Florida to Bahamas warm up for Ecuador to Galapagos

Hi all, am totally new to the forum. I live on the beach in Ecuador, and ultimately plan on kayaking from my house on the beach to the Galapagos islands, about 650 miles due west. Before I do that, I want to do a small warm-up kayak trip from the Florida coast to the Bahamas. This trip will be a bit different in that I will have a very large support craft to shadow me, and in fact, this is more of an activity for a lot of potential kayakers to not only promote kayaking, but to highlight ecology of the ocean (pollution, plastic, other garbage in the sea). The support craft is an ex Coast Guard cutter and we have the ability to support perhaps up to a dozen kayakers on our trips. In addition, this will be to promote what is possible for seniors - I am 67 and plan on doing these trips before I’m 70, but if need be, after that age too.

When in Ecuador, I kayak everyday multiple hours in the ocean - a fabulous place to kayak - warm water, relatively calm waters, easy landings on small surf on long stretches of empty beach - I discovered kayaking only after having moved there and feel as if it is now part of me. I just love it.

I am in the “research” phase of planning these trips and am looking for both experienced ocean kayakers and those who want to participate in a group adventure. Because we will have a large support craft, we are at much less risk then attempting this just solos mano vs. mar. This is to promote kayaking, highlight what one can do if you put your mind and energy into it, highlight ocean ecology, and to just have fun (yes, that is still permitted!).

Ideally, I would do the Florida to Bahama trip in the range of December 2021 - Feb 2022. The Ecuador trip would be planned from June-Sept of 2022 (there are no hurricanes to worry about as the Galapagos sits pretty much on the equator and storms cannot form off the equator. All dates are tentative and can change, but these dates are a tentative target to shoot for.

FYI - I have found no one who has documented a trip from the coast of South America to the Galapagos. A study of the currents is obviously needed, and the trip is a long one (again, remember a support craft will be used 100% of the way), perhaps 50-90 days. The Galapagos trip is to kayak during the day - 8-10 hours a day, then pull the kayaks out of the ocean onboard our support craft, grab some dinner, do some social media activity, get a good night’s sleep, and repeat, etc…

If you kayakers out there have any interest at all, pop me an email to hainesbc@protonmail.com and put in the subject line “Bahamas/Galapagos Trip.” I’m looking for those who want to help plan, both equipment and knowledge so that we can pull these trips off and further enjoy the kayaking experience on a somewhat grander scale then a simple day trip.


Bruce Haines

Sounds like a fun adventure! The only thing I would mention is that you’ll have to pick a weather window carefully in the winter. Florida and the Bahamas get cold fronts roughly every week to 10 days in the time frame you are looking at. Some are quite strong. Since you’ll be crossing the Gulf Stream, which is notoriously rough in any weather, you’ll want to be sure NOT to be in the stream when a cold front passes through. FWIW, most cruising sailboats head to the Bahamas in March and leave by early June - this is when the weather is usually the calmest, but without threat of tropical systems.

Sounds like fun.

What’s the Carbon footprint of that support craft?

Hey Brodie, thanks for the info - exactly the kind of information I need to know! I appreciate that and give consideration of your comments as we continue to plan…

1 Like

Powered by 4 x Fairbanks-Morse diesel engines. This is a 213 foot craft that is used as a salvage vessels on the East coast and Gulf

USS Shackle

So it’s massive. How does that align with conservation efforts?

Interesting choice to have a support vessel. The one story of a supported kayak crossing I can think of is the folks who paddles from Cuba to Florida.

I guess the costs and logistics of a supported crossing limit the numbers who do it.

Most of the crossings I hear of are people who do it solo in customized boats. Like this guy, who unfortunately recently passed (on a non-kayaking expedition): Aleksander Doba - Wikipedia. And this Frenchman who is about to embark on a trip from California to Hawaii: https://solokayaktohawaii.com/

Great articles and information - I really appreciate that input! Thanks…

The size of the platform is justified by the number of kayakers, and the media exposure which will be huge and being PC is not our intent when we can bring massive publicity and safety for those who want to participate in this. This support craft is operated by an organization that is involved with multiple recycling companies, including working to reduce/remove the Great Pacific Garbage Patch and highlight the criminal fishing going on in the waters between South America and the Galapagos by the Communist Chinese - they are destroying fishing grounds on an ongoing basis.

See my reply to your carbon footprint question on the other efforts this craft is involved with. I have no intention of trying to justify this vessel beyond what I said in that post.