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Old 27-01-2011, 09:48   #1
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Abaco Itinerary

I am bareboating a 46 catamaran from Moorings in mid March. Previously, I have only sailed in the BVI area. We only have 3 days of sailing. The plan is to sail from Marsh Harbour to Green Turtle Cay the first day. Is this realistic or would it be better to break it up into two days? Also, I have been reading about rage sea conditions around the Whale Cay channel. Is this a possible factor for this time of the year? Considering the short amount of time that we have, any suggested itineraries that I should consider? There are two families on this boat with kids. They are troopers but nevertheless, still kids. Thanks!
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Old 27-01-2011, 10:01   #2
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Whale cay is very unpredictable whenever the weather builds- the conditions are reported on the cruisers VHF net every morning in Abaco.
You may pass northward, then be unable to return on your short schedule. I have gotten stuck on one side of the Whale for over 5 days.....

I would recommend Hopetown and Little Harbor (Petes Pub and Gallery) as two stops on this tight schedule. There are also a few anchorages with excellent snorkling and beachcombing in between if you want to round out your third day. All of these are inside the reef, thus passable in any weather and not requiring extensive planning.

Explorer chartbooks are a real plus. Regards and enjoy your trip!!!
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Old 27-01-2011, 10:16   #3
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Because of your limited time schedule I would recommend going no further North (East) than Guana Cay. The snorkling is great and the beach is sugar sand. The best anchorage is in Baker's Bay. You can dinghy to the beach and diving, Don't miss Man-O-War Cay (a dry island)
see boat building at its best. Stop at the canvas chop and if you run into the lady selling cinnimon buns, buy one! Next stop would be Hope Town with its candy stripe lighthouse and Hope Town Harbor Lodge is good beach, ok diving, and good food. Don't bother picking up a mooring in the harbour as it's too crowded and airless. You can anchor just south of the entrance in 15 ft. over sand bottom. Unlike the BVIs you should dive on the anchor every time for safety sake. If you have time you can run down to Pete's Pub in Little Harbour. The kids will like seeing the sea turtles in the inner harbour. Take your time, enjoy, and don't try to do too much. You will discover why "It's Better in the Bahamas". The "Rage" at Whale Cay passage is also at Tilloo Cut and Man O War chanel. Cruiser's net is on VHF #68 at 8:00AM every day so you can get reports on these passages should you extend yourself to Green Turtle.
All the best!
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Old 28-01-2011, 04:46   #4
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I would not even think about Green Turtle with only 3 days of sailing time. As others have said there are days when you can not go through Whale Cay passage. Fronts come through in March, although not as many. Get a copy of Steve Dodge's cruising guide to the Abacos and read it before you come over. There is a lot of good information about the Hub of the Abacos, basically Great Guana Cay to Little Harbour.

We are currently in Man-O-War and this is our 4th season cruising the Abacos. Everything is relatively close here, so you can see as much or as little as you want.
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Old 04-02-2011, 15:09   #5
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If your draft is 4' or less, I suspect you could avoid the Whale Cay Cut and just motor over the Don't Rock passage. I would definitely seek local knowledge before doing that, though.
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Old 05-02-2011, 07:31   #6
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If your draft is 4' or less, I suspect you could avoid the Whale Cay Cut and just motor over the Don't Rock passage. I would definitely seek local knowledge before doing that, though.
Don't Rock Passage:
The principal advantage of this route is it shorter transit time and distance. It really isn't a viable alternative when the Whale Cay Passage is closed by rough seas, because the same forces typically cause breaking waves (rage) in this area as well.

Details ➥
DontRockPassage

And ➥ http://www.ghtacruising.com/2010/06/...ing-the-whale/
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Old 05-02-2011, 17:31   #7
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Green Turtle too far. Enjoy Guana Cay, Man-O-War or Elbow Cay....these are awesome Cays with lots to enjoy. Do keep in mind that Man-O-War does not serve or sale alcohol on this island.
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Old 06-02-2011, 05:59   #8
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The temptation is to visit many places, on a tight schedule why not just enjoy what is nearby and have a more relaxing time. After all cruising is meant to be enjoyable, not necessarily an endurance contest. A rage can and will upset your schedule if it happens while you *need* to be someplace. As others mentioned there are lots of nice spots nearby and easier to reach. Have fun
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Old 06-02-2011, 06:09   #9
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Our favorite snorkeling in this area is just outside Foul Cay located north of Man-O-War. You can take a day anchorage on the west of Foul Cay and dinghy through one of the cuts out to one of the moorings over the reefs. There's beautiful coral reef wildlife here in no more than 20' and much in far less depth.
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Old 06-02-2011, 19:42   #10
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Originally Posted by jwindham View Post
I am bareboating a 46 catamaran from Moorings in mid March. Previously, I have only sailed in the BVI area. We only have 3 days of sailing. The plan is to sail from Marsh Harbour to Green Turtle Cay the first day. Is this realistic or would it be better to break it up into two days? Also, I have been reading about rage sea conditions around the Whale Cay channel. Is this a possible factor for this time of the year? Considering the short amount of time that we have, any suggested itineraries that I should consider? There are two families on this boat with kids. They are troopers but nevertheless, still kids. Thanks!
Mid march will be a bit cool, and probably blustery. Great sailing opportunities in the sound; don't bother going outside with that limited time.

If the weather's calm, go snorkeling the great reefs at Fowl (south of Scotland), north around the top of Guana, and at Sandy Cay (off Lynyard), all with dinghy balls.

Great beach walks from Nippers in Guana (go up the hill from Settlement Harbour next to Pirate's Cove), across through Hope Town Lodge at the south end of the harbour (after you've taken the lighthouse tour), and the Lynyard cut-through looking a bit like a camp, about 2-3 the way down. Look for signs left by cruisers including myself as you head through the walk to the beach.

Our favorite place, and there are LOTS of favorite places in the Bahamas, but there's so many places to sail and dive in the Marsh Harbour area we'll spend the summer there...

L8R

Skip, about to head to the Jumentos from George Town, where it's truly remote...
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Old 08-02-2011, 08:05   #11
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Thanks for all the great advice. It is really appreciated!
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Old 08-02-2011, 12:00   #12
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I'm on Green Turtle now. It's a very easy day from here to Marsh Harbour even on my 30-foot monohull provided there isn't a rage! Very realistic, just have a back up plan in case weather is not conducive.

You can anchor off G.T. in most conditions, but probably want to pick up a mooring in one of the protected harbors if there is a strong NW wind. From the anchorage you can easily dinghy to town, to Pineapples bar and grill, etc. The Lee (Leeward?) club in Black sound is a newer place for cruisers with reasonable meals and drinks.

Have a great charter.
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