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The Salty Southeast
Cruisers' Net
Cruisers Helping Cruisers

Archive For: Bahamas

  • Advice on Cruising to the Bahamas

    Skipper Berman obviously has spent a good deal time in the Bahamas and most recently commented on Staniel Cay Yacht Club: He offers good advice on lengthy stays in the Bahamas.

    Hi Larry
    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

  • Report from Staniel Cay Yacht Club, Bahamas/Exhumas

     Welcome to the Staniel Cay Yacht Club, your own paradise in the middle of the beautiful Exumas.

    Usually, Staniel Cay Yacht Club gets very high marks, as in, 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 Seeking Advice on a Southerly Cruise

    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.

  • High Praise for Parker Yachts of Fort Lauderdale, FL

    Parker Yachts is located at 225 SW 32nd St, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33315, (954) 463-1515,

    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

  • Update on Problems with Bahamas Duty on Equipment

    Captain Andrus’ remarks are in response to several cruisers’ 2010 comments on Bahamian Duty regulations ( 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.
    Susan Andrus

  • High Praise for Staniel Cay Yacht Club, Bahamas/Exhumas

     Welcome to the Staniel Cay Yacht Club, your own paradise in the middle of the beautiful Exumas.Well, of course this fine facility continues to garner praise. After all they are a SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR!!

    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).
    R. Holiman

  • “The Great Book of Anchorages, The Bahamas,” Slated For September, 2013 Release

    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 (
    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 ( 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.

    Sample Page - "The Great Book of Anchorages, Bahamas Edition"

    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, 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 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.

    • Hundreds of anchorages and free docks in each edition.
    • Anchorage and free dock details including color chartlets.
    • Anchorage and dock locations with GPS waypoints.
    • Easy-to-use format and indexing for quick reference.
    • Discussions on types of anchors and anchoring techniques.
    • Suggestions for planning your next trip.
    • Save time and searching with anchorage locations at your fingertips.
    • Save thousands of dollars in dockage fees.

    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


    Susan Landry, Publisher/Author/Editor
    Chuck Baier, Publisher/Author

  • New Management and Improved Security at Brown’s Marina, Bimini, Bahamas

    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.

  • Crossing Bahama Banks from Memeory Rock Discussion

    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.
    Paul Lindenmeyer

    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).

  • More Discussion on “Exumas Customs Check In”

    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

    Click Here To Read An Earlier Discussion on Check In

  • Brown’s Marina in Bimini

    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.
    Peter TenHaagen

    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……

  • Rum Cay Post-Irene

    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.

  • Bluff House Marina Green Turtle Cay

    Cruising News:
    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.
    Roger Henderson

    I docked there last week for three nights … new owners are doing a great job of fixing problems. I will go there again.
    Gary P

    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.
    Tim H

    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

  • Lyme Disease May Be a Danger to Cruising Pets in the Bahamas

    Cruising News:
    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.
    Kat Luchene

  • Be Careful Fueling Up in the Bahamas

    Cruising News:
    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
    Capt. ROB

    Nassau Yacht Haven is decent, they have showers, laundry you can walk to markets, and over bridge to Atlantis. Reasonable rates friendly dock hands.
    Capn Dan

  • Huge Discussion on “Exumas Customs Check In”

    The discussion below is copied from the MTOA List-Serve, an organization, by the way, which all of us at the Salty Southeast Cruisers’ Net continue to recommend highly!!!!

    We are looking for an inexpensive place to check-in to customs/immigration. Bimini has moorings to tie to but we can’t find out who manages them or what they cost. Cat Cay charges $100 to tie up a dinghy to clear customs. Chubb Cay has an anchor area but no information on whether they also charge to tie up the dinghy. Any ideas/information would be helpful.
    Barry Kipnis

    By far the easiest place to check in is at Old Bahama Bay / West End. Tie up to their dock, near the fuel pumps for FREE and check in 30′ away. Reliably Open 7 days a week, minimum from 9am to 5pm. Great customs people. Best bet is to try to arrive at about 2pm. all the Go Fast boats have cleared by then. Fuel is good and is about the cheapest in the Bahamas.
    Captain Rob

    Barry, Our experiences are long ago, however we loved checking in at Turtle Key. (Abacos) Anchored out and then went ashore. May have changed. We did anchor at Chubb last time, however arrived too late to check in and went on to check in at Nassau. There we rafted up to a tug boat……did not allow you to anchor and check in. Out of date information I am sure…..Later Dude.

    Barry, Things in the Bahamas are constantly changing, so what is OK today may not be next week. We have anchored in Bimini and outside Chubb Cay and checked in. We immediately moved on after check in. The holding at Bimini is poor and there is strong currents. We have also anchored and checked in at Green Turtle. Most other stops are either convenient to find a slip or required as at Cat/Gunn. Walkers Cay marina was closed but Customs and Immigration is still there so that may be another option. Of course the marina could re-open by the time you get there. That is how quickly things change. Good luck.

    Sounds like you will have to spend a night on the banks. Bimini, the banks, Chub Cay anchorage and then on to Nassau to check in. You might get lucky at Chub Cay!
    Good luck,
    John Knapp

    Last fall we stopped at the Berry Island Club, just a few miles east of Chubb. Lincoln, the manager drove us to the airport customs office in his truck for $25, and we rented moorings from him for $15/night.

    There is plenty of room to anchor just off of the customs dock and further up by Bimini Bay. There were several boats at anchor when we were there in December.
    Gerry & Linda Etzold

    Hi All,
    We just cleared Customs at the West end…Anchored over night for free and tied up to the Customs dock ,,,Were in and out in fifteen minutes and 150.00 cash…..our boat is the Stella Maris Ip35 Enjoy….

    We just returned from Bimini and checked in to customs and immigration by temporarily tying up to the government dock there. we then anchored out several days in an area just south of the new Bimini Marina at the very end North Bimini. this is the 3rd time doing this and we find it works nicely with our 49 ft Endeavour power catamaran.
    Colleen Anderson

  • May Weather in the Abacos

    Hello there,
    My husband and I are planning a sail trip from Florida to the Abacos in May of this year. We don’t know whether we will be going by way of Miami and then Bimini, the Berries and then north…..or do we go by way of West End and then east and then south until we can turn west and go back towards Miami and Ft. Lauderdale?
    My question is….Can any one tell us what direction the wind most likely would be blowing in May? Does any one remember where it was coming from last May?
    We know it is mostly from the south east at about 5-10 during the beginning of July, when we usually get there.
    D. Benjamin

    Every sailor is going to give his or her opinion. You are starting to get less of a northerly component but any given year is different from the past to some degree. Personally I would start out going through Bimini and working my way north.
    C. Winston Fowler

    If your going to the Abacos my opinion would be to use the Gulf Stream to your advantage from Miami. It wil give you a Free 3 knots and You may not even have to adjust your sails. Head directly to the tip of Grand Bahama Island. Old Bahama Bay / West end 26′ 42′ 25n / 79′00′20 w. Great place to check in, Customs is right there 7 days a week 9am to 5pm at minimum; and I would suggest pay for a slip and stay over one night. You made it across the Gulf Stream and will need to unwind and relax to start the rest of your adventure. Then your next stop could be to anchor off Great Sale.
    The wind last year mid May was East / S.East and is about the norm. Probably the Best time of year in the Abacos.
    Captain Rob

  • Special Construction Prices at Hopetown Inn & Marina

    Hopetown Inn & Marina is offering a special while the marina is under construction. All the docks are built but only a few have water and power. They are charging $ 20.00 a night for boats up to 40′ and .75 a foot/night over 40 ‘, $4.00 for showers and water is .25 a gallon and free wifi in the laundry room or outside the office. The rate for my 39’ Mainship is $100.00 a week. Mooring balls are $ 20.00 a night. Contact the dockmaster Aaron on ch. 16 or 242-366-0003. There is a ferry to Marsh Harbor $17 one way and round trip $27, a 20 minute ride. The islanders go out of their way to be friendly and greet you with a smile. This is a well protected harbor with restaurants, shops and beautiful Bahamian cottages and roads built for golf carts. The restaurants and grocery store have dingy docks. This is one of
    my favorite locations in the Abacos. Treasure Cay has the prettist beach at Coco’s Beach.
    Charles Crawford, Mobile, Al.
    MV Bama Belle 390 Mainship

  • Chub Cay OPEN

    What is the status of Chub Cay. I heard it is closed and shut down. I heard this from a charter fisherman.
    Bahama Pappa

    I just called Chub Cay and am told they are fully open, including marina.
    Fuel is US$5.35 per gallon for both diesel and gas.
    Tele: 954-634-7496
    C. Winston Fowler

    Arrived from Bimini to Chub Cay marina near noon in a Pearson 365 ketch. Although very friendly marina, we were stunned by the sticker price of 4.50 USD per foot with a 40 foot minimum. This does not include power, as it is metered at 85 cents per kw. The water continues to be 40 cents per gallon in addition to slip fee. $174.00 for a night shocked us. We are leaving in the morning, early.
    Barry Umberger

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