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Re: U.S.-Bahamas, Crossing the Stream
We live in Charleston and have made the trip south to the Bahamas for over 15 years. There are many ways to do it, even north of Lake Worth. The last several years we have crossed from Ft. Pierce, usually in a dying northerly once the seas have calmed down. Leave at dawn and at dusk you are on the Bank. If you keep moving in protected waters to MH, you will have made all of your easting so you can sail down island to where ever....staging to do this trip in Vero provides endless provisioning possibilities in addition to the wonderful cruising community.
We have also crossed from Lake Worth to Lucaya and Miami to Nassau (will never go there again) but got stuck there for several weeks due to strong NE's...doing it before Christmas is usually easier. If Diana Nyad can swim across the Gulf Stream, I am sure you will have no problems in a 45' boat, just pick your day.
Chas-south....we usually do the ICW to Beaufort and then jump out to St. Mary's or St. Augustine but check on the Inlet before makiing that trip...Chas. to St. Mary's is also easy.