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. Monty and Sara Lewis are well known in this area for their personal research and reporting. Their launch of “Bahamas Chatter” and real time cruising information via their web site, www.explorercharts.com is extremely valuable.
Bahamas Chatter: “A Nassau Alternative” plus 1 more
A Nassau Alternative
Posted: 04 Jan 2016 04:16 PM PST
For years, we have gone through Nassau Harbour on our way to the Exumas, sometimes stopping at a marina, sometimes pushing on across the Yellow Bank. This year we tried something new: We went outside of Paradise Island (it was New Years Day and the tour boats were like locusts) for a beautiful view of Atlantis and the rest of the island. We came in on the eastern end of the harbour and went around the corner to Palm Cay Marina on the southeast coast.
We were more than delighted with our stay there. First of all, after a warm and rolly day at sea across the Northeast Providence Channel, we were refreshed with a dip in the saltwater pool overlooking the Yellow Bank. The use of the courtesy car allowed us to go to the nearby locals supermarket, Super Value, and stock up for better prices than we would find on Bay Street. The staff was friendly and helpful and made our short stay most pleasant and the dockage rates were no higher than in the harbour, in some cases less expensive. There is a lovely restaurant, a tiki bar on the beach, a laundry, and a small gift shop. Exiting the next morning for the Exumas was quick and easy from there, a straight shot out and across the Yellow Bank.
Make sure you arrive before dark as a security chain blocks the entrance in the nighttime.
Berry Islands: A Not-so-overlooked Cruising Ground
Posted: 04 Jan 2016 04:04 PM PST
Often the Berry Islands are “fly-over” territory for Bahamas cruisers headed to Nassau or the Exumas or beyond. Yet their popularity has increased as evidenced by greater numbers of boats lingering and enjoying the beautiful clear water, the great fishing, the possibility for secluded anchorages. Indeed, many folks are spending the entire winter cruising season there, gunkholing about or extending their stay at the excellent Great Harbour Cay Marina for some reasonable dockage fees. The marina staff goes out of their way to make guests feel at home and taken care of, to the smallest details. And it is a very secure all-around protection from bad weather. The village of Bullocks Harbour has some services to offer with two excellent beachfront restaurants for special dining, in addition to the village cafes. Several flights a day come in and out of Nassau, plus several times a week from Ft. Lauderdale, making it more accessible to bring visitors in to yachts.
Of course, there is also Chub Cay Marina, which is often a stopover for boats transiting the Bank or anglers eager to catch the big fish. And don’t forget the iconic Flo’s Conch Bar at Little Harbour Cay, where Chester greets you with a smile and serves up some of his mom’s recipe of conch fritters.
For the flyfishing enthusiast, there are miles of flats where the elusive bonefish lure fishermen to try to catch them.
The string of cays from Stirrup to Chub present a number of choices for enjoying this beautiful archipelago.