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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We've got to get out of Bimini! There's a window Monday to Tuesday morning, so we're looking at going from Bimini, north to North Rock to Mackie Shoal to Northwest Channel to Nassau (Explorer Chart waypoints). The south route through Cat Cay is a little shallower at the start and only a half mile shorter, so we figured we'd go north.

Anyway, we're looking to run all night to avoid bad weather Tuesday afternoon. This puts us going through the Northwest Channel into the Tongue of the Ocean sometime between 10:30pm and 1am, depending on wind. Not having done this passage before and learning how a lot of the Bahamas is visual navigation, I'm just curious as to people's opinion. It appears fairly wide open and we have the Explorer waypoints so it doesn't look like a big deal, but I'm interested in talking to people who have gone through this point...

Chris
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
We'll be sure to run the radar and look for obstacles. Going through choke points like this at night is always interesting. We've been out for almost 5 months now, and I still find it interesting how you paint a picture in your mind of where you are going based upon what everyone has told you, and then it's totally different when you get there. Looking at the charts, the Northwest Channel is surrounded by submerged rocks and shallow bars. I don't have electronic Explorer Charts, but I do have the waypoints from the latest edition of the printed ones. We're going to try to stay about half a mile off of the rhumbline to try to prevent a head on collision with another vessel following the rhumbline.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Slooptattoo - if you have charting software handy, here are my waypoints across the banks... They are proven points, but I get what you are saying about needing to pass close to the north of the light. That's been my primary concern about running at night - making sure we're in the right spot. BTW - I'm showing moonset at 23:55 with 19% showing - won't be much of anything to speak of.

25°48.200'N 079°15.500'W
25°41.000'N 078°39.000'W
25°29.500'N 078°14.500'W
25°28.200'N 078°09.600'W
25°05.350'N 077°21.340'W
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I just posted some video on our blog of the wind/wave action here... We can't even safely get out of the marina here - breaking waves all across the channel until you're about a mile off. Fun fun!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
As of yesterday, at least, the weather, according to Chris Parker, was forecast to be from the North at 10-15 or under, waves of under 3 feet. Hopefully things haven't changed! Things are supposed to pick up by Wednesday, but hopefully we'll be snug in Nassau by then. Thanks for your help!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I posted a bunch of stuff on our blog, but it was a wonderful passage - 9-12kts of wind, 35 degrees apparent off our nose, 1-2ft waves, partly cloudy skies. We were able to sail almost the whole way over, which is a real change of pace from the rest of the passages this season. We left Bimini at around 10am and arrived at Nassau (after slowing ourselves down a bit to make sure that we didn't arrive at the marina before they opened) at around 9am.
 
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