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Old 23-01-2014, 17:23   #16
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Re: Suggestions for stops in Berry Islands

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What is your draft? How are the depths on the inside of Hoffmans?
Our draft is 4 feet. We found anchorage depths behind Hoffman in the 8 and 9 feet range. HOWEVER, a good set of current charts are needed since there are places as low as 4 feet at low tide. Access is via the west side of
Market Fish and Soldier Cay. Chuck
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Old 23-01-2014, 17:37   #17
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Re: Suggestions for stops in Berry Islands

We went that inside route from Market Fish to Hoffman and Fowl keys with a 4.5ft draft. It was shallow at low tide but we started in on the rise and made it through pretty easily. There are lots of nice places to tuck in there and it is great kayaking with lots of little beaches.
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Old 23-01-2014, 18:06   #18
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Re: Suggestions for stops in Berry Islands

To ShaktiGurl or anyone who has been inside @ Hoffmans Cay to find out what the max draft is to transit the area @ mlw
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Old 23-01-2014, 18:11   #19
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Re: Suggestions for stops in Berry Islands

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To ShaktiGurl or anyone who has been inside @ Hoffmans Cay to find out what the max draft is to transit the area @ mlw
It might help if we know the draft of your boat. Chuck
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Old 24-01-2014, 07:13   #20
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Re: Suggestions for stops in Berry Islands

Can 4 ft 3" draft navigate inside Hoffmans?
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Old 24-01-2014, 07:16   #21
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Re: Suggestions for stops in Berry Islands

Yes, with care in some areas at low tide. Have current charts. Chuck
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Old 24-01-2014, 07:24   #22
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Re: Suggestions for stops in Berry Islands

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To ShaktiGurl or anyone who has been inside @ Hoffmans Cay to find out what the max draft is to transit the area @ mlw
We have taken the inside route many times (entrance at Marketfish Cay as AnchorageGuy mentioned) around mid and rising tide with a 4.5 draft. There are a couple of spots that are 4ft at low tide so it was close in a couple of areas. The anchorages and much of the way is 6ft or better but just those couple of spots you have to get through. I would be hesitant to take anything over a 5ft draft that way. You can enter the anchorage at White/Devils Cay from the east no problem and Hoffman/Blue Hole area is very close for a dinghy ride.
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Old 24-01-2014, 12:13   #23
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Re: Suggestions for stops in Berry Islands

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I posted this on another thread, boaters might want to be aware of this change in policy at Great Harbor...

Interesting that we are discussing Great Harbor. At the time we were there, we had a discussion with the Harbormaster about anchoring in the inner harbor. After he contacted the developer, who owns the basin, we were told that anchoring would be OK as long as the channel was not blocked and no one complained. It seemed at the time that anchoring was being restricted to try and force any visitors into the marina as opposed to anchoring out. I wonder where I have heard that scenario before. A few moments ago, I received the following email from the Marina Manager...

First Name: Hans
Last Name: Febles
Email: hans@greatharbourcay.com

I am the manager for Great Harbour Cay Marina and would like to share some information regarding anchorages in Great Harbour Cay. There is NO anchorage allowed inside the man-made cut as your publication suggests unless you draft less than 2.5 feet and stay well clear of the man-made channel. The channel in and out of the marina is used by large vessels and various tour operators from the cruise ship islands. We get numerous complaints about boats anchoring in the channel area and must report to the police who are less than kind when asking those boaters to leave the basin. Please remove the anchorages you have posted inside the cut and encourage your readers to use the anchorages outside the cut near the settlement of Bullocks Harbour.

Do not hesitate to contact me should you have additional questions at 1-242-367-8005
.

And here is my reply to him...

Hans, we had this discussion with YOU while we were there and it was you that gave us the information after you talked with the developer that anchoring was OK as long as it was not in the channel and no one complained. We specifically told you that we were publishing a book on the area. This policy is explained in our publication. If the policy has changed we will be sure and let boaters know via our publication, website and many other boater’s resources that Great Harbor is unfriendly to anchored boats and that they are not welcome unless they use your marina. It is unfortunate that you gave us different information when we stayed at the marina and specifically discussed this with you. I’m sure this will affect the number of boats that might be planning to visit Great Harbor. We will most certainly change our book and get the word out quickly. Especially since no other harbor in the Bahamas places these kinds of restriction on visitors. Chuck Baier

This makes options to anchor in strong westerly winds few. Feel free to email Hans and let him know your feeling on this policy. Don't get me wrong, we love the Bahamas. We also warn everyone that things can and do change often in the islands. Chuck
It is unfortunate that some of these postings refer to our policy as intentional means to force boaters into the Great Harbour Cay Marina. This channel is used by many homeowners who own townhomes with slips across from the Marina, local fishermen and tour boats from the cruise ship islands. The marina has never initiated a complaint regarding boaters anchored in the first basin. However, we do receive numerous complaints from other boaters who use the channel and consequently we have to act upon THEIR request. Our policy has not changed. A vessel may anchor in the first basin as long as they are WELL off the channel and no-one files a complaint. Please be aware that the original depth of the first basin was about 2'. Any depth greater than 2' was dredged by the developer and consider the channel to access the Great Harbour Cay marina, the privately owned townhouses and other privately owned slips in the second basin. I hope this clarifies the issue for our visitors. Great Harbour Cay is a wonderful island that should not be missed while cruising the northern Bahamas.
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Old 25-01-2014, 18:43   #24
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Re: Suggestions for stops in Berry Islands

Just east of Chub Cay, between Bird Cay and Whale Cay is an excellent anchorage, surrounded by small beaches and to the north, a small deserted island you can walk around on the beach (Pigeon Cay I think)
Spent a couple of days anchored there waiting for good wind to sail to Nassau, windsurfing with dolphins, fishing for conch, ...
This was some 20 years ago, but probably still the same. Worth a stop.
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Old 10-04-2014, 11:06   #25
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Re: Suggestions for stops in Berry Islands

Inside the harbormaster's office at the marina there in bullock, there's a chart on the wall with the route and waypoints for the most direct route to Chub Cay. That route saves a lot of distance over the deep water route that takes you west before you can turn back east again. If you draw around 3-4 ft. max, you can save some time.

Unless you forget to time your departure from bullock to put you at chub at high tide. This is first hand experience.

I really do not want to be accused of flogging our blog here, I hate that myself. BUT in this particular case there are photos of the approach to Bullock, the marina, and the chart and water on it. Let me know if you want a link to that particular post.
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