Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 12-01-2019, 16:13   #1
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: May 2018
Posts: 98
Planning criteria for our first Gulf Stream crossing

We are planning our first crossing to the Bahamas from Fort Lauderdale (without a training captain). Maybe someone can help verify or correct our planning criteria.

Winds from E-S-W between 6 knots to 15 knots of wind. Wave height below 5 feet and wave period over 7 seconds.

Does this seem right?

We have Predict Wind and TimeZero, which we use to plan our trips. Our boat is a 60-foot sailing catamaran with a 28-foot beam.
__________________

__________________
2006 Fountaine Pajot Eleuthera 60
InsuredApple is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-01-2019, 19:13   #2
Registered User
 
funjohnson's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Out cruising again (Currently Ireland)
Boat: 37' aluminum pilothouse "Elements"
Posts: 2,262
Re: Planning criteria for our first Gulf Stream crossing

You'll be just fine motor sailing across.

Really, people make way too big a deal out of crossing the Gulf Stream the short distance to the Bahamas. If there is no North component to the wind, you are fine.... and with a 60' cat, you're super okay.

Matt
__________________

__________________
Youtube MJ sailing - Vlog
MJSailing.com - Written Blog
Rebuilt Aluminum Boat Over 2 Years... Now Back Cruising!
funjohnson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-01-2019, 03:23   #3
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: W Carib
Boat: Wildcat 35, Hobie 33
Posts: 10,464
Re: Planning criteria for our first Gulf Stream crossing

Your criteria are fine. A bit NW is ok too as long as its not strong, but NW typically soon shifts to N.

Right now per Windy (using ECMWF) looks like a potentially great window to cross.

Where is your planned port of entry in the Bahamas?
belizesailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-01-2019, 05:46   #4
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: May 2018
Posts: 98
Re: Planning criteria for our first Gulf Stream crossing

Quote:
Originally Posted by funjohnson View Post
You'll be just fine motor sailing across.

Really, people make way too big a deal out of crossing the Gulf Stream the short distance to the Bahamas. If there is no North component to the wind, you are fine.... and with a 60' cat, you're super okay.

Matt
Ah thank you. That helps. Much appreciated.
__________________
2006 Fountaine Pajot Eleuthera 60
InsuredApple is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-01-2019, 05:48   #5
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: May 2018
Posts: 98
Re: Planning criteria for our first Gulf Stream crossing

Quote:
Originally Posted by belizesailor View Post
Your criteria are fine. A bit NW is ok too as long as its not strong, but NW typically soon shifts to N.

Right now per Windy (using ECMWF) looks like a potentially great window to cross.

Where is your planned port of entry in the Bahamas?
Ah, thank you!

We are thinking either Bimini or West End. The problem with West End is that, we didn't find many anchorages near West End, and we don't want to take the catamaran into the marina to check in.
__________________
2006 Fountaine Pajot Eleuthera 60
InsuredApple is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-01-2019, 06:33   #6
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: W Carib
Boat: Wildcat 35, Hobie 33
Posts: 10,464
Re: Planning criteria for our first Gulf Stream crossing

Quote:
Originally Posted by InsuredApple View Post
Ah, thank you!

We are thinking either Bimini or West End. The problem with West End is that, we didn't find many anchorages near West End, and we don't want to take the catamaran into the marina to check in.
In today's conditions, SE 15kts, West End is going to be a much better destination for you than Bimini. Should be a great ride on a big cat!

Why avoid the marina?
belizesailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-01-2019, 06:34   #7
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: May 2018
Posts: 98
Re: Planning criteria for our first Gulf Stream crossing

Quote:
Originally Posted by belizesailor View Post
In today's conditions, SE 15kts, West End is going to be a much better destination for you than Bimini. Should be a great ride on a big cat!

Why avoid the marina?
We aren't the best at docking and... there where quite a few sport fish boats that didn't seem to care much about speed in the marina. Close encounter with one of them.
__________________
2006 Fountaine Pajot Eleuthera 60
InsuredApple is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-01-2019, 06:46   #8
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: W Carib
Boat: Wildcat 35, Hobie 33
Posts: 10,464
Re: Planning criteria for our first Gulf Stream crossing

Quote:
Originally Posted by InsuredApple View Post
We aren't the best at docking and... there where quite a few sport fish boats that didn't seem to care much about speed in the marina. Close encounter with one of them.
Unfortunately, thats quite common among cruisers.

At a marina where I used to help out sometimes we used the line "We've got a strong cross current in here, do you mind if I take her in for you?" with obviously nervous cruisers. Their relief was palpable...they usually jumped on the offer!

Take over a more experienced hand or find someone there who will do some docking excercises with you. Being comfortable handling your boat under power will make your life less stressful and more convenient.

Maybe someone here on CF with the right skill set is near West End?
belizesailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-01-2019, 06:48   #9
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: May 2018
Posts: 98
Re: Planning criteria for our first Gulf Stream crossing

Quote:
Originally Posted by belizesailor View Post
Unfortunately, thats quite common among cruisers.

At a marina where I used to help out sometimes we used the line "We've got a strong cross current in here, do you mind if I take her in for you?" with obviously nervous cruisers. Their relief was palpable...they usually jumped on the offer!

Take over a more experienced hand or find somone there who will do some docking excerises with you. Being confortable handling your boat under power will make your life less stressful and more convenient.

Maybe someone here on CF with the right skill set is near West End?
Yea, those are good ideas

I suppose, if we have to go in, we can, but we'd much rather not. haha.

We do have BIG fenders, so damage to anything is VERY unlikely.
__________________
2006 Fountaine Pajot Eleuthera 60
InsuredApple is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-01-2019, 08:20   #10
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Tampa
Boat: Hunter 33.5
Posts: 131
Re: Planning criteria for our first Gulf Stream crossing

As mentioned you should be fine. From Ft.Lauderdale to West End I would leave at about 8pm in my Hunter 33.5 and arrive at West End at daybreak. There is room outside the marina to anchor and then dinghy in to take care of Customs.


I occasionally would not check in at West End but continue on to Green Turtle and dinghy in to main street and enter there. Be sure to fly the flag showing you have not yet cleared in.
tdh1849 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-01-2019, 08:30   #11
Registered User
 
funjohnson's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Out cruising again (Currently Ireland)
Boat: 37' aluminum pilothouse "Elements"
Posts: 2,262
Re: Planning criteria for our first Gulf Stream crossing

Abacos are typically pretty cold and stormy this time of year. Bimini is where I'd head and then work my way East and South.

Matt
__________________
Youtube MJ sailing - Vlog
MJSailing.com - Written Blog
Rebuilt Aluminum Boat Over 2 Years... Now Back Cruising!
funjohnson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-01-2019, 08:52   #12
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Tampa
Boat: Hunter 33.5
Posts: 131
Re: Planning criteria for our first Gulf Stream crossing

BTW, the internet is saying that the current weather at Marsh Harbor, Abacos is 73 degrees, wind 13 from the SE and light rain.
tdh1849 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-01-2019, 08:54   #13
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2007
Boat: GibSea 472
Posts: 415
Re: Planning criteria for our first Gulf Stream crossing

Why not Bimini?. Easy to reach as long as there is no norther system annonced. Norther may be weaks, or very nasty, and Gulfstream with a north wind component may generate steep waves. Besides the norther to be avoided any other wind(or no wind!) will be good as long as it is not blowing a storm. Inside Bimini, anchorage is good, and services are perfect.
Elie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-01-2019, 11:44   #14
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Southport, NC
Boat: Pearson 367 cutter, 36'
Posts: 381
Re: Planning criteria for our first Gulf Stream crossing

Why not go to Memory Rock, sail to Great Sale, anchor, and then check in next day at Spanish Cay or, better, Green Turtle, where you can anchor out in good holding?
AJ_n_Audrey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-01-2019, 12:59   #15
Marine Service Provider
 
boatpoker's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Toronto, Ontario or Bahamas
Boat: Benford 38 Fantail Cruiser
Posts: 3,702
Re: Planning criteria for our first Gulf Stream crossing

Even a northly component up to 5-8knots is quite pleasant and we are a little tender. West End has lots of room to turn that big cat around.
__________________

__________________
That hysterical laughter you hear as you sail a way in your "new" boat ..... is the seller.
boatpoker is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
gulf stream

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
First Gulf Stream Crossing this Weekend Alecadi Atlantic & the Caribbean 20 25-07-2011 13:19
Crossing gulf stream Red44 Atlantic & the Caribbean 7 26-06-2008 18:31
Crossing The Gulf Stream - June 28th Alma Llanera Atlantic & the Caribbean 0 16-06-2008 11:40
Gulf Stream Crossing Goes Bad markpj23 The Sailor's Confessional 8 18-06-2006 17:07
Gulf Stream Crossing GordMay Atlantic & the Caribbean 0 17-04-2003 20:12



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 02:34.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.