Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 11-04-2009, 13:16   #1
Registered User
 
skipgundlach's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Currently on the boat, somewhere on the ocean, living the dream
Boat: Morgan 461 S/Y Flying Pig
Posts: 1,385
Send a message via Skype™ to skipgundlach
Grand Bahama Western End advice needed

Grand Bahama Western End advice needed


We're going to be staging for our jump from the Bahamas to Saint
Simons Island from the western end of Grand Bahama.

A: One of our contacts along the way in the Bahamas had told us of a
very sheltered small anchorage near West End, but we didn't write down
the name, and can't be sure we're seeing it on the charts. We aren't
marina pocketed, so it will be anchoring out.

B: In the western end of GBI, are there provisioning and other
niceties available reasonably easily (walking, or other
close-to-anchoring/dinghy docking)?

Experienced advice on both of those would be appreciated.

Thanks.

L8R

Skip and crew, lying Warderick Wells, Exuma, soon to jump off for
either the Berries or western GBI

Morgan 461 #2
SV Flying Pig KI4MPC
See our galleries at www.justpickone.org/skip/gallery !
Follow us at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/TheFlyingPigLog
and/or http://groups.google.com/group/flyingpiglog

"And then again, when you sit at the helm of your little ship on a
clear
night, and gaze at the countless stars overhead, and realize that you
are
quite alone on a wide, wide sea, it is apt to occur to you that in the
general scheme of things you are merely an insignificant speck on the
surface of the ocean; and are not nearly so important or as
self-sufficient
as you thought you were. Which is an exceedingly wholesome thought,
and one
that may effect a permanent change in your deportment that will be
greatly
appreciated by your friends."- James S. Pitkin
__________________

__________________
skipgundlach is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-04-2009, 14:13   #2
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: St. Louis, MO; Grenada
Boat: Lagoon 420
Posts: 144
All of the good provisioning is in the downtown area which is about 20 miles or so from the West End. I don't know of any anchorage on the West End but would be surprised if there was one. I believe there is a marina. I have been told by locals that an overnight or two in one of the many canals is okay, especially if it is not a weekend night.

I am in the process of moving there and haven't scoped out all of the boating sites yet since my boat is a long way away.
__________________

__________________
Bradley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-04-2009, 14:46   #3
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: LandLocked USA
Boat: I Want A Catalac
Posts: 58
26 31.114N 078 47.431W about 15 miles from West End.
Geoff Schultz.'s web page may show some more detail.
Never been there myself. This may not help. YMMV
__________________
Woodsy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-04-2009, 15:14   #4
Moderator
 
Hudson Force's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Lived aboard & cruised for 45 years,- now on a chair in my walk-in closet.
Boat: Morgan OI 413 1973 - Aythya
Posts: 7,894
Images: 1
I've been in and out of "West End" or "Settlement Point" since 1975 when it was Jack Tar Marina. Now the place is more developed, expensive and a taxi ride for provisions. I'd choose to stock up at Marsh Harbor or Green Turtle and leave from an anchorage at Great Sale, Mangrove, or Walker's Cay and not deal with West End unless it's fair weather and you can take an anchorage on the bank by Indian Cay. The passage off the bank at Indian Cay is for 5' draft or less. If your draft is more you might as well head out just south of Memory Rock or across White Sands Ridge. 'take care and joy, Aythya crew
__________________
Hudson Force is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-04-2009, 16:07   #5
Marine Service Provider
 
boatpoker's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Toronto, Ontario or Bahamas
Boat: Benford 38 Fantail Cruiser
Posts: 2,593
A few miles east of West end there is a canal system with Ocean Reef Yacht Club and Dolphin Cove amonge others. There are a few spots in these canals (extremely well protected) where you could anchor. another 1 mile east is Lucaya (turn right after entering Lucaya Harbour) with more undeveloped canals and lots of places to drop the hook or even tie up to a wall along the undeveloped building lots, again extremely well protected in all winds and all good holding in heavy sand and mud.

Explorer chart books are by far the best for Grand Bahamas and show both of these canal system in detail. Don't confuse the two canals I have described with the Grand Lucayan canal which bisects the island.

These two closed end maze type canals are between Freeport and the Grand Lucayan canal.
__________________
That hysterical laughter you hear as you sail a way in your "new" boat ..... is the seller.
boatpoker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-04-2009, 11:04   #6
Registered User

Join Date: May 2003
Location: East Coast & Other Forums!
Posts: 913
Skip...CaptainForce has it right. No anchorage at West End and no need to go there.
Stage in Great Sale Cay or a bit closer at Mangrove Cay in settled weather and go off the banks at Memory Rock which has PLENTY of depth and no tidal concerns.
__________________
Cam - I am no longer a member here. Look for me on other forums...same name.

camaraderie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-04-2009, 13:22   #7
Senior Cruiser
 
nautical62's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Live Iowa - Sail mostly Bahamas
Boat: Beneteau 32.5
Posts: 2,264
Images: 12
I've anchored at West End several times in two different locations. The easiest is the obvious broad open bay at the NW tip of the island. Some guidebooks call this a day anchorage only, and I agree it's not the place to be if a cold front comes through. However, should the need arise, it's easy to get away from land. Just head NW. For this reason, I find it a good staging area if wanting to come back to Florida before first light, when there is a confident forecast of winds staying E through S. (I can usually pick up NOAA from here) I've seen many other boats anchor there in additional to myself. People have told me there are a few barren patches where the holding isn't good, so check your anchor if you plan to stay there.

The second area I've anchored several times is just behind the tip of the island on the bank. It's much more sheltered. Follow the outside of the marina entrance around. I've always experienced very good holding. You can dingy straight in to the beach. Check the charts or guidebooks to ensure this anchorage and entrance affords the depth you require. Every time I've anchored there, there have always been several other boats anchored there as well, but more than sufficient room.

I've always taken the Indian Cay passage and felt it was straight forward. It is wider and deeper than many other Abacos passages. I even sailed through east to west one time with no motor. However, tidal currents can push people sideways if not paying attention. Some people have been uncomfortable with this or even witnessed boaters drift out of the channel despite how wide it is. Exiting the bank via Memory Rock isn't that far away if you have any concerns.

There are many reasons I like to check in at West End, but since you are already in the Bahamas heading the other way, that's irrelevant.

Last time I was at West end, there were some limited provisions for sale at the marina. The village of west end had a small grocery store or two, but was about a 40 minute walk I think. People have offered rides half the time I've walked. I do think one could take a dingy to the village, but I have not done that. Old Bahama Bay also has a beach bar, nicer restaurant, showers and internet access. At least the last time I was there.

I don't know enough about your boat, plans or comfort to offer any of this advice, but offer it simply as my experience for your consideration in determining your own plans.

I hope you are having a great cruise. Wish I was there now.

- Dave
__________________
nautical62 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-04-2009, 11:28   #8
Registered User

Join Date: May 2003
Location: East Coast & Other Forums!
Posts: 913


I suppose this anchorage just north of the marina is what you are talking about Dave...but I would consider that a fair weather anchorage only...though I guess one could scoot around and take a slip on the prediction of anything nasty.
__________________
Cam - I am no longer a member here. Look for me on other forums...same name.

camaraderie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-04-2009, 12:13   #9
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Cocoa, Florida
Boat: Mahe, 36' "Oceanview"
Posts: 631
A lot of good advice from CaptForce, I was just there and saw boats anchored at the spot that Camaraderie identified but I wouldn't anchor there, current is very bad. Bahama Bay had a special for 4 day stays of $1 per foot (at least last month they did), but they don't have power available on most of the slips, you can run your generator, and take a bus to Freeport for $7. However, if the weather is good, I'd leave from Great Sail and provision at Marsh Harbour, much better selection at real super markets with better prices than Green Turtle.
__________________
Scott730 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-04-2009, 13:14   #10
Senior Cruiser
 
nautical62's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Live Iowa - Sail mostly Bahamas
Boat: Beneteau 32.5
Posts: 2,264
Images: 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by camaraderie View Post


I suppose this anchorage just north of the marina is what you are talking about Dave...but I would consider that a fair weather anchorage only...though I guess one could scoot around and take a slip on the prediction of anything nasty.
Thank you so much for providing the map Cam!

Yes, the spot where the red anchor symbol is north of the word customs is the spot I was referring to. It has no land protection from easterly winds, but the very shallow surrounding water, keeps wave action to minimum. I have exited this anchorage comfortably at night for a pre-dawn departure to the U.S. Keep in mind many people routinely anchor out on the bank in places offering far, far less protection. (Berry Islands to Bimini for example)

The other place I've anchored is Cross Bay. As the map indicates, one can get surge here if the wind is strong from the south of SW. I've had little surge when the wind was SE. As with many anchorages, this anchorage offers shelter only in prevailing conditions, but would not even offer the shelter of the bank in West through NE winds. Cross Bay offers an easier night exit than does the above mentioned anchorage. What the Cross Bay anchorage option has mostly done for me, is make me more comfortable leaving the U.S. after first light, knowing I have a place I can easily anchor at night if my crossing is slower than predicted and if I'm confident winds prevailing winds will continue. Note if I'm not confident of prevailing conditions I won't be crossing in the first place. Many anchorages may be fair weather only, but thankfully, the weather is often fair.

While, I'm good with that anchorage under prevailing conditions, I always consider alternatives should conditions unexpectedly change. I note these more for interest than out of a real concern:

The open nature of this anchorage may raise concerns to some, but it also offers escape options in the unlikely event one should feel the need to move at night. Onc can easily get clear of all land by heading WNW, remembering the axis of the gulf stream is much closer to Florida than West End - Possibly head north and gain the Banks at Memory Rock at night or first light as comfort dictates. One could also potentially head into Old Bahama Bay and tie up at their fuel dock, settling up with them in the morning. Their entrance is lit. Another option is to sneak around the sea wall to the first option mentioned above. As yet another option, if one is comfortable with conditions, one could head through the Whale Cay Passage and seek the relative shelter of the Banks. That's more options than many anchorages afford.

Again, I state the above, not because I feel they are likely but to point out that looking beyond generalities can change everything and make one look at cruising options they otherwise never may have considered. I feel much the same about cold fronts. The general view is to always seek shelter. A more complex view, is if not too strong, they can offer a great ride south with an apparent wind, that is less than beating to windward in prevailing conditions.

Again, I offer the above as my experience only. I think it's important people come to their own conclusions about what is right for them.

Thanks again for the map!
__________________
nautical62 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-04-2009, 13:23   #11
Senior Cruiser
 
S/V Antares's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Annapolis, Bahamas
Boat: 1983 Gulfstar 36
Posts: 1,249
Images: 1
As of today, $2.80 ft weekdays, $3.05 ft on weekends. Min 40 ft charge. $20 for water is manditory and $20 for 30 amp service. Pricey but convienient. Nice pool and bar etc. We have a dog and this is a normal stop but she may have to hold it from Great Sale to Ft Pierce this time. In Nov. the rate was $1.00 ft. Odly enough the have plenty of space. Perhaps they will rethink the rates and bring in some revenue now that the Ginn project there is bankrupt.
__________________
Will & Muffin
Lucy the dog

"Yes, well.. perhaps some more wine" (Julia Child)
S/V Antares is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-04-2009, 10:17   #12
Registered User
 
skipgundlach's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Currently on the boat, somewhere on the ocean, living the dream
Boat: Morgan 461 S/Y Flying Pig
Posts: 1,385
Send a message via Skype™ to skipgundlach
As it turned out, we are in Lucaya, tied off some pilings on an unused lot east in the canals.

Weather from Chris Parker sounds like an ideal situation for getting to and over, if needed the Gulf Stream tonight, so we're leaving before dark (to make the exit from the potentially shallow channel easier) for the passage. This likely will be the last from us for several days...

L8R

Skip and crew, over wifi from among 16 open sites we see on the last scan
__________________
skipgundlach is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-04-2009, 13:51   #13
Registered User
 
brisail's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: So. Florida
Boat: Freedom 33
Posts: 2
West End Facilities

Skip,
With all the develoment at W.End over the past 10 years, you should have no problem getting provisions (worse case is a taxi ride to Freeport).
My last visit there was so long ago, the only protected anchoring was all the way over to Great Sale Key (day sail east/northeast on the bank). For a short time, with moderate weather, I occasionally saw folks anchored off the NE beaches of W.End(rocking and rolling). Don't know if they still do that, but it requires shoal draft. So you may even want to think about sailing into Freeport rather than West End (1/2 day sail), but I think you'll still be tied to a dock. Since you're coming up from the south, and since W.End must be entered from the Gulfstream side (west) anyway, I think Freeport is a best choice. Another option is Walkers Cay (more expensive provisions, and care required for shifting sand shoals (esp. w/nw from Walkers), but good anchoring just outside the marina entrance) and good navigation to the southeast on/off bank.

Here's the website info from the new developers at West End:
"The old Jack Tar Marina has been taken over by new ownership who completely renovated it, and renamed it Old Bahama Bay.

Navigational Changes
The previous commercial entrance from the ocean is now the only entrance, eliminating the tricky trip around to the north side. This makes it an excellent day or night port to make landfall.
Note the jetty light is low and to the left of center, at the end of the north jetty. Left of the entrance and to the rear is a 200 foot TV/telephone tower, conspicously marked at night (most of the time). The construction crane seen at the right of the entrance, to the rear, moves regularly and is not a reliable landmark.
Completely new, albeit pricey, marina and landside facilities have been built (see sidebar). The fuel dock and the pink Customs and Immigration building remain where they were, on the south side of the marina, with the plan being to build new facilites for them at a later date.

Note Well!
Indian Key Light is NOT a channel marker.
Indian Key Light, about a mile north of West End, is awash at low tide, and the area around it in all directions is shallow as well. Watch your depth and stand well off to the west. If making for Indian Key Pass, do not make the turn NE until you have found the initial unlit marker and have it on the correct heading. The pass is just north of this light and its marks are not lit."
__________________
brisail is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-04-2009, 15:39   #14
Senior Cruiser
 
nautical62's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Live Iowa - Sail mostly Bahamas
Boat: Beneteau 32.5
Posts: 2,264
Images: 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by skipgundlach View Post
As it turned out, we are in Lucaya, tied off some pilings on an unused lot east in the canals.

Weather from Chris Parker sounds like an ideal situation for getting to and over, if needed the Gulf Stream tonight, so we're leaving before dark (to make the exit from the potentially shallow channel easier) for the passage. This likely will be the last from us for several days...

L8R

Skip and crew, over wifi from among 16 open sites we see on the last scan
Skip, I hope you have (probably had by the time you read this) a safe crossing.

I also appreciate the info. on Wifi and free tie up.
__________________

__________________
nautical62 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Advice for a Newbie on My End Goal - My Dream Monohull Redbull addict Monohull Sailboats 66 01-11-2009 08:33
Grand Bahama to Sea of Abaco shawnbush12 Sailor Logs & Cruising Plans 5 10-11-2008 04:36
Request Advice - Galapagos to Western Australia Talbot Pacific & South China Sea 19 23-10-2008 10:56
Western Red Cedar vs End Grain Balsa ameardevil Construction, Maintenance & Refit 2 04-09-2008 15:21
Alternator Advice Needed Pete the Cat Electrical: Batteries, Generators & Solar 5 19-01-2008 15:30



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 18:24.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.