Places not to miss in the Bahamas? - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 01-26-2007
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Places not to miss in the Bahamas?

Ok,

So my Bahamas trip is starting to come together. Thanks so far for all the advice I've gotten from members on here. Now I'm looking for a little more.

Here's the outline of the trip -- I'm looking to fill in the details -- well, at least have suggestions of places to go anyways.

We'll leave from Mobile in Mid-may and make a passage to the Dry Tortugas.

After a few days exploring there and weather permitting, it'll be over to either Key West for a day, or straight on around and up to either E. coast of Florida or straight to Bimini.

Any advice on the best route to do this? Key West isn't required, and I've had Bimini recommended as a good port of entry for the Bahamas, but that's not set in stone.

About 16 - 18 days after leaving Mobile we'll need to arrive at Nassau (or some other good airport). We're going to exchange some crew memebers (some flying down, some flying back).

Then we've got about 15 - 18 days to explore again, and need to come back to Nassau for another crew exchange.

After that drop off, the plan is: have fun, explore, and arrive in Mobile by the end of June (probably another 15 - 18 days again)

So, given our time constraints, and our resulting cruising radius - are there any suggestions on places to visit?

Also, Nassau just seems to be the most convenient and reasonably priced airport, but if there are other suggestions as a pick-up / drop-off point in the Bahamas, that'd be useful information as well.

Thanks for all your suggestions and help so far!

Cheers,

Pelham
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Old 01-26-2007
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Pelham,

Nassau is a handy place to pick up crew but not the best spot to leave a boat unattended. The crime rate is high and anchored boats are not too secure if unattended. You will have to put your boat in a marina. If you are stuck here for a few days go out to Rose Island, nice little spot unless the swells are rolling in from anywhere with a northerly component. If you want fun ashore join some cruisers and go out to the Bacardi factory.

For 15 -18 days cruising, my first choice would be the Exumas. Do the northermost cays down to Staniel. If needed crew can fly out of Staniel. Newbies normally do Allens Cay, Highborne Cay, Normans Cay, Shroud Cay, Warderick Wells and then Staniel. Unless you really want to see iguanas running down to be fed I would skip Allens and Highborne and go to Normans directly. You could stay in this area for two weeks if you wished. Use Pavlidis' guide, it's the best. Make sure you explore the creeks that lead to the ocean on Shroud Cay. This is one of my favourite spots. 18 days will disappear fast but you can get back to Nassau fairly quickly if the weather cooperates and in May it should be getting a bit better as far as fronts go.

Picture is of a sunken Haitian boat off Shroud Cay.

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Last edited by Vasco; 01-26-2007 at 02:39 PM.
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Old 01-26-2007
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camaraderie is a jewel in the rough camaraderie is a jewel in the rough camaraderie is a jewel in the rough
Pelham...good post...it is nice to see someone think something thru before asking for the thoughts of others!
You can certainly do what Vasco says and I agree with him about Nassau crime...but if you are willingto pay the outrageous fees at the better marinas, there is total safety and that may be a realistic option for you given the ease and cost of flying into Nassau. One problem with Nassau is that it is not easy to get to from where you will want to cruise and possible wather delays, boat gear failures etc. can put your schedule in jeopardy.

The alternative I would also suggest looking at is sailing to the Abacos and using the Marsh Harbor airport to shuttle crews. MHH has several flights from West Palm Beach and Ft. Lauderdale daily and you can use the deep discount airlines to get to WPB or FLL. The flights over to MHH take about 30 minutes and are not that expensive. By cruising and traveling to the same destination you eliminate worries about scheduules and have more time to enjoy the cruising.
May/June is the best time of year in the Abacos and there is wonderful sailing in protected waters...lots of different islands and wonderful reefs to explore and US style provisioning in the MHH supermarkets...all without the need to make a passage to pick up/exchange crews.
Getting there is not difficult...you would sail up to Ft.Lauderdale and make the 80 mile gulf stream crossing to West End Grand Bahama ....the stream helps you north and this generally takes 8 hours or so. From there, a couple of day sails with nice anchorages put you in the middle of the Abacos.
If this has appeal, I can provide more specifics on routing and charts/guides required as well as things to do and places to stop.
The Abacos can also be reached more quickly from Miami via the new providence channel but this involves a longer ocean crossing and a bit more difficult sailing and navigation...but is still done by many. All depends on theadventure you are up for!
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Old 01-28-2007
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If you decide to spend some time in the Exumas, Staniel Cay was one of my favorite spots. Thunderball Grotto is there and is a great place to snorkel and the Staniel Cay Yacht Club is fun(free wifi). If you go to the Abacos, get Steve Dodges guide. Hopetown is a nice island right across from Marsh Harbor, Great Guana Cay is fun with Nippers and the Sunset Beach Club and I had good snorkeling at Fowl Cay and Sand Cay.
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