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Old 01-02-2009, 11:09   #1
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Bahama Bank Weather

Ok, I did my first crossing from Miami to Bimini last week watching the weather to clock around as suggested and had a great trip to Bimini. Left her in the marina and flew back to Florida.

Now I looking to move her from Bimini to Nassua and then Marsh Harbor. I have not sailed in the Bahamas or on the banks before so:

1. I don't know what weather I am looking for for the move from Bimini to Nassau.

2. The NOAA websites I have used don't show the bahamas so where is a good site to look at this weather?

3. When Crossing the deep water from Chub to Nassua and from Nassua to Abaco, what should I expect for waves and such?

Thanks a Ton.


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Old 01-02-2009, 12:54   #2
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If you have an SSB or a shortwave receiver onboard, you can listen to Chris Parker each morning. He begins at 1100 UTC. His forecasts are generally very good. You can sign up for personalized forecasts via SSB or email. I used Chris's service for a passage from St Thomas to Tampa Bay last November, and he was spot on with the weather, and very responsive to our needs. Here's a link: CARIBWX The Caribbean Weather Site

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Old 01-02-2009, 16:18   #3
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On internet you can find several web pages covering the Bahamas. One page I was using is "windguru" and that page cover the whole Caribbean as well as the rest of the World. My expierence of windguru's "weather guess" is close to reality during my cruises around whole Caribbean. For your Bahama weather is the adress:

WindGURU: Bahamas - Nassau
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Old 01-02-2009, 17:07   #4
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Here's one of the best and most useful WX sites out there, and it's coverage is worldwide.

For the area you want, select the small area showing the northern Bahamas and South Florida (outlined in yellow).

Be sure to click thru the images and watch the timeline. You can clearly see the fronts coming and going, and their effect on wind and sea state.

PassageWeather - Wind, Wave and Weather Forecasts for Sailors and Adventurers

You might also listen to Bahamas WX given each morning at 0745 on the Waterway Net: 7268 LSB Often lots of boats from the Bahamas check into this ham net. If you're not a ham, you can't talk, but you can gather a lot just by listening.

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Old 02-02-2009, 13:48   #5
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I write this in Hopetown, Abacos.

I tend to use, even though the Abacos are only just on the Florida weather maps

You shouldn't have any problems getting to the Abacos from Nassau in a 47ft catamaran. BUT you may have a problem getting in through the cuts at Little Harbor or North Bar. It would be a shame to get to the entrance and then have it too rough to get in

The best place to look for the sea state in the cuts is

Hope to see you here!!

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currently on board his 34ft catamaran Romany
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Old 02-02-2009, 17:44   #6
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I second Hud's recommendation for Chris Parker. On a recent trip from West End to Nassau he not only called the winds and sea states (which were changing from S to N) exactly, but offered good strategy for our route as well that avoided some time spent slamming into 6 footers near the Berry's. My son signed up with his service and has said it's the best money he spent.
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Old 09-02-2009, 20:38   #7
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Shawn, in addition the the great suggestions above, I'll add my following observations:

Bahama weather systems are often similar to SE Florida, but later. The further east you go, the longer it will take to hit you. (Maybe 1/2 day in the Bimini-Berry islands and 1 day or so in the Exumas)

Traveling on the banks, tends to knock the waves way down compared to deeper water, but you'll likely encounter much larger seas crossing from the Berry Islands to Nassau. When I did this in my pocket cruiser, the seas were 9 feet and I couldn't make Nassau on one tack so I tucked into the big bay on the west end of New Providence. If the weather isn't right and you don't have a compelling reason to go to Nassau, I recommend being open to heading from the Berry Islands up to the Abacos without stopping in Nassau. Flexibility often leads to more pleasant sailing conditions.

Have a great trip!

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