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Old 14-12-2018, 19:06   #1
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Miami to Bimini Mid January 2019

Planning to sail in January from Miami to Bahamas and keep sailing south east to reach Nassau. Few Questions:

1) How many days of southern winds before crossing. I am reviewing weather fast and offshore reports, how many days to let the waves lower after northerns winds... Planning to sail night less from miami 3am to get to bimini between noon and 3pm

2) Any suggestion on health insurance coverage in bahamas? Staying two months

3) Btc cell phone coverage is the best for Bahamas? any suggestion on where to get SIM o Line?

Thank you
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Old 14-12-2018, 19:49   #2
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Re: Miami to Bimini Mid January 2019

Hello Flacor

1. South winds are uncommon and typically come with some weather event like a cold front (aka norther) or a tropical depression. You're in the trade winds belt and the normal winds are from the east. Can vary from NE to E to SE but more or less east. When a winter front comes in, depending on the strength of the front, center of the low, etc you can get some southerly winds around the front. As far as how long to wait after the front before crossing the stream, again, depends on the strength of the front but also how long it lingers over south FL before passing through. Once winds shift back to easterly and wind speed drops I think a day or so at most should be sufficient for the Gulf Stream to calm down.

2. Do you have health insurance in the US? Does it cover you when traveling? That should work but I would also add a medevac coverage policy like DAN. Get the gold policy.

3. You can get SIMs easily when you arrive from BATELCO offices that are located most places. I'm pretty sure Bimini has one.
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Old 15-12-2018, 05:41   #3
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Re: Miami to Bimini Mid January 2019

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Flacor.
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Old 20-12-2018, 13:13   #4
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Re: Miami to Bimini Mid January 2019

1) Any suggestion on weather predicting tools? I using the offshore reports, some charts from noaa for wind, waves and pressure. Any other suggestion to review bahamas weather

2) how many degrees to correct gulfstream crossing from miami to bimini? 10 or 15 degrees will be ok?

3) i am planning to take sat phone or spot? Does anybody know advantages for each one or which will be more convinient? I already have epirb and would like to have back up

Thank you
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Old 20-12-2018, 14:25   #5
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Re: Miami to Bimini Mid January 2019

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flacor View Post
1) Any suggestion on weather predicting tools? I using the offshore reports, some charts from noaa for wind, waves and pressure. Any other suggestion to review bahamas weather

2) how many degrees to correct gulfstream crossing from miami to bimini? 10 or 15 degrees will be ok?

3) i am planning to take sat phone or spot? Does anybody know advantages for each one or which will be more convinient? I already have epirb and would like to have back up

Thank you
For the last few years I've used Passageweather.com for crossing.

Your set correction for crossing the stream would depend on your speed. I leave from Cape Florida, 6 kts, generally steer 125T for the first three hours then start heading towards North Rock and vary the set to stay on the rhumb line.

I don't stop in Bimini but head right for Nassau. If you stay in Bimini the front generally overtakes you and the wind goes to the east. Not what you want if trying to make Nassau.
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Old 20-12-2018, 16:12   #6
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Re: Miami to Bimini Mid January 2019

Unless you have had a really big blow, 24 hours of “favorable” winds is more than enough in my experience, but there are a lot of factors like what is happening to the north of you. (as in a large swell)

The NWS marine forecast will give you a pretty good idea of the trend when it comes to the wave action. Sometimes though, you really never know till you get out there. We went out with a 10-15kt north wind and had one of the best crossings ever as we were able to sail from harbor to harbor. Other times we have had a forecast of 2-3ft with a favorable wind and had less than a “comfortable” ride.
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Old 20-12-2018, 17:43   #7
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Re: Miami to Bimini Mid January 2019

Check out windy.com for weather. If you're leaving from Miami or south I would leave as soon as the wind goes south, as long as it's 15kts or less. If it's been blowing hard out of the east or southeast you may want to wait a few hours. If you stop at Bimini you could get stuck there for weeks. If you have a good weather window you might want to go straight to Nassau. You can go on the banks just north of North Rock, just north of Bimini. You can easily do this at night. You can stop at Chub cay if you need to. This puts you only a day run from Nassau. If you're not on a schedule then stopping at Bimini might work better for you.
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Old 20-12-2018, 18:22   #8
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Re: Miami to Bimini Mid January 2019

Quote:
Originally Posted by RonRicco View Post
Unless you have had a really big blow, 24 hours of “favorable” winds is more than enough in my experience, but there are a lot of factors like what is happening to the north of you. (as in a large swell)

The NWS marine forecast will give you a pretty good idea of the trend when it comes to the wave action. Sometimes though, you really never know till you get out there. We went out with a 10-15kt north wind and had one of the best crossings ever as we were able to sail from harbor to harbor. Other times we have had a forecast of 2-3ft with a favorable wind and had less than a “comfortable” ride.
Agree with all of the above:
Crossed many times and found NWS to be right on, except when it is not.
(Darn Close however.)
Go early in the morning, 05:00 from Lake Sylvia or from No-Name Harbour and it should be ok.
Sometimes unexpected winds/waves happens in the middle of the stream, then goes away.
Crossed 29 times each way, never been in danger, but never been bored either.
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Old 21-12-2018, 09:28   #9
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Re: Miami to Bimini Mid January 2019

Here’s a trick, based upon the trigonometric fact that the sine of 1° is about 1/60, and that for angles up to about 45°, dividing any angle by sixty gives a reasonable approximation of its sine.

(Current Speed x 60) ÷ Boat Speed = course correction offset

The offset is always up-stream.

So if a vessel experienced a tidal stream of 2 knots, and had a boat speed of 5 knots:

(2 x 60) ÷ 5 = 120 ÷ 5 = 24° Offset

This is true if the tidal stream is roughly at right angles to the intended track.
If it is at about 45° to the intended track, use two thirds of its rate in the formula instead of its full rate.
If it is ahead or astern, no offset is required.

So, if Bimini bears at 095º T from Miami (Gov’t Cut), the Gulf Stream is averaging 2 Kts (North), and you make about 5 knots;
then steer roughly 95° - 24° = 71º T
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Old 21-12-2018, 21:22   #10
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Re: Miami to Bimini Mid January 2019

Thanks everybody i found all your feedback very usefull

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Old 21-12-2018, 21:45   #11
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Re: Miami to Bimini Mid January 2019

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Originally Posted by GordMay View Post

So, if Bimini bears at 095º T from Miami (Gov’t Cut), the Gulf Stream is averaging 2 Kts (North), and you make about 5 knots;
then steer roughly 95° - 24° = 71º T
Steering 71 degrees from Miami, the next land you see probaly is Ireland.
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Old 22-12-2018, 04:06   #12
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Re: Miami to Bimini Mid January 2019

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Originally Posted by Lost Horizons View Post
Steering 71 degrees from Miami, the next land you see probably is Ireland.
Indeed! Good catch & thanks.
That should have been 95° + 24° = 119°
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Old 22-12-2018, 08:23   #13
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Re: Miami to Bimini Mid January 2019

Tks, Yes the formula work well. The correction factor should always been aplied against current.

Another thing is current will be two knots in the middle of passage and 1knot near shore that been said steer correct should be aplied accordingly
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