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post #3 of Old 11-28-2001
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Bahamas cruising in a small boat

First Things First - like Greg says, you may want to look at leaving from a bit further South like Miami. All of this depends on where you want to end up and how hard you want to work to get there. Bimini is a straight (45nm) shot due E of Miami. I''ve made the trip countless times from Ft. Lauderdale / Boca Raton but always on a powerboat heading East. You will find about 4 knots setting you North once you hit the Gulf Stream. If you''re headed to Freeport then Ft. Lauderdale may be the ticket, BUT, you really should go the Bimini route. Of course, keep in mind you''re looking to hit a 9 sq mile needle in a great big hay stack. As always - Use Your Charts & GPS.

My experience in crossing (either direction) tells me to look for a day where the seas are not too big and Without Question make sure the wind is out of the South to match the flow of the GS S to N. Never Cross The Gulf Stream In A Northerly! Unless you like being mercilessly thrown about an angry sea and putting your life on the line. Sailing=Fun. That was 0 Fun. I''ve been there and it''s a place I hope to never find myself again.

As to the bigger question - is it worth it? Well, in a word, YES!

Once you''re there you''ll have a blast getting into areas that the big boats can''t.

I think your biggest concern may be time since with a small boat your speed is limited.

Plan, Plan, Plan, and try to find a few boats to cross with. It shouldn''t be hard once you''re in FL. Leave early and always arrive before dark. As you probably already know this is very, very important in the Bahamas as in most places.

Good Luck, Cool Runnings & Have A Conch For Me!...


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