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wahoo40 25-05-2009 10:39

Ft. Lauderdale to West End
We're planning an early morning departure on Thursday or Friday May 28 or 29. Anyone else going over - we'd love a buddy boat as this is our first trip across the Gulf Stream.
Any advice appreciated.
We're in a 42 ft Hunter Passage

Thanks for any input.

nautical62 27-05-2009 22:13

Sorry, I won't be there to join you - A bit of input:

Have a great time.! I've done Fort Lauderdale to West End a couple times.

I have anchored in Cross Bay when the conditions are mild and I have a reliable forecast of E-SE winds. I've also anchored just north of the marina - following the wall around to the deeper water.

The Indian Cay Passage can get a strong cross current, so I always keep a close eye on my position when going through there. One can also wait for slack tide or head north and gain the bank at Memory Rock.

I enjoy the many beautiful islands of the northern half of the Abacos that many cruisers skip.

camaraderie 28-05-2009 16:59

My advice would be to head for Memory Rock passage and no worries about depths or lack of navigational aids. If you do use Indian Cay passage...go on a 1/2 tide rising but this is not always convenient for making Great Sale Cay which is generally the next stop after West End. Keep your heading 20 degrees south of the rhumb line to West End and the stream will push you there.
Don't think about going if there is a northerly component to the wind...but you probably know that already.
Having done the trip many times...the best way from Florida is to leave at night for an 18 hour or less passage direct to Great Sale Cay via Memory Rock. This puts you crossing the Bahama bank in 12ft. of water in daylight...with no worries about check ins or no see ums or timing tides. It also give you another day to play in the Abacos.
You cancheck in at Spanish Cay or Green Turtle AFTER you leave Great Sale. Just fly your Q flag and there are no problems.
Of course it is a bit daunting to leave for your first stream crossing in the dark...but winds tend to be can see the lights of the ship traffic and come are in the Bahamas with about a 2-3pm arrival in Great Sale.
So...your choice! :D Good luck.

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