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post #30 of Old 10-12-2013
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Re: Miami to Bimini

Shortest route vs seamanship...

2 years ago we were in Cancun and wanted to go to St Barts which is 1,400 miles into the trades and the current. The trades were blowing hard and even our big boat struggles to make 100 nm/day over the ground when bashing into 6-8 ft waves and a knot of current...14 days of misery and lots of fuel.

Instead we took the Gulf Stream to Miami, had dinner, picked up a crew member took the Stream to the NW Providence Channel out due east well actually sailed towards Bermuda for 2 days, motored for about 36 hours out to 67W and then rode the trades south to St Barts. Total distance about 1,800 nm or 400 miles further than the direct route. However...

14 days into the Caribbean equatorial current is 24x14x1 of adverse current is minus 336 nm. 4 days in the Gulf Stream and Yucatan Current is 24x4x2 or 192 nm plus. That is over 500 miles of difference in the effect of current

Hence in practical terms it is 100 nm shorter to go via Miami a route that let us sail 12 out of 15 days, and the trip was so benign we broke $9 of equipment.

We live in Miami and when we leave the VHF on we listen to the boats in No Name Harbor talk worriedly for days about windows to cross the Stream. Once they get out there they complain of the rough ride. If they like RichH sailed down to Rodriguez Key they would have a much easier crossing and see more of the Keys.

Last edited by Yorksailor; 10-12-2013 at 08:40 AM.
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