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Are you interested in some sort of Bahama raid?
1) yes sailing my own boat from Florida 39%  39%  [ 9 ]
2) Yes shipping my own boat to Nassau Georgetown 4%  4%  [ 1 ]
3) Yes flying in and using a hobie 16 43%  43%  [ 10 ]
4)Yes flying in and using a hobie getaway 9%  9%  [ 2 ]
5)Yes flying in and using a different hobie (Please comment on the thread what boat you'd prefer) 4%  4%  [ 1 ]
Total votes : 23
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 05, 2011 3:44 am 
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Hey guys, For a long time I've thought about organising a bunch of hobies to sail through the Bahama islands, camping on the beaches, you know sort of like an expedition. So I've been working on this for a while now and as things now stand I have a 31 foot polynesian cat (a pahi 31, looks like a big hobie) which I can use as our support boat. The pahi can carry a whole load of stuff, enough for say 6 to 10 people for a couple of weeks, and we ve also got a 16 foot Boston Whaler as a run about. So guys, whos up for it? and how do we do it? I have various options that I could do
1) we could sail out of the Miami area 50 miles across to Bimini with your own boats. We d need to wait for a weather window and the pahi fully loaded is gonna struggle to keep up but could follow behind as safety cover.
2) We could get a container and fill it with (your) boats and ship it out to Nassau or Georgetown.
3) I can buy a bunch of hobies (Which model?) and permanently base em out in the Exumas and people can just fly out and join an expedition.

So what do you think? With enough interest it'd be worth me getting some boats out in the Exumas but otherwise I could bring my pahi back from the islands for a one off trip with hobies. The Exumas are the perfect place to do an expedition (check em out on google maps!)
Anyway....Guys this winter!! It could be a really cool thing to do.
Discuss :D
Just realised I can post it here and all you cat sailors should see this so no need to post on the individual boat forums :)


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2011 12:39 am 
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I have been constantly thinking about wanting to do this very thing for almost a year now. One of my first concerns was not knowing the local laws regarding camping on the beach. You seem to travel these areas, what can you share?

My thoughts were to sail my H18 to Grand Bahama from West Palm Beach, beach hop along the southern shoreline to Abaco National Park, with a final destination of Tarpum Bay on Eleuthera Island where friends of ours have a home.

And then decide whether to ever return......


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2011 5:26 am 
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OK so heres where I'm coming from: I sail a Hobie 16, I windsurf, one time 49er sailor, I've skippered transatlantics, been thru the med, Caribbean islands and Bahamas on my own 30 footers over the years. So have a little experience for what its worth (Oh and I used to crew a Prindle 18 in the USVI which is where I first thought of island hopping small cats) Hobies in the Exumas camping on beaches YES! I think it would be amazing. So heres a few thoughts so far:

The camping question is one I am still trying to resolve. There is a company in the Exumas presently running kayak and sea pearl camping trips and the exuma land and sea park also mention a $5 per night camping charge yet others have told me your not allowed to camp. :roll: I emailed the kayak operation for some clarification and I'm waiting for a response.
I sailed over from Hillsboro inlet direct to Nassau in March on my 31 foot cat and there is a $100 cruising fee (which includes a fishing permit) I would guess if we sailed over in Hobies we would probly have to pay that. I will email the Bahamas tourist authorities and port authorities see what they say (if anything)

As far as sailing from Florida, the trick is to wait for a weather window. When the cold fronts come over (which they seem to do about once a week in through January to April, the wind turns from its usual SE (on the nose) round to the South then clocks to the West, then NW, N, NE and back to South East. As soon as the wind has any North in it you have wind against current which in the Florida straits is BAD! no place for small craft, very steep waves (could be fun for the reckless I guess! :shock: ) So the time to set off is before the front soon as the wind is in the South. Its about 50 miles from Biscayne Bay to Bimini slightly less from Miami but you have 2 to 3 knots of current pushing you North so better to start further South (Biscayne). As soon as you arent going directly across the current youre fighting it, which is why your straight GPS course is NOT the way to do it. Theres a lot of info on the big yacht cruising forums about this but thats the basics. Start South, head straight East and the stream will pull you up to Bimini. The faster you go the better but you need that weather window open long enough cos once the wind clocks NW its gonna get nasty.
The alternative is to ship the boats in a container which has its own difficulties (cost $2000 one way I think and then import tax? I dont know)

Or I could buy and import my own Hobies and people can fly straight to great Exuma and just hop on. I am seriously looking into that, in which case the questions are:
What boat
how much
How long
etc etc etc etc
Clearly the more people we can get to show interest the better and I would be grateful for any input on how people would like to do it.
Gary


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2011 8:50 am 
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What kind of safety equipment would be needed for these boats? I'm guessing marine radio's, GPS, even perhaps emergency transponders? Has anyone made the trip before on a small cat?

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2011 8:51 am 
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I would be interested in such a trip, does option one include sailing back?

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2011 9:07 am 
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Getting to Bimini is probably the hardest nut to crack but there at least 3 more long open water legs to get to the Exumas. I'd want more than a big cat for support for those; like a big power boat. Since the weather is key it'd be hard to schedule this kind of trip for a vacation for most people.

Are you looking for a bunch of folks getting together for a group adventure or are you looking to set up a going tour company? I'd go for renting a Getaway or the like for a week of touring and camping. The rafting/kayak trips I've been on like this have the tents set up and set out a spread for meals but I could see schlepping my own stuff.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2011 10:28 am 
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Reposted from the H-16 Forum:
I spent 10 days in the Exuma's near Black Point this past March. All I can say is, I wish I had a Hobie there. We met another couple on our flight down that brought a collapsable kayak on the plane with them, and then took it from Staniel Kay Yacht Club up thru the Land & Sea Park and back, sleeping on the beaches. If they can make that tip in a Kayak, it would be a blast in a Hobie. The whole Exumas is set up for transient sailors, so that would be the place to cruise and explore. It is INCREDIBLY beautiful, and if you stay on the lee side is quite protected from the weather.

I just started sailing, but would love to figure a way to do it some day.

As much as the thought of the trip from Florida excites me, the weather window is too much of a variable for a week or even two off work. To keep costs down, the best bet would be to fly into Nassau, and then sail down to the Exuma's land and sea park and then back. You could easily do the whole thing predicably in a week or two.

I didn't make it to the Land and Sea park, but it is a protected area that is one of the most beautiful with sea turtle, snorkling, etc. Also, since it is so remote, it is not over run. The other couple I mentioned said they rarely saw another boat.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2011 2:09 pm 
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getting some interesting responses from you guys. I also think it would be hard to organise crossing from Florida with a weather window and safety cover. My 31 footer hasnt got the speed of a hobie plus if the wind is light as it often is when it clocks to the South then it could be a long trip. And yes then you have to cross the bank to Chubb Cay, another 50 miles and then 29 miles on to Nassau and 27 miles on gets you to the Exumas. So its a serious adventure. The alternative is that I get 4 or 5 hobies and start a tour company along the lines of outisland explorers (the kayakers tour company). This is what I am focusing on as being easiest to organise. I guess what I'd like to know is
1) what boats to get. I'm thinking Getaways cos they're a bit tuned down, robust and can carry weight but would you 16 sailors be happy with that. The 16s are great boats, its what I sail, but they're quite a handful if you dont know em and theres not much volume in the hulls. Although the pahi 31 can carry all the gear so not a big problem with weight and you can add reefing points to the main and battenless roller reefed jibs they are still just that bit more advanced. What do you 16 sailors think?
What I propose is to run 5 day sailing expeditions, monday to friday, guesthouse accomodation is available so if youve got the time you can do one expedition after another with the weekend in a guesthouse (thatd be $150-$200 a night) to clean up. There are various routes through the Cays so its not like you'd be doing the same thing twice.

Over to you guys....

Oh heres a film from our April scouting mission. Expert filmmaker I am not but it sure is pretty :P

Gary


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2011 6:23 pm 
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Your choose of music is perfect,like John Barry's music in some of the James Bond movies.Classic
I sail a Hobie 21SE which, in my humble opinion, would do well in such an adventure.And I am crazy enough to participate in it too.All I need is monies to do it right,so who will crew and help finance this trip?I will provide my boat and what ever abilities I have.
I am good at mixing drinks and fixing good food,
I know where the cooler is and can grab a cold beer very fast,
And I am good company too. :lol:
Being a little bent has always been my strength... :lol:
Bill 404 21SE

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2011 9:30 pm 
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I like your idea of a sailing safari, mainly because I've done it in Thailand out of Ko Samui. I do not recommend you try to make a business out of crossing from Florida to The Bahamas due to the danger and distance, but island hopping short distances is more appealing to more people. The more adventurous ones could be talked into longer distances.

Also, using the boats for long distances sort of takes the fun out of sailing them when they become a mode of transportation. Short distances allow clients to take the boats out for some fun recreational sailing with the time left over between destinations.


Last edited by Skipshot on Fri Oct 07, 2011 10:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: goodbye Mr Bond!
PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2011 12:30 pm 
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Yes I am mainly focusing on running small trips out of the exumas but personally i would love to take a few hobies on a one off expedition right through the bahamas. The music is the theme to thunderball which was filmed partly at staniel cay in the exumas. Some of the private islands definately looked like perfect hideouts for white cat stroking Bond villains. Goodbye Mr Bond :D


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2011 12:37 pm 
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Skipshot wrote:
I like your idea of a sailing safari, mainly because I've done it in Thailand out of Ko Samui. I do not recommend you try to make a business out of crossing from Florida to The Bahamas due to the danger and distance, but island hopping short distances is more appealing to more people. The more adventurous ones could be talked into longer distances.

Also, using the boats for long distances sort of takes the fun out of sailing them when they become a mode of transportation. Short distances allow clients to take the boats out for some fun recreational sailing with the time left over between destinations.


Hey John do you want to race Island to Island??? You could use your square top!!!

And you can use my trailer to get the boats to Florida. 8)

Corkguy H18

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2011 1:25 pm 
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The great way to do it is to have us bring our cats to Florida, strap them to your 31' cat, fly to the Exuma's where we meet up with you again, then sail from there!

How many H16's can you strap to your deck?

And seriously, the key would be to keep the costs low. It was cheap to fly to the bahama's, and renting a small house in Exuma was $800 for the week, right on the beach. Nothing fancy, no poolboy to bring you drinks, but world class beauty and relaxation. A Hobie would be much easier to cruise around in than the 15' skiff with an outboard. That thing beat the crap out of us.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2011 2:27 pm 
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Just put together a google map to look at a potential route to the Exumas. There are some real long initial legs. Oh if we all had 21s! Check it out
http://maps.google.co.uk/maps/ms?msid=203035329250519278643.0004992e2cded0cea86b4&msa=0&ll=27.112923,-79.337769&spn=2.586338,3.532104


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2011 2:54 pm 
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If I can get enough people I could easy do it for less than $800 definately the first trips could be a special at 500 bucks, not including flights or guesthouses before or after but food, gear etc. I'm putting together a website with more details of all this. Quite encouraged that theres some interest so far. Still waiting to hear back from the Bahamian govt. If they say yes then its a go. watch this space......


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