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Old 17-03-2012, 14:51   #46
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Re: Bahamas Cruising Areas - Recommendations Please

In general, I found it's often good snorkeling off the beaten path by going thru the cuts between lsands to the outside reefs in the dingy. Good hunting out there to.
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Old 17-03-2012, 14:51   #47
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Re: Bahamas Cruising Areas - Recommendations Please

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Originally Posted by s/vPainkiller View Post
Hi Pete,
The best snorkeling we found in the mid to upper Exumas were:

1. Sea aquarium north side of Obriens Cay. It's on the Explorer chart. Best by far in the area you are going IMO. There is also a sunken plane nearby in deeper water that you can snorkel over. And it's right near Johnny Depp's island, which was a bonus for the women in our group.

2. Warderick Wells, main anchorage. The area right in front of the park office marked by flloats for tying your dink. You can also drift snorkel through the cut just behind the office. Remember you have to call on the VHF for a mooring assignment and there might be a wait. Not sure how busy it is this year.

3. If you go as far as Staniel Cay, you have to go see Thunderball Grotto. You have to time your snorkel for low slack water since there can be current through the grotto, but it's really neat. And there is good snorkeling around the grotto as well.

4. There is a small but good reef area inside the Cambridge Cay anchorage if you happen to stop there. It's part of the park, and they have a host boat to take your mooring money and give you assistance. Good hiking and beaches there too if you want to get off the boat.

There are others but these are the ones we liked. Enjoy! Wish we were there!

Scott
Great; that's exactly the kind of help we were looking for
Pete
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Old 30-03-2012, 06:56   #48
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Re: Bahamas Cruising Areas - Recommendations Please

We are closing in on our short cruise to Exumas with 13 year old granddaughter and friend. We are now back in Nassau to sample the city life for a couple of days. We did the following
  • iguanas on Allens cay
  • creek on Shroud cay
  • hike and snorkeling on Warderick Wells cay
  • snorkeling on Sea Aquarium and sunken plane on OBriens cay

The recommendations made all the difference. Our next guest arrives next week. She is an adult and may not be into nature or roughing it as much as our present guests. She keeps asking about Atlantis! Any advice in that regards? Thanks again
Pete
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Old 30-03-2012, 07:19   #49
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Re: Bahamas Cruising Areas - Recommendations Please

Go to Atlantis and make her happy. That is what she will remember most. You don't have to stay for days, but a day trip is a small price to pay.

I hear it is an awesome (and expensive) place if that is your thing.
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Old 30-03-2012, 07:54   #50
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Re: Bahamas Cruising Areas - Recommendations Please

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Staniel Cay is nice -- Thunderball grotto, the pigs at Big Majors, SCYC has a nice bar/restaurant. We really liked the Sea Aquarium north of Cambridge. One of the better snorkeling spots. You can anchor at Warderick near Emerald Rock (or take a mooring), but it's more exposed than the north anchorage in a westerly. There's a lot to do in the middle Exumas, as long as the weather is settled.

Scott
Scott or anyone else:

We are overnighting on Staniel Cay before getting on a charter cat to cruise the Exumas for about eight days. Do you know if need a boat to get to the Thunderball grotto if you are staying on Staniel or can you walk to it?
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Old 30-03-2012, 08:01   #51
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Re: Bahamas Cruising Areas - Recommendations Please

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Scott or anyone else:

We are overnighting on Staniel Cay before getting on a charter cat to cruise the Exumas for about eight days. Do you know if need a boat to get to the Thunderball grotto if you are staying on Staniel or can you walk to it?
Definitely can't walk there. It's a short dinghy ride from the yacht club. There is a dinghy mooring right outside the grotto. There are also a few big boat moorings nearby as well. Remember you need to time your visit to the grotto for low water slack tide since the current can be pretty swift right there. You can also snorkel outside around the grotto as well.

Scott
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Old 30-03-2012, 08:30   #52
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Re: Bahamas Cruising Areas - Recommendations Please

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Definitely can't walk there. It's a short dinghy ride from the yacht club. There is a dinghy mooring right outside the grotto. There are also a few big boat moorings nearby as well. Remember you need to time your visit to the grotto for low water slack tide since the current can be pretty swift right there. You can also snorkel outside around the grotto as well.

Scott
Thanks for the info. Sounds like we'll have the Captain take us over in the dink or bring the boat over to it for our snorkels. We've booked the boat but, I need to start looking at some of the spots I'd like to check out. This thread has been very helpful.
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Old 30-03-2012, 16:03   #53
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Re: Bahamas Cruising Areas - Recommendations Please

We sent our 13 year old granddaughter and friend to a Bahamian junior high school here in Nassau today at their request. They were welcomed with open arms and had a blast.
Pete
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Old 30-03-2012, 16:27   #54
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Re: Bahamas Cruising Areas - Recommendations Please

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We sent our 13 year old granddaughter and friend to a Bahamian junior high school here in Nassau today at their request. They were welcomed with open arms and had a blast.
Neat! Both of our kids went to the Bahamas when they were little and the Bahamian children were great.
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Old 30-03-2012, 16:42   #55
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Re: Bahamas Cruising Areas - Recommendations Please

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Neat! Both of our kids went to the Bahamas when they were little and the Bahamian children were great.
It was a great opportunity for them and certainly expanded their horizon. We were lucky that the principal was so cooperative and helpful. It could have gone either way. The principal asked what program they were part of and my wife replied 'The grammie program'!
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Old 30-03-2012, 18:12   #56
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Re: Bahamas Cruising Areas - Recommendations Please

We visited the all-age school on little Farmers Cay with our kids. It's clean and bright and well-stocked -- a lot like a decent American public school. The principal was an energetic, welcoming man. Worth a stop there if you have kids along.

Also -- about Thunderball Grotto . . . it can be very crowded at slack low tide, which stirs up sediment in the water and scares off a lot of the fish. Buck the trend and go at slack high. You may need to swim underwater for a few feet to get in the opening, but the clearer water, fewer people, and more fish make it well worth it.
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Old 04-04-2012, 04:17   #57
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Re: Bahamas Cruising Areas - Recommendations Please

With respect to clearing in to customs & immigration I still have a lingering question. I have learned that in Nassau, one must go to a marina to meet customs & immigration even if your intention is to anchor out (as was ours). Is this true at all port of entries? BTW, in Nassau immigration only gave us 3 months even though we requested 4. I understand this is at their discretion.
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Old 04-04-2012, 04:54   #58
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Re: Bahamas Cruising Areas - Recommendations Please

You can clear customs in downtown Nassau and then go to your anchorage. The Customs office has a dock so it is quite convenient. If I remember correctly, the office is shown in the Explorer chartbook. It is quite convenient to go there.
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Old 04-04-2012, 05:10   #59
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Re: Bahamas Cruising Areas - Recommendations Please

I don't think that is true in many areas. In Bimini, I had to trek to the airport to clear in, so it didn't matter where the boat was.
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Old 04-04-2012, 05:43   #60
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Re: Bahamas Cruising Areas - Recommendations Please

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You can clear customs in downtown Nassau and then go to your anchorage. The Customs office has a dock so it is quite convenient. If I remember correctly, the office is shown in the Explorer chartbook. It is quite convenient to go there.
Interesting. Apparently, Nassau Harbor Control is not aware because I heard an entering boat ask. Harbor Control informed them that it was the law that they first go to a marina to clear in prior to anchoring.
Pete
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