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  #1  
Old 11-06-2012
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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.

thx,

~markb
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Old 11-07-2012
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Re: recommendations on jumping off point from Florida to Bahamas

With the exception of the launch ramp (I just don't know what facilities exist) Lake Worth is the classic jumping off point. Both Lauderdale and Miami have very heavy commerical ship traffic and are a bit south. That is not to say you could not use either one.
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Old 11-08-2012
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Re: recommendations on jumping off point from Florida to Bahamas

Lake Worth is only viable in a sailboat if your destination is the Abacos where you would clear in at Green Turtle Cay if you followed the usual route entering the banks at Memory Rock and staying overnight at Great Sale Cay.

If you are aiming for Bimini then leave from Miami.

This topic has been discussed many times on this forum so a search will develop a wealth of info.
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Old 11-08-2012
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Re: recommendations on jumping off point from Florida to Bahamas

Personally I'm not too crazy about dunking my trailer into salt water. Maybe you have an
all aluminum or stainless steel or super galvanized trailer.

You might want to check out rates
for storage of truck and trailer as well as travel lift launch.
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Old 11-08-2012
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Re: recommendations on jumping off point from Florida to Bahamas

Thank you Captain meme. This is exactly the kind of practical "sugestion" thing I was looking for. I did check out their rates, and yes, extremely reasonable.

I tried to determine exactly where they are located from the google map thing on their website. It looks like this would add a day or two on each end of the trip 'across'. But sure do like the sounds of their very "down to earth" approach/facilities.

Any other thoughts?

thx, markb
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Last edited by bratzcpa; 11-08-2012 at 12:09 PM. Reason: spelling fix!
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Old 11-08-2012
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Re: recommendations on jumping off point from Florida to Bahamas

Quote:
Originally Posted by bratzcpa View Post
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.

thx,

~markb
Mark,

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).

FWIW...
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Re: recommendations on jumping off point from Florida to Bahamas

Hi~check out Lake Sylvia in Ft Lauderdale, this is where you can anchor and wait for good weather for a trip across the Stream. Since you're on a trailer sailer like me you'll need some room to be swept north by the Stream. We made it to Memory Rock to get onto the Bank.
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Re: recommendations on jumping off point from Florida to Bahamas

I always departed from Miami to get a better angle crossing the Gulf Stream and its northerly current. Bimini or West End for my destination depending on where I was heading to. You should be able to find what you are looking for in Miami such as Crandon Park or Dinner Key which both are a good place for a shakedown cruise such as heading over to Elliot Key. There use to be a small marina in Dania which is just next to Ft. Lauderdale called Cozy Cove Marina which had facilities for what you are looking for.
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Re: recommendations on jumping off point from Florida to Bahamas

To get to Grand bahama and the Abacos, start further south than Lake Worth, otherwise you will be fighting the Gulf Stream. Starting further south, it will help you. You can clear in at West End although it is a bit pricey
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Old 11-08-2012
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Re: recommendations on jumping off point from Florida to Bahamas

"You can clear in at West End although it is a bit pricey "

Are you saying the custom fees are different depending on where you clear in?
Or are supplies (food, booze, fuel) more expensive at West End?
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