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Old 11-11-2012, 08:34   #106
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Re: Bahamas - Do's and Dont's

Last December we ended up in South Caicos by chance. Had intended to sail from Beaufort to the BVI direct but the wind had other ideas. We were adopted by the folks at the marine institute there and had a great one week stay. Provo is where most people go to,but I fondly remember our stay at South Caicos as what cruising can be if you are open to what the situation brings. We were the only cruising boat there and felt like local celebrities. Stop in, say hello and take the inside route to Provo.
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Old 11-11-2012, 08:45   #107
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Re: Bahamas - Do's and Dont's

I stayed on Provo for 10 days and my experience was that everything was very expensive and people were not friendly at all. The snorkeling was pretty good off out by the island Bruce Willis owns(can't remember which one it is) It was in the Atlantic on the outer side of the reef. Very clear water and very large coral. I wouldn't go back unless it was on my way. On another note, Brent, I know you rented the scooters on Anegada. I am getting all kinds of negative remarks on another forum about how dangerous and bad the roads are and not to do it. Is it really that bad? I am not at all worried about me or my son as we have ridden motorcycles all our lives but I have a couple of daughters and wife that want their own. What's your advice?

Mark
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Old 11-11-2012, 12:25   #108
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Re: Bahamas - Do's and Dont's

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I stayed on Provo for 10 days and my experience was that everything was very expensive and people were not friendly at all. The snorkeling was pretty good off out by the island Bruce Willis owns(can't remember which one it is) It was in the Atlantic on the outer side of the reef. Very clear water and very large coral. I wouldn't go back unless it was on my way. On another note, Brent, I know you rented the scooters on Anegada. I am getting all kinds of negative remarks on another forum about how dangerous and bad the roads are and not to do it. Is it really that bad? I am not at all worried about me or my son as we have ridden motorcycles all our lives but I have a couple of daughters and wife that want their own. What's your advice?

Mark
Hi Mark ... Coming from Africa I am not really one to judge these roads but in a nut shell ... yeah ... one has to be a bit wise about driving scooters at Anegada and if one is then it will be fine.

It gets more dangerous after a couple of glasses of rum (LOL) but I rented a scooter for my daughter Jenna who is not a 'scooter person' and she was fine.

One has to go slowly and take extra special care for donkeys ... they tend to do unexpected things such as wander out in front of one.
Where the road stops and becomes dirt it gets dangerous so that is a place to really slow down to a crawl ... (had Ana squealing a few times) ... but in all honesty if one is mindful of these things and drives defensively the experience is what makes the journey so much more fun, and being mindful of the dangers it REALLY is NOT the danger people present it to be!

From what I have seen on the few occasions we have now visited Anegada, there are some guys who drink way too much rum and then mount their scooters ... I think they are the ones that end up eating dirt!

My daughter still talks about her scooter rides on Anegada.

You will need to present some form of drivers license ... I provided my expired one and it was not a problem ... would definitely recommend doing it
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Old 11-11-2012, 12:26   #109
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Re: Bahamas - Do's and Dont's

Thanks Starchaser 2011 ... these are the experiences we are looking for!
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Old 12-11-2012, 10:02   #110
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Re: Bahamas - Do's and Dont's

We waited out a 10-day weather at Provo at the marina on the north side. Went around the whole island and didn't find much to do except being beach bums on one of the 10 Most Beautiful Beaches of the world (or some such). Their beach a looong, white sand, with reefs protected by a line all around (but you have lots of those in SA), and lots of hotels and resorts.

The only two interesting things I remember are that in one of the resorts towards the other end of the beach from the marina was a very cool infinity bar and hobbie cats were fun to ride inside the reef. Provisioning is expensive.
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Old 18-11-2012, 22:48   #111
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Re: Bahamas - Do's and Dont's

Well we finally arrived at South Caicos Islands en-route to Bahamas! I already LOVE being up here at Cockburn Harbour ... the water clarity is amazing ...
If this is a 'taste of things to come' ... we are gonna LOVE the Bahamas for sure. Thanks for all the contributions and suggestions so far everyone!
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Old 20-11-2012, 08:27   #112
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Re: Bahamas - Do's and Dont's

Happy travels! I hope you update this thread a couple more times- so we can follow your trip ( although I follow your blog too) - I think it's good for the community for an OP to return to the thread and contribute - since many of us search old threads for certain subjects - you don't know who might benefit in the future.
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Old 20-11-2012, 09:19   #113
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Re: Bahamas - Do's and Dont's

Slightly off topic for those who have been to the Brigantine Cays.... Is this doable with a 5' draft? I've looked at the Explorer Charts. Looks like I can get there if I play the tides and really watch the depth. How realistic is this, or is this just for cats and other shallow draft types?

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Old 21-11-2012, 19:36   #114
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Re: Bahamas - Do's and Dont's

Contributions still welcome on where to go and what to do in the Bahamas ... getting up there slowly ...

We crossed the Caicos Banks from Cockburn Harbour to Providenciales and dropped anchor out there as we were running out of light and did not want to collide with any coral heads. We had northerly winds and spent the night with Impi tugging at the anchor. Today we dropped anchor in Sapodilla Bay ... rented a car and checked out Provo. So far my impression of South Caicos is favoring that of Provo and we will write about this on the blog and post some pics ... but Jane ... thought I would just keep a short update for the community in the hopes that when people realize we really are doing this ... perhaps we will get feedback for more ideas on the Bahamas. One thing that surprised us here was that when we arrived (Sunday) we could not raise customs on VHF 16 as was suggested. So on Monday we went ashore and found customs who then advised we were to pay overtime rates for having arrived on Sunday in their waters ... huh ???
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Old 23-11-2012, 09:25   #115
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Re: Bahamas - Do's and Dont's

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One thing that surprised us here was that when we arrived (Sunday) we could not raise customs on VHF 16 as was suggested. So on Monday we went ashore and found customs who then advised we were to pay overtime rates for having arrived on Sunday in their waters ... huh ???
LOL.

World wide, with humans, it is always about the money.
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Old 23-11-2012, 09:37   #116
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Re: Bahamas - Do's and Dont's

When we arrived in Bocas del Toro, Panama, it was about 10 am, so the officials made us wait all day until 5:05 pm, when they all showed up to collect their overtime fees and finally clear us in. I always try to arrive in a new country Mon-Fri during business hours, but it doesn't always work out that way. Most places seem to cut you some slack as long as you are above board and friendly.
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Old 23-11-2012, 17:36   #117
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Re: Bahamas - Do's and Dont's

s/vPainkiller =
Re: The Brigantines -
I spent a week or so there this past summer. I only draw 3'6" so I wasn't too worried, but I don't think you'll have much of a problem with 5' if you, like you said, pay attention to the tides and reading the water. It's on the traditional mail boat route after all.
I accessed the area from Barretarre, and left by going up to Little Farmers Cay. Had a great time, it's really serene. Would have stayed longer, but I was singlehanding and needed to get back towards the states without running afoul of too much weather. Snorkeling the cuts requires slack tide or being attached to the dink. Having a partner would be recommended. Seeing other boats is a rarity.
I would recommend Steve Pavilidis' Exuma guide as well as the Explorer Charts.
Enjoy!
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Old 23-11-2012, 17:52   #118
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Re: Bahamas - Do's and Dont's

Boy, I don't know about the Brigantines with 5-foot draft. I went through there on a cat drawing about 2.5' and still went aground a bunch. I only had the first generation Explorer chartbook, which was better than nothing, but not much. Pavlidis does have some good-looking sketch charts, but I have no idea how accurate they are. The water was very murky compared to some other areas, with lots of fish muds that obscured the shallows. Couldn't eyeball things like you can in most of the Exumas. Maybe we were just unlucky that we were there when the bottom was stirred up, but I would consider it tricky for more than 3 feet of draft. Didn't see anybody back there.
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Old 23-11-2012, 21:47   #119
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Re: Bahamas - Do's and Dont's

Re: Brigantines --
We draw 4 feet, and I think you could do it with a 5 foot draft. See the attached SPOT track and use the satellite view. We had at least six feet all along this track EXCEPT just south of Jimmy Cay, when we were trying to get through Pudding Cut. As has been noted, Pudding Cut is used by small freighters and mail boats, so there's deeper water somewhere. Looking at the sat view, seems that we should have been a bit further south. I drew a line, starting at "wp4", that would probably have worked better than the track we actually took.

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Old 26-11-2012, 15:15   #120
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Re: Bahamas - Do's and Dont's

Thanks for the responses on the Brigantines... Will attempt to give it a shot next time.

Scott
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