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Old 11-05-2022, 07:46   #1
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Abacos to Nassau (then Exumas)

I am very excited as my 16 yo son asked if I would take him on an extended Bahamas sail. I said of course! (I just retired from special ed teaching and I can keep some of my charter business running in the early spring when I'm away). I'll have him complete his fall semester and then enroll him virtually for spring and set out mid January for 2 to 4 months. He wants to do the Abacos first, then the Exumas. We have experience in the Abacos, the Exumas will be a first (assuming he wants to continue our adventure). I will want to go to Nassau to reprovision.

My question is what is the best way to get there-straight from Cherokee or should we hop to Hole in the Wall first? Thanks for the advice, I'll be posting more questions in the near future.
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Old 11-05-2022, 12:51   #2
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Re: Abacos to Nassau (then Exumas)

I would go straight from the Little Harbor cut directly to Nassau. I would not want to arrive in Nassau afer dark. Its about 80 miles, and requiring an overnight to arrive in daylight. Cherokee Sound doesn't help much since it still requires an overnight. Hole in the Wall is not a good anchorage.

If you don't want an overnight, go from Little Harbor to Egg Island on the NW tip of Eluthera. This passage is about 50 miles and is typically done by leaving at first light and get in before dark. Egg island offers lots of anchoring options. From Egg, you can go on the inside for an easy trip, or on the outside for a faster trip.

Have fun....
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Old 11-05-2022, 13:04   #3
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Re: Abacos to Nassau (then Exumas)

And, unless sea conditions/current are adverse, you can leave from Little Harbor/south end of Lynyard day or night.



If you first time, just go out the cut in daytime and leave "breadcrumbs" on your GPS. Follow your "breadcrumbs" out any time of night for comfortable daytime arrival at your next destination.


And, if sea conditions aren't that great at Little Harbor/south end of Lynyard (like moderate to strong SE winds and outgoing tide) North Bar Channel at the north end of Lynyard is deeper and only a 4 miles further north.
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Old 11-05-2022, 18:48   #4
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Re: Abacos to Nassau (then Exumas)

May I offer another option? We have found Nassau to be unnecessary, from a cruising perspective. It works well for provisioning, and repairs and flights, but lacks the feel and vibe of the Bahamas that is present in the family islands.
Marsh harbour has a big grocery(I haven't been) and making your way south to eluthera allows reprovisioning in Spanish Wells, and rock sound. Both of which have pretty good stock and price.
From there Georgetown is accessible, which has a great store. Then working north is easy sailing.
Or cross to the top of exumas from eluthera and work your way down to Georgetown for another reprovision. Thompson bay in long Island also has a great grocery if you find yourself down there.
It sounds like a great winter with your son aboard! Have fun and enjoy the islands
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Old 12-05-2022, 03:05   #5
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Re: Abacos to Nassau (then Exumas)

Thanks for the replies. All solid advice and exactly what I was hoping for! I'll have more questions...
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Old 12-05-2022, 09:43   #6
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Re: Abacos to Nassau (then Exumas)

Maxwell's Supermarket is the large grocery store in Marsh Harbor and not too long a walk (1/2 mile) from the dingy dock.
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Old 12-05-2022, 14:31   #7
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Re: Abacos to Nassau (then Exumas)

Absolutely Maxwells in Marsh Harbor, then leave from Little Harbor and head for Spanish Wells, enter from the north side of St George's island, R&B for any repairs, they also have a large supermarket for last minute items, go down long side Current Island then to Highborne Cay or to Normans to visit the sunk airplane (pretty well encrusted). Go to Wardwick Wells to get a map of the Exuma Park and where the good diving spots are and learn about the ecology and pirates. Visit pigs on the beach near Staniel Cay and pick up the CD of 007 (Thunderball) swimming in the Thunderball Grotto. Touch the back of the Sand Sharks at the docks of Staniel Cay Yacht Club. Feed the Iguanas on a deserted cay just south of Staniel Cay, on you way to Blackpoint, see some Bahamians racing sailboat stored on land, and try to schedule a time to see them racing. Little Farmers Cay to feed the turtles, rays, and talk with Holland Rolle about crayfishing. The sunken piano near Rudder Cut Cay. Then be prepared for 300 plus boats in Elizabeth Harbor, Georgetown, and explore Crab Cay for perfect harbor for high winds. Have a great father/son adventure!
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Old 12-05-2022, 15:52   #8
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Re: Abacos to Nassau (then Exumas)

Thanks, Ranger! That itinerary looks great and it will give me ideas as I study my Explorer chartbooks.
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Old 12-05-2022, 17:45   #9
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Re: Abacos to Nassau (then Exumas)

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Originally Posted by Ranger2727 View Post
Absolutely Maxwells in Marsh Harbor, then leave from Little Harbor and head for Spanish Wells, enter from the north side of St George's island, R&B for any repairs, they also have a large supermarket for last minute items, go down long side Current Island then to Highborne Cay or to Normans to visit the sunk airplane (pretty well encrusted). Go to Wardwick Wells to get a map of the Exuma Park and where the good diving spots are and learn about the ecology and pirates. Visit pigs on the beach near Staniel Cay and pick up the CD of 007 (Thunderball) swimming in the Thunderball Grotto. Touch the back of the Sand Sharks at the docks of Staniel Cay Yacht Club. Feed the Iguanas on a deserted cay just south of Staniel Cay, on you way to Blackpoint, see some Bahamians racing sailboat stored on land, and try to schedule a time to see them racing. Little Farmers Cay to feed the turtles, rays, and talk with Holland Rolle about crayfishing. The sunken piano near Rudder Cut Cay. Then be prepared for 300 plus boats in Elizabeth Harbor, Georgetown, and explore Crab Cay for perfect harbor for high winds. Have a great father/son adventure!
This! Unless you want something esoteric like smoked duck breast, requiring a trip to Nassau, Maxwells in Marsh Harbour & Pinderís supermarket in Spanish Wells have probably all you need. There are no supermarkets in the Exumas but all the islands have staples & fresh vegetables-quality & selection is dependent on when the last mail boat arrived. Many have limited supplies of locally baked bread after 1100. Burkes @ Staniel Cay seems to have produce flown in too. The nurse sharks come up on the dock to be petted @ high tide @ Compass Cay Marina. Call Exuma Land & Sea Park @0900 the day before you arrive Warderick Wells Cay to get on the reservation list for the North Mooring field.
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Old 12-05-2022, 18:59   #10
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Re: Abacos to Nassau (then Exumas)

All great advice above. I did Abacos to Eluthera to Exumas and stopped to see Nassau on the way home just because I had never been there, highly recommend that route. Take your time and meet the people, I found them to be delightful. You won't starve if you skip Nassau.
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Old 12-05-2022, 20:14   #11
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Re: Abacos to Nassau (then Exumas)

My suggestion would be to do the opposite since your talking about going there in Jan. or Feb for up to 4 months right? I would cross to Bimini and enter there. Then cross the Band towards Nassau and reprovision, then head south through The Exumas. Further south that time of year the better the weather and hopefully not as many northern fronts reach you as they more definitely might in early winter up in The Abacos. Then I would probably jump to Long Is., then Cat and up to Eleuthera on the way back north to The Abacos where when your finished and ready to jump back the the US you head out from there.
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Old 13-05-2022, 03:29   #12
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Re: Abacos to Nassau (then Exumas)

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Originally Posted by wannacat View Post
My suggestion would be to do the opposite since your talking about going there in Jan. or Feb for up to 4 months right? I would cross to Bimini and enter there. Then cross the Band towards Nassau and reprovision, then head south through The Exumas.

Further south that time of year the better the weather and hopefully not as many northern fronts reach you as they more definitely might in early winter up in The Abacos.

Then I would probably jump to Long Is., then Cat and up to Eleuthera on the way back north to The Abacos where when your finished and ready to jump back the the US you head out from there.
Indeed.
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Old 13-05-2022, 04:53   #13
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Re: Abacos to Nassau (then Exumas)

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Originally Posted by chris mac View Post
May I offer another option? We have found Nassau to be unnecessary, from a cruising perspective. It works well for provisioning, and repairs and flights, but lacks the feel and vibe of the Bahamas that is present in the family islands.
Marsh harbour has a big grocery(I haven't been) and making your way south to eluthera allows reprovisioning in Spanish Wells, and rock sound. Both of which have pretty good stock and price.
From there Georgetown is accessible, which has a great store. Then working north is easy sailing.
Or cross to the top of exumas from eluthera and work your way down to Georgetown for another reprovision. Thompson bay in long Island also has a great grocery if you find yourself down there.
It sounds like a great winter with your son aboard! Have fun and enjoy the islands
This good advice would be my choice.
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Old 13-05-2022, 05:29   #14
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Re: Abacos to Nassau (then Exumas)

I like the Abaco's. These days, it is the less travelled route. I've always done the Little Harbor to Royal Island jump.....easy day sail...easy approach, etc.
From there you can decide whether or not you want to go to Nassau or elsewhere.

Most anywhere you go, one island will disappear over the horizon as the next hoves into view.

Groceries, supplies, etc, can be found most anywhere....
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Old 15-05-2022, 17:40   #15
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Re: Abacos to Nassau (then Exumas)

Thanks for all the advice. My initial thoughts were to go to Bimini-Chub-Exumas, then Abacos. But my son really wants to do the Abacos initially, so that's what we'll probably do. If he's not ready to go home by the time we get to the southern Abacos, thanks to your collective advice, I will plan on Little Harbor to Egg Island and reprovision in Spanish Wells and make way for the Exumas from there. I'll have more questions in the coming months.
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