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post #11 of 16 Old 01-11-2014
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Re: Sail From Nova Scotia To The Bahamas

Originally Posted by smotzy2005 View Post
With all due respect FSMike I have been sailing for over thirty years in the Great Lakes and have grown up around boats my hole life. I find your comment very insulting, .
Yes, sometimes this forum beggars belief.

Going by the Azores and canaries is the easy but long way.

I havent done Nova Scottia to bahamas/Caribbean direct but the time to go is at the end of the hurricane season and before winter. As you'll note both seam to overlap!

Its only 1,500 miles so not far.

The route is down to 65 West (about where bermuda is, so a stop in is on the way, if desired to wait for a weather window), then direct to Georgetown in the southern bahamas.

Prevailing winds: up the bum to start, then variables and a tad on the nose and then up the bum from Bermuda.

Contrary to what some posters have written the gulf stream is well coastwards of the route except for the first three hundred miles, where it is on your beam and would help not hinder by keeping your easting.

The difficulty is if you hit a north atlantic storm from the great lakes, or a late hurricane, or as with Sandy, a combination of both.

The Azores, canaries, bahamas route is 5,400 so a completly different type of voyage. If you do that then stop in the Med for a season.


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post #12 of 16 Old 01-11-2014
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Re: Sail From Nova Scotia To The Bahamas

I think the voyage is about the getting there ,not the got there.The long way about will offer the opportunity to compare the Med to the G Lakes (a worthy study in itself).The got there is often a bit anti climactic
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post #13 of 16 Old 01-13-2014
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Re: Sail From Nova Scotia To The Bahamas

smotzy -

If I insulted you I apologize. To me your original post sounded like a neophyte ready to bite off more than he could chew. There was no info in that post to indicate that you had any experience.

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post #14 of 16 Old 04-07-2014
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Re: Sail From Nova Scotia To The Bahamas


I left Halifax last Oct. 12 and 16 days later arrived in Ft. Lauderdale. It was aboard my Downeast 32. There was only a crew of two, but we managed just fine. Not the easiest of trips as noted in the other comments warning against the stream. We went south and cut the stream closer to NS, then fought it a few more times working south. All in all it was an amazing experience. I would absolutely recommend it to experienced sailors.

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post #15 of 16 Old 04-07-2014
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Re: Sail From Nova Scotia To The Bahamas

The OP is probably gone by now but the advice above about sailing to the Canaries or Azores is way off base. I'll offer this in the hope some future reader is not misled.

Uricane, look at a chart of the Atlantic. Boats leave New England for the Carribean every year in early November, passing by or stopping in Bermuda, and then proceeding south to the BVI or points east and south of there. Halifax is two days max to the latitude of southern NE and the angle on the wind isn't that much different. If you're set to the east of Bermuda, it's no big deal as the NE trades will be found south of there.

The route most competent skippers would take if doing this trip non-stop (and that's a big if) is NS to Bermuda (stop if necessary) and then to Bahamas. Timing is challenging, but if going non-stop then leave on a cold frontal passage in early November and beat feet south as fast as possible so you hopefully only have to deal with one nasty gale along the way (odds are that time of year you'll have two). The biggest risk along this route is having to deal with an approaching gale or worse while in the Gulf Stream and/ or it's numerous eddies.

With a 50' waterline the NS -Bermuda leg would take a week plus or minus, and the Bermuda to Bahamas leg a day or two less.

The risk of encountering a strong gale in the Gulf Stream in November is very real and shouldn't be discounted. People have died and boats have been lost doing this passage in recent years. A better approach would be to cruise down the US coast during the summer or early fall and leave from Norfolk in early November.
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Last edited by billyruffn; 04-08-2014 at 11:52 AM.
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post #16 of 16 Old 04-08-2014
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Re: Sail From Nova Scotia To The Bahamas

Billy is giving good advice.

To the OP, it is not clear whether your desire is to get the Bahamas or to go sailing. If the former then you two choices, going along the coast to Florida, trying to stay inside the GS. This would be a pleasant enough trip but lots of motoring and quite slow. It also is quite safe. To get to the Bahamas directly you have the problem that lots of folks have every fall. If you leave to early (before beginning of November) you have serious hurricane risk. If you leave in November you get the risk of the beginning of winter storms. Certainly it makes sense to get east of the Gulf Stream and it really would make sense to stop in Bermuda on the way. You will certainly appreciate the break after the pounding you will tai to get that far south.

If your goal is to go sailing, I would suggest some variation of a North Atlantic loop. If it were me, I would head to Ireland. It is only 1700+ miles from St John's will a favourable current and generally favourable winds. It is likely to be chilly, foggy, and somewhat stormy. Don't know your boat, but our 45 footer I would assume 12 to 14 days from St John's. The question is when to leave Canada. If you go early it will be colder but you get more time to cruise in Europe. If you leave later and want to do the ARC you would not have much time to enjoy Europe. I would certainly stay a winter in Europe, either England or Med and cross the Atlantic the following November.

Cornell's book about world cruising routes is your friend for this type of planning.

After the refit we have decided to sell Ainia. We want something smaller that would be could for the light summer winds of Lake Ontario, although we plan to spend at least a couple of winters in the Caribbean before heading north.
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