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Old 07-11-2013, 07:48   #1
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anchoring options along the old bahama channel

Hello,
I'm new here and English is not my first language so forgive me for my spelling and grammar mistakes.
I'm looking for some help regarding anchoring options along the old bahama channel doing my way north from St. Maarten to Ft. Lauderdale.
Looks like a weather front might be coming just as we'll approach the channel, I can't delay my departure so I might have to stop on the way.
Has anyone anchored off little Ragged Island? Is it a good holding there? protected from northerly's? Is there any navigational hazards that I should know about?
My draft is 7.5 ft. and I'm not familiar with the great bahama bank so I wouldn't like to take any risks with it.
Another option for anchoring if we'll need to hide in the middle of the channel is east of Guichos cay- Does anyone know about holding there? it looks a bit exposed but charts say its sand and depth is good so might be an option as well.
If you can recommend me of any other option to anchor when its blowing 30 knts from the north along the channel it would be great.
Thank you
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Old 07-11-2013, 09:09   #2
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Re: anchoring options along the old bahama channel

Hi, liron, and welcome to CF.

I hope you'll get a response from someone with direct experience, but perhaps my limited knowledge may be of marginal help to you.

I planned a November passage from St Thomas to Marathon Key a few years ago, and was also concerned about having somewhere to "bail out" if weather became a serious issue. My conclusion was that Ragged was too far out of the way, and the few small cays along the north edge of the Old Bahama Channel didn't look like safe options. I decided that I would carry on without stopping to Cay Sal Banks. If weather precluded crossing the Gulf Stream there, I planned to anchor at one of the two semi-viable anchorages there--Cay Sal or Anquilla Cays. I researched various sources and holding is not the greatest, with currents and scouring, so an anchor watch would be prudent.

As it turned out, my weather routing service advised me that a tropical wave was approaching from the east and a strong cold front was coming from the west. It appeared that they would collide over us when we were half way through the Old Bahamas Channel. I elected to turn north through the Turks and Caicos and take the weather in the open waters of the Atlantic, and was glad I did. We ended up proceeding past Eleuthera and through the NE Providence Channel, crossing the Gulf Stream from Great Isaac Light to Hollywood Beach, which is just south of Ft Lauderdale.

You might want to consider taking that route and avoiding the potential issues of the OBC.
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Old 07-11-2013, 10:24   #3
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Re: anchoring options along the old bahama channel

Thank you,
Ye that is my plan B.
I'm on a tight schedule so going down the OBC is still my favorite option,
I'm taking a weather routing service as well so we have time to decide when we pass DR.
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Old 07-11-2013, 10:46   #4
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Re: anchoring options along the old bahama channel

Southside bay just south of Ragged Island just north of Little Ragged Island is a popular place for the Bahamas cruisers to weather front passages.

The Exumas and out islands chartbook from Explorer charts will get you up to Ragged Island from the OBC and further north if desired. Explorer charts should be available in St. Maarten.
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Old 23-12-2013, 11:53   #5
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Re: anchoring options along the old bahama channel

Remember that keeping a schedule is the biggest danger a cruising sailor faces!
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Old 23-12-2013, 12:12   #6
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Re: anchoring options along the old bahama channel

Quote:
Originally Posted by Double-Wide View Post
Remember that keeping a schedule is the biggest danger a cruising sailor faces!
What he said. a tight schedule is a disaster in the making
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