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Old 14-11-2014, 17:52   #1
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Question for Bahamian Cruisers

Hi there,

I'm currently in the midst of heading south to the Bahamas with my Westsail. All is going well... looking forward to hitting the warmer weather.

Anyways - I have a question for folks who have cruised the region. I have a few friends who are planning to visit us while we're down there. For a week or two. Since this will be my first time cruising here, I was wanting to get some opinion from people on the best place to make this happen. Coordinating a good experience for people, with ease of access to airports and such. As of now, I'm simply working off of what I've read from cruising guides.

Right now, I'm thinking that they would fly into Marsh Harbour International - and cruising the Abacos would be best for all.

Anyone have experience with such things? Thoughts? Insight?

Thanks for your time!
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Old 14-11-2014, 18:11   #2
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Re: Question for Bahamian Cruisers

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Originally Posted by nsweeting View Post
Hi there,

I'm currently in the midst of heading south to the Bahamas with my Westsail. All is going well... looking forward to hitting the warmer weather.

Anyways - I have a question for folks who have cruised the region. I have a few friends who are planning to visit us while we're down there. For a week or two. Since this will be my first time cruising here, I was wanting to get some opinion from people on the best place to make this happen. Coordinating a good experience for people, with ease of access to airports and such. As of now, I'm simply working off of what I've read from cruising guides.

Right now, I'm thinking that they would fly into Marsh Harbour International - and cruising the Abacos would be best for all.

Anyone have experience with such things? Thoughts? Insight?

Thanks for your time!
It depends on when as well as where. I personally don't like the Abacos until the end of April or early May. It gets cold up there and the weather is generally worse Above Nassau. I like to get south of Nassau during the depth of Winter which usually means the Exumas. Georgetown offers the most flights in and out other than Nassau. The "Cold" in cold fronts moderates substantially below Nassau. There's lots going on In Georgetown and it's usually an easy hp over to Long Island or Conception. You can always jump North to Staniel and the Exuma Land and Sea Park. The water is much warmer in the Exumas than in the Abacos in winter, something guests will appreciate. The Abacos are great protected cruising grounds and there are lots of places to go, and is appropriate for cruising later in the season. I've had to wear a coat up there in the winter and as late as early-mid April.
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Old 14-11-2014, 18:43   #3
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Re: Question for Bahamian Cruisers

The first time I ever went to anywhere in my boat was the Bahamas. they are so grand, that you think you went to heaven. Check in and then head to Nassau. Stock up on food and Rum if you imbibe, then Pick your friends up at the Nassau airport and head for Ship channel in the Exumas. There is a lot of crystal clear shallow water down there, so pay attention to the charts and the tide tables The charts so you will know where the water is deep enough and the tide tables so if you run aground you can do it during low tide. and I can guarantee that you will be aground at least once a week until you learn how to read the water depth by the color. Mac
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Old 14-11-2014, 19:01   #4
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Re: Question for Bahamian Cruisers

Head for Nassau and the Exumas. Do Abaco on the way back. Too cold at the start of the season. Georgetown is the best place to pick up guests. If you want to linger in the middle part of the Exumas Staniel Cay is a good place to hang around and get guests. lots of spots near Staniel to take folks and experience the Bahamas.
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Old 14-11-2014, 21:00   #5
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Re: Question for Bahamian Cruisers

Although the admiral loves the abacos, at this time of year I have to agree with all the above. For convenience, take a slip in nassau on the day your guests are flying in, then head for the exumas. Allens cay is a good first stop.
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Old 15-11-2014, 08:43   #6
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Re: Question for Bahamian Cruisers

As I thought - you may get conflicting advice on this, so I will add my two cents. We were first-time cruisers last year and headed for the Abacos mid-February. People said it may be cold - but it really was not. Yes, sweaters at night -but we like that. Most cruisers had headed for the Exumas, but we did it the other way around. It worked well for us. Many marinas had great specials - dock and dine at Bluff House (Green Turtle) was a great deal; several 5 night for the price of 3 etc. We did several transfers through Marsh Harbor and it worked well. It was a $15 cab ride. Be sure your guests have a photocopy of your cruising permit with them. Similarly, you may be asked for it at the airport if you leave and return. Treasure Key also has an airport - but I am not sure on the schedule there. We also loved the Exumas and had our son fly in to Georgetown. We completely avoided Nassau on the trip as we had heard bad things. For more info on our trip, check out our blog at

http://midnightsunii.blogspot.com/ look at the February/March posts or feel free to drop us an email.

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Old 15-11-2014, 09:00   #7
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Re: Question for Bahamian Cruisers

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[SIZE=3][FONT=Times New Roman]As I thought - you may get conflicting advice on this, so I will add my two cents. We were first-time cruisers last year and headed for the Abacos mid-February. People said it may be cold - but it really was not. Yes, sweaters at night -but we like that.

Sweaters at night is cold!
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Old 15-11-2014, 09:14   #8
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Re: Question for Bahamian Cruisers

I'm with Vasco!

We crossed last year mid-Dec. If warmer weather is what the OP wants, way better to go to the Exumas.

Our son and his GF flew into Nassau on New Years Eve in time for Junkanoo. No problems in Nassau. It also isn't the "real" Bahamas though.

One of our favorite anchorages is Big Major's Spot, across from Staniel. Anyone with experience flying into/out of Staniel via Watermaker? It would be hard to find a nicer area for family or friends to meet up IMO.

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Old 15-11-2014, 09:22   #9
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Re: Question for Bahamian Cruisers

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I'm with Vasco!

We crossed last year mid-Dec. If warmer weather is what the OP wants, way better to go to the Exumas.

Our son and his GF flew into Nassau on New Years Eve in time for Junkanoo. No problems in Nassau. It also isn't the "real" Bahamas though.

One of our favorite anchorages is Big Major's Spot, across from Staniel. Anyone with experience flying into/out of Staniel via Watermaker? It would be hard to find a nicer area for family or friends to meet up IMO.

Ralph
Haven't flown them but friends have. And I've had parts come in via them. Quite reliable. If you can get a cheap flight to Nassau, Flamingo Air does Staniel and Black Point and Farmers too.
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Old 15-11-2014, 09:25   #10
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Re: Question for Bahamian Cruisers

I think what is a comfortable temperature depends on the individual. Many experienced cruisers advise against going to Abaco's too early in the season. We don't like it too warm. We were in the Abacos last winter and really enjoyed it. We got in lots of swimming, and thought the temps were ideal. There are lots of boats that go there to spend the whole winter and have for years.

The air connections to Marsh Harbour are great and easy to get any provisions you could want, very protected sailing and many places to go. I have flown into Georgetown cruised to Marsh Harbour and flown back to Florida very nice way to do it if you can budget a month or more for the trip. There is a high crime rate in Nassau, careful if you go there.

I've also flown into North Eleuthera airport on Silver Air, worked very well.

Enjoy, Bob
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Old 15-11-2014, 09:28   #11
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Re: Question for Bahamian Cruisers

Thanks for the info Vasco.

After spending last winter in the Bahamas, not sure what the heck I was thinking coming back to Texas this year. Already freezing our butts off here in Galveston, and a low of 38* for Monday night....

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Old 15-11-2014, 09:32   #12
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Re: Question for Bahamian Cruisers

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I think what is a comfortable temperature depends on the individual.
TRUE. You Canadians are a hardy bunch! Maybe Vasco has spent too much time in the Bahamas to still be considered Canadian?

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Old 15-11-2014, 09:33   #13
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Re: Question for Bahamian Cruisers

Yup, it's 81 F in Nassau now.
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Old 15-11-2014, 09:58   #14
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Re: Question for Bahamian Cruisers

Quote:
Originally Posted by nsweeting View Post
Hi there,

I'm currently in the midst of heading south to the Bahamas with my Westsail. All is going well... looking forward to hitting the warmer weather.

Anyways - I have a question for folks who have cruised the region. I have a few friends who are planning to visit us while we're down there. For a week or two. Since this will be my first time cruising here, I was wanting to get some opinion from people on the best place to make this happen. Coordinating a good experience for people, with ease of access to airports and such. As of now, I'm simply working off of what I've read from cruising guides.

Right now, I'm thinking that they would fly into Marsh Harbour International - and cruising the Abacos would be best for all.

Anyone have experience with such things? Thoughts? Insight?

Thanks for your time!

We have done this in more than once Abaco. It works well. It was several years ago but for us, we hired an air charter. There were 8. We hired a plane in Lauderdale, (Miami had a few also). No security, no bag restrictions, free parking, we named the schedule. You pay by the plane & weight, not a per person ticket so there is a break even point where it costs less to charter. On our last trip, we rode a Gooney Bird. (DC-3) What a fun ride.

You can dock at Marsh Harbor or at Hopetown & use the water taxi. (Check schedules). I think there is also an airport at Treasure Key.

Here is one link.
Abaco Air Carriers and Abaco Ferries. Airlines, Air Carriers & Ferries serving the Abacos Bahamas and Marsh Harbour (Harbor) - MHH, Treasure Cay - TCB, Guana Cay, Hope Town, Green Turtle Cay
.
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Old 15-11-2014, 11:00   #15
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Re: Question for Bahamian Cruisers

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Thanks for the info Vasco.

After spending last winter in the Bahamas, not sure what the heck I was thinking coming back to Texas this year. Already freezing our butts off here in Galveston, and a low of 38* for Monday night....

Ralph
I remember once we saw it get down to 63 deg. here. It was February, 2006. It lasted for about an hour or maybe a little longer. Then it warmed back up.

But we still talk about it eight years later.
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