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Old 11-09-2012, 00:07   #1
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Bahamas - Do's and Dont's

Hi fellow sailors ...

We are leaving the BVI's end November to pick up my son and his girlfriend in Nassau, Bahamas. We will spend about 3 - 4 weeks cruising from there with them, and would like to have your opinions on the BEST spots to anchor, to dive ... what unusual things there are to see ... what we need to be aware of ...

We are tired of the general cruising guides and would like to ask the forum for advice ...

In anticipation

Brent
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Old 11-09-2012, 01:09   #2
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Re: Bahamas - Do's and Dont's

Can't help you there in the Bahamas but can when you eventually get to Australia.

cheers
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Old 11-09-2012, 06:11   #3
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Re: Bahamas - Do's and Dont's

Exumas would be my pick...Jumentos if you have time. Cruised it twice, but can't say I have any secret spots that aren't covered in the guidebooks (except the really secret spots!). Have a great time!
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Old 11-09-2012, 06:16   #4
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Re: Bahamas - Do's and Dont's

One cruising guide with very good info, not the usual stuff, is the Pavlidis guide. His coverage is very good.
From Nassau I would head for the exumas. Good anchorages, and dive spots. But too many to be specific.
I would definitely recommend the Cambridge Cay area for diving, the cut between the south anchorage and the rocky dundas is not to be missed. Then Black Point is a must stop, best laundry mat in the chain. That's just a couple of favorites of ours. Sailing down the back side of Great Exuma to the Jumentos is also very nice. The only pit fall is there are not a lot of places to eat/party at. Stanial Cay would be one, highly recommend "Taste and Sea" on the beach south of yacht club. Restaurants are much more low key than in the BVI.
That time of year the hunting should also be good!!!!
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Old 11-09-2012, 06:55   #5
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Re: Bahamas - Do's and Dont's

If you are doing a trip to and from Nassau, I also recommend the Exumas as well as getting Pavlidis' guides and the explorer chart books.

Near the top of the Exumas is Allan's Cay which has iguanas on it. South of there, much of the northern half of the Exumas are part of a land and sea park. The negative of that is having to pick up moorings with other boats in places, can't lobster or fish. Staniel Cay is a nice community to stop at. There are a couple nearby grottos to snorkel in.

If you are heading north up the Bahamas chain, another option is to pick them up in Nassau, and go cruise the Abacos, dropping them off in either the Abacos or in the U.S. at Miami or Fort Lauderdale. Note however, that by the end of November, the water may be notably warmer in the Exumas and you are getting into the cold front season, which means possibly waiting to cross the Gulf Stream to the U.S.

Compared to the BVIs, knowing and using tides can open up many places in the Bahamas.
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Old 11-09-2012, 06:57   #6
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Re: Bahamas - Do's and Dont's

We didn't stop there, but other cruisers that I've spoken with say that if you like beer or any type of soda purchase it before you get to the Bahamas. Evidently, it's very expensive there. And have a fantastic time! The water there looks gorgeous.
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Old 11-09-2012, 07:07   #7
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Re: Bahamas - Do's and Dont's

First, before you enter Nassau call Harbour Control on 16.

In Nassau Harbour you have two choices for anchorage. The first and best is in front of the Green Parrot restaurant just past the cruise ships. The second is through the bridges on the right across from the Cloisters (terraced gardens). Holding is slightly better by the Green Parrot but it can be crowded and watch your depths. Across from the Cloisters holding is not so great and current is strong so consider setting a Bahamian mooring. Nassau Yacht Haven is a great marina but about $2/ft overnight. The Green Parrot and Texaco offer free dinghy docks but lock up if you leave the dink at Texaco.

If you want to escape the madness of Nassau an hour sail north out of the harbour is Rose Island, which offers a bit more peace and quiet. Holding is decent on either side.

Along the way try Browns Marina in Bimini. Call for local knowledge on 16 before entering, as shoaling is bad (or follow a local boat in). Taking the Northwest Passage on the way to Nassau you can anchor at the entrance to Chubb but I don't recommend the Marina except to dink in for fuel if needed.

PM me if you need more advice, for it all depends on your route. I was just there in May so my experience is recent.
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Old 11-09-2012, 07:22   #8
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Re: Bahamas - Do's and Dont's

If possible pick up your son and his girlfriend before you get to Nassau. They should fly in to Georgetown or Long Island. Then use the three weeks to sail towards Nassau and drop them off there. The Exumas are your best bet as others have said. Too many good spots to list and it would depend on their likes, whether they want to dive or just snorkel, whether you prefer a bit of civilization (and I mean a bit) or just like secluded spots. Although there are hundreds of cruisers in the Exumas in winter secluded anchorages are possible.
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Old 11-09-2012, 07:25   #9
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Re: Bahamas - Do's and Dont's

I second Exumas, very lovely. You can easy spend a few weeks there and nice ride over from Nassau. Well worth to spend most of your time there. Stanley Keys, the pig beach is a must.

One Remark: The Bahamas are really poor and expensive when it comes to shopping (whatever!) - Nassau has Supermarkets, a bit expensive but after that you "shop" in very tiny stores with rarely any fresh products like meat, fruits or so. Its well worth to stock up in Puerto Rico or whenever possible.
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Old 11-09-2012, 07:34   #10
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Re: Bahamas - Do's and Dont's

I will ditto the shop in Puerto Rico first. Fresh vegatables are hard to come by and beer is $40/case. Get out of nassau as soon as you can. Both the Exumas and Abacos are some of the worlds best cruising grounds. If you are coming up from the south you should island hop all the way to nassau, if heading further north then do the Abacos. Beautiful with your choice of towns or secluded anchorages. Great diving all over.
Abaco is very easy to fly out of, with several airlines using various Fla destinations to choose from. Flying out of Exuma is more costly and offers fewer choices as all flites go through Nassau. Enjoy! If you are on Green Turtle Cay, look us up!
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Old 11-09-2012, 07:53   #11
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Re: Bahamas - Do's and Dont's

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vasco View Post
If possible pick up your son and his girlfriend before you get to Nassau. They should fly in to Georgetown or Long Island. Then use the three weeks to sail towards Nassau and drop them off there. The Exumas are your best bet as others have said. Too many good spots to list and it would depend on their likes, whether they want to dive or just snorkel, whether you prefer a bit of civilization (and I mean a bit) or just like secluded spots. Although there are hundreds of cruisers in the Exumas in winter secluded anchorages are possible.
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Old 11-09-2012, 08:03   #12
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Re: Bahamas - Do's and Dont's

If you go to Cambridge you might want to go to the aquraium just north of there. There is also an airplane there to dive on. Also Thunder ball at Staniel cay.
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Old 11-09-2012, 08:09   #13
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Re: Bahamas - Do's and Dont's

We liked Eleuthera a lot, Rule Sound and Alabaster, Governor's Harbor isn't much to write home about. Look at your charts, it is a longer sail fromt he BVI to the Bahamas than you expect. Took us six days last spring.
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Old 11-09-2012, 08:11   #14
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Re: Bahamas - Do's and Dont's

IMPI, I agree with all post's here, but alot depends on where you are comming from to get to Nassau. Are you picking up a boat in Nassua, or are you sailing it from US or from the south ie Puerto Rico? Like others have said, it would be better to have your crew on board while making the passage to Nassau then to sail by everything to get them. If you are sailing you boat to Nassau, stock up on everything that you can carry for the whole trip, if possible, before you get there. It is hard to find anything in the strores except Nassau and Marsh harbor which is in the Abacos.
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Old 11-09-2012, 08:33   #15
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Re: Bahamas - Do's and Dont's

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. It is hard to find anything in the strores except Nassau and Marsh harbor which is in the Abacos.
Can't agree with this. Good stores is Thompson Bay (Long Island) and Georgetown (Great Exuma). Both will be on your route coming from BVI but GT is a better stop. On your way up the Exuma chain Staniel Cay has a fair store but you have to be there when the boat comes in. Black Point to the south of Staniel has a smaller store. Nassau is not as good as it was two years ago as the big grocery store by Harbour Club Marina has closed.
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