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Old 13-12-2009, 09:09   #1
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Current Bahamas Info

The Explorer Charts web site has two sections, Latest News & Bahamas Chatter, which can be valuable to anyone heading to the Bahamas.
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Old 21-01-2010, 15:53   #2
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thanks found the site helpful
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Old 21-01-2010, 16:34   #3
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Explorer Charts
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Old 21-01-2010, 16:55   #4
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I've been cruising the Bahamas since 1975, before Explorer Charts. I highly recommend the Explorer Charts and the Dodge guides. I've seen other publications that don't specify dangers. 'take care and joy, Aythya crew
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Old 30-01-2010, 13:50   #5
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Explorer Chartbook Editions?

Just wondering if people have much experience using the Explorer Near/Far Bahamas and Exumas Chartbooks.

I was debating on buying a 2002 Near Bahamas and a 2007 Far Bahamas but was unsure how dramatic things change there. I don't have GPS and will only use charts. I realize that this could be a nobrainer but really....every company needs to make money and reprinting new editions in the same year could bring in the extra $, right? If someone can answer this question, keep in mind I only care about the difference in the waterways, depth, obstructions, shoals etc, not the crusing guide part of the explorer charts.

How long do you go before updating your Bahamas charts? Is it easy to just go online to NOAA or speak with Explorer to adjust the chart yourself?

Thanks!
If folks can offer and answer any info on Turks & Caicos and then south to Hispaniola also that would be so helpful.
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Old 01-02-2010, 19:38   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darr View Post
Just wondering if people have much experience using the Explorer Near/Far Bahamas and Exumas Chartbooks.

I was debating on buying a 2002 Near Bahamas and a 2007 Far Bahamas but was unsure how dramatic things change there. I don't have GPS and will only use charts.

How long do you go before updating your Bahamas charts? Is it easy to just go online to NOAA or speak with Explorer to adjust the chart yourself?
NOAA doesn't cover the bahamas, US territories only.
Generally depths don't change that much, but inlets do. For example, Bimini
has redone the harbor entrance, I believe they have a pdf of that particular
update.
Info regarding marinas, stores, customs, etc does change. Explorer charts
provide this as well.
Tom
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Old 02-02-2010, 15:16   #7
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Yeah, thanks for the info. I made sense of NOAA in the Bahamas shortly after that post. After too much lake sailing NOAA seems so international. HA!

Well, the only question that still stands is how long do you let your charts go before getting new ones-specifically the Near and Far Bahamas?
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Old 02-02-2010, 15:40   #8
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Darr -
If you're looking at buying your first set of Bahamas charts I'd buy the newest editions as a matter of principle. We haven't replaced our Explorer charts in forever. Their website is very helpful with current info, corrections, etc. Every now and then I look over the new editions but have yet to find replacement necessary.
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Old 02-02-2010, 15:44   #9
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Storms can cause important changes in shallow Bahamian waters. The Explorer charts are not expensive; they are by far the best; and it is foolish not to keep them up to date. In addition to Dodge, I also recommend Pavlidis guides.
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Old 05-02-2010, 17:26   #10
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I'm using the newer explorer charts. More information on the Jumentos/Ragged. Need to know information is obviously more current as well. Love the new water proof pages!

Darr - may wish to consider a GPS for cruising over here.

(Currently in Georgetown)
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Old 06-02-2010, 11:57   #11
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Smile

Thanks for all the help! Sprung for the new explorer charts. Hows the Ragged Islands? Any suggestions through the exumas? Also how much have you all been spending on your GPS electronic chips for the Bahamas? Maybe I'll get'um?

I'm not fond of GPS...always seems to not work at the most crusial moments, that or, completely brakes. I don't plan on putting my trust into a video game when it comes to the ocean. Besides, makes sailing challenging-'the way it used to be'!
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Old 06-02-2010, 12:41   #12
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imo, always good to have the paper charts! Gps or no.
Because of that, gps becomes a wonderful way to check your possition. And on certain crossings where hazards exhist and you have a question as to just how much leway or drift you have been experiencing over time, you can flick it on or look to see if you leave it on. Then the electronic updates aren't that important because you are using the current paper charts anyway.
Many use the gps solemente but not for me.
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Old 06-02-2010, 12:57   #13
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Diggs, I purchased a Garmin 440 GPS with charts already included for under $500. It was a last minute decision to upgrade from a hand held and I'm very glad I did. Heading south in winter, the sun is usually in front of me which limits visibility through water. Seeing exactly where I am in narrow channels and in relationship to known hazards has allowed me to explore areas I wouldn't otherwise have been comfortable with. For example, I just finished a few days gunkholing the area through the Square Rock Cut and south of the Glass Cay cut. Much is in a very narrow channel.

Other areas I liked in the Exumas:

More isolates places: Allans (Iguanas), Hawksbill, Pipe Creek, Beaches on Great Guana, Area around Rolleville.. Staniel Cay was a nice town stop.

The Exumas Park has placed moorings everywhere since I was last here. I appreciate the places where they have done it to protect the bottom, but my sense is most of it is to raise funds and I don't like that it makes once isolated places much more crowded.

While I love having a mapping GPS, I agree it's a compliment and not a substitute for other navigational tools including paper charts.
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Old 06-02-2010, 15:37   #14
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Does the Garmin 400 gps have the charts for the Bahama's?
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Old 07-02-2010, 06:25   #15
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Explorer Charts and a $89 gps might save your boat. The charts have waypoints listed for entrance to many shoals, narrow channels and harbors. lf you cannot afford or are unwillng to buy the latest charts pick up a used set and update them. You do not need a $2000 chart plotter but it is foolish not to have at least a handheld for lat and lon and waypont refference. GPS is a very reliable tool The Bahamas are flat and diffcult to use visual references and there are few if any nav markers. Video game? How much have you really used this service?
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