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Old 10-03-2009, 19:11   #1
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Abacos to Savannah passage

We're thinking of sailing from the Abacos directly to Savannah. We've been looking at Grand Cay or Walker Cay to take off from. Pretty much as north and west as is feasable to anchor and wait for weather. I've also heard it said to leave from Great Sale Cay. Is there an advantage to jumping off the bank to the west instead of the north?

It's about 340 miles all the way into Savannah proper. I'm thinking it would be roughly 48 hours or so.


Who's done this? Contemplated this? Are you going to do it this spring? How strong is the gulf stream above the bahamas?

I know that you know, so let's have it.

Thanks
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Old 10-03-2009, 19:21   #2
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I've never sailed that area on a sailboat, but I can tell you from excursions in the Navy that the gulf stream will run 4 - 5 kts or more all the way up to Jacksonville at least. Above JAX, you're looking at a bit less, but still fairly substantial current going to the NE or so.
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Old 10-03-2009, 19:31   #3
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I was planning an average of 1.5 knots my entire ride. It may be faster than that. I was planning on entering the stream just south of Cape Canaveral and Crossing at a shallow angle. The average boost may be closer to 2.5 or even 3.
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Old 10-03-2009, 20:28   #4
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I don't think it matters much whether you leave from Sale or Walkers. Last time I made similar passage I left from Sale.

I would take a course more or less NW until I caught the axis of the Gulf Stream and then alter course more northerly to keep the maximum boost for as long as possible, then cut back more westerly to make Savannah.

Of course watch the weather and if things deteriorate or the winds shift to northerly try to get out of the Stream and closer to shore.

Speed of the stream will vary. Where it pinches between FL and the western Bahamas can be 3-4 kts but further north as the stream spreads out this will drop to maybe 1-3 kts.
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