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Old 22-09-2012, 21:44   #16
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Re: West Coast of Florida vs. Bahamas

We have done both, Liked both. Mostly we cruise the west coast of FL to get to Cancun, Isla M. at the time of the year when the winds are not good from our area! Lots of good ancorages along the way and Many Marinas also if thats what ya like! The Bahamas are better if ya want a close taste of the tropics!! blue water, coral, nice views. great ancorages, nice folks, both the cruisers and the locals. No way to compare the two, at least for us ! We prefer Belize, Mexico cruising because it's closer for us if the winds are close to being right !! You will have fun in either place !! just our 2 cents
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Old 22-09-2012, 21:45   #17
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Re: West Coast of Florida vs. Bahamas

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Originally Posted by Gone Global View Post
Skipmac pretty much laid most of it out. Also cruising in FL is really becoming a pain with the no anchoring laws and the tax man coming after you every turn for so many different reasons. The 150+ miles to see other islands isn't true. Once you hit west end its a daysail to Great Sale Cay. From there another easy day sail over to Green Turtle to check in (if you didn't check in at West End) from there you can be in a different island every hour or so. The abacos island chain is one of the best cruising grounds in the world. You can makes mistakes all day long and still be just fine. Sand bottom and really shallow 8-15 ft. most places. I would give a thumb up for the Bahamas. It really isn't bad at all for the crossing. Really simple just wait for the weather. I have done the crossing in every kind of condition. None of them were really that bad. Don't let people scare you out of going. Have fun!

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Old 22-09-2012, 22:18   #18
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Re: West Coast of Florida vs. Bahamas

You can grab a mooring ball in Vinoy Basin in St Pete for $15. Very nice spot in the heart of downtown. Many other great (and free) anchorages in the area, as well as closer to the gulf. Egmont Key is not to be missed. Anna Maria and Longboat Key also offer great free anchorages.

Hands down though, Dry Tortugas are the spot as far as West Coast FL/Keys go. You can get ice($7/bag) and cocktails and lunch from the ferryboat every day if you really need it.







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Old 23-09-2012, 06:42   #19
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Re: West Coast of Florida vs. Bahamas

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Originally Posted by Gone Global View Post
The 150+ miles to see other islands isn't true. Once you hit west end its a daysail to Great Sale Cay. From there another easy day sail over to Green Turtle
Thanks for the correction. I had that 150 mile number stuck in my head from previous trip planning but that was actually from FL to cruising areas. True you can break it up into day sails, at least going to the Abacos, but still once you do the +/- 50 miles from FL to the Bahamas it is still, in round numbers, about 100 miles until you reach places most folks want to cruise like the Berrys, Abacos, etc.


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From there another easy day sail over to Green Turtle to check in (if you didn't check in at West End)
Might want to check on the latest Bahamas policies on this. There were some recent reports of some gung ho BDF guys harassing and fining yachts that bypassed West End to clear in to ports further in to the trip. The justification was that you are supposed to clear in at the first, closest port.

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Originally Posted by Gone Global View Post
It really isn't bad at all for the crossing. Really simple just wait for the weather. I have done the crossing in every kind of condition. None of them were really that bad. Don't let people scare you out of going. Have fun!

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Absolutely. I think a lot of new cruisers are way to concerned about the crossing. Just do it.
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Old 23-09-2012, 06:47   #20
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Re: West Coast of Florida vs. Bahamas

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Originally Posted by skipmac View Post
Thanks for the correction. I had that 150 mile number stuck in my head from previous trip planning but that was actually from FL to cruising areas. True you can break it up into day sails, at least going to the Abacos, but still once you do the +/- 50 miles from FL to the Bahamas it is still, in round numbers, about 100 miles until you reach places most folks want to cruise like the Berrys, Abacos, etc.




Might want to check on the latest Bahamas policies on this. There were some recent reports of some gung ho BDF guys harassing and fining yachts that bypassed West End to clear in to ports further in to the trip. The justification was that you are supposed to clear in at the first, closest port.


Absolutely. I think a lot of new cruisers are way to concerned about the crossing. Just do it.
There have been a number of Cruisers that have disappeared and have never seen again while making the crossing. It has been attributed to the fact that they stumbled into the "Bermuda Triangle". Just saying
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Old 23-09-2012, 06:52   #21
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Re: West Coast of Florida vs. Bahamas

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There have been a number of Cruisers that have disappeared and have never seen again while making the crossing. It has been attributed to the fact that they stumbled into the "Bermuda Triangle". Just saying
Well if you run into alien kidnappers and a magnetic vortex then all bets are off.

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