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Old 04-11-2012, 10:26   #1
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Florida Keys to Turks and Caicos

We are leaving Galveston in a week or two headed for the Keys. From there we are going to PR. We are considering heading strait to T&C from the Keys via the Old Bahamas Channel (skipping the Bahamas all together).

Has anyone here done this route before? Any advice? Looks like we may be going against a slight current but not too bad. Any insight provided by you "old salts" out there would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 04-11-2012, 10:32   #2
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Re: Florida Keys to Turks and Caicos

Dont really know but isnt it more than a slight current? Also, wouldnt Caymans> Jamaica> Dr> PR from Galveston be more direct?
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Old 04-11-2012, 10:42   #3
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Re: Florida Keys to Turks and Caicos

We are planning to stop in the Keys for a bit to visit some friends. I can't get an accurate prediction of how strong the current may be but it looks like pos <1.0 kt.

Is this correct?
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Old 04-11-2012, 10:43   #4
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Re: Florida Keys to Turks and Caicos

also, we want to visit T&C
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Old 04-11-2012, 10:48   #5
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Re: Florida Keys to Turks and Caicos

Galveston to Caymans is almost 1000 nautical miles. Not sure we want to bite that one off right out of the gate.
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Old 04-11-2012, 10:52   #6
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Re: Florida Keys to Turks and Caicos

Ya , I hear you. Why not just go thru the Bahamas? It must be quite a ways from the keys to T&C? Maybe the current in the channel is not that bad... I'm not sure. My guess is you could overnight on the Bahamas side of the Old Bahamas Channel with no issues. Nobody over there from what I've heard.... except alot of conch and lobster! Put the Q flag up and "fix your engine problem".
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Old 04-11-2012, 11:09   #7
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Re: Florida Keys to Turks and Caicos

Right on. Good idea, This engine does tend to give me the darndest problems every time I pass the lee shore of a deserted island around dusk.

tisk...tisk...
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Old 04-11-2012, 11:47   #8
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Re: Florida Keys to Turks and Caicos

Have made the trip down the Old Bahamas Channel. The current wasn't too bad but it has been 30 years so can't recall exactly what we saw. Also that was the pre GPS days so a little harder to calculate the current down to a fraction.

The main thing is there is no where to go for US citizens. I understand you can claim hardship and stop in Cuba but that far east I think there will be few resources. On the Bahamas side there is one very small island, Cayo Lobos, that is almost big enough to give you a lee for anchoring.

Otherwise, it is a long hard slog against wind and current with no easy place to stop and take a break if you get tired punching into it or it pipes up and gets rougher than you feel like tolerating.
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Old 04-11-2012, 11:56   #9
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Re: Florida Keys to Turks and Caicos

Thanks skipmac.

I may just need to quit being a cheapskate and pay the $300 cruising fees to go through the Bahamas. I don't want to get beat to death trying to slog through the channel if it's going to be rough but 300 bucks is 300 bucks --that's a lot of rum.

Just trying to take the back roads to avoid the tolls.
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Old 04-11-2012, 20:14   #10
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Re: Florida Keys to Turks and Caicos

I understand. The $300 tariff to clear into the Bahamas is pretty stiff. But there are lots of places to stop and see that are very much off the beaten track and I found it a lot more fun to island hop that bash and crash.

One more thing, would not call the OBC a back road by any means. It is a major thoroughfare for big ships headed to south FL, Savanah or to the Gulf of Mexico. Trip at times is more like driving down the interstate with 18 wheelers flying by in both directions.
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Old 05-11-2012, 08:46   #11
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Re: Florida Keys to Turks and Caicos

Thanks again,

Looks like I'm going to be traveling on the $300 toll road.
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Old 05-11-2012, 09:11   #12
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Re: Florida Keys to Turks and Caicos

Pay the $300. Go out through "Hole In The Wall" as easterly as you can, cut in behind Mayaguana and end up in Provo. If it gets nasty before you get to Mayaguana, turn south earlier and get some cover behind Acklin/Crooked.
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Old 05-11-2012, 14:04   #13
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Re: Florida Keys to Turks and Caicos

thanks callistov42

I'm going to check that route out now.
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Old 20-12-2012, 06:46   #14
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Re: Florida Keys to Turks and Caicos

Pay the $300. Way worth it.
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Old 20-12-2012, 12:13   #15
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Re: Florida Keys to Turks and Caicos

I cleared in at Bimini this past april in my 31' IP, 2 crew, only cost 150.00.
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