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Old 24-10-2015, 11:21   #1
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Cool Berry Islands in the winter

Hello all,
We are planning to spend November and December in the Berrys and commute back and forth to Bimini and surrounding areas.
We have never been in early winter and are wondering how strong the fronts are when they get in that region. Also we would like some advice on where the best shelters are for fronts in the Berrys..
We hope to go lobster hunting!
Pam
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Old 24-10-2015, 12:30   #2
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Re: Berry Islands in the winter

I was down around Chub Cay once and it might be a place to check out. It would help if you had a shallow draft.
There is a place about half way down the on the east side where Disney has a little fantasy island they take their cruise ship guests. You can tuck in behind land just to the south of it with good depth.
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Old 24-10-2015, 12:51   #3
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Re: Berry Islands in the winter

The fronts vary from year to year. You are further north in the Berrys so they'll usually be stronger than say in the Exumas. The best shelter from fronts would be in Great Harbour Marina or Chubb Cay Marina (over $4 a foot) I've hidden behind Frazers Hog Cay many times but it may not be everyone's cup of tea as there is a strong tidal current and when tide opposes the wind some may find it a bit uncomfortable.

You say you're going to "commute" back and forth to Bimini. Don't understand this. It's a long haul from the Berrys to Bimini. Are you going to stay on the boat for the two months? There is nothing between the Berrys and Bimini except the Great Bahamas Bank. If you're going to be on the boat for the two months I would suggest the Exumas.
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Old 25-10-2015, 07:51   #4
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Re: Berry Islands in the winter

Pam, As Rick said, Great Harbor is the best all around protection from the fronts in the Berry's. Wind directions as the fronts pass will determine what other anchorages will be suitable. The fronts can't be predicted this far in advance so you might experience very few or you may find them blowing for days or even weeks at a time. I assume you mean you will cruise between the Berry's and Bimini and not "commute". Weather conditions will keep you in one place for extended periods of time and the sail between Bimini and the Berry's is a very long day in open water, probably leaving from your departure point or arriving at your destination in the dark. Any anchorage on the west side of the islands will be very uncomfortable in westerly winds and the east facing anchorages in east winds. Some anchorages will have a very uncomfortable surge during frontal passages and there will be strong currents to account for. Having said all this, the Berry's are one of our favorite areas in the Bahamas. These are the reasons most boaters do the Berry's in the spring when the weather is more benign. We cover details on the anchorages, including chartlets, for the Berry's in our Bahamas anchorage guide. Chuck
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Old 25-10-2015, 09:05   #5
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Re: Berry Islands in the winter

Thank you all for your responses. I should have said "cruise" instead of commute. We have always passed the Berrys and Bimini on our way to the Exumas so we are only familiar with Chubb, which we have stayed at before during rough weather.
I guess the most important thing we have to decide is should we do this in November?
We are planning on going up to the Chesapeake in the spring so next year we will not be going to the Bahamas.
Maybe we should wait and do the Berrys another year in the spring. March would still give some lobster hunting if there are any legal ones left.
I will try to locate where to buy your book, Chuck.

Happy Sailing!
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Old 25-10-2015, 09:14   #6
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Re: Berry Islands in the winter

November should be OK, unless it's not. The worst cold fronts come deeper into the winter and I'd avoid all of the Northern Bahamas in January through mid March, although many, many folks winter in the Abacos every year. Not my preference. So it's obviously an individual choice of how much bad weather can you stand.

We've cruised the Berrys twice in the spring on the way back north from the SE Bahamas or E Carib. The spring would be my choice.

Dave
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Old 25-10-2015, 11:01   #7
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Re: Berry Islands in the winter

Quote:
Originally Posted by pjvoyage50 View Post
Thank you all for your responses. I should have said "cruise" instead of commute. We have always passed the Berrys and Bimini on our way to the Exumas so we are only familiar with Chubb, which we have stayed at before during rough weather.
I guess the most important thing we have to decide is should we do this in November?
We are planning on going up to the Chesapeake in the spring so next year we will not be going to the Bahamas.
Maybe we should wait and do the Berrys another year in the spring. March would still give some lobster hunting if there are any legal ones left.
I will try to locate where to buy your book, Chuck.

Happy Sailing!
Good luck and take the time to enjoy. You can get our books by clicking on the banner on my posts. Chuck
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Old 25-10-2015, 15:42   #8
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Re: Berry Islands in the winter

I have had some of my best adventures in the Bahama's in October & November, and some bad ones in the spring & summer.

Just like the old business addage, LOCATION LOCATION LOCATION, add to the sailing/boating derivitive LOCATION/WEATHER LOCATION/WEATHER LOCATION/WEATHER.

I would not bypass Great Harbour. The northeast waters and beaches are some of the best you will find. Beautiful. If the winds are from the north through NE, go on the southwest side. You can even go to the marina on the southwest side if desired.

To the southeast a few islands over, is an enclosed blue hole that you jump off a cliff into. Here is a video of the top looking down.



Also, take your rib and explore up Sharks Creek on the southeast end of Great Harbour. Bear to the right and you can come out on the back side shallows.

My wife on the front of the boat

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Old 25-10-2015, 16:04   #9
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Re: Berry Islands in the winter

A few pics of the beach
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Old 26-10-2015, 08:03   #10
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Re: Berry Islands in the winter

Thank you for the posts! Love the videos and photos. It makes me REALLY want to go now!
So true about the Abacos in Jan/Feb! We would always feel bad for the boaters there when were in Georgetown listening to their weather!
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Old 26-10-2015, 11:46   #11
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Re: Berry Islands in the winter

What about Joulter Cays? This is just south of the Berrys. Is this a neat place to spend a day or two for fishing, lobstering or just a pretty and secluded anchorage?
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