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The Salty Southeast
Cruisers' Net
Cruisers Helping Cruisers
 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.

Archive For: Bahamas

  • Pet Importation to the Bahamas

    Subject: Pet Importation to Bahamas
    Cruising News: We are working our way through the ICW to the Bahamas with our pet cat.  We have been travelling with another boat who also are bringing their cat.  We've been trying to sort out our requiremnents and we haven't seemed to get it straight.  Our cat has had all the requisite vaccinations as well as a statement of health from our vet (July 2008).  We have applied for and have received from the Bahamas the required "Permit to Import Dogs and Cats Into the Commonwealth of Bahamas".  The documents and our discussions with personnel of the Department of Agriculture in Bahamas in relation to what we now will need is uncliear.  It seems to imply that we'll need to get a certification of health from a US Vet within 24 hours of our departure (this will be difficult given the normal waiting for weather windows).  It also suggests that we have to present the pet to a vet in the Bahamas within 24 hours of entry.  Can anyone clarify what is required?
    Mike McKendy
    Sea Sharp

  • Sampson Cay Club Christmas News

    Subject: Christmas
    Cruising News: Sampson Cay Club Christmas News
    Wednesday Dec 24th Christmas Eve, Join us in our Bar for Happy Hour beginning at 4pm, Karaoke Christmas Carols,Traditional Bahamian Buffet Dinner Served in the Restaurant 4pm-7pm. Adults $25.00 Children $15.00
    Thursday Christmas December 25th,  Take the day off and enjoy yourself and join us for A Traditional Christmas Buffet Lunch/Dinner  Service 12 noon until 6 pm Adult price $ 25.00 Children $15.00, Restaurant and Bar will CLOSE promptly at 7 pm. Sampson Cay Beach Party Saturday  Dec 27, 12 noon until 6 pm  Come join us on the beach for our Buffet, Ribs, Chicken, Macaroni and Cheese,Corn on the Cob, Salad for $15.00 a person.  Fresh Conch Salad made by Teddy $10.00 Happy Hour Beer and Mixed Drink prices… Come have a fun day on the beach. The staff at Sampson Cay would like to wish everyone Happy Holidays and a Wonderful New Year.  Thank you for your business and we will be looking forward to serving you on your next visit.

  • Fly-Free to Staniel Cay


     


     

     

    “Fly-Free to Staniel Cay”

     

    stanilecay1

    COMPANION FLIES FREE*
    with the purchase of one roundtrip ticket on Watermakers Air and a 5-night (or more) stay at the Staniel Cay Yacht Club!

     

    Take advantage of this deal and our Inclusive Package (as low as $173/per person, per night, double occupancy) to indulge in a fantastic vacation for a great price!

     

    Make your reservations by January 15, 2009 and travel between January 5th and March 1st, 2009.

     

    stanielcay2
    Happy Holidays and See You Soon!

     

    *Restrictions Apply as (but not limited to) the following:

      • Free companion ticket only available with purchase of another full-fare roundtrip ticket on Watermakers Air with the same travel dates AND a minimum stay of 5 nights at the Staniel Cay Yacht Club.
      • “Free” ticket flyer still responsible for all government fees and taxes.
      • Reservations must be confirmed between December 12, 2008 and January 15, 2009.
      • Travel must be between January 5, 2009 and March 1, 2009.
      • Travel on Watermakers Air only available from Ft. Lauderdale Executive Airport (FXE) to Staniel Cay, Exumas, Bahamas.

     

    Fresh water provided for
    Staniel Cay Yacht Club by:
    http://rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=0015Uwru0iQ9QjLD838ENQlj0CmcvkbYyBHIZwkpvbhyURcSvCFQc1-nM0X0bNfdYS8awem3kLSMj0-qpJkhynAmzY1mhs2Y6eVM919W2ErtfTmyx9MP49zDw==
    "Fresh Water – Anytime – Any Ocean"
    Desalination Systems by
    Watermakers, Inc.

    Staniel Cay Yacht Club
    (242) 355-2024 – Fax (242) 355-2044
    U.S. Office Tel (954) 467-8920

     
      ©2007. Staniel Cay Yacht Club. All rights reserved.

  • Stolen Boat – Elbow Cay

    Subject: Boat Stolen
    Cruising News: Our family boat was stolen from Elbow Cay at Dorris Cove in the early morning hours Thanksgiving day, 2008.  It was a Jupiter 31 with a navy blue hull with silve trim and the name of the boat on the side, "Slatwater Rentz"  It had twin 225 yamaha four strokes.  Please, if anybody has any information, plaese contact the Lighthouse marina or the authorities in Marsh Harbor.  You can also contact me at jbrentz@gmail.com.  This is becoming a real problem for the area and i hope it stops.  I am asking for any hlep and thank you for keeping your eyes peeled.
    Jeff Rentz

  • Taking Dogs to the Bahamas

    I  will let others give the on the ground experiences with the dogs, however, you need to quickly begin the process of getting an import permit for the dog (we have a bird).  Price is cheap $10 but you must get the application form and Fed Exp it to Nassau.  For a fee they will fax it back to you.  You then need to have each dog examined by a US vet who must sign the US form for an international health certificate.  This must be physically sent to that states US Agricultural Vet office who will countersign. (Believe the fee is $24).  All of this takes time.
    Marty and Deb

  • Abacos Dockage and Fuel

    Subject: Abaco dockage and fuel
    Cruising News: Well some of the Marinas in Great Abaco are offering some good deals for dockage,but here on Elbow Cay there are not really any. I don\\\'t understand not wanting to lower dockage rates or fuel prices to attract a little business,but that\\\'s the way it is.Business is very slow here and the Marinas are empty.
    AJC

  • Bimini Cruising News

    Subject: News from Bimini
    Cruising News: 11/30/08 Just got back from 2 weeks in Bimini. We were sad to learn that the Bimini Big Game Club hotel and marina have closed.
    We docked at SeaCrest and had a great stay.  Bimini Blue Water was also open, they have fuel and diesel was $4.25.  The new resort, Bimini Bay has dredged a deep water channel up to their facility.  They are catering to mega yacht and fishing boats.
    Capt Bob\\\'s and C J Deli are still open thru lunch. But there was not much available for dinner.  Internet available at Sea Crest and
    Bimini Blue water. Still had a great time!
    Laura Crop

  • Special Events At Staniel Cay Yacht Club – Exumas

    Here is a listing of 2008 fall and winter events at Staniel Cay Yacht Club (A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS' NET SPONOSOR), in the Exumas

    Halloween Costume Party – Friday, October 31 at 8:00 pm

    Kids Christmas Party – December 25

    Pirate Party – December 29

    Long Drive Contest – December 30

    Mixed Doubles C-Class Regatta – December 31

    Annual Cruising Regatta – January 1

  • Provisions in Marsh Harbor

    Subject: Provisions in Marsh Harbor
    Message: I was recently advised by Carol on S/V Interim, by way of S/V Salty Dog, that Maxwells Grocery in Marsh Harbor, Abacos, had burned to the ground this summer.
    Steve Kamp, S/V Carolina

  • Boat Stolen From Great Abaco Club

    our Name: Paul Eddy
    Your Email Address: pemarlin@bellsouth.net
    Subject: Stolen Boat
    Cruising News: Our 26 foot Intrepid was stolen from the Great Abaco Club at Boat Harbor Marina Friday night.  Lines were cut and the boat taken.  Please keep an eye out.  Name is \" Meagan Nicole\"  – white boat with black and gold trim.  Twin 250 Yahama engines.  Please e-mail or call (904) 861-5544 with any sightings.  You can contact Boat Harbor Marina and talk to Cecil if you do not want to call long distance.

    Subject: Stolen Boat
    Cruising News: Regarding my stolen boat – the engines are 200\'s , not 250\'s (sorry for the typo in the original posting).
    Thanks again for any input on the \"Jenny Lynn" 26' Intrepid stolen from the Great Abaco Club Friday, August 29th. I have a photo I can send to anyone interested.

    FOUND!

    Subject: FOUND Stolen Boat
    Cruising News: Our boat was found abandoned late Saturday with engines stripped, but hull OK.  Thanks to all who may have tried to watch for it!
    Paul Eddy

  • Bahamas Cruising Advice

    We spent the last winter in the Bahamas on our 49' power cat, Pretty Penny. We spent most of the time in the Exumas, which we absolutely loved. We plan to go back this winter and spend more time in the Exumas and see more islands. You can see the experiences on our trip on our blog http://prettypennycruise.blogspot.com. I agree that Staniel Cay is a great place to have guests meet you. There is a great resort at Staniel Cay Yacht Club and lots of nearby islands to explore. You can get there by Watermaker Air from Ft Lauderdale Executive Airport. Georgetown on Great Exuma is another great place. It is on a huge harbor – Elizabeth Harbor and there is a large semi- permanent boating population there most of the winter, usually 2-300 boats. The Abacos are supposed to be nice too, but they are usually colder and the weather reports were consistently for higher winds. The best charts and the Explorer Chart series which has detailed soundings and information on all the towns and marinas. The Explorer Charts will give you recommended routes between islands, but you will have to rely on visual navigation for a lot of the route. You will quickly learn to tell the depth of the water by the color. For the best weather service for the Bahamas and the Carribean I recommend Chris Parker and Carribean Weather Service. You pay a flat fee for the year and can get SSB broadcasts from Chris specifically tailored to you cruising plans.
    Best of luck and safe cruising.
    Regards,
    Bob Kingsbury

    We have found the Explorer Charts to be Great. There are three of them. Not only are they a chart. But they all so give local information. I like the Guide books put together by: Stephen J Pavlidis. We all so have Skipper Bobs.
    All three will give information on Customs and Immigration.  If you have a pet on broad. You will need a pet permit. And you will need a user fee decal. To get back into the US.
    As for having visitors fly in. George Town in the Exumas is a good place.
    If you are Marina people. There is a fairly new marina just North of George Town. I have been told it quite nice. But check water depths before going in.
    Elisabeth Harbor has a lot of great anchorages. This is between George Town and Stocking Island. There is usually a lot of boats anchored there. This is a great place lots to do and see. Trails, beaches, swimming, snorkeling and actives on the beach.
    If you do not have it. You may want a books on shells, sea beans, fish, and birds. There is a lot to explore, on the Islands.
    Hope you find this helpful.
    Deb Baas S/V Heart's Desire

    .

    We spent the last winter in the Bahamas on our 49' power cat, Pretty Penny. We spent most of the time in the Exumas, which we absolutely loved. We plan to go back this winter and spend more time in the Exumas and see more islands. You can see the experiences on our trip on our blog http://prettypennycruise.blogspot.com. I agree that Staniel Cay is a great place to have guests meet you. There is a great resort at Staniel Cay Yacht Club and lots of nearby islands to explore. You can get there by Watermaker Air from Ft Lauderdale Executive Airport. Georgetown on Great Exuma is another great place. It is on a huge harbor – Elizabeth Harbor and there is a large semi- permanent boating population there most of the winter, usually 2-300 boats. The Abacos are supposed to be nice too, but they are usually colder and the weather reports were consistently for higher winds. The best charts and the Explorer Chart series which has detailed soundings and information on all the towns and marinas. The Explorer Charts will give you recommended routes between islands, but you will have to rely on visual navigation for a lot of the route. You will quickly learn to tell the depth of the water by the color. For the best weather service for the Bahamas and the Carribean I recommend Chris Parker and Carribean Weather Service. You pay a flat fee for the year and can get SSB broadcasts from Chris specifically tailored to you cruising plans.
    Best of luck and safe cruising.
    Regards,
    Bob Kingsbury

    We have found the Explorer Charts to be Great. There are three of them. Not only are they a chart. But they all so give local information. I like the Guide books put together by: Stephen J Pavlidis. We all so have Skipper Bobs.
    All three will give information on Customs and Immigration.  If you have a pet on broad. You will need a pet permit. And you will need a user fee decal. To get back into the US.
    As for having visitors fly in. George Town in the Exumas is a good place.
    If you are Marina people. There is a fairly new marina just North of George Town. I have been told it quite nice. But check water depths before going in.
    Elisabeth Harbor has a lot of great anchorages. This is between George Town and Stocking Island. There is usually a lot of boats anchored there. This is a great place lots to do and see. Trails, beaches, swimming, snorkeling and actives on the beach.
    If you do not have it. You may want a books on shells, sea beans, fish, and birds. There is a lot to explore, on the Islands.
    Hope you find this helpful.
    Deb Baas S/V Heart's Desire

    .

  • Good Eats and Good Times at Sampson Cay Club (Exumas)

    The message below comes from our newest SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS' NET SPONSOR, Sampson Cay Club. Sounds like a VERY good time will be had by all who attend these fun evenings!

    Subject: Sampson Cay Club Buffet and Karoake Party
    Cruising News: Sampson Cay Club Wednesday Bahamian Buffet and Karoake Party
    Join us for a  Bahamian Buffet starting at 5:30pm until 10pm. Buffet includes traditional Bahamaian favorites such as Minced Lobster, Carved Beef , Chicken,Peas and Rice just to name a few items ,Guava Duff and other Bahamian desserts , iced tea and coffee  Reservations Recommended but not required  Drink Specials All Evening  Price Adults $25.00  Children under 12 $15.00
    Karaoke 8pm until ????  Don't miss the great food and fun at Sampson Cay
    Cathy Piazza

    The message below comes from our newest SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS' NET SPONSOR, Sampson Cay Club. Sounds like a VERY good time will be had by all who attend these fun evenings!

    Subject: Sampson Cay Club Buffet and Karoake Party
    Cruising News: Sampson Cay Club Wednesday Bahamian Buffet and Karoake Party
    Join us for a  Bahamian Buffet starting at 5:30pm until 10pm. Buffet includes traditional Bahamaian favorites such as Minced Lobster, Carved Beef , Chicken,Peas and Rice just to name a few items ,Guava Duff and other Bahamian desserts , iced tea and coffee  Reservations Recommended but not required  Drink Specials All Evening  Price Adults $25.00  Children under 12 $15.00
    Karaoke 8pm until ????  Don't miss the great food and fun at Sampson Cay
    Cathy Piazza

  • Cruising News From Andros

    Criusing news from Andros
    Cruising News: We just got back from 2 weeks in Andros, cruising from Morgan's Bluff to South Bight. The best (really the only) fuel stop is Patrick Romer's Esso service in Morgan's Bluff (329-2519). There was no fuel in Fresh Creek, unless you want to bring it in in barrels, which the dockmaster Jerry at Andros Lighthouse Marina in Fresh Creek can arrange. We stayed several nights at Andros Lighthouse Marina, and took a beautiful dive trip with nearby Small Hope Bay Lodge. Andros lighthouse Marina has wi-fi, water electic, laundary, and a good restaraunt. Also spent several nights at anchor in Lisbon Creek on South Bight. It is very well protected and has a very well marked enterance channel, but the holding was not so good – a bit scoured out. Leroi Bannister, owner of Bannister's Guest House and the Aqua Marine Club, has a couple of moorings available there. Lisbon Creek is a wonderful friendly settlement woth a visit. On the way back North, we stopped at Staniard Creek, a few miles north of Fresh Creek. The Yachtsman's Guide suggests this as a nice ancorage, just inside the creek mouth. However, there is a new devlopment going in there called Coconut Grove, and they are trying to restrict anchorage there – we where told it is "private". We anchored farther up the creek by the settlement, but that will not work if you draw over 3 feet. Staniard Creek is another wonderful friendly little place, apart from the jerks building Coconut Grove.
    Jonathan Gorham

    Criusing news from Andros
    Cruising News: We just got back from 2 weeks in Andros, cruising from Morgan's Bluff to South Bight. The best (really the only) fuel stop is Patrick Romer's Esso service in Morgan's Bluff (329-2519). There was no fuel in Fresh Creek, unless you want to bring it in in barrels, which the dockmaster Jerry at Andros Lighthouse Marina in Fresh Creek can arrange. We stayed several nights at Andros Lighthouse Marina, and took a beautiful dive trip with nearby Small Hope Bay Lodge. Andros lighthouse Marina has wi-fi, water electic, laundary, and a good restaraunt. Also spent several nights at anchor in Lisbon Creek on South Bight. It is very well protected and has a very well marked enterance channel, but the holding was not so good – a bit scoured out. Leroi Bannister, owner of Bannister's Guest House and the Aqua Marine Club, has a couple of moorings available there. Lisbon Creek is a wonderful friendly settlement woth a visit. On the way back North, we stopped at Staniard Creek, a few miles north of Fresh Creek. The Yachtsman's Guide suggests this as a nice ancorage, just inside the creek mouth. However, there is a new devlopment going in there called Coconut Grove, and they are trying to restrict anchorage there – we where told it is "private". We anchored farther up the creek by the settlement, but that will not work if you draw over 3 feet. Staniard Creek is another wonderful friendly little place, apart from the jerks building Coconut Grove.
    Jonathan Gorham

  • Old Bahama Bay + Fuel Prices

    Old Bahama Bay
    Cruising News: Latest fuel prices (6/17/2008) at Old Bahama Bay – Ginn Sur Mer (West End), Grand Bahama Island for diesel is $6.11 US per gallon.  Marina is very clean and staff very friendly.  Restuarant is so-so when compared to Wally's in Marsh Harbour, Abaco.  Prices for food however, are much closer to US mainland (lower) than Bahamas.
    Richard Holtz

    Old Bahama Bay
    Cruising News: Latest fuel prices (6/17/2008) at Old Bahama Bay – Ginn Sur Mer (West End), Grand Bahama Island for diesel is $6.11 US per gallon.  Marina is very clean and staff very friendly.  Restuarant is so-so when compared to Wally's in Marsh Harbour, Abaco.  Prices for food however, are much closer to US mainland (lower) than Bahamas.
    Richard Holtz

  • Nassau and the Abacos Cruising News

    Nassau and the Abacos
    Cruising News: Just arrived at Boat Harbour in the Abacos.  Fuel is 6.53 plus tax for Diesel.  Also while Hurricane Hole is open, it is a construction site.  The Pool, Bar and Office are open.  Much dirt and dust however.  Internet service at both HH and Atlantis is spotty at best.  They will provide a \\\\\\\"wired\\\\\\\" connection at Atlantis for no charge if you raise issue.
    Captain Richard Holtz
    M/V O! Richard

    Nassau and the Abacos
    Cruising News: Just arrived at Boat Harbour in the Abacos.  Fuel is 6.53 plus tax for Diesel.  Also while Hurricane Hole is open, it is a construction site.  The Pool, Bar and Office are open.  Much dirt and dust however.  Internet service at both HH and Atlantis is spotty at best.  They will provide a \\\\\\\"wired\\\\\\\" connection at Atlantis for no charge if you raise issue.
    Captain Richard Holtz
    M/V O! Richard

  • Fuel Prices – Hurricane Hole Esso, Nassau

    We are now in Nassau and good news.  The Price for fuel at Hurricane Hole Esso is 5.99 including all taxes for Diesel [6/28/08]
    Richard, Rochelle and Molly
    M/V O! Richard    580 SR Sedan Bridge

    We are now in Nassau and good news.  The Price for fuel at Hurricane Hole Esso is 5.99 including all taxes for Diesel [6/28/08]
    Richard, Rochelle and Molly
    M/V O! Richard    580 SR Sedan Bridge

  • Hurricane Hole and Old Bahama Bay Open

    The posting below updates an earlier message here on the Net’s "Bahamas" page, which I have now removed.

    Subject: Hurricane Hole Open and Old Bahama Bay Correction to Policy post
    Cruising News: Hurricane Hole is open and almost done the renovations! Old Bahama Bay ONLY has a 2 night minimum in the Summer on weekends and on holiday weekends. This is a great facility and the customer service is first class.
    Katie

    The posting below updates an earlier message here on the Net’s "Bahamas" page, which I have now removed.

    Subject: Hurricane Hole Open and Old Bahama Bay Correction to Policy post
    Cruising News: Hurricane Hole is open and almost done the renovations! Old Bahama Bay ONLY has a 2 night minimum in the Summer on weekends and on holiday weekends. This is a great facility and the customer service is first class.
    Katie

  • Abacos Cruising Notes

    Subject: Abacos cruise report
    Cruising News: The crew of Radiant, a 1980 Tartan 33, left West Palm Beach in early May 2008 and spent a month in the Abacos.  We used the Explorer Chartkit for the Abacos and found it very accurate. Don?t leave home without it. The link is http://explorercharts.com/.  We didn?t visit every island or harbor but here are some other observations that other cruisers bound for the Abacos might find useful.

    Clearing in.  We elected to sail to Mangrove Cay then the next day motor-sailed to Spanish Cay for a rather seamless Customs/Immigration clear-in at Spanish Cay. According to the typical pricing in Mr. Young?s cruising guides, the price for a slip at Spanish was above average but the facilities are very nice and the staff was helpful and very courteous. Wi-Fi was available for $10 for 24-hours and the resort facilities were open to marina guests.  Overall it was a very enjoyable experience.  The link is http://spanishcay.com/.

    Communication & Wi-Fi.  You are able to receive NOAA weather radio signals throughout most of the northern Abacos, even in Marsh Harbor.  Signal quality varied based on atmospheric conditions but the fact that our mast-top antenna was 50+ feet above the water obviously helped.  In addition to the VHF, we opted for Wi-Fi/internet to connect with not only people in the U.S. but also other cruisers and businesses in the Abacos. Thus, we avoided using the pricey Batelco services.  Most marinas and some restaurants offered Wi-Fi links.  If you are up for morning coffee ashore in Marsh and Treasure Cay you can visit one of the coffee shops offering free internet links.  A number of cruisers had Wi-Fi range-extending gear onboard and that?s certainly on our wish list. 

    If you seek local weather and other island venue information tune to VHF 68 at about 0815 for the local ?cruiser?s net? updates every day.  Conditions at the main channels, such as Man-O-War, and the Whale Cay Passage are given at the top of the program.  Please avoid using channel 68 during the broadcasts.  Also check http://oii.net/ for a range of web-connect options and Abaco websites.

    Marsh Harbor.  The Marsh Harbor anchorage still has very good holding ground.  Hardware stores, liquor stores, marine supplies, two supermarkets, a lumber yard, and even an auto parts store are within walking distance of the Union Jack dinghy dock.  At Rainbow Rentals, adjacent to the dinghy dock, you can purchase block ice. We needed to replace our autopilot and received very good service and a fair price from Merlin Electronics in Marsh Harbor.  The link is http://www.merlinsmarine.com/.

    For a special treat, scuba lessons were in order and we received superb instruction from Dive Abaco, located at the Conch Inn Marina which also is home to Moorings/SunSail charter bases. The Dive Abaco crew, Keith, Bridget, and Marlon, were very friendly, knowledgeable and helpful. Check http://diveabaco.com/ for more information if you are interested in diving lessons or packages.

    Restaurants.  Most of the Marsh Harbor restaurants were located on Queen Elizabeth Drive or Bay Street, the main drags.  Yep, still only one stop light but they do drive on the wrong side!  For local flavor and reasonably priced lunches we opted for Jamie?s Place. For slightly higher-end dining our cruising group found Curlytails and Wallys to be good choices.

    Provisions.  In our estimation, the best provisioning can be found at Marsh Harbor and Treasure Cay. Selections compared favorably to a small to medium-size supermarket in Florida.  But certain things are pricey?it cost anywhere from $2.00 to $4.00 for a container of ?Pringles? chips in the Abacos. In terms of items to pack before leaving the U.S. we suggest you stock up on extra batteries for your portable devices, over-the-counter medicines, snacks/chips, paper products, and bring plenty of zipper-lock plastic bags.

    Moorings.  The best mooring opportunities were at Great Guana, Green Turtle, and Man-O-War Cays.  Treasure Cay has a few (I think three) and they are usually occupied.  We did not visit Hopetown during this cruise.

    Water.  Fresh water was priced anywhere from 10-cents to 40-cents a gallon and reverse osmosis (RO) water is the rule, not the exception. Bottled RO water cost anywhere from $1.50 to $2.50 a gallon.

    Jim & Rose
    Aboard ?Radiant?

    Subject: Abacos cruise report
    Cruising News: The crew of Radiant, a 1980 Tartan 33, left West Palm Beach in early May 2008 and spent a month in the Abacos.  We used the Explorer Chartkit for the Abacos and found it very accurate. Don?t leave home without it. The link is http://explorercharts.com/.  We didn?t visit every island or harbor but here are some other observations that other cruisers bound for the Abacos might find useful.

    Clearing in.  We elected to sail to Mangrove Cay then the next day motor-sailed to Spanish Cay for a rather seamless Customs/Immigration clear-in at Spanish Cay. According to the typical pricing in Mr. Young?s cruising guides, the price for a slip at Spanish was above average but the facilities are very nice and the staff was helpful and very courteous. Wi-Fi was available for $10 for 24-hours and the resort facilities were open to marina guests.  Overall it was a very enjoyable experience.  The link is http://spanishcay.com/.

    Communication & Wi-Fi.  You are able to receive NOAA weather radio signals throughout most of the northern Abacos, even in Marsh Harbor.  Signal quality varied based on atmospheric conditions but the fact that our mast-top antenna was 50+ feet above the water obviously helped.  In addition to the VHF, we opted for Wi-Fi/internet to connect with not only people in the U.S. but also other cruisers and businesses in the Abacos. Thus, we avoided using the pricey Batelco services.  Most marinas and some restaurants offered Wi-Fi links.  If you are up for morning coffee ashore in Marsh and Treasure Cay you can visit one of the coffee shops offering free internet links.  A number of cruisers had Wi-Fi range-extending gear onboard and that?s certainly on our wish list. 

    If you seek local weather and other island venue information tune to VHF 68 at about 0815 for the local ?cruiser?s net? updates every day.  Conditions at the main channels, such as Man-O-War, and the Whale Cay Passage are given at the top of the program.  Please avoid using channel 68 during the broadcasts.  Also check http://oii.net/ for a range of web-connect options and Abaco websites.

    Marsh Harbor.  The Marsh Harbor anchorage still has very good holding ground.  Hardware stores, liquor stores, marine supplies, two supermarkets, a lumber yard, and even an auto parts store are within walking distance of the Union Jack dinghy dock.  At Rainbow Rentals, adjacent to the dinghy dock, you can purchase block ice. We needed to replace our autopilot and received very good service and a fair price from Merlin Electronics in Marsh Harbor.  The link is http://www.merlinsmarine.com/.

    For a special treat, scuba lessons were in order and we received superb instruction from Dive Abaco, located at the Conch Inn Marina which also is home to Moorings/SunSail charter bases. The Dive Abaco crew, Keith, Bridget, and Marlon, were very friendly, knowledgeable and helpful. Check http://diveabaco.com/ for more information if you are interested in diving lessons or packages.

    Restaurants.  Most of the Marsh Harbor restaurants were located on Queen Elizabeth Drive or Bay Street, the main drags.  Yep, still only one stop light but they do drive on the wrong side!  For local flavor and reasonably priced lunches we opted for Jamie?s Place. For slightly higher-end dining our cruising group found Curlytails and Wallys to be good choices.

    Provisions.  In our estimation, the best provisioning can be found at Marsh Harbor and Treasure Cay. Selections compared favorably to a small to medium-size supermarket in Florida.  But certain things are pricey?it cost anywhere from $2.00 to $4.00 for a container of ?Pringles? chips in the Abacos. In terms of items to pack before leaving the U.S. we suggest you stock up on extra batteries for your portable devices, over-the-counter medicines, snacks/chips, paper products, and bring plenty of zipper-lock plastic bags.

    Moorings.  The best mooring opportunities were at Great Guana, Green Turtle, and Man-O-War Cays.  Treasure Cay has a few (I think three) and they are usually occupied.  We did not visit Hopetown during this cruise.

    Water.  Fresh water was priced anywhere from 10-cents to 40-cents a gallon and reverse osmosis (RO) water is the rule, not the exception. Bottled RO water cost anywhere from $1.50 to $2.50 a gallon.

    Jim & Rose
    Aboard ?Radiant?

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