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pjvoyage50 09-03-2013 08:26

crossing to the exumas
 
We are leaving on Tuesday for Cat Cay to head over to the Exumas. My question is with winds forecast to be out of the NE at 25-30 knots on Thursday and Friday where can we get protection on the rest of the trip? We thought about the Chub Cay Marina but are not sure if it is open. Does anyone know? Is there a good place to anchor? What about anchoring around Nassau if we can make it there before the front hits?
We have explorer charts and the exuma guide but they do not really cover the crossing.
Thanks!
Silent Faith

Vasco 09-03-2013 08:36

Re: crossing to the exumas
 
Depends on where you're starting from but if you're starting from Miami you can make it to Nassau to clear in before Thursday. We go straight from Biscayne Channel to Nassau. If you're looking for anchorages you can anchor off Chubb, not a lot of room there but depending on your draft you can tuck in. I prefer going behind Frazers Hog Cay, you get a bit of wind against tidal current there but if you look for a patch of sand the holding is good. I heard the Marina in Chubb is open now, $100 to clear in but they give you a credit against dock charges or something. Personally I don't go in there.

Teknav 09-03-2013 08:37

Re: crossing to the exumas
 
Envious of your trip! Great sailing and SCUBA diving waters! Call a few hotels/inns located on the waterfront, and ask for anchorage suggestions; use Fodor's or Frommer's Bahamas travel guide. Confirm information obtained from several sources/hotels. Sail away! Mauritz

Group9 09-03-2013 08:42

Re: crossing to the exumas
 
My last trip, I went straight from no name harbor off of Biscayne Bay, went in south of Gun Cay and then anchored on the banks. The next day, I went into Chub Cay and cleared in there. There were only two other boats (November) and it was around $2.50 a foot if I remember right.

We sailed to Nassau with a NE wind of about 20 knots. There were 15 foot waves with 20 foot rollers going across the tongue of the ocean, but they were really far apart so it was kind of fun really, like going up and down hills.

The west entrance of Nassau was supposed to be bad with that kind of wind but I sailed into it (not by choice, I cranked my diesel up and it died about 500 yards from the entrance). I sailed on in and dropped the hook and cleared the fuel line (I guess all that up and downing on the trip over had stirred up crud from the bottom of the tank) and it was pretty calm considereing how hard the wind was blowing.

Every book says to call in on 16 and clear your entrance with Nassau Harbor Control (to avoid cruise ships coming out mainly). I couldn't get anyone to answer coming in, or going out. I don't think they really pay that much attention unless the cruise ships are in transit.

pjvoyage50 09-03-2013 08:48

Re: crossing to the exumas
 
Thanks! We are leaving from Biscayne Channel. So do you do an overnight and go thru Cay and Gun to NW light and then over?

Vasco 09-03-2013 08:50

Re: crossing to the exumas
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Group9 (Post 1180305)
the wind was blowing.

Every book says to call in on 16 and clear your entrance with Nassau Harbor Control (to avoid cruise ships coming out mainly). I couldn't get anyone to answer coming in, or going out. I don't think they really pay that much attention unless the cruise ships are in transit.

I've been in and out of Nassau harbour numerous times and Harbour Control has always answered when I hailed them. Call them on 16 and then switch to 9, their working channel.

Vasco 09-03-2013 08:53

Re: crossing to the exumas
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by pjvoyage50 (Post 1180311)
Thanks! We are leaving from Biscayne Channel. So do you do an overnight and go thru Cay and Gun to NW light and then over?

I go from Biscayne Channel to North Rock. This entry on to the Bank is the best one, straightforward, just one course change when you get abeam of the light, then on to Mackay Shoal and then NW Channel light. Nassau in less than 30 hours if all goes well, clear in in Nassau.

Group9 09-03-2013 08:53

Re: crossing to the exumas
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by pjvoyage50 (Post 1180311)
Thanks! We are leaving from Biscayne Channel. So do you do an overnight and go thru Cay and Gun to NW light and then over?

There would be nothing to stop you from doing that if you're timing was right. I wouldn't want to come into Nassau Harbor west entrance on my first try in the dark, no matter what the weather. Look at it on Google Maps and imagine hitting one of those breakwaters in the dark.

And, I have never cleared in Nassau, and I can't imagine a worst place to do it.

You can clear at Cat, too, and it's a lot easier to get into than even Bimini. But, you can't stay unless it's really bad weather, and they charge you pretty good.

Vasco 09-03-2013 08:55

Re: crossing to the exumas
 
Tuesday looks like a good day so far.

Vasco 09-03-2013 09:10

Re: crossing to the exumas
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Group9 (Post 1180320)
And, I have never cleared in Nassau, and I can't imagine a worst place to do it.

Clearing in at Nassau is very easy, the officer (just one now, no longer a customs officer and then wait for an immigration officer) comes to your boat. The Marina gives you all the forms and you wait for the officer to come to the boat, usually a short wait. Pay your $300 or less for a smaller vessel and that's it. If you wish to anchor you can dink to the Customs office at the Cruise line dock.

Kettlewell 09-03-2013 09:17

Re: crossing to the exumas
 
The others have covered most of it well, but I will just add that Chubb's anchorages are pretty uncomfortable in strong winds. The one off the west end of Chubb looks sheltered on the chart, and is probably the best in a strong NE wind, but a swell rolls in there around the point and it can be very lumpy. If you want to tuck in close to shore it is only 5-6 feet deep. The Franzier's Hog Cay anchorage is wide open to the NE, with only banks to knock down the seas somewhat--I wouldn't want to ride out a NE blow over there. Most of the anchorages in the Berrys have some easterly exposure except for Great Harbour Cay up at the north end. I haven't been in there in a long time, so I don't know what the current depths are like.

Matt Johnson 09-03-2013 11:18

We are leaving for the Bahamas on Tuesday morning too, but leaving from Lake Worth. Any suggestions on where to go if trying to get to the Exumas ASAP? Should we stop in Nassau and check in or is there a better place? Our goal is to get to Georgetown.


Thanks,

Matt

Kettlewell 09-03-2013 11:31

Re: crossing to the exumas
 
If you're on your way to the Exumas from Lake Worth Nassau is the logical place to clear in--it is right on your route.

pjvoyage50 09-03-2013 12:50

Re: crossing to the exumas
 
Thanks everyone for all the input. Looks like we will head out Tuesday am, anchor off Cat Cay and head off for Chubb Wednesday am. We found out that Chubb Cay Marina is open if the weather looks really bad but it would be pricey at $4.35 a foot! We will head for Nassau around the weather and maybe anchor at Rose Island then off to Highborne. As always, plans are flexible and subject to change. Can't wait! Maybe we will see you along the way, Matt!
Love this forum! :p

Matt Johnson 09-03-2013 13:33

Quote:

Originally Posted by pjvoyage50 (Post 1180474)
Maybe we will see you along the way, Matt!
Love this forum! :p

Just look for the couple with the deer in the headlights look. If they look like they know what they are doing, it's not us :)


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