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rockDAWG 12-19-2010 10:58 AM

Making plan for to Marsh Harbour, Bahamas
Making sail plan to Marsh Harbour, Bahamas

Once again I need to your wisdom and experiences to make safe passage to Marsh Harbour. I hope we can do it in a week, but I will clear my calendar for 2 weeks.

Here is the sail plan:

1. Wait at Lake Worth for the proper weather window to cross the Gulf Stream to Great Sale Cay
2. Going east through Abacco Islands and stop at Monjack Island and Green Turtle bay.
3. Eventually get to Marsh Harbour
4. Fly to Florida and then back home (freezing).

If you would kindly comment on our plan. Things that I should look out for beyond the obvious. I have not done my homework, so I don't have Plans B and C yet. Please provide suggestions, I will study them before the trip.

All mighty captains, I thank you.

chef2sail 12-19-2010 11:50 AM


Are you signing on with another Captain again. Hopefully this boat has been "shaken down" and you have better luck than your last trip.


rockDAWG 12-19-2010 12:14 PM

Yes Chief, the kids decided to snowboarding with their friends instead of going with us. So my wife and I decide not to go this year.

At the same time, the sea is calling again. This is only way I can gain more sailing experience is to sail with other captains. Despite all the problems we had last time while crewing, I did learn a lot. All the problems we had were preventable, but I have a chance to learn how to deal with in real time. At time, it was dangerous but it was calculated risk that I was willing to do. This time I will do better regarding inspecting the boat and securing everything. More importantly, I will have my own plan B ad C if the captain fails to make alternative plan.

I think I should be OK. :)

jackdale 12-19-2010 01:16 PM

Was there 18 years ago.

Do you mean Nunjack Island and Green Turtle Cay?

Have you looked at how avoid the reefs between Whale Cay (Powell Cay on Google Maps) and Treasure Cay?

I am envious. You have no concept of freezing. ;) It was -14 C when I walked the dog this morning.

chef2sail 12-19-2010 01:43 PM thats serious chill

Dawg, One way trip over? Wish I could have the free time from my job like you have. My wife would give me a hard time me taking off on expeditions for weeks at a time with responsibilites like home, kids and job.

I am envious and will have to live vicariously through you till I retire in a few years.

Good planning to have a plan B and C. this time. I have always checked the Captain out also with refernces when I have done what you are doing, as no need for a carzy man/ woman.

You have a 37 Jenneau on the Chesapeake correct?. Where do you keep her?

Keep posting..**:**)

marianclaire 12-19-2010 01:53 PM

I have been planning a trip from Lake Worth to Marsh Harbor in March. I have not done this trip before and I have limited experience off shore. Just some day jumps between Miami, Ft L, LW, Stuart, crossing Fla Bay etc. Everything I have read and everyone I talk to stresses waiting for the right weather window and therefore the need to not have a schedule. My boat is slow, 4.5 knots, so I plan to leave LW heading due E and riding the Gulf Stream N and crossing the bank N of White Sands Ridge. From there the options are many. S to the east side of West End, on to Mangrove or Great Sale or straight thru to Spanish etc. My schedule is basically open but my crew’s is not. If we cross near the end of his time we would cross then head S to West End and he can taxi/shuttle to Freeport and fly home. But we both realize that if the weather is not right we will just sit and drink beer in LW. Coming from the north you also need to consider getting around Whale Cay to get to MH. I think you could get ashore at the ferry landing on Great Abaco Island and get to the airport by taxi if stuck N of the Whale.
Again: I have not done this trip so do not have first hand knowledge.This is just some of the stuff I have looked at. Dan S/V Marian Claire

Vasco 12-19-2010 01:57 PM

There are only two sticking points to your plan.

1. Waiting at Lake Worth, the way this winter is starting it seems it's a repeat of last year. Lots of fronts. But you have to wait so you can't help that. It may eat up a considerable part of your two weeks.

2. Getting from Green Turtle to Marsh Harbour. I don't think you're on a cat so you'll have to go through Whale Cay Cut. It can be bad if the weather's not cooperating. But you can get around this. Take the ferry from Green Turtle to the "mainland", Abaco. If you're flying out of Treasure Cay it's a short cab ride if out of Marsh Harbour, a longer one. But you'll make your flight.

Good luck and enjoy your sail.

CaptainForce 12-19-2010 02:02 PM

Everybody goes outside at the Whale passage except for the very shallow draft,- 3' or so. Manjack and Nunjack are commonly said for the same place. My only suggestion would be, if you are waiting for weather at Lake Worth inlet, take the poor weather day to motor down the ICW to anchor in Lake Sylvia in Ft. Lauderdale. Though your distance to Memory Rock or Indian Cay will be a little further, you will more than make up for it with your ride on the Gulfstram current. We usually leave Port Everglades at 6am and cross onto the Bank at Indian Cay by 3pm. Our trip from West Palm usually takes about 1+1/2 hrs. longer. Take care and joy,Aythya crew

rockDAWG 12-20-2010 12:03 PM

EGG-cellent comments captain. I will keep them in my book/head and check out all suggested locations. I don't have a Bahamas chart, so Google map will do it for now......hahaha. Captains, please do not have a heart attack. It is just an initial planing stage.

I am thinking to keep a watch on the weather, if the weather looks good I will fly down to Lake Worth and depart the next day to Bahamas. I hope the air fare is reasonable since I will book the same day or next day. I just can't sit at the dock waiting for the good weather window, but I will if I have to.

Time is more precious than money. I need to use it wisely.

jackdale 12-20-2010 12:20 PM


You might also have a wait for a weather window for the Whale Cay passage portion of the trip. It involves going out into the Atlantic right where it shelves up. That can produce huge wave action that may not be apparent while on the inside.

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