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Old 01-01-2022, 06:39   #1
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Bahama Banks

Chatting with some friends and recall a route from the tongue of the ocean south. On one chart it's called Queen Ann's Channel.
I remember water tankers running the area when I was with AUTEC.
Chart shows min. 2.5 metres of water.
Anyone else ever hear of it? Is it really transitable?
Thanx
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Old 01-01-2022, 07:24   #2
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Re: Bahama Banks

In the Bahamas, 6' is considered "deep water"......8' is "really deep" and 10' is "really, really deep".

I've criss-crossed the B'mas from north to south, east to west, there is usually a "route" to take you thru' or around tricky areas.

A B'mas guide book is your best bet to get around. Several editions by Steve Pavladis are available for the relevant sections of the B'mas.
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Old 01-01-2022, 08:18   #3
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Re: Bahama Banks

There are a number of channels heading south from the tongue of the ocean including Queens channel. Lark Channel is even plotted with waypoints on Explorer charts. I know a couple of people who have used Lark Channel though I have not done so my self. I don't know anything about the other channels. Thinking about it, they were both in catamarans, but unless your 35' sloop has an unusually deep draft Lark channel should be OK.
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Old 02-01-2022, 06:53   #4
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Re: Bahama Banks

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There are a number of channels heading south from the tongue of the ocean including Queens channel. Lark Channel is even plotted with waypoints on Explorer charts. I know a couple of people who have used Lark Channel though I have not done so my self. I don't know anything about the other channels. Thinking about it, they were both in catamarans, but unless your 35' sloop has an unusually deep draft Lark channel should be OK.
I draw 4 1/2 feet normally so no real worries there. The idea of only having little more than a foot or to under the keel is a bit disturbing.
Gonna look up Lark channel, thanx.
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Old 02-01-2022, 09:54   #5
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Re: Bahama Banks

If you sail in the B'mas....sooner or later....you will run aground....a 6' draft will run aground in 6'.....your 4.5' will run aground in 4.5'.

The Exuma's in particular are a good spot as the bottom terrain appears to undulate in places, and every once in a while you'll encounter a "ridge" or even several "ridges".

Groundings are usually not severe and if you're lucky you'll do so on a rising tide, I have....ahem....myself...on occasion..." touched bottom"....

My first ever trip to the B'mas was unnerving. You can see every blade of grass in that clear water. With only 12" or so under my keel at times, it was heart stopping, but after a period of time it all becomes pretty "normal"
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Old 02-01-2022, 10:28   #6
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Re: Bahama Banks

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...
My first ever trip to the B'mas was unnerving. You can see every blade of grass in that clear water. With only 12" or so under my keel at times, it was heart stopping, but after a period of time it all becomes pretty "normal"
I grew up sailing/boating in South Florida and the Keys so having a wee bit of water under the boat was no big deal. It is what was, so it was what one did. Really had no choice. Decades later we are in Washington state out of Anacortes and the water depth was amazing. The depth finder went blank a time or two. I could not believe the depth of the water.

At one point I was getting close to shore to try to avoid a sailboat, we were in a trawler, and people were getting nervous because we only had 25 feet or so of water under the keel.

It is all what one is used too I suppose.

Later,
Dan
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Old 02-01-2022, 12:37   #7
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Re: Bahama Banks

I think it is a "visual" thing..here on the east coast of Florida, the ICW is mostly a muddy brown with less then 6" visibility on a good day. Even the ocean, close to shore is not very clear either.
Lotsa people travel up and down the ICW with scant inches under their boat, but give it no thought, as the bottom can't be seen......" what you can't see, can't hurt ya" kinda thing.

But the B'mas with those crystal clear waters is another thing...I grew to love it, but it certainly caused heart palpitations on my first trip.
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Old 02-01-2022, 12:44   #8
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Re: Bahama Banks

I must say, I did some salmon fishing on Vancouver sound, which was new experience for me. I went with a guide. The water was quite deep....900' I think, when he informed me I had a fish on the line, then pointed to a tiny speck, at least 1/2 mile from the boat, which he informed me was my fish...I was completely unaware I had a fish on the line.
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Old 03-01-2022, 06:58   #9
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Re: Bahama Banks

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Originally Posted by MicHughV View Post
I think it is a "visual" thing..here on the east coast of Florida, the ICW is mostly a muddy brown with less then 6" visibility on a good day. Even the ocean, close to shore is not very clear either.
Lotsa people travel up and down the ICW with scant inches under their boat, but give it no thought, as the bottom can't be seen......" what you can't see, can't hurt ya" kinda thing.

But the B'mas with those crystal clear waters is another thing...I grew to love it, but it certainly caused heart palpitations on my first trip.
My first trip was to Lacaya years ago. A night arrival. Lost the channel marker light to background lights from hotels. So ... they kindly sent a small boat out for me to see the location. Depth metre read 20' and I could see the bottom with the spreader lights. Those were the days.
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Old 05-01-2022, 05:32   #10
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Re: Bahama Banks

The beauty of the Bahamas....in my humble opinion.....is the extraordinary color and clarity of the water...it is captivating to me....I've been to lotsa places that have clear water, but none to beat the Bahamas.
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Old 05-01-2022, 08:33   #11
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Re: Bahama Banks

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The beauty of the Bahamas....in my humble opinion.....is the extraordinary color and clarity of the water...it is captivating to me....I've been to lotsa places that have clear water, but none to beat the Bahamas.
Absolutely .. spent a lot of time diving off Grand Bahama and Andros where I was stationed. Amazing to be able to see over 100' horizontal. Or see the stars from 80' down on a night dive. Their lobster is quite tasty too.
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