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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest > General Discussion (sailing related) > Miami to Bimini
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Thread: Miami to Bimini Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
06-26-2014 10:51 AM
night0wl
Re: Miami to Bimini

Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnnycatt View Post
Is crossing to Bimini in the summer better than going in the winter?

I underfstand 25ft swells may be a bit of hyperbole, but I've done them in Search and Rescue missions in a power boat of the coast of Long Island... And in the Yucatain straits (a couple of times) on a ship; I'd like to avoid that... Especially since my "crew" will consist of 2 teenage girls (daughters) who really want to go to the Bahamas...

They are usually rather un-excited about a "boat trip" out of our usual port (Gulfport, MS), but the prospect of going to THE BAHAMAS really got them excited - especially "sailing to The Bahamas!"

Is going in the summer better than going in the winter?
I prefer summer shoulder seasons for a couple of reasons. First, not as many cold fronts and two the water is warmer for swimming/diving. Ideal time for me is May/June. Too late in the summer and you get too many bugs and the risk of getting pegged down by a tropical storm/hurricane is higher.

So those kind of crazy seas (aka marching elephants) coincide with a particularly strong North/Northeastern wind flow. I've lived in SE Florida going on a decade now, and I've only seen above 20 foot seas advisories TWICE. Once was for when Sandy grazed us, and the other for a nasty front that came by one winter. Cold fronts typically start coming down from northern waters in the late October/November timeframe. Early October is my favorite time of year in SE FLorida by the way. Humidity drops off but its still very warm.

Look - come November, I'd play it by ear. You may get lucky and have a week or 10 days of no fronts passing through. Its been known to happen. If so, hop in and go across. Most any boat can make the passage in good sea conditions. Its only 48 miles.

HOwever, on a bad day, it'll make you wish give up sailing forever.

If you see the chance of a bad passage either way...there is always sailing from Miami to Marathon or possibly a bit further south with that kind of window. ALl in relatively protected waters in the Keys.
06-26-2014 08:45 AM
Group9
Re: Miami to Bimini

Quote:
Originally Posted by jzk View Post
The trip down biscayne bay past eliot key through jewfish creek and on to Key West is pretty spectacular. Definitely a bucketlist "must do."
Yeah, that's the trip I would take, too, if I only had a week.
06-26-2014 08:43 AM
Group9
Re: Miami to Bimini

Quote:
Originally Posted by jzk View Post
ed every time I have entered. Back then we did enter by lining up the range markers, then going straight in until you get pretty close to the beach and hanging a left. Remember those days? My first ever entry was at night with the Irwin. .
My first trip from Florida to Bimini was in 1987, in a boat with a five foot draft and I can still remember the stress of sailing right toward the beach on the range markers, and then hanging that left when we were so close, I wouldn't have felt scared of jumping off and swimming to the beach.

We had one person with us, who had done it one time before, and even he looked nervous. It's a breeze to go in now with real markers and chartplotters.
06-26-2014 07:54 AM
Hush34
Re: Miami to Bimini

You would be much better off planning for a Keys trip. When you get to Miami, you can check the weather window and see what you can expect. If you get a window, you can hit Bimini but have to closely watch the forecasts.

I word of caution though. Weather windows are called such because they can open and shut. Unless you can wait weeks for a prematurely closed window to reopen, you should stick to the coast. That is unless you like helicopter rides.
06-26-2014 07:44 AM
Johnnycatt
Re: Miami to Bimini

Is crossing to Bimini in the summer better than going in the winter?

I underfstand 25ft swells may be a bit of hyperbole, but I've done them in Search and Rescue missions in a power boat of the coast of Long Island... And in the Yucatain straits (a couple of times) on a ship; I'd like to avoid that... Especially since my "crew" will consist of 2 teenage girls (daughters) who really want to go to the Bahamas...

They are usually rather un-excited about a "boat trip" out of our usual port (Gulfport, MS), but the prospect of going to THE BAHAMAS really got them excited - especially "sailing to The Bahamas!"

Is going in the summer better than going in the winter?
06-25-2014 09:13 AM
jzk
Re: Miami to Bimini

The trip down biscayne bay past eliot key through jewfish creek and on to Key West is pretty spectacular. Definitely a bucketlist "must do."
06-25-2014 08:41 AM
Johnnycatt
Re: Miami to Bimini

Quote:
Originally Posted by JonEisberg View Post
For certain, that should be his fallback plan... On a boat like his Spindrift, one could have a blast moseying down the back side of the Keys, and knocking about Florida Bay...

Making it out to the Dry Tortugas and back in a week, however, that ain't gonna happen... :-)
Dry tortugas is my 2nd choice, although I would launch out of Key West (or rent a boat).

I went to Fort Jefferson once when I was inthe USCG stationed on a 210' cutter out of St. Petersburg, FL... I had "duty" so I couldn't get off the ship, but man I have always wanted to go back!
06-24-2014 08:04 PM
RichH
Re: Miami to Bimini

Even that there is a new channel blasted through the coral to N. Bimini / Alicetown, in 'heavy' NW weather you can experience quite a bit of 'rage' in that channel when the outflow tide is against the winds (in the outer-most 'dogleg'). Im talking VERY steep and very short period 'breaking' chop.
06-24-2014 07:43 PM
JonEisberg
Re: Miami to Bimini

Quote:
Originally Posted by jzk View Post
The entrance to Bimini has always been pretty protected every time I have entered. Back then we did enter by lining up the range markers, then going straight in until you get pretty close to the beach and hanging a left. Remember those days? My first ever entry was at night with the Irwin.
Well, that right there is proof positive you're a braver man than I... :-)
06-24-2014 07:40 PM
JonEisberg
Re: Miami to Bimini

Quote:
Originally Posted by rgscpat View Post
Seems like the thing to do would be do have a backup plan to sail around Miami, the Keys, or sw Florida or maybe dry Tortugas. Then, if the weather window to cross the stream and back doesn't materialize, the trip's still not wasted.
For certain, that should be his fallback plan... On a boat like his Spindrift, one could have a blast moseying down the back side of the Keys, and knocking about Florida Bay...

Making it out to the Dry Tortugas and back in a week, however, that ain't gonna happen... :-)
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