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Old 05-12-2021, 05:02   #1
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If you only had the summer for the Bahamas...

Ok, I know hurricane season is the major problem in this scenario but...

My wife is a teacher, and of course has summers off. I am about to (hopefully) retire. If we only had the summer to cruise - how late and where would you stay in the Bahamas ? We are based in North Florida.

Some thoughts I had were to leave early and get the boat down to maybe Exumas and she could fly in and we work our way back up ?

The time frame we would have is about mid-May to end of July, which of course is after the start of the hurricane season. This seems pretty short to me. We also think about just having her take a sabbatical.

Any thoughts/ideas ?
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Old 05-12-2021, 05:55   #2
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Re: If you only had the summer for the Bahamas...

Just plan your trip knowing where the hurricane holes are. Summer is excellent - you will have the place almost to yourself.

And generally speaking, it’s August-October when the season really cranks. But of course there are always exceptions, which is why you plan around proximity to hurricane holes
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Old 05-12-2021, 06:35   #3
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Re: If you only had the summer for the Bahamas...

Great Harbour has got to be the best hurricane hole ever. It's also a really fun small port. If I were looking for a base in the Bahamas during hurricane season, I would choose it. There is anchorage space available in the outer harbor if the marina is full.

Hurricane season does not mean no cruising. The worst of the season is after school opens, for starters. Second, hurricanes are not a weekly event. My location in the Florida panhandle did not get even a tropical storm in the season just over. Hurricane season, viewed from afar, can look like people in the eastern US consider California earthquakes or Americans view Australia vemonous wildlife. We live with the potential for hurricanes about as others live with the threats in their parts of the world. Be prepared, but go about your life. In your case, watch the weather and have the means to get close to a hurricane hole when there's a threat, and into one when it becomes a reality.

Most hurricanes give plenty of warning, with the cone of probable exposure gradually narrowing. Perhaps the worst failure of that scenario was Hurricane Michael in 2018. It went from a disturbance near the Yucatan Peninsula to hitting us in about 72 hours. Usually, you've got at least a week to make plans.
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Old 05-12-2021, 09:47   #4
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Re: If you only had the summer for the Bahamas...

My wife and I were NE Florida (Jacksonville) teachers before retirement and we spent many summers in the Bahamas.

Our typical route was to West End, Settlement Point, from either Lake Worth Inlet or Port Everglades and entering Grand Bahama Bank at Indian Cay passage with an anchorage at Mangrove Cay or Center of the World Rock in nice weather. Sometimes we would choose to anchor at Allens-Pensacola with a day trip to Mangrove Cay. Mangrove Cay is a step off the usual path, but fantastic snorkeling on the reef to the east side.

From here we enjoyed Green Turtle, Guana Cay, Marsh Harbor, Hope town and Little Harbor before heading home. We were only caught by one hurricane before returning to Florida, but we did well safely up the turns in the canal to Jack Tar Marina (now by another name) at West End.
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Old 05-12-2021, 15:22   #5
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Re: If you only had the summer for the Bahamas...

Ok, I'm liking what I'm hearing, mainly that the idea is not the worst thing I've ever come up with.

As a native Floridian I'm obviously well schooled in hurricane etiquette, and it's true that todays weather forecasting is fairly decent at predicting tracks - within reason of course.

Definitely food for thought, thank you.
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Old 05-12-2021, 16:01   #6
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Re: If you only had the summer for the Bahamas...

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Originally Posted by OldManMirage View Post
.................
.............. it's true that todays weather forecasting is fairly decent at predicting tracks - within reason of course........
We start looking for a safe hideout when a hurricane could strike us in three days.
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Old 05-12-2021, 16:11   #7
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Re: If you only had the summer for the Bahamas...

Not to be a downer, but be sure to factor insurance coverage into your plans.
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Old 05-12-2021, 16:17   #8
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Re: If you only had the summer for the Bahamas...

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Not to be a downer, but be sure to factor insurance coverage into your plans.
I suspect with the changes in boat insurance during the past 3 years, no one will cover a boat in the Bahamas during hurricane season now. At least not for any reasonable amount of money. I would just get liability coverage and call it a day.
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Old 06-12-2021, 03:42   #9
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Re: If you only had the summer for the Bahamas...

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I suspect with the changes in boat insurance during the past 3 years, no one will cover a boat in the Bahamas during hurricane season now. At least not for any reasonable amount of money. I would just get liability coverage and call it a day.
Yeah, that's almost always what I do when I own a boat. I am not in the bracket that has so much boat that it makes sense to do otherwise.
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Old 06-12-2021, 06:13   #10
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Re: If you only had the summer for the Bahamas...

I have spent 50 summers in The Bahamas and firmly believe the Abaco"s are the best. As the earlier reply said, it is easy to access from Stuart or West Palm and if you want to stay into August you have to option to get back to East Florida in a couple of days travel.
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Old 06-12-2021, 08:17   #11
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Re: If you only had the summer for the Bahamas...

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I have spent 50 summers in The Bahamas and firmly believe the Abaco"s are the best. As the earlier reply said, it is easy to access from Stuart or West Palm and if you want to stay into August you have to option to get back to East Florida in a couple of days travel.
What he said.

However, the rest of the Bahamas, depending on what winds your clock, are also great.

In the runup to Dorian, we came back to Vero Beach from the very south of the Sea of Abaco (Pete's Pub area), thinking we were going into the path; it turned out to be of no event, but Marsh Harbour was flattened.

But the snorkeling and protected sailing are absolutely stunning, and if you live anywhere near (north or south of it by 60 or so miles) Lake Worth/Palm Beaches, you can be in Grand Cay in less than a day, to start your adventure. You might also, by then, be able to go to Walker Cay to check in, and while in the area, dinghy off the NW end of it for a few miles for the huge reef there (if you're into reef snorkeling).

In any event, if it weren't for the fact that we're getting (read: I'm being forced) off the boat, that's where I'd be right now, and happy to be there in the summer, where the breezes are mild, the nights are warm but not stifling, the water is clear, and the other boats are few and far between.

Pic is our pre-Dorian track back to the mooring in Vero Beach; it was - including an overnight out in front of Nippers/Grabbers - less than 2 days. Our trips, including having to do southing from Ft. Pierce to near Lake Worth, to Grand, are 30 hours...
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Old 06-12-2021, 09:05   #12
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Re: If you only had the summer for the Bahamas...

Thanks for asking the question. My wife also works in public schools (counselor), we are just a little further South and a few years behind you, but having those discussions already.

-Steve
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Old 06-12-2021, 12:21   #13
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Re: If you only had the summer for the Bahamas...

I was a school teacher(retired now) and cruised the Bahamas for 35 years been to Exumas, Biminis, Harbor Island, Grand Bahama, and the Abacos. By far the Abacos are our favorite. Plus if a hurricane threatens you can get to Florida in 2 days.
Enjoy the Islands. we have,
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Old 06-12-2021, 12:25   #14
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Re: If you only had the summer for the Bahamas...

Yep, while I don't believe there's no such thing as a stupid question, this was one of my better ones.

One thing I've learned from this forum is there is a wealth of knowledge available here in the form of people who have been there and done that. It would be a foolish Captain who didn't ask their thoughts. I've got years of sailing experience, but it's all been mostly local. I need to know where to go, when to go there, what to look out for, where I should go next....and on and on.

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Old 06-12-2021, 18:44   #15
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Re: If you only had the summer for the Bahamas...

I have never been to the Bahamas except in summer. Took our boat every summer to either Grand Bahama, Abaco, Bimini, Walkers, Eleuthera. Next trips will be Andros and Exuma. Only been in the airport in Nassau. Diving is fantastic in June, July and August and the water is so warm you can spend the whole day free diving for dinner. Of course hurricanes are a problem, so be prepared mentally and financially to walk (or fly) away from your vessel. I would rather spend my summer days in Abaco than the Florida Keys. Just cant get in your car and drive off when the storms approach.
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