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 Welcome to the Staniel Cay Yacht Club, your own paradise in the middle of the beautiful Exumas.Southwest Florida YachtsI’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 navigationThe 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
The Pilot House Marina is located on secluded Lake Largo just minutes from downtown Key Largo. This choice location borders on John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, an underwater park famous among snorkeling and diving enthusiasts.Royal Marsh Harbour Yacht Club

Archive For: Bahamas

  • 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

  • Walkers Cay Open

    It appears that Walkers Cay is open again as they have a new web page. Rosies ( web page ) on Grand Cay states that Walkers is open for clearing in by boat – any one out there able to confirm this??  Also, anyone know if the entrance “channel” has been remarked? And what draft it will carry?
    Vaughan on Abacos Dreaming

    We checked in at Walkers in Dec 2008. The marina and resort were not open and still in the condition the last hurricane left them in. There were no plans to rebuild at that time. There were only three people on the island… customs, police and caretaker. We anchored at Grand Cay and took the dinghy over. A bit of a long run, but the wind was light.
    James Lea

  • Important – Underwater Wreck Posted On Explorer Charts S. E. of Porgee Rock

    All, 
    The Explorer Charts website has posted a wreck that is located 3.5 n.m.  S.E. of Porgee Rock.  This means that the wreck is on the  route from Nassau Harbor's east end and Highborne Cay.

    Lat. 25.00.8
    Long. 77.12.8

    Evidently this wreck is just under the surface at high tide.  Please  let others know that might be cruising in this area.  You can also look at  other updates at _http://www.explorercharts.com/_ (http://www.explorercharts.com/)  click  on the "Free Updates" tab.  I will post this on the T & T and Great  Loop lists, if someone knows how to get it to the AGLCA and MTOA please feel  free.
    Todd  & Brenda Lanning
    Life's2Short

  • Beware of Yellow Pay P)hones in the Bahamas

    Subject: Communications
    Cruising News: Beware Of Yellow Payphones In The Bahamas
    In January, I was cruising in the Abacos Islands and one of my crew had to make several calls to Canada.  He used a yellow payphone at one of the marinas.  There was no company name on the telephone but it advertised credit card calls to the U.S., Canada and International locations.  There were no rates posted and no announcement of costs given either before or after each call.  My crew member assumed, to his regret, that the calls would be comparable to similar long-distance calls made within the U.S.  He made six 2-minute calls, one 5-minute call and one 10-minute call, all to Canada.  The charges for his 27 minutes of calling totalled US$346.53.  This works out to $12.83 per minute!  I strongly suggest you do not use yellow payphones in the Bahamas unless you first get the cost of a call from the operator.  If you can’t get a cost, don’t call.
    There is a good alternative to yellow payphones.  BATELCO, the Bahama Telephone
    Company, sells prepaid long-distance calling cards called HELLO cards.  These are available at most marinas and many stores.  Their cost for calls to the U.S. is $0.47 per minute and there are no additional connect charges.  The cost for calls to Canada is $0.50 per minute.  You can call from any BATELCO payphone and you can dial the toll-free access number from any other regular telephone.
    John Woolsey

  • Chub Cay NOT Closed

    There is apparently a rumor going around that Chub Cay is closed. For instance, I received the note below just this afternoon (3/20/09).

    Good Morning All,
    I received the note below from some fellow cruisers who we hope to cross to the Bahamas with, thought I would share the news with the group.
    "We talked to our friend who owns the dock in Chub that we use ? and it is a very sad story.  Totally shut down ? no water, no electric, no fuel, no customs, no restaurant, the pool is green? ? and he thinks the bank is about to foreclose and float all those beautiful docks right out of there.  And, he says there is no security and it is very unsafe.  Makes us sad ? we have had fun there."

    So, our Salty Southeast Cruisers' Net Sales Director, Winston Fowler, who is quite familiar with Chub Cay, called and discovered that while the development company behind Chub Cay may be having some financial difficulty, the entire complex, including the marina, docks, power and water connections, pool and fuel dock are VERY MUCH OPERATIONAL! Winston was even quoted current fuel prices.
    So, Chub Cay is OPEN. Spread the word!

    And, confirmation from a fellow cruiser that Chub Cay is fully operational:

    Not sure you're referring to the same place, but we stayed overnite Chub Cay Club Marina just Mon, not much going on but docks were fine, water & electric ($55/50A). Power house was running and lights were on all night. Security seemed to be a  non-issue.
    Steve Sipe
    Solo 4303 "Maerin"

     

  • Impressions of Bimini

    1st time in Bimini, but I can relate that the marinas are empty. Big Game is closed up, we're in Blue Water, there are 6 transient boats here including us, and two semi-permanent. Eight total.
    Our impression of Bimini as 1st timers here is that it's a shadow of its former self. Looks like this was a bustling place 20 yrs ago, maybe even more recently. But lots of empty shell buildings, closed up and nobody around them. It reminds me of a resort in the really off season.
    People are friendly, the beach is beautiful, and the water is crystal clear. Beautiful spot. After coming here, now I *really* don't get the whole thing with Marathon being paradise. <G>
    Now, THIS is what we signed on for!!
    Steve Sipe
    Solo 4303 "Maerin"

  • How The Slow Economy Is Affecting the Bahamas

    The note below is from Captain Milt Baker, founder and former owner of the wonderful Bluewater Books and Charts in Fort Lauderdale, FL. While Milt does note this info is second and third hand, he has every reason to believe that it is accurate.

    Although I've cruised the Bahamas almost every year for the past 25 years, I've been away and have no first-hand information on how the economy has affected the Bahamas. Over the past
    couple of weeks, however, I've spoken have with several people who either live or have interests in the Bahamas, mainly Abaco.  Here's their take:

    –Nassau and Freeport, catering to mass tourism, have been hit hardest.  If you don't count cruise ship passengers who spend little money in the Bahamas, the number of tourists visiting
    Nassau and Freeport is down about 50% from the previous year.  An acquaintance who owns one of  the high-end restaurants at the Atlantis resort told me that his business of off by more than
    50% and that bookings at the hotels there are down about the same amount. 

    –Abaco, catering to more sophisticated travelers, to those who own second homes there, and to the yachting community, has also felt the impact but not as severely.  Tourism is reported to be
    down about 30-35% in Abaco.  Marina fees have either gone down or remained the same, with no increases anywhere.  The new marina at Bakers Bay on Guana Cay was to have been a fancy,
    exclusive megayachts-only marina, yet last weekend it had only three yachts, none of them megayachts.  The price at the marina there is reported to $1.00/foot.  There's lots of space at the usual marinas all around Abaco, and Green Turtle Club is reportedly offering big incentives to get cruisers in.  Charter bookings at The Moorings is way down, according to someone who drives by several times a week and does a quick census of the boats there.

    I don't have any reports on the number of boats at George Town in the Exumas.  The "new" marina at Emerald Bay has reportedly gone belly-up.
    I have felt for a long time that the $300 fee required to clear in a 40-plus foot boat was a bad idea that kept many yachtsmen from visiting the Bahamas.  Combined with a bad economy, it seems to be even worse.  I've heard lots of people say they just won't go there if they have to pay that kind of money for the privilege.
    That said, Judy and I will be headed for Abaco for a few weeks in May and are looking forward to being back in the islands.  I'm guessing we won't have any trouble finding a berth!
    –Milt Baker,
    Nordhavn 47 Bluewater,
    Fort Lauderdale

    And, a similar point of view from Captain Dick:

    We live in Nassau and, for the most part, the tourists keep coming.  There are lots of boats in the harbor and, except for some of the tourist hotels, everything is still pretty much as normal.  The Wyndham Hotel on Cable Beach will be closing for two months in August but the adjacent Radisson and the Crystal Palace Casino will be open.  Atlantis has lost some business by is still relatively busy and, of course, open.  All the good restaurants are open.  There will be more than enough for a visitor to do.  Don't forget the Thursday luncheon at the Green Parrot for visiting yachtsmen.  You can get details on the morning net hosted by Nick Wardle.  Come on down.
    Dick Pluta
    AEGEA
    Nassau, Bahamas

  • Communications in the Bahamas

    When in the Bahamas last year, we put our Verizon Air Card and our two Verizon Cell Phones on vacation hold.  The money saved over that 2.5 months almost paid for the Iridium phone we rented from Explorer Satellite.
    We also used MagicJack for calls to the US.  It worked very well when we had a strong WiFi signal.  Our friends used Skype which worked as well but costs more than MagicJack when connecting to a phone, not a computer.  Skype also required headphones; MagicJack used a cheap landline phone we purchased.
    We have no financial interest in Verizon, Iridium, Explorer Satellite, MagicJack or Skype.
    Barry

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