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Old 06-10-2013, 06:31   #1
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Key Largo to the Exhumas

GOOD MORNING
'We are headed for The Exhumas from Key Largo the first of January.
I am still studying up on our route so I probably have some of the details wrong.
Plans so far are to head to either Bimini for sign in or to stop in the ROCKS and go on to either Andros or the Exhuma Chain for sign in .
We like to do day trips and stay off the beaten path . The jump from Bimini thru the North Channel and then to either Chub key or ??? looks to be an overnighter. We will have about two months and then leave the boat in Marsh Harbor.Any advice on a route that would take us from Key Largo then either down Andros then up the Exhuma Chain would be Greatly appreciated. We are also interested in talking with anyone else that might be headed that way in January.
Fair Winds
TOM
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Old 06-10-2013, 13:14   #2
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Re: Key Largo to the Exhumas

Tom -
First thing you need to do is acquire a copy of Steve Pavilidis' Exuma Cruising Guide. It will be a great help in planning your trip. He has also written Guides covering most of the rest of the Bahamas, one of which, the Near Bahamas I think it's called, covers the Bimini area.
Also heavily recommended are the Explorer Chart Kits. Between Pavilidis' guides and the Explorer charts, you'll be good to go.
If you want to go to Marsh Harbor, pick up a copy of Steve Dodge's Abaco guide.
Have a great time!
Oh yeah, no "h" in Exuma.
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Old 06-10-2013, 15:04   #3
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Re: Key Largo to the Exhumas

Hi Mike , it took me five years to learn how to spell deisel so please be patient .
I have Steves Books and the Explorers Charts as well as every other book I could find so when things get confusing We can get even more confused as to which book to look in .
We have done the Abacos and are used to the shallows . I guess we are looking to avoid the " tourist traps " and really get a route others have used to go down the East side of Andros , IE Where the best spots are , and then up the Exuma chain ending eventually in Marsh Harbor for next summer . Thanks for answering . . By the way we have a Manta Cat with a 4 ' draft. Hope alls well TOM
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Old 06-10-2013, 16:52   #4
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Re: Key Largo to the Exhumas

It's hard to tell what you are wanting. Exumas and Marsh Harbor are a fair distance apart.

Bimini to Chub can be done in a pre-sun-up to sun-down day. If you hit Chub, may as well head for Nassau whether you go ashore or not. Then down to Norman, Staniel, etc. All daylight trips. Not sure of the attraction to Andros.
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Old 06-10-2013, 20:46   #5
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Re: Key Largo to the Exhumas

Tom -
I've been wanting to spend some time around the south end of Andros, and then go to the Exumas by way of Green Cay and across the banks to the Farmers Cay area. Maybe one of these days.
I've also contemplated crossing under the south end of Andros coming from the states. I know of a couple of boats that have done it, but I haven't worked up my nerve yet. Lots of coral on the charts.
Morgans Bluff has been highly recommended to me as a place to check in , primarily because of the people rather than the facilities.
Don't know anything else about the east coast of Andros other than what I've read, Pavilidis' books seem to have good info.
Enjoy, and let us all know how it goes.
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Old 06-10-2013, 21:49   #6
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Re: Key Largo to the Exhumas

Quote:
Originally Posted by DotDun View Post
Not sure of the attraction to Andros.
Largest of the Bahahas with the least population, Blue Holes, multiple safe harbors, great fishing, etc etc. It's the main place I want to go!!!
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Old 09-10-2013, 06:31   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ElGatoGordo View Post

Largest of the Bahahas with the least population, Blue Holes, multiple safe harbors, great fishing, etc etc. It's the main place I want to go!!!
I'm not sure about "multiple safe harbors" I've never been but was considering it however after reviewing the charts there appears to be few if any safe anchorages and no real usable harbors for anything but the most shoal of vessels... Or am I missing something?
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Old 09-10-2013, 07:25   #8
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Re: Key Largo to the Exhumas

You have a couple of options. We normally leave from same area. We grab the gulfstream and beat feet for Bimini Sands and clear there via the airport. Real nice affordable marina, and go to the airport to clear in. The people at the airport are much more courteous and helpful there. Then full day across the bank to either Chubb area,(never go to Chubb Marina, they have high prices just to tie a dingy up, and are not cruise friendly IMHO), Then head for Nassau, easy day trip. THen to Allens and then head down the Exuma chain. Maybe down as far as the park, then across to Eleuthera the up to Abacos
The other option is to head across the bank, anchor west of CHubb or on the bank then head for Morgans Bluff. Then head to Nassau etc. etc. Morgan's Bluff is also a good spot to clear in. Not always the fastest, but certainly the most entertaining. If you are in a shallow draft Andros has a lot to offer, if not safe anchorages are few. But the run via Green Cay to Exumas is certainly viable also, especially into Stanial area.
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Old 09-10-2013, 07:30   #9
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Re: Key Largo to the Exhumas

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Originally Posted by ElGatoGordo View Post
Largest of the Bahahas with the least population, Blue Holes, multiple safe harbors, great fishing, etc etc. It's the main place I want to go!!!
We rounded the south of Andros just last spring returning from the Exumas to the Keys via Cay Sal. Although we only saw a small portion of Andros, the lack of detailed charts and guides were an issue. Charts that simply say 'numerous rocky heads' without details as to their locations caused concern, as in sun-directly-overhead-only sailing.

I can imagine if one has the affinity to gunk hole and explore, it could be interesting. Certainly not for the time-constrained cruiser.
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