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Our Planned Run to the Abacos, March 1, 2012
Our preparation is nearly complete: Provisions bought and stowed, refrigerator stocked, wine purchased, and all boat systems checked, and upgraded. WOW, it is a ton of work preparing for a trip offshore out of the country. I always say, the hardest part of any trip is leaving and departing….just getting going. Because when in port, you can always buy one more item, get one more spare part, delay one more day for weather, make one more visit to West Marine, and just simply delay…delay…delay. Some cruisers get in this loop so deeply that they simply never leave. We planned over a year ago to depart for the Bahamas from Miami on or around March 1, 2012 and it looks like we will do it. The weather window is remaining, the frontal system is approaching which pulls the NE and E winds down to the south, and that is the exit you are looking for.
|The Florida Current and Gulf Stream
Runs 3 knots north between Florida & the Bahamas
We will be running downstream.
A few miles off the Miami shore is the Gulf Stream, properly known here as the “Florida Current.” This stream flows north at 2-3 knots and, if any wind is blowing against it, that would be NE or worse N winds, then the waves stand up to 6-10 feet and it makes for a rough crossing. So, you wait for a front to approach and that pulls the winds to the south. Wednesday pm and into Thursday am this is exactly what will happen….so they predict. We plan to anchor near the inlet, Government Cut, Miami, and head out to sea at 3 AM. The run to West End Bahamas is 85 NM on a bearing of 055 mag. The winds are to be SE, or about 135 mag. 135-55= 80. So the course and winds will be close to a beam reach.
|Old Bahamas Bay Marina
Where we will check into the Country, fly the Q Flag
and raise our first Country Flag off the Stb Spreader!
Once at West End, we will dock at Old Bahamas Bay Marina and Resort, clear into the country and we should be sipping Rum Punch by the pool around 4pm if all goes as planned. Friday am we depart the marina for a 50 mile run to Great Sail Key and anchor in the middle of now where. Saturday am we will sail 30 miles to Allans Cay or deeper into the Abacos and by that time we should be well protected by the reef to the East and Great Abaco Island to the west. By Sat/Sun the front will approach and the winds will be 25+ knots. The temptation with this weather window will be to REMAIN at the marina in West End. If we do that, then the front will pin us down there and we will not be able to make it EAST to protected waters as planned. So, that is our current plan.
We will be suspending our Verizon broadband card and our two Droids and going dark off the phone grid. We will reconnect into the OII, Out Island Internet system, for $150 for two months and hopefully get back online via our Bullet2HP WiFi rig. The cool aspect to Verizon is that we can suspend service for up to 3 months. When we return, we can reactivate our devices and the billing picks up again. No sense paying for Verizon service, CDMA network, when there is NO CDMA/Verizon service in the Abaco. OII broadband via WiFi will be our plan and then we will use Skype to make phone calls. Worst case situation…..we will be off the grid for two months and snorkeling 24/7….
Thanks for following our blog, we hope to post many great photos from the Abacos.
Hayden and Radeen, Coconut Grove Sailing Club FL