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Old 11-12-2017, 11:40   #1
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Bahamas Cruising Recommendations

Any Bahamas experts out there? Trying to find a good (and cheap) place to spend Xmas in Nassau. Then planning on cruising the islands for 1.5-2 months. Boat is a monohull with 2.2m draft. Much appreciated!
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Old 11-12-2017, 18:10   #2
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Re: Bahamas Cruising Recommendations

We really enjoyed cruising the Exumas.

2.2m will be tight in some areas.

Get Explorer Charts.

Cheap and Bahamas dont mix well...though there are many great anchorages.
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Old 11-12-2017, 18:15   #3
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Re: Bahamas Cruising Recommendations

Christmas at wardrickwells sea park and new years at staniel cay
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Old 11-12-2017, 18:30   #4
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Re: Bahamas Cruising Recommendations

Where's your boat now? Getting close to Christmas. Christmas in Nassau is great. Junkanoo on Boxing Day! Just anchor in the harbour, no charge.
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Old 11-12-2017, 19:01   #5
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Re: Bahamas Cruising Recommendations

There wasn't anything cheap in Nassau when we were there. Anchoring in the harbour is doable, but check the guides, Activecaptain etc on advice; the bottom is dicey and there's a strong current. Harbor Central is probably the cheapest marina in the harbour. Palm Cay on the southeast side of the island used to have cheap no amenities docks - you might check with them. Hurricane Hole isn't cheap, but you used to get passes to the Atlantic park - don't know if that's still the case.
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Old 12-12-2017, 07:00   #6
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Re: Bahamas Cruising Recommendations

Given the proliferation of security issues in Nassau, absent staying at Hurricane Hole Marina, where security is pretty good, I'd pass on the place entirely. 2,2 meters (7.2 feet) is a little deep for much of the Exumas. Explorer charts are your friend!
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Old 12-12-2017, 07:25   #7
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Re: Bahamas Cruising Recommendations

In Nassau try the Nassau Harbor Club Marina, there's a very good market across the street. We stayed there a few times and it isn't bad at all. Has a pool, 24hr security and the price is about the best you can do in Nassau. A lot of boaters go thru Nassau to catch up and send off crew. Be careful were you walk at night, ask the guard. East Bay St seems ok, couple of blocks off the waterfront is a no-no. Want an experienced check out the food huts on Potters Cay, that's a trip and go early. If that's too wild, try the Poop Deck. Hard to believe that Nassau was a yachting center many years ago, but now you have to be very careful. Many boaters do everything they can to miss it. If you just need a stopping spot try West Bay, if you don't want to deal with Nassau. Might be tight for you to get in close, but great anchorage in a easterly.
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Old 12-12-2017, 08:01   #8
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Re: Bahamas Cruising Recommendations

I would rather have a root canal than go to Nassau! And I live in the Bahamas!
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Old 12-12-2017, 12:27   #9
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Re: Bahamas Cruising Recommendations

Listen, ignore the "you can't go to the Exumas with that draft" comments. I spent 3 months in the Exumas last winter drawing 6.5+ feet and had no issues at all. I did have to time taking on fuel with high tide at Staniel Cay, but other than that I went where I wanted to when I wanted to (within reason). You will have to anchor a bit further out than other boats, but if you have a good OB/dinghy combo you'll be fine. The best charts there are the Explorer Charts. Study them and have them handy before and during your hops. You won't be able to cross the Yellow Banks between Nassau/Highborne due to your draft. You'll have to go between the Yellow and the White Banks. Going to add about 12nm to your trip.
As for staying in Nassau (if you must), I would highly recommend Nassau Harbor Club Marina. These people are excellent in every way. The facilities are a bit rustic, but the location is right, there is a night watchman, and there is sufficient depth there for your vessel. The dock hands there are particularly good, and are concerned with the well-being of your boat. I was in and out of that marina on probably 4 different occasions last winter (picking up/dropping of guests), and had top-notch service every time. Downside is that there is no breakwater and you will be subjected to wakes from passing vessels. It's worse during the day than it is at night. Great grocery store, liquor/beer and Starbucks (free wifi) right across the street from the marina. Three boating supply stores within a one-mile walk.
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Old 12-12-2017, 13:06   #10
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Re: Bahamas Cruising Recommendations

We still go to Nassau twice a season. I say still because, while at anchor, we were once boarded at o dark thirty by one of Nassau's many thieves. We always stay at Nassau Harbour Club which, like most marinas in Nassau has a security person during the night. We stay a couple of days in the marina and, if the weather isn't cooperating for a departure go and anchor.

Clearing in is easy as the authorities come to the boat and Harbour Club gives you the various forms so when the authorities do come it only takes a few minutes to clear. The staff at Harbour Club are very accommodating and BTC is just across the road if you need a Bahamian sim card. Lunch at Potter's Cay is a ten minute walk and the gas station next door has dink gas without ethanol (the marina has diesel) and quick Bahamian meals.
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Old 13-12-2017, 07:03   #11
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Re: Bahamas Cruising Recommendations

Thanks so much for the great info. Very helpful as opposed to just unneeded emotion. Can you please recommend some of your favorite anchorages in the Exumas?
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Old 13-12-2017, 07:06   #12
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Re: Bahamas Cruising Recommendations

Thanks a lot Vasco! Very helpful
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Old 13-12-2017, 07:09   #13
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Re: Bahamas Cruising Recommendations

And response part II. Where do you recommend anchoring in the Harbor? Also what are these explorer charts? Stupid question but have only heard and used navionics.
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Old 13-12-2017, 07:31   #14
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Re: Bahamas Cruising Recommendations

I personally would not anchor in Nassau Harbor. There's a rash of thieves using paddle boards hitting boats. If picking up guests go to a dock, landing a dingy with guess and luggage is no easy feat there.

Most of our favorite anchorages in Exumas are where a deep draft, aren't going, we draw 4'2". The whole chain is full of very good anchorages that can reached with a deep draft. There are many boat boats with +7ft draft cruising the Bahamas. You will most likely move up and down the chain on the outside in the deeper Exuma Sound. I prefer the outside, better fishing. Use Active Capt and the Explorer Chartbooks for starters. The whole Park is a must stop, and don't rush thru it like most trying to get down to GT. Also get another backup navigation program for phone or tablet like MX Mariner and buy the Bahamas charts $20, to have.

https://www.explorercharts.com/

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Old 13-12-2017, 07:48   #15
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Re: Bahamas Cruising Recommendations

Great info. What lures do you use? Struggling to catch fish lately. How does active captain interface with charts and how do you use it?
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