Route to Abacos

Route to Abacos

Postby ed taulbee » Fri Dec 17, 2010 9:05 am

We are planning to go to the Abacos this spring. I looks like we will depart from the Miami area and head toward either Bimini or West End, Grand Bahamas Island.

What is the best route to Abaco 1) over Little Bahamas Bank on the north side or 2) south of Grand Bahamas Island to the Berrys and approach Abaco from the south?

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Postby Sleepah » Fri Dec 17, 2010 10:50 am


I would recommend that you leave from Ft Lauderdale and head for West End. I did the crossing from West Palm and since I was heading almost due east, I had to crab all the way to fight the northerly set of the Gulf Stream. Leaving from Ft Lauderdale would be ideal as it would help you. The distance is about seventy miles and an easy run in settled weather.

West End is a very protected harbour (note spelling) and they have a very convenient customs office right in the marina.

The next day you would go north of Grand Bahama through a series of waypoints that is called the Indians to get onto the banks. The Indians can be a bit shallow so leave on a rising tide. And then on to a small deserted cay called Great Sale which is perhaps a 50 mile run. We anchored there for our second night in the Bahama.s The next day should have you at Green Turtle or wherever you want to go.

Bimini is a good point to check in but then you have a dreadfully long days run to Chubb in the Berry Islands to deal with. I did it leaving the Bahamas but that was in the spring with longer daylight hours.

But why go to the Abacos? The Exumas are far more interesting!

Watch your weather and all will be easy and fun.
Howard Means
'73 GB 42 CL #362
Punta Gorda, Florida
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Postby » Sat Dec 18, 2010 9:11 am

Sleepah has it exactly correct. We've done the crossing 5X and followed the exact same route. Did the Bimini route once also but would recommend doing West End instead.

Have not experienced Exhumas...yet.
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Postby roger and anne howell » Sat Dec 25, 2010 12:26 pm

We've done the crossing twice in our sailboat, once from Key Largo (Rodriguez Key), the other from No Name Harbor in Key Biscayne, both destinations Cat Cay, just south of Bimini. The Key Largo route was much preferable, with a better slant to the Stream. We are hoping to do it again in the GB sometime in January. We plan to wait in Key Largo again for a window. If you go to the Exumas first, you can return via Eleuthera to the Abacos, with the return crossing from West End to Fort Pierce. We are spending Christmas in Key West, and today, the 25th, looks like a great window.
Anne and Roger
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