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Old 18-01-2016, 16:41   #1
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Any anchorage at Harbor Island, Bahamas?

We are thinking of cruising to Harbor Island, North Eluthera.
Does anyone know if there is an anchorage there?


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Old 18-01-2016, 20:17   #2
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Re: Any anchorage at Harbor Island, Bahamas?

Yes, it's a large harbor, a grassy bottom as I remember. Not to many boats but that was summer when we visited. Did the Devils Backbone without the guide, easy if you have been exposed to Bahamian waters for a while as I know you have.


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Old 19-01-2016, 06:29   #3
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Re: Any anchorage at Harbor Island, Bahamas?

Thanks Dave,
Just wanted to make sure we don't have to stay in a marina when we visit there. This is one of the few places in the Bahamas we have not seen.
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Old 19-01-2016, 06:53   #4
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Re: Any anchorage at Harbor Island, Bahamas?

Dave, as I remember, the northern side of the anchorage is quite shallow, keep more to the center but away from ferry pier.
We also did the Devils Backbone wo a guide but in reasonably calm conditions. Not sure I would try it the first time with waves that prevented seeing the bottom. Once past, anchor in the little cove near the north end of Eluthera and visit Preacher's Cave (I think that was the name).
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Old 19-01-2016, 06:53   #5
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Re: Any anchorage at Harbor Island, Bahamas?

No problem anchoring in the very large harbor. You can land the dinghy on the beach. Chuck
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Old 19-01-2016, 08:19   #6
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Re: Any anchorage at Harbor Island, Bahamas?

You need to sign on to Active Captain! Is free and you get all types of info including great anchors spots. Plus you can easily contribute such info once you find a great spot and then we all can benefit.
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Old 19-01-2016, 13:28   #7
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Re: Any anchorage at Harbor Island, Bahamas?

Thanks everyone. Yes, I should sign up for active captain. This has actually brought cruisers into our anchorage off Port Howe, the south of Cat Island in need of sail repair.
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Old 19-01-2016, 16:10   #8
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Re: Any anchorage at Harbor Island, Bahamas?

Harbor Island is a worthwhile stop. Spent a week there. If you take to a land excursion head down to the "Glass Window Bridge" - MUST SEE!!
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Old 23-01-2016, 19:07   #9
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Re: Any anchorage at Harbor Island, Bahamas?

This is my favorite spot in the Bahamas, east side pink beaches, upscale and local restaurants and residences.
However I draw just over 6' and would never do the Devil's Backbone. It was scary enough going east from the small Spanish Wells mooring field then north, east around the conner 1/16 mile or so then head north with the two airplane landing ramps on your stern, find the right heading in cruising guides etc. Be careful, but it was around twenty miles to go over the top' down the east side and in the lower east side entrance.
There were several marinas and clubs down there to anchor off of, that you could dock your dinghy at.
There were two nice restaurants overlooking the east side beaches, great walks, ran into Henry Winkler, (who was great).
We have done 40,000 ocean miles and the Devils Backbone was the worst thing that I have seen with a 1' sea. We could see quite a bit of it on the route we went, breaking seas everywhere. They have a pilot on every ferry boat that goes thought that cut. I wouldn't do it unless it was totally flat with a 2' keel.
A great spot....
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Old 23-01-2016, 20:43   #10
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Re: Any anchorage at Harbor Island, Bahamas?

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Originally Posted by dallycally View Post
This is my favorite spot in the Bahamas, east side pink beaches, upscale and local restaurants and residences.
However I draw just over 6' and would never do the Devil's Backbone. It was scary enough going east from the small Spanish Wells mooring field then north, east around the conner 1/16 mile or so then head north with the two airplane landing ramps on your stern, find the right heading in cruising guides etc. Be careful, but it was around twenty miles to go over the top' down the east side and in the lower east side entrance.
There were several marinas and clubs down there to anchor off of, that you could dock your dinghy at.
There were two nice restaurants overlooking the east side beaches, great walks, ran into Henry Winkler, (who was great).
We have done 40,000 ocean miles and the Devils Backbone was the worst thing that I have seen with a 1' sea. We could see quite a bit of it on the route we went, breaking seas everywhere. They have a pilot on every ferry boat that goes thought that cut. I wouldn't do it unless it was totally flat with a 2' keel.
A great spot....
===

There is no problem at all taking a 6 ft draft through the Devils Backbone. I've been through it a number of times with 5 1/2 ft and were never close. If in doubt hire one of the pilots from Spanish Wells. We did that the first time and our GPS track was virtually identical to the Explorer chart route. I mentioned that to the pilot and he just smiled and said the Explorer charts are very good. We've never hired a pilot since. The pilots routinely take large fuel tankers and mega yachts through there that draw way more than 6 ft.

All that said, there is plenty of room to anchor and it's a great town. The Rock House restaurant is a little pricey but well worth it. Supplies are readily available and the beach is great.
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Old 24-01-2016, 00:56   #11
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Re: Any anchorage at Harbor Island, Bahamas?

On my todo list. Want to see the Bull and Cow for sure. I was going to anchor in the cove at Royal Island. Some say Columbus first landed around Egg Island just East of Royal Island and got his first fresh water at Spanish Wells.

In any case it seems easy coming in from the West to Royal Island and Spanish Wells. In any case my idea was to go outside and then head into the anchorage from the South missing most of Devil's Backbone, it looks like a straight shot between South Harbor Island and Whale Point on Elelthera.

Anyone gone in that way who can offer advice on how easy or hard it is.
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Old 24-01-2016, 05:53   #12
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Re: Any anchorage at Harbor Island, Bahamas?

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On my todo list. Want to see the Bull and Cow for sure. I was going to anchor in the cove at Royal Island. Some say Columbus first landed around Egg Island just East of Royal Island and got his first fresh water at Spanish Wells.

In any case it seems easy coming in from the West to Royal Island and Spanish Wells. In any case my idea was to go outside and then head into the anchorage from the South missing most of Devil's Backbone, it looks like a straight shot between South Harbor Island and Whale Point on Elelthera.

Anyone gone in that way who can offer advice on how easy or hard it is.
===

That's a dangerous east facing inlet that breaks when swells are coming in off the open ocean. I've been advised against it. Virtually all of the mega yachts and commercial traffic transit the Devils Backbone.
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Old 24-01-2016, 05:59   #13
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Re: Any anchorage at Harbor Island, Bahamas?

We got married on that pink sand beach, just off the restaurant Sip Sip. Planning to take the boat back up, but then we only draw a little over 3 ft.
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Old 25-01-2016, 12:07   #14
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Re: Any anchorage at Harbor Island, Bahamas?

dave, The Devils Backbone is a great myth that the locals perpetuate to keep the guides working at $100 to $150 per trip. If you are concerned, follow the ferry that leaves daily from Spanish Wells. You do need to be aware of weather and sea state as you do in any of the cuts in the Bahamas. The shallow areas and reefs are visible under most conditions as it is in any part of the Bahamas. We crossed from Spanish Wells to Little Harbor using the Devils Backbone exit and it was easy for us. We led a flotilla of other boats out with us. The Harbor has plenty of room to anchor, just stay out of the path of the ferry coming and going. It's a great place to visit. Chuck

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