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Old 15-02-2010, 05:19   #1
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Where Do You Get Weather Updates in Bahamas ?

It is starting to look like we are finally pretty serious (as in about to make an offer on a boat) about buying a boat in Fl and sailing it home down through the Bahamas. I am curious as to where you Bahamas cruisers get your daily weather fix while in the islands. Can you get it on VHF in most places or do you have to add some equipment to the boat? I am going to be adding whatever we need for decent wifi anyhow. Will that do, sailing from cafe to cafe and getting weather online?

I am looking at sailing a Gemini catamaran from the keys to Providenciales, in no particular rush but not sitting still in any one place any longer than absolutely required, either. I know there will be weather delays, broken stuff maybe, etc. But what would you think is a reasonable amount of time to allow for this trip? Three weeks enough to mosey 600 miles in a SE direction in April?
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Old 15-02-2010, 06:05   #2
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If you didn't stop to smell the roses = 6 days; otherwise just mooching along 2 weeks
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Old 15-02-2010, 09:54   #3
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Canibul -
Get a copy of one of Steve Pavilidis' guides, probably the Exuma Guide for starters. The general info section has all you need about getting weather. You should at least invest in an all band receiver to take advantage of the SSB and Ham weather nets. VHF will help in some areas, WiFi not so much.
If you're going to the T&C get Bruce VanSants book "The Gentlemans guide to Passages South". You will also want the Explorer charts for the Bahamas.
Three weeks ought to be ok, but don't waste favorable weather.
Have fun.
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Old 15-02-2010, 13:25   #4
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thanks for the advice. We have yet to find the boat to buy, but are working on it. Looking for a Gemini 105Mc, and there are a few around. I recently tried to buy the VanSant book for my brandy new Kindle ( LOVE that thing!) but Amazon says it's out of print.
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Old 18-02-2010, 12:59   #5
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Chriss Parker on SSB 4045 6h30am mon to sat...the best!
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Old 18-02-2010, 13:19   #6
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Where to get weather in the Bahamas

Here's a good start:
BASRA: External Marine Links
BASRA (Bahamas Air Sea Rescue Association) is based in Nassau and their director Nick broadcasts weather each morning from there. You can check on VHF Channel 16 at 8 AM to see which channel he will go to, to do the weather. (Or ask on the VHF, and someone will tell you what time to listen). Also the site has useful info for all of the Bahamas.
-YourCruisingEditor
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Old 18-02-2010, 13:32   #7
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The weather reports for the Bahamas will be spotty at best and mostly come over the VHF if you are in range. Chris parker is a paid service available,http://www.mwxc.com/ , and Herb Hilgenberg, http://www3.sympatico.ca/hehilgen/vax498.htm , is a free service, both require a SSB radio that will both send and receive. WiFi connection will get you the world of the internet and all of the weather information you can absorb. Also a service such as Sailmail, also a pay service for SSB, or Winlink if you are a Ham operator, will give you access to weatherfax, text forecasts, etc. broadcast from the Coast Guard, as well as offshore voice broadcasts. Satellite phones will also get you access to the same information but that is a bit expensive. Several of these options will also get you email.
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Old 18-02-2010, 14:38   #8
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Thanks. I have been looking into the SSB option, but for me it's not too simple. Oh, I can buy a transceiver no problem, but people are telling me I really should get a license to operate it. Theres' the rub. I am a US citizen living in a foreign country that has, uh...lets just say very very basic ham operations. They won't license me her, it looks like, and as said...I don't live in the US. And don't intend to live in the US. So I guess the suggestion that Cam made is the best one, to get a multiband receiver?

I can't see us being in VHF range of Nassau longer than a day or two at most.
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Old 18-02-2010, 20:45   #9
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I use Sirius weather. It works very well albeit a little expensive but I wanted the radio service anyway which mitigates the cost somewhat.
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Old 19-02-2010, 04:36   #10
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Sirius broadcasts weather for the southern Bahamas?
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Old 19-02-2010, 04:43   #11
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With a relatively inexpensive SSB receiver you can listen to Chris Parker's forecasts and his personal weather routing analyses for individual subscribers for free. That will usually give you enough info for anywhere you might be in the Bahamas. You can also listen to Herb Hilgenberg, of course. Add JVComm32 software, a laptop and a patch cord to the laptop's sound card, and you can download weather faxes and text forecasts from NWS for free.
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Old 19-02-2010, 09:44   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canibul View Post
Sirius broadcasts weather for the southern Bahamas?
Yes. I was able to receive weather as far south as Ragged Island. Not sure about reception beyond there as that is as far south as I went.
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Old 19-02-2010, 10:01   #13
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But was the weather forecast you received at Ragged Island FOR the area around Ragged Island? I know the reception is good all the way down. We get Sirius and XM radio here in the TCI, fifty miles south of the Bahamas. But I never heard anyone on XM ( the one I have experience with here) discuss the weather any place but where they were located in the USA.
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Old 19-02-2010, 10:14   #14
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The weather service is graphical, not audio. It provides map depicted prediction of wind speed and direction, swell direction, position and movement of fronts and tropical systems. Also bouy data. And the forecasts are the text products from NOAA as below.

OFFSHORE WATERS FORECAST FOR THE SW AND TROPICAL N ATLANTIC AND
CARIBBEAN SEA
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
1030 AM EST FRI FEB 19 2010

OFFSHORE WATERS FORECAST FOR THE TROPICAL N ATLC FROM 07N TO 22N
BETWEEN 55W AND 65W...THE SW N ATLANTIC S OF 31N W OF 65W
INCLUDING BAHAMAS...AND THE CARIBBEAN SEA

SEAS GIVEN AS SIGNIFICANT WAVE HEIGHT...WHICH IS THE AVERAGE
HEIGHT OF THE HIGHEST 1/3 OF THE WAVES. INDIVIDUAL WAVES MAY BE
MORE THAN TWICE THE SIGNIFICANT WAVE HEIGHT.

AMZ089-192130-
SYNOPSIS FOR CARIBBEAN SEA AND TROPICAL N ATLC FROM 07N TO 22N
BETWEEN 55W AND 65W
1030 AM EST FRI FEB 19 2010

.SYNOPSIS...A WEAKENING COLD FRONT LIES FROM 22N55W TO PUERTO
RICO THEN STATIONARY TO 16N70W AND DISSIPATING OVER THE SW
CARIBBEAN. FRONT WILL REMAIN NEARLY STATIONARY ACROSS THE
CENTRAL CARIBBEAN THEN DISSIPATE TONIGHT WHILE THE E PORTION
DRIFTS E ACROSS THE NE CARIBBEAN AND TROPICAL N ATLC...GRADUALLY
DISSIPATING THROUGH SAT. THE NEXT COLD FRONT WILL STALL OVER THE
NW CARIBBEAN MON NIGHT INTO TUE.
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Old 19-02-2010, 10:22   #15
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Cool. And they have that for the Bahamas, too?
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