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 Welcome to the Staniel Cay Yacht Club, your own paradise in the middle of the beautiful Exumas.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
Royal Marsh Harbour Yacht ClubExplorer Charts - the best charts for the Bahamas and ExumasThe 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.

Archive For: Bahamas

  • 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

  • Grand Lucayan Waterway

    Subject: Bahamas – Grand Lucayan Waterway
    Cruising News: I just returned from an 8 day trip to the Bahamas and wanted to report on some of the water and marinas we experienced.
    After a 2 day stay at Port Lucaya, we took the Grand Lucayan Waterway to Dover Sound on to Little Bahama Banks and then on to Spanish Cay.  The water depths in the Grand Lucayan Waterway were very good except for the very north end of the canal as you enter Dover Sound.  We transited the water on a rising tide approximately 1 hour before high tide.  We experienced at least 5 to 6 feet at the very north end going through the markers.  The rest of the waterway carried at least 12 to 15 feet or more all the way through.  Once you clear the last set of green and red markers into Dover sound, we had good water all the way to Spanish Cay.  After having spoken to the Dockmaster in Port Lucaya and several other local boaters, they said as long as you head out on a rising tide and draw no more than 6 feet, you sould be able to trasit the canal without any problem.  Take your time, slightly favor the green markers as you head out of the waterway into Dover Sound and go slow.
    As far as marinas went, we stayed at Spanish Cay Marina, Green Turtle Club & Marina on Green Turtle Cay, Orchaid Bay on Great Guana Cay and The Boat Harbour on Marsh Harbor.  All of the marinas were very nice and the staff extremely friendly.  We were very impressed with Orchid Bay Marina on Great Guana Cay.  These are very nice facilities and the staff went out of their way to make us feel welcome.  If we were to go back any time soon, in addition to Orchaid Bay, I think we change our stay on Green Turtle and visit The Bluff House Marina.  They have great facilities and incredible views of both the harbor and the sound.  The value was very good and the diesel prices were excellent.  From a value perspective, I might also be inclined to choose Conch Inn & Marina in Marsh Harbour.  All in all, a great passage that was a lot of fun.
    Capt. Keith Mckey

    Keith ,
    Tx for taking time to report….Timely for our trip next month.
    Brian Barr

  • Staniel Cay’s “Bond Party”

     Welcome to the Staniel Cay Yacht Club, your own paradise in the middle of the beautiful Exumas.Staniel Cay Yacht Club announces its second annual "Bond Party," this one with a "Casino Royale Theme." Of course, Staniel Cay is a SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS' NET SPONSOR!
    The party will be held on Saturday, 3/28/09, and will feature Blackjack and Poker tournaments with real tables and professional dealers. Prices include 2 night stay in the SCYC cottages, 1 roundtrip ticket on Watermakers Air, Ipod, Digital Camera and exclusive bragging rights.
    Come one, come all! Call 242 355 2024 to book your seat at the table!

  • Bahamas Cruising Guide Question

    The discussion below was copied from the Net's "Ask Your Neighbor" page (http://www.cruisersnet.net/ask_your_neighbor/ask_your_neighbor/), and the T&T (Trawlers and Trawlering) List.

    If an experienced Bahama cruiser would share with me the name of  their recommendation for a Bahama cruising guide I'd be grateful.
    Tom Hollinger

    We have used Steve Pavlidas' guides for many years and find them to be the best IMO. He divides the Bahamas so which one you will need depends on where you are going. Also be SURE you have the Explorer Charts.
    Chuck

  • Old Bahama Bay Dockage Specials

    Old Bahama Bay Resort has a special, for those that are yet to arrive and may not know about it, at $1.00 per foot with a 4 night minimum. This rate is plus water @ $10 per day and currently they have no electric on the two main transient docks…if they did it would be another $20 per night. Lisa and I looked forward to returning here as it is a first class stop. The bonus this time around was the diesel fuel….it is currently priced at $2.66 per gallon, which is a great price for the Bahamas. Sorry I did not check if it included tax or what gas was priced at.
    The special daily dock rate is good until March 15th, 2009
    Kismet

  • Sampson Cay Club – Exumas – Valentine’s Day Buffet

    Sampson Cay Club is a SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS' NET SPONSOR!

    Subject: Valentines Day Buffet
    Cruising News: Hello from Sampson Cay Club Exumas Bahamas
    We are having a Take Your Valentine to Lunch FRIDAY February 13th 2009
    Valentine Buffet
    Serving 12 noon until 4 pm
    Tamicks's Stuffed Fish Filet
    Tender Island Filet Steak
    Vegetable rice, Fresh Garden Salad
    Sampson's Famous Mac & Cheese
    Topping it all off with Homemade Cherry Cheesecake
    Cost # 20.00 plus gratuity
    Come join us for some great food and fun
    Check us out at sampsoncayclub.com

  • Where To Spend a Week In the Bahamas

    The discussion below was copied from the Net's "Ask Your Neighbor" page (http://www.cruisersnet.net/ask_your_neighbor/ask_your_neighbor/), and the T&T (Trawlers and Trawlering) list.

    If you only had a week to spend in the Bahamas, where would you go?  Before saying I should plan a longer stay, I would if I could.

    You don't say whether you are traveling by boat or not but my vote would be Tahiti Beach, Elbow Key, Abacos. Quiet, pristine and beautiful.
    Steve

    Depends a lot on what you like to do.
     Marinas and restaruants – Nassau, Harbour Island, Freeport or the Abacos.
    Get away from it all (or most of it anyway) – Exumas, the Berry Islands and parts of the Abacos.
    Bit of both in your time frame – straight to Nassau, over to the Berry's then finish off in Bimini before heading back over.
    Get a taste of it all – Bimini, Gun Key, Cat Key area. 
    Of course all this would depend on where you would be crossing from and the weather. 
    Capt. Bill

    My vote is the Abacos for the March/April time frame. Close by and lots of  options from vacant islands to great settlements and towns. One week could be a GREAT cruise.
    BUT, you need to allow for weather, as if it is blowing out of the  north, which is usual in winter, you can not cross, and must wait. Thus, if you  only have one week, best not to try to cross the gulf streram in the winter  months.
    I recommend crossing from Lake Worth inlet to Old Bahama Bay at West End.  Short trip to a great marina and cooperative customs. Then proceed to the  Abacos.
    Garland

  • Weather Forecasts in the Bahamas

    The discussion below is copied from the MTOA List-Serv. All of us at the Cruisers' Net heartily endorse this wonderful organization. As so many contributed to this discussion, it was impossible to secure individual permissions, so I have ommitted all names.

    How do you get weather in the Bahamas if you don't have internet on your boat & don't have a SSB???

    That depends on where you are in The Bahamas.
    In places near Marsh Harbor (Abacos) or Georgetown (Exumas) there are VHF radio nets that provide weather. Some Marinas (Highbourne in Exumas for example) repeat NOAA forecasts on VHF. Listen for announcements on 16 in the AM. Also, when in range some AM/FM local radio broadcasts are available.
    Any Bahamas cruising guide has info on how to get weather.

    Well there are internet cafes all over. and many restaurants either have a dial up or wifi to use. When anchored, unless you are an isolationistm, there are usually boats around that do in fact have ssb.
    And many of those will be on radio service using intranet through that media. Memory escapes me but the latter is Win something. There are also local as a rule AM radio stations available. And in some case the high seas wx forecasts out of the states in specific points. There is also wx through NOAA the time people which almost any receiver capable of receiving ham frequencies can obtain.

    Unfortunately, not very well. Some places like Georgetown have a VHF net but without at least an SSB you are not going to get much information. The distances for VHF are too great.

    You will find out different ways to get weather information by just chatting with other boaters while in the Bahamas, as has been already mentioned. Before crossing the gulf stream, it would be worth almost any effort to get online and access www.passageweather.com. At pretty much any port on the west side of the Bahamas, you should be able to find an intranet cafe' to verify conditions before crossing back over to the US.

    I personally would not be comfortable relying on others to get something all the time, as important as weather. Others will be most willing to share that information but it has been my experience that if you ask five people what the expected weather will be you will get five different answers. Weather in the Bahamas can change quickly and can indeed affect the safety of the vessel and crew. Equipment to receive and monitor the weather in your area is an important piece of safety equipment and not having it installed due to financial or lack of interest to install issues is perhaps not the responsible thing to do. You will need reliable, accurate information so why not just get the proper equipment and sleep better at night. If nothing else purchase a receive only radio capable of receiving SSB and monitor the nets and the voice broadcasts for offshore weather. You can also connect these to your computer and with the right software, download weatherfax.

  • Yachthaven Marina – Spanish Wells

    Subject: Spanish Wells
    Cruising News: Since the moorings in Spanish Wells are not big enough for us, we went to Yachthaven marina (unusual for us) and we are glad we did.
    Water (0.15/gal) and electric (if you want it) and dockage is 1.50/ft. Solid pretty new docks and helpful staff.
    Off today for the Exumas — a few cays, then Georgetown, then on to T&C and Puerto Rico.
    Michael Porter

    I’m sailing my 38′ cat from Nassau to Spanish Wells April 9 hope to dock at Yacht Haven for a while. heard there was damage from A hurricane. Are they back to full operation.
    Jeff Cameron

  • VHF – SSB In the Bahamas

    The discussion below is copied from the Net's "Ask Your Neightbor." page.

    Subject: Bahamas Cruising
    Cruising News: Planning to go in fall 2009: Is VHF coverage good/adequate for emergencies and regular contact in Bahamas or do you need SSB? Do you need a water maker or is water usually available at a cost throughout Bahamas?
    Ralph Stolbert

    We have cruised in the Bahama's several times, several months each time and never had SSB capabilities.  We met fellow cruisers who did and SSB does indeed improve your communication capabilities especially concerning weather information.  We cruised safely and comfortably however without it and I will not be adding SSB to my communication package before next island cruise.  As for water, we do not have a water-maker either and did well without that.  All marina's and villages have water available.  Watch how the water is purified and I would recommend taking some water purification tablets for use where water quality may be of concern.  If you cruise the Abaco's you'll find them rather civilized – maybe even too much so.  The Exumas are very nice.. I would caution your sailing time however, as the fall is very much hurricane season.  Check with your insurance company.  April thru June is best time of year for us at least.  You will enjoy though –  
    CW Fowler
    M/V"WinSue"

  • Safe Anchorage in the Bahamas

    The discussion below is copied from the Net's "Ask Your Neighbor" page.

    Subject: Safety in Bahamas
    Cruising News: WE plan to cruise several weeks in the Bahamas in April/May.  Are there places that are not safe to anchor out.  Are there islands not safe to visit.  How about Grand Bahama, is it safe?
    Eden Combes

    We have cruised the Abacos and Exumas and it is easy to ask around about popular anchorages.  We never experienced any problems, but there are always a few who have. We carried no weapons for self-defense either. Use the cruising guides for the Bahamas and ask others also, just like you're doing now.  The guides offer some very sage advise.  You will enjoy the serenity and clear waters. As for Grand Bahama, the crime rates are higher in high population areas, such as Freepost area and as Nassau is on New Providence island. We stayed in West End at Old Bahama Bay and thoroughly enjoyed it – great place.  Enjoy.  
    CWFowler M/V "WinSue"

  • Cheaper Dockage on Grand Bahama Island

    Subject: Bahamas Dockage
    Cruising News: Old Bahama Bay Marina at West End on Grand Bahama Island has substantially reduced their daily dockage rates to just $1 per foot per day with lower rates for longer stays. Users enjoy the full complement of services of the adjoining very upscale resort at no additional charge. A real find !
    Peter Berman

  • Explorer Charts and Exumas

    If you don't have the 3 Explorer charts you should pick them up as they are filled with great information about places to go, marines and anchorages.  We've visited the Exhumes as far south as Georgetown, Cat, Elurtha and the Abacos in 2007, last year we spent all our time in the Exhumas at anchor and in some marinas, most notable – Compass Cay (www.compasscay.com <http://www.compasscay.com/>  ).  This year we are heading back to the Exhumas to visit the Raggeds and some of the out islands.
    Russ

  • Good Dockage in the Abacos

    For those bound for the Abacos Islands I¹ve come across, what we think is a good option for dockage and to act as a home base for some of your time in the Abacos. On Elbow Cay, the island where Hope Town is, in White Sound there is a marina resort called Sea Spray www.seasprayresort.com that has special dockage rates until the end of March. For a month (any 4 week period) for up to a 49¹ boat it is $400 and for 50¹ on up it is $600. The water charge is 40 cents per gallon and the electric is 65 cents p/ KWH. They do have 6 showers on shore to us that is included with the dock fee. They have no public laundry however they offer laundry service for $15 per load to wash, dry and fold. They have a very nice pool, bar and restaurant and offer complimentary shuttle into and back from Hope Town from 8 to 5 each day (2 miles or so). Lisa and I have not stayed here but we¹ve visited it in 2006 and were impressed enough to stay this trip from about Feb 15th for a month. Great place to take day trips to Marsh Harbor, Guyana Cay (Nippers), Lubbers, go snorkeling, fishing or the beach.
    Kismet5

  • Great Bahamian Weather Source

    As wonderful source of wind and sea conditions is www.passageweather.com. This will help you to find the weather window for crossing over to the Bahamas (or any other passage).
    If I were waiting to cross over into the Bahamas, I would probably be targeting next Monday as the best date (using www.passageweather.com as a guide).
    Ken Chumley

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