Buddy's Log Entry : "Dolphin dinner. At the helm, the wind angle is far enough toward the port beam that in the helm seat (on the port side) we are fully exposed to the strong wind as it blasts past the side of windshield. A mix of smells including dirt, vegetation (both decomposing and blooming), and other smells we can’t describe, it is a very pungent scent! The Florida-Bahamas trip is the most popular and exciting one among all the Bahamian sailing routes. . It has to have been an hour since I took the helm and it must be at least 1:00 a.m. It also gives the exact date, hour and minute of arrival, all based on the current boat speed and course. The seas we are experiencing are ten to twelve foot swells with solid eight foot wind driven waves on our port beam. Thus, we will be on a very good sailing angle that will ensure our ability to sail without any help from the engines. Don't get me wrong, I'm not knocking the sail-only folks. The Abacos are a lesser-known group of islands and barrier cays located in the northern Bahamas, where laid-back vibes, historic colonial charm, and postcard-worthy views reign supreme. The envelope has definitely been pushed. We are making better speed now. In the middle, on a hanging bracket is a duplicate Furuno GPS/Radar screen allowing us to monitor and operate the radar and chart plotter inside. The winds are backing and almost on the nose and the jib is luffing and rubbing in the diamond wires and spreaders of the mast. SOG: 7.3 I remember the words of Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn: “We had the sky up there, all speckled with stars, and we used to lay on our backs and look up at them and discuss about whether they was made or only just happened.”. He calls these calm spots “night lees.” He goes on to poke fun at cruisers who don’t have the "stomach" for taking advantage of these night lees and suggests a “stress test” to get used to the idea of sailing so close to mountains at night. Time 12:00 Six days and twenty-two hours and we have successfully by-passed all those weeks of “thorny path” misery. Miles: total 8038, passage 997 We'll sail full time soon enough anyway. POS: 25 06.16N 69 48.92W . In the trades, the squalls seem to form in the early morning hours after midnight (always my watch – which is good because I can handle most of it without waking up Melissa and the opposite is not always true). How strong are they? Offshore Passage from Ft. Lauderdale, Fl. His mission at the time was the enforcement of the Navigation Act which prohibited British Colonies from trading with their former enemy, the United States. Miles: total 7665, passage 624 Still, healthy fear lingered. That renders an average speed of 6.8 knots. When it's rough, none of that is possible. The ram is connected to the steering linkage and there is sensor mounted on the steering linkage that tells the brain of the autopilot what is going on and which way the rudders should be turned to keep the boat on course. With a quick hug and a kiss the New Year’s celebration is over and I take the helm while Melissa disappears into the shower and then goes to bed thereafter. A crewed sailing yacht vacation gives you the expertise and freedom to create your own itinerary amid the sixty islands and cays that form the BVI. He calls his method the "thornless path.". Mon2, 7pm, near BVI: 070@20, chance of a few scattered showers with higher winds. > View crewed yachts available in the US Virgin Islands The boat is surely prepared, but what about us? I know all too well that if I want to fish, it’s best to do it in the first few days of a passage before Melissa gets too tired to be rousted out of her bunk to help land a fish. (despite how rude our reception was). SOG: N/A When we hit the trades, we will shut the engines off most all the way to South America and we can be zen-based sailing purists then, but only if we feel like it! We rock and roll and the seas keep building. Date: 12/29/05 As well known for its sugar and rum as for its beaches and resorts, the archipelago offers an interesting mix of modern cities, rural hamlets, rainforests and secluded beaches. The autopilot system uses a 12 volt electrical motor to spin a hydraulic pump that pushes a hydraulic ram back and forth. The boat’s motion is fine under fast sail and I get more quality sleep. Plus, there is no way to ever know exactly what the weather will do. bahamas bvi croatia greece seychelles spain sweden thailand turkey; usa. Bag. Chris Parker’s forecast this morning by satellite phone is calling for a very calm day today. Keep heading east for 600 to 700 miles until you near 65 degrees longitude and then turn due south and follow 65 degrees longitude (thus dubbed the “I-65” route ) down to 25 degrees latitude into the easterly trade winds belt. SOG: 7.4 knots Less than halfway into the trip, we are getting tired to the bone. Unparalleled visibility and tepid waters offer abundant views into the underwater world of multi-colored reefs and tropical marine life for the novice snorkeler and experienced diver alike. SOG: 8.2 However, sailing on the bank side can also be tricky, as some stretches are too shallow for deep-keel boats. Our calls to Chris Parker for weather updates take place every morning at 10:00 a.m. We also email our Baton Rouge friend, John Blackman, every morning and supply him with coordinates. It seems like we are in a simulator or on a movie set. We visit San Juan and leave ... Ep 17 Sailing The Bahamas … Miles: 7162 total, passage 121 For example, two 100 foot-plus mega yachts were lost – that’s right LOST – in the Bahamas last year, one with a leaking transom door in very rough seas and one that was ripped open by a reef. I call the freighter: “Freighter located near (thus and so coordinates) this is sailing catamaran Indigo Moon.” I call over and over and over as the distance between us closes from five miles to one mile. The person going off watch is responsible for collecting and recording all information in the log. We keep a cheap, solar powered, digital, waterproof wrist watch strapped to the bimini frame at the helm to keep time. All Rights Reserved. COG: 104 Nothing is on 24 mile radar (the limit of our radar’s range). Not one cloud and 360 degrees of horizon-to-horizon stars. COG: 159 In every issue, you will find authoritative articles written by known experts covering everything from sail related gear to the navigator’s table to the art of cruising. COG: 183 I have already raised full sail again and we are sailing with the engines off. Time 03:16 POS: 20 22.18.07N 65 01.82W SOG: 6.9 Time 03:00 COG: 106 Date: 12/30/05 I shower and hit the hay, hoping for a full sleep cycle. Wed28, 7pm, near 26N / 76W: 160@10, seas 3' N swell of 7-sec interval, plus 2' wind chop from SE. People who try to ride these LOs out to I-65 can be successful in sailing the whole way, but they often find themselves in 40-plus knot winds and 14-plus foot seas for days if the LO is too strong. Very near our anchorage, Eric Clapton has a huge seaside estate atop a secluded cliff, complete with his own recording studio. Low humidity year-round. Miles: not recorded. Melissa’s log entry: “Very calm, very nice”. I am trying to be more disciplined in not lingering when my watch is up. Time 24:00 COG: 104 After getting my butt kicked a couple of nights ago, I decide to take down all sail and motor through the storms. I caught a few naps today, but I need some REM sleep badly. I have to make several trips back and forth, grouching because I can’t quite get my act together. Barbuda, a flat coral island with an area of only 68 square miles, lies approximately 30 miles due north. After all, everybody talks about "heading south", right? Melissa and I study the radar. POS: 26 08.35N 79 25.66 Time 21:00 A breeze starts to fill in and we change course again, 40 more degrees to the south, to a heading of 160. I am always tempted to hang around and chat with Melissa and fiddle with the boat. 80 kilometres from the eastern shores of Miami, and the distance between Palm Beach and Grand Bahama West End is around 100 kilometres. ROUGH. Miles: total 7983, passage 942. If you would like to receive an e-mail notifying you of updates to the web site, subscribe here. We retained weather Guru Chris Parker to help us pick a weather window. Miles: total 7874, passage 833 Melissa’s log entry: “Calm, light winds”, Date: 12/31/05 Lifetime adventure, trip of your dreams, only with Miami Sailing .net <<< DISCONTINUED >>> Private charter from Miami Florida to Virgin Islands USVI BVI- St. Thomas and St. John - via Bahamas= one month 1,200 nautical miles sailing in the Caribbean paradise. At first blush, it appears that it would be easy, straightforward and safe to leave south Florida and “island-hop” southeast down through the Bahamas and Turks and Caicos. On the upper left of the top panel are the two additional B&G "repeater" units allowing us to monitor wind direction and wind speed, boat speed, water depth, etc. As such, the plan is to be able to go inside during storms and run the boat from the navigation station. At about 04:00, all of a sudden I see a tremendous amount of light instantly appear just over the horizon to the northeast. Motorsailing for hundreds of miles to windward into steep wind-driven seas and 20+ knot winds is a very, very bad plan for both boat and body. The sky is relatively clear and there is no moon. A.A.R.P. Rich with history and once the biggest trade center in the Caribbean, it was not uncommon for two hundred sailing ships to be anchored at Statia's harbor in the 1700’s. A smallish mega-yacht overtakes me. Lagoon catamarans are pretty good about not slamming (seas pounding on the underbelly between the hulls in big waves) compared with many other brands of cat. They would try leaving at first light in the morning, before the trade winds were really kicking and the daily sea breeze hit. Tue27, 7am, near S FL: 350@10, seas 3-5' in Gulf Stream, but diminishing. I have cranked the engines and have them running in forward gear at 2700 rpm. Most of the islands are popular tourist destinations. At 7 knots I can only do so much. Date: 01/02/06 Checkout our Bahamas Destination Guide for more information, and we’ll be delighted to clear up any remaining questions about the Miami to Bahamas charter experience, and are dedicated to making your sailing dream a reality. Date: 12/31/05 I have described this fun before in other reports. SOG: 6.9 All legitimate arguments for the thorny/thornless path and sticking close to land and other boats. From our worldwide supportive e-mails (which are greatly appreciated, by the way), we know that some of you very much enjoy looking at charts and figuring out what our actual routes have been. St. Croix's Danish influence is perfect for visitors who prefer a laid-back experience. The best option is to find a really calm weather window in a slow moving High Pressure system just after a LO has moved off. On the lower panel, all the way left, is the autopilot remote -- it has a long coiled cord and is attached with velcro to the panel so that you can pull it loose and move around with it. The reefs of Statia include old wrecks, lava flows and some of the most strikingly colored coral reefs we’ve seen in years. In general, the longer you remain near about 24N, the longer you'll have light winds, along S side of RIDGE. Nelson's stunning victory had massive ramifications and ended Napoleon's dreams of a French Europe. Fueling-up takes longer, because I forget the paper towels, or the pliers to open the barrel's bung cap, or my rubber gloves, or maybe the fuel-fill deck-fitting key, or the biocide fuel additive. . I am tired of getting soaked with spray and tired of getting in and out of foul weather gear just to use the head. Miles: total 7312, passage 271 POS: 25 35.01N 76 06.05W POS: 25 49.62N 77 50.67W > View crewed yachts available in the Grenadines. Privacy Policy. The electricity is building in the air as the racing crowd prepares to do battle. We figured out we can carry enough fuel to get to I-65 with engines all the way if we have to, but we will burn all the fuel and will have to sail after that. I would leave as soon as you possibly can Tue27 morning, as the greatest threat for bad weather will be E of the Bahamas Thu29, and it would be best if you were near, say, 26N / 72W by Thu29 afternoon. COG: 103 Lagoon catamarans have smallish fuel tanks so we need jugs on long trips. Until next time, hoping this finds everyone happy and healthy. Seas 6'. The wind angle is too close to make good speed by sail alone, so we are motorsailing and making great time! No motors!". St. Thomas boasts one of the most beautiful harbors in the world. The island abounds in bird life and supports a population of wild pigs and fallow deer for hunting enthusiasts. There is a valuable confidence and sailing skill-set that comes from that. The wind barbs are like darts and the wind direction is the direction the dart is pointing. It might cause a fire! By then your weather window has slammed totally shut and you could get hammered by a strong LO spinning a gale. I also used to get becalmed in Lake Pontchartrain for HOURS on summer afternoons in ninety-five degree heat. COG: 183 Melissa’s log entry: “ Winds up to 29 knots; two reefs in the sails.”. It is six miles wide and I am directly in the bull’s eye, moving with the squall. My notes reflect Chris Parker’s forecast for today. Accordingly, we have all our offshore gear set up to prevent such a disaster. If the rest of the trip is like this, I will have to get more sleep somehow. So, we are taking a 24 hour southeastern “on ramp” toward I-65. La Soufrière's last eruption occurred in 1979; careful planning ensured that no people were harmed. The forecast from Chris is that the winds will keep dying down and turn east, then light and variable for at least 24 hours. I can’t get away. And I am talking “city lights” BIG. Time 24:00 Saw a Ship, maybe it was a Tug.”. As the boat speed changes, the unit recalculates and updates this information every thirty seconds or so. I could be sleeping in my king size bed right now, all snug as a bug in a rug. By the end of my watch, I am beat in every sense of the word. PART ONE: Deciding on a Route to the British Virgin Islands. Time 24:00 This is not that bad! Date: 01/02/06 Though touting safety, he simultaneously recommends what I consider to be risky methods to beat the trade winds. Melissa’s log entry: “Wind 22 to 24; 64 Miles to go!”. . SOG: 7.3 I excitedly report my happy night to Melissa and then hit the sack. Thrilling, though! Time: 03:00 And, the greatest show on earth continues, satellites pass quickly overhead. We have that type of rough luck on three of the seven days of this trip. Rainfall is low and erratic, ranging from 22 - 50 inches per year. We just completed our third time sailing from Panama to the BVI and thought the following hints might be helpful to folks making a similar trip: Last Update - June 29, 2015. After we kill the engines and trim the sails, Indigo Moon sails beautifully at over 8 knots. Nonetheless, we survived it and motored to Nanny Cay and installed Indigo Moon in the marina. Although not near as strong as the trade winds, the prevailing winds above 25 degrees latitude are still easterly, unless a strong cold front blows through on your tail (and you really don’t want that either). It’s very difficult to know if a LO will be a “trolley” or a “freight train” by the time it hits you. During our European travels when I was a six year old child, I had the thrill of standing on the decks of the H.M.S. Wed28, 7am, near Abaco/Eluthera: 100@10, seas 4' N swell of 8-sec interval plus 2' wind chop from E. Sail / motorsail ENE as possible. Winds generally blow northeast to southeast at 10-25 knots, and are sometimes stronger in the winter months. Once you are that far offshore, you can’t seek shelter from rough winds and waves. Get ready. . Truly in the “once in a lifetime” category, I wish everyone could be here and see and feel our place in the universe from out here, right now, just as I see it. The wind picked up and moved just enough off our starboard bow to allow us to motorsail with the sails as closely hauled as possible. > View Caribbean Leeward Islands Weather by Month, Anguilla is the most northerly of the Leeward Islands in the Eastern Caribbean, with a latitude of approximately 18 degrees north and longitude of 63 degrees west. Miles: total 7924, passage 883 POS: 23 53.83N 66 65.06W Time 05:30 I study the most brilliant ones with the binoculars. POS: 25 26.16N 73 26.56W Located only miles apart from the Florida, US coast, it can be easily accessed by plane of ferry. And it will still be a 'beat' (windward, requiring upwind tacking or motoring) to get out there to I-65. COG: 117.3 Then, she saw a tremendous lightning strike between her and the clouds, out in the open where the entire monster could be clearly seen. The autopilot performs miraculously, though, and I have the sails trimmed so that we are doing the best we can do. This went on for weeks. SOG: 6.4 St Vincent and the Grenadines Miles: total 7962, passage 921 Well, here’s the rub. She wakes me at 10:30 with news that sailing is definitely possible. Stop projecting about what might happen and take it as it comes. With the clean air remaining after the cold front, the visibility is crystal clear and the stars dance and shimmer to the music. No contemplation or deviation. COG: 157 SOG: 4.5 For example, it is not uncommon for an unfamiliar windward anchorage to be 4 hours away with engines, or engines and sail, but 9 hours away by sail only. Miles: 7117 total, passage 76 POS: 26 01.73N 78 40.15W I hear the two cruise ship Captains discuss trying to get just far enough offshore from Eluthera to dump “black water” (sewage). That type of motion is nice, though, and it’s been a beautiful afternoon at sea. The rough seas the day before are definitely lying down, but there are some pretty big swells still hanging around. The Gulf Steam is still fairly rough, with large swells left over from the LO that just went through. Guadeloupe is the center of the Caribbean's Creole culture, boasting a spirited blend of French and African influences. All we have to do is make sure we hit the trade winds at the correct angle if we want to be sure we make landfall where we planned to. We finally pass so close I can read the name on the bow: Marylin Kennedy. 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