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Old 23-07-2012, 19:51   #1
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Georgetown to Nassau - Itinerary Help !!!!

We are planning to charter a 40ft catamaran from Georgetown, Exumas to Nassau for 7 days. I would appreciate any help in planning an itinerary. Thank you in advance.
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Old 23-07-2012, 20:37   #2
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Re: Georgetown to Nassau -itinerary Help !!!!

[QUOTE=sailor0007;997170]We are planning to charter a 40ft catamaran from Georgetown, Exumas to Nassau for 7 days. I would appreciate any help in planning an itinerary. Thank you in advance.[/QUOTE]

I can share some of my favorites, but you should tailor your trip to your passenger requirements, i.e., if non-sailors are aboard, children, weather, etc.

You alone will know your confidence level (and ability) regarding reading the water, navigating, anchoring, etc. Don't do anything silly.

Anyway, from Georgetown north to Farmer Key is a short trip on the Sound side (east side of the island chain), and the cut into Farmers is usually benign. Terry Bain runs Ocean Cabin restaurant, and is great entertainment. Easy first day run. Anchor or pick up a mooring.

Day 2, a little further - Black Point Settlement for a gorgeous anchorage, except during strong winds from the west. Wonderful coconut bread from the lady in town. Can't recall her name. You can make this run inside or outside (Sound or the banks) . Let the weather help you decide. I like outside.

Day 3 might take you Staniel or Sampson. Sampson Cay means you will likely be at the marina. Nice but pricey, and I liked it more in the previous version that was a little bit more laid back sailor oriented. See the nurse sharks at the dock. Staniel is more downhome but amenities are iffy depending on the locals. There is a grocery store - "Isles" something. Watch for shallow water if coming into the docks. Maybe dockage but more likely anchoring. Big Majors is another possibility.

Day 4 Warderick Wells, the nature reserve for a mooring at the north end of the Land and Sea Park. All spots are moorings except, I believe, at the south end of the park. Good protection here if winds are high. Ask for help if you get confused coming into the north entrance. They monitor 16. Day 3 and 4 are inside passages

Day 5 Normans Key to see the sunken airplane. Hawksbill and Cistern are other possibilities along the way, though Cistern is private and you can't go ashore. I read that to mean I can't go above the high waterline on the beach but use your best judgement. All three have decent anchorages, but may be less than desirable under certain winds. All on the inside.

Day 6 Short run to Allans Cay for the dragons. Great success with the kids but don't feed them. This can be busy many times of the year, and anchorages can be in short supply. Much of the sand has been scoured out and it takes a sharp hook to get purchase on the bottom.

Day 7 run to Nassau. This will be the longest sailing day - say 5-6 hours across the Yellow Bank. Watch for coral heads, especially approaching New Providence. They are rare but they are out there and get hit every season. Pay attention around Porghee Rock.

Have good charts, practice good seamanship. Get the early morning weather at Georgetown around 8:15 am (corrections appreciated), and as you go north pick up the Highbourne Cay weather broadcast.

Have a great trip.

I forgot about Lee Stocking. There is an underwater research center that can sometimes be talked into giving tours. Nice anchorage except for strong winds from the SW.
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Old 24-07-2012, 06:03   #3
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Re: Georgetown to Nassau -itinerary Help !!!!

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, sailor0007.
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Old 24-07-2012, 07:34   #4
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Re: Georgetown to Nassau -itinerary Help !!!!

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Originally Posted by sailor0007 View Post
We are planning to charter a 40ft catamaran from Georgetown, Exumas to Nassau for 7 days. I would appreciate any help in planning an itinerary. Thank you in advance.
We just did a seven day catamaran charter from Staniel Cay to Normans Cay in May. You can see a day by day log of the trip starting here:
THE BIANKA LOG BLOG: CAPT. MIKE IN THE EXUMAS DAY TWO: STANIEL CAY YACHT CLUB
There are links at the bottom of each post to go to the next day. We flew into Staniel Cay and out of Norman's Cay but, it might help you get a feel for the area and help with your itinerary plans.
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Old 24-07-2012, 12:43   #5
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Re: Georgetown to Nassau -itinerary Help !!!!

Not enough time, go for 14 days minimum.
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Old 24-07-2012, 12:51   #6
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Re: Georgetown to Nassau -itinerary Help !!!!

Steve:
Glad to see you back on the Forum, and contributing your considerable knowledge and experience.
I've always been a big fan of your cruising guides, and your website is a wealth of free information. < www.seaworthy.com >
Gord
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Old 24-07-2012, 13:04   #7
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Re: Georgetown to Nassau -itinerary Help !!!!

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Not enough time, go for 14 days minimum.

Yes, it's sacrilege to tear through the lovely waters of the Exumas like that. If you only have one week just sail out of GT and do the area immediately north or charter out of Nassau and do down to the Park. The same company has boats in Nassau too. But, if you have to do it in a week northbound, shoot up to Black Point and then the Park, work your way up to Normans and then on to Nassau.

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Old 24-07-2012, 13:09   #8
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Re: Georgetown to Nassau -itinerary Help !!!!

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Originally Posted by Steve Pavlidis View Post
Not enough time, go for 14 days minimum.
I agree with Steve and he is the expert (author of Exuma Cruising Guide). When you leave George Town you have an ocean passage for about 40+ miles on Exuma Sound. If wx is bad, you could spend a week waiting for the right wx window to head north.

Try not to box yourself into a schedule or a destination and adjust your itinerary based on weather and wind direction. Nassau might work, but don't count on it. Be flexible and make smart decisions and you will have a fun cruise.
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Old 24-07-2012, 13:17   #9
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Re: Georgetown to Nassau -itinerary Help !!!!

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Originally Posted by GordMay View Post
Steve:
Glad to see you back on the Forum, and contributing your considerable knowledge and experience.
I've always been a big fan of your cruising guides, and your website is a wealth of free information. < www.seaworthy.com >
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Hi Gord,

Thanks for the welcome back.

Steve
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Old 24-07-2012, 13:25   #10
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Re: Georgetown to Nassau -itinerary Help !!!!

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Try not to box yourself into a schedule or a destination and adjust your itinerary based on weather and wind direction. Nassau might work, but don't count on it. Be flexible and make smart decisions and you will have a fun cruise.
The OP has only one week and took a one way charter. If starting in GT and Exuma Sound doesn't cooperate he might just be sailing around Elizabeth Harbour, if he ever gets out of Emerald Bay where I think the boats are based.
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Old 24-07-2012, 13:44   #11
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Re: Georgetown to Nassau -itinerary Help !!!!

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The OP has only one week and took a one way charter. If starting in GT and Exuma Sound doesn't cooperate he might just be sailing around Elizabeth Harbour, if he ever gets out of Emerald Bay where I think the boats are based.
It all depends what the OP is looking for - sightseeing or sailing time - and the weather of course.

The Banks are pretty passable in conditions that make the Sound a challenge. And the whole week, aside for the first leg out of Elizabeth Harbor or Emerald Bay, could be spent on the inside, if he so chose.

As to Emerald Bay, I have the typical love/hate relationship: wonderful amenities (at a price of course), terrible surge in the harbor when the winds are high. This is the only place I have ever snapped dock lines other than a hurricane. And they were new ones and chafe protected!!! Gotta love those bathrooms though

An alternative to multiple short daysails might be to pick just three stops along the way and spend some time ashore. The people are what really make the Bahamas special, especially in the out islands. I am going back this fall myself I think.
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Old 24-07-2012, 18:04   #12
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Re: Georgetown to Nassau -itinerary Help !!!!

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Hi Gord,

Thanks for the welcome back.

Steve
Steve:

Just wanted to say thanks. Both the captain of the boat we chartered and I used your Exuma Guide as we sailed from Staniel Cay to Norman's Cay.
I was surprised at the amount of private development going on some of the islands. Captain and I got a look inside the man made harbor (before we got chased out) on Bell Island:
THE BIANKA LOG BLOG: CAPT. MIKE IN THE EXUMAS DAY SEVEN: BELL ISLAND AND WARDERICK WELLS CAY.
Talk about a hurricane hole!
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Old 24-07-2012, 18:11   #13
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Re: Georgetown to Nassau -itinerary Help !!!!

Thanks Mike,

Yes, the amount of construction thoughout Exuma Park is disheartening, but the BNT seems determined to sell away the people's birth rite. It's a sore spot for many while others say "why not?"
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Old 24-07-2012, 18:45   #14
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Re: Georgetown to Nassau -itinerary Help !!!!

Listen to the expert, Mr. Pavlidis above and buy his guide.

It might also be helpful to hear what kinds of things you enjoy. Are you looking for marinas, quiet anchorages, good snorkeling, etc.

For a quiet first night north of Georgetown, I like the area around Glass Cay from around Solder Cay up to around Square Cay - Many uninhabited islands to have to yourself. It's a bit shallow for deep draft monos, but in a cat you should be fine. I enjoyed the area for a few days quite comfortably with a 4.5. draft.


(Helmet Cay Pictured)

Staniel Cay is of course a nice stop half way up with a small community, fuel and I enjoy the snorkeling in the Thunderball Grotto as well as the Dundas to the north.



I have mixed feelings about the Exuma Land and Sea Park. Some beautiful islands for sure, but I liked it better before everyone was pushed into mooring fields in so many places.


(Cambridge Cay and Mooring Field in Background)


I always enjoy stopping at Allan's to see the Iguanas.



Don't feel bad if you spend a night in Elizabeth Harbour before heading north. A community of hundreds of anchored boats isn't really my thing, but I do understand why it appeals to many.

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Old 24-07-2012, 19:34   #15
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Thank you, everyone...
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