Looking for the Gulf Stream
24 April 2018 | Straits of Florida
After a final round of conch fritters and Goombay Smashes (local rum special) we had a night of torrential rain and thunderstorms, so were very glad to be safely tied up in harbour. We left Old Bahama Bay mid morning today and headed out into the Straits of Florida; so weâre now officially checked out of the Bahamas, and heading for home via the USofA. The plan is to head north up to Beaufort, North Carolina, which is some 500 miles away just south of Cape Hatteras, and check into the US there. Itâs quite strange to realise that we are now only 35 miles from the Florida coast.
The route for this leg is a bit of a challenge. We have been told that the fastest way up to North Carolina is to join the Gulf Stream, and then ride it up the coast. Our first test is to find the stream. We have maps that show where it should be, and we are just heading out on a NW course towards Florida until we find it. There are forecasts for the days ahead to show how it might move around. If we can find it, it could give us several knots of lift, but we will see how that goes. Apparently we are looking for north-flowing water, an increase in water temperature and a change in colour. We have been told not to stay in the stream if there is any north in the wind, as that makes it a bit rough â�" thankfully none is forecast at present. We will let you know how our search goes tomorrow. In the meantime we are settling in for a âfirst nightâ at sea again.