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Go Back   SailNet Community > Out There > Cruising & Liveaboard Forum > There's This Place...
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There's This Place... Articles on Destinations for Cruising, by Cruisers, for Cruisers...


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  #1  
Old 01-23-2014
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Great Harbor Bahamas

Here is an email that I just received from the marina manager at Great Harbor. At the time we were there, we had a discussion with the Harbormaster about anchoring in the inner harbor. After he contacted the developer, who owns the basin, we were told that anchoring would be OK as long as the channel was not blocked and no one complained. It seemed at the time that anchoring was being restricted to try and force any visitors into the marina as opposed to anchoring out. I wonder where I have heard that scenario before. A few moments ago, I received the following email from the Marina Manager...

First Name: Hans
Last Name: Febles
Email: hans@greatharbourcay.com
I am the manager for Great Harbour Cay Marina and would like to share some information regarding anchorages in Great Harbour Cay. There is NO anchorage allowed inside the man-made cut as your publication suggests unless you draft less than 2.5 feet and stay well clear of the man-made channel. The channel in and out of the marina is used by large vessels and various tour operators from the cruise ship islands. We get numerous complaints about boats anchoring in the channel area and must report to the police who are less than kind when asking those boaters to leave the basin. Please remove the anchorages you have posted inside the cut and encourage your readers to use the anchorages outside the cut near the settlement of Bullocks Harbour.

Do not hesitate to contact me should you have additional questions at 1-242-367-8005.

And here is my reply to him...

Hans, we had this discussion with YOU while we were there and it was you that gave us the information after you talked with the developer that anchoring was OK as long as it was not in the channel and no one complained. We specifically told you that we were publishing a book on the area. This policy is explained in our publication. If the policy has changed we will be sure and let boaters know via our publication, website and many other boaterís resources that Great Harbor is unfriendly to anchored boats and that they are not welcome unless they use your marina. It is unfortunate that you gave us different information when we stayed at the marina and specifically discussed this with you. Iím sure this will affect the number of boats that might be planning to visit Great Harbor. We will most certainly change our book and get the word out quickly. Especially since no other harbor in the Bahamas places these kinds of restriction on visitors. Chuck Baier

This makes options to anchor in strong westerly winds few. Feel free to email Hans and let him know your feeling on this policy. Chuck
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  #2  
Old 01-23-2014
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Re: Great Harbor Bahamas

My chart shows its shallow outside the dredged area. No doubt if they have dredged is in the channel. So its wrong to anchor inside the channel. If you are anchored outside the channel thats fine, isnt it?
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Old 01-23-2014
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Re: Great Harbor Bahamas

Quote:
Originally Posted by CapnChuck View Post

And here is my reply to him...

Hans, we had this discussion with YOU while we were there and it was you that gave us the information after you talked with the developer that anchoring was OK as long as it was not in the channel and no one complained. We specifically told you that we were publishing a book on the area. This policy is explained in our publication. If the policy has changed we will be sure and let boaters know via our publication, website and many other boaterís resources that Great Harbor is unfriendly to anchored boats and that they are not welcome unless they use your marina. It is unfortunate that you gave us different information when we stayed at the marina and specifically discussed this with you. Iím sure this will affect the number of boats that might be planning to visit Great Harbor. We will most certainly change our book and get the word out quickly. Especially since no other harbor in the Bahamas places these kinds of restriction on visitors. Chuck Baier

This makes options to anchor in strong westerly winds few. Feel free to email Hans and let him know your feeling on this policy. Chuck
Have you ever tried to anchor in Musha Cay?
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Old 01-23-2014
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Re: Great Harbor Bahamas

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkofSeaLife View Post
My chart shows its shallow outside the dredged area. No doubt if they have dredged is in the channel. So its wrong to anchor inside the channel. If you are anchored outside the channel thats fine, isnt it?
It was when we were there, but now they are saying they don't want anchoring in the basin. The developer that owns the marina also owns the basin. Not sure what chart your looking at but there is deeper water than shown on Explorer Charts. Chuck
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Old 01-23-2014
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Re: Great Harbor Bahamas

I was there last May. We anchored outside because we understood there's no anchoring inside. One 36 footer did anchor inside, might have been encroaching on the channel. Not much traffic there, mostly locals servicing the Cruise Ships that anchor off Great Stirrup. The whole island was pretty quiet.
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Old 01-24-2014
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Re: Great Harbor Bahamas

Rick, Musha Cay is a private island so the comparison is not quite the same. Yes, there are private islands in the Bahamas. Chuck
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Old 01-24-2014
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Re: Great Harbor Bahamas

We anchored in the basin for a few days in 2011. We draw 6' and were along side the channel. We didn't have any issues and the police boat would drive by us each day.
We were lucky to get in there due to a front that had 50 knot winds.
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Old 01-24-2014
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Re: Great Harbor Bahamas

Quote:
Originally Posted by CapnChuck View Post
Rick, Musha Cay is a private island so the comparison is not quite the same. Yes, there are private islands in the Bahamas. Chuck
If I am correctly informed the no anchoring zone at Musha was used by more than a few cruisers before money talked in Nassau and anchoring was prohibited in favor of a private seaplane landing area. I still don't know if it is really illegal or if it's just the Musha Cay people saying so. Doesn't seem like something the Prime Minister (whichever one) would like to be publicly associated with. Of course they are trying the same thing at the Red Shanks/Crab Cay area in Georgetown so what do I know?

That area (Musha) has fairly decent shelter from wave action behind the long sandbar when a norther blows through. That's not exactly what I think of as a basin connected to an island, more open water. It is, after all, the main route north-south if you don't want to go out into Exuma Sound.
Sorry for the bit of thread hijack.
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Old 01-25-2014
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Re: Great Harbor Bahamas

Musha is a private island but they do not own the waters around it. Somehow they got approval to deny anchoring in the very sheltered waters off the island.
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