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The Salty Southeast
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Archive For: Bahamas

  • Bahamas Cruising Guide Question

    The discussion below was copied from the Net's "Ask Your Neighbor" page (, 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.

  • 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

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


    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

  • Where To Spend a Week In the Bahamas

    The discussion below was copied from the Net's "Ask Your Neighbor" page (, 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.

    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.

  • 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 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

  • 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 ( <>  ).  This year we are heading back to the Exhumas to visit the Raggeds and some of the out islands.

  • 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 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.

  • Great Bahamian Weather Source

    As wonderful source of wind and sea conditions is 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 as a guide).
    Ken Chumley

  • Malaria in the Exumas??????

    If ANYONE hears ANYTHING about this issue, PLEASE e-mail more info to!

    Subject: Malaria in the Bahamas ????
    Cruising News: We heard from some friends that there has been an outbreak of Malaria the Exumas.  They are now taking some sort of drug that needs to be taken 4 weeks prior to being exposed.  I've checked all the sources I can find without being able to verify this problem.  Does anyone have any current information?  We plan to cross from Florida in the next 2 weeks and are planning to go to the Exumas and would sure hate to get there and find out we needed medication.  Thanks for you help and information. 
    s/v twmorrows

    The CDC confirms that malaria is a concern in the Great Exuma Island only.    Check out their web site.
    Captain Harv
    S/V Camelot

    I have been in the Exumas since November and this is the first anyone here has heard of this!

    Friends just arrived from a 2 week stay in Georgetown Great Exuma; and mentioned that there was NO info on the morning net at G-Town about malaria.  I suspect that the information is a result of the CDC warning based on the case in Spring of 08.  Thanks for checking…

    Friends just arrived from a 2 week stay in Georgetown Great Exuma; and mentioned that there was NO info on the morning net at G-Town about malaria.  I suspect that the information is a result of the CDC warning based on the case in Spring of 08.  Thanks for checking…

    Roger & Bonnie
    s/v Kokomo

    Hi Claiborne
    Doing some internet research revealed the attached article from the Bahama Journal. The CDC is recommending advance preventative malaria treatment of chloroquine for those traveling to Great Exuma.  Doesn't sound as if the risk is great but there is some reason for concern.
    Ginny Gordon, Kalista

    April 17th, 2008
    Malaria In Exuma
    Nearly two years after a malaria scare in Exuma, health officials reported Wednesday that three cases of malaria were identified during the last month on Great Exuma.Officials said in a statement that one case was identified in a resident and the other two in visitors to the island.
    "All cases have responded well to anti-malarial treatment," the statement said.
    The Ministry of Health said that in close collaboration with the Department of Environmental Health Services it has continued enhanced human and vector surveillance, vector control activities including larviciding and fogging, and testing of individuals with febrile illness suggestive of malarial infection.
    "Malaria is not endemic to The Bahamas but is usually imported into The Bahamas by persons traveling from endemic and highly endemic areas. Recently, there has been increased migration of persons from these highly endemic areas into localities on Great Exuma," the statement said.
    Health officials reminded that malaria is a parasitic disease transmitted by the bite of the female anopheles mosquito, which feeds from dusk to dawn. Symptoms include fever, chills, headache, weakness and body aches.
    Officials advise members of the public to avoid mosquito bites by wearing long sleeved clothing when out at night and applying insect repellents.
    Last August, the ministry advised that one case of malaria had been diagnosed in a visitor to Exuma.
    In 2006, health officials reported at least 19 malaria cases in Exuma, sparking a health scare.

    There were 3 or 4 cases on Great Exuma in 2006 –  but –  to the best of our knowledge, nothing at all since then.     I would say don’t worry about it at all!

    Check the center for disease control and go to travel in the bahamas. You will see there is indeed malaria in the  Exumas.

    The following link may be helpful.

    My wife and I always check with Centers for Disease Control before traveling.  The Travelers Notices link
    ( is particularly important.  I keep these bookmarked on my blackberry.
    CDC has inter-governmental relationships with like agencies around the world.  The relationships with Commonwealth and former Commonwealth nations are particularly good.  Since malaria is on the upswing world-wide it gets focused attention.  While I am not saying there may not be reported cases within the Bahamas, reasonable travel health preparations should prevail.  Anyone traveling where mosquitoes and other disease vector insects are present should already be equipped with screens and appropriate insect repellents…and use them.  A "not me, not here, not now" attitude is a poor defense against anything.

    I have been anchored in George Town Harbor since 20 Dec. There has not been a whisper about malaria.
    In 2006 Jun and Jul  there was a brief malaria outbreak here that was imported by Haitian immigrants. Haiti is the only carribbean country with the disease. About 10 people,4 tourists and 6 locals were affected. The Bahamian Health Dept acted swiftly, The Hatitians were tested and treated and a active mosquito control program was started. I beleive there has been no further incidents.
    I would suspect the rumor passed on by Capt. Larry is this incident recycled.
    The best source of traveler information which is very up to date and accurate is www On checking this site I found no malaria alerts for any where in the Bahamas. It is still prudent however not to feed the mosquitos.
    Bruce Stewart, MD
    on the sailing cat "Hairball"

    Subject: Prevention of Malaria (for Bahama etc. cruisers)
    Cruising News: Malaria can be prevented by using a very cheap antibiotic:  Doxycycline
    Doxycycline 100mg is taken once daily for two days before departure.
    Doxycycline 100mg is taken once daily while in area and once daily for 4 weeks after leaving area.
    Do not take Doxycycline with milk or antacids because they block absorption of the antibiotic.
    IMPORTANT side effects:
    Photosensitivity (ie. SEVERE sunburn & eye sensitivity to light) — you MUST cover up, use sun screen, and sunglasses!!!!!
    Stomach upset, Diarrhea, & Vaginal Yeast — Taking probiotic supplements will help avoid these side effects.
    Philip & Sharon Merlier

    I was to attend a meeting at the Four Seasons in Georgetown mid February.
    Hotel called in November to advise of problem and to let group out of contract.
    From what I read outbreak was 1>3 cases.
    FYI: spend time cruising Vanuatu which is a real malaria area.
    No drugs, just drank an extra Gin & Tonic per day and all was well.

  • Good Bahamas Cruising Advice

    The easiest and most popular plan and the way we do it is to stage  at a Marina or a very popular anchorage at the north end of Lake Worth at North  Palm Beach while we wait for a weather window to cross into the Abacos. This is  an excellent place to wait as many cruisers stage here and it is a very  convenient place to meet buddy boats for the crossing and a good place to  provision as there is ample shopping, good restaurants and a West  Marine near the anchorage.
    When your weather window comes most cruiser will move to an anchorage just south of the Lake Worth inlet (South of Peanut Island) which allows for and  early departure out the inlet the next morning, often before light, depending on your destination.  West End on Grand Bahamas Island is probably the best place to enter and check into customs for a first timer and we can make that 56 
    mile trip in about seven hours in our eight knot boat. Believe it or not, winter  is the slow season in the Abacos so Marinas are usually plentiful and  many of  them are offering deals that time of year.  For example, Green Turtle Club use to offer an "Eat Your Dockage" deal where you get free  dockage if you spend an amount equal to that dockage in the bar or dining  room.
    For extensive information about the Abacos you should buy the cruising  Guide published by Steve Dodge as that has been the Bible for the Abacos for  many years and is very reasonably priced at only $19.95. This guide lists all of  the marinas, anchorages and routes to follow with all needed waypoints and makes  your Abacos stay very easy and safe.
     John and  Karen Siscoe
    CHATEAU/ Defever 46 Sport Cruiser

  • Pets in the Bahamas

    Ahoy All,
    I was just told by a vet here in Daytona that the health certificate for a pet is only good for 48hrs. Has anyone had this problem? and how do you get a certificate within that amount of time prior to leaving? Thanks for all help.
    Greg and Barbara Franklin

    Given the uncertainty of weather windows and limited access from a boat to a veterinarian this requirement seemed quite cumbersome to me, so I made direct inquiry to the Bahamas Department of Agriculture in Nassau (242-325-7502). They advised that there is a exemption to the 48 hour timeframe for personal pets entering the Bahamas aboard a private vessel. In such cases the dog or cat needs to have been examined by a USDA certified Vet and found to be disease free.  The examination & USDA documentation must have been completed within the past year.  I was told that the 48 hour requirement is for animals other than personal pets that arrive in the Bahamas on other than private boats.  The DOA further advised that since we would be entering on a private boat with a personal pet we need 3 itemsonly.
    1:  A current Import Permit
    2:  A current Rabies vaccination Certificate &
    3:  A USDA health certificate that was completed within the last year.
    These are the documents we presented to the Customs Officer at West End and it was a non-issue.
    You will of course need to apply for and have the "Import Permit" sent to you by the Bahamas Department of Agriculture prior to bringing your dog to the Bahamas.  The fee for this is $10 (cash or money order only).  For another $5 (cash or money order) the Department will fax the approved permit back to you.
    The actual requirements (as shown on the Import Permit) are:
    A: The animal is six months of age or older
    B: The animal must be accompanied by a valid certificate which substantiates
    that it has been vaccinated against rabies by either:
          1     one year duration vaccine – the vaccine must have been
    administered within not more than 10 months and not less than one month prior to importation.
          2.    three year duration vaccine – the vaccine must have been administered within not more than 34 months and not less than one month prior to importation.
    C:  The animal must be accompanied by a Veterinary Health Certificate issued within Forty-Eight (48) hours of importation by a licensed   Veterinarian in the country of origin certifying that:
          1.    the dog has adequate levels of immunity conferred by being actively immunized against the following diseases: Distemper, Hepatitis, Parvovirus, Leptospirosis, Adenovirus and Coronavirus
          2.    the cat has adequate levels of immunity conferred by being actively immunized against the following diseases: Feline Leukemia, Feline Rhinotracheitis, Feline Calicivirus, Feline Panieukopenia and Feline Pneumonitis.
          3.    The animal is free from internal parasites as determined by a negative fecal floatation examination.
          4.    The animal is free from external parasites.
          5.    The animal is 6 months of age or older.
    D:  The animal must be presented to a Licensed Veterinarian for examination within forty-eight (48) hours of arrival in the Commonwealth of the Bahamas. The duplicate copy of the health certification documents and permit should be left with the Customs Officer on arrival. 
    E:  Form # IMP /1 (B), completed by a licensed veterinarian in the country of export is presented.
    Hope this helps and I would suggest that you call the Bahamian Department of Agriculture directly for confirmation of what I was told.
    We are currently in the Bahamas with our dog Jackie.  We (including Jackie) cleared customs at West End w/o problem.  Jackie's USDA medical exam and certificate occurred some two months prior to importation.
    Rick, Diane & Jackie the boat frump

  • Resting up in Marsh Harbour

    Greetings Claiborne — and Happy New Year!
    Since Walburg Creek, we ran down the coast and came in at Ponce de Leon Inlet, then ic to Titusville, where we left the boat at the city marina  (VERY PLEASANT) and spent 3 days in Orlando (where we have a niece) for our family christmas.  Then we took off from the Canaveral Barge Canal and ran straight to the Abacos, coming in at Man-o-War Cut. The weather was beautiful (6-8 ft rollers and 15-20 kt winds) and the waypoints on the CYC/Maptech charts are correct, which we had wondered about. So we are on the hook in very protected Marsh Harbour with temps in the mid-70s and what could be better?  Installed the shower and washing machine in the last 2 days, and heading down toward the Exumas, then Turks & Caicos in a few days.
    Michael Porter

  • Chubb Cay Question

    Subject: Chubb Cay, Bahamas
    Cruising News: Heard a rumor that Chubb Cay is now private.  Can anyone shed light on this.  If it is, can one still anchor to the west, outside the harbor.

  • Good Time – Bad Time to Visit the Bahamas Discussion

    Hoping no-one will mind, I have taken the liberty of copying the discussion below from the MTOA List-Serve.

    We have a time constraint (I know, trawler people shouldn't have a fix timetable, but still) and to make Bahamas, we would have to be there mid/end January to mid March. Experienced Bahamas travelers say we will be cold — no swimming. Did, in anybody's opinion, the global warming change that, or should we wait until we can make April/May, or the global warming kicks in?
    Raoul, ADRIA

    We spent time in the Abacos at the end of April the first of May and it wasperfect! The charter company told us we were lucky because it was the best weather they had experienced all year.
    Happy New Year,
    Susan Wigginton

    I can tell you that those of us who live in Florida seldom go to the Bahamas in the winter since the same fronts that pass through here also go there.
    That being said, there is also quite a difference between the northern islands (Abacos) and further south. I am sure many people from northern climes think Georgetown in the Exumas is pretty tropical even in the winter.
    Bottom line, it is up to you, but if you want beautiful clear blue waters the Bahamas are pretty tough to beat.

    We have been in the Bahamas in that time period many times, We swam, snorkeled, fished and played volleyball on the beach every day. It was sunny warm and fantastic. We would be there now if
    circumstances were different but will make it next year. Even the Abacos are warm but the fronts do make it through there more frequently. Head for the Exumas and have a ball.

    We spent the winder in Marsh Harbour 2 yrs. ago. Although windy most of the time that year, it was very comfortable for swimming & snorkeling.

    April is the best month for weather in the Bahamas pr the Florida Keys The winter winds are down(making the stream passable)to the Bahamas, and the Keys water temp is warming up as well. The days are much longer, and the snow birds are heading north making the harbors less congested.
    Al Hackett
    Pale Moon

    To avoid the winter wind cycles, it's best to wait until April. We've done it the last three years from April through July and have had great weather.
    Bob & Susan

  • Samson Cay Club New Years News

    Subject: New Years Eve Sampson Cay Club
    Cruising News: Come join us at Sampson Cay Club for New Years Eve, Wednesday Dec 31,2008 . We will we serving a Bahamian Buffet from 12 noon until 6 pm.  The buffet will include fried chicken, pork, barbeque ribs, coleslaw, peas and rice, macaroni and cheese, assorted desserts, iced tea and coffee.    The price is $25.00 for adults, $15.00 for children, gratuity is included.  Join us for fireworks at 7:30 pm  After the fireworks have a free rum punch at the bar. All of the staff at Sampson Cay Club wish you a Happy New Year.
    Check our website : to see our newly remodeled Hilltop Villa and new information on the Cay
    Cathy Piazza

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