I just got back from a run from Nassau
down to Jackfish Channel at the southern tip of Andros in July. I draw almost 5ft and primarilly used a Garmin
441s with the factory charts
that were in the unit when I bought it 2 years ago. We basically ran "inside" the reef from Fresh Creek all the way down. With the exception of a few times when the tide was dead low and one or two places where you must go out, taking the inside route
was no problem at all. Coral
heads are easily spotted, though there were a few in dark grassy areas that may have been hard to see with low light. I found the Garmin Charts dead on correct the entire way.
We ran aground once just south of Driggs Hill at dead low tide and had to wait about an hour for the tide to come in. We found the tides south of Mars Bay to be late from the predictions. At Jackfish, the tides were late by 3 hours. I'm not sure if that is usual or due to the stiff SE breeze but the 3hr late highs and lows lasted the entire week.
During the entire trip we only passed one local fishing
boat and didn't see anyone while at anchor
for a week in Jackfish Channel. I think everyone was waiting for lobster season to open. We had BTC cell service
all the way, including at the southern tip (standing on the flybridge).
The harbor at Driggs Hill is free with no power or water
but is well marked and safe in all winds. Roudy, the owner of the Rusty Barge Bar will help you get fuel
with his truck. I think the price
was like $6.50/GAL. Lisbon Creek is well marked also. Lighthouse Marina at Fresh Creek is currently in bad shape but still has fuel
. I think the government
has taken it over. The water
ships between Nassau
and Morgan's Bluff no longer run so you can now tie up in the harbor at Morgan's. Christopher Curry is a good man for anything at Morgan's.
Basically I would sum up the trip as nice people, off the megayacht track.... Just plan your runs knowing the state of the tides and expect to anchor
Bahama style with 2 anchors in alternating current
over grass. You will probably need to dive and hand set your anchors unless you are in a harbor. Finally, the East winds get stronger the further South you go and most of the time the reef just breaks the swell down to a stiff chop.
I hope this was useful.