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Archive For: Bahamas

  • Bahamas Chatter: 2017 Tide Tables for the Bahamas

    Explorer Chartbooks, A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET PARTNER, has long been the standard navigational supplement for enjoyable, informative, and safe cruising through the beautiful Bahamian waters and island visits.

    Bahamas Chatter: 2017 Tide Tables for the Bahamas
    2017 Tide Tables for the Bahamas
    Posted: 13 Sep 2016 03:16 PM PDT
    For those of you who have Explorer Chartbooks with Tide Tables running out at the end of 2016, we have put the 2017 Tide Tables on our website. Check The Menu lists a choice for the upcoming year of tides in the Bahamas.
    Happy Exploring,
    Monty and Sara

  • Bahamas Chatter: Bringing back fish from the Bahamas

    Explorer Chartbooks, A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET PARTNER, has long been the standard navigational supplement for enjoyable, informative, and safe cruising through the beautiful Bahamian waters and island visits.

    Bahamas Chatter: Bringing back fish from the Bahamas
    Bringing back fish from the Bahamas
    Posted: 11 Sep 2016 05:39 AM PDT
    According to an article published in Sport Fishing magazine http://www.sportfishingmag.com/bahamas-fish-to-florida a new exception goes into place September 13, 2016 in Florida waters, allowing anglers to possess and land filleted dolphin, wahoo and reef fish that were caught in Bahamian waters. Similar allowances for dolphin and wahoo, as well as modifications to existing recreational regulations for reef fish managed as snapper-grouper being brought back from the Bahamas by water, went into effect in Atlantic federal waters in January 2016. These regulations apply to fish being transported by water only and do not apply to fish being transported or shipped by air. READ MORE

    Skin must remain on the fillet (to aid in identification by law enforcement).
    Anglers must comply with Atlantic federal bag and vessel limits.
    Two fillets count as one fish toward the bag limit.
    Vessels must have valid Bahamian cruising and sport-fishing permits.
    Passengers must possess a valid government passport with current Bahamian stamps and travel dates.
    Travel through state waters must be continuous and gear must remain stowed. Fishing gear that is appropriately stowed means terminal tackle, such as hooks, leaders, sinkers, etc., must be disconnected and stowed separately from the rod and reel.
    Fish landed under these exceptions cannot be sold.
    Bahamian regulations may be different than those in U.S. state and federal waters. Before you return with your catch, make sure you comply with the more restrictive U.S. and Bahamian recreational bag and possession limits. For example, species that are prohibited from harvest in the U.S., such as queen conch, goliath and Nassau grouper, cannot be transported back into U.S. waters by boat. Spiny lobster must be in whole condition and can only be transported into U.S. waters during the recreational season (Aug. 6 through March 31).
    The changes will allow more fishing freedom for Florida’s residents and visitors while creating consistency between state and federal regulations. For Bahamas sport fishing regulations go to http://www.bahamas.gov.bs/wps/wcm/connect/5ed780d9-7c7f-4a02-b8cf-70cbcb01d65c/SportsfishingRegulations.pdf?MOD=AJPERES&CACHEID=5ed780d9-7c7f-4a02-b8cf-70cbcb01d65c

  • Bahamas Chatter: New fuel and dockage survey, September 10, 2016

    Explorer Chartbooks, A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET PARTNER, has long been the standard navigational supplement for enjoyable, informative, and safe cruising through the beautiful Bahamian waters and island visits.

    Bahamas Chatter: New fuel and dockage survey, September 10, 2016
    New fuel and dockage survey, September 10, 2016
    Posted: 10 Sep 2016 06:05 AM PDT
    Most fuel prices changed little since the last survey in June. It is now the middle of the slow season for marinas and fuel inventories are being held longer. Several marinas have closed or reduced hours until November. The new monthly Explorer Fuel and Dockage survey is posted on our website www.explorercharts.com. Click on Fuel and Dockage prices in the menu on the left side of the home page.

    As always, we appreciate the individual reports you send us of any changes in prices from the date of this survey. Send an email to monty@explorercharts.com for any new prices you find until the next survey.

  • Bahamas Chatter: Explorer Team to Present at TrawlerFest

    Explorer Chartbooks, A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET PARTNER, has long been the standard navigational supplement for enjoyable, informative, and safe cruising through the beautiful Bahamian waters and island visits.

    Bahamas Chatter: Explorer Team to Present at TrawlerFest
    Explorer Team to Present at TrawlerFest
    Posted: 06 Sep 2016 07:34 AM PDT
    TrawlerFest BOAT SHOW EDUCATION RENDEZVOUS

    September 27 – October 1, 2016
    In-the-Water Boat Show
    Bay Bridge Marina, Stevensville MD

    $10.00 discount on seminars using the Promo Code “Cruising”

    Monty and Sara Lewis will be doing a presentation on Cruising the Bahamas
    Wednesday, September 28 from 10:45 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

    http://TRAWLERFEST.COM”>TRAWLERFEST.COM

    TRAWLERFEST@PASSAGEMAKER.COM

    410-990-9086 EXT 22

  • Bahamas Chatter: Long Island Update

    Explorer Chartbooks, A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET PARTNER, has long been the standard navigational supplement for enjoyable, informative, and safe cruising through the beautiful Bahamian waters and island visits.

    Bahamas Chatter: Long Island Update
    Long Island Update
    Posted: 24 Aug 2016 05:37 AM PDT
    We just got news of the reopening of Parrots of the Caribbean in Thompson Bay, now named Tiny’s Hurricane Hole. Also, LI Petroleum’s new dock is done and much easier take the big boat up to. And Midway Inn in the Bight is completely renovated, open and fabulous.

    Bess and Billy Storm
    S/V Alibi II

  • Bahamas Chatter: Key largo to Bimini 30’cruiser

    Explorer Chartbooks, A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET PARTNER, has long been the standard navigational supplement for enjoyable, informative, and safe cruising through the beautiful Bahamian waters and island visits.

    Bahamas Chatter: Key largo to Bimini 30’cruiser
    Key largo to Bimini 30’cruiser
    Posted: 14 Aug 2016 04:55 AM PDT
    Looking for Buddy boats an extra hand or advise.
    Have a 30′ Sea Ray in key largo want to go to Bahamas on Tuesday August 16 2016.
    Have Explorer charts back up GPS, radio, satellite Eper and great twin Merc 350s.
    Want to check out a few places in Bahamas like Bimini, Nassau, Freeport, an airplane pilot with over 20k hours flown for 40 years and now want to grow my sea legs and go slow!!
    My first time doing this have very little confidence at this time. sure like to do this with other boats or at least with someone else on board to share the joy.
    Chris.
    Can email me, flycorpjet@aol.com

  • Boo Boo Hill – Exumas

    exumascay

    I was only able to stay for an hour or so but I couldn’t get over the spectacular view from Boo Boo Hill. Looking forward to getting back and spending a few days exploring. Airie Bown

  • Bahamas Chatter: Petition to BTC

    Explorer Chartbooks, A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET PARTNER, has long been the standard navigational supplement for enjoyable, informative, and safe cruising through the beautiful Bahamian waters and island visits.

    Bahamas Chatter: Petition to BTC
    Petition to BTC
    Posted: 01 Aug 2016 10:41 AM PDT
    The Communication Breakdown team is hoping you will be able to support our cause in petitioning BTC to do better in the Out Islands.

    The introduction and petition identify the cause. Please join us in making the Central Exumas a safer place to live, visit and cruise. If you would kindly distribute and or post this movement to your readers and site, we would be grateful, as will they! Thanks in advance for your consideration.

    Read More

    Dear Residents, Visitors, Cruisers, Business Owners and all those connected to the Central Exumas,

    BTC is failing the people of the Central Exumas and it is time to speak out!

    Data and cellular based services are failing all of us yet we continue to be billed for services that are not rendered. We can no longer accept these failures as “a way of life” in the Family Islands.

    PLEASE SIGN OUR ONLINE PETITION!
    http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/communication-breakdown-btc-customers-of-the

    You should not hesitate to SIGN THIS PETITION AS SOON AS POSSIBLE and FORWARD this message and / or the PETITION LINK on through your social media outlets and to every one of your contacts who have been or may soon be effected by these Communication Breakdowns. Your family and friends both here and afar, past and future guests, networks such as cruising and pilot forums, island owners and operators, property owners, businesses and their suppliers, employees, travel agents, etc. DO NOT ASSUME we have reached your contacts through ours, PASS IT ON.

    THE KEY TECHNICALITIES:

    Data via WiMAX (Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access) is not new technology. It is proven throughout the Caribbean and the world and serves to effectively connect citizens in remote areas where there is limited infrastructure. You are not receiving the bandwidth that you purchase as part of your communications package! You have been lead to believe or you accept that this technology functions here as best it can.

    Voice via CELLULAR or GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) and “landlines” are not new technology and fail equally. Connectivity fails throughout the system. From the extreme, no signal to dropped calls. A multitude of message notifications are applied that inaccurately inform you why you cannot reach the party you are calling. How many times have you heard the message “we are sorry, the person you are calling has not set up their mailbox or the mailbox is full”? It has been proven that this message is BTC’s way of telling you we couldn’t connect you and it is not our fault. Your landlines likely don’t function at all. In most instances, mobile phones cannot be connected to land lines!

    Outdated equipment and increased growth are the assumed primary reasons for these technicalities. These failures effect all of us on a personal level and those who provide goods and services in the area, it effects your business!

    Hard copy signatures will be collected in the area throughout the week of 1-AUG and, along with your electronic signatures will be forwarded via direct courier and electronically to BTC. Our goal to petition is the second week of August. PLEASE SIGN now! PLEASE spread the word.

    Staniel Cay, Great Guana Cay, Farmers Cay and the surrounding cays make up a community of citizens, visitors and business owners that live and love a life of extraordinary measure. Each of us here deserve and should settle for no less than functional and effective communications systems, “EVERYDAY”.

    Sincerely and with hope for a better connection.
    The COMMUNICATION BREAKDOWN Petition Team.
    Gage Parrot
    Little Majors
    +1 242 357 0012
    +1 954 914 9879

  • Bahamas Chatter: Winding Bay, Abaco, Update

    Explorer Chartbooks, A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET PARTNER, has long been the standard navigational supplement for enjoyable, informative, and safe cruising through the beautiful Bahamian waters and island visits.

    Bahamas Chatter: Winding Bay, Abaco, Update
    Winding Bay, Abaco, Update
    Posted: 24 Jul 2016 12:08 PM PDT
    Just wanted to give you an update on Winding Bay’s latest shenanigans.

    RDA (Responsible Development for Abaco), with a lot of help from Fred Smith, filed for a Judicial Review against 9 government departments for “lack of consultation”. As a result, BEST posted the EIA, EMP, latest site plan, and a couple of cover-your-ass letters on their website (www.best.gov.bs). They also called a town meeting in Cherokee Sound on June 27th. At the meeting, the developers announced that the marina was critical to the survival of the Abaco Club, and would generate 1000 construction jobs. A ludicrous number, any way you look at it. They said that 6 moorings would have to be moved, but couldn’t say where to, or whose moorings they are.

    They also said that WSC (Water and Sewerage Corp.) had tested the water in LH and found it “unswimmable”, full of E. coli and fecal matter, and that their marina would actually clean up the harbour by installing a pump out station. Please see below a couple of quotes along these lines, and also WSC’s response to our queries about the tests. There’s a big difference between “unswimmable” and “undrinkable”.

    CLICK HERE for the full Bahamas Chatter

     

  • Bahamas Chatter: Disney looking at developing Egg Island

    Explorer Charts - the best charts for the Bahamas and Exumas
    Explorer Chartbooks, A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET PARTNER, has long been the standard navigational supplement for enjoyable, informative, and safe cruising through the beautiful Bahamian waters and island visits.

    Bahamas Chatter: Disney looking at developing Egg Island
    Disney looking at developing Egg Island
    Posted: 22 Jul 2016 04:19 AM PDT
    Disney is moving ahead with plans to build a cruise ship pier on Egg Island, North Eleuthera. Among many concerns is that Egg Island’s natural beauty and ecology will be destroyed if Disney proceeds with its plans to develop the island.

    Click here for full article on Disney possibly developing on Egg Island as a new cruise ship destination.

    There is an online change.org petition titled Save Egg Island (Bahamas)! Stop Disney Cruise Line! Preserve Egg Island! #saveeggisland.

    http://www.cruiselawnews.com/2016/07/articles/pollution-1/disney-to-develop-egg-island-in-the-bahamas/

  • Bahamas Chatter: Lost Dinghy! In need of help

    Explorer Charts - the best charts for the Bahamas and Exumas
    Explorer Chartbooks, A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET PARTNER, has long been the standard navigational supplement for enjoyable, informative, and safe cruising through the beautiful Bahamian waters and island visits.

    Bahamas Chatter: Lost Dinghy! In need of help
    Lost Dinghy! In need of help.
    Posted: 15 Jul 2016 03:22 AM PDT
    Hello cruisers,

    This may be a long shot but we wanted to post to this community. We run marine science sailing Expeditions studying the Bahamas coral reefs each summer. We take early career college age scientists aboard a catamaran, exposing them to off-grid research. We collaborate with Institutions such as University of Miami (RSMAS), Penn State, U. Of Delaware, etc. We are now transiting from Key Largo to Eleuthera aboard No Expectations, a 47′ catamaran. Upon cruising the bank from Bimini to Chub Cay early morning on July 12th, our dinghy came loose. The winds were out of the SE so most likely our dinghy drifted to the NW. It’s a brand new West Marine hypalon 350 RIB with a brand new Yamaha 20hp outboard. She is white with no registration numbers as its 2 days old. We were breaking it in upon crossing. This is a huge loss for our non-profit programs.

    Our first stop is Eleuthera arriving July 16 to pickup our research Team. We are then heading down the island chain to Georgetown by July 25. We will be in GT up until August 7, then heading back up island to Eleuthera.

    If you find her can you radio No Expectations or email info@scienceundersail.org

    Anyone who feels compelled to help us further we would be so grateful to accept donations to assist us in acquiring a new dinghy. Your donation is a tax write-off. You can easily donate online through our secure fundraising website. You will receive an immediate tax write-off letter. Donate at http://bit.ly/donatesusie

    Further, if anyone can help us out this summer and provide us with a spare dinghy for our Expeditions, you can either donate or lend us a comparable dinghy for the dates of July 18-August 18 we would be so grateful! Be in touch with us at the above email.

    You can checkout our work at www.scienceundersail.org

    Respectfully,

    Jerah and Robin (co-founders)

  • Bahamas Chatter: West end bound

    Explorer Charts - the best charts for the Bahamas and Exumas
    Explorer Chartbooks, A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET PARTNER, has long been the standard navigational supplement for enjoyable, informative, and safe cruising through the beautiful Bahamian waters and island visits.

    Bahamas Chatter: West end bound
    West end bound
    Posted: 25 Jun 2016 06:07 PM PDT
    Getting geared up for a crossing to west end from east coast fla – Jupiter/ Stuart/ wpb tbd possibly as early as the first week of July to mid month to be in Hopetown by the last week of July. Looking for any buddy boats and or weather links/ recommendations. 41′ american tug 4’10” draft cruising 10+ knots thanks Hooty Hoo II

  • Bahamas Chatter: New Fuel Dock in Long Island

    Explorer Charts - the best charts for the Bahamas and Exumas
    Explorer Chartbooks, A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET PARTNER, has long been the standard navigational supplement for enjoyable, informative, and safe cruising through the beautiful Bahamian waters and island visits.


    Bahamas Chatter: New Fuel Dock in Long Island

    New Fuel Dock in Long Island
    Posted: 20 Jun 2016 04:33 AM PDT
    Long Island Petroleum in Salt Pond has rebuilt their fuel dock, which was destroyed in Hurricane Joaquin. It is a sturdy, long dock along the shoreline and will give yachtsmen easy access to fuel. The area in front of the dock has been dredged so it is deeper than indicated on the chart.

  • Bahamas Chatter: New fuel and dockage survey, June 18

    Explorer Charts - the best charts for the Bahamas and Exumas
    Explorer Chartbooks, A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET PARTNER, has long been the standard navigational supplement for enjoyable, informative, and safe cruising through the beautiful Bahamian waters and island visits.


    Bahamas Chatter: New fuel and dockage survey, June 18

    New fuel and dockage survey, June 18
    Posted: 18 Jun 2016 06:19 AM PDT
    Fuel prices were up in this months survey with the exception of four marinas having slightly lower diesel prices and only one of them with a lower gasoline price. Lyford Cay lowered dockage to $4.50 and Treasure Cay raised moorings to $30 and now charges $20 to anchor in the harbour.

    Long Island Petroleum has completed a new fuel dock with deeper access.

    As always, we appreciate the individual reports you send us to keep this survey updated. Send an email to monty@explorercharts.com for any new prices you find until the next survey.

  • Bahamas Chatter: Crossing to Bimini

    Explorer Charts - the best charts for the Bahamas and Exumas
    Explorer Chartbooks, A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET PARTNER, has long been the standard navigational supplement for enjoyable, informative, and safe cruising through the beautiful Bahamian waters and island visits.

    Bahamas Chatter: Crossing to Bimini
    Crossing to Bimini
    Posted: 14 Jun 2016 04:21 AM PDT
    Looking for boating buddy to cross to Bimini July 8th. Return date is flexible.

  • Bahamas Chatter: Help

    Explorer Charts - the best charts for the Bahamas and Exumas
    Explorer Chartbooks, A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET PARTNER, has long been the standard navigational supplement for enjoyable, informative, and safe cruising through the beautiful Bahamian waters and island visits.

    Bahamas Chatter: Help
    Help
    Posted: 05 Jun 2016 02:22 PM PDT
    Good day all. Planning trip from Grand Bahama to Acklins. Is there a known channel between the southern tip of the tongue of the ocean to the crooked island passage, for vessel drawing 15′ water? Thanking in advance.

  • Bahamas Chatter: Bird Rock light restored

    Explorer Charts - the best charts for the Bahamas and Exumas
    Explorer Chartbooks, A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET PARTNER, has long been the standard navigational supplement for enjoyable, informative, and safe cruising through the beautiful Bahamian waters and island visits.

    Bahamas Chatter: Bird Rock light restored
    Bird Rock light restored
    Posted: 02 Jun 2016 04:18 AM PDT
    NOTICE TO MARINERS

    (RBDF MAY 30th, 2016) The Aids to Navigation Section of the Royal Bahamas Defence Force wishes to advise mariners that the automatic light at Bird Rock Lighthouse, off Pitt’s Town, Crooked Island has been relit.

    The light at Bird Rock is situated at Latitude 22° 50.7’N and Longitude 74° 21.6’W (Charts ACK 1 and ACK 2, pages 57 and 58 Explorer Chartbook Far Bahamas, Sixth Edition).

    Any discrepancies with this or any navigational aid should be reported to the Royal Bahamas Defence Force at telephone number 362-4436 or by e-mail at aton@rbdf.gov.bs (For further information contact the RBDF Public Relations Department)

    This aid was fixed on 30th May 2016 after being extinguished for some time. Technicians found evidence of vandalism, as the main cable from the batteries was severed by a sharp object and six of the eight solar panels were removed. The cable was reconnected and the technicians had to make do with the remaining two panels. These southern lighthouses are plagued by this sort of thing, rendering the aid extinguished.

  • Bahamas Chatter: New species of snake found on Conception Island

    Explorer Charts - the best charts for the Bahamas and Exumas
    Explorer Chartbooks, A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET PARTNER, has long been the standard navigational supplement for enjoyable, informative, and safe cruising through the beautiful Bahamian waters and island visits.

    Bahamas Chatter: New species of snake found on Conception Island
    New species of snake found on Conception Island
    Posted: 31 May 2016 10:47 AM PDT
    (from an article in the National Geographic published May 26, 2016)
    On an uninhabited island in the southern Bahamas, a scientist noticed a snake that shined like metal as it climbed a tree.
    “We all came to take a look at it, and it was instantly clear that this was something different,” says biologist R. Graham Reynolds, part of the scientific team exploring the remote islands.
    Expedition member Alberto Puente-Rolón, an expert on Caribbean boas, agreed that the animal appeared unlike any species of known boa.
    So the team went searching for more boas, finding four more snakes before settling down to sleep on the beach at Conception Island. But it turns out the boas weren’t ready to call it a night. (See “Extremely Rare Fishing Snakes Discovered.”)
    “Sometime around 3:30 in the morning, I woke up to something crawling across my face,” says Reynolds, now a biologist at the University of North Carolina, Asheville.
    Another silver boa had come down from the forest and crawled right over him as he slept. They’d located their sixth specimen, and DNA analyses back at the lab confirmed the snake was a new species.
    The scientists named the Conception Bank silver boa (Chilabothrus argentum), based on both its color and the fact it was first found on an aptly named silver palm tree. A study on the species appeared in the journal Breviora.

  • Bahamas Chatter: AIDS to Navigation Update

    Explorer Charts - the best charts for the Bahamas and Exumas
    Explorer Chartbooks, A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET PARTNER, has long been the standard navigational supplement for enjoyable, informative, and safe cruising through the beautiful Bahamian waters and island visits.

    Bahamas Chatter: AIDS to Navigation Update
    AIDS to Navigation Update
    Posted: 25 May 2016 07:53 AM PDT
    NOTICE TO MARINERS

    (RBDF MAY 25th, 2016) The Aids to Navigation Section of the Royal Bahamas Defence Force wishes to advise mariners that the Entrance Lights and Range Lights in the harbour at Driggs Hill, South Andros, have been serviced and relit.

    Any discrepancies with this or any navigational aid should be reported to the Royal Bahamas Defence Force at telephone number 362-3091, 362-4436 or by e-mail at aton@rbdf.gov.bs

    Regards

    Richard Pratt

    Royal Bahamas Defence Force

  • Bahamas Update: Berry Islands & Exumas by Greg Allard

    Bahamas Update: Berry Islands & Exumas
    by Greg Allard

    Great Harbour Cay, the Berry Islands:
    a) The biggest news from Great Harbour Cay is that the island now has a full time doctor. Dr. Allan Cho is from the Philippines, with a specialty in Emergency Medicine. We met him and toured the clinic. Apparently the Bahamian government has hired full time physicians for several of the out islands. Cruisers are welcome to receive treatment at the clinic: the cost for non-Bahamians is $30 a visit. The clinic does basic blood testing, and has its own stock of common prescription drugs, but they do not yet have an x-ray machine.

    Dr. Allen Cho, and nurse Linnessa Davis, in the clinic at Bullocks Harbour settlement, Great Harbour Cay

    Dr. Allen Cho, and nurse Linnessa Davis, in the clinic at Bullocks Harbour settlement, Great Harbour Cay

    b) At the marina, there is a new grocery store, Krum’s Market, at the east end of the dock, across the street in a separate building which also has housed a small inn on the second floor. The new market is clean, well organized and we are told they receive fresh fruits and vegetables and other fresh food direct from the U.S., instead of through Nassau.
    c) Also at the east end of the marina dock, a new take-out “deli” opened, with breakfast, lunch and dinner items. There are tables and umbrellas on the adjacent dock.
    d) In the Bullocks Harbor settlement, next to the hardware store, a new beverage store offering liquor, wine and beer is now in business. It too is clean, well organized and up to date; prices are not bad and the selection is very good.
    e) A new building, across from the police station, has been under construction for over two years; it is supposed to be for a bank. Until that happens, cruisers are reminded that there are no ATMs or banks on the island and most local businesses include a 5% surcharge on all credit cards.
    Highbourne Cay, Exumas
    Highbourne Cay Marina has added a new long dock at the north end of the basin, which can accommodate two large mega-yachts, or multiple smaller ones on its south side; the north side of the new dock (near shore) has only enough water for boats such as center consoles towed by large yachts. The dock will have power, including three phase power, in the near future.
    Highbourne Cay Marina is without question the nicest, best run marina in the southern Bahamas.
    Staniel Cay, Exumas
    The airport reopened a number of months ago. Watermakers Air, which has scheduled flights to Staniel, now provides regular and charter service to multiple other islands in the Bahamas. See their website: www.watermakersair.com.
    One of the best ways to have boat parts or other important items shipped to you while in the Exumas is by contacting Watermaker’s Air, who will walk you through the process, and arrange it all. Their terminal is at the Executive Airport in Ft. Lauderdale (not the main international airport). They are really efficient at arranging to get your package through Customs, and delivering to you for pickup at Staniel Cay.
    Tip: When you receive your cruising permit upon entering the Bahamas, take a good photo of it, and download it to your computer. If you need to ship items for the repair of your boat to the Bahamas, you will then be able to e-mail a copy of your cruising permit to Watermakers, who will use it to have your parts enter the country duty-free, as long as the part is necessary for the operation of the boat. (That will not prevent you from having to pay the V.A.T.) If you have guests flying anywhere from the U.S. to the Bahamas to join you on your boat, your guests will also need your permit to show Immigration officials, who want to be sure that everyone entering their country has a place to stay.

    Cave Cay, Exumas
    This cay, south of Little Farmer’s, is relatively unknown and not frequently visited. The owner has built a first class marina with excellent floating docks, power and water. He has also built a series of buildings while are planned for a restaurant and rental cottages, but it appears that those are a way off. The island generates its own electricity, makes its own water, and is raising a modest amount of vegetables. There are a couple of excellent beaches, but no restaurant and no store. They have wi-fi, and the reception from the BTC tower on Little Farmers can be good, depending on where you are. There are a series of superb caves to explore.
    Most importantly, this marina serves as an excellent hurricane hole: the basin is completely surrounded by land. One caution: the entrance at MLW has a six foot spot.

    The entrance to Cave Cay.

    The entrance to Cave Cay.

    This 57’ Nordhavn with at least a 6’ draft, has just come through the cut. With an approximate three foot tide fall, this marina should be accessible to most cruising boats with proper planning around the tide.

    The docks at Cave Cay.

    The docks at Cave Cay.

    The buildings on the far hill are the maintenance sheds, with the island’s generating and reverse osmosis plants. The photo was taken from the hill which overlooks the marina looking west; the Exuma Sound is behind the camera, to the east – showing how much protection this harbour offers. There is limited dock space though, and anchoring is not permitted in the harbour.
    For slower boats who can’t make it from Georgetown to the Staniel Cay area in a single day, Cave Cay is a perfectly positioned, protected layover spot when conditions don’t permit you to anchor.
    Blackpoint
    Lorraine’s Restaurant has expanded. What used to be the wi-fi café is now a bar area, and the dining area is much larger. Why? Because several tour operators from Great Exuma, or Nassau, are running fast, large open boats, often holding dozens of people, on “grand” tours of the Exumas, to include Allens Cay’s iguanas, Big Major’s pig beach, Compass Cay’s sharks, Staniel’s Yacht Club, and Blackpoint – with a buffet luncheon at Lorraine’s. Lorraine said that sometimes twenty to seventy people a day come to Blackpoint on these tours. While it surprised us (and disappointed us, to some extent) to see a group of twenty-five pasty-skin tourists who were now sunburned to a day-glo red, walking on the usually tranquil main street of Blackpoint, overall this is economically good for the island. And don’t forget to go next door to Lorraine’s mother’s house, and buy some fresh Bahamian bread.

    This is one of the smaller tour boats, making its rounds, pulling into Staniel Cay. We saw some big go-fast tourist boats with over 50 people in them.

    This is one of the smaller tour boats, making its rounds, pulling into Staniel Cay. We saw some big go-fast tourist boats with over 50 people in them.

    A final note about when to cruise the Bahamas: In our view, the best time to cruise the Bahamas is in April, May and June. We urge our cruising friends, many of whom go to the Bahamas in December and return in March, to try the Bahamas in the spring. It is not nearly as busy, the water is warmer and you don’t have to deal with “northers”, those nasty cold fronts which come through frequently in the winter, with their strong N/W to N/E winds, which make it difficult to find a good anchorage. In the spring, good anchorages are easier to find, and if you want a slip at a marina, those too are easier to secure.
    We realize that some people need to comply with their insurance company’s requirement that they be north of a certain location by June 1st. Since we are based in Florida, we have full coverage on our boat, including hurricane season (with of course a higher deductible) and the cost was not nearly as bad as we expected.

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    This is why it’s Better in the Bahamas in the spring. This picture was taken on May 19, 2016 at the Exumas Land and Sea Park, at Warderick Wells. In high (winter) season, ALL of these moorings would be taken, and there would be a long waiting list to get one.
    You can see two larger yachts (far left) out on the moorings next to Warderick Cut, designated for 150’ boats. Other than those two boats, we were the ONLY boat on any of the 22 or so moorings in the north mooring field. Now is the time to be here!
    Hurricanes? Yes, we do pay close attention to tropical developments as we get closer to hurricane season. We look at multiple sources of weather at least twice a day. Marv Market sends us excellent Tropical Updates, sometime days ahead of anyone else. (Send Marv an e-mail, and ask to be put on his mailing list for both excellent daily reports based on Buoy Weather, and for his periodic tropical reports: Marvboater1@aol.com.)
    Finally, we always have a back-up plan. What are the safe places we can get to, if we need to? Our list in this part of the Bahamas includes Cave Cay, Compass Cay, Highbourne, Great Harbour, or further north in the Grand Bahama Yacht Club at Port Lucaya. The docks at Staniel Cay are not an option; if there are strong winds forecast from the west they will ask you to leave, which is a good thing, since you don’t want to be there anyway in those conditions. There are other good places, such as Norman’s Pond, for shallow draft boats.

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