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Old 26-07-2012, 19:23   #1
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First time to Berry Islands and Exumas

I am planning to go in August to the Berry Islands and Exumas for my first time. I plan to go with my wife. I have a 33' Center Console Hydra Sport w/twin 300 Yamahas w/350 gallons of fuel.We plan to sleep on the beach in our tent or If we have to I have a full enclosure and could sleep on the bow cushions. My questions/concerns. How much food,drinks,supplies etc. should we take(plan to stay out 2 weeks maybe more.) Is my boat adequate to go on this trip. And has anyone with my type of boat done this trip or gone further. Thanks for advice.
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Old 26-07-2012, 19:29   #2
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Re: First time to Berry Islands and Exumas

Bring bug spray! If you think you have enough, get more!
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Old 26-07-2012, 20:15   #3
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Re: First time to Berry Islands and Exumas

Kenny, A lot of things factor into this trip. Your most formidable challenge may be weather. Although August doesn't see cold fronts in the Gulf Stream, You can encounter violent thunderstorms and tropical waves with serious weather. Keep that in mind in an open boat. It is done often in a boat your size but usually for day trips and fishing expeditions. Taking two weeks worth of supplies in your boat is going to make it crowded. There will be refueling and supply stops in Bimini and other locations. I would suggest you get a copy of the most current Explorer Charts and do some planning well before you leave. Chuck
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Old 27-07-2012, 03:43   #4
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Re: First time to Berry Islands and Exumas

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Kenny.
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Old 27-07-2012, 06:29   #5
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Thank you . I just ordered that chart on line. Hoping it shows places to fuel and supplies. Hopefully closer than Bimini. Where would be the closest place for me to do customs.
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Old 27-07-2012, 06:40   #6
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Re: First time to Berry Islands and Exumas

where are you leaving from? Bimini has fuel, Chubb has fuel, also Great Harbor, but keep in mind some of these spots run out of fuel from time to time, after that it's Nassau. Both groceries and fuel are there. After that it's Stanial Cay and or Black Point. Stanial has fuel Black Point does not. IMHO Stanial has the better grocery store.
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Old 27-07-2012, 06:44   #7
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Re: First time to Berry Islands and Exumas

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Originally Posted by Kenny C. View Post
Thank you . I just ordered that chart on line. Hoping it shows places to fuel and supplies. Hopefully closer than Bimini. Where would be the closest place for me to do customs.
Hi Kenny,

The Explorer charts are good and will give you a lot of information but you might want to get one of the guide books as well. Steve Pavlidis who is a forum member, publishes an excellent guide book.

Not sure what you mean by closer than Bimini since Bimini is the closes island in the Bahamas to the FL coast. But closest to you will depend on where you start from in FL. What is your planned starting point?

Regarding the boat, should be more than adequate to make the trip as far as seaworthiness. Just check weather before taking off. However, with your boat you should be able to cross the Gulfstream in 2-3 hours tops so that part is much easier.

Storage and food may be a little trickier depending on how much you plan on staying on the boat or camping in remote locations. Be aware that you might not be able to camp on the beach on any of the settled islands. Last time I checked I think camping was not encouraged but in isolated areas probably not an issue. Food, groceries and restaurants are readily available in more settled islands if not cheaply.

Will be a great trip. Have fun.
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Old 27-07-2012, 10:11   #8
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Re: First time to Berry Islands and Exumas

Keep in mind too that the Bahamas are way spendy so the more you can realistically bring with the better.

Also, not sure how kindly most places will take to you camping on the beach. Be sure and check first.

That said, the Berry's down through the Exumas is a great cruising ground. Your boat should also be well suited for exploring Andros -- which is like no other island in the Bahamas.
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Old 27-07-2012, 10:31   #9
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Re: First time to Berry Islands and Exumas

You do not say where you are starting from however, an easier and more protected cruise would be a swing through the Abacos. Same crossing distance but more protection and anchorage opportunities. The no see ums will eat you on the beach!!, might be better sleeping on the boat.
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Old 27-07-2012, 10:54   #10
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Re: First time to Berry Islands and Exumas

Im planning to leave from Haulover Inlet. But was wondering if I could avoid Bimini and go South to do customs. Which would be my best bet?
Is sleeping on the beach at the Berry Islands permitted? Or is it feasible to rent someplace and go to different areas for the day and then come back to a motel/hotel.
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Old 27-07-2012, 10:56   #11
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Re: loved the Berry Islands and Exumas

Kenny - we loved the quietness of the Berry islands. But Great Harbor is the only place to get fuel and somewhat limited food until you get south to Chub Cay. The eastern side of Great Harbor has a wonderful beach and I don't expect you would have anyone hassling you about the beach although plenty of bug spray will be good. We did not visit Andros but will on the next trip. The Exumas will have all the fuel and food you need, just at significantly higher prices than you expect.

As Tingum noted, the Abacos will be more protected but more private islands. They were our least favorite islands of the Bahamas - too many people. The Explorer charts (there are 3 of them) will give you all the info you need. You might also check Active Captain and read up on suggested anchorages.
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Old 27-07-2012, 11:23   #12
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Re: First time to Berry Islands and Exumas

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenny C. View Post
Im planning to leave from Haulover Inlet. But was wondering if I could avoid Bimini and go South to do customs. Which would be my best bet?
Is sleeping on the beach at the Berry Islands permitted? Or is it feasible to rent someplace and go to different areas for the day and then come back to a motel/hotel.
Well the only thing south of Bimini is Cat Cay, about 15 miles south. You can clear customs there and that is a good spot to enter the banks to head east. But last time I heard they charge you a good bit to tie up at Cat Cay just to clear customs. Maybe if you fuel up at the same time. Next thing south from Cat Cay is Cuba.

With your boat you could easily get a hotel and make day trips to explore, dive, etc. Just checked my most recent guidebooks but could find no reference to camping or not, but I'm pretty sure that I have read that it is not exactly encouraged if not technically prohibited. But again, if you are not in a populated area, not on a hotel's beach front, etc I am guessing your would not be troubled. But as pointed out, this time of the year in the Berrys you are very likely to be devoured by the mosquitoes and no-see-ums. Bring repellent, or close up the boat (tight) or anchor way off the beach or just get a room.
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Old 27-07-2012, 13:03   #13
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Re: First time to Berry Islands and Exumas

Don't leave home without the Explorer Charts and if possible a chart plotter that features the Explorer Charts. Due to the predictable summer storms (August being the peak of hurricane season) I wouldn't go in August in any boat much less an open center console. It's already been said that you need lots of bug spray and prepare for sweltering heat.
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Old 27-07-2012, 15:13   #14
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Re: First time to Berry Islands and Exumas

If you go to Great Harbour ( good hurricane hole) and then decide to take the shortcut down to Chub that goes over the shallows (chart in the harbormaster's office), pay attention to tide and your draft because we ran into 3.2 ft. of water down about a mile north of Chub. We drew 3.5 at the time.
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Old 29-07-2012, 18:43   #15
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Re: First time to Berry Islands and Exumas

Thanks to everyone for such great refrence and advice. Lot's to think about and Plan.
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