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Old 23-01-2011, 07:22   #16
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I would agree, an SSB receiver is around $100 and I could pick up Chris Parker's morning reports 90% of the time (I also bought an upgraded antenna for another $30). I do believe that the ranger station rebroadcasts Highbournes reports, and weather has a lot to do with VHF reception. I also used WiFi (around $10/day) available at the Park, as well as Sampson and Staniel cays for my Grib files, I'd down load 3 to 5 days of weather forecasts to my lap top when connected.
Another comment on crossing the Sound. To get to the anchorages you will have to use one of the cuts between the islands. These can be VERY nasty. You will not have to pass through a cut coming from Nassau.
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Old 23-01-2011, 07:47   #17
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Another vote for Nassau to the Exumas. I personally think it is easier to deal with crossing the banks than possibly having to deal with an arrival at one of the Exuma's cuts when a rage is on. None of the cuts are good if there is a stiff NE wind blowing. As to picking up weather, the SSB receiver is OK, but IMHO if you don't have the equipment you should just ask around on the VHF when down there. I can guarantee there will be some cruiser within range who will be more than happy to fill you in. Plus, I believe there are still morning marine weather reports on the Nassau and Freeport AM station--maybe someone who has been there recently can confirm.
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Old 23-01-2011, 08:07   #18
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Have you looked at the costs of getting you and crew to Eluthra, vs. Nassau? I was looking around the Xmas time periiod, and it was significant. It may be less of a factor the rest of the year?

Chris
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Old 24-01-2011, 05:14   #19
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Thank you everyone, its been really helpfull!

I will consider a SSB receiver as Scott mentioned. My worries are on the weather for June. I understand any strong E component on the wind will make things dificult crossing a cut, as mentioned by Kettlewell. Does anyone knows where June rages will more likely come from? And how strong can a tidal effect be?

@Otia: I am also thinking on S winds from tropical waves..

We are in real need of advice on charter companies from Nassau, as Navtour is the only one we found and has not responded to our form yet.

@witzgall: I have found an additional US$100 per crew member to get to Eleuthera. Still we need to find a boat at Nassau...

TY again everyone for you time!
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Old 24-01-2011, 06:24   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fabricio View Post
Thank you everyone, its been really helpfull!

@Otia: I am also thinking on S winds from tropical waves..
the nice thing about tropical waves is that you get a NE to E before and E to SE (even saw SW) after, so you can plan your route accordingly.
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Old 24-01-2011, 06:54   #21
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Since I have a boat I can't help you with charter companies. However, I see the most charter boats out of Marsh Harbor in the Abacos.
As to the weather and the cuts. By June the Cold Fronts are gone, and you'll see primarily easterly winds 10 to 15. The season for Thunderstorm has only just begun so there are few of them then as in August, and you will see them coming.
You will have around 3 ft tides, there are plenty of anchorages where the tide will have little effect, I have never used 2 anchors. If you have East wind on a falling tide, they oppose each other and you get rough seas, which can, if intense enough turn into a rage, this can happen any time of the year. Also, some of these cuts are narrow and turn shallow very fast. All cuts should be taken using Eyeball navigation, do not trust you chartplotter alone, take it from a person who know first hand. With that said, the Exumas are a very shallow cruising area, knowing how to read the waters are a must. Pick up a good cruising guide for the Exumas, that will help you find good anchorages and give you directions on how to get into those anchorages. The other thing to remember is if the weather looks like it is going to get bad, grab a mooring ball in the Land and Sea park. I've done this a few time, and actually enjoy it. There is a small mooring field (10 moorings) south and east of the ranger station, tucked between 2 island, I sat out a Cold Front there last year with winds blowing high 20's to mid 30's for 3 days, loved it.
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Old 30-01-2011, 17:38   #22
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I was going to post the decision and the outcome, but I only have 2 days left (to have everything booked 5 month ahead) and have not made my mind yet..

@Otia - That is precious info. How long and how strong those NE to S shifts use to be?

@Scott730 - TY! My sailing ground is of the always changing shallow kind, so I am used to eyeball navigation And -
on choosing Eleuthera, those easterly winds changed my plans from a S to N exploration to a most seen N to S, as it will be easier to get back.

Now on the cuts 'problem'. I will probably be getting to them on a falling tide (June 20th/23rd afternoon). Is there really NO good cut to rely on? What about Ship Channel up north?

Also, is crossing the banks safe (I usually prefer to be out in the open for 'long' shots)? And prettier? That could be enough to leave from Nassau...

Sorry people, I dont know why I feel so much like sailing from Eleuthera...
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Old 01-02-2011, 06:19   #23
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@Fabricio: I'm not sure exactly, I believe it depends on the magnitude of the system, typically 24 hrs, maybe a little more, before and after. I actually observe wind direction to know a wave is passing thru. If I go southbound I go before the wave, northbound I'll go after, unless my schedule forces me to beat.
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Old 01-02-2011, 06:28   #24
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@Fabricio: about wind strength, between June and August, winds are moderate in the East Caribbean's, typically 15 kts. During waves you get trains of storms ("grins" we say in French). Last summer I got a few 40 kts, got stronger before, but these storms are very short, they last some 5 to 30 minutes. You see them coming, in daytime, so you can reduce your sail area as required (the darker the storm is, the less sail you keep . At night things are more complicated...
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Old 01-02-2011, 10:18   #25
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Otia is right about fronts, However, they are a major concern in the winter time more than June. The wind will clock around 360 degrees before, during and after a front and the winds will increase well into the 20's and even the 30's. Your biggest issue will be Thunder Storms with squalls.
It is much safer to sail the banks at any time of the season, you will not have to use any of the cuts unless you want to. with an easterly wind you will be beating to the Exumas, but that is easier than taking a cutting in an east wind with an out going tide.
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Old 01-02-2011, 10:47   #26
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Yes, dodging thunderstorms and possible tropical waves will be your problem in June, and not generally cold fronts. Let us know what you end up doing.
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Old 14-02-2011, 18:03   #27
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First of all, I must say I cant be more thankfull to you all!

It is done and I have decided to leave from Nassau. As a compliment to all and on behalf of documentation, my reasons:

1- Logistics: It is cheaper and easier to get to Nassau;
2- Charter Company tradition: We could read a lot about Navtours (even in Vascos picture). The only reference to the charter in Eleuthera was lost during the process;
3- Your opinions (of course): I took into special account it will be much more comfortable to sail without the swell. There will be an inexperienced couple with us;
4- Your advice on the cuts: We would be getting at the cays from east on an outgoing tide.

Has anyone got a nice sugestion for a cruising/anchorage guide to the Exumas?

I will try to keep the thread alive so I can post the outcome on June! Thank you again!!!
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Old 14-02-2011, 18:15   #28
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Are you chartering from Navtours?
There is a great guide published every year for cruising the Exumas, you can get it from Yanick at Navtours.
For the cuts, don't worry too much it's not that bad. When going for distance at used to go on the East side and enjoy the Antlantic swell. At had 2 newbie girls inboard whom enjoyed the ride into the swell quite a lot
Have fun!!!
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Old 14-02-2011, 18:30   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Otia
Are you chartering from Navtours?
There is a great guide published every year for cruising the Exumas, you can get it from Yanick at Navtours.
Have fun!!!
Thank you again Otia! I will ask Yanick about the guide.
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Old 15-02-2011, 03:56   #30
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You will really enjoy the land and sea park. When we left Nassau we stopped at Allans Cay for a couple of days, enjoyed watching the iguana's and so on. From there it was an easy sail to the park, another easy sail to Staniels Cay. Some of those guides have great photos of the entrances.
Lets us know how your trip goes...Have Fun
Fair Winds
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