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The FROLI System, developed in Germany has made a big hit with the USA  recreation and leisure travel market. Nickle Atlantic will be at the Annapolis Sail Boat Show, October 8 - 12, in Booth I’m sure you have been reading about the digital revolution in marine electronics. Each month almost every boating publication has an article about new gadgets and advances in electronic navigation Welcome to the Staniel Cay Yacht Club, your own paradise in the middle of the beautiful Exumas.
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Archive For: Bahamas

  • Crossing from Florida to the Bahamas

    I really enjoy reading the various comments regarding “going to the Bahamas and “”The Crossing””. My first time across was in 1984 with a portable DF radio, a compass and a VHF radio. I don’t remember having a depth finder and probably didn’t since I went aground so much. I always left Fort Lauderdale (just as good as Miami in a sail boat) and plotted a course directly to Bimini with adjustments for the northward Gulfstream current. ON one occassion due to a late start and some very rough seas that developed about midway across, we arrived at dusk. Not the best way to do it, but it worked out well. I would not have tried it at night then and can’t imagine doing it now. My rule: if you can’t see it, don’t go. All the best. I hope to join all of you again someday. Capt Dave on At Last
    David Jenkins

  • Missing Marker Near Guana Cay

    Subject: Mising Marker
    Cruising News: Ran across this info concerning a missing (broken) marker that cruisers exiting the Whale should be aware of. A piling at the north end beach on Guana Cay in the Bakers bay beach area was broken off at the water line. Be careful in this area!
    Jeff Bacon

    The missing piling is reported, via BarometerBob.com, to be at about 26 41.06N 77 10.01W
    Rick Emerson

  • Bimini Fuel Prices

    Subject: Fuel
    Cruising News: Hello to all going to the Bahamas. Have checked in at South Bimini, no problems. Did not have up to date pirmit for our dog, went to gov\\\’t offices on North Bimini and showed up to date health cert. and paid $10.00. As for fuel at the Bimini Sands Resort Gas $4.73/gal and Diesel $4.11/gal. Nice place to dock and can take ferry over to North Bimini. $2.00 each way.
    Wilger, Mary and Peanut
    s/v Moonlit

  • Crossing to the Bahamas Strategy from Stuart, Florida

    Having formerly lived in the Stuart area for 20 years, and made crossings to the Bahamas in sailboats, I suggest an alternative.
    Anchor for the night in Manatee Pocket. At first light, follow a large sport fishing vessel out the St. Lucie inlet, setting a course for the area known as White Sands. Once you reach the bank, head for Great Sale Kay.
    This is the shortest, fastest route to the Bahamas. Why travel another 100 miles if you are going to clear customs at Green Turtle. I have done this route several times and it exposes you to bad weather for the least amount of time. Just pick a good weather window.
    Martin I. Veiner & Margaret Rogers Shearon

    Can you do this with a vessel that draws six feet?
    DICK RYAN

    Are you talking power or sailboat?
    Tom Preston

  • Abacos Anchorage List

    The “list” below is reproduced from the T&T (Trawlers and Trawlering) list with the permission of Wayne & Lynne Flatt. I have done some editing, due to the length of this list.

    Here is the list of favorite Abacos locations as promised and secondary info that came with the responses. There were twice as many requests for info than responses to the question. Enough I think to justify printing the results here once for those who have requested a copy of the list. This is it cut and paste from here:

    If the weather is settled, you may want to spend a night behind Mangrove Cay instead of going up to Great Sail. One can usually find a lee on one side or the other. The holding is good, but be aware of the current that runs around the key. Going to Mangrove shortens the run to Green Turtle as one doesn’t have to go around Great Sale. If you go to GS take your dink into the shallows up in the anchorage on the West side. You can usually find nurse sharks and other interesting sea life as you pole around. Clearing at Marsh is another option if the Whale Cay passage is doable.

    ALL of Abaco is delightful and each harbor offers something different. The beauty of it is that you can really get from one end to the other in a day at 7 knots. The only difficulty is getting from
    Manjack and Green Turtle across “The Whale” to the southern Abaco or vice versa in bad weather. Listen to the forecasts carefully. Staying right where you are is also a great alternative.

    With only one spot I would suggest Manjack. I normally anchor in the bight between Manjack and Crab Cays, just west of Rat Cay. Great holding but open to west wind. Good snorkeling along the north shore of Crab, found an old barge wrecked along the shore that held good fish. Uninhabited and only one other time did we have another boat in the same area.

    I think I would have to select Tahiti beach (south end of Elbow Cay) as my favorite. Easy access to a number of resturants (Elbow Cay and Lubbers Quarter) and Tahiti beach for afternoon cocktails. Close enough to Marsh Harbor that I can go over in the dingy, if supplies needed. A long but do-able dingy ride to the reef at Sandy Cay, and on to Little Harbor. This anchorage provides adequate holding, protection from most wind directions. Anchor south of the entrance to White Sound (Elbow Cay).

    MK has mostly headed from FL to Great Sale Cay day one, then cruised all the way to Marsh Harbour before clearing customs at the Jib Room. Customs and Immigration both come to you in MH, kinda nice. No one has questioned why we did not check in earlier. Our paperwork always accurately showed that we entered Bahamas waters the day before…and we had not set foot on terra firma
    before clearing.

    Populated: Little Harbor…you need to play the tides, but MK (5 ft draft) could go in two hours either side of high.
    Unpopulated: Double-Breasted Cay…only there once in not so great weather…it beckons me back.
    Green Turtle Cay is a delight. Anchor off the government dock, dinghy into the small cove that is adjacent to it, and everything is within walking distance.
    New Plymouth, the settlement that you are in when you anchor off the government dock, is a clean, friendly place with enough to keep your interest for several days as you walk around the town. There are two coves (aka: sounds) that you can go into. White Sound is the better to anchor in as it is sand, but quite a bike trip, and even more of a walk to New Plymouth. The other sound, Black Sound, is closer to New Plymouth, but is mostly grassy bottom and thus moorings, but there is a marina and boatyard in this sound.

    Fishers Bay:
    http://tinyurl.com/yz3uyym

    Reasons:
    – Great protection from the north
    – Easy walking to Nippers and the incredible Great Guana Beach (miles
    long)
    – Excellent internet access from OII
    – Easy Abaco beach access for landing a dinghy
    – Sunset Bar & Grill (now Grabbers): http://www.grabbersatsunset.com
    – Walking distance to other restaurants, grocery, etc.

    If you go there, you’ll find out what a Guana Grabber is. You might not come back.

    Manjack Key – ( Nunjack)
    Go ashore and enjoy the beach graciously offered by the residents on the bluff. Walk 1/2 mile on marked path through jungle to the incredible beach on
    ocean side.

    You need to state drafts for each anchorage.. We draw 6 feet which limits us in places.
    DICK RYAN

  • Clearing Bahamian Customs at Green Turtle Cay

    Unless my information is outdated, you can also clear in at Green Turtle Cay, or if going further north Walker’s Cay. I’m not certain at this point if Walker’s Cay is still a clearance point, I seem to remember hearing that after one of the hurricanes they closed that station. Maybe someone can clarify this point.
    Compared to the “land of barking dogs” (aka: Marsh Harbor), Green Turtle Cay is a delight. Anchor off the government dock, dinghy into the small cove that is adjacent to it, and everything is within walking distance.
    New Plymouth, the settlement that you are in when you anchor off the government dock, is a clean, friendly place with enough to keep your interest for several days as you walk around the town. Jill, and a couple friends, even engaged some locals in a basketball game one evening.
    There are two coves (aka: sounds) that you can go into. White Sound is the better to anchor in as it is sand, but quite a bike trip, and even more of a walk to New Plymouth. But, at least when we were there, the resort would run you to the town in their golf cart. The other sound, Black Sound, is closer to New Plymouth, but is mostly grassy bottom and thus moorings, but there is a marina and boatyard in this sound.
    With all the golf carts on some of these cays, you’d think that there would be alot of golf courses, but we never saw any!
    Now that you know all about Green Turtle Cay, please go there and leave all the other places that have been suggested alone. You don’t want to go to these places, believe me on this. They are too nice, some are too quite, others are isolated with no settlements and I’m sure that you won’t enjoy yourselves at all.
    Now if we can just get everyone else to stay in Marsh Harbor and stay away from the rest of the Abacos…
    Rudy

    Yes, you can still clear Customs at Walkers Cay – the docks and the entrance chanell are in poor repair, and the whole place is a wreck, but there is still a functioning airstrip and Customs office. Agree with you on Green Turtle – I have never been in White Sound, but we stayed at Black Sound Marina, an easy walk to New Plymouth, a charming and very friendly little settlement.
    Jonathan

  • Favorite Abaco Anchorages

    The following string of messages is copied from the T&T (Trawlers and Trawlering) mail list. As there are so many contributors, it was impossible to get individual permissions, so I’m just using first name.

    I can and have reviewed the literature for years about places to go in the Abaco’s. . . But there is nothing quite so special as a personal referral to a interesting place. So I ask:
    Whats your single most wonderful anchorage/place to visit in the Abaco’s and why?
    Preferably lat and lon, but a good location description will work. The why is most important.
    I will collate, edit and redistribute to any one that wishes a copy in the next few days.
    Bones

    Populated: Little Harbor…you need to play the tides, but MK (5 ft draft) could go in two hours either side of high.
    Unpopulated: Double-Breasted Cay…only there once in no so great weather…it beckons me back.
    Bob

    Manjack Key – ( Nunjack)
    Go ashore and enjoy the beach graciously offered by the residents on the bluff. Walk 1/2 mile on marked path through jungle to the incredible beach on oceanside.
    Ditto on previous postings
    Enjoy
    Greg and Susan

    Wow, that is a tough one with only one possible anchorage. With only one spot I would suggest Manjack. I normally anchor in the bight between Manjack and Crab Cays, just west of Rat Cay. Great holding but open to west wind. Good snorkeling along the north shore of Crab, found an old barge wrecked along the shore that held good fish. Uninhabited and only one other time did we have another boat in the same area. Great place to watch the original black and white Cape Fear movie, boat seems to swing at just about the time the houseboat hits the rocks in the movie, kind of scary. Anyway, wife and I love that spot, as well as many others in the Abacos. Have made about 10 bareboats trips thru the Abacos, call or email if you have any questions about places and best ways to get groceries and liquor.
    Roy

    A single “favorite” anchorage in this area is difficult.
    Manjack, Green Turtle, many others.
    I think I would have to select Tahiti beach (south end of Elbow Cay) as my favorite. Easy access to a number of resturants (Elbow Cay and Lubbers Quarter) and Tahiti beach for afternoon cocktails. Close enough to Marsh Harbor that I can go over in the dingy, if supplies needed. A long but do-able dingy ride to the reef at Sandy Cay, and on to Little Harbor. This anchorage provides adequate holding, protection from most wind directions.
    Anchor south of the entrance to White Sound (Elbow Cay).
    Chet

  • Taking A Dog to the Bahamas

    The discussion below about taking a dog to the Bahamas is copied from the MTOA List-Serve.

    Hey Y’all,
    We will be leaving next weekend from the Sassafras River (Northern Chesapeake) for our trip south and have jumped through the hoops for taking Boomer (our dog) to the Bahamas with us. Based on the permit we received, we need to have the little noise-maker checked by a vet 48 hours prior to arriving in the Bahamas.
    Since I am sure other MOTAers have done the same, I though I would pose the question: “Does anyone have recommendations for a vet in the Fort Lauderdale area that is convenient to the waterways?”
    Once we enter the Bahamas, we have to have him check again within 48 hours as stated on the permit. Since we are clearing in Bimini or Cat Cay, which has no vet, it appears the first available vet will be in Nassau. Baring weather delays, we will not pass through Nassau until after the 3rd day, which pushes us beyond the 48 hour requirement. Oh well — we are trying…
    Thanks to anyone who has a recommendation for a vet in the Fort Lauderdale area.
    Ken

    Ken
    Since you may miss the 48 hr window in the Bahamas, bring plenty of cash for bribery and bail money !
    R.

    Every time I’ve gone to the Bahamas the only thing they care about is your $300 and whether you carry any guns. Any bullet will sell on the black
    market in Nassau for $5 apiece. I carry a 12 gauge and you need to count your ammo at check in.
    With the possible exception of Nassau, no one cares about dogs. I’ve never been stopped for anything, anywhere and never even seen BASRA outside of Nassau harbor. There may be a vet in Marsh Harbor or Nassau, but the “pot-licks” never need vets so I’m guessing they are rare.
    They do like you to send in your “check-out” form. I got snarled at in South Bimini for having come over twice without having “left”.
    Next time we go over with the dogs we’ll take their health records but skip the nonsense paperwork and “beg forgiveness” if we should find someone who cares.
    There is a dog story I should tell. Some friends returned from a month in the Bahamas and brought back with them some of the most pesticide resistant fleas vets in the states had ever seen. They finally tore out all their carpeting washed everything with bleach and bombed the boat repeatedly.
    The fact is the Bahamas are a third world country. If the “tingum” breaks, you’d better have a spare onboard.
    Regards….
    Phil & Aven

    We’ve taken our cats to the Bahamas numerous times with no problems. I spoke directly with the Bahamas Ministry responsible for pet imports ans she told me that the 48 hour vet requirement was really meant for those arriving by plane. She said that they understand that it is nearly impossible for personal boaters to see a vet within 48 hours of arrival. We have never been asked about pets when we check in at the Bahamas. Our pet permits have only been checked once and that was when we were boarded by the police in Nassau

    We took our dog to the Bahamas last year and are heading there again this year. The vet office near Lake Worth called Town and Country was very helpful in giving us a health certificate. You can walk there from the dinghy landing. He provided a signed health certificate and said that I can add the date when we arrive (to avoid the 48hr dilemma.) Someone told me that they changed the rule to ‘within one month” but I haven’t seen anything written as such. We didn’t do the vet check within 48 hrs of arriving in the Bahamas as those instructions were very ambiguous. We checked in at West End and they seemed only interested in the Dept of Agriculture permit. I wrote up some notes on taking a dog to the Bahamas on my web page (http://moondance38.wordpress.com) if you’re interested…
    S/V Moondance

    We’ve brought out dog in the past 3 years. We send for the certificate and have our vet fill it out before we leave the states. (we live in Florida) It is usually signed about 2 weeks before our check-in. Have never had a problem or brought him to a Bahama vet.
    Jacki Leahy

  • Bahamas Cruising Advice

    The discussion below was copied from the AGLCA mailing list! Many thanks to this worthy organization!

    HI ALL, LOOKING FOR BEST PRICE FOR DIESEL IN THE BAHAMAS, ALSO WHERE DOES ONE STAY FOR THE FIRST DAY AFTER CROSSING TO THE BAHAMAS AND HOW DO YOU GO AROUND THE ISLANDS? IS THERE SUCH A THING OF A BAHAMIAN LOOP?
    WAYNE ASSALY ON THE OTTAWA RIVER
    EAGERLY WAITING FOR HURRICANE SEASON TO PASS SO WE CAN GO BACK TO CONTINUE THE LOOP

    In 2008 we went Miami, Bimini, Chub Key(Berrys), Bullock Harbour (Berrys) Pete’s Pub (Abacos) then meandered up the Abacos, then Grand Bahama West End, and across to Ft Pierce Fl, and continued north on the loop.
    In 2009 it was Marathon, Bimini, Chub. Spanish Wells, Eluthera, Exumas (down to Black Point) Nassau, Spanish Wells, Abacos, West End, then back to Florida, and northward again.
    Great trip, you will love it. We cleared Bimini both times of course.
    Peter

    I recommend you buy a copy of The Explorer Charts “Near Bahamas” Chartbook , the very best charts, guide and helpful advice to all the Bahamas. It will answer most of your questions. Contact Bluewater Books or info@explorercharts.com. Check in after crossing the Gulf Stream at (north to south) West End, Green Turtle Cay, Port Lucaya, The Berry Islands, or Bimini or Gun Key –all have Customs on site.
    Hope this helps,
    Olrick

  • Entering Bimini Late Afternoon

    Subject: Entering Bimini late afternoon
    Cruising News: Hello,
    I have a 35 foot sailboat and want to make my first crossing to Bimini from Miami. I have always heard that you need to sail all night and arrive at around noon to enter safely.
    My question is, now with color GPS and I would go with two identical units, would it be safe to enter say around 3:00 PM? Say leave Biscayne channel at 5:00 am and arrive between 2 and 4 PM.
    Is it really now necessary with color GPS to come in at high noon and my contingency plan if I had a problem along the way and it got dark would be to heave to until morning or turn back as going back into miami at night is no problem, with our withoug gps.
    Thanks
    Jules

    I have cruised the Bahamas the last 6 years and agree the Navionics charts are dangerous, unfortunately the only option if you have Raymarine. If you want accuracy make sure your charts are based on the Explorer Charts which are available for Garmin.
    Terry

    I crossed from Miami to Bimini for my 1st time in late July 2009. I read the warnings about navigating into the north Bimnmini channel at noon but I had no problem at any time of day.
    GPS makes it very simple – just head for the Bimini Sands resort entrance then turn north into the channel about 1/4 mile offshore from the Bimini Sands entrance. After I was familiar with the area, I came in from south of South Bimini in the evening and after nightfall (great star viewing!).
    While my boat only draws 2.5 feet and yours probably draws 4 or 5 feet but I had more than 4-5 feet of water at all times approaching and in the north Bimini channel.
    Paul

    I would caution against too much reliance on the GPS plotter. The last time I came into Bimini Harbor, my chartplotter (Navionics cartography), showed my track plot on dry land! The base map was off by 200 meters. Eyeball navigation still rules, and you want the sun right above you or a little behind you for that
    jgorham@ircgov.com
    Jon Gorham

    We left early morning from No Name Harbor and arrived in Bimini in the early evening. With the fact that the markers were missing for the Bimini channel, and that it was dead low tide and we draw 6′ (so we had issues trying to enter the Bimini Sands Marina, where I would highly recommend staying over the marinas on North Bimini), we ended up going a few miles south and anchoring off of Gun Cay. Personally, I would recommend entering the Bimini channel during the late morning hours, depending on draft. Also, the current running through the channel can get pretty big, so if there’s an opposing wind be careful.
    Chris
    S/V Pelican

    Subject: entering bimini late
    Cruising News: I agree with the previous post that Navionics charts in the Bahamas are worse that useless, thay are DANGEROUS. I found that near Allens cay in the northern Exumeas that they were 200 yds off – till I changed scales – then they were about a half mile off. Lon/Lat were correct, the electronic chart picture was wrong and varied from scale to scale. It is so bad I tossed it and bought a Garmin. It appears to be correct but ALWAYS CHECK THE PAPER CHART AND YOUR EYES
    V. Weaver

  • New Info On Clearing Bahamian Customs

    The posting below was copied by permission from the “Cruising News” section of the Explorer Chartbooks, Lewis Offshore website at http://www.explorercharts.com/customs_update.html. Clearly, this is vital info for anyone visting the Bahamas. Please visit the Explorer Chartbooks web site for full details!

    Claiborne,
    We just put an updated report on clearing Bahamas Customs on our website under Cruising Information>Customs. It is a new “wrinkle” in the policy of allowing boats to clear in twice in 90 days under the same initial Customs fee. What we have just found out is that a vessel clearing in the second time in 90 days has to pay a transportation fee. A bit of a surprise to the persons who cleared into Nassau to learn this. I guess it doesn’t happen everywhere if officials don’t have to come to a boat but rather the person goes to the official.
    Sara

    The normal Bahamas clearing-in fees (also referred to as “boarding fees” by Customs officials) are as reported in our Explorer Chartbooks in the Customs articles–$150 for vessels under 35′ and $300 for vessels over 35′. The newest policy allows a vessel to clear in a second time within a 90-day period under the applicable fee. On the second visit, a note indicating such is written on your cruising permit. However, we just learned that a vessel clearing in for the second time in 90 days is subject to a $30 transportation fee each for the Customs and Immigration Officers. Recently, a vessel reported to us being charged $60 in Nassau for officials to come to the boat. We verified with Customs that this is a valid charge for a second visit within 90 days as the officers provide their own transportation for the visit.

  • Great Bahamas Cruising Advice

    From May 25 through July 1 the weather was great except for one period of 5 days, heavy winds.  Bimini was much the same as in previous years, however there has been considerable clean up of trash on the streets.  The channel markers are missing again, so we came in via the range markers on south Bimini.  Big Game club remains closed and the best dockage in North Bimini (Alice town) is still Blue Water. Diesel was $2.91 a gallon.
    Chub Cay remains the most expensive marina in the Bahamas for boats under 45 ft.  It is $4.75 per foot.  Fuel was $3.29. Mega yachts actually get a break over the Atlantis rates.
    We stopped, as usual at Flo’s for dinner.  If  you have not been there, look at the Bahamas cruising guide and make a stop. It is about 22 miles north of Chub and you can go straight from this location to Nassau or to the Abaco’s.
    As usual Atlantis was one of our favorite locations.  Yes, the slip rate is high, but considering what comes with the slip it is a great place.  Rates at all of the Nassau marina’s are high. Radio calls continued to come in with people requesting slips. 
    In most cases the marinas were full, especially Atlantis.  Lesson here is to make reservations ahead of time.  Compared to previous visits to Atlantis the “people” traffic was lower than past years.  Meaning that the hotel head count was down, but marina count is to the maximum. Fuel at Browns was $2.79.
    In the Exumas a great place to eat dinner is at Sampson.  Dinner reservations are needed, before 5PM.  You can contact them on the radio.  We continue to prefer to anchor out while in the Exumas.  One of the best places is at Big Major. On most nights there were from 12 to 20 boats.  The area is large, good holding and everyone has plenty of room.
    Remember to take fruit or vegetables to feed to pigs on the island.  Fuel in Sampson and Staniel was $2.89.
    Remember that there will be a surcharge of 2 ½  to 4 % for using you credit card.  Cash or travels checks can same some money.
    Best fuel price while on this cruise was at off of the Peterson fuel barge (Miami and Ft Lauderdale) at $2.40, plus tax. City marina, St Augustine at $2.59 (tax included).
    I hope this information is helpful.
    L Davis
    Lassize-Faire

  • Cat Cay Clearing Customs Charge

    Just returned from a trip to the Bahamas – 06/03/09 thru 06/24/09.  We made the mistake of heading to Gun Cay to clear customs at Cat Cay.  We entered the Marina and called out to someone on the dock to determine where we could dock for customs.  We were told that if we did not spend the night at the club, there would be a $100 docking fee to tie up to clear customs.  We inquired about the cost to spend the night and were told $3.50 per foot for one night.
    We responded with thanks, but no thanks, and headed north for Bimini (only about ten miles) where we docked for free right by the customs office and were cleared courteously and expeditiously with no extra charges. Save yourself the aggravation and expense and head direct for Bimini – I know I’ll never bother going to Cat Cay again.
    Jerry Shinn
    MV – Cato

  • Exumas and Nassau Cruising News

    Subject: Exumas
    Cruising News: News from Nassau and beyond.  Fueled in Nassau at Starport for 2.75 / gallon for cash diesel.  (Cheaper than pier 66 in Lauderdale.)  Club Thunderball is re-opened on Staniel Cay.  Solomon is renting the place to a great couple who are making a go of it.  Great burgers and ice cold beer.  Good luck Coral.  MacDuff\\\'s at Norman\\\'s Cay is still great- Best cracked conch we have had in a long time and Roxie make home-made ice cream.  Definitely worth a stop.  Stephan has done a great job with it.  More news later.  From Pandora in Nassau.
    Janet Coppoletta

  • Check-in At Spanish Cay

    Subject: Check-In at Spanish Cay
    Cruising News: Be forewarned, that at Spanish Cay, they now have a $50 “dockage fee” if you are just visiting for your customs check-in.  I was told that this was a new policy…  After I told them that in the cruisers guide it indicates there was no charge, they knocked $10 off.  Other than that, it was a pleasant process.
    Mark Thomas

    Subject: Spanish Cay Checkin
    Cruising News: Referring to an earlier post about a $50 check in fee if you clear customs in Spanish Cay, unless there were 10 people on the boat, something is wrong. I have cleared there but always stay a night. The bottom of their webpage (in the marina page) states there is a $5 usage fee, per person, if you clear customs but do not stay at the marina. Again, I have never been charged as I stay the night.
    Dan

    The $50 charge is well posted at the marina and I believe on their website. I’ve checked in there twice (2005 and 2008), but always stayed the night. In 2005 I had a Cruising Permit (purchased at West End a month earlier) so I was just exercising my re-entry priviledge. Since $50 is about 2/3 the daily berth fee for a 40-45′ boat you might as well spend the night. Obviously they are trying to get people to stay and have dinner at the restaurant (very pricey, but very good). Spanish Cay is still the closest place to checkin in the N. Bahamas and not get a lot of attitude (IMO) as in West End or Fox Town.
    For example in 2005 I didn’t know you are are supposed to pay the fee for the Cruising Permit in cash. I got a lot of grief from the C&I folks in West End. You would have thought I was Public Enemy #1. I got my crew to loan me enough cash to cover the fee. In 2008 I checked in at Spanish Cay and forgot about the cash issue (happens a lot at my age). I just got a sigh from the C&I agent and she accepted my personal check.
    John Stevenson

    We also were surprised at the $50 fee as the cruising guide says that you can tie up for free to check in. We hadn’t planned to spend the night and with a strong N wind, it wasn’t very protected. After some ‘discussion’ they gave us a credit that we could use for dockage in the spring if we decide to stop there. FWIW, I would bypass Spanish Cay and check in at Green Turtle in the future.
    S/V Moondance

  • Sampson Cay Club Saturday Beach Party

    A place where any stress will quickly wash away, like the tide will wash your footsteps from the beach. Don�t bring your suit and tie. Pack your sandals and shorts and be prepared to kick back and havThe Sampson Cay Club is a SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS' NET SPONSOR!!!

    Subject: Sampson Cay Club Saturday Beach Party
    Cruising News: Join us at Sampson Cay Club Exumas Bahamas for our Weekly Beach Party
    The Party is located on the Beach Behind the Marina
    12 Noon until 7 PM
    Featuring BBQ Ribs and BBQ Chicken
    Homemade Macaroni & Cheese
    Corn on the Cob & Salad
    Cost is $20.00 plus tip
    Happy Hour Drink Specials
    Beer $ 3.00
    Rum Punch $ 4.00
    Soda $ 2.00
    Water $ 1.00
    Come Have a Fun Day on the Beach and Play Volleyball, Horseshoes, Toss a Frisbee or Just Chill out in the Shade in a nice Beach Chair.
    All Welcome Hope to See You Soon

  • Don’t Rock Passage

    Active Image

    Don’t Rock Passage
    This is a popular shortcut in the Abacos between Green Turtle Cay and points to the SE.  It can save a trip through the notoriously rough Whale Cay Passage.  However, it has only 4 ft. MLW and is subject to breakers when a strong NE swell is running.  In an E-SE swell it is usually passable.
    The passage changes from year to year.  I went through twice over the past weekend.  I’ve attached a Google Earth picture with an estimate of the 3 foot contour and a recommended route.  NOTE THIS IS FROM VISUAL OBSERVATION NOT HYDROGRAPHY.  I estimate the contour based on paying attention to my depth finder and looking at the color of the water.  The recommended course will have an honest 4 ft. MLW all the way through.
    Many people go around the north side of Don’t Rock.  This has shallowed substantially from what I remember a few years ago.  Deepest water is definitely on the south side.
    The sandbar to the E-NE of the Sandbank Cays seems to have grown slightly.  It is easily avoided; note the dogleg in the recommended route.
    When transiting this passage, or any in the Bahamas, here is what Pogo would say: “Son, use the natural-born eyebones what God give ya!”
    Capt. Bob Knaus

  • Double Breasted Cays Anchorage – Abacos

    You might want to take a look into my favorite Abaco  anchorage, which is the small "pocket" at the western end of Double Breasted Cays.  This little spot holds 2 boats, snugly, is almost completely protected, has a neat tidal beach and is just shallow enough to discourage most sailboats.  Seaward reef snorkling is good.  In May nurse sharks converge here (for breeding?) and litter the shallows like logs–quite a sight from a dinghy!
    Olrick

  • Problems at Chub Cay

    Subject: Chub Cay Rip-off
    Cruising News: 4 trawlers sought refuge after crossing the Tongue of the Ocean in 6-8 foot seas. We were quoted $4.75 per foot. We went to the anchorage instead, even though it\'s pretty rolly. When we inquired about clearing through Customs, we were told $100.00 per boat.
    Stephanie Wakelin

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