CSR Bahamas Rendezvous (Spring Break 2015)

Discussion in 'Sea Ray Lifestyle & Cruising' started by Alex F, Nov 19, 2014.

  1. Alex F

    Alex F Well-Known Member

    Nov 14, 2006
    East Coast
    2005 420DB with AB 11 DLX Tender, Raymarine Dual E120 MFD/Radar/XMWeather, ST7001 A/P, AIS, SeaLift
    T-Cummins 450Cs Straight-Drives, 9KW Onan Generator, 40HP Yamaha for tender.
    While planning our trip to the Keys during winter break, I was surprised to face the fact that all of the Key West downtown marinas are booked solid, that’s 1.5 months away from the trip. I wasn’t asking for a group reservation either, just one boat. This was a good reminder why I like advanced planning for group events and book marinas 4-6 months prior the trip.

    We have few snowbirds in FL over this winter, who expressed their interest in making the trip to Bahamas and hopefully some local CSR members would join us as well.

    GENERAL APPROACH
    As we all know, Bahamas is a tricky place and we have to carefully monitor the weather pattern. Crossing the Gulf Stream presents the biggest challenge and the weather doesn’t always cooperate, especially in the winter and early spring. For this reason, I propose to come up with a good plan B. What I mean is, if we’ll have group of boats lined up and all ready for a trip, and due to unfavorable weather conditions we would abandon run to the Bahamas, instead of giving our hopes up and simply staying put (or return back home), we would proceed with a “Plan B” trip in more protected waters.

    WHEN
    We have to plan our cruise in coordination with our kids school schedule. Latest posted dates in our school district for 2015 spring break falls on the week
    from 4/03/15 to 4/12/15.

    Hopefully, these dates will work for others, and starting this thread now, will help us coordinate well and make the trip in to unforgettable experience.

    Itinerary

    Proposed plans:

    Plan A = Bahamas (Abacos)

    Bahamas_Abacos_Float_Plan_A.jpg

    Bahamas_Abacos_Ports_10_days.jpg

    Where to stay
    As always, we’re flexible and open to any option. We’ll be happy to raft, take mooring or go to marinas, where it makes most sense and is highly recommended. The main idea is that if we’ll have a group of boats, we’ll need to come up with itinerary and book marinas in advance.

    Plan B
    As we all know, Bahamas is a tricky place and we have to carefully monitor the weather pattern. Crossing the Gulf Stream presents the biggest challenge and the weather doesn’t always cooperate, especially in the winter and early spring. For this reason, I propose to come up with a good plan B. What I mean is, if we’ll have group of boats lined up and all ready for a trip, and due to unfavorable weather conditions we would abandon run to the Bahamas, instead of giving our hopes up and simply staying put (or return back home), we would proceed with a “Plan B” trip in more protected waters.

    Plan B = Anywhere in FL protected waters. It could be anywhere on the East coast (FTL, Miami, Upper Keys, etc.), or we can even cross over and go to the West coast. As long as we're within a reasonable distance to do it within 7 to 10 days.

    Plan B is yet TBD...Check last few pages of the thread to get latest updates.

    As we monitor the weather, we should have a cut off point where we (as a group) make the final decision on which plan we'll be executing.



    In the meantime, let’s think positive and plan for an unforgettable trip to Bahamas. If anyone is interested, don’t be shy and jump on board.
    It's time to start putting some check-marks on your bucket list.

    Any thoughts, suggestions, recommendations are welcomed.

    Let's have the discussion going. Who's in on this?

    List of Potential Participants (depending on time availability, itinerary and weather):
    [CSR name]: [crew names], [boat info], [Traveling From]

    1. "Alex F": Alex and Jelena, Michelle(17), Daniel(10), "Inspiration" 420DB, Ft Lauderdale
    2. "Arl798": Andrew and crew TBD, "TBD" 400DB, Key West
    3. "shadow9999": Robert and Diane, "TBD" Viking 50VSC, FL West Coast
    4. "N/A": Robert's friend crew TBD, "TBD", FL West Coast
    5. "COD": Steve and Kris, kids TBD, "Retreat" 500DB, Naples
    6. "Odyssey": Randy crew TBD, "Odyssey" 44EB, Delray Beach

    VHF Communication:
    69 - primary channel to communicate with the group.
    16 - is always on. This will be the channel to use in case if we don't get response on 69. Once the communication is established with a vessel we'll ask to switch to 69.


    Note: this page will be updated periodically. Please check it once in a while to get latest updates.
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2015
  2. Arl798

    Arl798 New Member

    181
    Feb 26, 2011
    Saskatchewan Canada / Key West Florida
    400 Sea Ray Sedan Bridge
    Twin Cat 3116
    You can count me in for this one for sure. My boat is Canadian flagged and for whatever reason it needs to leave the Country once per year, so Bahamas is somewhere I am interested in. You planning to go further than Bimini or just hang around Bimini?
     
  3. Alex F

    Alex F Well-Known Member

    Nov 14, 2006
    East Coast
    2005 420DB with AB 11 DLX Tender, Raymarine Dual E120 MFD/Radar/XMWeather, ST7001 A/P, AIS, SeaLift
    T-Cummins 450Cs Straight-Drives, 9KW Onan Generator, 40HP Yamaha for tender.
    Sounds great, Andrew. Yes, I'd love to go much further than Bimini, but I also want to be reasonable in the distance and number of ports to squeeze into only one week. If you have any good ports/marinas in mind, let me know.

    As soon as I'm done planning the Keys trip, I'll shift my focus on Bahamas.
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2014
  4. shadow9999

    shadow9999 Member

    110
    Nov 23, 2009
    NJ and FL
    Viking Sport Cruiser 50
    Volvo D12's
    Hi Alex,

    I am interested in this trip!!! I may have another friend from down here interested as well. I will let you know.
     
  5. Alex F

    Alex F Well-Known Member

    Nov 14, 2006
    East Coast
    2005 420DB with AB 11 DLX Tender, Raymarine Dual E120 MFD/Radar/XMWeather, ST7001 A/P, AIS, SeaLift
    T-Cummins 450Cs Straight-Drives, 9KW Onan Generator, 40HP Yamaha for tender.
    Great to hear from you, Robert. I hope you and your friend can join us.
     
  6. k9medic

    k9medic Active Member

    537
    Mar 27, 2013
    Florida
    2005 23' twin engine jet boat
    1998 420 Aft Cabin
    twin jet 160hp.
    twin 3116 CATs
    I wish it wasn't 300nm for me to get over to Stuart or we would join you guys.

    As it is right now, we are planning a 10 day Abacos trip for July when the kids are out for the summer. 300nm to get to Stuart and only 185nm to get to Hopetown. Others are welcome to join us then.
     
  7. Alex F

    Alex F Well-Known Member

    Nov 14, 2006
    East Coast
    2005 420DB with AB 11 DLX Tender, Raymarine Dual E120 MFD/Radar/XMWeather, ST7001 A/P, AIS, SeaLift
    T-Cummins 450Cs Straight-Drives, 9KW Onan Generator, 40HP Yamaha for tender.
    The distance is all relative. For us snowbirds (who traveled over 1200NM to FL) , this sounds like "just around the corner". :lol: ....JK of course.

    I totally understand that in summer months your odds are much greater in terms of the weather and the time off from school. But, if anything changes on your end, we'll be happy to have you aboard.
     
  8. k9medic

    k9medic Active Member

    537
    Mar 27, 2013
    Florida
    2005 23' twin engine jet boat
    1998 420 Aft Cabin
    twin jet 160hp.
    twin 3116 CATs
    Something tells me your cost to travel 1200nm is a lot less than my cost to travel 300nm. I flew 1st class to Chatanooga, TN the other day for $168 one way and an going to NOLA in the morning the 1st class for just a few dollars more than that. :smt038
     
  9. Alex F

    Alex F Well-Known Member

    Nov 14, 2006
    East Coast
    2005 420DB with AB 11 DLX Tender, Raymarine Dual E120 MFD/Radar/XMWeather, ST7001 A/P, AIS, SeaLift
    T-Cummins 450Cs Straight-Drives, 9KW Onan Generator, 40HP Yamaha for tender.
    :lol:....That's a good one...:lol:.....I just wish it was the case though, despite the fact that I did it as economical as possible. I thought 3116s barely sip any fuel....:grin:
     
  10. k9medic

    k9medic Active Member

    537
    Mar 27, 2013
    Florida
    2005 23' twin engine jet boat
    1998 420 Aft Cabin
    twin jet 160hp.
    twin 3116 CATs
    Oh, wow! I honestly thought you were talking about flying back and forth to your boat! LOL In that case, I stand corrected!
     
  11. Arl798

    Arl798 New Member

    181
    Feb 26, 2011
    Saskatchewan Canada / Key West Florida
    400 Sea Ray Sedan Bridge
    Twin Cat 3116
    hey Alex....I may go as far as Staniel cay but that's a long go for only a week. I have been there without my boat and it was so great. I take 2-3 months off from the oil patch in spring so I have the time. My other bud from Saskatchewan will be making this trip as well but aboard his 40 ish foot catamaran sailboat.
     
  12. Alex F

    Alex F Well-Known Member

    Nov 14, 2006
    East Coast
    2005 420DB with AB 11 DLX Tender, Raymarine Dual E120 MFD/Radar/XMWeather, ST7001 A/P, AIS, SeaLift
    T-Cummins 450Cs Straight-Drives, 9KW Onan Generator, 40HP Yamaha for tender.
    You're not kidding, Andrew. Staniel cay looks to be just under 200NM from Bimini. I'm not sure it's worth the fuel and time, which unfortunately we don't have much. Realistically, IMO we can do probably 4 or max 5 ports in 7-8 days. But, I've learned that in order to enjoy the cruise and destinations, you have to stay in them for at least two nights. So, 4 ports sounds more logical. Cruising time in between I think should be no more than 4-6hrs. So, I'd say that I would focus and look for good ports within about 100NM radius from Bimini, unless our jumping off point will be anything other than Bimini.

    So, let's start making a list of preferred ports and see what makes most sense.

    Questions:
    - Will you be starting your trip from Key West?
    - Should I include your friend in our list of participants? I'll need you to give me more details on his vessel and crew.
    - What will be the starting point for your friend?
    - Will you be traveling together with your buddy, I assume at displacement speed?
     
  13. cod

    cod Member

    686
    Nov 25, 2010
    Naples, Fl.
    2005 500 Sedan Bridge/
    Cummins QSM 11's/
    Alex,
    We would possibly be on board for this trip as well. My goal for the Bahamas is to cruise the Abacos islands. I'm thinking we would need 10-14 days for this trip. We would be making the crossing leaving from Port St. Lucie inlet heading to Grand Cay and working our way down to the Abacos. But once you have your itinerary, then I can see how to work out an itinerary as well.
     
  14. Alex F

    Alex F Well-Known Member

    Nov 14, 2006
    East Coast
    2005 420DB with AB 11 DLX Tender, Raymarine Dual E120 MFD/Radar/XMWeather, ST7001 A/P, AIS, SeaLift
    T-Cummins 450Cs Straight-Drives, 9KW Onan Generator, 40HP Yamaha for tender.
    That's great to hear, Steve. As long as the dates work fine, we'll work out the itinerary that would be good for all. As I've mentioned, I'm open and flexible. I don't have to go to Bimini, if we pick better port to to pass the customs and use as connecting point. I've heard many good things about Abacos and would love to include it in the itinerary.

    As you know, most likely I'll be jumping out of Port Everglades inlet, unless it would make sense for me to backtrack the night before to make the crossing to a different location.

    I'm totally newbie to Bahamas and didn't have a chance to work on my itinerary. I'll jump on it as soon as I'm done planning details for the keys. So, whatever ports you have in mind, let me know and I'll be looking into them as well.
     
  15. Arl798

    Arl798 New Member

    181
    Feb 26, 2011
    Saskatchewan Canada / Key West Florida
    400 Sea Ray Sedan Bridge
    Twin Cat 3116
    He, like me works in the oil business so our sched's don't seem to line up so he will be heading down there before and I will just meet him at some point wherever along that route he is. We both will be coming from Key West. My fav part of long trips is fishing along the way so I usually troll...I hate to WOT for 160 miles just to go fish 80 miles the next day...I like to do it while checking out new destinations. Should take me 3 days to get to Lauderdale area, but if I need to step on it do to weather or whatever I will. I know of Bimini, Nassau, and Staniel haha...I am all ears for where we should stop.
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2014
  16. FootballFan

    FootballFan Well-Known Member

    Jun 20, 2012
    Florida
    Marquis 59
    MTU Series 60
    We are potential - will have to evaluate work schedule as we get a bit closer.
     
  17. Alex F

    Alex F Well-Known Member

    Nov 14, 2006
    East Coast
    2005 420DB with AB 11 DLX Tender, Raymarine Dual E120 MFD/Radar/XMWeather, ST7001 A/P, AIS, SeaLift
    T-Cummins 450Cs Straight-Drives, 9KW Onan Generator, 40HP Yamaha for tender.
    Sounds good, Andrew. I'll have to take some fishing lessons from you on fishing while trolling, especially in FL waters. I'm familiar with bottom fishing, but have very limited experience while trolling. My 9 y/o son loves it though. Considering that we go slow often enough, it would be very good experience for us.

    It would be great if you could join us, Mark. Obviously, we still have quite a bit of time, so keep us posted as your schedule is unfolding.
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2014
  18. Arl798

    Arl798 New Member

    181
    Feb 26, 2011
    Saskatchewan Canada / Key West Florida
    400 Sea Ray Sedan Bridge
    Twin Cat 3116
    Absolutly...We even drag 2 weighted lures while doing 16-18 knots...High speed wahoo trolling. If we are slow trolling its usually 7-8 knots and we drags 4 lures or baits. Your kids would love it. Always good for some excitement and good eating. It's bottom fishing I don't know enough about. Well trade ideas for sure.
     
  19. Odyssey

    Odyssey Active Member

    Jan 8, 2007
    Delray Beach Florida
    44EB
    CAT 3116
    Great idea Alex, I'm in (depending on where we end up going). Start your rain dance now as April can be a tough month. I'm a "pleasure boater" and won't go in rough seas, because I am local, I would just rather wait for good weather.

    Regarding locations, once you go past Bimini, it is a while before you get to another decent destination. Places I'm not interested in going..... Chub, Freeport/Lucaya, Nassau, West End (unless it is a stopping off point). Based on my time availability, Bimini is the best destination followed by Double Breasted Cay. I don't have the time right now to go to Exuma, Abaco or Eluethra.

    Also, there is a helpful guide available for going to and from the Bahamas on the SE Forum. The version on the forum is the first version, the updated version is available for anyone. Just send me a PM and I'll send it to you
     
  20. Alex F

    Alex F Well-Known Member

    Nov 14, 2006
    East Coast
    2005 420DB with AB 11 DLX Tender, Raymarine Dual E120 MFD/Radar/XMWeather, ST7001 A/P, AIS, SeaLift
    T-Cummins 450Cs Straight-Drives, 9KW Onan Generator, 40HP Yamaha for tender.
    It's great to have you on board, Randy. I perfectly understand all the variables pertaining to the trip. So, in a way, we're all just "potential participants"...:lol:...Having said that, I think I still should make the list to give us an idea of an overall picture and make it easier to keep track of the potential group.

    Here's the info I've updated on the first page:

    List of Potential Participants (depending on time availability, itinerary and weather):
    [CSR name]: [crew names], [boat info], [Traveling From]

    1. "Alex F": Alex and Jelena, Michelle(17), Daniel(9), "Inspiration" 420DB, Ft Lauderdale
    2. "Arl798": Andrew and crew TBD, "TBD" 400DB, Key West
    3. "shadow9999": Robert and Diane, "TBD" Viking 50VSC, FL West Coast
    4. "N/A": Robert's friend crew TBD, "TBD", FL West Coast
    5. "COD": Steve and Kris, kids TBD, "Retreat" 500DB, Naples
    6. "Odyssey": Randy crew TBD, "Odyssey" 44EB, Delray Beach

    If it'll help, I'll dance all winter long....:lol:.....

    Can you tell me where is Double Breasted Cay? I did a quick google maps search and it shows up next to midpoint of Cuba. I'm sure the place you're referring to is much closer.
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2014

Share This Page

Show Sidebar