A good read Scott. Good luck on your voyage. If you're going to stick around Gr Bahama for a bit, there's a good-sized cruising community at the Ocean Reef Resort and Marina (next entrance west of Bell Ch/Lucaya) - and it's reasonably priced (for the Bahamas). If you like beer
, a tour of the Sands brewery is worth the 7 bucks.
Your $300 cruising permit
actually allows the boat to stay in the Bahamas
for a year, even if the old forms they use say 6 mths. And you can leave and return to the Bahamas
on the same permit
within 3mths (iirc).
I think it may be in your interest to get an outboard
if you will be cruising the islands there. Lots of places with strong current
(like Warderick Wells) and long dinghy
rides (like George Town). There are a couple of marine
stores on the Queen's Hwy in Freeport
where you can get an OB (2-strokes as well) fairly cheaply. (Can't remember the names - one is OBS I think, there's another with a big Yamaha sign across from the Ace Hardware
store and another a couple blocks south on Lignum Vitae).
Anyway bon voyage.