Our boat spent the last three winters in the Bahamas, and she let us come visit on a regular basis (darn work). There are rules in the Bahamas.
1: never sail at night
vessels in the Bahamas are not required to have AIS
, and mostly they don't, particularly those giant inter-island ferries, that deliver everything from TV sets to furniture to a new truck for a guy on Exuma. And trust me, they are not keeping a lookout all the time.
Rule 3: It can rain hard enough to restrict visibility, but the odds of you running aground are greater than finding the ferry
Rule 4: watch where you anchor
, even if it is out of the marked fairway, move further. I was almost run down by a big green ferry
that was coming out of Governors Harbor on Eleuthera. He was throwing a bow wave and too close for comfort, I had to raise him on the radio
and get him to make a choice because there wasn't time for both of us to turn the same way. Yes, I missed him the first time on my lookout, and 5 minutes later he was behind my bbq grill
and I thought there was something wrong with radar in the middle of the day when I saw the blotch but no AIS
signal, until I looked behind the grill
. But he had no lookout, no restricted course, and I am pretty sure had set the auto pilot and left the wheel
I then heard from Galeen, a Valiant 42' that the same ferry had run down without stopping in the middle of the night in Rock Harbor on Eleuthera. Galeen was anchored in an anchor
zone, out of the channel, with anchor light and deck
light on. The ferry hit Galeen from the stern and split her to the waterline, but not further. We buddy sailed to Spanish Wells, where he got enough repair to come back to the US for full repair and X-ray. (The valiant was fine, no broken tabs on the bulkheads)
So you are not going anywhere to hav fog, you will love the Bahamas, particularly the Exumas
, but keep an eye out at all times.
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