My wife and I are experienced west coast sailors, based now in San Diego. In 2008 we did two 500 nm crossings from San Francisco to San Diego, one with an Islander 36 and the other with an Island Packet 32. We also chartered a Jeanneau 40 with Conch Charters the last two weeks in June, visiting most of the islands, including Anegada. In addition, we did several cruises with our own boat, Dreamquest - a 1994 Hunter Legend 37.5 to Channel Island Hbr, Catalina, and Ensenada, Mexico. Our experience sailing in the East Coast is limited to Cheasapeake Bay, but have absolutely no knowledge of East Forida Coast and Bahamas, except to know that often the depth in the banks are less than the depth of the water in my slip! Oh, before I forget, I have U.S. Power S quadron grade of Senior Navigator.
Now you know my background I can ask your help for route information. A friend, from Miami, asked us to help bring his Beneteau First 31, to Marsh Harbor, Abaco, February 15. We will be cruising the Abacos until 29 February, when we fly back to Ft. Lauderdale. I have already purchased the 2007 Yachtsman's Guide to the Bahamas, Keneeth Mowbray's Chance the Tide, and have also ordered Dodge's 2008 edition of the Cruising Guide Abaco. We will be acquiring the EXPLORER CHART SEA OF ABACO and the EXPLORER CHARTBOOK NEAR BAHAMAS 4TH ED. All the information I am relating here, plus info about waiting for the right wind conditions to cross the Gulf Stream I learned from you guys! Many Thanks. As per your recommendations we plan sailing from Miami to Ft. Lauderdale (Lake Worth?), and then to the West End. We would like to cross the Gulf Stream in daylight, possibly departing Ft. Lauderdale at 0300 0r 0400. Could you please outline the best route(s) to Marsh Harbor, including hbrs and anchorages, and also avg. times you have experienced doing these routes?
The Pilot Chart for February shows northerlies blowing from NW(Force 5), N, and NE(Force 4) about 30% of the time. The wind seems to blow E, SE, and S50% of the time(Force 4); SW 10% (Force 4), and W 10% (Force 5). These are historical data. What are your experiences regarding wind patterns?
This first message is a bit too long. I did not have time to write it shorter