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Old 30-09-2008, 05:37   #16
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Finally, I know many of you are familiar with Macgregors....and...I know many people hate them, many people love them.

LOA: 26 Feet
Beam: 7' 9"
Ballast Water
Retractable Center Board: about 4 feet
Draft with dagger board Raised: 18 inches
50 HP Honda Outboard / Main Sail + Genoa
20 Gallons of Water, 24 Gallons of Fuel

Anyway, I know tons of people who sail the bahamas in them. But, does anyone have any opions on using the MAC to sail thoughout bimini, berrys, abacos, exuma, andros? Areas that I may want to avoid...or go to because of the capabilities.

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Old 07-03-2009, 01:21   #17
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My wife and I sailed to Bimini in February. I WOULD go to Bimini. The people were friendly, conch and lobster plentiful, weather great, and anchoring was fine. We left No Name harbour at 0230 and arrived in Bimini @ 1145. The trip was great. We went to Weech's Marina for a couple of days (.70 cents/ft.). Check-in took all of about 15 minutes and the officals were very friendly. We anchored out in front of Bimini Blue Water Marina and had great holding in sand. If you get out closer to the middle of the harbor, you do have a lot of current to worry about. We snorkled right across the channel behind Parrot Island and got all the conch we could eat. Also, next to the government buildings each afternoon, the lobster boat comes in. I bought HUGE lobster tails for $5 each. They were already cleaned. All I had to do was split them, add a little butter and garlic, and throw them on the grill.
We left Bimini and sailed around North Rock towards the Berry's. We both loved the Berrys. They were remote, quiet, and safe. I DO feel like others: 10 days might be enough for Bimini but, not Bimini and the Berrys. It's a LONG sail from Bimini to the Berrys. If you get over there and have any bad weather, you might get stuck in the Berrys for more than 10 days.
Have a safe trip and enjoy. Wish I were going with ya.
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Old 07-03-2009, 06:52   #18
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Few more questions on Bimini. During the crossing, what type of wave sizes did you see? Was it rough? How many hours is the average crossing? I have a sailboat but also a 50HP honda that allows me to do between 15 and 22 MPH....I would use the engine for the whole crossing....what kind of time do you think I would make?

Next, can anyone recommend....couple favorite anchorages, couple favorite beaches, couple favorite restaurants or shops? I'd be going for a mix of Bahamian town and then remote sparse great beaches and anchorages to just be alone. Maybe some sights like old wreck ruins..... PS does anyone have and .kap bbs charts for the Bahamas? I have the crossing charts but I'd like to get an idea of the biminis....

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Old 08-03-2009, 09:34   #19
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On the water we deal in nautical miles per hour - knots. It is 44 nautical miles from Miami to Bimini so divide by your speed in knots. Subtract about 10% or slightly more for having to angle into the Gulfstream which can flow at 2-4 knots northward.
- - It is best to not do a crossing when the winds have the word "north" in the direction. Southwest to south to southeast are the best wind directions.
- - Look for NOAA wind/wave charts and/or the coastal forecasts from Miami out 45-50 nm for sea conditions. The best is any wave reports under 4-5 feet - - Anything over 6-8 feet is rather nasty as the wave tend to shorten up and become very steep.
- - I usually have to wait 2 days to 2 two weeks for the optimum weather conditions and then have wonderful gentle crossings. If you are pressed for time then most likely you will get the awful crossings unless you are very lucky and your timing is perfect.
- - Powerboats make the crossing in a couple of hours but they are normally big boats that can handle big waves. Smaller boats at high speeds can be dangerous as the waves can flip you over if they are very high. That is why you want to wait for the calmest wave conditions you can find which will allow you to travel at higher speeds.
- - Be sure to get copies of the Explorer Charts books for the crossing and navigating inside the Bahamas. They are worth their weight in gold, so to speak. They are the most up-to-date of any Bahamas charts and will clearly show you the entry waypoints, routes and diagrams of all the various island harbors and anchorages along with a lot of "local knowledge" about the area you are interested in.
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Old 28-03-2009, 00:58   #20
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I just did this trip in early March! Don't know if "calmer" is the word, but the swells on the Gulf Stream were about 4 ft and wide.

You can see Gun Cay from Cat Cay and vice versa. Cat Cay Marina is twice as expensive as Bimini Sands Marina at South Bimini. Bimini Sands was pretty nice, do visit Mackey's Sand Bar for beautiful beaches (not secluded, but nice anyway). Don't know how many tourists in June, but March, we were about the only ones there. Gun Cay has nice beaches, but the west side is very rocky, so watch it. We anchored about 30 yds from the beach and depth was about 25 ft. North point beach is nice. There is a lighthouse (search web for pics) and an old abandoned church.
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Old 28-03-2009, 02:50   #21
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Bimini may disappoint, but stop to make your own opinion, but only North Bimini. Great anchorage in cove on south end of Cat Cay. Also, Nixon Harbor anchorage, South Bimini. Fuel at Chub Cay and Frazier's Hog at the Berry Island Club, which also has $10 moorings. Anchoring on the Bank (between Bimini and Chub) in settled weather will be a unique treat, especially on a full moon. Rushing will get you in trouble.
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Old 28-03-2009, 06:49   #22
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All though not quite the cruising grounds as the Exumas are, we always love Bimini for our first stop.

Our Gem also has a shallow draft and allows for a wider range of anchorages as well.

The North West side of Bimini has some really nice beaches that are all but empty as long as you stay south of the new "Bimini Bay" developement. We have anchored there over night with east winds, as long as we didn't have a swell off the stream. Then it can rolly. Also, just North of the old rusted freighter we like to anchor. From there it is a an easy dinghy ride or swim to shore and if you need a kalick, they are close by. Again, any swell off the stream can make it a uncomfortable overnight stay.

As you heasd south you have plenty of things to snorkle like the cement wreck (mentioned earlier) and all the rocks (turtle rocks etc).. From there we normally head back to Nixons Harbor on S. Bimini.. Shallow draft is a plus here as well.

From Nixons, you can head SE across the bank to catch the course line across the bank to Chubb.. Without winds on the bow, it is easily doable in daylight in April.

HoneyMoon harbor is pretty cool, but it is subject to swell and the holding isn't the best.. With winds other then east, we have had some nice nights on the East side of Gun with short dinghy ride to HM harbor...

Exploerer charts are the best.. Get some

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Old 25-05-2011, 15:12   #23
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Re: Ideas on Bimini and Berry Islands

I'm surprised nobody mentioned the swamp angels in the Berry's..... Bring Bug Spray!
Any fool with a big enough checkbook can BUY a boat; it takes a SPECIAL type of fool to build his own! -Capngeo
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