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Old 11-06-2011
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Cruising routes Abacos to the Exumas

Looking for the best way of sailing from the Abacos to the Exumas in January. We draw 6.8 ft. We are thinking of leaving Florida for the Abacos in December.. Thanks
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Old 11-06-2011
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I am interested in going to the Abacos from Fl. How did you do it?
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Old 11-06-2011
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I usually leave Little Harbor for Spanish Wells in Eleuthra and sail down to Cape Eleuthra after Current Cut. Cape Eleuthra to Highbourne and then down to George Town,- all with numerous stops on the way. With the 6'8" draft, your different choice would be to leave from the deeper channel out just on the north end of Lynyard Cay instead of Little Harbor, but all else remains. We enter Spanish Wells from the Royal Harbor after Egg Island to the west. I don't risk that tricky passage into Spanish Wells from the North.

As for the second post and inquiry, there are many good choices, but my favorite is to leave Port Everrglades at sunrise after anchoring in Lake Sylvia (Fort Lauderdale) and crossing to West End. We enter the bank at Indian Cay, but once again, a deeper draft would choose to pass in further north near Memory Rock. Technically, you are to clear at the nearest point to your entry, but many would choose to pass by West End (Settlement Point) and clear at Green Turtle after crossing the bank. Take care and joy, Aythya crew
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Thanks. Very helpful. Will do just that
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Old 11-07-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slaneynirit@yahoo.com View Post
Thanks. Very helpful. Will do just that
To go to the Abacos the more popular departure point in Florida is Lake Worth to either Memory Rock or a waypoint north of Memory Rock. Then across the Banks to Great Sale Cay. You stage from the south anchorage which allows easy access to the cut to the ocean. The crossing to the Little Bahama Bank takes about 10 hours and then another 6 to Great Sale. The last portion is done in the dark but there are no obstacles on the track and with todays chart plotters navigation is quite simple. Some cruisers anchor near the Memory Rock way point, just after they arrive on the banks. It's a little disconcerting anchoring with no reference points anywhere. Anchoring is good as it's an all sand bottom abot 10 feet deep. You will be amazed at the silence and the darkness. As above I would recommend you clear in at Green Turtle Cay.
Leaving from Lake worth there are usually a number of cruisers making the crossing and you can usually hook up with a few and make the crossing in a small flotilla.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ebs001 View Post
To go to the Abacos the more popular departure point in Florida is Lake Worth to either Memory Rock or a waypoint north of Memory Rock. Then across the Banks to Great Sale Cay. You stage from the south anchorage which allows easy access to the cut to the ocean. The crossing to the Little Bahama Bank takes about 10 hours and then another 6 to Great Sale. The last portion is done in the dark but there are no obstacles on the track and with todays chart plotters navigation is quite simple. Some cruisers anchor near the Memory Rock way point, just after they arrive on the banks. It's a little disconcerting anchoring with no reference points anywhere. Anchoring is good as it's an all sand bottom abot 10 feet deep. You will be amazed at the silence and the darkness. As above I would recommend you clear in at Green Turtle Cay.
Leaving from Lake worth there are usually a number of cruisers making the crossing and you can usually hook up with a few and make the crossing in a small flotilla.
That is the way I would do it but I always leave Fort Worth [excellent bouy markings and nav lights. ]at night timing my arrival at the bank North of Memory Rock at 10am and sailing across the bank in daylight and anchoring at Great Sale.

I would regard entering shallow water at night then on to a strange anchorage relying on a chart plotter as poor seamanship and an avoidable risk.

Please do this sort of thing in daylight, ideally with the sun coming over your shoulder.
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That is the way I would do it but I always leave Fort Worth [excellent bouy markings and nav lights. ]at night timing my arrival at the bank North of Memory Rock at 10am and sailing across the bank in daylight and anchoring at Great Sale..............
I do this at times and it's a great choice, especially for those that are coming down from the north, but if you arrive at West Palm and the weather is not great, then I'd take the extra day to head down the ICW to Lauderdale. There you will have a little further distance to West End, but you'll get a kick from the Gulfstream. West Palm Beach gives you a crossing at 90 degrees to the stream and you'll take no advantage. We usually leave Fort Lauderdale at 6am and arrive at West End at 3pm. You can take the shorter mile run from Lake Worth, but spend more time in passage. 'both are good choices. Take care and joy, Aythya crew
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Old 11-09-2011
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I do this at times and it's a great choice, especially for those that are coming down from the north, but if you arrive at West Palm and the weather is not great, then I'd take the extra day to head down the ICW to Lauderdale. There you will have a little further distance to West End, but you'll get a kick from the Gulfstream. West Palm Beach gives you a crossing at 90 degrees to the stream and you'll take no advantage. We usually leave Fort Lauderdale at 6am and arrive at West End at 3pm. You can take the shorter mile run from Lake Worth, but spend more time in passage. 'both are good choices. Take care and joy, Aythya crew
There are 19 opening bridges between Lake Worth and Fort Lauderdale. It makes for a very busy day to use the ICW to get to Lauderdale.

As to arriving on the banks and then on to Great Sale in the dark, you should be on the banks before dark. Only after you are already on the banks does it get dark. Leaving from Lake Worth there is usually a small flotilla and amoung them some experienced at crossing the stream. As captain Ron said "if it's going to happen it's going to happen out there" I would rather be on the banks at night with a problem than in the stream at night with a problem. In my opinion the potential for disaster is greater in the stream anytime day or night.
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You're absolutely right about the bridges! Some people are bothered by opening bridges,- 'never bothers me. It can be a casual day if you if you don't mind the bridges. Take care and joy, Aythya crew
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You're absolutely right about the bridges! Some people are bothered by opening bridges,- 'never bothers me. It can be a casual day if you if you don't mind the bridges. Take care and joy, Aythya crew
I have only done the bridges trip once. I made a chart with distances and opening restrictions on each bridge. The bridges are relentless with no time to relax. You have to do 6+ knots between many bridges and you will miss the scheduled opening of the next bridge if the is any delay. "Casual day", it wasn't for us. We found it to be a very stressfull day and didn't make it all the way to Lauderdale. We said never again.
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