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Vasco 01-16-2010 08:30 AM

Waiting to cross
Well we're finally in Miami. We're fueled and watered up, the freezer is full and every nook and cranny is stuffed with provisions. We're anchored off President Nixon's old Key Biscayne estate on the southern end of Key Biscayne. A spot everyone calls "Nixons". It's nice and warm again now and we're doing the old "waiting to cross" thing. There must be twenty boats here waiting to cross the gulf stream. Many are friends we've known over the years. A cold front is coming through Sunday afternoon or evening and right after that happens the winds will clock and we'll all take off. Nassau next stop.

night0wl 01-16-2010 09:06 AM

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?

CaptainForce 01-17-2010 09:17 AM

We're further north up the Florida coast, but recieving the same winds behind the front that Vasco is using to cross the stream to the Bahamas,- about 15 w/gusts to 20 out of the SW, clear and sunny. 'take care and joy, Aythya crew

Melrna 01-17-2010 09:30 AM


Originally Posted by night0wl (Post 560556)
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.

WanderingStar 01-17-2010 12:49 PM

I envy you all. See you there some year.

Sanitie10 01-17-2010 01:27 PM

storage in E Florida
Can anyone recommend a marina or land storage facility to store my boat for 3 to 6 months? preferably on land? I am thinking of the Stewart/Ft Pierce area. Thanks.

AlanBrown 01-18-2010 11:22 AM


This may be what you're looking for. They offer wet and dry storage. Check out their website.

Indiantown Marina is located on the St. Lucie Canal
which links Stuart on the East Coast to Fort Myers on
the West Coast via Lake Okeechobee and the
Calloosahatchee River.

Good luck!

night0wl 01-18-2010 01:45 PM

Looks like fabulous crossing weather in the next day through Tuesday night. Fair winds Vasco and all those that are making the crossing!

Melrna 01-19-2010 01:15 PM

Three of my friends crossed yesterday. NW winds with 2 foot seas.. A nice run all the way across. Chuck reported wind 120 degrees off the port side, running full speed at 8 knots. Damm I am jealous.

Vasco 01-19-2010 02:37 PM

Record crossing for us. 26 hours Cape Florida to Nassau. First time I've crossed in winds with a northerly component. WNW - NW 10 -15 knots, more in gusts. Waves up to 6 feet, very rolly but fast. We usually cross before a front and the front usually hits us on the bank. This time the winds before the front were very strong, a very mild front and then the winds stayed NW rather than clocking more so we crossed after the front. An enjoyable trip. Warm and sunny in Nassau.

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