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  #31  
Old 01-11-2014
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Re: Sailing NE Florida to the Abacos

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Originally Posted by DRFerron View Post
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.
Well...no...'plugging' my future enterprise, as you say, was just a way to illustrate why my intent for the thread was to specifically discuss offshore routes originating from NE Florida - and not a pro/con discussion on the more common routes from Florida to the Bahamas.

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  #32  
Old 01-11-2014
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Re: Sailing NE Florida to the Abacos

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Originally Posted by malyea View Post
Well...no...'plugging' my future enterprise, as you say, was just a way to illustrate why my intent for the thread was to specifically discuss offshore routes originating from NE Florida - and not a pro/con discussion on the more common routes from Florida to the Bahamas.

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Perhaps you need to think outside the box. Considering that getting from the Bahamas to St. Augustine is far less problematic than the reverse, perhaps your sail training could involve splitting a circuit between two groups of student crews. One to sail the yacht south from St. Augustine coast-wise to perhaps Ft. Lauderdale, learning boat handling and coastal navigation, and departing there for say West End for some off-shore and then Island Cruising after which they depart via air and a new crew arrives. The second crew cruises the islands learning boat handling and coastal navigation (presumably) and then departs West End (perhaps) for St. Augustine for some off-shore training. Of course, the big variable with this scheme will be weather as a Gulf Stream passage in any winds with a northerly component is certain to be very uncomfortable at best and, for novice crew, likely fairly frightening.

A third alternative is simply recognizing that St. Augustine isn't particularly conducive to your plans if they must include passages to the Bahamas and perhaps rethinking your base of operations to, say, Dinner Key Marina, Key Biscayne or some locale more suitable. And frankly, for the novice, a trip to no further than Bimini/Honeymoon Harbor/Cat Key would be no less enjoyable (and perhaps more-so) than a longer harder more tiring slog, that leaves less time of "play", eh?

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Last edited by svHyLyte; 01-11-2014 at 10:55 AM. Reason: Correct typo.
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  #33  
Old 01-11-2014
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Re: Sailing NE Florida to the Abacos

Re: s/v HyLyte's posting:

Excellent, excellent observations!

One additional thought:

Clients have schedules but off shore sailors can't. Add that concept to the Gulf Stream and then add a Northerly and you have either (1) clients sitting the harbor pissed that they have wasted their time/money or (2) clients and instructor(s) getting their clocks cleaned in the stream. Neither makes for a viable business plan. I've seen boats sit here in Miami for weeks waiting for a southerly in order to sail across the Gulf Stream. Please include these thoughts in you business planning or I fear the business will be short lived.
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  #34  
Old 01-16-2014
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Re: Sailing NE Florida to the Abacos

Given the many variables of client skill sets, desired learning objectives, time frames, seasonal patterns and weather windows - I plan to develop a 'curriculum' comprised of a variety of 'passage options' that can be flexed to as appropriate.

While some clients may prefer to experience the common ICW south to FLL and cross to West End route, I'm currently more focused on researching pertinent information on which to round out the curriculum with offshore passage making options leaving from NE Florida -not to discount the ditch south bound, but to round out the program with offshore options.

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Old 01-16-2014
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Re: Sailing NE Florida to the Abacos

Melyea, I may get some grief by others but I see no significant issue with your plan. First a short trip like the one proposed is barely what I would even call a "passage". You're talking 300nm or less and weather forecasting is generally very good for the two (three at most) days you will need. I have come down offshore from much further north (Hampton Va) and it is no big deal. Sometimes it's fun to take a more challenging route that requires more tack changes and decision making.
Your draft of course will play a big role in where you enter but just be sure to have the Explorer ChartBook for north Bahama and you will be fine. There are obviously only a finite number of places you can safely enter but much of that will depend on where you find yourself as you approach. Of course only enter in the daytime but that is a given.
BTW I just finished sailing around the world and I think the Bahamas are some of the best cruising grounds anywhere!
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