great Sail Cay asap. From there you can turn the corner beating E to NE as the wind usually clocks. Get to Green Turtle and start enjoying The Abacos. Hopefully we'll be doing our own crossing once more in about 3 weeks. This time to Lucaya though hopefully? Join the Royal Marsh Harbour YC online if staying in the Abacos. Worth the discounts you receive especially at West End if you get stuck there!
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Old 30-12-2017, 20:10   #28
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Re: Gulf Stream Crossing Weather

15 Knots and that will be a rough passage. 10 or less is better and better yet wait for SE to W.
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Old 31-12-2017, 03:50   #29
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Re: Gulf Stream Crossing Weather

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Originally Posted by hpeer View Post
Yeah, sitting in Vero Beach thinking similar thoughts. Saturday is a bit to quick for us and it donít look too great anyway. Just getting going on our way South, not interested in upsetting the Admiral right off.

And the GRIB files Iíve been watching arenít real consistent. Things jumping around a lot every update. Looks like we will sit out the first here. Get a car for some running around on the 2nd. Then maybe run South in hopes of a better window. Weíve a long way to go and time, no sense getting beat up straight away.

Now letís see if I stick to that or get antsy.
Greetings from sunny and cold Vero, where we're taking a day trip to Ft. Pierce and back, with visiting furriners and some family today, and then looking for OUR window as well.

Our metric (OP's question) is that if the waves are under 4', even if square it's manageable. Less is better, of course.

However, we were once routed into the GS by Chris Parker in the face of winds that were forecast to move north. It was because it hadn't been north for several days before, and would be relatively light. It was one of our best crossings.

If you have SSB, listen to Chris, as that question will be present in every one of his broadcasts in this time frame.

But for us, if it's been southerly in general, or quiet, we'd go in 10-15 knots; his recent forecast for such a day had it at 2-3' becoming 3-5. But if you're already out of it, or in it just as it's starting, it's a non-event for us or any other boat with comfort in those sea levels, even with short periods.

Use windy(previously windyty).com and the wave forecasts, and move the cursor around in the area you'll cross for a better look at both height and period.

Perhaps we'll be crossing with you!
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Old 31-12-2017, 05:46   #30
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Re: Gulf Stream Crossing Weather

Weve crossed 6+ times, north under 10 is usually fine, an easterly in the 10+knot range makes for a nasty confused sea state in the stream. Look at actual buoy data forget an idea of real conditions. The forecasts always seem light i.e. when it says 5-10 We see 12-17 tws
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