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Old 29-05-2017, 14:12   #1
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Bimini thru bahamas looking for routes

Hi,

We are headed to bimini next week, depending on weather. From there we are looking for advice on routes and place to see.
I was thinking north to west end then to abacos? I would not like to sail at night if possible. We have about a month to travel.
We draw 5'2"
Currently have avionics plus for bahamas but was advised to get c-mat electronic charts. I have explorer paper charts as well

thanks
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Old 29-05-2017, 14:15   #2
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Re: Bimini thru bahamas looking for routes

What are you looking for? Beach bars? Party people? Local culture? Secluded beaches? Snorkling?
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Old 29-05-2017, 16:45   #3
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Re: Bimini thru bahamas looking for routes

Hey thanks.

We are a couple in our early 50's with a dog. No bars and partying necessary. Been there done that. And we will bring our own beer I heard it's expensive. Locals. Would be great. Snorkeling fishing. Newish to sailing so we are looking for protected anchorages or marinas once a week? Maybe a market once a week
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Old 29-05-2017, 18:44   #4
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Re: Bimini thru bahamas looking for routes

Follow the pink lines in the Explorer charts and you will be just fine.

I own both Navionics Platinum+ and C-Map Max-N+ and the C-Map are way more useful due to them being based on explorer charts. It's basically a digital version with pink lines built-into your chart plotter that you can program your waypoints.

I went from Bimini > Berries > Nassau > Exumas and I was only disappointed in the berries. Exumas was by far the best. ResortWorld in Bimini is fantastic! Free hot tubs.
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Old 29-05-2017, 19:09   #5
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Re: Bimini thru bahamas looking for routes

So many options, really. One month won't allow straying too far, especially the (to me) good spots. Just keep in mind that thunderstorms increase in frequency during the next month, and the H word (season) begins in 3 days. Last year was Bonnie on May 28, and Colin on June 7-8 (just tropical storms). Just keep a sharp eye on weather.

Personally, I'd skip Bimini and head for Great Harbour Cay in the Berry Islands to check in, but will require an overnight run. You can check in there. Then, explore the east coast of the Berry's, and then head down to Nassau. Once there, you are almost in Exuma. That's when things get really beautiful. Short daysails to another anchorage. But once again, the one month time frame is really cutting it short.

The thing about Bimini is, it is the Bahamas, but a LONG way from everything else. Plenty of boats get stuck in Bimini waiting for weather.

All the best with your decisions. I bet you will enjoy any choice you make, as long as the weather cooperates. If it doesn't, then it might be memorable....just not in a good way.

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Old 30-05-2017, 05:34   #6
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Re: Bimini thru bahamas looking for routes

I think once you factor in the weather delays you are going to experience that a month in the Bahamas is a waste of $300. But I would skip Bimini and shot further north.
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Old 30-05-2017, 06:54   #7
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Re: Bimini thru bahamas looking for routes

If I wanted to avoid and overnight trip, what about bimini to west end and a northern route to abacos? We have time to spare to wait for weather. Then once we are comfortable we could do an overnight on the way back west?
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Old 30-05-2017, 06:55   #8
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Re: Bimini thru bahamas looking for routes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jennyq View Post
Hey thanks.

We are a couple in our early 50's with a dog. No bars and partying necessary. Been there done that. And we will bring our own beer I heard it's expensive. Locals. Would be great. Snorkeling fishing. Newish to sailing so we are looking for protected anchorages or marinas once a week? Maybe a market once a week
Based on this would recommend staying away from resort marinas like Bimini Resort World and West End. These places are expensive and more Floridian than Bahamian.
Eleuthra, Berries (great harbour area) and Exumas probably best meet your needs, would look at focusing at those areas.
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Old 30-05-2017, 08:43   #9
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Re: Bimini thru bahamas looking for routes

Just returned from the Abacos. With regard to charts, make sure you have something based on Explorer Charts - I had Garmin Bluecharts on an iPad in addition to C-Map on the chartplotter, but iPad was easier to use. Explorer Charts are so good if you stay on the dotted lines. Bimini to West End would be easy, but West End is ridiculously expensive. Last week I anchored on the Bank SE of Memory Rock rather than go to west End, but it depends on weather, of course. In Abacos, you will find the people very friendly and helpful, but it is amazing how lightly populated it is. Elbow Cay is very nice and kind of fancy (my wife liked it best), Green Turtle is nice, and has three nice restaurants - Bluff House Inn, Green Turtle Club, and Leeward Club. Marsh Harbor is good for getting parts or mechanics, and Abaco Yacht Services at Green Turtle is excellent for everything except electronics.

By the way, I did sail at night in the Sea of Abaco - just stayed on the Explorer Chart dotted lines and never saw depth less than 4 feet under the keel, and more often it was 9 to 11 feet. We draw 5'6".
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Old 30-05-2017, 09:32   #10
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Re: Bimini thru bahamas looking for routes

What is your planned point of departure? And what is wrong with an overnight crossing? With nice weather, it is very easy and pleasant and crossing from Ft. Pierce to Matanilla Shoal is only 63 nm.

That said a month, is not nearly long enough to justify the entry fee/cruising permit.

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Old 30-05-2017, 09:45   #11
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Re: Bimini thru bahamas looking for routes

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Just returned from the Abacos. With regard to charts, make sure you have something based on Explorer Charts - I had Garmin Bluecharts on an iPad in addition to C-Map on the chartplotter, but iPad was easier to use. Explorer Charts are so good if you stay on the dotted lines. Bimini to West End would be easy, but West End is ridiculously expensive. Last week I anchored on the Bank SE of Memory Rock rather than go to west End, but it depends on weather, of course. In Abacos, you will find the people very friendly and helpful, but it is amazing how lightly populated it is. Elbow Cay is very nice and kind of fancy (my wife liked it best), Green Turtle is nice, and has three nice restaurants - Bluff House Inn, Green Turtle Club, and Leeward Club. Marsh Harbor is good for getting parts or mechanics, and Abaco Yacht Services at Green Turtle is excellent for everything except electronics.

By the way, I did sail at night in the Sea of Abaco - just stayed on the Explorer Chart dotted lines and never saw depth less than 4 feet under the keel, and more often it was 9 to 11 feet. We draw 5'6".

Hey thanks for the info. So as far as getting to Abacos and back did you go the north side from west end?
Also. I am going to put c-map on my plotter. They are by explorer. Do they have the lines? Why was iPad easier?
We are looking to anchor as much as possible.
I was thinking we needed a bigger better anchor. Just in case of bad weather. We have a 35 pound delta. I was thinking 55 pound mantus.
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Old 30-05-2017, 09:55   #12
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Re: Bimini thru bahamas looking for routes

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That said a month, is not nearly long enough to justify the entry fee/cruising permit.

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Am amazed people bemoaning the price of a cruising permit, which includes departure fee ($25/person) and a fishing liscence for all aboard.
Some of these folks will easily drop a couple hundred on dinner out, pay +$2/ft at a marina and yet object to a cruising permit which allows reentry.
A month in the Bahamas with amazing anchorages, beaches and snorckling and friendly folks to escape the zoo of southern florida is well worth the pricd of admission.
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Old 30-05-2017, 11:15   #13
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Re: Bimini thru bahamas looking for routes

I crossed from Lake Worth to West End on Feb 8. It then took till Feb 14 to get to Abacos because we had to wait for weather. Then we got to do a day at a nice beach, and the next run like hell to hide from weather for a couple of days. Then we got to backtrack and do a nice day on the beach before running out a cut to a marina where we were stuck for 8 days waiting the weather. Then we got a whole 3 days before running to Marsh Harbor and waiting through a couple of gales for 10 days. Then we had a nice day before we left Abacos and went over to the Eleuthera where we had a nice day before a nasty gale hit and we were stuck at Royal Island 4 days. Then .............................................. well it pretty much just went that way till we left.

If you think you going to just pop over the Gulf Stream from the States to Bimini, go north to West End, loop around to the Abacos, mess around till ready to come back, then get a window to cross back over, well ..................... good luck as you will have the world's biggest enemy working aganist you ............... a schedule.

Other than the clear water the place is over rated anyway.

Hey if you are going I will sell you my complete set of Explorer charts, my Dodge Guide to the Abacos, and my Skipper Bob Bahamas bound book for $175
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Old 30-05-2017, 14:25   #14
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Re: Bimini thru bahamas looking for routes

Bimini to Gun to Chub. Chub Nassau then down to Highbourne or Normans.

We'll meet you at Staniel Cay late next week. You owe me a beer for the awesome itinerary!

Look for us ��
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Old 30-05-2017, 15:20   #15
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Re: Bimini thru bahamas looking for routes

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Bimini to Gun to Chub. Chub Nassau then down to Highbourne or Normans.

We'll meet you at Staniel Cay late next week. You owe me a beer for the awesome itinerary!

Look for us ��
Itinerary looks good. Short runs. No overnights.
We draw 5'2". Not a problem? Protected anchorages most places?
Probably be a little later than end of next week depending on weather! But illl have the cold ones ready.
Thanks!
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