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Old 26-05-2021, 06:00   #1
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Best Routing Options Florida to the DR

...that avoid checking in to or making landfall in the Bahamas?
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Old 26-05-2021, 06:07   #2
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Re: Best Routing Options Florida to the DR

Bahamas will permit innocent passage and Q flag anchoring over night. Clear with the authorities before departure.

Alternatively, check with Salty Dawg Sailing Association. They have a return from the Caribbean rally. They arrange passage and anchoring privileges. They may be able to advise.
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Old 26-05-2021, 06:21   #3
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Re: Best Routing Options Florida to the DR

First, from where in FL and are you able or willing to do this nonstop?

From north FL you can do the I-65 technique a lot use going to the Caribbean IE sail east until you reach 65 degrees W longitude then turn south. For the DR obviously you would turn south around 68W.

My experience, this doesn't work well much south of Daytona as you're getting into the trade winds belt and will be beating close hauled against steady east winds.

In theory the innocent passage through the Bahamas is allowed, however I have read reports in the past of cruisers in the Bahamas stopped by BDF boats who were chastised severely for not clearing in at the first Bahamian port. Doubt this would be an issue if you transit via the NW and NE Providence Channels which are major shipping lanes but crossing the banks or other routes closer to the cruising areas could be an issue if you are stopped.

The other alternative is the Old Bahamas Channel, also a major shipping lane so no concerns about transit but you will be fighting a stronger current as well as the trade winds.
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Old 26-05-2021, 07:30   #4
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Re: Best Routing Options Florida to the DR

I am not sure why this is even a question...

Sail east through the Northwest Providence Channel between Grand Bahama and the Berry Islands. You'll have a fair bit of company from commercial shipping that is doing the same thing you are. No need to stop and check in. I did this recently on a westbound delivery.

Other posters have stated with confidence that the Bahamas allow anchoring under a Q-flag without check in. I do not know this to be a fact. I'd check it pretty carefully before relying on it.

The real issue with this route is that you will be hard on the wind the whole way. Nothing--legally--will require you to stop, but sailing close-hauled into the trades for a week gets pretty old (unless you are young and full of piss and vinegar!). In the winter you have the option of riding the back end of a cold front and getting most of the way there on 2 or 3 days of northwesterlies, but those getting really far apart this time of year.

Unfortunately, there is no magic route that avoids this problem, unless you sail north of about 30N, but if you are in South Florida that makes for a VERY long trip to the DR.

When we make our way east through the Bahamas we typically wait for favorable weather rather than trying to make it in one go. It can take 2 or 3 weeks for the stars to align. That's cruising. It sounds like you are planning something more like delivery mode. Do not expect it to be fun.
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Old 26-05-2021, 08:07   #5
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Re: Best Routing Options Florida to the DR

Quote:
Originally Posted by BillKny View Post
I am not sure why this is even a question...

Sail east through the Northwest Providence Channel between Grand Bahama and the Berry Islands. You'll have a fair bit of company from commercial shipping that is doing the same thing you are. No need to stop and check in. I did this recently on a westbound delivery.

Other posters have stated with confidence that the Bahamas allow anchoring under a Q-flag without check in. I do not know this to be a fact. I'd check it pretty carefully before relying on it.

The real issue with this route is that you will be hard on the wind the whole way. Nothing--legally--will require you to stop, but sailing close-hauled into the trades for a week gets pretty old (unless you are young and full of piss and vinegar!). In the winter you have the option of riding the back end of a cold front and getting most of the way there on 2 or 3 days of northwesterlies, but those getting really far apart this time of year.

Unfortunately, there is no magic route that avoids this problem, unless you sail north of about 30N, but if you are in South Florida that makes for a VERY long trip to the DR.

When we make our way east through the Bahamas we typically wait for favorable weather rather than trying to make it in one go. It can take 2 or 3 weeks for the stars to align. That's cruising. It sounds like you are planning something more like delivery mode. Do not expect it to be fun.
Yes. All what Bill says.

Been there done that, a couple of times and I'm now old enough that I've run out of piss and vinegar. Even when I was young a foolish it could be a rough trip.

I recall a double handed trip in December FL to the VI without any autopilot or self steering of any kind. On the stretch between Staniel Cay and the Caicos we were so beat up we had to anchor at Acklins Island for a couple of days to lick our wounds. Started out 4 on, 4 off but after a couple of days we could barely do 2 hour shifts.
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