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Old 18-04-2009, 07:59   #1
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Crusing the Bahamas Question

Wife and I will be bringing a sailboat with 7 1/2' draft from St Thomas to Ft Lauderdale in June. What spots should/could we visit, allowing for the draft? Thanks

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Old 19-04-2009, 11:34   #2
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Since nobody else has answered yet, I'll offer what I can which unfortunately isn't a whole lot. First, I assume you are familiar with Van Sant's "The Gentleman's Guide to Passages South" - He hits on major stops along your route all allowing for deep draft.

I can personally only speak of points from Georgetown north. The bank side might be doable, but many of the typical anchorages would be problematic. I soloed back to Florida on the ocean side which is of course deep the whole way. I believe everyplace I ducked in for the night would accommodate you, but verify with your charts:

Glass Cay cut just north of Georgetown offered a nice secluded anchorage without the rat race. From there north stops were: Lee Stocking, Bell, Allans (Allans might be pushing your draft - though I anchored east of it instead of inside.), I anchored off Rose Islands instead of dealing with Nasasau. Of course Nassau has plenty of draft. I've heard from several people dinghy theft can be a problem there. In the southern Berry's I've anchored at Chub Cay, (I can't remember the draft, but think it was reasonably deep), Berry Island Club (which I'm fairly certain is deep enough) The owner of the Berry Island club offered rides to town in his truck for a reasonble fee. In the north Berry's, I anchored in Great Harbour which I think would accomodate you with no problem. I've never stopped at Cat or Bimini, hitting the stream right away instead both times.

The Abacos are are out of your way but worth a small detour if you have time. I have much better knowledge of that area, so send me a message if you'd like ideas.

While I've never done it, I know some typical stops coming north are:

Acklins, Rum, Coneption, Long and on to the Exumas.

In addition to the Ocean side, you might be able to sail the banks entering at Cave Cay Cut with a stop at Staniel and then somewhere north like Allans - Long days, but doable with a good SE wind. I'd probably stay on the ocean side, with that draft, but I think people have done this.

Hopefully someone who has more experience than I will shed some more light on these stops for you.

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Old 20-04-2009, 16:02   #3
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Clarence town, Long Island is a great harbor, on your way and easy. Start at 23 07 50N 74 57 00W then 23 07 10N 74 57 70W then 23 06 20N 74 57 25W. A great anchorage and you can stop by the flying fish marina and purchase the Explorer Charts for the areas of the Bahamas you are interested in. The Exumas can be done with that draft as long as you have those charts. You will find no prettier water than in the Bahamas. Not to be missed.
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Old 21-04-2009, 16:17   #4
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Most of our experience in the Bahamas is in the Sea of Abaco, We draw 5 feet and did not get into too much trouble except for Man O War and Little Harbor. We got in and out at high tide but cleaned the bottom of the keel.
Make sure you check Explorer Charts for the Near Bahamas, Far Bahamas, Exumas, Abacos and Sea of Abacos
The charts and waypoints will keep you safe
SV Sail the Wind - Caliber 38
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