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Old 14-02-2013, 10:44   #151
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Re: Bahamas - Do's and Dont's

Originally Posted by Vasco View Post
When I first started no cruiser crossed the Bank at night. Now it's quite common. I prefer the North Rock route to the Cat Cay/Gun Cay route because with the former you have a few dekes just before you enter Florida Strait but with the North Rock route it's straight out and it's usually night when you get to this part of the trip. Watch out for local mail boats, more than one cruiser has been hit especially at NW Channel light. Give them a wide berth. A moonlit night sure makes the trip easier.
I've sailed across it at night, and anchored in the middle of it. The only concern to anchoring is making darn sure you are far enough off the Explorer Chart routes to avoid getting hit by a mailboat or other vessel.

With a Garmin Chartplotter with the Explorer Charts loaded in, it's sure a lot easier to sail it at night than it used to be. I sailed it at night once in 1987 (when I was too young to know better), and ended up going south of shoals we were navigating to go north of.

One good thing about anchoring on the Banks is that you don't have to worry about dragging a little as long as you are far enough out of the traffic lanes.

To feel really safe, just anchor and keep a watch all night.

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