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Old 24-12-2017, 13:28   #1
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Sailing St.Pete - Bimini - Nassau

Hi

I am starting a cruise from St.Pete - Bimini and then on to Nassau. I leave the 27th Dec at High Tide. Looking for any suggestions on marinas, things to watch out for....or maybe someone else is doing the crossing as well.

I am watching the weather in the straights on the 29th and it looks like I am in for some wind out of the north....this will most likely lay me up in Miami for NYE. Looking for suggestions on marina's where I can stay for a night or two.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 24-12-2017, 14:17   #2
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Re: Sailing St.Pete - Bimini - Nassau

First thing to decide is if your are going through the waterway over to Stuart. Then go South over to ft Lauderdale to Bimini.
Or you go south to say marathon then over.
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Old 24-12-2017, 14:46   #3
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Re: Sailing St.Pete - Bimini - Nassau

I'm going through to marathon. Correct me if I'm wrong but I believe on of the bridges through Florida is 49ft. Im 57ft tall unfortunately.
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Old 24-12-2017, 19:09   #4
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Re: Sailing St.Pete - Bimini - Nassau

Doing weather routing for some friends in Marathon waiting to hop over to Bimini. Looks like a favorable window start on 29-31. Models dont agree on timing yet. ECMWF show earlier, GFS later. Hoping they will sync up over the next few days.

Bimini is a fun place for NYE.
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Old 25-12-2017, 04:50   #5
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Re: Sailing St.Pete - Bimini - Nassau

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, sammy.
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Old 25-12-2017, 05:25   #6
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Re: Sailing St.Pete - Bimini - Nassau

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Originally Posted by sammy005 View Post
I'm going through to marathon. Correct me if I'm wrong but I believe on of the bridges through Florida is 49ft. Im 57ft tall unfortunately.
Channel 5 or long key bridge is 65ft. It's north of Marathon, also you have snake creek draw bridge in plantation/ islamorada that is 72ft w open. As for crossing we typically cross from Tavernier or islamorada, head to north end of bimini. Get there too late to check in and leave early next morning for great harbor in the berries and check in there. Then it's a daysail to Nassau.
Once across the gulfstream a northerly is great sailing for crossing the banks. We anchor mostly and avoid marinas, plenty of great anchoring options in the keys if weather is a concern you can stay bayside (if your draft is 5ft or less) and go all the way to cape Florida or no name harbor and have flat water and good anchoring options, the depart no name harbor for bimini when a good window appears
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Old 25-12-2017, 05:49   #7
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Re: Sailing St.Pete - Bimini - Nassau

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Originally Posted by belizesailor View Post
Doing weather routing for some friends in Marathon waiting to hop over to Bimini. Looks like a favorable window start on 29-31. Models dont agree on timing yet. ECMWF show earlier, GFS later. Hoping they will sync up over the next few days.

Bimini is a fun place for NYE.
The models are now syncing up on the 31st as the day...they just disagree on when on the 31st.
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Old 25-12-2017, 06:19   #8
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Re: Sailing St.Pete - Bimini - Nassau

Is you plan to day trip so you can see the pots, or just go for it?

Did a delivery to Ft Laud earlier this month. At owners request we did day trips- St Pete- Boca Grande pass, turn south and drop a hook, then anchor off Cape Sable, —we had to go around KW but —- you can go under CH5 bridge and anchor there. If weather is right go to Bimini. If not Hawk Channel up.

Leaving to run a boat from St Pete to Key West at 4 am on the 27th. Yes we will buck the last of the tide, but it is what it is, Maybe I’ll see you outbound.
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Old 25-12-2017, 09:00   #9
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Re: Sailing St.Pete - Bimini - Nassau

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Originally Posted by belizesailor View Post
The models are now syncing up on the 31st as the day...they just disagree on when on the 31st.

I see it looking good on the 29th...but it will be like threading a needle. Everything I see says Jan 1 might be the date.
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Old 25-12-2017, 09:04   #10
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Re: Sailing St.Pete - Bimini - Nassau

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Originally Posted by Snore View Post
Is you plan to day trip so you can see the pots, or just go for it?

Did a delivery to Ft Laud earlier this month. At owners request we did day trips- St Pete- Boca Grande pass, turn south and drop a hook, then anchor off Cape Sable, we had to go around KW but - you can go under CH5 bridge and anchor there. If weather is right go to Bimini. If not Hawk Channel up.

Leaving to run a boat from St Pete to Key West at 4 am on the 27th. Yes we will buck the last of the tide, but it is what it is, Maybe Ill see you outbound.
I am just going for it. Want to hit Bimini and then on to Nassau....but given the weather I might go to the Tortugas and then NYE in KW and then on to Bimini. My plan to to leave my boat in the Bahamas and just keep flying back and fourth for the winter.
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Old 25-12-2017, 09:15   #11
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Re: Sailing St.Pete - Bimini - Nassau

don't mean to interupt your conversations but could you enlighten me as to what models you are looking at. we are planning our first crossing in Febuary and trying to gain as much knowledge as possible. thanks!
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Old 25-12-2017, 10:06   #12
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Re: Sailing St.Pete - Bimini - Nassau

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don't mean to interupt your conversations but could you enlighten me as to what models you are looking at. we are planning our first crossing in Febuary and trying to gain as much knowledge as possible. thanks!
I am using the paid version ($99/3mth) PredictWind, NOAA, and other local weather agencies. This is my first crossing as well, but I sail in the Gulf.

Basic rules I am following are:

No waves higher than 11ft (which I would not want to go if they are 4ft+ TBH, I don't think my crew can handle much more...and I am not in a race)

Waves at least double the distance than the wave size. IE 3ft ways need 6secs in between.

No strong wind out of the North or East. I would prefer the Wind to be from the South or West...in that order.
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Old 25-12-2017, 10:59   #13
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Re: Sailing St.Pete - Bimini - Nassau

Great! thanks for the info. i am watching sever sites and just trying to get a grasp of how to read and make sure i am understanding the info.
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Old 25-12-2017, 14:44   #14
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Re: Sailing St.Pete - Bimini - Nassau

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Originally Posted by sammy005 View Post
I see it looking good on the 29th...but it will be like threading a needle. Everything I see says Jan 1 might be the date.
Still a bit far out for what may be the better window (29-1st) but hopefully it shapes up to be a good one. Nice to sail on a favorable wind and current...but sometimes you takes what you can get.

My last run across was a quick motor in very light air...after waiting a month in Marathon while it would just not quit howling from the N.
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Old 25-12-2017, 14:46   #15
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Re: Sailing St.Pete - Bimini - Nassau

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don't mean to interupt your conversations but could you enlighten me as to what models you are looking at. we are planning our first crossing in Febuary and trying to gain as much knowledge as possible. thanks!
For this one mostly ECMWF and GFS, occassionally looking at others to see if a concensus is building. ECMWF and GFS are getting much closer to agreeing.

GFS is now showing a wind shift to the SE starting around 2300 on the 31st. ECMWF at about 1000 on the 1st. This has changed since early this AM (GFS has more frequent model runs than ECMWF). Ive been watching them for several days and they have gradually been getting closer to agreement. Originally they were days apart on the predicted shift, now hours.

Several tools have good options for comparing multiple models. Both Windy and WindGuru have the ability to compare them in a single view (though WingGuru does not have access to ECMWF).

Still too far out to have high confidence, but it is encouraging to see the models moving toward agreement.
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