Originally Posted by night0wl
Vasco - can you describe what makes for a good weather window? Do you always follow a cold front? What winds does the cold front bring that you're looking for?
The weather window that most cruisers are looking for in reality is when the Gulf Stream will lay down or the waves are less than 2-3 feet. Most winds from the North with make the Gulf Stream angry, with wave heights approaching 5-7 feet most of the time. It is also not just the wave height that makes this crossing dangerous but the spacing between waves (usually 2-3 secs) and the shape (square). This combination will make the crossing dangerous.
90% of the time the winds are from the east. This of course is the direction one wants to go. Therefore, most crossing in a sailboat are motor sail at best. When a cold front comes through, the winds will clock to a southerly to westerly direction for a day or two. This is the ideal time to cross the Gulf Stream. This is the cruisers Nirvana going to the Bahamas.
Hang outs for the crossing in the Miami area: Star Island north of Terminal Island, Stadium Bay, Nixon's point, No Name Harbor, Elliot Key by Broad Creek/Caesars Creek. The last one is my favorite one to get to Bimini Island due to southerly Latitude to begin the crossing.