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Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Tampa Bay Area
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Re: recommendations on jumping off point from Florida to Bahamas
We are planning a trip across the gulfstream to the Bahamas in early May (2013), but are looking for some suggestions on a good jumping off place. We're considering leaving from Miami, or Ft Lauderdale, or Lake Worth. Also deciding on where to clear into the Bahams (Bimini, West End, etc.), but that will be driven based on wher we leave from. No agenda or nowhere we have to go.
Here is what we're trying to find on the Florida side: 1) deep water boat ramp where we can self launch boat into water, 2) near a place where we can spend up a week on a "shake down" run and wait for a weather window, 3) cheap moorage (on the hook, mooring field, etc.), 3) other like-minded cruisers hanging out - perhaps meet new friends for buddy boat crossing, 4) NOT fancy schmancy yacht club setting, and 5) a safe place where we can leave the truck/trailer for two months.
Any specific suggestions would be most welcome.
You might want to take a look at the facilities at Crandon Park Marina on Key Biscayne (4000 Crandon Blvd, Key Biscayne, FL 33149 305-361-1281) There is a good launch ramp there with a large trailer lot, the moorings are inexpensive (for Florida), and the Bay would be a good place for your "shakedown". Further, when you're ready to leave you can overnight in No Name Harbor and then shoot out Key Biscayne Channel, which is relatively easy, and shape a course for Bimini, which is only about 45 miles across the Stream. It might be worth you checking out "ActiveCaptain.com" which can give you a lot of worth while information (registration is free and easy).
"It is not so much for its beauty that the sea makes a claim upon men's hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of air, that emanation from the waves, that so wonderfully renews a weary spirit."