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Old 11-05-2013, 16:52   #1
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Winter over in the Bahamas?

From your own experience where's a nice place to anchor or a marina/slip/mooring for staying a month or so in the Bahamas?

What are the monthly fees like for a slip?
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Old 11-05-2013, 17:03   #2
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Re: Winter over in the Bahamas?

I would head to the Exumas and island hop down the chain for a couple of weeks, then hop back up the chain and back to Florida--assuming you are starting in Florida. The Exumas are mostly beautiful anchorages, with few restaurants or facilities until you get to Georgetown. If you want more in the way of restaurants and things to do ashore, the Abacos might suit you better. Also, more marinas in the Abacos if you want to tie up to docks. Or, do you just want to go to one place and stay for a month?
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Old 11-05-2013, 17:59   #3
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Re: Winter over in the Bahamas?

It all depends on what you are looking for.

Georgetown is a very popular cruiser's destination. With hundreds of boats anchored there in the winter, it's a small community of cruisers. For swimming, the water is notably warmer in the Exumas than in the Abacos.

That said, I really like the Abacos. Some people settle into Marsh Harbour due to it's good protection and services. Personally, if I was going to spend a month in one place, I'd probably pick Green Turtle Cay. Last I was there, the Leeward Yacht club was fairly popular for 1-2 month stays. I see they are now charging $500/month.

Leeward Yacht Club & Marina | Green Turtle Cay, (BAH) | Waterway Guide Marina Close-Up

I spent 2 1/2 months in the Abacos a couple winters ago - I just bopped around rarely staying in one place more than two nights.
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Old 11-05-2013, 18:08   #4
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You need to elaborate...

The high season does not start till March in the Abacos. Rates are quite cheap before then at marinas. Moorings are cheaper.

Despite high entry, fuel, snacks & beer costs; we found winter in the Abacos to be cheap.
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Old 11-05-2013, 18:58   #5
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Re: Winter over in the Bahamas?

you can also take a mooring ball in many places, particularly in the abacos, at a somewhat reduced rate. green turtle cay and hopetown come to mind.
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Old 11-05-2013, 19:59   #6
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Re: Winter over in the Bahamas?

Thank you all for the ideas.

Cost is a very important issue presently.

$500 per month is reasonable for the peace of mind of being connected to something immovable.

Do the marinas where you stay for a month provide electricity and other amenities such as laundry and showers?

I assume there are nice, safe places you can anchor for free. Is that correct?

How about fruit and vegetables markets? How are prices for that sort of thing?
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Old 12-05-2013, 18:38   #7
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Re: Winter over in the Bahamas?

i can only speak for the abacos.

most marinas include showers, heads and coin laundries. some also include wifi.

there are many safe places to anchor for free.

there are fruits and vegetables available, but always in stores. in marsh harbor, there is an 'american' sized supermarket with lots of stuff - including fruits and vegetables. but be prepared to pay more, sometimes twice what you would pay in the states.

when stocking up for a month, bring along the 'goodies'. stuff like rice and beans and oatmeal are pretty much the same price as in the usa. but oreo cookies, peanut butter, and coffee are more. beer is a lot more, so bring your own if you drink more than a can a day. rum is about the same as the usa. fruits and veggies are a lot more.

we like our fruits and veggies, so we stock up on everything else in the states and then pay the market price for them, whatever that happens to be.
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Old 13-05-2013, 05:49   #8
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Re: Winter over in the Bahamas?

Doesn't the Bahamas forbid you from bringing in fruit and vegetables?
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Old 13-05-2013, 06:17   #9
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Re: Winter over in the Bahamas?

They might, but when you check in, they'll spend more time getting an inventory of your firearms and ammunition (they assume Americans have some). Check in at Spanish Cay and it's a bit more expensive (private island charges a check in fee) but you do the paperwork in a booth at the pub. :-)

They didn't board me at all and I wound up spending months there. I guess the thought that you could get boarded keeps honest folks honest. Same way when I came back. The only reason they checked me back in was that I called them. Still didn't board.

So for fruits, you probably won't want to bother. They won't last long enough to make the cargo space worth it. Chips though, and if you use drink mixes (crystal light) etc... Meat if you've got the freezer space too. It's spendy.

Bahamian economics are hugely tourist driven, so there's not much domestic production, even of food. They fish, and there are a couple of farms (chicken and hydroponic lettuce for the restaurants) but they're spendy.

Do your own fishing, and you can eat really well, even with the high cost of veggies. Every now and then there's a farmer's market in Marsh too.
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Old 13-05-2013, 10:34   #10
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Re: Winter over in the Bahamas?

think i may have given you the wrong impression. we bring the 'spendy' stuff - like the crystal light that h romberg mentioned - and buy fresh in the abacos. we arrive there with fresh stuff in the fridge and a few things hanging in a net, but not a months' supply. we've never been bothered by customs.

we check in at green turtle. take a mooring ball in black sound and walk over to customs. they've never given us a bit of trouble, never wanted to board the boat, and i doubt they would hassle us for bringing in a couple of tomatoes.

my take is that the abacos are very dependent on tourism. as long as you appear to be a 'model citizen' they're happy to have you. to save money, load up on fuel and water and oil and filters and anything else you think you might need for the boat. they can be expensive - and sometimes hard to find - in the bahamas. if you're a beer drinker bring your own. liquor is about the same price. food staples like rice and beans and oatmeal are about the same. once you get above the 'staples' level it's more expensive, but not prohibitive.

maxwell's in marsh harbor is a stateside style super market. they have excellent fruits and veggies, but expect to pay for them. if you have a big freezer you might want to bring frozen veggies with you. there is also a large supermarket in treasure cay but not as big as maxwells.

just go there. i promise you that you will like the place. your wife will LOVE it. years from now you'll remember the good times you had there, and not the couple of extra dollars you had to spend for fresh oranges...
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