which charts and guides would you suggest for an experienced sailor, but new to The Bahamas?
The Explorer charts are the best.
They have saved my bacon many times.
Steve Pavlidis Exuma guide is also excellent..Would not leave home without it.
Yeah, been to the Bahamas about 22 times in the last 7 years and love it over there.
Do carry spare tools and parts
, etc 'cause ya are in the boondocks..No support, parts
, helicopters or towing services unless ya request very expensive services from Nassau
. (If they get around to it)
Whatever ya need, carry 2 of it.
We met a couple in Chub Cay years ago that had a bad head
They had just bought the boat in Florida
a few days earlier, and without any preparations or spares/tools, they sailed to the Bahamas, happy-go-lucky.
The wife demanded to be set ashore asap 'cause the head was bad, the hubby was rowing a rubber dink downwind in a 20 knot breeze. (No outboard
I yelled at them to come over to our boat so I could tow them back with my dink...Over a glass of wine we got the whole story..No charts, parts or tools...Just sailing.
We helped them out a bit, then next day they pulled anchor to go into the marina in Chub, and ran hard aground being outside the channel.
Helped them getting off the reef, but felt sorry that their "dream" was falling apart hour by hour.
A bit better preparation and the situation would have been different.
That being said, we had our own problems on the last cruise
, which is the subject of this thread.
We had good gear
onboard and were able to get home in one piece without any assistance.
What saved the day on the grounding in Honeymoon Harbour was a rather small thing:
A 12 lbs Hi Tensile Danforth anchhor that we had permanently mounted on the stern rail for just that: A stern anchor: 30 feet of 1/4" Hi Test G4 chain splice to 100 feet of 1/2' 3 strand nylon line.
It is always ready to go out and it has a good bite for being a small hook.
The first thing I did when we dragged on the rocks was to swim/snorkel out that little anchor with the chain/line
The anchor/rode, etc was light enough to swim out and set by hand.
(Dig it manually into the bottom)
It was also strong enough to put on the windlass
and apply lots of tension to keep us from being washed further onto the rocks.
Folks: That anchor and rode
saved the day twice.
(The first time we were motoring out from Lake Sylvia in Ft. Lauderdale, got a blanket wrapped arond the prop. Engine dead. Coasted/sailed into Bahimar Marina, aimed between 2 mega-yachts, dropped that stern anchor at the right time and came to a complete stop between the yachts.
Tied to a dock
, dove on the prop and cleared the blanket, motored away 30 minuttes later...Without that little anchor the results could have been different, very different, both times.
A big anchor is too heavy to swim out. And it would take too long to launch the dink to set the big anchor.
The $200 combo of anchor/chain/line has been proved itself to worth it's weight in gold.
I don't own stock in Danforth, but I am most impressed with the little 12 # H/T.
Used the same anchor years ago when I was a live-aboard on a 44' yawl in the Virgin Islnads.
Had the 12# for lunch hook, a bigger Danforth for working anchor, a 44# Delta for storm anchor, and a 66 Bruce for hurricane
What would happen in reality was that we sailed to Buck Island and anchored for lunch, planning to sail back in the evening.
So we dropped just the 12# Danforth..(The lunch-hook.)
Snorkeled around, went to shore, met nice people, partied, ate dinner at somebody else's boat, came back to our ship and fell asleep.
Squalls picked up at night, blows in the 30 to 40 knot range...Woke up next day and realized that the little 12 # H/T held the boat and us without complaint all night.
Get one of those for a stern/emergency anchor, it just may save the day.
(I dont use a Danforth for primary anchor as it may not re-set good after a wind change, but for what I have used it for in the past, the little 12 H/T is fantastic. The regular Danforths is not built from the same high grade steel
and may bend backwards in a blow if the wind changes and if it is still dug in. The big Deltas are still my favorites for primary. )