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  #1  
Old 04-26-2008
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Abaco Links?

Hey Guys,

Weather permitting, I'm heading out of Jupiter Inlet on the 8th/9th of May at midnight. Planning on entering the bank south of Memory Rock and continue onto Great Sale Cay for the first night. Once there, open plans.

Reason for the Thread:

Looking for all available info as far south as Treasure Cay. Any links, sugesstions, gotta sees, have to eat here, good bar, Fishing (sling and spear), Docks that apply bar bill to dock charges , wrecks 30' or less, protected anchorages, downloadable Bahama digital or PDF charts. Anything that you wish to add... please post it.

How long is my permit ($300!!!) good for? Any extentions? I would like to leave the boat and just fly back and forth for awhile.

Thanks again in advance. I know it's a lot, but this group usually really comes up with some good info that individuals just wouldn't even think about.

I will post a trip report and pictures on the return.
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Old 04-26-2008
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SP, First I would leave from Lake Worth rather than Jupiter so that your not fighting the Stream. I take it that you hope to get to Great Sale in one shot and if so I would use the Little Bahama Bank way point as my entry point as this makes better use of the stream's push. From my experience you can get at least 6 months on your cruising permit. We cleared in at New Plymouth on Green Turtle Cay and they were very flexible about the time asking what we wanted. Also in White Sound both marinas let you "eat the dock". Great Guana Cay has some establishments that you probably don't want to miss - Nipper's, Docksiders and Grabbers. They also have good reefs for diving. If you make iy as far south as Marsh Harbour, The Jib Room has great rib's on Wednesday night and a fabulous Steak night on Saturday. Treasure Cay has a great all weather anchorage that is protected on all sides. The Treasure Cay beach is rated amoung the top 10 in the world and be sure and go to Cafe La Florence in the morning for her sticky buns. Many people like to spend time at Allen-Pensacola Cay and Manjack Cay. We were kinda rushing both ways when we passed them but if you want to be alone they too are very nice. Hope you enjoy the Abacos.
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Old 04-26-2008
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I will ditto most everything Ebs said BUT the "eat your dockage" specials at the green turtle club and bluff house marinas expires at the end of March so that little perk is not available this time of year. Let me add a few things:

If you like to Scuba..Brendels in Green Turtle has some nice day trips (2 tank) to the back side of Manjack Cay which is quite nice.

For lobster...walk south from Nippers on Great Guana to High Rocks point and snorkle out to the reefs. OR try the reefs between Elbow Cay ad ManoWar if you get that far south.

Guana Cay has moorings for rent from Troy for $15 bucks OR you can go to the north side of Delias Cay and anchor there for access to the island. There is also a good anchorage on the south side of Manjack Cay near the on shore house (wifi available).

Treasure Cay entrance is shoal so you need o catch it on 1/2 tide or better. There is a small anchorage with only a couple of moorings and holding is spotty so make sure you are well set before going ashore. If you pay $8 a day...they will let you use the showers and bathroom and pool and the beach is lovely. To GET to Treasure Cay from Green Turtle you will need to go out in the ocean around the Whale Cay passage so you need to make sure the passage is "open" and not a rage sea. The cruisers net comes on channel 68 each AM at 8:15 and will give you weather and whale caypassage info as well as all the other stuff that is going on. From the "Whale" all the other Cays are only a morning or afternoon sail...so there is no need to restrict yourself to just treasure cay.

The Dodge Guide to Abaco is the BEST resource for all navigation and on shore info about the Abacos.

I agree with Ebs that leaving from Lake Worth is a better choice but I use the Memory Rock waypoint to get to Great Sale as you plan to do with no issues at all.

The Jib Room in Marsh Harbor is GREAT on Wednesdays and Saturdays...but Snappas Bar/Grill on the other side of the harbor is excellent at other times for a cold Kalik and an excellent burger etc..

Have a great trip!
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Old 04-26-2008
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We just took our sailboat to Marsh Harbor where it resides currently. Hopefully the following alternative transportation notes will help. If you need to head back to the States while the boat is there we have flown 2 small local operations - Yellow Air Taxi and Continental which fly to FLL and West palm regulary. And Regional Air which will take you to Freeport for $80 where more flexible flights are available. All three 3 take off from T Cay but only fit 9 people (continental a bit larger). We keep the boat at the dock when there is a brisk breeze gusting over 20/25 and take a ferry ($15 round trip) to the outer islands. They run frequently and have found them very dependable.

As noted above, we have have found the Jib Room food on Wed and Sat one of the best out there and an excellent value - and Im in the hospitality buis. Steaks are about 2" thick or more and hand cut from sirloins that day. Ribs are something out of a Flinstone's movie and fall off the bone. BUT YOU NEED TO MAKE RESERVATIONS ASAP as they limit there production and sell out fast. Aside from great chefs, they are wonderful folks. Its about a $60/$75 cab ride though from T Cay to marsh harbor. Ditto on Snappas and Conch Inn next door has 2nd floor open air bar that overlooks harbor for cool sunsets (also wireless internet). Several hardware stores are walking distance in Marsh Harbor if needed but $$$.
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Old 04-27-2008
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Cam, the prices at Treasure Cay have gone up. They are now $10 to anchor and $12 for a mooring ball. You said it was a small anchorage. One time this past winter there were 54 boats anchored in that harbour.
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Old 04-27-2008
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Thanks for the info so far guys.

I'm going to fight the current from Jupiter because I can load the wife and kids out the back door (on Jupiter inlet) and onto the boat around 9pm and get them to sleep on the way over. With even the 20 degree crab correction into the stream's flow, time works out better. Going down to lake worth adds a day with possible weather wait on hook. I can wait for weather in my living room, load passengers on a boat ready and waiting. Dock to Atlantic 3-5 minutes, even with 3 extra hours in the stream, time works better on a trip "flow" schedule rather then "breakwater to mermory rock" chart.

My hunter makes 7.5kts under power I plan for 6 kts, but with a 20 degree correction into stream I figure 5.0-5.2 kts which equals 9.5 hours to the Bank.

Let me know if you see a "Flaw" in this plan? I'm open to insight. Thats why I like this site, individuals that have varying degrees of importance while sailing. Getting across in the shortest time just is not one of mine. Drinking a thermos of warm expresso coffee at 4am mid stream... now thats more me.

Anyone else have more info please keep the post going and again thanks for all insight, info, recommendations, etc..
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Old 04-27-2008
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No flaw as long as it is settled conditions.

Ebs...thanks for the pricing update. 54 boats in there??They musta had their fenders out!!
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Old 04-27-2008
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If you're going to leave from Jupitor it makes more sense to make your first Bahama waypoint "Little Bahama Waypoint" to reduce your southing while in the stream and you will not have to go north to get to great sail anchorage from "Memory Rock Waypoint".
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Old 04-27-2008
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As usual, good advice from all.

Cruising permits are issued for 1 year and may be renewed 2 times. Renewal for my Hunter 30 was $500/year. At the end of the 3 year period you must either remove your boat from the Bahamas or pay the import duty. If you leave the Bahamas you can return, buy another cruising permit, and the clock starts all over again.

I've kept my boat in the Abacos since 2004, flying back as often as possible. Most of my time was spent at Sea Spray Marina on Elbow Cay. They took very good care of the boat and were great people to deal with. Unfortunately, dockage prices have gone through the roof. Off season rates (Sept-Feb) now run around $.65/ft/day, but jump to $.90/ft/day during peak season.

If you plan to fly back and forth as I do, you may find it more economical to dry store your boat at Abaco Yacht Services on Green Turtle Cay or rent a mooring ball in Man-o-War or Hopetown. There may also be some long-term moorings available on GTC.

If you choose to keep your boat in the GTC/Treasure Cay area, plan to fly in and out of Treasure Cay Airport. Otherwise, you'll have to take a $70 to and from Marsh Harbour. Several airlines provide daily service from the States.

As far as diving and snorkeling go, you've got lots of great choices- Brendal's on GTC, Treasure Divers at TC, Dive Guana, Froggies in Hopetown, and Dive Abaco in MH. There is also a new dive operator at Boat Harbour Marina in MH.

One last thing, if time permits, head south down to Little Harbour. Pete's Pub is right on the water, next to a working foundry and gift shop. You can also snorkel Sand Cay Underwater Park along the way.

For more Abaco information Google "abaco forum" and you can access the Forum of Message Board websites.

Have fun!
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Old 04-28-2008
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Alan...do you recall the high tide depth getting into Black Sound to g to AYS? I advised someone to check them out the other day but as I recall the depths were too tight for my 6' even at high tide. Have you got some local knowledge?
I did get into Little Harbor with 6' without losing any bottom paint so you can look for a Camaraderie T-shirt in the bar next time you are down there!!
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