As reported by Mike Ahart in Waterway News Updates, http://www.waterwayguide.com/waterway-updates/news/BAH/3928/Chikungunya-virus-spreads-to-Turks-&-Caicos-is-the-Bahamas-next??utm_source=iContact&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=News-and-Navigation-Blasts&utm_content=CWU-6-26-2014-final, the mosquito-borne chikungunya virus has been spreading through the Caribbean and has reached the Turks & Caicos. Health officials in the Bahamas expect that it will soon spread into the Bahamas.
ALTHOUGH no cases of the chikungunya virus have been detected in the Bahamas, the virus is “likely” to arrive and infect people in the country, according to a local health official.
Dr Delon Brennen, chief medical officer in the Ministry of Health, told The Tribune yesterday that it would be improbable for the Bahamas to escape infections from the fast-spreading virus.
“It’s impossible to predict when, but it’s spreading throughout the Caribbean and has come as high as Turks and Caicos island,” he said. “With all the travel and trade throughout the Caribbean, it’s likely to come here.”
Cases of the virus have already been detected in the United States. Dr Brennen said whether many of this country’s residents are affected will depend partly on the quality of precautionary measures they take.
By RASHAD ROLLE
Tribune Staff Reporter
For the full story in the Tribune242.com article, go to http://www.tribune242.com/news/2014/jun/25/chikungunya-virus-likely-affect-people-bahamas/
Staniel Cay Yacht Club gets very high marks from cruisers, as in http://cruisersnet.net/?p=126893, because, after all, they are a SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR!!
Staniel Cay Yacht Club Important Announcement
Exciting News! Major Dining Experience Renovations at SCYC! New seating, better capacity and even better food!
In order to make this happen, certain aspects of SCYC will be closed from September 16, 2014 through November 1, 2014.
The following will be CLOSED from 9/16/2014 – 11/1/2014: Breakfast, Dinner, & Bungalows (hotel)
HOWEVER, THE FOLLOWING WILL REMAIN OPEN: Marina, Fuel Dock, Lunch (daily grill out on the marina), Ice/Garbage, Bar (drinks only – no “bar food”), Gift Shop/Liquor Store, WiFi Internet
We know you are going to love the changes!
Skipper Berman obviously has spent a good deal time in the Bahamas and most recently commented on Staniel Cay Yacht Club: http://cruisersnet.net/?p=142927 He offers good advice on lengthy stays in the Bahamas.
We could likely write a book about “stories” concerning the frustrations and costs of getting parts, mechanics and repairs in the Bahamas. Own own “adventures” and others. What needs to be emphasized is the importance of getting the mechanicals in first class shape before entering the Bahamas, having an abundance of spares aboard and then if difficulties arise being prepared to take ones vessel back to Florida. Even if it has to be towed. What is especially galling is having to pay a “hefty duty” for flying in a skilled engine mechanic on top of the duties levied on the parts. The upside is that for the most part the Bahamas are not crowded outside the major tourist areas. Few Americans keep their boats in the Bahamas for extended periods. How would they get repairs/maintenance ?
Cruising to the Bahamas is always an “adventure”.
Peter I Berman
Usually, Staniel Cay Yacht Club gets very high marks, as in http://cruisersnet.net/?p=126893, because, after all, they are a SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR!!
Quality food supplies are a problem. And the surrounding anchorage is not friendly in a real blow. Together with many shoal areas. Areas north and south of Staniel offer some of the most magnificent secluded anchorages on the planet. But Staniel does have its bar. And nearby Thunderball.
Skipper Jerry is asking for your input into a cruise he is planning. He has given us his email so you can communicate directly. While the bulk of the cruise will be well beyond the waters covered by SSECN, we know that many of you have made the trip he is proposing. If you have advice for Skipper Jerry, give him a shout!
I’m looking for input from SSEC members who have sailed recently to Guatemala through Mexico. I will be sailing from Fort Myers Beach and am interested in any customs problems and piracy issues. email@example.com
Parker Yachts is located at 225 SW 32nd St, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33315, (954) 463-1515, www.parkeryacht.com
For the second time on our cruise this year, we’ve had tremendous help from a marine business. This time, we were stranded in George Town, Exumas with two non-working engines. Our catamaran has two T9.9 Yamahas. We’d been down one engine for a couple of weeks, and lost the second engine on our arrival in George Town. After trouble-shooting the issues, we determined we needed a replacement CDI, Pulser Coil, and Charge Coil. These parts were not available in the Bahamas so we called several parts dealers in the States. All estimated at least a two-week delivery just to get the parts to their own shops. Susan at Parker Yachts understood our plight and was sympathetic. She managed to get us all that we needed in a matter of days, and personally delivered them to Reggie Express Air for flight directly to George Town. We can’t say enough about how terrific Susan was to work with. Her communication, sense of humor, professionalism, and ability to get what you need FAST is exemplary. Our thanks to Susan and Parker Yachts for helping us to get our engines up and running and our cruise under way again.
George and Karen Schietinger s/v Tara
Captain Andrus’ remarks are in response to several cruisers’ 2010 comments on Bahamian Duty regulations (http://cruisersnet.net/?p=29222). If you have had similar difficulties or experiences, let us hear from you.
Beware! Take a copy of the duty rules! I have a 6 month cruise prtmit on my 35′ trawler, paid $300. Went home, our gps had a problem and couldn’t be fixed in Freeport. When I brought my obviously used GPS back, with my cruise permit and Canadian registration, I was singed a 45% duty.. Yes, 45% on it, and on a new dragonfly I bought to install on the boat. To add to the insult, the person working the cashiers booth hadn’t shown up for work… Nassau Int’l Airport, Friday, 9:30 am, so I either had to find the $1200 cash or wait. AND they assessed the duty for the Raymarine Dragonfly on the retail price AND the 15% HST – boy am I pissed.
Staniel Cay is my favorite place in the Bahamas, and Staniel Cay Yacht Club is my favorite place to be. If there is a more perfect beach bar in the entire world, than theirs, I have yet to find it.
Everybody who asks me where to go in the Bahamas, I say Staniel Cay Yacht Club. It’s a great place to sail to, and, it has the absolutely most convenient airport, if you want to fly (and not even have to connect through Nassau).
Can’t get to Staniel right now? Come see us at the Ft. Lauderdale Boat Show!
We have just received confirmation that the Sampson Cay Club, Exumas, Bahamas, is closing as a commercial facility and will become the private island of it’s owner, John Malone. One of our loyal partners was cruising in the area and took the pictures, depicted below, showing that Sampson was “Closed for Renovations,” and then an article in the Nassau Guardian (excerpted below) confirmed that Mr. Malone would not re-open to the public.
Then, just yesterday, we heard from SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR, Staniel Cay Yacht Club’s owner (http://www.stanielcay.com/), David Hocher, that indeed Sampson is closed, and not likely to ever reopen to the public again. More importantly, as you will see in the note from Mr. Hocher below, Staniel Cay is ready, willing and able to provide ALL the services cruisers once looked to find at Sampson Cay.
This is a rather BIG DEAL for these waters, because in the central Exumas, Sampson Cay was one of three functioning marinas, along with Compass Cay Marina and Staniel Cay Yacht Club. The closure of Sampson Cay effectively eliminates about 40% of the available slips in the area.
So, having spent some time at Staniel Cay Yacht Club ourselves, I can attest, with no fear of relaying any sort of inaccuracy, this is an absolutely FIRST-CLASS establishment in every way, with plentiful fuel (see below), superb dining, plus a great bar, and plenty of wet slip dockage. In short, if you are cruising the Exumas, this is THE place to be!
You can also read the excerpt below, taken from a “Nassau Guardian” article to learn more about the closing of Sampson Cay!
Sampson Cay has closed and announced that it does not intend to re-open as a “public” establishment. We [at Staniel Cay Yacht Club] have made arrangements to increase our fuel supply to cover the increased demand. Other services that they provided (store and laundry) will be absorbed by the existing local establishments on Staniel and Blackpoint. In terms of actual dock space, Staniel Cay Yacht Club and Compass Cay are now the only two options in our area of the Exumas.
We warmly invite all the former patrons of Sampson Cay to Staniel Cay Yacht Club. We are waiting to serve you!
Excerpted From “The Nassau Guardian” (http://www.thenassauguardian.com)
Billionaire shuts down Exuma island resort
Guardian Business Editor
A popular Great Exuma resort and marina has shut its doors, in a move which will lead to job losses for employees and a reduction in destinations for visiting boaters, Guardian Business has learned.
The Sampson Cay Club, owned by billionaire telecommunications mogul John Malone, was taken out of commercial use by it owner in August, and will not be reopened.
The property includes five villas, a restaurant and a marina.
IN an emailed statement sent to Guardian Business yesterday, Christine Stewart, island manager for Sampson Cay Club, confirmed the closure.
“The Sampson Cay Club closed for renovations August 1, 2013. When the renovations are complete, the island will not reopen for business. It will be the owner’s private island for use by his family and his guests. Mr. Malone’s decision to go private had many contributing factors.”
“The bottom line is that over the time that he has owned the island, his usage has changed, and he now wants to be able to enjoy this Bahamian paradise with his family and friends.”
Malone served as chef executive office of cable and giant, Tele-Communications Inc., for 24 yers from 1973 to 1996.
He is now chairman of Liberty Media and Liberty Global, and CEO of Discovery Holding Company, and was recently recognized as the “largest landowner in the United States” by Fortune Magazine.
When I was there [at Sampson Cay - Editor] in late June, I wasn’t impressed by the level of service we received – the staff seemed as if they could care less about our presence. I imagine they were already aware of what was coming. I was sorry I didn’t go to Staniel, but I’d wanted my crew to see what this place was like. I imagine anchoring and going ashore there will now be impossible.
Another piece of paradise lost to the common man. How long, I wonder, before the Bahamas is ‘sold out’?
Disappointing to hear this, but billionaires certainly need their privacy.
So much for the public good.
A sad day for southern Bahamas cruisers and another billionaire erecting no trespassing signs. It is a good time to remind them of what I believe is Bahamian law, that all Bahamians (and I presume seafarers) have the common law right to use the foreshore (the area between the average high and low tide marks) and beach for swimming, fishing and navigation. So enjoy your picnic notwithstanding the sign when you arrive by dinghy.
Sampson Cay will surely be missed. The docks are much more secure weatherwise than either Compass or Staniel.. I enjoyed many nights “snugged up tight” in Sampson waiting for a Norther to blow out so I could return to the Big Majors Spot anchorage where I spent 2 months one winter. Lovely Islands………..lovely people; the best cruising grounds in the world!.
March 12, 2014
Well, it is certainly a sad time for the boating community that enjoyed the marina and its services. I am all for freedom to do as you please and manage your holdings in the way you desire. It is the American way and that is Mr Malones choice. Why should he not do with it as he pleases? He owns it..
The water and the lovely sand bar that surround sampson key , he does not own.. That is the loveliest part and still available to the boaters and locals to enjoy, swimming , snorkeling and just loving the beauty of the bahamas,
I say… live and let live.. Good going, Mr Malone…. You have done well and deserve to enjoy your island with your friends and family..
I would possibly do the same…Freedom is good…freedom is the key to living life as it should be lived.. Think of the alternative… some people aren’t so free. lets rejoice in our freedom.
Really sad to know that there is not more Samson Marina summer vacations, it will be miss in the family !
The Salty Southeast Cruisers’ Net is very pleased to announce the impending publication of a new member of the “Great Book of Anchorages” series, authored by our good friends, and frequent SSECN contributors, Captains Susan Landry and Chuck Baier. Chuck and Susan are the founder and owners of Beach House Publications (http://www.tgboa.com).
As you will see from the full text of their Press Release below, this new, exciting volume concerns itself with the myriad anchorages in the Bahamas! Wow, talk about a NEEDED anchorage guide book. I can’t think of any waters where a volume of this ilk will be more useful. Follow the links below to pre-order your copy TODAY!!!!!
Sarasota, Florida – August 5, 2013 — Publishers Chuck Baier and Susan Landry of Beach House Publications announce their collaboration with Wavey Line Publishing, producers of Wavey Line Charts, for the newest “The Great Book of Anchorages, The Bahamas,” scheduled for release in September 2013.
Beach House Publications (http://www.tgboa.com/) released the first in the series of The Great Book of Anchorages, Norfolk to Key West, including The St. Johns River, in August of 2012. After an extensive cruise through the Bahamas for research, we are pleased to announce the release of our Bahamas Edition in September 2013. This new edition, featuring very detailed Wavey Line Chartlets and many anchorage details in a unique format, will prove to be a valuable resource for boaters traveling to the Bahamas. The Bahamas Edition covers hundreds of anchorages in the most popular and well traveled areas of the Bahamas, including Grand Bahama, Abacos, Berry Islands, Bimini, Eleuthera, and the Exumas to Georgetown.
Wavey Line Publishing has a portfolio of more than 300 charts covering the Bahamas, Turks & Caicos Islands and the Dominican Republic North Coast in paper and electronic versions. Bob C. Gascoine and Jane Minty published their surveys and their first chart, TC001, in December 1993. TC001 had the distinction of being the first navigational chart primarily for use with GPS. It featured new innovations such as a ‘one mile grid’ for ease of position plotting and ‘Waypoint List.’ The first edition sold out in six months; soon after Bob and Jane took up hydrography as a full-time occupation. Although Wavey Line Charts has a portfolio of more than 300 charts, only a third of these are published in hard copy as printed charts. Wavey Line licenses many more of these charts to all major electronic chart companies including: Jeppsen Digital Charts, Garmin, Nobeltec, Navionics, EarthNC, Maptech, Fugawi, GeoGarage Marine and Transas marine.
This will be the second in what will eventually be a series of six anchorage books that will encompass the waterways of the eastern United States. Additional books in the series will be the Chesapeake and Delaware Bay, New Jersey to New York, including the Hudson River, Chicago to Mobile, and the Gulf Coast Intracoastal Waterway from Mobile, Alabama to Cape Sable, Florida. The Great Book of Anchorages is available to the boating community now at http://www.tgboa.com, along with Photo Galleries and Interactive Maps. The publications can be purchased through several local and online venders, and the list can be found on the website at http://www.tgboa.com/get-your-copy. The next edition will be The Chesapeake Bay, which is currently in the research stage and will be available by Spring/Summer 2014. The order and dates of release for the additional books will depend on input and requests from the boating community.
The most unique anchorage guide available. The Great Book of Anchorages may very well become the standard for anchorage books to follow. Boaters can finally do an entire cruise without any marina stops or choose when they want to find paid dockage. The books are designed for information on anchoring and free docks and nothing else. It doesn’t pretend to be a cruising guide or combination cruising guide and anchorage information.
If you would like more information on The Great Book of Anchorages series, would like to order books, or interview Chuck or Susan, call us at 713-244-4686 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Susan Landry, Publisher/Author/Editor
Chuck Baier, Publisher/Author
Earlier reports had noted the lack of security at Brown’s Marina, so these improvements will be good news to their patrons.
Brown’s Marina under New Management since April 2012. New facilities (BBQ Grills, Lounge & Dining Areas, Renovated Showers, Volley Ball Court and property has been SECURED with CODED GATE ACCESS, SECURITY CAMERAS, WIFI) All new experience at Brown’s Marina and reasonable rates….USBoat members get 10% OFF.
The string of messages below are copied from the T&T (Trawlers and Trawlering) mail list!
Does the list find the passage from Memeory Rock to Great Sale Cay protected or potentially just a rough as a crossing from Ft Pierce.
Do I need to be any less concerned about wind speed and direction??
The Bahama banks between Memory Rock and Great Sale is open relatively shallow water which can cary a difficult short chop when winds climb into the high teens, low twenties. As compared to the Gulf stream which always gives a unpleasant ride when winds counter the current
If your weather information is good holding at anchor on the bank is doable but not recomemded as overnight wind shift/changes in speed are not unusual.
I am wondering at the choice of Ft. Pearce to Memory Rock (into the Gulf Stream current) as apposed to Lake Worth to same. Putting the current on your stern quarter?
Anyway going is the desired option, being stuck here sucks.
Russ, I guess the easy way to answer your question is to say that if you already made it from the mainland to the bank the rest of the trip to Great Sale is a piece a cake. The shallows keep down the sea conditions.
Couple of comments: I would come a bit further south than Ft Pierce due to the Stream flow. Also I suggest you cross north of Memory Rock and south of the White Sand Ridge. You will enter the Bank with 30 ft of water and it is a straight unobstructed shot from the there to Great Sale. This is important because you will approach Great Sale long after dark this time of year (assuming trawler speeds and dawn out of St Lucie inlet).
Clearing customs in the Exumas can be an expensive and frustrating process. Captain Leonard offers some good advice on alternative landings.
We cleared in after tying up at the Big Game Club, we got a ride in a golf cart to customs and is was done very smooth and with little effort. We have been to the Berry Island Club on Frazier’s Hog Cay, when Herbie was manager and Lincoln the chef and were not treated very well and were charged for everything!! Including $7 per load for washing clothes and the machine was broken!! We had to fill it with a garden hose!! Twice we gave over 24 hours notice for the restaurant and were forgotten both times!! When we ordered some supplies we got the Costco type refill (waaaaayyy tooo much) so hard to stow on a small yacht!! Needless to say, if you have to moor for a short time, it is a good place to wait out a storm, but I would move on as soon as possible, you will be a lot lighter in the pocket book if you don’t!! Everywhere else we went was wonderful. An even better place to go in the Berry Islands is Great Harbor, wonderful people and service!!
Lynda Leonard-S/V Choctaw Brave
You might want to caution your members about Brown’s Marina in Bimini – it is inherently exposed which was almost a problem last weekend …. when I pointed out to the dockmaster Mike he was cleating lines backwards he said he knew that, but he’s been tying up boats much longer than you (me) have. He also slept
through the full gale that Saturday night leaving boaters on the dock to look out for each other, including retrieving a bow when a line parted almost putting one sailboat into another. “You don’t expect me to stay up all night do you?” Dangerous old metal parts on my slip – broken ladder – would take 10 minutes to unbolt them but instead they stay, saying “Medivac, foot surgery, lawsuits.” I’d spend the extra money and go to the Big Fish and Game Club docks, more protected and while not quite as refurbished as the ads might lead you to believe, they offer free wifi even to boats on anchor and have a really nice restaurant and
bar. $1 a foot sounds good, but sometimes you get even less than what you pay for.
Your comments/ issues are just the tip of the iceberg.
I had a substantial amount of gear stolen there and am pretty sure it was the employees working there.(3) dive regulators, (1) 150ft 30 amp power cable, a pelican case and several other small items. the police were called in and the dock-master was no help at all. I think he may have been in on it. I will not stay there again.
My daughter was with me and these people came on the boat despite the fact that we had weapons.
Be careful and find alternate dockage……
After hurricane Irene, the entrance to Sumner Point marina Rum Cay Bahamas, has shoaled in on the starboard side and is rather narrow but deep. One needs to enter through the posts. We are a catamaran with 14 ft beam and had no problem. A sailboat with 6 ft draft entered after us on a falling tide. Some entrance buoys are missing and visual navigation required. The VHF at Sumner was not working but as we approached staff came down to direct us into slip. Dredging to return entrance to previous status is planned. Fuel not at marina because the barge can’ t get in. The locals are ordering maybe 20 gallons to come on mail boat which comes in weekly. The restaurant at marina is open as well as ones in town and market is open. Batelco is still closed but phone cards for Bahamian cells are bought off island and available from the post office or police officer. There are about 80 full time residents and total population is about 150 with winter residents. Some docks with power and water and internet. Docking is $1.00 a foot.
In early June, 2011, I experienced a very friendly & knowledgeable staff, but a poorly managed Bluff House Marina. It appears they are between owners and/or managers, but charging first class dockage fees for less than first class service. I feel they are living off a past reputation, but with proper management could be revived to a first clas status. Until this happens, I would recommend you stay at Green Turtle Club in White Sound for the same price per foot.
I docked there last week for three nights … new owners are doing a great job of fixing problems. I will go there again.
We docked at Bluff House Marine with our group in late July, 2011. The new owners (Ian & Stacy) were fantastic! Their level of service & attention to our needs was well above our typical Bahamian experience. They are making very positive changes. We recommend them & will be back.
We stayed at Bluff House for 4 nights over New Years of 2012. The food was wonderful the docks are in great shape, the showers and laundry are set for updating soon but were OK and reasonably clean. The owners are helpful, interested in feedback and completely engaged in getting The Bluff House up to high standards. Green Turtle Marina was very nice, but the dock master had something of an attitude they were the only game in town, which with The Bluff House coming on strong is just not the case. His attitude kind of forced us over to the Bluff House…he was not exactly rude, but almost.
Be sure to check their specials……and give any helpful ideas or feedback to them (Bluff House) you can. They seem to be genuinely open to it….they are resort owners and do not completely understand what cruisers need and want……….also there is a beautiful private beach just over the bluff the main house/homes sit on that is to die for….and you will probably have it all to yourself.
We are going back on our way back to the states.
Sami and Barry Shreve
While cruising the Staniel and Sampons Cays in Dec. Our dog Andale came down with Lyme disease. We heard reports at Long Is. and Gearge Town and later were told by June the weather lady her friend’s dog died. Well we turned and got back to the states and dog in for test. Never did we find a tick, I checked paws and pads, ears and belly. She swims daily,but on the beach she got into some briar patch that drew blood. Maybe that is the link, I just don’t know. Test confirmed Lyme and medications saved her. I suggest having the meds on board and watch for signs. Good Luck and beware for your pets sake.
Be careful where and when you get Fuel in the Bahamas. If you are crossing to the Abacos and need Fuel, one of the better and cheaper places is Old Bahama Bay / West end, believe it or not. BUT… Do not get the Fuel if they just had their tanks filled. The mess in the Bottom of their tanks gets stirred up and the first one or two boats right after they get fuel will have a bad day. Spanish is Ok, but not cheap. Green Turtle White sound, is your next best bet.
If you do get BAD FUEL. There is a great product available to tell you when your Racor Filter is Dirty. It is NOT a typical vacuum Gauge.
This T-Handle Gauge simply replaces the existing T-Handle on your Racor and it locks in position so you can read it with the engine OFF. You can check it any time, and it will show you what your filters were doing when the engine was running at operating RPM, Not just at the dock.
This unit saved us 2 engine shut downs that there was NO way we would have never been aware of. We filled tanks with BAD FUEL and the Racor 900 was clogged in 9 hours one time and 12 hours the next time. It happens real quick with BAD FUEL. The Gauge was showing a clogging Filter and we didn’t believe it until we saw the mess that used to be our perfectly clean filter.
I think it is a MUST HAVE for anyone with a diesel engine in their Boat / Yacht. It can save you a bunch of BIG headachs
You can find it at www.DirtyFuelFilter.com
Nassau Yacht Haven is decent, they have showers, laundry you can walk to markets, and over bridge to Atlantis. Reasonable rates friendly dock hands.