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kmclarke 09-09-2007 01:22 PM

Cruising the US east coast and Bahamas 07-08
hello all.
We are going to cruise the east coast of the USA from NC down to FL,
and then across to the Bahamas . We are doing it with our two sons
ages 9&10. If there are any other kid boats out there doing or
planning the same thing we would love to hear from you.
Kevin, Melissa, James and Caleb.
S/V Solange IV
KP 44

Morgan3820 09-09-2007 08:57 PM

Planing the same trip
We are planning the same trip with our daughter, but we are still a few years out. I have another year left to get the boat in shape (a 1979 Morgan 382). One problem that I have not really solved is medical coverage. What are your thoughts on the subject/

Good luck to you!

Morgan 3820
Located in New Bern, NC

kmclarke 09-09-2007 10:52 PM

We are Canadian , so our alberta heathcare will cover us for up to six months then we need additional ins. We also need top up coverage due to the fact that procedures in most countries cost more.
Have you found a good site or way of locating kids boats?
i just found out today that i don't need to go back to work again before we leave. I am not as happy as I ould have thought, actually I am a bit lost.
Good luck with your plans.

djm37 09-10-2007 12:53 PM

Most US coverage includes out of country coverage as it is usually lower cost than in the US. Check with your provider. The health care in the Bahamas is provided by the government and is modelled on the UK system. The costs are significantly lower than in the US, from personal experience.

Vasco 09-10-2007 03:11 PM


We do it every year. There are lots of boats with kids and you'll meet them the minute you're out there. Quite often the boats with kids cruise together.

bottleinamessage 09-10-2007 03:48 PM

If you stop at Marsh Harbor, Abacos there is a cruisers net on 68 every morning at 8:30. There is a segment for new arrivals to say hello. Tell them who you are and about your kids. There must be 300 boats monitoring every morning. Many of them have kids aboard. At the end of the cruisers rally in Georgetown this spring, there was a talent show. The cruising kids stole the show!!

kmclarke 09-10-2007 10:37 PM

Thanks for the info. The marsh harbour cruisers net sounds really helpful. We are still living in Alberta but will be leaving in 45 days(who's counting?) and leaving FL across to Bimini then north and around the windward side down to Marsh Harbour. Any comments/advice on that route would be welcome, our boat draws 6.5 ' and we will be doing the crossing with 4 adults.

camaraderie 09-10-2007 11:23 PM

Kevin...Why go to Bimini at all? 6.5 draft is tough there anyway.
You can leave out of Ft. Lauderdale and go either the conventional WestEnd/Memory Rock way to Abacos or head to the new Providence channel and enter at little harbor.
The easiest way to Abacos is out of West Palm Beach to Memory Rock passge and on to Great Sale Cay for your first stop. Then next day to Green Turtle Cay for customs check in and you're there with no hassels. Since you are coming down the ICW...West Palm (lake worth) is the BEST place to wait for weather and to cross from so I don't understand the Bimini Plan at all unless you are heading to the Exumas and not Marsh harbor.

kmclarke 09-11-2007 01:23 AM

Hi Cam ,
Thanks for the info.
I was thinking about the bimini route because I was under the impression that that is the most simple and shortest legs. i would prefer not to make any landfalls in the dark and the bimini seems a sure way to accomplish that. I have to confess that so far a lot of my route planning info has come from here and most recently the latest cruising world. My charts are on order and I have been preoccupied with the other details of this adventure, So for now route planning that far down is mostly a matter of what sounds good. We will make much more definate plans as we near FL. Unfortunately there are no sailors where we live for us to ask the "stupid" questions.
Our plan is to cross in mid to late NOV and then sail around the Abacos and then work our way down south. We don't have to see everything or go to the very best spots as everything will be brand new to us, so our number one priority is for everyone to have fun and not be scared , so we will be playing it ultra safe and go as slow as we need to. So if you or anyone else has any route ideas ....Don't be shy.

camaraderie 09-11-2007 09:06 AM

OK then. Bimini is definitely the wrong way to go! TWO options:
1. Leave out of the West Palm Beach inlet about midnight on a good forecast and set a course for Memory Rock passage. You will arrive at Memory Rock in daylight and go onto the Bahama banks in plenty of water. Proceed on in daylight to Great Sale Cay and anchor mid-afternoon. Enjoy and get some sleep...there is NOTHING there...just a good anchorage. Next day, start early and proceed to Green Turtle Cay...anchor off the New Plymouth settlement and take the dinghy in to check in with Customs and immigration and pay your fees. Wait for DEAD HIGH tide and enter WhiteSound channel for a protected anchorage and nice food/drink etc.

2. If you are not comfortable with leaving W. Palm at night...get a start at daylight and proceed to cross to West End on Grand Bahama. You will need 8-10 hours for the passage in settled weather. You can pull into the West End customs dock to check in and take on fuel if needed and then use the Old Bahama Bay marina there for a slip for the evening. Check the tides for the next day and proceed the 8-10 miles north to the Memory Rock Channel and follow it to Great Sale Cay as in option #1. Do NOT attempt to use the Indian Cay channel which is closer to West End with your draft.

For either passage you can also dock and/or check in at Spanish Cay Marina instead of Green Turtle should time or tide or weather dictate. Get the EXPLORER chart books only for the Bahamas...they are the only reasonably accurate ones!!
Once you are done with the Abacos, you can exit out of the Little Harbor passage and head to Royal Island/Eleuthra to make your way down to the Exumas.
Note...before you head across...there is a great anchorage at the north end of Lake Worth just off the ICW. You may have to wait for a week or more for the right weather to cross the stream and this is a good place to do it since you can take your dink to shore and shopping and West Marine are all close at hand.

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