Originally Posted by malyea
Well...no...'plugging' my future enterprise, as you say, was just a way to illustrate why my intent for the thread was to specifically discuss offshore routes originating from NE Florida - and not a pro/con discussion on the more common routes from Florida to the Bahamas.
Perhaps you need to think outside the box. Considering that getting from the Bahamas to St. Augustine is far less problematic than the reverse, perhaps your sail training could involve splitting a circuit between two groups of student crews. One to sail the yacht south from St. Augustine coast-wise to perhaps Ft. Lauderdale, learning boat handling and coastal navigation, and departing there for say West End for some off-shore and then Island Cruising after which they depart via air and a new crew arrives. The second crew cruises the islands learning boat handling and coastal navigation (presumably) and then departs West End (perhaps) for St. Augustine for some off-shore training. Of course, the big variable with this scheme will be weather as a Gulf Stream passage in any winds with a northerly component is certain to be very uncomfortable at best and, for novice crew, likely fairly frightening.
A third alternative is simply recognizing that St. Augustine isn't particularly conducive to your plans if they must include passages to the Bahamas and perhaps rethinking your base of operations to, say, Dinner Key Marina, Key Biscayne or some locale more suitable. And frankly, for the novice, a trip to no further than Bimini/Honeymoon Harbor/Cat Key would be no less enjoyable (and perhaps more-so) than a longer harder more tiring slog, that leaves less time of "play", eh?