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Archive For: Bahamas

  • Bahamas Chatter: “New Flights to Abacos” plus 1 more

    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 Flights to Abacos” plus 1 more  READ MORE!

    New Flights to Abacos

    Posted: 16 Jul 2017 10:11 AM PDT

    NEW direct service from Nassau to Treasure Cay TCB on BAHAMAS AIR
    Effective June 22 Bahamasair will reintroduce the Nassau/Treasure Cay
    service. The flight will operate as follow:

    Thurs/Sat/Sun depart Nassau at 6:30 am arrive Treasure Cay 7:40am – (note
    stop in MHH first)
    Thurs/Sat/Sun Depart Treasure Cay at 8:00am on the return to Nassau arrive
    8:35am.

    Mon/Thurs/Sun the flight will depart Nassau at 5:00pm arrive Treasure Cay at
    5:35pm –
    Mon/Thurs/Sun Depart Treasure Cay at 5:55pm arrive Nassau 7:05PM on the
    return(note stop in MHH).

    New Airlift-Fly Exclusive Bahamas

    www.flyexclusivebahamas.com

    Direct Service from Nassau to Marsh Harbor: MondayWednesday & Friday
    –morning AND evening flights available

    Direct Service Nassau to Treasure Cay starting in July

    Delta Airlines (800.455.2720):
    Direct service between Atlanta and Marsh
    Harbour (MHH) on TuesdayThursdayFridaySaturday and Sunday

    Island Wings (954.617.8804):
    Direct flights between Fort Lauderdale
    Executive Airport (EXE) and Treasure Cay on MondayThursdayFriday &
    Saturday
    Tropic Ocean Airways (888.962.7728): Treasure Cay – Monday & Friday, Marsh
    Harbour – MondayThursdayFriday & Sunday

    Silver Airways (801.0401.9100):
    Direct service between Fort Lauderdale and
    Treasure Cay

    Air Unlimited (888.962.7728):
    Direct service between Sanford(KSFP) and
    Treasure Cay (TCB) or Marsh Harbour (MHH) on FridaySaturday & Sunday

    Cat Cay Diesel price

    Posted: 16 Jul 2017 03:42 AM PDT

    I was at Cat cay last weekend and Diesel was 4.09 per gallon.

  • Bahamas Chatter: New fuel and dockage survey

    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

    New fuel and dockage survey
    Posted: 14 Jul 2017 12:11 PM PDT
    We just completed a survey of most of the marinas offering fuel and dockage in the Bahamas. Some we were unable to contact at the present time. More diesel and gas prices were down than up.

    Please go to our website www.explorercharts.com under Fuel and Dockage Prices to check our latest findings. We will be updating continuously as we get new information.

  • Advice on Route Options from Ft. Myers to Bimini

    This thread from AGLCA’s Forum posted by very experienced cruisers has good advice, even though from contrasting perspectives and opinions, to anyone considering a voyage to or from Bimini. The thread was prompted by a request from Dan and Peggy Sticklin:

    My wife and I are new to this life and need a little assistance. We were headed to the Bahamas through Okeechobee and we hit bottom and damaged the boat. [See http://cruisersnet.net/165578] READ MORE!

    We are in the process of getting repairs and are thinking about going to Bimini by the keys but really unsure of anchorages on the way or the best route. We have a ocean Alexander 50 with 4.5 draft and 14.8 beam. Any advice or help would be appreciated.
    Dan and Peggy Stricklin

    Reply from Dave and Nan Ellen Fuller:

    Drawing from my experience of multiple Bahamas trips from the east coast of Florida at different times of the year, if you are planning this trip for the immediate future (next three to four months or so), peruse the long range hurricane forecast. Take a look at what disturbances are coming off the coast of Africa as that is where the majority of tropical storms and hurricanes that affect the Bahamas originate. Disturbances coming off the coast of Africa take as much as 7 to 14 days to make it to Florida and the northern Bahamas from Africa. Otherwise, just pay attention to the general forecasts and EXPECT daily thunderstorms, but a few less of them once you reach the Bahamas. This time of year, fronts usually do not make it this far south especially with prevailing surface winds from the east, southeast, and some from the south. As others have posted, a wind with any north component will make for a bumpy ride crossing the Gulfstream. Ideal winds will be from southeast or south causing lay down seas. Cold fronts are just one of many weather event triggers that create or take advantage of instability in the atmosphere that leads to clouds with vertical development that leads to thunderstorms.

    The thunderstorms that occur over Florida this time of year are mostly the result of convection which is warm and moist air rising creating cumulus and cumulonimbus clouds which eventually turn into thunderstorms as the air heats up and begins to rise. Usually, they occur mid to late afternoon and evening and dissipate overnight, therefore mornings are the best time to travel and lessen the chances you will be caught in one of theses storms.

    In late fall and early winter, the cold fronts become stronger and begin to penetrate further south. When this changeover in patterns occurs, the seas will be much less friendly for crossings.

    If you are going to Bimini to check in with Customs and Immigration and then further explore the Bahamas, you will be going across miles and miles of water that is less than 15 feet deep after leaving Bimini. The only thing to watch out for here are the NUMEROUS coral heads that are sometimes as shallow as 3 or 4 feet, but fear not, they are charted AND easy to visually spot and steer around. As I always recommend, don’t be lulled into a false sense of security and keep good situational awareness with a constant lookout. On one trip coming back from Cat Cay (just south of Bimini) to Palm Beach inlet, one of the boats in our Flotilla hit a telephone pole floating in the middle of the Gulfstream about 30 miles out. Fortunately, only damage was to the prop, but hitting a telephone pole could have sunk the boat. Just keep a good watch, and you will be just fine.

    The water colors will strike you with their different hues – deep water is cobalt blue to nearly black if deep enough and the shallows will be very light blue. The water is so clear, you will think you are in three feet of water when you are in 15 or 20 feet and it may take a while to get used to it. You will quickly learn how to “read” the water to know where to go and not go. Take and refer to your charts, but be aware that with last season’s storms, the bottom is almost certain to have been rearranged from what the charts show. As always, seek local knowledge for a more complete picture of what to avoid. There are some hard corals to be avoided, but most of the bottom you will be over is made of sand. Keep that in mind when anchoring as you will likely need to pay out more rode to increase the scope of your anchor line to get good holding power. If you drag anchor, try letting out a bit more scope to see if the anchor will reset itself and hold.

    I personally prefer the Bahamas in the summer and early fall because the crossings are almost always easier on the crew, the weather is more predictable, and there are more consecutive days of good weather strung together to make it a more fun trip. I don’t have much fun tied up to a dock somwhere with the wind blowing from the north at 25-35 knots causing 10 foot seas in the winter when cold fronts come through. However, the caveat in the summer is that you must be aware of tropical storms and hurricanes. If one is forecast, you would be very wise to make an early decision to come back to the east coast of Florida prior to conditions deteriorating. There are hurricane holes in the Bahamas, but none of them is well protected from a direct strike. Your chances are much improved in Florida.

    You say you wish to go to Bimini so if you come across Lake Okeechobee, you will be in Stuart which makes for a VERY long open ocean crossing to Bimini. I would consider two options – first is to leave Stuart and go directly to West End to clear Customs and Immigration which is a much shorter open ocean crossing, or better yet, leave from Palm Beach inlet to go to West End which makes for less than a 60 mile crossing. Another option is to go further south in Florida and leave from Ft. Lauderdale or from Government Cut in Miami (shortest crossing at 57 miles) to Bimini. Remember that the Gulf Stream is a river of water flowing north so this will lengthen your time and burn more fuel if heading into it. Wind direction may also play a role in your decision. However, coming back, take advantage of the current and possible winds and take a northwest track to come back to Ft. Lauderdale or Palm Beach. There are other possible inlets, but I strongly recommend you only use the class A inlets at Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, and Palm Beach. No hassles, much wider, much safer, and no surprises as long as you watch for traffic. Several other inlets have tricky approaches with blind bends or really problematic roller coaster conditions when the tide is running (Jupiter) or constantly shifting shoaling (Stuart).

    Check the weather, have good situational awareness, have good charts, and go have fun in a fabulous country with friendly people and some of the clearest waters you will ever take your boat in. Enjoy the trip!!!

    I must weigh in with an opinion on taking the inside route from Key Largo up through Biscayne Bay versus taking Hawks Channel. There is only one place on the inside route where you should consider arriving at or close to high tide and it is very well marked on the charts called Cutter Bank. Even then, the tide is only around 1 foot. It is between ICW statute miles 1120 and 1117 which is at the transition between Card Sound and Biscayne Bay. The channel is very well marked and should be no problem for even a 5 plus foot draft boat as long as you are not passing through with strong winds from a northerly direction. Winds from north quadrants can blow some of the water out of the bay causing shallower conditions than expected. Depending on wind speed and direction, it could affect water depth to a greater degree than the tide. We draw 4 feet and never even come close (my shallow water alarm did no go off either) so time it correctly and you should not have an issue. Just like everywhere else, stay in the marked channel and you should be fine.

    With the inside route, you will need to pay close attention to the markers, and keep an especially sharp lookout for crab pots and lobster traps (depending on the season) as they are EVERYWHERE – even in the middle of the marked channels. Stay alert and just steer around them.

    The obvious advantage of Hawks Channel is no issues at all with depth, but the biggest minus for this route is that it is on the open ocean and although the reef cuts down on some of the waves, it will not be anywhere near as smooth as the inside route through Florida Bay, the various sounds separated by mangroves, and finally Biscayne Bay via the ICW. In my humble opinion, I would rather dodge a few crab pots, make a bunch of course changes, enjoy the scenery of the mangroves, and keep a sharp lookout than experience the boring offshore passage of Hawks Channel. However, your mileage may vary and you may decide that boring is a good thing!

    As you have likely already learned, try to avoid travel on weekends once you reach the Keys and points north in Florida. It seems like the crop of inexperienced and uncaring, inconsiderate boaters increases exponentially on the weekends. No sense making this any more stressful than it needs to be. Be safe and have fun!!!

    Dave & Nan Ellen Fuller

    From Jim Healy:

    If you plan to head west from Bimini to reach Ft. Myers, you have a couple of choices.

    You don’t say what time of year you plan to do this. If summer, you will have to plan for daily t’storms on the Gulf coast. Sometime in the early AM hours, sometimes in the mid-afternoon hours. It will depend on fickle summer sea breezes and daytime heating patterns over the Florida peninsula. MAKE SURE YOU HAVE GOOD ACCESS TO LOCAL WEATHER FORECASTING IF YOU PLAN TO TRAVEL THOSE WATERS FROM JUNE THROUGH SEPTEMBER. Summer t’storms are land heating phenomena. From October on, the fall/winter patterns are dryer, but the weather is driven by fronts. Fronts always bring strong winds for 24 – 48 hours after they pass through.

    From your post, I assume you do not plan to go through Lake O. Note however, that is your best route for summer weather, cover and distance. The Lake water level has come up a foot in the last month, and summer rains will add another 3 – 5 feet by fall. The trip around the bottom will add at least 250 miles and four travel days from Stuart around to Ft. Myers. Fuel is available, but expensive, in the Keys.

    Curious, where did you hit bottom? Clewiston Channel? That channel is a bear in low spring water level conditions. I have detailed my strategy for doing that channel in my website article on cruising Florida.

    So, from Bimini, plan to arrive at Key Biscayne. You can anchor or find marinas in that area. From Key Biscayne, you have tow choices. You can go inside through Florida Bay, or you can go outside in the Hawk Channel to Marathon. The Florida Bay route is shallow, with miles of water at 6′, 5-1/2′ in places, but a lot of fun. There are good marina options and many anchorage options. The Hawk Channel is exposed to ocean winds and weather, and there are fewer places to stop. Opportunities to get back inside from the Hawk Channel are very limited, but one such place is channel 5 at Islamorada.

    Going north along the SW Florida coast also involves choices. From Channel 5, you can follow the “Yacht Channel” to Cape Sable. The Yacht Channel takes you through the Everglades National Seashore. Navigation in that area involves Situational Awareness. Within the Nation Seashore boundary, there are no crab floats but the water is 5-1/2′. Outside the National Seashore boundary, you get 6′ of water, but there are thousands of crab floats. There is one recommended anchorage, at the Little Shark River. There is no place there to safely land a dog.

    One thing to know and understand about SW Florida is that on that part of the Gulf, there is only one high tide per day, and it tends to be from about 14h00 to about 17h00 daily. Spring tide times look more typical of East Coast tides, but neap cycles are clear with one tide per day.

    You can make the same trip to the Little Shark from Marathon, but in somewhat better water. Yes, you will have crab floats approaching the SW mainland shore.

    From the Little Shark north, visit Everglades City via the Baron River. Stay at the Spprtsman’s Club. Great stop. Again, shallow water, and less forgiving than the sandy bottom Yacht Channel. The River is well marked, but it does have a fast current at ebb and flood. Mindful of the low morning tides, don’t leave EC at Oh dark thirty. Wait ’til mid-morning. Get local water level knowledge at the Sportsman’s Club. But, the trip is well worth the care required.

    Again now, more options. From EC, you can go outside in the Gulf, north around the Cape Romano shoals and just head for Ft. Myers Beach or Sanibel. Or, you can go inside through Gullivan Bay and Coon Key Pass, through Goodland, FL, and up toward Marco. There is a high rise bridge immediately south of Marco. The marker colors change sides there. DO NOT MISS THAT NAV DETAIL. That route is described on my website, and you should read it for more detail. It carries 5-1/2′ of water. Despite the tentative words, it is my preferred route.

    Again, still more options… From Marco, you can go outside to Ft. Myers Beach or Sanibel, or you can go inside towards Naples. You will eventually have to go outside at Gordon Pass. There is no thru connection from Gordon Pass north to Ft. Myers Beach, but that outside is just a couple of hours. That route is shallow – well, BY NOW YOU HAVE FIGURED OUT THAT ALL OF SE FLORIDA IS SHALLOW – but we draw 4-1/2′ and have never had problem in these waters. Just stay in the marked channels!

    Hope this is what you wanted. I have done all of these waters several times. Charts are fairly reliable. Stay in marked channels!

    Sanctuary and crew crossed Lake O on 5/27/2017, when the depth was 5.03′. I posted a summary here on this forum on 5/28/2017, under the subject line, “Lake Okeechobee.” Since then, the lake is up another foot plus from summer rains.

    I don’t know who told you depths were unreliable. That is not so. The rim route from Moore Haven to Clewiston and the Clewiston Channel out into the lake are very well understood, and reliable.

    What is important is, you MUST have the skills to stay in the channel from Clewiston out into the main body of the lake. That channel is dredged from sandstone. Sandstone is a soft rock, but still plenty to damage running gear if you get too far to one side or t’other. You MUST be able to backlight that channel, and you MUST understand “set,” “drift” and “crabbing.”

    Given that you draw 4′, you draw less than we do. You will not have any problems if you stay in the marked channels. No worries.

    The area you are talking about is in the vicinity of G”9″, “G9A”. That area is one of two areas in the Clewiston Channel that control the depth of the channel (the other is out around G”5″). However, there is no local guidance I know of to favor green in that area. The channel is a dredged channel. If you get to the edges of that channel, you will contact sandstone ledges. To my knowledge, there are no obstructions IN THE CHANNEL. IF THERE ARE OBSTRUCTIONS IN THE CHANNEL, YOU OWE IT TO EVERYONE ELSE TO PLEASE ENTER THAT FINDING INTO ACTIVE CAPTAIN! The only comment in Active Captain in that area today is a missing marker at R”8A”. And yes, that is in the approximate area you describe.

    Jim Healy

    From Berwick Duval

    We just returned from the Bahamas. Miami to Bimini is an easy trip. Marathon to Bimini is a hump which we did to take advantage of a weather window. Stuart to West End or Great Sale is doable. I also second the purchase of explorer chart books as they have valuable info on the Bahamas plus great charts. Our blog has some info on our route- mvmoondance.blogspot.com.

    It is a great adventure so have fun!

    Berwick Duval

  • Bahamas Chatter: Miami to Bimini to Great Harbor Cay (Berry)

    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: Miami to Bimini to Great Harbor Cay (Berry)

    Miami to Bimini to Great Harbor Cay (Berry)
    Posted: 03 Jul 2017 03:25 PM PDT
    We are looking for a buddy to cruise from Miami to Bimini on July 15th and then to Great Harbor Cay on July 16th.

    My boat is a Formula 37 and cruises at 17 mph.

  • Bahamas Chatter: “Looking for a buddy cruiser Bimini to Chub” plus 1 more

    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: “Looking for a buddy cruiser Bimini to Chub” plus 1 more
    READ MORE!

    Looking for a buddy cruiser Bimini to Chub
    Posted: 30 Jun 2017 04:13 AM PDT
    We are leaving the Bimini Big Game on Tuesday July 11th. We cruise at 10kts. We would love to cruise with another boat.

    Thanks Dynamic Duo Plus

    Bimini’s downward spiral continues.
    Posted: 30 Jun 2017 04:11 AM PDT
    We rarely go to Bimini anymore as for the last 10 years or so it seems the island has been in a downward spiral. I am so glad I got to experience the real Bimini, a pretty, welcoming and unmolested island just across the Stream.

    We went back a couple of weeks ago and it looks like Bimini has hit a new low in just one year since our last visit. Overall the island is dirty, smelly, with junk is everywhere from rusty golf carts to trash and unfinished structure.

    Anyone remember the trail running along the beach under the pines on the north west side? All gone all is left is the beach on the north east side, which is very nice and a good spot to anchor in light winds but I wonder how far will Resort Workd continue to expand. Will this last stretch of natural shoreline disappear too?

    The destruction of Bimini’s natural beauty continues at resort world with constant bulldozing, dredging, filling and expansion.

    Mother Nature hasn’t helped with currents and wave action continuing to erode the beach at honeymoon harbor on Gun Cay. Most of it is gone now…

    All that remains of the Bimini of old days is the fishing and the wreck of the Sapona, still visible for miles and still worth a snorkeling stop. Ironic how a wreck is the symbol of this wrecked island.

    Sad

  • Bahamas Chatter: Staniel Cay Yacht Club Temporary Closing

    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: Staniel Cay Yacht Club Temporary Closing
    Staniel Cay Yacht Club Temporary Closing
    Posted: 26 Jun 2017 08:35 AM PDT
    SCYC doesn’t normally close in the fall, but we will be closing most of the SCYC facilities in October, 2017 for renovations. READ MORE!

    The Hotel and Restaurant will close Oct. 6 and reopen November 2.

    During that time, the Marina will be open for dockage, fuel, ice, and bait. However, the Marina will also be having work done on various parts so any boaters should expect construction noise if they chose to tie up.

    The Bar will also be open, but in a limited capacity (no food).

    Both the hotel property and the marina will be receiving significant improvements.

    • All bungalows will be completely refreshed, both interiors and exteriors.
    • Property walkways are being redone as well as upgrading landscaping and outdoor lighting.
    • The restaurant will also be receiving expanded kitchen space to allow for greater capacity and quicker service.
    • The marina docks will be completely refurbished and resurfaced.

  • Staniel Cay Yacht Club to Close for Renovations in October, Exumas, Bahamas

     Welcome to the Staniel Cay Yacht Club, your own paradise in the middle of the beautiful Exumas.staniel

    Staniel Cay Yacht Club, a favorite destination for cruisers in the Exumas, has always been most accommodating for its guests and word of such exceptional service for cruisers spreads like a wind driven wild fire. Staniel Cay Yacht Club is a longtime SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR.

    Hi – SCYC doesn’t normally close in the fall, but we will be closing most of the SCYC facilities in October, 2017 for renovations. READ MORE!

    The Hotel and Restaurant will close Oct. 6 and reopen November 2.

    Both the hotel property and the marina will be receiving significant improvements.
    • All bungalows will be completely refreshed, both interiors and exteriors.
    • Property walkways are being redone as well as upgrading landscaping and outdoor lighting.
    • The restaurant will also be receiving expanded kitchen space to allow for greater capacity and quicker service.
    • The marina docks will be completely refurbished and resurfaced.

    During that time, the Marina will be open for dockage, fuel, ice, and bait. However, the Marina will also be having work done on various parts so any boaters should expect construction noise if they chose to tie up.

    The Bar will also be open, but in a limited capacity (no food).

    Please distribute this information as you see fit.

    Thank you!
    Chris Pitney
    SCYC

  • Bahamas Chatter: Rum Cay visit

    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: Rum Cay visit
    Rum Cay visit
    Posted: 25 Jun 2017 04:01 AM PDT
    We visited Rum Cay on June 23. READ MORE!

    It was our second attempt to anchor near the Government dock, due to strong winds. We tendered in to what remains of the marina, and were shocked to find the marina entrance completely closed in with sand. There is no entrance possible, and some boats are trapped in what remains of the basin. We went over to Kaye’s Restaurant (which is now also the island store in one corner.) Dolores’ daughter, Kaye, was most cordial, cooked lunch for us, and answered all our questions with grace and poise. Since Hurricane Joaquin, many buildings remain damaged. The mailboat dock is pilings only, but the mailboat still comes. Kaye told us that the marina is closed and the ownership is still tied up in court. She said there is no regularly scheduled air service, although the airport is open. We hope these resilient people (approximately 60 residents) get back on their feet. Kaye’s guest log shows that sailboats frequently stop by.
  • Special Report – Bahamas by Greg Allard

    This special report by Greg Allard is typical of the excellent reporting and gorgeous photos our readers have come to expect from Greg’s contribution. And, as always, SSECN is deeply grateful!

    Report from the Bahamas – Grand Bahama: West End & Port Lucaya

    Hurricane Matthew tore through the Bahamas in early October of 2016. When it reached Grand Bahama, it battered the island with sustained winds of 140 mph. This is a report on the current conditions at two of the marinas which are often used by cruisers.  READ MORE!

    1) West End – Old Bahama Bay – West End is one of the key locations for cruisers either entering or leaving the Bahamas. Old Bahama Bay Marina, at West End, was closed for months after the storm, and then re-opened for dockage at $1.00 a foot since the marina was still without power.

    We visited Old Bahama Bay earlier this month (June 12-14, 2017). The marina is now in full operation, and it looks the same as it did before the hurricane. There had been minimal dock damage (all now repaired), thanks to the substantial jetty/sea wall which surrounds the harbor. The main damage had been to the electrical system, since the storm surge had risen about four feet above the level of the fixed docks, destroying all of the power posts and transformers. Those have now been replaced with brand new ones, the repairs to the power supply were completed about two months ago, and power at the docks is solid, at good voltage.

    Generally the resort property at Old Bahama Bay looks excellent. The grounds and buildings are in very good condition, the pool and restaurant are open and there was a lot of activity. Unfortunately, the tiki-bar by the beach at the north side of the property was completely destroyed, as well as a small nearby “shack” which handled diving tours, towels, kayaks, etc. Wisely, the resort rebuilt a temporary tiki bar, which serves drinks and food. Old Bahama Bay has plans to start construction in September on a permanent building at the site, which will include a tiki-bar, dining tables, bathrooms, and other facilities. The Customs/Immigration office at the marina is fully operational.

    The temporary tiki-bar at the beachfront is at the left. The beer was cold and the food good. Eddie’s Gully Wash booth reopened, as did the two local booths run by Miss Anne (a legend at Old Bahama Bay) and Cora, both residents of the West End settlement, which is a small village about two miles east of the resort. That settlement was devastated by the hurricane. We spoke to one resident who – at the height of the storm – had to swim with her family out the back door of her home, toward higher ground.

    Many of the residents of that settlement work at Old Bahama Bay, the only real source of employment in the area. It is worth taking some time to visit the settlement. If you want to help with their recovery efforts, make a donation at the St. Mary Magdalene Episcopal/Anglican church. Then, have some excellent conch salad at Shevo’s Conch Shack which was rebuilt and is right along the waterfront; try one of their specialties – a delicious tropical conch salad.

    The resort property is in fine condition. The pool was clean, with all new poolside furniture.

    Dockage at Old Bahama Bay is not inexpensive at $2.99 a foot. Membership in the Royal Marsh Harbor Yacht Club (RMHYC) entitles you a 20% discount, and allows you to waive the mandatory $20 a day water charge; no discount on holidays.

    If you regularly cruise in the Abacos, you should consider joining the RMHYC, which offers discounts on dockage in many places in the Abacos, and in a few places elsewhere in the Bahamas and in the U.S. (At the Leeward Yacht Club on Green Turtle Cay, the RMHYC card not only gives you a 10% discount on dockage, but also on food and drink at their restaurant.) Here’s the RMHYC link: http://www.rmhyc.com

    Many cruisers find Old Bahama Bay at West End to be perfectly positioned. It’s not just a marina but a resort, so while the dockage charges seem high, you do have access to all of their facilities. We found it a restful stop on our return from three months in the Bahamas.

    2) Grand Bahama Yacht Club at Port Lucaya – About 30 miles east of West End, on the southern coast of Grand Bahama, is Port Lucaya. There are two major marinas there, both owned by the same company. As you enter the harbor through Bell Channel, the Port Lucaya Marina is to port, and the Grand Bahama Yacht Club (GBYC) is to starboard. On our way to the Bahamas, four months ago, we stayed at the Grand Bahama Yacht Club, which was our first stop as we entered the country from the U.S. Contrary to current postings on another web-site, there is no fuel at Port Lucaya Marina, and no Customs/Immigration – both of those operations have been moved months ago to the GBYC. We did not visit the Port Lucaya marina on this trip, but we heard that they had considerable damage – including to the harbormaster’s office which had been completely destroyed.

    Grand Bahama Yacht Club also had damage, but is now in full operation. Some of the slips are unusable, but many are fine, and the repair work continues. The marina will not assign you to any damaged slip.

    The Grand Bahama Yacht Club’s docks can accommodate boats of all sizes. There are many usable undamaged slips; note the two broken pilings between the first two boats.

    This is one of the slips at the marina which is undergoing repair. Apparently a large yacht sought refuge from Matthew at the marina, and was tied to this dock. The hurricane sank the yacht, tearing the concrete dock apart in the process. On the far shore are two other casualties of the storm.

    Both marinas in Port Lucaya list their dockage at $2.20 a foot, but discounts can be had after some polite discussions directly with the marina manager; don’t use the US phone number for any reservations, as they are clueless about any discounts. Instead, call the marina directly. GBYC also offers some good longer term rates. The pool-bar and restaurant at GBYC have not yet reopened, but the marina runs a ferry, on demand, which is a five minute trip over to the Port Lucaya Marina, where there are several restaurants and shopping (and often big crowds, bussed in from cruise ships, to shop there.) We much prefer the peaceful, less frenetic GBYC, with its pleasant grounds and friendly staff. Karen is the congenial manager, Fabian and Aaron the excellent, helpful dockmasters. When we were there, the pool was open, but it needed attention.

    One of the best, highest rated (and expensive) restaurants in the Bahamas, is diagonally across the harbor from the GBYC. We’ve had exceptional meals there. The Flying Fish restaurant has a dinghy dock, and the water shuttle from GBYC will take you there too. Their bar menu, each day at 5:30 out on the patio/dock, is a good value.
    Greg Allard

    Note: I have no financial interest in any of these marinas, and received no compensation in any form.
    These reviews are submitted for the assistance of members of Salty South East Cruisers’ Net.

  • Bahamas Chatter: 8th Edition of Explorer Chartbook Near Bahamas

    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: 8th Edition of Explorer Chartbook Near BahamasREAD MORE!

    8th Edition of Explorer Chartbook Near Bahamas
    Posted: 23 Jun 2017 08:34 AM PDT
    For those of you who have been waiting for the newest edition (8th) of the popular Explorer Chartbook Near Bahamas, which includes the Biminis, Berrys, Andros, Grand Bahama, Abacos, and New Providence), it is ready to ship to your doorstep. Order online at www.explorercharts.com.

    And remember that the new 8th edition of the Explorer Chartbook Exumas just came out last week! If you order all three chartbooks online, you get $4 off each chartbook for a savings of $12. Shipping is free.

    Here’s a peek at the new Near Bahamas:

  • Bahamas Chatter: “Treasure Cay Events” plus 1 more

    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: “Treasure Cay Events” plus 1 more
    Treasure Cay Events
    Posted: 14 Jun 2017 01:02 PM PDT
    Check out the following link to see what exciting things are going on for the rest of June at Treasure Cay Resort and Marina on Great Abaco:

    https://treasurecay.com/events-calendar/weekly-events-june-2017/

    New 8th edition Explorer Chartbook Exumas

  • Persian Cat Found, Abacos, Bahamas – 6/14 Happy Ending

    Ask your anchorage and docking neighbors!  Our thanks to Carmen Albury for this notice.

    Hi, Has anyone cruising through the Abaco’s lost their cat? A sweet Persian cat has been found and appears to have fallen off a boat. Please contact Caribbean Veterinary Center in Abaco at (242) 367-3551 IF THIS IS YOUR KITTY.
    Thank you.
    Carmen Albury READ MORE for Happy Ending!

    6/1/17
    Hi Larry
    The kitty’s owners have not been located and at this point I am fostering her at home. I posted an update and if they don’t contact me by Friday I will be seeking a good home for her. I’d love to keep her but am at my limit of what I’m allowed to have.
    Because our offices will be closed for a few days I added a personal email so anyone can contact me. [See Carmen’s comment below] Thanks again,
    Carmen

    Happy Ending!  Thanks to Carmen Albury

    6/14/17 
    Hi Larry,
    Just a quick update. No one has come forward to claim or adopt kitty, now named Salty. She is an older girl with some health issues so I found a way for her to stay with me. She will be well spoiled as she deserves to be. She had a tough start here, and had either swam to a deserted cay where she was found and brought to us, or worse, which is an alternative I’d prefer not to think about. In any case she is now happy and loved.
    Thank you so much for your help.
    Carmen

  • Looking for Buddy Boats to the Bahamas

    If you are headed for the Bahamas this summer and would like company, give John and Judy a call.

    Looking for buddy boat(s) to cruise the Bahamas. John and Judy are sailing a 35 ft Heritage, departing the Miami area the end of June or early July, looking for the company of other boats to join us on the trip.READ MORE!

    We find that sailing with a “buddy” or 2 increases the enjoyment. The cruising area will be the Abacos and Bimini. We are a retired couple and are not licensed boat captains, but John has extensive experience in the Bahamas, but not recently. If you think you would like to take the trip, give us a call at 863-655-4153 and we’ll talk about it.
    John and Judy Egizi
  • Woodrow Sutton Memorial, May 20, 2017

    In Memoriam – Woody Sutton, Past Commodore of Royal Marsh Harbor Yacht Club

    From: “Eric Sutton” 
    Subject: Woodrow Sutton Memorial

    All,

    As you know, last week our family suddenly and unexpectedly lost my father, Woody Sutton. First of all, thank you for all of your kind thoughts, we have been touched by all your support. Read More

    My mother, Mary and I invite you to a memorial for my father on Saturday, May 20th, 2017 from 10 am to 2 pm at 2441 N. Rockwell Ave, Chicago, IL 60647. We hope that you will be able to join us to share memories and celebrate how much he added to all of our lives.

    If you plan to attend, please respond to [eric.sutton@gmail.com] so we are able to plan for food and beverages.

    In lieu of flowers, our family asks that you donate to one of two causes: 1) Every Child Counts which is a school for special needs children that he supported in the Bahamas http://www.everychildcountsabaco.org/how-to-donate/ or 2) YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago citing the designation “Community Schools Annual Fund” which provides a safe place, academic help, the arts as well as other opportunities to CPS students, or other YMCA program of your choice https://donate.ymcachicago.org.

    Please feel free to pass this information on to those that you think would like to know about this. Thank you again for all your support, and we look forward to seeing you.

    Eric Sutton <eric.sutton@gmail.com>
    773-417-9922

  • Bahamas Chatter: “New touring fee at Highbourne Cay” plus 2 more

    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 touring fee at Highbourne Cay” plus 2 more  Read More

    New touring fee at Highbourne Cay
    Highbourne Cay is now charging a $25 landing fee for persons who are not registered at the marina to tour the cay. This fee does not apply to persons just going to the store, the restaurant, or getting fuel.

    New fuel and dockage survey
    Posted: 08 May 2017 02:22 PM PDT
    We just completed a survey of most of the marinas offering fuel and dockage in the Bahamas. Some we were unable to contact at the present time. More diesel and gas prices were up than down.

    Please go to our website www.explorercharts.com under Fuel and Dockage Prices to check our latest findings. We will be updating continuously as we get new information.

    Bimini Sands resturants..
    Posted: 08 May 2017 02:16 PM PDT
    FYI…both resturants at Bimini Sands are now closed. To bad, as I always liked taking there bus out there, and enjoy the sand floor bar, and good burgers. There susi bar was always good. Gota wonder what was going on there…more stuff closing down…to bad..DenO

  • In Memoriam – Woody Sutton, Past Commodore of Royal Marsh Harbor Yacht Club, Abaco, Northern Bahamas

    Royal Marsh Harbour Yacht ClubRoyal Marsh Harbour Yacht Club, A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR, is a popular cruising stop in the Bahamas and Commodore Woody will be missed.

    Fellow Members,

    It is with profound sadness that I share with you the passing of immediate past Commodore Woody Sutton in a car accident in South Carolina this past Sunday. Woody and his wife Ellen were heading home to Chicago for the summer when the accident occurred. Ellen, thankfully survived the accident with only minor injuries. Read More

    On behalf of the Club, I wish to extend our deepest sympathies to Ellen, a treasured member of our organization. I also wish to send our sympathies to Woody and Ellen’s children and extended family, and of course to their Dock 7 family as well.

    Woody will be remembered for his compassionate leadership, his contributions to the Club and the larger boating community, and his enthusiasm on the pickle ball court and in his yoga classes.

    Personally, I am grateful for the guidance, wisdom and generous support Woody shared with me over the past few years. His advice, as we have transitioned roles this year, has been invaluable.

    Memorial arrangements are currently being planned and I will share that information with you when it becomes available.

    We have all lost a great friend. Boat Harbour will never be the same without him. Please keep Ellen and the Sutton family in your thoughts and prayers.

    Respectfully,

    Ray Meyer

    Commodore,
    Royal Marsh Harbour Yacht Club

  • Bahamas Chatter: Bimini Sands reopens restaurants and stores

    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: Bimini Sands reopens restaurants and stores
    Bimini Sands reopens restaurants and stores  
    Posted: 30 Apr 2017 02:22 PM PDT READ MORE!

    Gaylord Taylor and Helena Burrows are the new property managers at Bimini Sands on the beach at South Bimini. As new managers they will oversee the grounds, amenities, security and day to day aspects of keeping Bimini Sands running smoothly with a smile.

    Grab an ice cold cocktail and enjoy the beautiful infinity pool while Chef George cooks up your catch. The Little Dipper restaurant and bar is now open 7 days a week, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. The Petite Conch will reopen in mid May as the Big Dipper under the leadership of Phylicia (Philly) Ferguson. The Ship Store will also reopen mid May, bringing more amenities and comforts back to our guests. Want to explore South Bimini? Bicycles are now for rent at the office. Head over and see Shelly and start your adventure today.

    Nothing ruins a beautiful Bimini day faster than mosquitoes, the management has brought in a new team to tackle this issue. They have started an aggressive treatment program and we are already seeing and feeling a huge difference.

    Dockage for most boats is now $2.25 per foot.  

  • Bahamas Chatter: Treasure Cay security gate coming May 1, 2017

    Bahamas Chatter: Treasure Cay security gate coming May 1, 2017
    Treasure Cay security gate coming May 1, 2017
    Posted: 26 Apr 2017 12:39 PM PDT  READ MORE

    The Treasure Cay Property Owners’ Association is pleased to announce the

    implementation of plans to provide improved marine security for all who use the

    waterways inside of Treasure Cay, via controlled access in and out of the channel to the

    marina and private residence docks.

    Beginning May 1, 2017, the entrance to the Treasure Cay channel north of the fuel dock

    will be controlled with a cabled boom system between the hours of 11 PM and 5 AM.

    Security staff will be available via channel 16 (Treasure Cay Marina) and land line (242-

    365-8899) to provide emergency access. Also, emergency docking for boats arriving at

    Treasure Cay during the above hours will be available at the fuel dock, so that safe,

    accessible, lighted dockage will always be available.

    Numerous lighted signs will be installed along the channel so that boaters entering and

    leaving the harbor will be given sufficient advance notice when the boom is in place.

    Our Treasure Cay security teams will continue their nightly boat patrols in the harbor and

    adjacent canals and our land based security guards will be available to assist as necessary.

    This long awaited improvement to marine security is important for all boaters who live in

    or visit Treasure Cay. This is one more step taken together by the Treasure Cay Property

    Owners’ Association and Treasure Cay, Ltd. to see that boaters will have the security

    they need and deserve in Treasure Cay.

    For additional information contact: Bill McLean, Security Committee Chair

    242-365-8736

    wjmclean3@aol.com

    CLICK HERE FOR AREA SPONSORING MARINAS
    Royal Marsh Harbour Yacht Club
     Welcome to the Staniel Cay Yacht Club, your own paradise in the middle of the beautiful Exumas.

  • Bahamas Chatter: Waypoint Correction

    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: Waypoint Correction
    Waypoint Correction
    Posted: 18 Apr 2017 04:08 AM PDT
    Correct the Emerald Bay waypoint on Chart EX29A, page 47, Exumas and Ragged Island Chartbook, to read 23° 38.29′ N/75° 54.75′ W. The waypoint is correct on page 46,Chart EX 29, and page 17, Chart EX 7.

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