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Old 21-12-2012, 23:13   #16
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Re: Spending 2 months in the Bahamas ???

i too believe the explorer charts are best. but for the abacos add steve dodge's cruising guide to the abacos. well worth the $25.

ice can be hard to get, good whiskey even harder except in nassau, water is widely available but sometimes not cheap. no tax on beer you bring in. the officials won't hassle you; not when you check in and not while you're cruising.

if you're leaving soon you may want to do the southern part (exumas) of the trip first as the water in the northern part (abacos) can be chilly this time of year. but don't miss the abacos.

you'll have a great time. shallow draft is a big plus. 11 foot boston whaler a good choice in dinghy's if you can take it on deck for the crossing.

two months may not be enough time to do both the exumas and the abacos unless you are willing to rush through the trip. i think i'd be studying the charts with an eye to how fast/how far in two months....
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Old 22-12-2012, 03:32   #17
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Re: Spending 2 months in the Bahamas ???

Thank you FSmike
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Old 22-12-2012, 10:41   #18
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Re: Spending 2 months in the Bahamas ???

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Do you get boarded by a authorities at various Islands once you have a cruising pass?
very rare I would think. Never heard of it really.
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Old 22-12-2012, 11:03   #19
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Re: Spending 2 months in the Bahamas ???

In the distant past about the only place I ever had any encounter with authorities in the Bahamas, once checked into the country, was in the Exumas Land and Sea Park. Once in awhile someone would go around and check boats for illegal fishing--as long as you weren't doing any of that, you were fine. Don't know if that still goes on.
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Old 22-12-2012, 11:33   #20
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Re: Spending 2 months in the Bahamas ???

The Defense Force occasionally boards cruisers but it is very rare (unless you're Haitian). I've been boarded once (1991) in all the years I've been going there. One year in Georgetown they had a blitz and boarded all the boats that had people aboard. They missed me as I was ashore. Boarding is really not an issue in the Bahamas.
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Old 22-12-2012, 12:06   #21
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Re: Spending 2 months in the Bahamas ???

Liquor tends to be less expensive, beer is expensive, Ice and water are readily available, . Snacks and paper goods are expensive. Good fresh vegatibles are only available in Marsh Harbour. There is a great cruising crowd here now!! No one will hassel you once you clear in.
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Old 23-12-2012, 05:19   #22
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Re: Spending 2 months in the Bahamas ???

You folks are so much help. I love this forum. I will be ordering the Explorer charts and Steve Dodges guide. I wish I had more than 2 months. Maybe I should talk to my partner and get another month of absence. My Tri has a lot of storage room. Looks like beer could be good ballast choice. We are not drunkards, but a 6 pack a day adds up.
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Old 23-12-2012, 05:35   #23
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Re: Spending 2 months in the Bahamas ???

I have redundancy on the Electronics. Ditch bag, Epirb, PLB, Extra maintenance motor parts such as, belts, filters, gaskets, hoses. Plenty of line on the boat. 3 anchors, and a backup steering cable.
2 sets of sails, 1 fairly new, second usable.. Are there other items that I should consider, that are pertinent? I am all ears on your thoughts.
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Old 23-12-2012, 06:13   #24
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Re: Spending 2 months in the Bahamas ???

We go every year for 2 months, leaving on Jan 2 this year weather permitting. We find groceries a little more expensive in the out islands, not so bad in Nassau but you have to walk a bit as the closest grocery store closed last year. Beer is Canadian like expensive so get that in Florida as well. When we have to provision or meet someone from the airport we anchor at Rose Island until we have to head into Nassau. It's only 7 miles away but quiet enough and the folks are friendly. Water in the out islands can be expensive and know what kind of reef fish you're about to eat, some of them can cause you grief.
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Old 23-12-2012, 06:15   #25
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Re: Spending 2 months in the Bahamas ???

Bring plenty of back ups on your snorkeling gear--I'm not kidding. You'll be using it every day to check your anchor at a minimum, and probably for lots of other swimming and it does wear out. Extra straps for your dive mask are useful. I usually bite through my snorkel mouthpiece eventually, and wear out my flippers. Give em a quick rinse after use and try to keep them out of the sun. Do you have a radio you can use to pick up the SSB nets and the long range forecasts?
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Old 23-12-2012, 10:32   #26
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Re: Spending 2 months in the Bahamas ???

Will do on the snorkel equip. Never really thought about that before. As for radios 2 VHFs, 2 CD music type, 2 xm/sirrus receivers. 1 of the XM/Sirrus is the weather type that ties into my garmin GPS.
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Old 23-12-2012, 11:55   #27
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Re: Spending 2 Months in the Bahamas?

the local beer is actually pretty good (kalik) but be careful of the kalik gold, it's a bit on the alcohol heavy side; two bottles at lunch and i slept the rest of the afternoon. bring your own, of course, but save a few bucks for the local economy. i don't mean to come across as a 'do gooder' but they're heavily dependent on tourism and i think the boating community should make some reasonable attempt at supporting the local economy. not speaking of nassau here, where the cruise ships overwhelm bay street, but the more remote out islands.

things that are hard to get include engine spares. have extra filters, extra oil for oil changes, spare alternator, even spare starter if you've got the space. spare raw water impeller. real engine service is only available in nassau and the abacos, if i remember correctly.

have at least some chain on your anchor line; i prefer all chain but that might be too heavy for a multihull. also spares for your outboard - extra plugs, fuel filter, fuel line bulb and connectors, cotter/shear pins, maybe even propellor.

with xm weather you're probably leap years ahead of most cruisers in that category, although in times past i've simply hailed 'any yacht' and asked for a weather report. usually get a couple of replies - and a couple of opinions too. now i have navtex on board. there are also morning cruiser chats in many places on channel 68, usually around 8 am, that begin with a weather report. the chats themselves can be pretty interesting too.

and while i'm on the subject, here's another piece of vhf advice. keep your radio on 24/7. i learned that the hard way. traffic usually quiets down at night so it won't disturb your sleep, but you never know when some very important call will come in about a missing or sinking boat and you could be in the right place to help. speaking of which -

someday you will be in trouble or need a spare that someone else will have or run aground and need a tow off or and your fellow cruisers will show up to help you out after a call on 16. do the same. there's no sea-tow out there, so the cruising community helps each other. in the words of mark twain -

always do the right thing. it will amaze your friends, and confound your enemies.
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Old 23-12-2012, 12:26   #28
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Re: Spending 2 months in the Bahamas ???

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Bring plenty of back ups on your snorkeling gear--I'm not kidding. ?
If you run out of snorkeling gear just go over to the ocean side of Rose Island near Sandy Cay. The day trippers off the cruise ships are taken there on the snorkeling trips and the bottom has all the masks and snorkels you need.
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Old 23-12-2012, 20:54   #29
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Re: Spending 2 Months in the Bahamas?

Onestep, I am with you on supporting the local economy whenever possible. Also never not help anyone especially on the water. Got plenty of chain. But probably would never of thought about leaving the VHF on. Hell I never turn it on at home. But i will when I leave home. I was just talking to my mechanic about a spare starter and alternator. He was trying to talk me out of it because of the cost. I will revisit that conversation after Christmas. The parts won't spoil but the trip will if I need them and don't have em.
Thanks Mort
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Old 23-12-2012, 21:55   #30
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Re: Spending 2 Months in the Bahamas?

Bring all the beer you can carry, it is amazingly expensive. Rum is cheap once you get to a decent size town.. I think you have the digital version of the Explorer charts on your newer chartplotter - but the books are worth getting, even an older version. Get south to the Exumas as soon as you can where the water will be warmer. Bring thin wet suits if going now. learn how to handle and cook lion fish - you will never go hungry!
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