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Old 21-01-2014, 12:48   #1
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30' Gemini crossing Gulf Stream to the Bahamas

Good afternoon,
This is my first post to the forum and appreciate feedback/advise from any of the seasoned sailors in this network.

While we have crewed a 36' PDQ from the USVI to Tampa & done some sailing in the USVI, as well as our local lake, we consider ourselves novices. We bought a 1989 Gemini 3000 & have done all the improvements we thought necessary to take her cruising. Now, we've brought her down the river system to the gulf but have not yet crossed over from Apalachicola to the west coast of FL. Not enough weather window this time of year for our comfort level. Locals have warned us of the armpit/Golden Coast "washing machine" in Jan & Feb & given the delays we've already experienced, we've decided to stay put until March. Longterm, however, we are wanting to get over to the Bahamas for a few weeks/months.

QUESTION: Considering our lack of experience, what time of year is best for crossing Gulf Stream, Mar-April or Nov-Dec? Our thoughts are that we don't plan on being on the water there during hurricane season, although we're not too concerned about June. (comments?) Also, considering the time of of year (April)is there any advantage of cruising south to north or vice/versa? That will help us decide if in March when we head out again if we head to Key West & around to Southern Bahamas or if we cut across St Lucie & head on over in April. Thanks for the advise. BTW.. we run average of 5.5 kts motoring; 7 kt if we have to push it (50 HP Honda) and up to 8-9 kts with favorable 15 kt winds. The boat has daggerboards in each hull and kick up rudders so we can take shallow water.

Thank you for your advise!
CC
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Old 21-01-2014, 13:35   #2
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Re: 30' Gemini crossing Gulf Stream to the Bahamas

Welcome aboard, fellow Geminite! I think either is a great time to go...March through June is probably the best weather with frequent weather windows to cross the Gulf Stream...Nov/Dec is good too, but you'll need to plan for longer waits if you're coming back in January. Most cruisers head from Lake Worth (Palm Beach) to cross to the Abacos and from Miami or Key Largo to head towards the Exumas, although you can ride the stream from Marathon or Key West if you wish. You're boat is perfect for either the Abacos or the Exumas, as long as you're prepared, patient and prudent...wait for the right weather, and tuck yourself in when a storm's coming. Hope you go, and hope you have a great time...it's my favorite place to cruise (especially the Exumas).
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Old 21-01-2014, 13:49   #3
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Re: 30' Gemini crossing Gulf Stream to the Bahamas

Quote:
Originally Posted by Waterway Guide View Post

Welcome aboard, fellow Geminite! ----
LOL Love the term Mike!
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Old 21-01-2014, 15:00   #4
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Re: 30' Gemini crossing Gulf Stream to the Bahamas

Crossing the stream is a snap if you obey the rules and pick your weather .Can be done 12 months of the year. Next is the Little Bahama and Big Bahama Banks. I had 24 hour weather windows and crossed the stream to Bimini and West End and got beat up crossing the banks especially the Big bank. Just throwing that out as food for thought.
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Old 21-01-2014, 16:12   #5
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Re: 30' Gemini crossing Gulf Stream to the Bahamas

THanks for the recommendations. What about the whole directional thing: south to north or north to south. Our logic was since this time of year/ not quite summer, we'd start out in Exumas (south) and work our way north as the weather turned to summer. We'd heard winter-early spring in Abacos/north held much rain & storms, higher winds. Comments??
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Old 21-01-2014, 16:54   #6
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Re: 30' Gemini crossing Gulf Stream to the Bahamas

Depend on the year. If it's cold in florida, like now, it's usually not great in the abacos and windier than average in the Exumas.

abacos are great in early summer, but the of course the Exumas are nearly empty then.
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Old 21-01-2014, 16:55   #7
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Re: 30' Gemini crossing Gulf Stream to the Bahamas

being floridians ourselves, we've found that, in the winter, the water feels cold to us even in the exumas. we used to cross in january but i got tired of spending weeks waiting for crossing weather. now we wait for spring.
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Old 21-01-2014, 17:03   #8
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Re: 30' Gemini crossing Gulf Stream to the Bahamas

Maybe up to a 2+ week wait to cross in Feb, but if you just wait and pick the crossing it'll be a piece of cake. The NE wind is bad, wait for a predicted SE> then S >>then quick Westerly as it clocks around. Flat calm Gulfstream if you do.
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Old 22-01-2014, 09:48   #9
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Re: 30' Gemini crossing Gulf Stream to the Bahamas

Being new to sailing this is the kind of stuff I go on this forum for grate info and grate ? cclyerly happy sailing to you im 5 to 8 years out myself.
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