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Old 27-03-2021, 06:38   #1
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Question Bahamas verse Caribbean

So we had a real crappy 16 hour trip here in the Bahamas the other day. It was one of those trips that result in conversions with your spouse of getting out of boating and moving on to something else. This is our third time in the Bahamas so our exceptions of the place has lowered to the reality of what it really is (and that is OK). But last year the plan was to come to the Bahamas and then continue to the Caribbean, but Corvid arrived. This year Corvid still is causing too many restrictions so we will be going back to US next month. So that now means the 2020 Bahamas to Caribbean plan is now moved to 2022, maybe.

This brings me back to the crappy trip that makes you think of moving on from boating. I have done enough planning on how to get to the caribbean from the Bahamas to know we face some crappy trip sections. So given that we feel the Bahamas does not meet up to a lot of expectations, will the caribbean?

What do others that have cruised both feel? Is the caribbean experience over the Bahamas worth the crappy crossing parts? I want to go, but worry all i will get is “We went through that crap just for this!”

In my mind the difference between the Bahamas and the Caribbean is like the difference between the desert and the mountains. I wonder if this is even close.
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Old 27-03-2021, 06:56   #2
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Re: Bahamas verse Caribbean

The Caribbean is different, than the Bahamas; and might be more to your taste.
However, since you weren’t particularly satisfied with your Bahamian experience[s], I suspect you may also be disappointed in the Caribbean.
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Old 27-03-2021, 07:28   #3
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Re: Bahamas verse Caribbean

What was so crappy about the trip?
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Old 27-03-2021, 07:36   #4
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Re: Bahamas verse Caribbean

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What was so crappy about the trip?
One persons crappy is another’s dream vacation.
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Old 27-03-2021, 07:48   #5
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Re: Bahamas verse Caribbean

Sailor Boy

I guess we should start by asking what about the Bahamas do you find "underwhelming". I am not a cruiser but I have barefooted in the Bahamas and the carribean. I personally did not enjoy the Bahamas. I found the sailing not very fun.
I know that in the carribean, when I go ashore, I often find it a bit depressing. There seems to be alot of poverty and not all the islands are really clean etc. Obviously this varies between islands.
So I guess the question for you would be "what is disappointing you about the Bahamas?"

dwh
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Old 27-03-2021, 07:48   #6
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Re: Bahamas verse Caribbean

Just don’t come to the Bahamas in the winter and early spring when it’s so damn windy......
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Old 27-03-2021, 07:54   #7
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Re: Bahamas verse Caribbean

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Originally Posted by sailorboy1 View Post

What do others that have cruised both feel? Is the caribbean experience over the Bahamas worth the crappy crossing parts?
While i understand how threads go, this is the only part i am interested in. If i start replying to what a crappy trip is or what the Bahamas are like that is all the thread will become.
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Old 27-03-2021, 08:08   #8
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pirate Re: Bahamas verse Caribbean

Never been to the Bahamas but can talk about the Caribe..
Unlike the Bahamas each island is a different country, even the French Islands like St Barts (95% white) compared to Guadalupe..
If your prepared to get out and about as opposed to hanging out at the Expat bars it can be a rewarding experience.
While there I use local busses as opposed to taxi's to get around.
I love the areas and variety.. but then I love Marmite..
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Old 27-03-2021, 08:26   #9
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Re: Bahamas verse Caribbean

Several differences.

Having been to both areas, I'd be inclined to say that the Caribbean is more tourist oriented, while the B'mas are more sailor oriented. Folks fly in, rather than sail there. While there are individuals sailing their own boat, they typically arrive from Europe, rather than the US.

The B'mas, due to it's proximity to the US, is pretty much inundated with US boats, and foreign flagged vessels are a rarity..

The Caribbean is made up of several nationalities, whereas the B'mas, with all it's island groups , is still only one nation.

The Caribbean tends to be more mountainous, whereas the B'mas are flat as a pancake.

If diving is your thing, hands down, the B'mas have it.

If you wanted to head to the Caribbean from say...Florida,I'd be inclined to say, sail to Bermuda first. That is a 7-10 day trip, but an easier ride to go south from there. Leaving from the US is a windward slog the entire way to the Caribbean. You will likely hear your diesel the entire way.

Each island group in the B'mas is different from the rest, have their own flavor. For instance, you get the mega crowds in Elizabeth harbor, but will find only a handful of boats in the Raggeds.

In between are the Turks and Caicos Islands. They see little sailboat activity. Usually some sailboats doing the so-called " Thorny Route"...it's not a sailboat friendly place in my view. Hard to get there, few anchorages, etc....

I've spent both winter and summer in the B'mas. My preference is the spring thru' autumn time as the weather is more settled and warmer.

Hurricanes are a threat everywhere...which is why a lot of people make either the B'mas or Caribbean a "winter" destination.
Though hurricane season starts on June 1, I don't think there is any rush to leave the B'mas by then....at least not for me....

Hope my perspective throws some ideas out there for you..
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Old 27-03-2021, 08:31   #10
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Re: Bahamas verse Caribbean

Having done a lot of Bahamas and a good bit of Caribbean, I might put it, quite simplistically, this way.

With the exception of a few spots (Nassau, Freeport, Georgetown) the Bahamas have few people, stores, shopping, restaurants and bars, etc. In general the Caribbean islands have more of all the civilized amenities IE people, stores, shopping, restaurants, bars, etc. In general, more options and variety for food and restaurants.

Most Caribbean islands are friendly and laid back, some are not so friendly and have a high risk of mugging or dinghy disappearance,

Bahamas mostly small, flat, dry islands. Caribbean many larger, mountainous, lush islands. Some in between smaller and mostly flat and mostly dry.
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Old 27-03-2021, 08:47   #11
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Re: Bahamas verse Caribbean

something to consider......

I did a trip to the Chesapeake Bay once....I had a fabulous time, 100's of places to see, good sailing, anchorages everywhere, delicious crab to eat....lots of history....I had a blast....loved every second of it. You could spend a year there and not see it all....

Have also sailed up to Maine. Also a fun trip, but can be difficult, fog and crab pots....

It's a long trip by ICW, but can be done in bits and pieces or in one go....
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Old 27-03-2021, 09:01   #12
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pirate Re: Bahamas verse Caribbean

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Originally Posted by MicHughV View Post
something to consider......

I did a trip to the Chesapeake Bay once....I had a fabulous time, 100's of places to see, good sailing, anchorages everywhere, delicious crab to eat....lots of history....I had a blast....loved every second of it. You could spend a year there and not see it all....

Have also sailed up to Maine. Also a fun trip, but can be difficult, fog and crab pots....

It's a long trip by ICW, but can be done in bits and pieces or in one go....
Sailor Boy came down from up that way so doubt he'll be excited by the suggestion..
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Old 27-03-2021, 09:05   #13
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Re: Bahamas verse Caribbean

The E Caribe gives more of a cultural experience I guess, like the French Islands, food, cafes etc. So if you desire more of that then go. But anchorages can be crowded, water dirty etc too.
To me, my favorite part of the entire E Caribe is the Bahamas though. There is just so much gunkholing etc available, clean clear water.
But too much of anything can be too much I suppose.

Past the Bahamas I enjoyed most the DR, St Martin/Guadeloupe and Trinidad for the culture.
It's really what you want that should drive it. Are you a snorkeler, diver, like the outback and isolation? or do you want to food a drink and to party! Although it's not black or white either way. :>)
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Old 27-03-2021, 10:06   #14
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Re: Bahamas verse Caribbean

yep, B'mas gets my vote....I've crossed over there at least 60 times...my own boat, others, etc....never gets tiring for me....it's the color of that water there I think...magical....no brainer I think.....but winters can be iffy...dem norther's can make it down there...stir things up a bit...
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Old 27-03-2021, 10:38   #15
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Re: Bahamas verse Caribbean

Buy a house in Detroit. You'll still be unhappy but at least you won't be disappointed....
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