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Old 23-06-2014, 22:38   #1
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Sailing to the Berry islands

Hello! My husband and I live in Miami and we own/live on a 43' Bruce Robert steel hull sailboat with a 6' draft. We have 9 days of vacations coming up and we were thinking of exploring the Berry islands since we already explored Bimini and its surroundings. However we have heard conflicting reviews about the Berry islands, the anchorages in particular. So I have several questions:
-is 9 days too ambitious for Berry islands exploration?
-any recommended overnight anchorages (keeping in mind our 6 foot draft)?
-is there a way to reach the west side of Hoffmans Cay with our draft?

any recommendations are welcome!

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Old 24-06-2014, 04:44   #2
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Re: Sailing to the Berry islands

Welcome aboard! Ideally, you need 2 days there and 2 days back, if weather cooperates and you do an overnight to get there and check in at you're very tight on time under perfect might need to overstay your vacation time (doable?).
I love exploring the Berry's, but it's much more easily done with a shoal draft; however you can travel on the Northwest Providence Channel side and pop in to many anchorages:
  • Visit Chub Cay Marina or anchor outside of it (if conditions are right)
  • Anchor at Frazer's Hog Cay Channel near Berry Islands Club (protected and nice...I recommend, but watch out for a bump on the way in)
  • Anchor below Little Whale Cay (gorgeous, but often a lot of surge)
  • Anchor at Alders & Frozen (you can dinghy to Flo's for need to order early in the day so they know what to go out and catch for you)
  • Anchor behind White Cay (great snorkling and exploring by dinghy...the blue hole on Hoffman's is very cool and just around the corner – If you were to pick one place to stay, this would be the one I'd pick. Don't try to get behind Hoffmans from the north...too skinny, I think).
I think that's about as far as you could consider in such a short trip. Hope this helps.
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Old 24-06-2014, 06:52   #3
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Re: Sailing to the Berry islands

First, Welcome to CF. Whether 9 days is enough will be very much weather dependent as you probably already know. Although your boat should be able to handle almost any conditions, it can be a long uncomfortable 90 miles in the wrong weather. From Miami, you will still need to check in at Bimini or Chub. There are some spectacular anchorages in the Berry Islands. Anchorages that would be suitable for your draft are Slaughter Harbor on Great Stirrup Cay, the east side of Great Harbor Cay behind Hawksnest, Ambergris Cay, several spots behind Market Fish and Soldiers Cay, White and Fowl Cay, High Cay, and several others. be careful at Frazer's Hog since the anchorage depths are about 6 feet and the hold is not good in grass. The sandy patches with better holding have the least depth. We found approach depths to the anchorage at Hoffman's cay to be 4 feet in some spots. You would need to approach from the north past Market Cay and transit at high tide at best. The anchorage depth is 8 to 9 feet. These are all in our Bahamas edition. We like the Berry's a lot. Enjoy. Chuck
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