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Old 25-02-2012, 07:35   #16
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Re: Bahamas Cruising Areas - Recommendations Please

Water can be a problem in many spots.

We left from Lake Worth and entered in Nassau and kept going just east of Nassau to anchor. I would also recommend Staniel Cay and the park at Warderick Wells. You can anchor in the bay south of the channel where the park office is - bit the moorings by the office are in a terrific spot if you can get one.

How about this arrangement to open up your cruising grounds - your guests get on in Nassau and leave at Georgetown and fly back to Nassau (or there are flights to Florida if they have not made their arrangements)?
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Old 25-02-2012, 07:47   #17
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Re: Bahamas Cruising Areas - Recommendations Please

Pete, That's a tall order. If you want lots of water, you'd better stay in a marina. You won't find lots of fresh water in the northern Exumas. It's a long way from Lake Worth to Nassau unless you have a very fast boat. Also, if you head south across the Stream, you will be bucking the current.
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Old 25-02-2012, 07:57   #18
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Re: Bahamas Cruising Areas - Recommendations Please

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Originally Posted by prroots View Post
I have two questions related to cruising in Bahamas:
  1. Where can water tanks be refilled and what is cost? We have no water maker and our guests are likely to use lots of fresh water
  2. Where is best place to clear customs? We'll be departing Lake Worth and passing through NW Providence channel and onto Nassau. We'll be wanting the maximum available time.

Thanks
Pete
Youl will need to do a bit of planning around water fills. Nassau of course has water at the marinas. Staniel Cay, last time I was there had plenty. Make it on site as I recall. Berry Islands have limited access to water. Chub Cay marina is an option but last I heard everything there was really expensive.

Your best option is to get the latest edition of one of the cruising guides. Will give you details on all the marinas and city docks, availability of water, fuel and everything else of interest to a cruiser. Plus makes great reading while planning your cruise and you can let your guests use it to help pick their preferred itinerary.

Many different cruising guides, everyone has their favorites. Steve Pavilidis' guides are mentioned a lot. The oldest is the Yachtsman's Guide to the Bahamas. Maybe just buy several.

Customs on your route you can stop in Freeport but if you are planning non-stop to Nassau you can just wait to clear in there. Again any of the cruising guides will give you all the latest on locations to clear customs.
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Old 25-02-2012, 08:08   #19
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Re: Bahamas Cruising Areas - Recommendations Please

I agree with all recommendations above, but had a very different experience at Highbourne Cay marina than one of the posters above. They were most gracious and welcoming when we rented a slip for the night. Their main clientele is superyachts, but they have some slips for smaller boats and are a great one-night stop. There's a beautiful beach area, a nice, small store with cold beer and (high-priced) extra groceries. My wife called the place "Fantasy Island". While we were on the beach, a float plane flew in with some guests and dropped them off.
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Old 25-02-2012, 08:17   #20
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Re: Bahamas Cruising Areas - Recommendations Please

i would have your guests meet u in marsh harbor,the mecca for cruising boats,all you need and more is there i love the place and cant seem to stay away for more than a week then iam back in. stores that wont rip u off too bad,great bars[ snappas]lots of liquor stores buck a book for rough weather,a very secure harbor,the list goes on, check it out
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Old 25-02-2012, 08:42   #21
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Re: Bahamas Cruising Areas - Recommendations Please

another vote for the northern exumas. with just one week you'll need a day to reach allens cay and anchor down. next day go on to highbourne if you need to water up or get a few supplies or fuel or use a phone. i remember from a few years ago that they have the only telephone for 50 miles around. then down to warderick wells. hike the island, check out booboo hill. there are a few other stops along the way that are equally nice but time may be a problem for you. normans and shroud cays come to mind. the explorer chartbook for the are should be your primary chart and cruising guide. worth every penny.
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Old 25-02-2012, 08:59   #22
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Re: Bahamas Cruising Areas - Recommendations Please

As far as water, you can usually fill up at most marinas in Nassau and elsewhere. As far as cost, I think it depends on whether there's a drought. I filled up at Green Turtle awhile back and it was 30 cents a gallon.

You can check into Nassau at one of the designated marinas. Make sure you call the harbor master first to get permission to enter the harbor. There's a lot of cruise ship traffic in the harbor.

We are getting ready to do a similar trip but may leave from farther south if the weather window isn't perfect and may stop at Bimini to check in.
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Old 25-02-2012, 09:43   #23
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Re: Bahamas Cruising Areas - Recommendations Please

1. The good news is that water is available everywhere in the Bahamas. I haven't been to some of the out islands, but all the places you'll be are served by reverse osmosis plants. The marinas at Highbourne, Staniel, Sampson and pretty sure Compass all have it. You probably won' get any further than that in a week. The bad news is that the going rate seems to be about $.25+ a gallon. You're only talking about a week, so don't sweat it. 100 gallons are only $25. It won't be one of your larger expenses. Kalik is waaaaay more expensive than that....

2. There are lots of place to clear in. You already have to be in Nassu, right? West End, Bimini and Chubb are more or less on your route or can be if you alter where you jump from.

Scott
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Old 25-02-2012, 12:12   #24
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Re: Bahamas Cruising Areas - Recommendations Please

I thought I'd throw in a couple of photos to whet your appetite. I took them on a flight from Miami to St Kitts on my way back home from a Stateside visit.

I believe that's Lee Stocking Cay (the one with the airstrip) and Norman's Pond Cay (to the right) in the foreground. They're just north of Great Exuma. We flew right over the northern and central Exumas, so I wasn't able to get photos of anything north of Little Farmer's Cay. The other shot is of the banks south of Nassau.

Gorgeous, isn't it?
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Old 25-02-2012, 12:34   #25
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Re: Bahamas Cruising Areas - Recommendations Please

georgetown and back is too much for one week. I vote N Exumas also. Lots of interesting stuff and different at every stop!, short daysails etc.
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Old 25-02-2012, 12:40   #26
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Re: Bahamas Cruising Areas - Recommendations Please

I am very familiar with the trip you described. I would just blast across the banks and clear in at Chub Cay. If that doesn't suit you, then Cat Cay. If you are leaving from Lake Worth you might want to take a day and head to Miami before you transit the Stream. If you leave around midnight, you can make Chub Cay from Miami before dark the next day - weather permitting. Once you pick up your guests, you can head for the Berries but I only say that because I know the area.
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Old 27-02-2012, 10:38   #27
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Re: Bahamas Cruising Areas - Recommendations Please

Yes, Nassau has water at the marinas, but before you fill your tanks, taste it! We were there last Feb. and the water was not RO, to say it tasted bad would be a huge understatement.

Wish I was there now!

CHeeRS!
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Old 27-02-2012, 13:26   #28
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Re: Bahamas Cruising Areas - Recommendations Please

I found a couple of CDs that are labeled Explorer charts of Bahamas, but OpenCPN doesn't display them. They have a folder entitled CHARTHDR with files with names like MEXUM1S0.HDR and many other folders with names like Mexum1s0 containing files such as Mexum1S0.A01. Any idea what kind of charts these are and if they can be converted to a form OpenCPN can display?
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Old 27-02-2012, 13:33   #29
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Re: Bahamas Cruising Areas - Recommendations Please

I also think N. Exumas but it very important that you get to Nassau well before your friends fly in. You cannot depend on the weather when crossing the gulfstream. You will be going "Uphill" as it is. Tight schedules simply do not work well in the Bahamas. Water is available in Highborne, Staniel, Compass, Black point. $.25 to .50 /Gal. no big deal. Highborne is beautiful and still less expensive than most marinas in the US. The grocrey is pricey but let your guests pick up the tab!
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Old 27-02-2012, 14:06   #30
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Re: Bahamas Cruising Areas - Recommendations Please

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I also think N. Exumas but it very important that you get to Nassau well before your friends fly in. You cannot depend on the weather when crossing the gulfstream. You will be going "Uphill" as it is. Tight schedules simply do not work well in the Bahamas. Water is available in Highborne, Staniel, Compass, Black point. $.25 to .50 /Gal. no big deal. Highborne is beautiful and still less expensive than most marinas in the US. The grocrey is pricey but let your guests pick up the tab!
Thanks. We depart on March 2nd subject to weather and our first guests don't arrive Nassau until March 22nd. Good info on water availability.
Pete
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