South Florida-ish to Bahamas...Making it happen in mid to late novermeber - SailNet Community

   Search Sailnet:

 forums  store  


Quick Menu
Forums           
Articles          
Galleries        
Boat Reviews  
Classifieds     
Search SailNet 
Boat Search (new)

Shop the
SailNet Store
Anchor Locker
Boatbuilding & Repair
Charts
Clothing
Electrical
Electronics
Engine
Hatches and Portlights
Interior And Galley
Maintenance
Marine Electronics
Navigation
Other Items
Plumbing and Pumps
Rigging
Safety
Sailing Hardware
Trailer & Watersports
Clearance Items

Advertise Here






Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest > General Discussion (sailing related)
 Not a Member? 


Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 06-09-2012
23Ranger's Avatar
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: South Florida
Posts: 17
Thanks: 2
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
23Ranger is on a distinguished road
South Florida-ish to Bahamas...Making it happen in mid to late novermeber

Hey everyone, i've been sailing about a year and half and have a couple trips to key west and back under my belt. I'm getting furlowed (sp?) from mid november to the start of the new year, and a buddy and I with basically equal sailing experience are thinking about spending 4-5 weeks hopping around the bahamas in my 23' Ranger. I definitely understand that a north or a north east wind makes the gulf stream passage a very bad idea; having at least a minimal understanding of weather patterns in south florida I also realize that my window is not the greatest time to attempt to cross the gulf stream. So... I am interested in any stories or suggestions any of you all might have about alternate routes to the bahamas. By alternate, I mean crossing the stream at a point where its not running head on into a north or north east wind. By example, we're thinking about heading south into the keys and trying to cross where the stream runs NE to SW as the keys turn west. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

Also, my buddy and I are trying to make some modifications to the boat in advance of the trip to add some redundnacy and extra safety measures . I'm going to list some of what we have below, and what we want to add before then. Any suggestions on recommended equipment would be greatly appreciated.

(Some of) What we have:

Good set of sails. Two mains, a 110, 130, and 150 Genoa. Also a spinaker (sp?) that I do not know how to use.

Inflatable (sp) 9' kayak

Required safety equip: flares, handheld VHF, etc

6hp outboard (one year old)

depthfinder/tach

one 12 volt battery with minimal electronic load/ solar pannel to trickle charge


What we want to put on:

bilge pump on float switch (currently manual pump)

replace battery with two battery bank; add radio with increased range;

buy a storm jib

anchor better suited for rock bottom (currently have a slightly over-sized danforth) with extra chain.

We're also going to replace most of my running rigging and check our standing rigging for tightness and weaknesses. I've pulled her out of the water and she's water tight below the toe rail.

Thanks in advance for all of your suggestions and comments

Adam
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #2  
Old 06-10-2012
night0wl's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Fort Lauderdale
Posts: 1,401
Thanks: 0
Thanked 17 Times in 17 Posts
Rep Power: 9
night0wl is on a distinguished road
Re: South Florida-ish to Bahamas...Making it happen in mid to late novermeber

Its been done in boats your size. Look for a good 2-3 day weather window..or more for your small boat. By weather window, it usually means crossing in advance of a cool front moving through with no wind component from the North and never in winds above 20 knots.

The dominant wind pattern in SE Florida is a Southeast / East winds. Which tends to put the Bahamas a slog into wind and wind driven surf. However, in the winter timeframe, we get somewhat frequent "notherners" which are cool fronts that dive down from the north. These can arrive as frequently as every 4-7 days.

In advance of these fronts, the wind patterns shifts from SE/E to a South, then West...then rapidly to North/Northeast pattern. Typically, people target a slow moving front...which gives several days (2-3 ideally) of West/Southwest winds ahead of the shift to North/Northeast. A breeze with a westerly component and southerly component tends to settle the waters off of Florida and calm the stream...although *ANY* winds of 20 knots plus (even S, SE, SW) will kick up nasty stuff out there.

So once a window is found, a crossing is made ex-post haste. Departure points are typically Lake Worth (Palm Beach inlet) for West End, Fort Lauderdale for Bimini or West End, or Miami (No Name Harbor) for Bimini.

People leave their inlet and make as much southing as possible. Staying in 25 feet of water and motorsailing to take advantage of a southward eddy that flows counter to the Gulfstream. Once around Haulover (for those from Palm Beach of Fort Lauderdale), you make your turn to the left and drop the hammer and get across the Gulfstream as fast as possible. Its important not to try and maintain a destination, but to cross the 40-50 miles to the Bahamas banks quickly. The stream will move you 2-4 knots north...so if you're doing it right, your track should look like an "S", as you'll likely have to do some southing when you make it over to the Bahamas.

Whatever you do, DO NOT end up in the Gulfstream with the winds 20+ knots from the North, Northeast. That is a recipe for big, blocky waves called "marching elephants" and you will get beat up, as will your boat.

If the window isn't big enough...hang back and enjoy Miami.

BTW, why Bahamas. Your boat seems perfect to enjoy the Florida Keys....and no messy Gulfstream crossing or $150 cruising permit/entry fee to deal with.
__________________
S/V Jendai
Beneteau 343
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #3  
Old 06-10-2012
Capt.aaron's Avatar
KNOT KNOWN
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Guanaja, Bay Islands, Honduras
Posts: 1,320
Thanks: 1
Thanked 19 Times in 19 Posts
Rep Power: 3
Capt.aaron is on a distinguished road
Re: South Florida-ish to Bahamas...Making it happen in mid to late novermeber

If you leave out of Marathon with an east wind less than 10 knt, you can sail S.E., crossing the gulf stream at a vector that will put you in Bimini. I usually leave out of Angle fish creek in Key Largo at mid-night and get to Bimini around 1 in the afernoon. A ranger 23 is a very tender coastal cruiser and the Straits of Fla. can be a real S.O.B. in Nov. You want to cross it well south of Bimini and sail up to it rather than fight the current and try to sail down to it. Bring enough Gas that when you are with in range you can just bust out the last bit with the engine. Leave Marathon at 8 or 9 at night and illuminate your sails with a Q beam when ships come close, alway's take their stern. You'll be getting colse by sunrise and have all day with good light to make your aproach.
__________________
" Some are boat wise and some are other wise"
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #4  
Old 06-10-2012
sevseasail's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Atlanta, Ga
Posts: 179
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 8
sevseasail is on a distinguished road
Re: South Florida-ish to Bahamas...Making it happen in mid to late novermeber

Quote:
Originally Posted by 23Ranger View Post

(Some of) What we have:


Required safety equip: flares, handheld VHF, etc


Adam

EPIRB ??

It's expensive, but I wont leave without one.
__________________

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

S/V Chata
1980 Catalina 22

"Common sense is the least common of the senses"

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #5  
Old 06-10-2012
Melrna's Avatar
Crazy Woman Boat Driver
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: New Bern NC
Posts: 783
Thanks: 16
Thanked 13 Times in 10 Posts
Rep Power: 11
Melrna will become famous soon enough
Send a message via AIM to Melrna Send a message via Yahoo to Melrna
Re: South Florida-ish to Bahamas...Making it happen in mid to late novermeber

I don't think an ERIP is really necessary here in SE Florida or the Bahamas. One is always within VHF radio contact with someone. Don't think you need a storm sail either. If you do, you are not sailing safely in these waters. As far as your anchor the Bahamas is mostly sand bottom with an occasion corral rocks (very small) over a hard limestone bottom which holding is mostly bad. Your Danforth is OK except during the frequent wind shifts for which they don't re-set very well. I am still a fan of Ronca anchors despite the controversy over them. I would agree leaving out of Marathon early in the morning when the east winds are blowing. Not sure you would have enough gas without carry jugs to make the 10-14 hour crossing motorsailing.
__________________
Melissa Renee
Moondance
Catalina 445, Hull #90
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #6  
Old 06-10-2012
sevseasail's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Atlanta, Ga
Posts: 179
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 8
sevseasail is on a distinguished road
Re: South Florida-ish to Bahamas...Making it happen in mid to late novermeber

Quote:
Originally Posted by Melrna View Post
I don't think an ERIP is really necessary here in SE Florida or the Bahamas. One is always within VHF radio contact with someone.
With all due respect.

What if you loose the radio? worst.... what if you loose the boat and end up on your inflatable??

I know chances are small if you choose the right weather window; however, me, I rather be safe than sorry, specially when putting another life, besides mine, in my hands...

Peace of mind. I think $600 is well worth it. (Heck, he can even buy a used one on ebay and sell it afterwards if everything goes well; which it will.)

Accidents happened all the time, whether they became a tragedy or not I think is related to how we handle the situation and how well prepared we are to handle it.

But what do I know.... I never sailed those waters.
__________________

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

S/V Chata
1980 Catalina 22

"Common sense is the least common of the senses"

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #7  
Old 06-10-2012
Capt.aaron's Avatar
KNOT KNOWN
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Guanaja, Bay Islands, Honduras
Posts: 1,320
Thanks: 1
Thanked 19 Times in 19 Posts
Rep Power: 3
Capt.aaron is on a distinguished road
Re: South Florida-ish to Bahamas...Making it happen in mid to late novermeber

Quote:
Originally Posted by sevseasail View Post
With all due respect.

What if you loose the radio? worst.... what if you loose the boat and end up on your inflatable??

I know chances are small if you choose the right weather window; however, me, I rather be safe than sorry, specially when putting another life, besides mine, in my hands...

Peace of mind. I think $600 is well worth it. (Heck, he can even buy a used one on ebay and sell it afterwards if everything goes well; which it will.)

Accidents happened all the time, whether they became a tragedy or not I think is related to how we handle the situation and how well prepared we are to handle it.

But what do I know.... I never sailed those waters.
Get a spot. Rent a sat phone, you need more anchor's, You may need a drouge in an emergancy.
__________________
" Some are boat wise and some are other wise"
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #8  
Old 06-10-2012
night0wl's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Fort Lauderdale
Posts: 1,401
Thanks: 0
Thanked 17 Times in 17 Posts
Rep Power: 9
night0wl is on a distinguished road
Re: South Florida-ish to Bahamas...Making it happen in mid to late novermeber

I recommend leaving at night and doing an overnight passage to arrive in daylight on the Bahamas banks...easier to visualize the coral heads. Even the best charts cant match visual navigation in the Bahamas.
__________________
S/V Jendai
Beneteau 343
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #9  
Old 06-10-2012
Melrna's Avatar
Crazy Woman Boat Driver
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: New Bern NC
Posts: 783
Thanks: 16
Thanked 13 Times in 10 Posts
Rep Power: 11
Melrna will become famous soon enough
Send a message via AIM to Melrna Send a message via Yahoo to Melrna
Re: South Florida-ish to Bahamas...Making it happen in mid to late novermeber

Each sailor has to choose what is necessary and what is not. What one sailor considers essential another not. As far as an ERIB here in South Florida and most of the north and central Bahamas where the weather is benign most of the year it is over kill. In chatting with most cruisers I would say an ERIB is about 60/40. Most Europeans don't seem to carry them even crossing oceans. While I carry 2 radios, one portable and a SPOT I don't have an ERIP and don't plan on buying one until such time I cut the docklines next year. If one is going out to test boat vs mother nature when she rears her ugly head than yes maybe a ERIP is necessary here. I do on as many occasions as I can to get foul weather training but I do it with in ear shot of the CG and BoatUS. At one time had 4 CG boat watch me in a blow doing Foul weather training up in Long Island. It was great training. Back to his trip, crossing the Gulf Steam is probably the most dangerous if one doesn't pick a good wx window. November is a great time to cross because of the convoy of boats that cross during their annual migration south. So he will be in good company.
Bottomline though like I said what I am comfortable with might not be what someone else is. Each to his own abilities and comfort level.
You are right that stuff does happen and to be honest living here at one of the jump off points and being host to many cruisers here, what I am getting sick and tired of is the boats that are not seaworthy making a mess of things because someone is doing it on the cheap, with no coin in his pocket and begging off of other cruisers for getting him out of fixes. The 10% I see is what makes a bad name for all the authorities and other cruisers they leech off. I won't get into no knowledge of sailing said vessel and competence.
__________________
Melissa Renee
Moondance
Catalina 445, Hull #90

Last edited by Melrna; 06-11-2012 at 08:21 AM.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #10  
Old 06-11-2012
sevseasail's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Atlanta, Ga
Posts: 179
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 8
sevseasail is on a distinguished road
Re: South Florida-ish to Bahamas...Making it happen in mid to late novermeber

Quote:
Originally Posted by Melrna View Post
Each sailor has to choose what is necessary and what is not. What one sailor considers essential another not. As far as an ERIB here in South Florida and most of the north and central Bahamas where the weather is benign most of the year it is over kill. In chatting with most cruisers I would say an ERIB is about 60/40. Most Europeans don't seem to carry them even crossing oceans. While I carry 2 radios, one portable and a SPOT I don't have an ERIP and don't plan on buying one until such time I cut the docklines next year. If one is going out to test boat vs mother nature when she rears her ugly head than yes maybe a ERIP is necessary here. I do on as many occasions as I can to get foul weather training but I do it with in ear shot of the CG and BoatUS. At one time had 4 CG boat watch me in a blow doing Foul weather training up in Long Island. It was great training. Back to his trip, crossing the Gulf Steam is probably the most dangerous if one doesn't pick a good wx window. November is a great time to cross because of the convoy of boats that cross during their annual migration south. So he will be in good company.
Bottomline though like I said what I am comfortable with might not be what someone else is. Each to his own abilities and comfort level.
You are right that stuff does happen and to be honest living here at one of the jump off points and being host to many cruisers here, what I am getting sick and tired of is the boats that are not seaworthy making a mess of things because someone is doing it on the cheap, with no coin in his pocket and begging off of other cruisers for getting him out of fixes. The 10% I see is what makes a bad name for all the authorities and other cruisers they leech off. I won't get into no knowledge of sailing said vessel and competence.

What you are saying makes a lot of sense and it also seems you have the knowledge and experience to determine what you need or don't.
Judging by your post I'll say you are not as crazy as your signature indicates

As per the OP; I think that if you need to come here for advise on such a trip, you might need all the safety gear. Just my thoughts.
__________________

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

S/V Chata
1980 Catalina 22

"Common sense is the least common of the senses"

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

 
Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may post attachments
You may edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Is it too late in season to head south ?? Jasper Windvane General Discussion (sailing related) 13 11-18-2009 05:51 AM
How late to leave Chesapeake South? EpicAdventure Cruising & Liveaboard Forum 19 06-23-2009 01:29 PM
Crew needed, St. Thomas to Bahamas late May Tspringer Crew Wanted/Available 2 04-24-2008 01:29 PM
Ah... late summer in South Florida!! mikeedmo News Feeds 0 09-19-2007 02:27 AM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 01:25 AM.

Add to My Yahoo!         
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
SEO by vBSEO 3.6.1
(c) Marine.com LLC 2000-2012

The SailNet.com store is owned and operated by a company independent of the SailNet.com forum. You are now leaving the SailNet forum. Click OK to continue or Cancel to return to the SailNet forum.