Originally Posted by tkeithlu
The more southerly your course the longer you will be in the Gulf Stream. You want to jump it, not fight your way through it. Figure out your triangle based on five knots and 60 Mn to cross with your expected speed. Then turn south for West End. Have a really fun trip.
If you are coming from the north there's no imaginable reason to go to West End that I know of if you want to be in the Abacos. Folks that do it as a waypoint from S. FL frequently get trapped there due to weather. In our case, we usually just went direct from as far south as we could get reasonably, and then over the Memory Rock/White Sand area onto the banks. However...
North FL isn't all that far from the GS. Choose a course which is at right angles to the flow (nominally 090) to minimize your time in the stream and thus your northing. Take a clocking system beginning with westerly to get across (SW-WNW will be fine).
OTOH, northers are your friend once you're on the east side of the stream. Depending on where you want to start in the Abacos, you can head
directly to either Walker (more challenging to get inside) or, better, further West at the top of the banks, to Mantanilla or Middle shoals, or at any of the entrances at the various cays further along.
I did essentially that our first time in, and came in near Spanish...