So I investigate them all and mark the ones we like the most as possible stops, depending on how much northing we really do get (also, if we travel faster than our estimated 6 knots, it’ll be fewer hours and thus we won’t be swept as far north). It should be less than 90 This is your heading to steer and should — on average — keep you near the rhumb line course to your actual destination (you will probably be north of the rhumb line in the middle of the trip, where the stream is the strongest, then come back towards the rhumb line in the second half). January 23, 2021 By Carolyn Shearlock/Rick Marcarelli, Looking for a simple, affordable, and comfortable cruising boat? All this is really only gleaned from experience. Our active and passionate readers enjoy powerboating, sailing, cruising, fishing, and water sports on boats both big and small. Here’s how to make it more efficient. But if you can travel at 8 knots or more, then there may be better tactics, especially if you are not trying to stop in Bimini or West End and are wiling to go overnight to Chub, Great Harbour Cay or New Providence. A cruising permit is required for all foreign private, non-commercial, pleasure boats (and occupants) to sail in Bahamian waters. It’s what your ship’s compass will show or your autopilot heading. Between G1 and R2 center channel 6.0′ No obstruction found That means Lake Worth to West End is a bad idea. Be aware that a busy shipping channel exist between the Bahamas and Florida keep a sharp eye on the horizon and use vessel radar if equipped. Having done the crossing dozens of times in our Dufour 34, I can tell you the best and easiest way to get to Bimini is to leave from Cape Florida…. Everyone must have proof of citizenship and fill out an immigration card. I loved this article, very helpful for first-timers! But what’s the minimum amount south? Only the captain can get off and check in, (Of course having said that I have met with the local official at the marina tiki bar with the boat crew). If you leave Florida and head due east (90 degrees), every hour that you travel you’ll go eastward whatever your speed is AND north 2 to 2.5 miles. The Gulf Stream has considerably warmer water than the ocean around it, and that means that thunderstorms are more likely as you cross it. Really enjoy reading your articles …. . That being said, if someone was to organize a crossing … I’M PREPARING TO CRUISE — HOW DO I GET READY FOR THIS?? Slow down until your speed just slightly exceeds the speed of the wave, then cross. Robert Munro and Ian Campbell, the two elderly Scots who set out from Greenock in a small boat on 25th August 1970, put into Hope Town in the Bahamas on Monday, 22nd February 1971. tips, reviews and how-to's for your liveaboard cruising, Published on March 8, 2020; last updated on June 12, 2020 by Carolyn Shearlock. Our club frequently held overnight races to Bimini or to West End. thank you ….. Would love information crossing from lake Worth to the West End ~. That might not work . We like to minimize time in the stream because of the extremely high traffic there and also the fact that the GS generates squalls. But while the stream exerts influence on almost the entire trip to/from the Bahamas, it does not cover the entire Florida Straits between the Keys and Cuba and thus you can get some westing on either side of the stream. This means that you’re going to have to do one of two things: (1) fight current all day, which will cut your speed considerably or (2) allow the Gulf Stream to sweep you north by heading due east, then turning and heading south once you get on the far side of stream (with luck, you’ll find a counter-current to help you). I think we have crossed the stream about 10 times, and it is always different. Sail was the most fun as we left from Marathon , jumped into the Gulf Stream and rode that puppy North. My 28' S2 does not even have a connection for shore power. It’s also not a bad idea to go as a group. Your email address will not be published. and result of the wind patterns acting on North Atlantic Ocean. Enjoy the comfort of the marinas, and then hop off the boat to explore the beauty of the islands! Thanks Carolyn! Directly out to Hawk Channel 6.5′ increasing, Your email address will not be published. Go to Hillsboro or Fort Lauderdale. US citizens must present a passport Required Cruising /Fishing Permit Fees are $150 for boats up to 35 feet , and $300.00 for over 35 feet. We always left at around 8pm or so…. Such a simple, straightforward and USEFUL description of the planning process! Since we live aboard the boat, it’s no trouble to use a day that isn’t good to cross (generally due to north winds) to move to a more southerly jump-off place! R12-R10 visual center 9′ When first researching, it may seem like a crazy dream to take a trailer boat to The It typically averages between 2 and 2.5 knots. We had a great motor sail down to Nassau arriving early afternoon. The cruise ship traffic in Ft Lauderdale doesn’t worry me. You also definitely want to pay attention to the weather forecast as a northernly component to the wind will turn the GS into a washing machine. If you decide to do the “fight the current” route, you can simply set your waypoints as usual and steer to follow the rhumb line across (your heading will change as the stream is stronger in some places than others). (You are still technically required to have a permit for pets – such as cats – that won’t leave the boat and one will definitely be required if you should have to fly out for any reason, such as an emergency at home or medical issue that can’t be treated in the Bahamas.) The latest official data on the nationality of people crossing the Channel in small boats is also found in the Home Secretary’s letter of 2 September 2020. It was supposed to be in reply to the one about trying to cross from Lake Worth to West End. I really wanted to keep this discussion to simply routing and how you have to plan for the offset to the north. Choose which side you plan to pass on and turn toward that direction. Multiply the hours by the estimated speed of the Gulf Stream to get the amount you can expect to be set north — I use 2.5 for this, which generally works well as an average — but look at the. it may not be as simple as marking a date on a calendar. Mouth of creek, visual center 8′ Cruise ships leaving Port Canaveral that evening, talked with most of them via VHF, they had us on radar and turned to avoid us. time to look at alternatives. If i choose to just sail a more southerly heading it lengthens the mileage sailed and lowers my speed over ground. Heading North from the Keys, use the Gulf Stream, if there is a Northerly component in the wind, STAY OUT OF THE GULF STREAM!!! As a passionate retired science teacher, the Gulf Stream is one of the natural wonders of the world. Hi! It has been tested a number of times since by friends. First, figure the east-west mileage and then divide it by your average speed to know how far north you are likely to be swept. Be aware, however, that your speed over ground is likely to be at least a knot less than you typically average and plan accordingly. We met two other cruising boats there and got recharged for our crossing to Nassau the next day. Figuring where you should leave from, how long the trip will take, what course to steer and other details can seem overwhelming. If you can, avoid the weekend. We have crossed the Gulf Stream many times in both power and sail. Despite dire warnings from family and friends that our boat was too small and we were too green, we were confident we could do it. Angelfish Creek Soundings: • Totally FREE – one email a week, I’M THINKING ABOUT LIVING ON A BOAT AND DON’T KNOW WHERE TO START. Carolyn — thanks thanks thank! Bahamas Customs and Immigration officials will come to your boat. Plan to cross the wake (which is traveling the same direction as you) at between a 45- and 90-degree angle. Somewhere as you’re crossing the Gulf Stream, it’s likely that you’ll have to cross, duck or wait for a ship to pass. Browse available Sabre boats … R14 100′ off 6.5′ Every crossing I made was begun in the evening so that we would be arriving in the Bahamas in full daylight. G3a to G3 center channel 5.7′ Learn everything you need to know with Get Ready to Cruise the Bahamas. If you've not been there before, you're in for a splendorous treat. Your route is great. When we arrived there were five cruise ships and boats everywhere. Don’t measure the actual distance between the two points, but just the east-west component. One advantage of a smaller boat is that when you are the smallest boat in the harbor, you attract either admiration or "you'r effin nuts" so you meet a lot of people. if you happen to stop at a marina that has these offices very nearby you may not have to pay this but you should be prepared to walk from one office to the next there not always next door but dont worry the people are friendly speak english and will give you directions. One key to faster speed is making sure the bottom of your boat is clean. THE Gulf stream is northern current (meaning its pushing to the north) between Florida and Bahamas that flows at a rate of 2.5kt to 5.0 knots. Either on a paper or electronic chart, mark a point this number of miles due south of your intended destination. The average is the important thing for route planning. At 6 knots or less, crabbing into the current makes for a long trip, especially if you are trying to cross as a day hop. My husband and I have been cruising over 13 years and 12,000 miles, first on a Tayana 37 monohull and now on a 34' Gemini catamaran. Have some alternate destinations in mind. Then figure the steering course for this route. Entering Policies . Maintain speed until you reach the wave. (One time a member of our flotilla decided to leave mid day as they were on vacation. The master of the boat must report to CBP telephonically and be directed to the nearest Port of Entry to satisfy the face-to-face requirement, or report to the nearest designated reporting location along with the boat's passengers for inspection. The next step was to cross the Gulf Stream to the Bahamas, so we towed Little Cruiser down to Miami. Because the trip is longer and you’re in the stream longer, the estimated steering heading is less likely to be “perfect” and may need a little tweaking as you see how conditions are actually developing. Fighting the Gulf Stream is, to put it bluntly, a sucker bet. It was substantially updated and republished on January 4, 2019. Using a 3 it gulfstream I need to travel south approximately 27 NM for my crossing if i want minimal time in the stream. So, 2-4 could produce an 8 foot wave If you're going between FT Lauderdale / Miami area to Bimini Island, it only about 60 miles. R2a 75′ off 6.2′ The tidal flow between North Bimini and South Bimini is quite strong. The faster you get across the Gulf Stream, the less you’ll get swept north. We actually would always leave from Cape Florida….at the southern tip of Key Biscayne. For us, the preparation for the Bahamas trip begins 6 months to a year before the crossing. Many of us dream of “pure sailing” across the Gulf Stream but it’s rare to get conditions that allow for a fast crossing under sail alone. You can look at my November 19 blog post, “Gulf Stream Crossing” at mvprivateer.com. . Landing Fees Very confused seas as the current fights the wind. Unless you are familiar with Hillsboro, go down to Ft. Lauderdale. We knew we couldn’t really start as far south as would be ideal — the Bimini chain doesn’t extend that far south. preparing to cruise • overcoming problems. Support Lady K - http://www.patreon.com/ladyksailingOr http://www.ladyksailing.com/team-k Lake Worth is too far North to cross to West End. I can see why minimizing my time in the stream is important if the stream is rough that day, but if thats the case I’m probably not going. Mindy and David have a passion for small sailboats called micro-cruisers, and they have been cruising in their tiny boats for 30 years. Even a 25-year old Sabre 38 will still command a price of $75,000 for MK I, and well over $100,000 for a MK II. Those ships are typically traveling 20 to 25 knots and pass me by pretty quickly. Oops! Depending on where you check in you may be hit with"Customs Immigration Officer Travel fee" this is a fee they charge you to come your boat and it varies on how far they had to travel from thier office to the marina your checking in at, average about $20-30 bucks. Three Things to Know for Route Planning So, our starting point needs to be about 22 miles south of Gun Cay. It is also very busy with lots of large cargo ships heading up and down the east coast and many small to medium-sized boats going between Florida and the Bahamas. Divide the east-west distance by your average speed to figure out how long it will take you to make the east-west distance. 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