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Old 22-06-2014, 15:25   #16
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Re: Marsh Harbour Vs Tortola

Search this forum to read about a cat that was lost on a reef in the exumas within the past year. He was on a course shown on his navionics chart. The reef was not on the chart, although it was on explorer and garmin charts. Navionics subsequently removed the course from their chart...

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Old 22-06-2014, 15:36   #17
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Re: Marsh Harbour Vs Tortola

What vasco says. Explorer sells their excellent paper chart data to garmin and others. The dodge guide to the abacos is also excellent but the charts included in their paper guide are more 'course and waypoint' oriented so probably not suitable for computer charts. I use both.

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Old 22-06-2014, 15:41   #18
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Re: Marsh Harbour Vs Tortola

We haven't cruised the Abacos, but I would agree with all the previous comments and would recommend the BVI's for your first charter. You can see where we went and what we liked about the BVI's in the May, 2014 portion of our blog at svctime.blogspot.com.

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Old 22-06-2014, 15:47   #19
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Re: Marsh Harbour Vs Tortola

I think the confusion lies on the way this was expressed. When someone says "Navionics is crap" without further clarification, even in a thread related to the Bahamas and BVI, in English that literary means everything about this brand and their products, is crap. Therefore users who have had very positive experiences are left wondering, and can only dismiss such comment as their posters appear to them clueless. Let's not forget that Navionics has multiple products, including software for the iPad (which charts are updated very regularly). Their charts cover the entire world, and thousands of people praise them.

Now, making a comment about the coverage of a particular area, and clarifying that "the subject charts are crap", not everything Navionics, is a very different feedback. That doesn't conflict with the very positive general consensus of the product line, is area specific, and allows readers to consider the comment without leaving them wondering why would anyone trash them altogether.

Thanks for the clarification and point well-taken.
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Old 22-06-2014, 16:20   #20
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Re: Marsh Harbour Vs Tortola

Thank you Vasco.
I agree with you.
It is also crap in Los Roques but then again I don't believe ANY chart plotters in clear reef infested waters.......just keep the sun to your back
But back to the original topic maybe anyone contemplating actually sailing as opposed to motoring in these waters should try the Exumas instead of the Abacos.
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Old 22-06-2014, 17:03   #21
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Re: Marsh Harbour Vs Tortola

Quote:
Originally Posted by welljim View Post
I think the confusion lies on the way this was expressed. When someone says "Navionics is crap" without further clarification, even in a thread related to the Bahamas and BVI, in English that literary means everything about this brand and their products, is crap. .
"Navionics is crap. Not to be trusted in the Bahamas. Use only Explorer charts."

The above was my reply to your post "I'm looking at Navionics, it seems that the west side of Great Abaco is not charted to any usable detail, is that true, or just Navionics playing up?"

I think I made it clear that we were discussing the Bahamas. I don't think I could have made it any clearer so the confusion seems to be in your mind.

Enjoy your charter and as I said earlier in post #3 I think BVI would be a better bet for you.
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Old 22-06-2014, 18:57   #22
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Re: Marsh Harbour Vs Tortola

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anyone contemplating actually sailing as opposed to motoring in these waters should try the Exumas instead of the Abacos.
The location looks great on Google Images, but I can only get discounted charter rates from Marsh Harbour or Tortola. Looks like there is not enough time to get there and back comfortably, in 2 weeks. Plus, it's probably not very prudent to venture so far out of port at that time, isn't hurricane season still active in the area?
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Old 22-06-2014, 20:54   #23
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Re: Marsh Harbour Vs Tortola

Again, I like others would recommend Tortola even over the Exumas. I personally don't have a big attraction for the Bahamas but it is a popular place. The worst turnoff is the fronts that come through during the winter months. I personally don't like cold weather especially when I am sailing however the Bahamas have clear water, great beaches, the reefs are nice and the people are great. And those powerful cold fronts probably won't bother you in November.
Seems to me the response for the Abacos has been luke warm at best.
Yes November is hurricane season but with proper attention to weather you should be warned in plenty of time. Again there could be rain that time of year and I don't mean a tropical short lived rain squall but lows that move very slowly and rain rain rain.
Also you may want to price some of the French charter companies out of Guadalupe and sail over to The Saints or even Martinique and go up to Dominica if you want real beauty and less commercialism. There are a lot of places you can go in the Caribbean that are spectacular. And remember the Caribbean is warm, the Bahamas maybe not.
Good luck in where ever you choose......anything will be better than staying at home and working. Oh yea one more thing, I have been down there in weeks of rain and still had a great time.
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Old 22-06-2014, 21:09   #24
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Re: Marsh Harbour Vs Tortola

This has been a really great thread. I am in total agreement with HUD.....I think he has it spot on. Having done both, I think Tortola might have the edge. Do you need Captain Christine for a crew???
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Old 22-06-2014, 22:38   #25
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Re: Marsh Harbour Vs Tortola

Damn, even more options, everything sounds so good. I think I need to start a new thread: "Buy shitty little 2nd boat and keep it in the Bahamas / Caribbean for opportunistic cruising". Anybody doing that?
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Old 23-06-2014, 07:56   #26
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Re: Marsh Harbour Vs Tortola

You seem to be tending toward doing the Abacos, so here's a link to a lot of Abaco links that should be helpful to you.

Dr Ralph's Abaco Links
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Old 25-06-2014, 07:04   #27
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Re: Marsh Harbour Vs Tortola

I've sailed both many times. In winter, the BVIs will have warmer water and in my opinion the navigation is easier for a first time charter. Cold fronts can reach the Abacos.

The BVIs have many, many more moorings, both for day use and overnight use - good or bad depending on your preference. I think the snorkeling is good in both places but generally there are more easily accessible options in the BVIs. The BVIs offer snorkeling in caves.

The Abacos in my opinion offer more diversity - They have resorts, small towns and many deserted islands you can anchor off of. Winter is also lobster season in the Abacos.

If you really want some solitude, I'd pick the Abacos, otherwise, I'd pick the BVIs for a first charter due to the more reliable weather and easier navigation.
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Old 25-06-2014, 08:12   #28
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Re: Marsh Harbour Vs Tortola

Other than my having no opinion regarding Navionics, my experience lines up extremely well with the advice give so far. Here are a couple of considerations I didn't see, based on my experience and preferences, of course:

1) The difference between the two boat choices boat is meaningless. Of all the bareboat charters I've done, I barely remember a couple of the boats and don't remember the others at all.

2) Vasco's point that The Bahamas is not the Caribbean is key. Beside the obvious weather difference, there are cultural differences and the landscapes are entirely different. How you are affected by these factors is something only you can say.

3) The tidal currents are much more of a consideration in The Bahamas.

4) If I was facing your decision, I would choose BVI simply for the weather in November. If I knew the weather would be the same, then my decision would be made by knowing the people who would be my crew. The BVI would be favored by those seeking a tropical, resort-like, experience with many amenities, with lots of time ashore and the sense of security one gets from being close to other people. Some people will go on a sailboat trip even though they are afraid of water and/or ocean creatures and don't like to swim. The BVIs for them.

OTH, The Bahamas would be favored if my crew was made up of people who desire to get away from civilization, consider being ashore a low priority, love being in the water, thrive on exposure to the elements and the feeling of being on the barren edge of the world, and aren't going to freak out at the sight of sharks.
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Old 25-06-2014, 10:57   #29
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Marsh Harbour Vs Tortola

Damn, sounds like we need the solitude of the Bahamas with the exotic beauty and warm weather of the BVI

Other destination ideas that combine the two without compromising on the diving? Tidal currents are not a problem, we've cruised up the inside passage (PNW) where full flow was 8-9 knots and tidal height 9-10 feet. Also love diving with types of sharks that can be found on these grounds, we don't mind them.
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Old 25-06-2014, 19:07   #30
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Marsh Harbour Vs Tortola

You just described the Spanish Virgins. Google Culebra and Vieques to get started. Many other Islands around to investigate, great diving and pristine bays that you can be alone on for days.


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