Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 24-08-2013, 07:17   #1
Marine Service Provider

Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: St Augustine
Boat: '87 Irwin 43
Posts: 146
Sailing Jacksonville to the Abacos

Starting to plan an offshore passage from NE Florida to the Abacos. My preferred route is all offshore avoiding the 'standard sail south to Ft Lauderdale and head east'.

The plan is head east out of St Augustine to cross the stream then head south east to leave Little Bahamas Bank well to starboard keeping in deep water to gain enough southing to then make landfall from east to west in the Abacos.

I've never sailed this route before and would like to hear from anyone who has.

Thanks!
__________________

__________________
malyea is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-08-2013, 17:20   #2
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Jacksonville, FL
Boat: Dean 365
Posts: 36
Re: Sailing Jacksonville to the Abacos

I have done it 2 or 3 times from Jacksonville and St. Augustine. It works fine and is usually much easier than going down the ditch. I have only done it in the spring time, not in the winter when the fronts are more frequent.

I try to leave just as the wind goes south, going straight across the Gulf Stream then start turning southeast as the wind goes SW, W and N. Once I get across the main part of the Gulf Stream, I don't worry quite as much about a Norther coming through.

If you are fast or the weather system is slow, you beat the Norther easily. However, when you get to the Abacos a strong Northeaster can make it dangerous going in Whale Key Pass (my favorite, it is easy to clear customs at Green Turtle) or most of the others. You may have to dawdle for a while to let the waves settle or continue down to Eleuthera, etc.. When you get close, you can monitor the cruiser's net or ask about pass conditions on the VHF.

Good luck.
__________________

__________________
Meandercp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-08-2013, 07:24   #3
Marine Service Provider

Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: St Augustine
Boat: '87 Irwin 43
Posts: 146
Re: Sailing Jacksonville to the Abacos

Great info, thanks. By chance do you have any lat/longs from your log for your typical track.

I presume that you avoid the shallows of the Little Bahamas Bank due to what I imagine to be choppy sea state...Are there any conditions when you would consider cutting across the LB Bank?

Thanks
__________________
malyea is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-08-2013, 09:31   #4
Marine Service Provider
 
AnchorageGuy's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Wherever the boat is!
Boat: Marine Trader 34DC
Posts: 4,618
Re: Sailing Jacksonville to the Abacos

You do have to plan your weather very carefully approaching the Abacos from the north. We have seen the winds blow for days and create unsafe conditions in all of the passes. Dawdling for a while could mean a couple of days or a week depending on what's going on. With a 30 foot Hunter, you will need reasonably settled weather. You don't say what time of the year you plan to go. Chuck
__________________
Chesapeake Bay, ICW Hampton Roads To Key West, The Gulf Coast, The Bahamas

The Trawler Beach House
Voyages Of Sea Trek
AnchorageGuy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-08-2013, 13:53   #5
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Jacksonville, FL
Boat: Dean 365
Posts: 36
Re: Sailing Jacksonville to the Abacos

I use the waypoints in Steve Dodge's Cruising Guide to Abaco and the Explorer Charts as guides and to line up to go through a pass, but you need to look your way through passes and on the banks.

I have also crossed the Little Bahama Bank a number of times and it is no problem either. When I cross from West Palm or Ft. Lauderdale, I enter the bank at Indian Rocks, Memory Rock, or White Sand Ridge. I have never entered the Little Bahama Bank from between north east of White Sand Ridge and Walker's Cay because of the sand bores and reefs. Sailing on the Little Bahama Bank is not bad, unless the wind is from E to SE, then you will have to wait or motor. I don't sail at night on the bank and there are more things to bump into than on the ocean.

There are a number of passes from the ocean to the banks between Walker's and Whale Cay and I have used some leaving the Abacos on a nice day, but I am way too cowardly to try them on the way in. The reef seems to be farther out, it is harder to see breakers from seaward, and I just don't trust my GPS enough when I have no other good landmarks. Whale Cay, North Bar and Little Harbor passes are my speed.

Waterwayguy is right that to dawdle may mean a fairly long wait for weather. That is why I mentioned possibly continuing down to Eleuthera or maybe even the Exumas.
__________________
Meandercp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-08-2013, 08:30   #6
Marine Service Provider

Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: St Augustine
Boat: '87 Irwin 43
Posts: 146
Re: Sailing Jacksonville to the Abacos

Great info - thanks!

I'm actually researching 'offshore passage training routes' on which to sail with student clients out of NE Florida. Bermuda looks good at just over 1000 nm, Bermuda to Bahamas at about 1000 nm and St Augustine to Bahamas (Abacos or point south) at 400 to 550 nm.

Time of year, wind and weather windows would all dictate the itinerary and provide passage choices for the offshore training.

Thanks!
__________________
malyea is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29-08-2013, 09:51   #7
CF Adviser
Moderator Emeritus
 
Hud3's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Virginia
Boat: Island Packet 380, now sold
Posts: 8,929
Images: 49
Re: Sailing Jacksonville to the Abacos

If you head out far enough (~77W), you can likely pick up a countercurrent to give you a boost south.

Here's a link: Mid-Atlantic Coastal Currents
.
I had one working against me when I headed from Moraine Cay Channel (North Abaco) to pick up the Gulf Stream off Cape Canaveral.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	offshore currents.jpg
Views:	115
Size:	189.6 KB
ID:	66171  
__________________
Hud
Hud3 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30-08-2013, 06:23   #8
Marine Service Provider

Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: St Augustine
Boat: '87 Irwin 43
Posts: 146
Re: Sailing Jacksonville to the Abacos

Thanks - great link.
__________________

__________________
malyea is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
abaco, jacksonville, sail, sailing

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 08:36.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.