Bahamas cruising areas - recommendations please
We are expecting guests for a duration of 1 week. They land and depart from Nassau. We would like recommendations for a cruising ground for this period. We have a Beneteau 411. Thanks
I think most would probably agree your best bet would be to head for Highbourne Cay, and meander on down thru the Exumas as far as you care to in a week... Beautiful area, no question about it...
The principal downside, however, could be the possibility of a front dropping down that far towards the end of your week, which could make the return to Nassau a bit of a bitch... And, the fact that it's a very well traveled route, you'll be in the company of a lot of other boats, if that matters much to you, or not...
The other option I'd consider, is to head on over to Spanish Wells, and Harbour Island. The latter is one of many people's favorite spots in the bahamas, but because of the passage thru the Devil's Backbone, you need very favorable conditions to get in and out of there, it's easy to get stuck in there... Then, you could pass through Current Cut, and explore the back side of Eleuthera, perhaps as far down as Governor's Harbour or so... It's a bit more off the beaten track, you'll see fewer boats over there...
Having to return to Nassau is what really ties your hands, of course... One thing Spanish Wells/Harbour Island has going for it, is the daily high speed ferry that makes the run back to Nassau, your guests could get back that way, if necessary...
A third possibility would be to head up to the Berry Islands. However, IMHO, as nice as that area is, probably a bit "limited" for a week's worth of cruising. Also, you don't mention your draft, but a lot of the nicest spots in the Berrys are off limits to anything but pretty shoal draft boats...
All in all, however, if the weather is looking reasonably settled for the duration of the week, the northern/central Exumas is probably your safest bet, and closest to experiencing the true essence of Bahamian cruising... And, given the right conditions, the sailing on the bank in the lee of the Exumas is about as good as it gets...
Have fun... Good news is, you really can't miss, no matter which way you go...
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