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Old 22-01-2011, 06:24   #1
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Cape Eleuthera Marina at Powell Point, Eleuthera, Bahamas - Any Reports ?

Good morning -

RE: Cape Eleuthera Marina at Powell Point,

After considering a visit to Eleuthera for the last couple of years and anchoring off Russell Island last year, we would like to hear if anyone has utilized the marina (if correct - opened 2007). Am interested in first hand knowledge as we evaluate whether to route our travels in this direction.

We've a 6' draft and would like to explore Eleuthera but aren't enthusiastic about having to to go up and around the north end of the island in order to get in at Harbour Island. It's quite a commitment of time and effort to do so and good weather conditions are mandatory to make the attempt.

A reasonable alternative seems to be to leave Nassau and route us over to Powell Point for a visit of a month or more. We would then be conveniently stationed to exit for parts of the Exumas (time allowing). We'd prefer to "stay put" to better experience the island and community, schedule friends and family visits, and attend to boat maintenance (if needed), etc. A rental car will aid further afield exploring (for a portion of the time) and p/u guests who'll possibly arrive up island via ferry or air.

Any advice and information provided is appreciated and will help with our evaluation of this idea.

Thanks for your consideration and assistance!

Sailing Mermaid

PS: The depth in Rock Sound appear to be "iffy", therefore I've not attempted to put us in there. Am I incorrect and this as an option be re-evaluated? Again, thanks for your assistance!
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Old 22-01-2011, 06:40   #2
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while cape eleuthra appeared to be a very boring place, it is a good place to leave the boat safely while exploring the beautiful island/provision in rock sound/repair the boat/etc. not much going on there when we were there last july---didn't even see any other cruising boats--just some nice condos and their owners yachts.

you could get into rock sound by using the tides and the holding is good in front of town--a soft thick mud. pretty much 360 protection. the locals are great---friendly, waving, helpful and interested in you. there's a great grocery there (much like the big mkt in nassau), a super hardware store, auto/boat parts. nice little restaurants and bars, bank, airport---hey, they've got it all. could be the next george town w/ the right ideas---even a deserted, sandy beach on the west side of the harbor...nice place for volleyball and a beach bar... the only negative is a lack of nearby diving spots but if you befriend a local fisherman, you may get to ride along w/ him... we also got wi-fi from the boat (w/ an antenna)...

i know i'm going on about this place but my wife and i LOVE rock sound and go back every year... hope to see more there next yr. (2 cruisers there last july)...
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Old 22-01-2011, 07:25   #3
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Defever - Good morning and thank you.

Appreciate you're taking the time to share your experience and knowledge! I've researched the island and it's appeal continues to grow. The few people we've met who've visited have raved about it's charm, amenities, and it's variety of terrain (for a Bahamian island).

Cape Eleuthera is a viable option and an obvious exit/entrance for an Exumas excursion.

Your Rock Sound comments are so encouraging. With good holding it could be ideal after all. While anchored off Russell Island last year our discomfort with the high winds that accompanied the afternoon storms (almost daily) kept us stuck onboard rather than off exploring. (I find that "maddening" after a few hours! LOL!)

Again, thank you for you assistance. Wishing you pleasurable adventures!

Sailing Mermaid

RE: lack of dive spots- "giggles" - so far my preference is to be "on the water" rather than "in the water". But situation noted, thanks.
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Old 22-01-2011, 07:34   #4
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For good information on this and other anchorages in the Bahamas and elsewhere, take a look at ActiveCaptain.com. I have found that a very useful site. Registration is simple and free.

FWIW
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Old 22-01-2011, 07:38   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by svHyLyte View Post
For good information on this and other anchorages in the Bahamas and elsewhere, take a look at ActiveCaptain.com. I have found that a very useful site. Registration is simple and free.

FWIW
Active Captain is usually pretty good but I didn't see a post on Eleuthera. There was a basic list of facilities on Noonsite.
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Old 22-01-2011, 08:09   #6
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See the Bahamas Cruisers Guide entry ➥ Cape Eleuthera
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Old 22-01-2011, 11:29   #7
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Greetings SvHyLyte, skipmac, and GordMay,

Thank you for the replies and additional information.

Skipmac, thanks for the noonsite. I came across that site many months ago, but didn't bookmark it. It is now bookmarked so I may return quickly.

SvHyLyte - looked at your photos and really love your colorful spinnaker.

GordMay - enjoying your blogs and help.

Again, thanks to each of you for your response.

Kindest regards,
Sailing Mermaid
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Old 25-01-2011, 17:46   #8
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Last season we spent a fair amount of time on Eleuthera Island, Powell Point was one of our stops. Not many boats were in, condos, a few supplies, nice walk to the island school. Then we hopped to Rock Sound, and a nice day sail to Hatchet Bay. A very nice protected harbour, friendly people, free maintained mooring balls and a free wall as well. One can explore the whole island from that spot either by hitch hiking or renting a car. It was our favorite spot on Eleuthera to use as a base. We had also visited Spanish Wells, Govenors Harbour ( only in very good weather would one anchor there).
We went to the Exumas from Nassau and crossed to Powell Point from the land and sea park in an easy day sail.
Have fun and enjoy whatever you decide to do.
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Old 26-01-2011, 13:37   #9
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Witchcraft -

Thank you for the insight! Your comments confirm what I'd studied, but my husband questioning why not as location of GH was preferable in a quick glance at the chart.

It will be a fun unhurried trip. I almost want to begin "counting the days", however, than can be counterproductive to "low stress"!

Again, thank you for your assistance! Best wishes for much fun in 2011!

Southern smiles,
Sailing Mermaid
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Old 26-01-2011, 14:45   #10
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We spent 6 weeks in Rock Sound a few years back. First just waiting on parts, but later because we fell in love with the place. Really nice little town with fuel, a good restaurant, "Sammys"... A fantastic grocery store, a well equipped hardware store, even an office supply store. Not much of a dinghy dock situation, but two landing spots where it offends no one.
Other than so so water clarity, It was the nicest and friendliest place I have ever been to in the Bahamas.
We only draw 3' with the CB up, so had free run of the approximately 2 mile enclosed harbor. There were several monohulls that drew 5.5 or even 6' that did fine on the town side, where everyone usually hangs out, but in strong fronts, when the pack moved to the other more protected shore, we were tucked in close with 1' waves, and the 6' draft guys were more toward the middle of the harbor, with a nasty 2.5 to 3' chop. This was usually for just two days, and the getting slapped around a bit wasn't a dealbreaker for any of them. The holding is EXCELLENT, in firm sand. We had no problem in 45 knots at all.
If you go there, be nice! We want to go back someday.

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Old 26-01-2011, 15:52   #11
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Mr Johnson,

Thanks for sharing your experience.

What months were you visiting? Once, while off Green Turtle, Abacos June 2009 and we sat (bobbed/danced?) through a storm of 6 - 10 hours. At 5:30AM the wind whistling through the rigging was of such a high pitch I "had" to know the actual numbers; I'd never heard it this high and I'm pretty good at gauging from the sound! As I got up and weaved through the cabin to the nav station to study the instruments and check our position the instruments reported gusts 65 - 69 and steady winds in the 40-50's! Happily, no danger, no damage, as it was just wind and rain and our anchor held well.

At Rock Sound our 6' draft will restrict moving in weather, but that's why the "big anchor is ready to go".

Again, thanks for your encouraging report. Hope you get to return someday!

Sailing Mermaid
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Old 26-01-2011, 16:34   #12
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Mermaid... It was most of Jan/Feb, if memory serves. Chris Parker, the weather guru, ALWAYS gave us notice of the approaching fronts, and usually got their arrival within 6 hours! They really roll through in the winter, and some winters are worse than others, but we had a two day blow, about every 8 days or so. The rest of the time was short sleeves and walking around town!
The deep draft guys COULD get within 1/2 to 3/4 of a mile from the beach, on the protected side in a blow, but it was for comfort, not safety. The holding really is great, it's just that if you stay next to town, you might be in 3.5' rather than 2.5' waves, due to the two mile fetch. Some may opt to just tough it out, but most moved over as far as they felt safe.

Sounds like your boat, tackle, and anchoring skills are up to the task. GO FOR IT!

Beware... there is a single charted, but hard to see large coral head cluster near the other side, but almost in the middle. DON"T HIT IT! Do, however, snorkel on it. Like I said, the vis is only so so. Also, near the caves on the S side of town, is a really cool but small blue hole to dive in, if that's your cup of tea. Their is also a fresh water sinkhole in the middle of the island, full of TAME snapper. (Not for catching, they're pets). There is even a small airport for receiving guests.

It is the opposite of the touristy parts of the Bahamas, and really laid back. (NO flash or nightlife), just really nice people who have their values right. At least that was our experience there.

ENJOY, Mark
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Old 04-02-2011, 13:58   #13
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I spent a fair amount of time on the west coast of Eleuthera in 2009. I thought that Hatchet Bay was horrendous. The water was filthy and brown, the town looked run-down, and there was trash everywhere. Governor's harbor was fabulous. The holding there was great, the townspeople were beyond friendly, the beach on the Atlantic side was beautiful and practically deserted. As for not anchoring there in weather, I would disagree to an extent. Yes, when the weather comes out of the west, you do not want to be in the main bay. But.. there is a small island named Levi Island a mile northwest of the bay that offers excellent protection from winds of any direction other than south. Once the front passes, you can easily re-enter the bay at Governor's Harbor.
I also stayed at Cape Eleuthera Marina at Powell Point on two separate occasions. The prices were fairly high for pretty much everything. I think I paid more for water there than I did anywhere else in the Bahamas, from West End all the way down to George Town. The facilities there are nice and new. The food in the restaurant was good, and the beaches were nice. Like other posters have said, the place is virtually a ghost town. It is a nice place to hole up during bad weather, though, and the crossing over to Highborne Cay is less than 30 miles if I recall correctly.
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Old 04-02-2011, 20:16   #14
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Sorry that LowCountry had a horrible time at Hatchet Bay. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves, had access to GH and other places from there. Powell Point was the most expensive of any marinas we tried out in the Bahamas, but one could do some exploring from there. There are some anchorages near GH , but be careful.
Avoid anchoring at Gregory Town the little inlet becomes a washing machine in winds. Whatever you decide to do...have a great time. Eleuthera is a great island.
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Old 06-02-2011, 07:13   #15
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I posted some photos from Hatchet bay and other places in the bahamas if you want to check them out.
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