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  Bimini, Bahamas Whaler Event July 8-11

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Author Topic:   Bimini, Bahamas Whaler Event July 8-11
smirkless posted 06-09-2004 01:31 PM ET (US)   Profile for smirkless   Send Email to smirkless  
We’re going, we’re going!!! Weather permitting of course. The kids and I have a lot of things we want to do in Bimini so we are going to try for Tuesday or Wednesday, July 6th or 7th. We are staying on North Bimini for a much better rate (Reservations not made yet). Then we will join up with the official group on Friday when they arrive. We need time to relax on those great white sand beaches, rent scooters and explore the island, and visit old friends.

For more information on the official event go to: http://www.whaler.com/Rec/default.asp?content=events

If you need help with less expensive hotels, contact me.

My 1968 17’er will be the smallest boat that I have ever crossed in out of more than thirty round trip crossings but I have only been caught in a storm once and crossed in truly rough seas once with a few of bouncy trips here and there. The key is to know the weather pattern and leave early. Since I won’t have the official whaler pack to cross over with, I’ll likely look for other crossing boats to follow should my teeth begin to get jarred loose. Or, maybe one of you continuouswavers will also make the run with me early in the week.

More later… Smirk in O-town

Draftmanswife posted 06-09-2004 03:35 PM ET (US)     Profile for Draftmanswife  Send Email to Draftmanswife     
Smirk, won't be making this trip, leaving in a few minutes for Green Turtle. There is a guy crossing with us in a Montauk, and he will be attending this trip via GTC.
Hope you have a great time, and bring back some pictures to post. Take care, T's me Fishin' Team, clear,
Janis
smirkless posted 06-09-2004 06:27 PM ET (US)     Profile for smirkless  Send Email to smirkless     
I'm green with envy. Wish I was going with you! Don't drink too many hurricanes :-) Smirk
Swellmonster posted 06-12-2004 02:33 AM ET (US)     Profile for Swellmonster  Send Email to Swellmonster     
Smirkless,

Florida Sportsman section always has groups going over.

http://outdoorsbest.zeroforum.com/zeroforum?id=18

Im jealous!!

HAPPYJIM posted 06-12-2004 03:05 AM ET (US)     Profile for HAPPYJIM  Send Email to HAPPYJIM     
I would love to make that trip one day in my 21 footer.

I've been twice sail bareboating out of Marsh Harbour and it made for some of the best times of my life.

I'll keep dreaming of a return trip.

What Whaler is Janis making the trip with?

smirkless posted 06-14-2004 10:01 AM ET (US)     Profile for smirkless  Send Email to smirkless     
Made a test run on Saturday. Went out of Ponce Inlet at 9:00 AM, ran 26 miles straight out, turned around and came back. It took 11.5 gal. & 2.5 hours. Did a little trolling 4 times along the way just for fun. Thats 4.52 gal/hr. with 17' boat with 90hp Yamaha. Speed ranged from 42mph(most of the way out), 40mph (half the way back - a little choppy by 10:30 or so) and 30mph the last half way back when it got glassy. For the 55 mile trip to bimini, I calculate fuel use like this:
The boat has a 17+ gal. tank.
Use 65 miles just in case
Use 4 miles per gal. just in case
65 / 4 = 16.25 gal. (worst case)
This is assuming that the weather is perty good cuz I'm not going if it stinks. Might take a 2.5 gal. jug just in case.
The old 1968 boat held up great and even more suprising, my woodwork held up even with some good bone-jarring marine pot-holes.
After that run I'm getting excited about the trip.
Hope some of you can make it. Smirk :-)
LHG posted 06-14-2004 02:54 PM ET (US)     Profile for LHG    
Ward - Having been over there several times, I think you should have one of the 28 gallon tanks, or at least a 12 gallon spare instead of the 2.5 gallons Jerry Jug. I also like the idea that the spare be "plug in", rather than having to pour fuel in bad conditions. The sea conditions going over there are just too unpredicable, and if something changes past the "point of no return", you'll need the extra fuel. You'll also be running perpendicular to the Gulf Stream, pushing you North and requiring a Southerly correction. This has the effect of generating extra distance.

I think you're cutting it too close.

Sounds like a great trip. Have fun and cross in the company of a larger Whaler. You should be leaving the inlet at 6 am, with a "light and variable" forecast only. On the way back you can surf in on the Sea Breeze.

smirkless posted 06-14-2004 05:11 PM ET (US)     Profile for smirkless  Send Email to smirkless     
LHG, I like your idea about the plug-in tank rather than a fuel transfer at sea. You may be missing something in the calculation above. You suggest I use a 28 gallon tank. That would give me a cruising range of 128 miles except the extra weight alone would reduce the mileage considerably. I also misstated the mileage to be 4.52 gal/hr not 4.52 miles/gal. With a 17 gallon tank, that’s a cruising range of 76 miles. The reality of the current correction is actually very minor. Take a very high average of 4 mph from side to side; over two and a half hours would be 10 miles off course. Using a GPS you are constantly edging back toward your target and never actually get far off the straight line course. Using a handheld GPS, the correction would be almost indistinguishable from the direct course. When we were kids we used to go over with the rising sun as our guide; keep it somewhat north at sunrise and end up lined up with the gap between North & South Bimini. No way would I do that now that I have invested in such cool electronics.
I think I’ll take my son’s 6 gallon tank, if for no other reason than save a few bucks on gas in Bimini. Thanks for your thoughts. Smirk
AllanR posted 06-18-2004 10:44 PM ET (US)     Profile for AllanR  Send Email to AllanR     
Smirkless, just my thoughts. I think your calculatiosn assume an almost perfect day with good speed maintained and no problems. I would think you would want at least 1/3 fuel capacity as a reserve. I myself have a 24 gallon Pate tank and 2-6 gallon tanks on my Montauk and I don't consider that to be enough. I would put another 6 gallon tank. If you get stuck in rough conditions over half way across, fuel consumption could go way up. I believe in the old aviation saying of, "the only time you don't need more fuel is when you are on fire".
smirkless posted 06-21-2004 01:09 PM ET (US)     Profile for smirkless  Send Email to smirkless     
AllanR - At the combined fuel load of 36 gallons and a cruising consumption of 4.5 mpg, that would give me a range of 162 miles or about three times the actual distance. As it is, I'm taking 17 gal + 6 gal (23 gallons total) which gives me a range of about double the actual 55 miles.

If there's never enough gas why not 50 gal. or 100 gal.?

No, double the range is enough unless I am stupid enough to disregard or interpret any weather forecast.

Thanks for your thoughts though.

divefan posted 06-21-2004 03:15 PM ET (US)     Profile for divefan  Send Email to divefan     
smirkless, go for it and have a great time! You have done it before and you are not new to the crossing. You seem to have it down. There is a point of diminishing return on carrying more gas. As you said "weight=more consumption". Good luck!


smirkless posted 06-24-2004 05:14 PM ET (US)     Profile for smirkless  Send Email to smirkless     
onefineday, I sent you additional information and registration info. Contact Traci Davis ASAP

Traci R. Davis
Boston Whaler
Admin. Sales Assistant
386/409-6419
386/427-9253

smirkless posted 07-12-2004 08:47 PM ET (US)     Profile for smirkless  Send Email to smirkless     
The Bimini trip was great. There is no way to condense 5 days in Bimini right now so I’ll post more details and photos soon. There were about 10 to 12 Whalers in the group. We were the only continuouswaver there but were made to feel welcome. There was even a sense of owe over having made the trip. All in all, the trip went better than expected... and I expected a lot! More later... Smirk :-)
Swellmonster posted 07-13-2004 09:57 AM ET (US)     Profile for Swellmonster  Send Email to Swellmonster     
Good job Ward! Looking forward to some stories and insight!
LHG posted 07-13-2004 02:02 PM ET (US)     Profile for LHG    
Ward - Tell us how your fuel situation worked out.
Buckda posted 07-13-2004 06:36 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
I always take my fuel consumption and half it when calculating range...this allows for the vertical distance traveled (going up and down on swells and through chop) as well as any course corrections, navigational errors (hopefully minor!) and unforseen weather conditions.

For my Outrage 18', this means that I have about a 130 mile range with my 63 gallon tank. I'm pretty confident that this will get me home no matter what the weather, but if I were making an open-water crossing like that by myself, I'd want to install a fuel-flow meter as well to help me manage the consumption rate and best calculate my true range.

Hopefully, with good weather, I'll always have plenty of extra fuel...but if I get caught on a leg of a trip with rough stuff and *MUST* go through it, I'm pretty confident that fuel will not be a problem.

Glad to hear the trip went well though...Like you, I've been dreaming about a similar trip and hope to do it one day in the next few years.

Dave

smirkless posted 07-13-2004 10:09 PM ET (US)     Profile for smirkless  Send Email to smirkless     
My two boys, Elliott & Ethan, & I went over on Wednesday. My brother's son was supposed to join us but dropped out at the very last minute. Both of them flew over on Chalk’s on Thursday afternoon though. We picked the right day to go, it was flat.

It took 2 hours 15 min to cross the stream from Cape Florida (53 miles) but also took about 15 or 20 min to cross the Biscayne Bay from Coconut Grove. We used 14 gal of gas for the full 58 mile trip or 4.14 mpg. The trip home with all 5 crew aboard took 2 hours and 30 min plus 20 min across the bay and we ran out of gas at the boat ramp with the 6 gal tank still full. That’s 58 miles on 18 gal or 3.2 mpg. with a surplus potential milage of 19 miles. The ride back was just choppy enough to follow another Whaler even though the captain was very navigationally challenged. He had a torpedo evasion course going that the Navy would be proud to execute. Our hand-held GPS was great and accurate. Check out maptech.com, their web charts indicate GPS lat/long coordinates for anywhere you move your mouse to.
Example:
http://mapserver.maptech.com/homepage/index.cfm?lat=27.1864050482&lon=-80.0180079754&scale=1200000&zoom=100&type=0&icon=0&searchscope=dom&CFID=2827&CFTOKEN=38932141&scriptfile=http://mapserver.maptech.com/homepage/index.cfm&latlontype=DMS

After clearing customs/immigration and leaving $150 behind we checked-in at Weech’s room #1 overlooking the dock for $85/night +$20/night for the slip. We snorkeled alone on the beautiful vacant west beach for an hour or so. After that we took the boat down to the Turtle Rocks for some fine snorkeling. On the way back we marked waypoints to possible reef fishing sites using the fish finder and GPS. We had dinner at the Red Lion (Grouper dinner – $18).

On Thursday we went out early for some serious junk-fishing. The water was so warm that fishing for any target dinner-fish was very poor for everyone. First trolling then bottom fishing; sandwiches on Bimini Bread. Later we went in to meet my Brother and his son Mark. We got a golf cart ($40/4 hours) and cruised the island from end to end. Cracked conch dinner at The Big Game Club ($10).

On Friday we tried fishing again with the same results. Went up to the North Rock and swam through the hole in the reef then I dragged the entire crew on ropes behind the boat. At 2:00 PM we checked in with the Whaler group that had arrived about 10:00 AM, an hour late. We picked up our scavenger hunt form then took off for the Turtle Rocks again. At 6:00 PM, Whaler had a barbecue dinner and their usual raffle goodies. This was the Bahamian Independence weekend so the disco next to Weech’s was going full tilt until 3:30 AM with loud fusion music.

Saturday was the fishing tournament. Winning fish would be judged by length rather than weight or edible worth. All winning fish were barracuda except one long-ass houndfish. Ethan won the junior angler category again. We also took second in the scavenger hunt. I apparently won the oldest Whaler again (by a 30-year plus margin) with prize forthcoming. Most or the group ended up in Alice Town partying at the Compleat Angler and elsewhere. We played pool, foosball and the ring game which has it’s roots in Bimini.

Sunday morning we were to meet the group at South Bimini at 9:00 AM sharp for the trip home. I guess someone or several people had a hangover since that plan was shot to hell. We found a couple of whalers that were also ready to go and left at about 9:30. One of the two just took off and the other was, as previously mentioned, not real focused. By 10:00 we had some chop to deal with and my crew wanted to be on the bow with the bimini top shade but we knew it was just for a short time.

The boat, rebuilt woodwork, Yahama 90 and crew came through without a scratch or a hiccup. The only storms were small, slow-moving and avoidable. The most perplexing thing was how I came back with 4 full beers when I only took a case!

Tomorrow I will post photos on the web.

smirkless posted 07-18-2004 07:56 PM ET (US)     Profile for smirkless  Send Email to smirkless     
Here are some photos from the trip.
[url]http://www.geocities.com/wgbimini2004/index.html[url]/
smirkless posted 07-18-2004 08:00 PM ET (US)     Profile for smirkless  Send Email to smirkless     
Lets try this:
http://www.geocities.com/wgbimini2004/index.html
cmarques posted 07-18-2004 08:09 PM ET (US)     Profile for cmarques  Send Email to cmarques     
Looked like great time. Maybe we'll try next year.

Chris

Captain Billy posted 07-20-2004 02:38 PM ET (US)     Profile for Captain Billy  Send Email to Captain Billy     
That did it! I am going next year!!!!!!!!!!
Billy
Swellmonster posted 07-20-2004 03:57 PM ET (US)     Profile for Swellmonster  Send Email to Swellmonster     
Sweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeet!
smirkless posted 07-20-2004 09:12 PM ET (US)     Profile for smirkless  Send Email to smirkless     
We were informed at the Bimini Whaler Event the Whaler's budget for next year's events has been approved!

Set your sights on BIMINI 2005! Not to mention other events.

Captain Billy posted 07-21-2004 10:37 AM ET (US)     Profile for Captain Billy  Send Email to Captain Billy     
Have they set a date yet? I need to know sorta early so I can get my vac. dates set.
Billy
smirkless posted 07-21-2004 08:43 PM ET (US)     Profile for smirkless  Send Email to smirkless     
About a year from now Billy.

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