Sailing NE Florida to the Abacos - Page 3 - SailNet Community
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post #21 of 37 Old 08-25-2013
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Re: Sailing NE Florida to the Abacos

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Originally Posted by mellowseas View Post
Night0wl
You probably will be beating SE but there is no 2 to 4 knot current running west on the north side of the Bahamas. The gulf stream itself is a 2 to 4 knot current.
Oh but there is an up to 2 knot current running east to west across the top of the Abacos. Sure you can do it ... the question is why? If you must go from St. Aug is to go due east, heading about 20 deg. further south to compensate for the GS, then turn south but allowing/compensating for the westerly current along the top of the Abacos.
The tried and true way to get to the Abacos with the least amount of hassle is to cross from Ft. Lauderdale or Lake Worth Inlet. Then you dont have to sometimes sit and wait it out for any rage in the northern 'passes' to settle before entering the Abacos from the north.

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post #22 of 37 Old 08-28-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: Sailing NE Florida to the Abacos

Great info - thanks!

I'm actually researching 'offshore passage training routes' on which to sail with student clients out of NE Florida. Bermuda looks good at just over 1000 nm, Bermuda to Bahamas at about 1000 nm and St Augustine to Bahamas (Abacos or point south) at 400 to 550 nm.

Time of year, wind and weather windows would all dictate the itinerary and provide passage choices for the offshore training.

Thanks!
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post #23 of 37 Old 08-29-2013
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Re: Sailing NE Florida to the Abacos

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Originally Posted by malyea View Post
Would like to hear from anyone who has done the passage in this manner. 7 to 14 days offshore is fine.
If you are willing to be out on the water that long, you might as well go all the way to 65 degrees longitude and head for the Virgin Islands. You can make it in 14 days or less. Once you turn south you should pick up the trades in a couple of days. Until then, it's mostly motoring.

Of course, right now we are at the height of the hurricane season and all the area in which you are talking about sailing is right on the frequent track of hurricanes.
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post #24 of 37 Old 08-30-2013
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Re: Sailing NE Florida to the Abacos

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I'm actually researching 'offshore passage training routes' on which to sail with student clients
Maybe I'm missing something here - the bulk of the comments has been that this isn't the best idea, but you want to take student clients on this route? Perhaps you could explain the rationale behind this?
I don't know the Abacos, but from my experience in the Gulf Stream and the Bahamas, I've learned that one doesn't fight against the conditions, one works with them to achieve the safest and most comfortable passage one can. It's easy enough to get into trouble doing the smart thing on the water - why push your luck?
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post #25 of 37 Old 08-30-2013
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Re: Sailing NE Florida to the Abacos

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Originally Posted by malyea View Post
Starting to plan an offshore passage from NE Florida to the Abacos. My preferred route is all offshore avoiding the 'standard sail south to Ft Lauderdale and head east'.

The plan is head east out of St Augustine to cross the stream then head south east to leave Little Bahamas Bank well to starboard keeping in deep water to gain enough southing to then make landfall from east to west in the Abacos.

I've never sailed this route before and would like to hear from anyone who has.

Thanks!
The route you are planning used to be commonly used, back when there were sailing ships and sailing men. If you have a well-found bluewater-capeable boat, and good crew, you should be able to do it. Follow the advice about having the sun at your back and polaroid sunglasses.

A little "inspirational reading" --

"The boat was a fine Maine schooner of 250 tons.
At 4:30 in the afternoon of Monday, September 3, 1877, she was towed [from New York City docks] into the stream and set sail to a fresh west-northwest breeze. It was the season for hurricanes in the West Indies, but that meant nothing to us, and little more to Captain Seavey, who had not experienced one, and had not been in the Florida Straits. "Where ignorance is bliss ---" at any rate we were free of the anxiety we might legitimately have felt, and ready to enjoy the voyage.

It was a comfortable one, and I can still feel the thirsty fibers of my being drinking in the world of sea and sky, long dreamed of, yet new. On Wednesday we sighted a ship, a brig, and several schooners...

Moderate weather yielded to a westerly squall, and then a fine northeast breeze set us well across the Gulf Stream, its indigo rollers flashing in the sun like great beds of sapphire, alive with the silver gleam of flying fish. Monday was calm, with a heavy sea, and the main-sheet block parted company with the boom under the violent slatting of the sail.

There followed a strenuous time, the boom sweeping wildly to and fro, threatening the backstays, while the whole crew tried to pass rope's ends around it as it swung. It was secured at last without damage, and that evening we had a good assortment of yarns about similar experiences.

There were good breezes Tuesday and Wednesday, and Captain Seavey announced Abaco Light due in sight about one o'clock Thursday morning. At 1:15 it appeared -- a remarkably good landfall -- and at 7:00 we passed the Hole in the Wall, and had a good look through it. It is an opening in the narrow, wall-like cliff of stone on the south end of Abaco Island, which has given its name to the whole neighborhood, and in fact to this route into the Gulf of Mexico."

- from "The Commodore's Story", Ralph Munroe & Vince Gilpin

"Climate is what you expect (and hope for);
weather is what you get." --- anonymous

Fair winds, and have fun!
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post #26 of 37 Old 08-31-2013
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Re: Sailing NE Florida to the Abacos

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Originally Posted by CaptTony View Post
If you are willing to be out on the water that long, you might as well go all the way to 65 degrees longitude and head for the Virgin Islands. You can make it in 14 days or less. Once you turn south you should pick up the trades in a couple of days. Until then, it's mostly motoring.

Of course, right now we are at the height of the hurricane season and all the area in which you are talking about sailing is right on the frequent track of hurricanes.
Please tell us you are not planning doing this on a 30' Hunter! I wouldn't like to try that trip on a 60' Swan without a professional crew and I've been deep water sailing for half a century. As mentioned above, not only do you need to cross the Gulfstream, the west setting current across the top of the Abacos, but you also have the Antilles Current running north along the eastern side of the Bahamas.
Heading SE out of Fla in even an easterly, is tough for most sailboats to do and when you add ocean swells and the currents you will encounter, you most likely will not make much headway in any direction you'd like to go.
But hey, I'm as game as the next guy, so if you do it, please come back here and let us all know how wrong we were. Perhaps this "climate change" thing will be good for something.

"Any idiot can make a boat go; it takes a sailor to stop one." Spike Africa aboard the schooner Wanderer in Sausalito, Ca. 1964.

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post #27 of 37 Old 01-09-2014 Thread Starter
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Re: Sailing NE Florida to the Abacos

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Please tell us you are not planning doing this on a 30' Hunter! I wouldn't like to try that trip on a 60' Swan without a professional crew and I've been deep water sailing for half a century.
No, in fact I'm shopping for an older 38' to 42' boat that can be offshore ready for no more than $100k to use as my schools passage training platform. I'm researching good offshore training routes originating in St Augustine such as STA to Charleston, Bermuda, Abacos, etc. I'm on the 2 year plan with the expected opening of Four Points Sailing to be sometime late 2015.

Thanks and more thoughts appreciated.
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post #28 of 37 Old 01-10-2014
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Re: Sailing NE Florida to the Abacos

You should open a separate thread about your $100k offshore boat plan.
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post #29 of 37 Old 01-10-2014
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Re: Sailing NE Florida to the Abacos

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Originally Posted by malyea View Post
...

Time of year, wind and weather windows would all dictate the itinerary and provide passage choices for the offshore training.

Thanks!
But apparently not the advice of people with more experience if it doesn't suit your itinerary.

Sorry, but it sounds like you started this thread not so much for route advice but to plug your as-yet-to-open offshore sailing enterprise.

Donna


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post #30 of 37 Old 01-10-2014
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Re: Sailing NE Florida to the Abacos

Someone has found the thorny path to the Bahamas!

On the northern Gulf of Mexico.


"Best thing to do is get her out on the ocean. If anything's gonna happen, it's gonna happen out there." Captain Ron Rico
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