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Old 02-02-2008, 12:46   #1
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Bahamas Route help

I am planning a trip to the Bahamas mid march. I am thinking of going Miami, Bimini, Berry Islands, Abacos, Grand Bahamas, back to Palm Beach. I have about 5 weeks. Fast cruise is 18 knots, "more affordable" cruise is 8 knots!
Please help with suggestions:
Is this a good route?
What are your suggestions for a better route?
What ports do you recomend?
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Old 02-02-2008, 13:00   #2
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Skip Bimini. Go Miami to North Rock to Chubb and spend some time in the Berrys before going up to Abaco. I think you can clear in at Chubb now but please check that. Your itinerary is a bit ambitious for five weeks but might work. Took me five weeks to get down here in Georgetown from Miami. We sailboat guys are slow but then we don't have a schedule to keep. An alternative route, after a few days in the Berrys go to Nassau and reprovision, then up to Royal Island and then over to the Abacos.
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Old 02-02-2008, 15:09   #3
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Thanks Rick, I tried to find your route, but cound not. Could you explan the directions! North Rock................Chubb................. etc etc
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Old 03-02-2008, 02:29   #4
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Hey Guys, I am really hoping for more help with this!!!!!!!!
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Old 03-02-2008, 03:24   #5
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North Rock(at about 25.8 x 79.26) is located immediately North of Bimini , whence you cross the Great Bahama Bank to “Mackie Shoal”, thence the “North West Chanel” marker (at about 25.47 x 78.16) about 60 miles total, whereupon you are about 15 nm WNW of “Mamma Rhoda Rock” and “Chub Cay” sometimes charted as Frazers Hog (at about 25.41 x 77.91), at the Southern extremity of the Berry Islands.

Gunkhole North through the Berrys, thence to Hole in the Wall at the SouthWest Point (Abaco) - Note: I've never done this route, so hesitate to offer details.
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Old 03-02-2008, 05:38   #6
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Why skip Bimini?
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Old 03-02-2008, 06:07   #7
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Not much to do or see on Bimini. Many cruisers who love Bahamians, find those on Bimini a little spoiled by the easy money the sport firshers from Southern Florida bring in.

Just my opinion.

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Old 03-02-2008, 06:08   #8
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Also, since you are power boater, no need to go as far north as North Rock, go between Bimini and Cat and take the shallow route across the banks.

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Old 03-02-2008, 07:17   #9
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North rock is a lot easier entrance onto the Bank especially at night time. The light is usually working and the entrance to the Bank is wide. I used to go the Gun/Cat route but haven't done that for quite a few years. You have to make a few dekes around Gun and then to Cat and then out onto the Bank on that route and it's a bit unnerving at night.
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Old 03-02-2008, 11:34   #10
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Thanks Gord, please check the lat and longs you gave, as I am trying to plot them. Any other suggestions?
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Old 03-02-2008, 11:53   #11
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capt smudge

If you don't already have them I suggest you get Explorer Charts of the Bahamas. They are invaluable and most routes are clearly marked on them. Also don't rely on other's lats and longs for positioning (even if they do come from a good source such as Gord). Do the work yourself. Then you know it's right! And if it's wrong you know who to blame.
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Old 03-02-2008, 12:11   #12
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Good advise, however I am in New Zealand, my boat and charts are in Florida, and I am leaving for Florida in 3 weeks! I am trying to solictit info about travelling the Bahamas, that I can build a rough route while I am still in NZ, so I spend less time planing and more time doing once I get on the boat. I was hoping that I would get tons of ideas about where to go from you guys that have already done this many times, as while it is half a world away for me, it is on your back door!!!!!!!
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Old 03-02-2008, 13:13   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vasco View Post
North rock is a lot easier entrance onto the Bank especially at night time. The light is usually working and the entrance to the Bank is wide. I used to go the Gun/Cat route but haven't done that for quite a few years. You have to make a few dekes around Gun and then to Cat and then out onto the Bank on that route and it's a bit unnerving at night.
As Vasco said, North Rk. Is a much easier entrance to the Banks than through the Gunn-Cat channel, which was my usual entrance. In about a dozen passages, my (carefully plotted) GPS waypoints (and MORE IMPORTANTLY "Ranges") were mostly useless (except for making landfall), as the sand bars move significantly. I always had to pilot the “S” turns between Gunn & Cat by (educated) eyeball.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vasco View Post
capt smudge
If you don't already have them I suggest you get Explorer Charts of the Bahamas. They are invaluable and most routes are clearly marked on them. Also don't rely on other's lats and longs for positioning (even if they do come from a good source such as Gord). Do the work yourself. Then you know it's right! And if it's wrong you know who to blame.
The Lat/Lons I posted are ONLY suitable for finding the landmarks on a chart – they are NOT waypoints, and CANNOT be relied upon for GPS navigation.

The co-ordinates should be close enough to plan rough route (NOT plotted) without charts. I will reconfirm (from my Logs - I also, have no charts) the Lat/Lons on (my) Monday AM.
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Old 12-02-2008, 08:42   #14
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I've tried both routes across the Bahamas Bank, and I would now only consider the North Rock route: It is much less stressful, depth is always over 13-15 ft, and there is not much to watch except maybe the rare Bahamian coatal trader with some strange navigation light. I would however suggest that you never start this journey with a possible norther in the next 48 hours. Take also as granted , that the lights are not working across the banks. I've stopped a few times to rest at night: You can drop anchor a bit off the normal route, and enjoy the wonderful skies with no lights around and nothing but sea as if in mid ocean. Bu put on a strong anchor light and keep the VHF on just in case. Have fun!
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Old 12-02-2008, 09:09   #15
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We have left from miami and checked in at Great Harbor in the Berrys for the last two years. We anchored on the banks the first year ( uncomfortable night) and last year we sailed through the night and then anchored off the entrance to the marina until morning. The customs people come to the boat and the marina is very well protected, hope this helps, mike.
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