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Old 04-06-2011, 09:46   #1
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Advice for Exumas Itinerary - Places to Go

3 couples on a 50 foot cat plan to spend 9 days in and out of Georgetown, in late June and early July. None of us have any Exumas experience. Interested in snorkling spots (any wrecks?), beach bars, casual restaurants, cool places to visit.

We're not averse to a long sail to a worthwhile place (we went from San Blas Islands, Panama to Cartegena a couple of years ago), but as another example of what we liked in previous years, we all enjoyed sailing from Culebra, PR through the BVIs, to Anegada and back too... Probably will stay in Exumas and not venture as far as Turks & Caicos based on what we've read and heard. We would appreciate any ideas on where to go. Many thanks.
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Old 04-06-2011, 09:59   #2
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Re: Advice for Exumas itinerary, places to go

Get a copy of the Explorer Charts that covers the Exumas and you will find a dozen great places to visit. Some include to the north of Georgetown - Caribbean Marine Research Center on Stocking Island; Little Farmers Cay and the 5F's; Black Point Settlement on Great Guana Cay; Thunderball Grotto and Staniel Cay; and Exumas Park on Warderick Wells Cay.
- - Southeast you have Long Island and Salt Pond/Thompson Bay.
- - South you have the whole Jumentos islands which are virtually deserted of humans but full of fish and other marine stuff.
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Old 04-06-2011, 10:00   #3
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Re: Advice for Exumas itinerary, places to go

Late June and July is the quiet time in GT. For beach bars there's Chat n Chill on Volleyball Beach. For casual dining try Eddies (Eddy Edgewater) in town or the Two Turtles which is open again. Peace and Plenty is good for dining too.

For snorkeling go to the eastern end of Elizabeth Harbour down at Fowl Cay or if you want a nice spot a day's sail will get you to Glass Cay north of GT. Great snorkeling spot with a blowhole and you'll be the only ones there.

If you want an island with no one on it a short sail will get you to Conception Island to the east. Deserted and good for walking, also a nice turtle pond there.
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Old 04-06-2011, 10:03   #4
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Re: Advice for Exumas itinerary, places to go

Having spent many months in the Bahamas, I would recommend the nine days be spent going up, then back down the Exuma chain.

Leave Georgetown, head north, and be sure to hit Staniel Cay (Thunderball for snorkeling), Warderick Wells (the marine eco park) and Sampsons Cay ( a few good plane wrecks for snorkeling). If you get as far as Allens Cay, you see the endangered iguanas. There are many, many cool anchorages in this stretch, alot of shore hiking and beautiful beaches. It is often possible to anchor on the west side of the Cays and hike to the east or atlantic side easily. The only place I would avoid is Highborne Cay, very very expensive and not much natural beauty. Everything else along this route is great.

Steve Pavlidis's guides are old, but are excellent for the "nature explorer"; he has hiking trails marked, creeks for kayaking mapped and remote anchorages with drawings which are very accurate. Very detailed and far beyond which marinas carry fuel.

Fair winds, and provision before leaving Georgetown. Also, fill those water tanks.
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Old 04-06-2011, 11:24   #5
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Re: Advice for Exumas itinerary, places to go

If you go north, don't by-pass Sea Aquarium just north of O'briens Cay. We work our 46ft. cat through the narrow pass, and over to S.A., and drop the hook. I believe there's a mooring now?........i2f
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Old 04-06-2011, 12:57   #6
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Re: Advice for Exumas itinerary, places to go

Near the Sea Aquarium is beautiful Cambridge Cay. There's a mooring field there, provided by the Exumas Land and Sea Park. Quite protected and a good spot to stay a while - nice beaches, several good snorkeling spots, and a picturesque tiny islet (see photograph).

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Old 04-06-2011, 13:08   #7
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Re: Advice for Exumas itinerary, places to go

Good hiking on Cambridge, too -- lots of nice trails winding up the hills and along the craggy clifftops. If the season is right, you can watch the beautiful long-tailed tropicbirds flying around you.
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Old 04-06-2011, 14:32   #8
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Re: Advice for Exumas itinerary, places to go

We just got back on Sunday from Georgetown. Ditto on the comments above.

Check out Catch a Fire cafe on Great Exuma near Moristown. Great place! Diana and I rode our bikes there, but I don't recommend it unless you like a long hot bike ride. It is easy to hitch a ride in Georgetown.
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Old 28-11-2011, 18:11   #9
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Re: Advice for Exumas Itinerary - Places to Go

We are looking at Georgetown as a stopping off place to position next leg from Miami to BVI. My boat is 50' and draws 7' 6". Can anyone comment on access and dockage/moorage in Georgetown with these constraints?
Many thanks,
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Old 28-11-2011, 20:02   #10
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Re: Advice for Exumas Itinerary - Places to Go

7'6" is going to be to much for the marina at Georgetown. However it will be fine in the harbor if you don't mind anchoring out.
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Old 28-11-2011, 23:48   #11
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Re: Advice for Exumas Itinerary - Places to Go

Hello Dave852,

Thank you for your kind reply. The charts I have do not show a good channel into Georgetown harbor that will support my draft. Can you recommend a book or chart on how to approach?
Best regards,

Ben
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Old 29-11-2011, 05:50   #12
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Re: Advice for Exumas Itinerary - Places to Go

after almost 20 yrs of cruising the bahamas, this would be my 9 day itinerary:

1st of all , w/3 couples, i'd have each couple bring a cooler, one w/ frozen meat, one w/ fruits/veggies, 3rd one w/ snacks. this way, you'll have what you want to eat, not what the mkts. in gtown MIGHT have at that time of yr. (it's reeeeeal slow then). spend the 1st day checking out gtown--chat 'n chill, eddies, 2 turtles, straw mkt., etc. 2nd day head to conception is. and spend the 3rd day there diving the reef, checking out the salt pond, scuba diving the wall in front of the entrance to the salt pond. 4th day head back to the exumas to little farmers cay 5th day go to staniel cay and hang there a day or two. 7th day head back to gtown stopping at the research station on lee stocking is. and dive the reef just n. of it. 8th day maybe barreterra or if the weather's not right keep on to gtown to finish your trip kicking back w/ a few kaliks.

i never recommend trying to do too much on vacation since you'll spend all your time on the move w/o relaxing/swimming/diving or getting to meet the great bahamian people...

have fun and we may see ya there--we usually come down in april and leave the bahamas in aug/sept....
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Old 29-11-2011, 07:10   #13
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Re: Advice for Exumas Itinerary - Places to Go

Ben,
Have you looked at Explorer Chartbooks. They are the best for the Bahamas, IMO, and show a good entrance into Georgetown harbor for you draft.
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Old 29-11-2011, 08:10   #14
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Re: Advice for Exumas Itinerary - Places to Go

Quote:
Originally Posted by Farr50PH View Post
We are looking at Georgetown as a stopping off place to position next leg from Miami to BVI. My boat is 50' and draws 7' 6". Can anyone comment on access and dockage/moorage in Georgetown with these constraints? . . .
For 7' 6" you would probably need about 2.5 meters or more to squeak into any place. I would consider having the Explorer Charts booklets mandatory for someone with your draft.

- - What is your planned routing through the Bahamas? From Miami the routes generally head to either north or south of Bimini. Then the northern route crosses from North Rock WPT has plenty of water but there are a few spots to avoid on the way to Mackie Shoals WPT and then on to Northwest Channel Light.

- - From there to Nassau to check-in has plenty of water, but when exiting eastward and then southward to the Exumas you will be dodging some shallows here and there. You might want to be sure to refuel at Nassau as it will most probably be the last reasonable place before Puerto Rico - unless you jerry-can.

- - From there south you can run the western side of the Exumas, but will be probably anchoring rather further out from any Cay than most other folks. No big deal, the run down the banks is very pleasant and calm waters in most wind conditions. But you need to watch how far south you work down the Exumas Cays so you don't get stuck on the Banks and cannot get out into the Exumas Sound. There are so many great stops along the way, you can get tempted to go too far south.

- - The north entrance to Georgetown, Great Exumas - Conch Cay Cut is fine until you get to Goat Cay WPT, then things get real tight. But remember the depths on the Explorer Charts are very conservatively low and normally you have more water than shown.

- - The southern entrance to Georgetown via North Channel Rocks and Middle Channel Rocks WPT's carries more water and although there are twists and turns, it would be much more comfortable for your deep draft. You probably would not want to work further north than Sand Dollar Beach on the south end of Stocking Island. Getting into Georgetown Marina would, as mentioned by others, not be possible. But there are some new marinas both north and south of Georgetown.

- - All in all, you just need some greater attention to routing and definitely use the Explorer Charts booklets.
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Old 29-11-2011, 16:19   #15
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Re: Advice for Exumas Itinerary - Places to Go

Hello Defever, Bob 77903, and Osirissail,
Thank you all very your great advice. We have been out of S. Fla. boating since moving to Seattle 15 years ago. While in Fla we sailed upper Bahammas with our Morgan 41 for about 15 years. Only made is as far as Staniel Key south and Dry Tortugas west. Will definitely pick up a copy of Explorer Charts. Osirisail, might you recommend one of the new marinas north of Georgetown you mention above?
Best regards and smooth sailing, Ben & Debbie
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