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Old 07-11-2013
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Gulf stream predictions on PassageWeather.com

We are planning a cruise sailing around the Bahamas for the first time next month for a couple of weeks, on our Beneteau sence 50' based in West Palm beach for the time being and on it's way to the Caribean later on the year, our first stop is going to be West End Grand Bahama, 56m to the east. I been looking at the gulf stream prediction charts on PassageWeather.com and from what I gather the stream runs most of the time 2 to 3 miles off the coast of Florida 1.5 to 2knts north bound for about 25 to 30 miles and then tends to veer to the east and some times all the way south.
My question is; are this weather prediction charts trustworthy or is there any other means you can recommend
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Old 07-11-2013
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Re: Gulf stream predictions on PassageWeather.com

The gulf stream info you have is accurate the vast majority of the time in that area, although I don't know what you mean by veering east or south. The stream in that area is about 30 miles wide and consistently runs south to north, with occasionally some southward flowing countercurrents, which are usually found close in to the Florida coast. With the trip you have planned Westend is the last you'll see of the stream.
There are various other sites out there, such as NOAA's Ocean Prediction Center - Product Loops and others. Beyond that you could always hire a pro like Jenifer Clark's gulfstream.
Have a good trip.
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Re: Gulf stream predictions on PassageWeather.com

What I meant is that beyond the 30 mile stream limit I notice the current pattern although a lot slower starts to turn clock wise towards the east, even turning all the way to the south as you get closer to West End.
Thanks a lot for the info FSMike
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Old 07-11-2013
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Re: Gulf stream predictions on PassageWeather.com

The NWS puts out Gulf Stream Current charts. There can be eddies that spin off from the stream in any direction. Some of these eddies spin clockwise and some counterclockwise. The stream can move closer to the coast or farther away. It can be closer to West End or farther away. The NWS weather broadcast on VHF will often give the position of the west wall, but that's about it. Chuck
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Old 07-12-2013
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Re: Gulf stream predictions on PassageWeather.com

Thanks CapnChuck

I'll check that out!!
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Old 07-14-2013
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Re: Gulf stream predictions on PassageWeather.com

Quote:
Originally Posted by ramonex1 View Post
Thanks CapnChuck

I'll check that out!!
The NWS Ocean Prediction Center forecasts the gulf stream for the West Palm Beach region at an average of 3knots anytime

Passage Weather forecasts of the gulf stream for the same region is an average of 1.5 to 2knots

NWS Environmental Modeling Center reads an average of 1.5 (m/s)

Which one is right? there is a big difference from 1.5 to 3 knots current to calculate your course to steer
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Old 07-16-2013
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Re: Gulf stream predictions on PassageWeather.com

There really is no answer. You will need to adjust your course based on the present width of the stream, the speed of your boat, and the maximum current. We use 2.5 knots as a rule of thumb. You don't want to go from WPB since you will be going south in the north running current and that will be a long slow ride. Get south of Key Biscayne and ride the stream north. You will need to adjust your course as you go. Once past the center you can make adjustments as needed to reach your destinations. Forget trying to set a single course and arrive where you need to be. The 1.5 average can be fairly accurate overall across the stream but you still want to start out using maximum current and adjust for the second half. The word is average. It will be less along the edges and stronger in the center axis. There is no source that will give you the precise speed of the current at different points. Hope this helps. BTW, expect any predictions or information that comes from the NWS to be wrong. Chuck
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Re: Gulf stream predictions on PassageWeather.com

Thank you Chuck

I think you miss understood me, we want to go from WPB to West End Grand Bahama, is that the heading you are writing about? do you really think we have to go all the way down to Key Biscayne to get to it?

Anyway a 2knt gulf stream for the first 30M is a good start, we will be trying to keep 7knts average speed

Cheers
Ramon
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