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Old 19-06-2009, 11:40   #1
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Florida to Turks & Caicos

Due to the entrance costs to get through the Bahamas and our deep draft was wondering if anyone had done a passage from florida ( or other states) direct to the T&C.
any inof appreciated, thanks
RM
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Old 19-06-2009, 12:33   #2
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hmmm. hate to see you miss the Bahamas. Word when I was down there is that the T & C's are more of a bureucratic mess than the B's. No entry in the T&C's? I did the Bahamas in 6'5" draft OK.... not that I wouldnt want less to get in some places....
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Old 19-06-2009, 13:37   #3
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so, ( not being aboard and having charts to hand) whats a good deep draft route through the Bahamas?- Draft is just on 7 feet when I checked last night it looked as if Bimini was out.... and sonme other places as well. I too would prefer to visit the B's but with a deep draft and limited possibilites wonder whether its worth it
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Old 19-06-2009, 14:10   #4
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I dont have the charts here either but: The charts make it look worse than it is. Bimini should likely be avoided though due to the channel going in. Last time I went (with shallower draft boat) I just skipped the Bimini stop anyway. I timed my crossing from Biscayne so I reached the entry to the banks (Sail Rock?) about day light and just continued on across the banks. If your speed is good you can make it across the banks and through the narrow cut about sunset. Then you can enter Chub Cay in the Berries using GPS Radar, anchor in the dark and check-in the next morning. Or, you can anchor on the banks if it gets dark and go through the next morning. If you dont have radar then entering Chub in the dark could be a little dicey.
After that, You have a deep water trip to Nassau, then the wonderful trip sailing in 11-20 ft of clear water and little sea action inside the island chain, stopping nightly. your next main draft challenge will be deciding when you want to exit the inside of the exuma chain south of Nassau and make the deep water trip to Georgetown. The further toward Georgetown you go, the shallower it gets. You will want to make the jump to Georgetown by Rudder Cut at the latest. That leaves you with a daysail to Georgetown. Entering the Georgetown area (is it Victoria Harbor?) you need to follow the instructions & GPS notes in the Explorer charts and Pavladis guide. A little scary the first time but usually we had at least 3 ft under the keel going through there! For a Northwest Sailor like me it was a little wierd getting used to having less than a couple of hundred feet under the keel! But you learn to read the water color. Exiting Georgetown is easier...
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Old 19-06-2009, 15:43   #5
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I guess I was real verbose. Not sure where you're starting, but generally, North of the Berries to Nassau,or past Bimini accross the banks soth of the Berries to Nassau. Then inside the little string of island chain, (Norman's Cay, Warderick Wells, Allens cay etc.) Then out into deep water through one of the cuts and into Georgetown... maybe 30 mile trip. After Georgetown mostly deep water routes. Be sure to stop at Conception isl before the T and C's! I love the Active Captain hybrid views and info.... I hope people contiue to use it and add more info.
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Old 19-06-2009, 16:57   #6
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You want to skip the Bahamas?
Wait for a depression, and leave Florida when the wind is SOUTH,that would be right before it rains and get's really crappy. Ride out on south, run when it is west, and reach when it is North, hopefully you'll be past Hole in the Wall and can make a South East or Southing when the trades fill in again.

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Old 19-06-2009, 17:05   #7
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I agree with others. Unless you are delivering someone else's boat to T&C, there is no good reason to skip the Bahamas. A cruising permit for 35'+ is only $300 and you can easily spend several weeks enjoying those spectacular waters while working your way SE even with a deep draft.
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Old 19-06-2009, 21:26   #8
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If you must skip the Bahamas...I would cross to the Bahamas and through the Northwest Providence channel...then head south through the deep offshore waters till you get to Grand Turk/Provo.
Actually, once you get south of eleuthra you can come in shore through the lower Bahamas as there are no depth or coral issues and this would allow you to drop a hook off one of the Cays/Islands if the weather turns bad, while still remaining "in transit"...just hoist the Q flag!
The passage onshore to Provo (Turtle Cove Marina) Turtle Cove Marina in Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands
is VERY DIFFICULT and CORAL HEADS ABOUND. Stand offshore and they will send out a boat to gude you in. Once in..you can check in with customs and immigration right at your slip and everything is easy and friendly. T&C is great for provisioning and restaurants and diving.
Steve Pavlidas used to have the ONLY really accurate cruising guide to the Caicos islands and banks...it is now discontinued BUT it is fully incorporated in his BAHAMAS guide now. He mapped every square inch himself and it is a fantastic resource. There is NOTHING else reliable for navigation there unless you are just going to deep water and heading further south.
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