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Fresh water guy looking to the Bahamas??


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Hey Guys. After ready the post last year about the Bahamas Fling and really wanting to join in, it had me thinking. I see so many people doing trips to the Bahamas on boats around my size. (21ft open bow Chap). They seem to be jet boats, outboards or cruisers however.  I have a little time on my hands for next year and thought it would be a blast to go over on my boat. I know about being mindful of the weather and wave forecast and customs etc. I guess what I’m asking is..is this possible and worth it. Just seems like an epic trip to do. 

Thanks in advance 

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Most of the video's I've seen on youtube and others. The Captains seem to have a lot of open water experience. Once one cannot see land its pretty intimidating.  "what was I thinking" . My wife gets a little uneasy out on Lake Michigan when I get 5 miles out and we still can see land.

 

It's on my bucket list but after I get the 30'er.

 

.

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I have done the bimini trip twice.

If the weather is good you are fine.

Get a long range weather forcast, it can change fast.

Get seatow, bimini is in their coverage zone....unfortunately i know.

Here is how I convinced my wife.

We get up at 5 am, if we dont have a favorable forecast  back to bed and later head for the keys.

Check out the bimini flings, Richard runs a nice trip

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Fuel, Fuel, Fuel.....I use to live in Port Saint Lucie Florida and we were just north of Jupiter Florida but south of Daytona.  If I remember correctly from where we departed it was 93 miles to the Bahamas.  I know my Sig 290 drinks fuel like I drink beer so be mindful of how far you can travel and how much fuel you'll need.  Also, if the seas become rough, know that you will burn even more fuel. 

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I am with you Jonny. 

But on land we get out of a vehicle and sit down under a bridge or whatever. 1/2 way there on water ? 

I have laid down on the floor and jammed hands & feet under anything to stay in the boat & not be banged around.      Chicken out if there is the slightest chance of risk happening.

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1 hour ago, Challenger604 said:

Thanks for the replies everyone. Good thoughts for sure. I do appreciate the advice. 

93 miles is not bad at all, and from what I've seen, MANY do it just in jet skis! 

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=miami+to+bimini+jet+ski&sp=mAEB

Pick a good week that the forecast is predicted to have no hurricanes or any of the other nasty stuff that happens down in FLA so your return is also in good weather and I bet you'll even have calm seas, like in that first video on top of that list.

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On 4/21/2019 at 8:30 AM, Challenger604 said:

Thanks for the replies everyone. Good thoughts for sure. I do appreciate the advice. 

It's only 42 miles Ft. Lauderdale to Bimini.  VERY easy crossing if the weather window holds.  As others mention, go with a group.  @jeffk is spot on about the flings.  I went with him last time and it was great.  You're a corporate pilot, so your risk assessment is already built into your DNA.  Use it and you'll be just fine.  Get SeaTow or BoatUS towing package for piece of mind.  I even took an aviation liferaft for added piece of mind.  Pick up one at National Jets FXE (via my friend's company FBO Logistics).  If you go in the May-July period, there is a TON of other traffic within radio range between there and the coast.  It IS an epic trip.  Highly recommend, but have a "plan B".

 

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12 hours ago, TexasPilot71 said:

It's only 42 miles Ft. Lauderdale to Bimini.  VERY easy crossing if the weather window holds.  As others mention, go with a group.  @jeffk is spot on about the flings.  I went with him last time and it was great.  You're a corporate pilot, so your risk assessment is already built into your DNA.  Use it and you'll be just fine.  Get SeaTow or BoatUS towing package for piece of mind.  I even took an aviation liferaft for added piece of mind.  Pick up one at National Jets FXE (via my friend's company FBO Logistics).  If you go in the May-July period, there is a TON of other traffic within radio range between there and the coast.  It IS an epic trip.  Highly recommend, but have a "plan B".

 

Thanks TP. The risk assessment would be definitely high. Like the idea of a plan B. I also like the idea of going over for the first time with a group. Thanks for your reply and insight.

 

Edited by Challenger604
Wrong information
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21 hours ago, TexasPilot71 said:

It's only 42 miles Ft. Lauderdale to Bimini.

When I saw this, I had to go back to google maps and check where I got 93 miles from, especially from Miami to Bimini since that's the straightest and shortest distance from the Florida coast to Bimini, and Fort Lauderdale is actually further north which makes it a longer distance.  A bit perplexed.  So I found out I misread 93 "kilometers" which is actually 57 miles from Miami and from Fort Lauderdale it's 61 miles.  Did you calculate it when you made the trip and got 42 from Fort Lauderdale?  That's a significant difference and 20 miles less than from Miami.  Weird.

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9 minutes ago, MonkeySeaII said:

I'd love to do that trip some day but I think I'd be more comfortable in a closed bow boat over 30'.  I'd be nervous taking my bowrider out in the open ocean.

It wouldn't be a problem at all.  Towing the boat to Miami or anywhere in FL from our locations is more treacherous than that crossing.  Your 256 will scream across that stretch without a single problem.

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15 minutes ago, Hatem said:

It wouldn't be a problem at all.  Towing the boat to Miami or anywhere in FL from our locations is more treacherous than that crossing.  Your 256 will scream across that stretch without a single problem.

LOL, I hear ya on the towing part!  After my history of blowing tires and breaking axles on the highway, I'm gun shy when it comes to towing long distances!

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1 hour ago, Hatem said:

When I saw this, I had to go back to google maps and check where I got 93 miles from, especially from Miami to Bimini since that's the straightest and shortest distance from the Florida coast to Bimini, and Fort Lauderdale is actually further north which makes it a longer distance.  A bit perplexed.  So I found out I misread 93 "kilometers" which is actually 57 miles from Miami and from Fort Lauderdale it's 61 miles.  Did you calculate it when you made the trip and got 42 from Fort Lauderdale?  That's a significant difference and 20 miles less than from Miami.  Weird.

Good catch.  I was going by memory where I remembered 42 miles inlet to inlet.  Turns out it's exactly 49 nm (56 statute) based on Navionics.  Again, that's inlet to inlet.

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2 hours ago, TexasPilot71 said:

Good catch.  I was going by memory where I remembered 42 miles inlet to inlet.  Turns out it's exactly 49 nm (56 statute) based on Navionics.  Again, that's inlet to inlet.

Well, good thing Navionics is listing statute miles, because using nautical miles is goofy IMO.  Almost everyone except I suppose all yous pilots is accustomed to statute miles, simply because we travel almost exclusively in them on roads every day.  Thank goodness no one decided to come up with a 3rd type of distance calculation and term like "aerial" miles, or something like that, just to convolute things even more! lol.

I always think of distances in terms of statute miles and never think of nautical.  It's bad enough having to figure out kilometers to miles as it is. 

2 hours ago, TexasPilot71 said:

Again, that's inlet to inlet.

Yeah, Google Maps is probably calculating the exact distance from the center of town to center of town, which might account for the 4 mile discrepancy.  I just use my GPS to get distances.  In the boat or in the truck, they're both pretty spot on.

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22 minutes ago, Hatem said:

Well, good thing Navionics is listing statute miles, because using nautical miles is goofy IMO. 

It kinda surprised me that Navionics uses statute miles.  Of course that's the web app.  On the chartplotters and their phone/tablet apps, you can change it to nm.  Most commercial marine applications use nm.  The primary reason to use nm is if you're discussing speed in terms of knots which is far easier to calculate than converting back to sm.  I'm accustomed to knots and nm because almost all of aviation is referenced in knots and nm.  But of course, that's just me.

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