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Old 10-02-2019, 12:06   #1
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Bahamas Advice

Presently in Chub Cay waiting on weather; wind 25 to 30 from the east.
Crossed Bahama bank yesterday from Bimini.
boat is 50 foot trawler, cruise 7 to 8 knots. (LeBlanc Brothers lobster boat, 50 tons).
Left Easton Md two weeks ago; Easton - Solomons - Hampton - broad creek - oriental - Charleston - Ft Lauderdale - Bimini - Chub Cay.
Have been using mostly predictwind but it seems that a 14 knot day is about the same as a 25 knot day. The present 25 to 30 is a no go for us. Boat will be fine but not much fun for us (me, wife). Have had boat for over 10 years longest cruises covering Yarmouth to Pensacola.
I am looking for any and all advice from experienced Bahamas hands (I have never been here before.)
I had planned to get down to a few spots (no pigs or other "big" attractions) in the exumas - maybe Conception island and work my way back through the Abacos. Roughly two weeks out and two weeks back from the east coast.
The weather rules of course and is really throwing a wrench into things.
-- Wait on weather, bailout, slog on.
I see three options:
Reverse course - back to Bimini, Lauderdale north to Maryland. But would like to see one bit of calm green water.
Wait on weather and get over to Highbourne or some place similar.
Slog on - only in an emergency; dont know much, but the big bad ocean scares me.
Any suggestions for a route from Chub up to the Marsh Harbor area?
Could put my wife on a plane there, wait for a weather window and make a quick run to beaufort.
I know this is a bit long but if anyone has experience in this area I would be glad to hear from you.
TBW
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Old 10-02-2019, 12:21   #2
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Bahamas Advice

Do you have an HF Radio?
This coming Wednesday looks to be a clam day, after that it looks like it will return to the average 10 to 15 kt days.

I look at an app called weather mate on the IPad, itís not Marine at all, but seems to be as accurate as Chris Parker or has been so far.

I would look at Eleuthera, once there, there is some excellent places to hide, Rock Sound and Hatchett Bay come to mind, just gotta get there.
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Old 10-02-2019, 12:34   #3
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Re: Bahamas Advice

TBW,

Weather is everything in the Bahamas when you are trying to go east. It's a good reason to find a place to wait that you like. :-) Across and just east of New Providence you will find Rose Harbor. A more protected place than Chub to wait. Closer to Naussa if you really need shore side facilities, but well removed from the busy harbor.

To move east comfortably, you will need to wait for a break. Looks like the middle of next week will give you a chance.

Not sure what kind of places you enjoy. Some places we know and like: Spainsh Wells at the Northern end of Eleuthera is one of our favorite towns in the Bahamas. Once you get there, you can work your way south on the west (lee) side of Eleuthera in normal trade wind weather without a problem. At the very southern tip of Eluthera you can wait for a weather window to cross Exuma Sound either anchored in Rock Sound, or in the Cape Eleuthera Marina, as you prefer.

In the Exumas, Highborne has a beautiful small marina/resort, and it is expensive. Wardwick Wells, the headquarters of the Exuma Park is delightful with 22 moorings, in the well protected harbor but NO facilities (not even a reliable cell signal). Black Point Settlement is a delightful small town. We are currently in Georgetown taking care of some business. If you are a social sailor this will be your heaven, there are over 200 boats here right now. We personally can't wait to head out to Conception Island for some peace and quiet.

You can check our blog and see what you might like of the places we have been this year and previous years.

http://fetchinketch.net
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Old 10-02-2019, 13:40   #4
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Re: Bahamas Advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by TBW View Post
Have been using mostly predictwind but it seems that a 14 knot day is about the same as a 25 knot day. The present 25 to 30 is a no go for us.
What do you mean by this? Are you saying that 14 knots is too much? I use Predictwind all the time and have been tracking the weather between Freeport and Nassau for the last week. There are no signs of 25 to 30 knot winds and quite a few sub 15 knot days. These distances are so small you should just hang for a day or two then go.

BTW, if your looking for something to really worry about, that's going through the cuts in a rage. IMO, that and reefs are about the only thing to worry about besides of course running out of rum.
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Old 10-02-2019, 14:11   #5
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Re: Bahamas Advice

Question about George Town, I have read that there is a $4,000 dollar fine to discharge there, but where or how do you pump out?
200 boats? do they fit easily?
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Old 10-02-2019, 14:26   #6
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Re: Bahamas Advice

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Question about George Town, I have read that there is a $4,000 dollar fine to discharge there, but where or how do you pump out?
200 boats? do they fit easily?
Where'd you read that?
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Old 10-02-2019, 14:37   #7
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Re: Bahamas Advice

There are no pump-out facilities in Elizabeth Harbour.
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Old 10-02-2019, 14:43   #8
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Re: Bahamas Advice

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Question about George Town, I have read that there is a $4,000 dollar fine to discharge there, but where or how do you pump out?
200 boats? do they fit easily?
Elizabeth Harbor is very large. 200 boats fit, although you will be close to your neighbor. I am told they put 400 and more here during the regattas. That might get crowded if you felt the need to be near town! The other day the 140 foot superyacht "Loon" found a place. I'll bet you could too.

One jerk gets on the radio when anybody comes close to him and announces that "I have 130 feet of chain out [in 7 feet of water depth], so consider that when you are choosing your spot." He's not a popular guy.

Yesterday a new arrival asked on the cruising net about the status of the pump out boat. They were told it sank years ago. Draw your own conclusions...

On the bright side, it is open to the sound both east and west so flushes well with the tides.

Most places in the Bahamas we would happily stop at again if we were going by. This is one we pass by when we can. Just not our style. I used to be a young curmudgeon. Now I am an old one. I consider any anchorage that forces me to take my shoes off to count boats to have too many for my tastes.
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Old 10-02-2019, 15:10   #9
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Re: Bahamas Advice

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There are no pump-out facilities in Elizabeth Harbour.
Still? Itís been 2 years since was last there and t was broke. Guess no much of a priority and yet the water still looked ok even with all those pumping out.
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Old 10-02-2019, 15:35   #10
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Re: Bahamas Advice

You could cruise up the Berry Islands, towards Great Harbour Cay.
https://www.bahamas.com/islands/berry-islands
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Old 10-02-2019, 16:50   #11
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Bahamas Advice

Quote:
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Where'd you read that?


Bahamas cruising guide, photo attached and one other place that I donít remember. I thought in the note of the Explorer charts but I donít see it now.
I just donít want to get caught up with a big fine is why I asked, even though it didnít make sense compared to everywhere else, I assume hopefully a non enforced regulation?
I didnít think there was really anywhere to pump out, but logic does not always apply to regulations.
Look under Harbormaster, last entry
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I will be needing to re-supply soon and hopefully have some things shipped to me, where I am now in Black Sound you canít even get milk.
I know I can do the shipping thing via Watermaker air in Staniel, and will if I have to.
I think the locals order their food to come on the mailboat, caused the two stores have very little and what they have is often dust covered.
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Old 10-02-2019, 17:03   #12
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Re: Bahamas Advice

This time of year it can blow non stop for weeks. I assume you are getting internet so use sailflow.com for the Nassau forecast. The standard wind forecast is pretty accurate, however, the wind speeds reported for Nassau are for the airport and will be much less than offshore. The wind prediction will be accurate for offshore.

Eventually, there will be a weather window. Looking at Sailflow.com now, it appears it will start to crack off Tuesday with the lightest day Wednesday. (don't trust me, keep checking yourself since timing may change. Also realize that sailflow uses two forecast models. The NAM is only for 3 days out, then the GFS is shown. Typically you will see a discontinuity at the 3 day point due to the change in model, but you can get a general sense of what will happen.

One of the roughest crossing I ever did in my Defever 48 was the run from Chub to Nassau. Steep 10ft+.

Secure everything you can, have lots of small prices of line available for quickly tying loose stuff down, wait for the best looking forecast and head into it at 5-6 kts. Start out early, since the wind will build by 11am. The waves there are steep but it's manageable. It's only 35 miles and if it's too much, head back to Chub or Whale Cay.

Good Luck, It's worth it.
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Old 10-02-2019, 17:07   #13
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Re: Bahamas Advice

Once you get to Nassau and leave into the Exumas you are behind the islands and the strong winds don't effect you so bad. (in normal wind direction/conditions) But once you leave for Georgetown from behind those islands it's a day of open water so you want decent weather.
Conception is cool but a bit exposed and a long trip out there from G town.
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Old 10-02-2019, 17:40   #14
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Re: Bahamas Advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
Bahamas cruising guide, photo attached and one other place that I donít remember. I thought in the note of the Explorer charts but I donít see it now.
I just donít want to get caught up with a big fine is why I asked, even though it didnít make sense compared to everywhere else, I assume hopefully a non enforced regulation?
I didnít think there was really anywhere to pump out, but logic does not always apply to regulations.
Look under Harbormaster, last entry
Attachment 185640

I will be needing to re-supply soon and hopefully have some things shipped to me, where I am now in Black Sound you canít even get milk.
I know I can do the shipping thing via Watermaker air in Staniel, and will if I have to.
I think the locals order their food to come on the mailboat, caused the two stores have very little and what they have is often dust covered.
There was a pump out boat a few years ago. The service was sporadic. The boat lasted a couple of years.

I take it you are in Black Point. Captain C should be in soon and the stores might have a few more items. GT will have a lot more.

Sail down to Musha then it's a short hop to GT. Cave Cay Cut is a great cut.
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Old 10-02-2019, 17:58   #15
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Bahamas Advice

Cave Cay is better than Farmers?
We have been here for the mail boat, and the bigger one, still not much in the stores.
Rock Sound seemed to me to be a pretty good place, still small but well supplied, gas, Diesel, small auto parts etc.

There doesnít seem to be as many places to hide in the Exumaís from a cold front where the wind will clock around out of the west as there is in the Abacoís.
Last cold front we spent in Pipe Creek which was well protected.
Itís why I was thinking for TBW that Eleuthera may be a good place for them as there are a couple of excellent hiding places, neither of which I think will fill up with boats
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