Weather window in January 9 - 16
Paddle to the Bahamas
Jeff Atkins and I will be looking for a weather window January 9 - 16 to lead a group paddlers from Elliott Key, Florida, to North Bimini Island in The Bahamas. Crossing the 48 nautical mile wide channel is complicated by the Gulf Stream which may average a current of 2 to 2.5 knots, resulting in an expected crossing time of 17 - 20 hours depending on weather and our ferry angle math; we'll want to set a stronger ferry angle during weaker current to minimize time spend in the center of the Stream.
A sailing yacht will escort us within radio distance in case of emergency. Since the safety vessel is not cheap, the price to participate is $750. Applicants will be accepted based on their documented relevant kayak experience and/or letters of recommendation from leaders in the kayaking community.
Preceding the crossing, we'll paddle to Elliot Key in Biscayne National Park and make camp. Tents and other camping gear can make the crossing on the emergency support vessel.
To return back to Florida, paddlers can take the ferry with a $50 surcharge for kayak transportation. Ferry arrangements are not included in the price of the trip to allow for flexibility with return times.
During the crossing we will minimize break time with an eat as you go approach not to exceed 4 minutes at the top of every half hour. We will not stop for lunch, and longer breaks will be limited to emergencies (you really have to poop.) We'll maintain an average flat-water paddle speed at 3.5 knots, which will drop to 3 knots when accounting for drink and snacks. We recommend participants bring high calorie easy to eat food. Fuel is life.
This crossing will be a team effort, led by Jeff and myself. Please be prepared to paddle with the group and follow instructions issued for everyone's safety.
Please reach out to us if you're interested in coming. This is going to be an amazing trip, if we don't die.