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

Fuel Prices – Chub Cay

Posted by admin | Posted on 06-23-2008

Subject: Fuel Chubb Cay, Bahamas
Cruising News: At Chubb Cay yesterday.  Paid 6.65 per Gallon for diesel with a 200 Gallon limit
Captain Richard
M/V O! Richard
Harbour Island

Subject: Fuel Chubb Cay, Bahamas
Cruising News: At Chubb Cay yesterday.  Paid 6.65 per Gallon for diesel with a 200 Gallon limit
Captain Richard
M/V O! Richard
Harbour Island

Lots of Exumas Cruising Info Available in Brenda ant Todd’s Blog

Posted by admin | Posted on 06-16-2008

Morning Claiborne,
We just returned from a WONDERFUL 8 weeks in the Exumas, this area has to be one of the top cruising destinations in the western hemisphere!  We documented our trip on our blog (address below) and wanted you to know that if you wanted to post any information from our blog to Cruisernet please feel free to do so.
Hope you are enjoying your weekend!
Brenda & Todd Lanning
M/V Life’s2Short
40′ Oceania

Check out our blog @
http://btlifes2short.blogspot.com/
"It is said that you only have so many days on this earth…..but the ones you spend at sea don’t count against you".

Morning Claiborne,
We just returned from a WONDERFUL 8 weeks in the Exumas, this area has to be one of the top cruising destinations in the western hemisphere!  We documented our trip on our blog (address below) and wanted you to know that if you wanted to post any information from our blog to Cruisernet please feel free to do so.
Hope you are enjoying your weekend!
Brenda & Todd Lanning
M/V Life’s2Short
40′ Oceania

Check out our blog @
http://btlifes2short.blogspot.com/
"It is said that you only have so many days on this earth…..but the ones you spend at sea don’t count against you".

Fuel Prices – Abacos (as of 6/6/08)

Posted by admin | Posted on 06-11-2008

Subject: Abaco\’s Gas & Diesel Prices 6/6/08
Cruising News: Here are the Gas and Diesel prices in the Abacos as of 6/6/08

As of 6/6/08 GAS        DEISEL
Boat Harbor $5.94 $6.25
Green Turtle $5.94 $6.25
Lucaya         $5.46 $5.64
Orchid Bay $6.20 $6.58
Spanish Cay $6.15 $6.50
Treasure         $6.05 $6.44

Larry

Claiborne
Marsh Harbor – Harbor View Marina – a/o 6, June – Diesel – $6.30 + 5% for credit cards
                     Marsh Harbor Marina – a/0 5, June – Diesel – $6.41 + 5% for credit cards
Treasure Cay – a/o 6, June – Diesel $6.41
Tom Ulanski
Aboard Nyomas

Subject: Abaco\’s Gas & Diesel Prices 6/6/08
Cruising News: Here are the Gas and Diesel prices in the Abacos as of 6/6/08

As of 6/6/08 GAS        DEISEL
Boat Harbor $5.94 $6.25
Green Turtle $5.94 $6.25
Lucaya         $5.46 $5.64
Orchid Bay $6.20 $6.58
Spanish Cay $6.15 $6.50
Treasure         $6.05 $6.44

Larry

Claiborne
Marsh Harbor – Harbor View Marina – a/o 6, June – Diesel – $6.30 + 5% for credit cards
                     Marsh Harbor Marina – a/0 5, June – Diesel – $6.41 + 5% for credit cards
Treasure Cay – a/o 6, June – Diesel $6.41
Tom Ulanski
Aboard Nyomas

Fuel Prices – Brown’s in Nassau

Posted by admin | Posted on 06-05-2008

$5.20 at Brown’s in Nassau, Bahamas on 5/28/08 – On the other hand – Rum was 1/2 price in Nassau – we tried to make our trip worth it!
Wade

$5.20 at Brown’s in Nassau, Bahamas on 5/28/08 – On the other hand – Rum was 1/2 price in Nassau – we tried to make our trip worth it!
Wade

Bahamas Fuel Prices – at Old Bay

Posted by admin | Posted on 05-31-2008

Subject: fuel prices in the Bahamas
Cruising News: diesel at Old Bahama Bay a/o May 30 $5.64|
Tom

Subject: fuel prices in the Bahamas
Cruising News: diesel at Old Bahama Bay a/o May 30 $5.64|
Tom

Important – Boat Intrusion Alert (Nassau)

Posted by admin | Posted on 05-09-2008

Subject: Nassau Boat intrusion alert
Cruising News: Nassau Boat theft alert. within the past 10 days 4 boats broken into at Nassau yacht haven, 3 loaded guns stolen, clothes, cell, phone, money, video cameras, one boat whilst owner was sleeping, and took pants from end of berth. black man seen swimming in area at 4AM. be alert and declare and hide well items.
Marianne

Subject: Nassau Boat intrusion alert
Cruising News: Nassau Boat theft alert. within the past 10 days 4 boats broken into at Nassau yacht haven, 3 loaded guns stolen, clothes, cell, phone, money, video cameras, one boat whilst owner was sleeping, and took pants from end of berth. black man seen swimming in area at 4AM. be alert and declare and hide well items.
Marianne

Old Bahama Bay – West End

Posted by admin | Posted on 04-29-2008

Hi All,
We . . . want to tell you all about a great spot in the Bahamas. We are currently at Old Bahama Bay in West End, Grand Bahama Island. The facilities were revamped a few years ago from the old "Jack Tar" days by Ginn Sur Mer. We have been here for a few weeks now, and plan on leaving tomorrow to continue our tour of the Bahamas before heading back to the USA in a couple of months. The marina here at Old Bahama Bay is first rate. Though not "cheap" by most standards (the daily rate is about $2.70(rates just went up April 1), but they do offer a sharply discounted rate for weekly or monthly stays), but marina guests have full use of the 5 star resort facilities.Their winter rates for a month stay is 80 cents a foot….which we have heard is competitive with Marsh Harbor. All water toys, full gym, beach, two pools, towels, free bicycles, and free wifi (works great!)and a manager's party on friday nights (free drinks and horse dervies). There's a spa, three restaurants, fuel dock, and a gift shop. Plenty of depth, and a well marked, lit channel, and only 56 odd miles from Lake Worth. If you find yourself in need of a little pampering, we highly recommend Old Bahama Bay as a stop for a few days or perhaps a week. Peter Watson is the dockmaster, and he makes boaters feel right at home. We have no connection to Old Bahama Bay other than we have been spoiled rotten by these good folks.
Kevin&Erica
Kismet

Subject: re: Old Bahama Bay – West End
Cruising News: We had a wonderful time at this beautiful marina which was our first and last stop in the Bahamas. (And serious protection during a 3-day northerly which came in immediately after we got there!) I would only warn the smaller boats that there is a large surcharge over and above the docking fee: $10/day for water and $20/day for electricity.  These are mandatory charges which seem to unduly hit the small sailboat or trawler who doesn\\\'t have multiple airconditioning units and industrial ovens to run.  We met many Bahamas veterans who by pass West End because of the high cost here.  This could bring about some safety issues, since they now have a three day passage from the east coast of Florida to real civilization and protection at Green Turtle.
Allen Ames

Hi All,
We . . . want to tell you all about a great spot in the Bahamas. We are currently at Old Bahama Bay in West End, Grand Bahama Island. The facilities were revamped a few years ago from the old "Jack Tar" days by Ginn Sur Mer. We have been here for a few weeks now, and plan on leaving tomorrow to continue our tour of the Bahamas before heading back to the USA in a couple of months. The marina here at Old Bahama Bay is first rate. Though not "cheap" by most standards (the daily rate is about $2.70(rates just went up April 1), but they do offer a sharply discounted rate for weekly or monthly stays), but marina guests have full use of the 5 star resort facilities.Their winter rates for a month stay is 80 cents a foot….which we have heard is competitive with Marsh Harbor. All water toys, full gym, beach, two pools, towels, free bicycles, and free wifi (works great!)and a manager's party on friday nights (free drinks and horse dervies). There's a spa, three restaurants, fuel dock, and a gift shop. Plenty of depth, and a well marked, lit channel, and only 56 odd miles from Lake Worth. If you find yourself in need of a little pampering, we highly recommend Old Bahama Bay as a stop for a few days or perhaps a week. Peter Watson is the dockmaster, and he makes boaters feel right at home. We have no connection to Old Bahama Bay other than we have been spoiled rotten by these good folks.
Kevin&Erica
Kismet

Subject: re: Old Bahama Bay – West End
Cruising News: We had a wonderful time at this beautiful marina which was our first and last stop in the Bahamas. (And serious protection during a 3-day northerly which came in immediately after we got there!) I would only warn the smaller boats that there is a large surcharge over and above the docking fee: $10/day for water and $20/day for electricity.  These are mandatory charges which seem to unduly hit the small sailboat or trawler who doesn\\\'t have multiple airconditioning units and industrial ovens to run.  We met many Bahamas veterans who by pass West End because of the high cost here.  This could bring about some safety issues, since they now have a three day passage from the east coast of Florida to real civilization and protection at Green Turtle.
Allen Ames

Lost Bass Boat – White Sound, Hopetown FOUND

Posted by admin | Posted on 04-29-2008

Subject: LOST: Bass Raider 8 in Hopetown, Abaco Islands, Bahamas
Cruising News: LOST: Bass Raider 8, a small green fishing boat
Three oars inside, as well as a yellow life jacket. Either taken or drifted out from Paradise, White Sound, Hopetown in the Abacos. It\\\'s a small green fishing boat with Paradise logo on the sides.
We would be very appreciative if you know anything about the whereabouts.
Thanks so much.
Rachel, Jennifer, Nicole, Melissa

Thanks so much! It has been found!! Good news.
Thanks so much for your note.

Subject: LOST: Bass Raider 8 in Hopetown, Abaco Islands, Bahamas
Cruising News: LOST: Bass Raider 8, a small green fishing boat
Three oars inside, as well as a yellow life jacket. Either taken or drifted out from Paradise, White Sound, Hopetown in the Abacos. It\\\'s a small green fishing boat with Paradise logo on the sides.
We would be very appreciative if you know anything about the whereabouts.
Thanks so much.
Rachel, Jennifer, Nicole, Melissa

Thanks so much! It has been found!! Good news.

Thanks so much for your note.

Unauthorized, Nighttime Nassau Boarding

Posted by admin | Posted on 03-20-2008

At 4AM our catamaran was boarded, as we slept, by a naked male.  We understand this is not a single incident.  We had heard of night boardings at the Nassau Harbour Club and the anchorage east of that location – all hearsay was that cash was taken from wallets. 
We are anchored just off the Green Parrot / BASRA west of the bridge. 
It appears these are becoming more frequent in Nassau and cruisers should probably know for their protection.
We had the door locked and, after hearing noises (and the cat was making a funny sound), we put on the cockpit lights and activated an alarm (from inside the boat).  The intruder dove over the side…  The Defense Force was notified and took a report.
Roger & Bonnie Ford
s/v Kokomo

At 4AM our catamaran was boarded, as we slept, by a naked male.  We understand this is not a single incident.  We had heard of night boardings at the Nassau Harbour Club and the anchorage east of that location – all hearsay was that cash was taken from wallets. 
We are anchored just off the Green Parrot / BASRA west of the bridge. 
It appears these are becoming more frequent in Nassau and cruisers should probably know for their protection.
We had the door locked and, after hearing noises (and the cat was making a funny sound), we put on the cockpit lights and activated an alarm (from inside the boat).  The intruder dove over the side…  The Defense Force was notified and took a report.
Roger & Bonnie Ford
s/v Kokomo

Water Spout Feb 9, 2008 approaching Marsh Harbour, Abaco

Posted by admin | Posted on 03-07-2008

Water Spout approaching Boat Harbour Marina at Marsh Harbour, Abacos from Man of War direction.

Once hit land began to dissipate, No damage was noted. This all occurred within a matter of 1 to 2 minutes. Awsome to see, Thankful no injuries.

Photos taken with Kodak Z650 with use of 10X Zoom on some of shots. Photos taken on board Vessel Sugar Bear at dock.
mkgorrell@aol.com

 Marcia K Gorrell
Water Spout approaching Boat Harbour Marina at Marsh Harbour, Abacos from Man of War direction.

Once hit land began to dissipate, No damage was noted. This all occurred within a matter of 1 to 2 minutes. Awsome to see, Thankful no injuries.

Photos taken with Kodak Z650 with use of 10X Zoom on some of shots. Photos taken on board Vessel Sugar Bear at dock.
mkgorrell@aol.com

 Marcia K Gorrell

Crossing to Bahamas

Posted by admin | Posted on 03-07-2008

Hello, Just wondering if anyone will be going to the Bahamas from SW Florida early April? Would love to have another boat to do the crossing with. We leave Fort Myers area March 24/25, plan to be in Lauderdale April 3/4 and leave when we get our weather from there. This is my first trip and my partner's second. Looking forward to the Bahamas…but not looking so forward to the CROSSING. Please let me know if anyone out there is going that way around the same time? Either email me or call me. Thanks.

Respectfully,
Nina & Joe
239-209-7583

Hello, Just wondering if anyone will be going to the Bahamas from SW Florida early April? Would love to have another boat to do the crossing with. We leave Fort Myers area March 24/25, plan to be in Lauderdale April 3/4 and leave when we get our weather from there. This is my first trip and my partner's second. Looking forward to the Bahamas…but not looking so forward to the CROSSING. Please let me know if anyone out there is going that way around the same time? Either email me or call me. Thanks.

Respectfully,
Nina & Joe
239-209-7583

Bahamas Cruising Guide Recommendations

Posted by admin | Posted on 02-20-2008

I have cruised the bahama islands extensively for over 20 years. If you're planning to cruise the Abacos the best book to buy is "The Cruising Guide to Abaco". Published each year it contains extensive information, local charts and harbors, snorkeling & diving spots, protected park areas, services, etc. It is a must have, cost about $28 US and can be purchased from White Sound Press @ www.wspress.com.

Steve Dodge has the best Abaco Guide to the Bahamas.  Skipper Bob has a guide that is more for what you can expect and what you might want to take with you.  The marina prices are up to date as of April last year.
Elaine

I have cruised the bahama islands extensively for over 20 years. If you're planning to cruise the Abacos the best book to buy is "The Cruising Guide to Abaco". Published each year it contains extensive information, local charts and harbors, snorkeling & diving spots, protected park areas, services, etc. It is a must have, cost about $28 US and can be purchased from White Sound Press @ www.wspress.com.

Steve Dodge has the best Abaco Guide to the Bahamas.  Skipper Bob has a guide that is more for what you can expect and what you might want to take with you.  The marina prices are up to date as of April last year.
Elaine

Motorized Bikes in the Bahamas

Posted by admin | Posted on 02-02-2008

I have pirated the interesting note below from the AGLCA mailing list, as I think many cruisers are interested in the possibility of taking their own motorized bikes with them to the Bahamas.

The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism in the Bahamas first told me to call The Department of Transportation and gave me 2 phone numbers. I called each number and the lines were each cut off after 1 ring.
I again called the Ministry of Tourism and was then told to call "Road Traffic" art 242-325-3323.
I called there and was transferred to "Vehicle Licensing".
"Vehicle Licensing" informed that irrespective of the power of the engine, if the bicycle was to be used on a "public road", it had to be insured by a Bahamian Insurance Company and then licensed by the Bahamian Government when we checked in at Customs on arrival in the Bahamas.
We will attempt to do just that when we arrive at our first  destination.
Jerry & Myra Murray
MY HONEY-46' GB

I have pirated the interesting note below from the AGLCA mailing list, as I think many cruisers are interested in the possibility of taking their own motorized bikes with them to the Bahamas.

The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism in the Bahamas first told me to call The Department of Transportation and gave me 2 phone numbers. I called each number and the lines were each cut off after 1 ring.
I again called the Ministry of Tourism and was then told to call "Road Traffic" art 242-325-3323.
I called there and was transferred to "Vehicle Licensing".
"Vehicle Licensing" informed that irrespective of the power of the engine, if the bicycle was to be used on a "public road", it had to be insured by a Bahamian Insurance Company and then licensed by the Bahamian Government when we checked in at Customs on arrival in the Bahamas.
We will attempt to do just that when we arrive at our first  destination.
Jerry & Myra Murray
MY HONEY-46' GB

Anchoring in the Bahamas vs Florida

Posted by admin | Posted on 01-18-2008

Let me first say thank you for all you do. 
In stark contrast to the Marco mess, I am writing you because we are currently anchored on the south end of Manjack Cay, Abacos, Bahamas.  Maybe you're familiar with it.   Anyway, Bill and Leslie have a home here with a lovely beach, etc.  They have a nice dock for anchored boats to dinghy into.  The sign at the end of the dock reads "Yes Trespassing".  You can then proceed to enjoy their sandy beach with chairs and tables that they've supplied, help yourself to a coconut, or perhaps walk one of their miles of cleared trails (that Bill cleared himself and I think some cruisers help when they can–cruisers also help to pick up trash that washes in from the ocean) to walk to the other side of the island and enjoy the beach on the Atlantic side.  Bill and Leslie personally delivered ice to a couple of anchored boats here this morning.  We had friends anchored here Christmas day and Bill and Leslie dinghly'd out to their boat with a nicely adorned basket of fruit.  Wow.
We followed the Marco case closely because we were in Ft Myers, then anchored at Factory Bay on our way here just shortly after the case was decided.  I'm guessing the person in Marco bought his land because he loved the scenery and like many, after building his home decided the scenery needed to change which included the anchored boats.  What a shame.  Bill and Leslie I'm sure bought their land for the same reason but chose to only enhance the experience, not to change it. 
What a difference a few cruising miles can make!!
Mike & Harriet
Let me first say thank you for all you do. 
In stark contrast to the Marco mess, I am writing you because we are currently anchored on the south end of Manjack Cay, Abacos, Bahamas.  Maybe you're familiar with it.   Anyway, Bill and Leslie have a home here with a lovely beach, etc.  They have a nice dock for anchored boats to dinghy into.  The sign at the end of the dock reads "Yes Trespassing".  You can then proceed to enjoy their sandy beach with chairs and tables that they've supplied, help yourself to a coconut, or perhaps walk one of their miles of cleared trails (that Bill cleared himself and I think some cruisers help when they can–cruisers also help to pick up trash that washes in from the ocean) to walk to the other side of the island and enjoy the beach on the Atlantic side.  Bill and Leslie personally delivered ice to a couple of anchored boats here this morning.  We had friends anchored here Christmas day and Bill and Leslie dinghly'd out to their boat with a nicely adorned basket of fruit.  Wow.
We followed the Marco case closely because we were in Ft Myers, then anchored at Factory Bay on our way here just shortly after the case was decided.  I'm guessing the person in Marco bought his land because he loved the scenery and like many, after building his home decided the scenery needed to change which included the anchored boats.  What a shame.  Bill and Leslie I'm sure bought their land for the same reason but chose to only enhance the experience, not to change it. 
What a difference a few cruising miles can make!!
Mike & Harriet

Obtaining Advance Permits Before Cruising to the Bahamas

Posted by admin | Posted on 01-16-2008

This information is for anyone waiting to cross to the Bahamas. Today, while we had a rental car in Palm Beach, we visited the Customs and Border Protection office in Riviera Beach (4 miles from Old Port Cove Marina). We had called 1-561-848-6922, ext. 0 and scheduled an appointment for 1 PM. At 12:55 PM we parked our car, went to the office on the 2nd floor, filled out a one page form and presented our passports and boat documentation. By 1:10 PM we were back in the car with the cards which will allow us to check back into Palm Beach in April, without making the mandatory personal visit to the office within 24 hours of arrival. We will only have to call them and read our permit numbers.
   
In addition, Town and Country Animal Hospital is less than 1 mile from Old Port Cove and will provide the necessary health certificate to take a dog or cat into the Bahamas.

This information is for anyone waiting to cross to the Bahamas. Today, while we had a rental car in Palm Beach, we visited the Customs and Border Protection office in Riviera Beach (4 miles from Old Port Cove Marina). We had called 1-561-848-6922, ext. 0 and scheduled an appointment for 1 PM. At 12:55 PM we parked our car, went to the office on the 2nd floor, filled out a one page form and presented our passports and boat documentation. By 1:10 PM we were back in the car with the cards which will allow us to check back into Palm Beach in April, without making the mandatory personal visit to the office within 24 hours of arrival. We will only have to call them and read our permit numbers.
   
In addition, Town and Country Animal Hospital is less than 1 mile from Old Port Cove and will provide the necessary health certificate to take a dog or cat into the Bahamas.

Telephone and Internet in the Bahamas

Posted by admin | Posted on 01-04-2008

I have copied the discussion below from the "Ask Your Neighbor" page. This string contains excellent advice about making telephone calls and getting on-line in the Bahamas. I thought this info would be even more valuable here on the Net's "Bahamas" page!

We will soon be going to the Abacos for a few months.  We would appreciate any current advice on telephone and internet service.  We have Verizon phones but they charge $1.29 per minute from the Bahamas.
Thanks,
Woody & Ellen Sutton
Double SS

Radio Labs make a usb marine antenna to extend the wifi range of your laptop. Once you have that working good, use SKYPE for phone service, 2.3 cents per minute I think. We had no luck with Verizon phones and pay phones were really expensive.
Marueen Douglas

The best solution that we have found is to either get free wifi when staying at a few of the marinas or if anchoring out, then you have to subscribe to abacoinet.com or sometimes you can get cocotels service for free. Abacoinet.com is the most widespread and unfortunately is expensive with erratic service (Can you say MONOPOLY), but if you plan to move around the Abacos, it is a necessary evil. If you are staying 3 months or longer, it becomes much more reasonable – $195/3 months versus $120/month or $20/day. An external antenna for your wifi card is a must if you want to pick the signals up on your boat. I have used hyperlinktech.com for the antenna with good results. Once you have the wifi setup, the only economical way for phone calls is Skype or similar voip calling plan. It is about $.03/min for the US and $.09/min for calls within the Bahamas. We have had good results with Skype as long as the internet connection is up and running. Early morning or evening seems to be best when not so many people are on line in the local harbors. Marsh Harbor and Green Turtle seem to consistently have the fastest throughput, with Hopetown some of the slowest. Verizon coverage is spotty to non-existent and costs $2/min — we put ours away while we are here. You can buy Batelco cell phone service or a sim card if your phone is so equipped, but it is still around $.50/min to call the US.
Have a good crossing.
Happy New Year,
Steve Schrimsher
M/V SALTY TURTLE

The antenna I am using is a Radio Lab marine version. I think they only have one marine antenna. The antenna plugs into a USB port and comes with a disc needed to configure it. Mounts using a standard marine antenna 1" threaded mount. I bought a plastic antenna rail mount so I can move it back and forth from the RV to the boat. It was about $170. I called the Radio Lab phone number and using a credit card made the whole thing happen in about 5 min. It arrived about a week later. It was recommended by a marina neighbour so I took his advice and bought it. Sorry, I have no experience with anything else so can't tell you much more other than it works good. Hope this helps you.
Alvin

We spent three Months in the Bahamas this past Summer .. we also have Verizon Cell Phones .. that we shut off when we were in the Bahamas .. we traveled from the Abacos ( North ) to George Town ( South ) .. we used our Skype ( www.skype.com ) account and did not have any problems at all .. you can download and set up Skype FREE .. all of our phone calls for three Months in the Bahamas were about $12.00 and we used it a LOT .. .. for many more details you can check out our Website or contact me via E-mail ..
Marv

Hi Jim,
One part of the equation that I failed to mention in my previous email is that I use a Buffalo Airstation TurboG WLI-CB-G54HP PMCIA wifi card with an external antenna plug to receive wifi instead of the built-in receiver in my laptop. I bought this on the advice of some of my geek friends as it is much better at pulling in weak signals than the built-in receivers. You can buy it for about $55 from the wireless garden store at http://wirelessgardenstore.com/detail.aspx?ID=320 There are a number of other brands available, but this one was recommended as being one of the strongest. I have no experience with any others, but I am very happy with the Buffalo one.
Hyperlinktech.com sells external antenna pigtail adapters for the most popular wifi cards so that the Hyperlink antenna plugs directly into this pigtail. One other thing to mention is that no matter what kind of external antenna that you buy for use on a boat, make sure that it is omni-directional so it will work as you swing at anchor. I have had great results with this set up and many times on the Loop I could receive the marina's wifi signals on my boat when others without the external antenna had to go to the office to receive it.
Steve

I have copied the discussion below from the "Ask Your Neighbor" page. This string contains excellent advice about making telephone calls and getting on-line in the Bahamas. I thought this info would be even more valuable here on the Net's "Bahamas" page!

We will soon be going to the Abacos for a few months.  We would appreciate any current advice on telephone and internet service.  We have Verizon phones but they charge $1.29 per minute from the Bahamas.
Thanks,
Woody & Ellen Sutton
Double SS

Radio Labs make a usb marine antenna to extend the wifi range of your laptop. Once you have that working good, use SKYPE for phone service, 2.3 cents per minute I think. We had no luck with Verizon phones and pay phones were really expensive.
Marueen Douglas

The best solution that we have found is to either get free wifi when staying at a few of the marinas or if anchoring out, then you have to subscribe to abacoinet.com or sometimes you can get cocotels service for free. Abacoinet.com is the most widespread and unfortunately is expensive with erratic service (Can you say MONOPOLY), but if you plan to move around the Abacos, it is a necessary evil. If you are staying 3 months or longer, it becomes much more reasonable – $195/3 months versus $120/month or $20/day. An external antenna for your wifi card is a must if you want to pick the signals up on your boat. I have used hyperlinktech.com for the antenna with good results. Once you have the wifi setup, the only economical way for phone calls is Skype or similar voip calling plan. It is about $.03/min for the US and $.09/min for calls within the Bahamas. We have had good results with Skype as long as the internet connection is up and running. Early morning or evening seems to be best when not so many people are on line in the local harbors. Marsh Harbor and Green Turtle seem to consistently have the fastest throughput, with Hopetown some of the slowest. Verizon coverage is spotty to non-existent and costs $2/min — we put ours away while we are here. You can buy Batelco cell phone service or a sim card if your phone is so equipped, but it is still around $.50/min to call the US.
Have a good crossing.
Happy New Year,
Steve Schrimsher
M/V SALTY TURTLE

The antenna I am using is a Radio Lab marine version. I think they only have one marine antenna. The antenna plugs into a USB port and comes with a disc needed to configure it. Mounts using a standard marine antenna 1" threaded mount. I bought a plastic antenna rail mount so I can move it back and forth from the RV to the boat. It was about $170. I called the Radio Lab phone number and using a credit card made the whole thing happen in about 5 min. It arrived about a week later. It was recommended by a marina neighbour so I took his advice and bought it. Sorry, I have no experience with anything else so can't tell you much more other than it works good. Hope this helps you.
Alvin

We spent three Months in the Bahamas this past Summer .. we also have Verizon Cell Phones .. that we shut off when we were in the Bahamas .. we traveled from the Abacos ( North ) to George Town ( South ) .. we used our Skype ( www.skype.com ) account and did not have any problems at all .. you can download and set up Skype FREE .. all of our phone calls for three Months in the Bahamas were about $12.00 and we used it a LOT .. .. for many more details you can check out our Website or contact me via E-mail ..
Marv

Hi Jim,
One part of the equation that I failed to mention in my previous email is that I use a Buffalo Airstation TurboG WLI-CB-G54HP PMCIA wifi card with an external antenna plug to receive wifi instead of the built-in receiver in my laptop. I bought this on the advice of some of my geek friends as it is much better at pulling in weak signals than the built-in receivers. You can buy it for about $55 from the wireless garden store at http://wirelessgardenstore.com/detail.aspx?ID=320 There are a number of other brands available, but this one was recommended as being one of the strongest. I have no experience with any others, but I am very happy with the Buffalo one.
Hyperlinktech.com sells external antenna pigtail adapters for the most popular wifi cards so that the Hyperlink antenna plugs directly into this pigtail. One other thing to mention is that no matter what kind of external antenna that you buy for use on a boat, make sure that it is omni-directional so it will work as you swing at anchor. I have had great results with this set up and many times on the Loop I could receive the marina's wifi signals on my boat when others without the external antenna had to go to the office to receive it.
Steve

Bahamian (Bimini) Riots????

Posted by admin | Posted on 01-03-2008

For those heading to the Bahamas there was a riot there after a police shooting on Dec 22. The rioters burnt the police barracks and patrol boats. I do not know the present status but you may find things there a bit tense.
See notice at
http://tinyurl.com/yvuong
Greg and Susan Han
Allegria — Krogen Whaleback #16

Looks like things in the Bahamas have improved rapidly!

We were in Bimini (where the shooting occurred) Dec. 25th and 26th. We cleared customs and immigration on North Bimini in about 1/2 hour and had a nice walk around. People were friendly and helpful. Shops were open. We stayed at the Bimini Sands Resort and Marina on South Bimini ($1.10/ft). Their harbor is very protected on all sides and the new channel (marked by red and green bouys) into North & South Bimini makes the entrance very easy. We had no idea that there had even been a problem until someone in Nassau harbor mentioned it. We saw no evidence of burnt buildings or boats.
Paul & Mary Shidlowski
s/v Propinquity II

For those heading to the Bahamas there was a riot there after a police shooting on Dec 22. The rioters burnt the police barracks and patrol boats. I do not know the present status but you may find things there a bit tense.
See notice at
http://tinyurl.com/yvuong
Greg and Susan Han
Allegria — Krogen Whaleback #16

Looks like things in the Bahamas have improved rapidly!

We were in Bimini (where the shooting occurred) Dec. 25th and 26th. We cleared customs and immigration on North Bimini in about 1/2 hour and had a nice walk around. People were friendly and helpful. Shops were open. We stayed at the Bimini Sands Resort and Marina on South Bimini ($1.10/ft). Their harbor is very protected on all sides and the new channel (marked by red and green bouys) into North & South Bimini makes the entrance very easy. We had no idea that there had even been a problem until someone in Nassau harbor mentioned it. We saw no evidence of burnt buildings or boats.
Paul & Mary Shidlowski
s/v Propinquity II

Old Bahama Bay (West End) Has a Three Night Minimum Stay

Posted by admin | Posted on 12-28-2007

I was just informed by Old Bay marina at West End on Grand Bahama island that they have a 3 night minimum (along with other charges). Our plans called for checking in at West End, then off early the next morning to anchor at Great Sale Cay…….. I definitly do not want to pay for 3 nights and only stay for 13 hours or so.
This will be my first time in the Bahamas by boat, and I am curious if anyone has any first hand information about places to anchor at or near West End. The guide books I have indicate two places indicated as "marginal", and I would like to go a bit more prepared.
Thanks for any help !
Jeff
s/v Manatee

Having to pay for 3 nights when you only stay 1 is a rip-off (and the marina isn't cheap, at that)
I have done the crossing from Lake Worth Inlet at night, timed to hit the banks just after dawn. Then I could cross the banks during daylight and reach Great Sale with plenty of light to find a spot to anchor. It's not a difficult trip, and you get to skip West End altogether. You can check in when you reach the Abacos, if that's your destination.
Julie Stocksdale
s/v Jolie

Re: Old Bahama Bay Marina Question
We checked out anchorage spots off the north and west sides of West End in 2006 and were not happy with either with the winds we had so bit the bullet and went into a slip. I would say that either of these anchorages would be OK only in calm conditions. The northerly one especially seems to have poor holding and lots of hard things to hit if you drag.
This 3 night minimum seems strange as people often check in there and go on the next day. I would look for another choice for check in. We often go all the way to Green Turtle (or Treasure Cay, but long way to airport) and some stop at Spanish Cay.
Wayne Thomas
FLUKE KK Whaleback

Concerning the question about three night minimum at Old Bahama Bay at West End Bahamas.  We spent and paid for only one night, arriving Christmas Day 07.  Everyone was very friendly and efficient, even though they were working Christmas Day.  Called and made a reservation at their 800 number.
cheers,
Roger Arrowood
"Pelican"
Great Harbour N37

Re: Old Bahama Bay at West End…we were told the 3 day minimum is for US holiday weekends ONLY. (The person who arrived on Christmas day was there after the weekend and therefore only had to pay for 1 night.) That came straight from an email I received from Old Bahama Bay.
S/V Seashell

Regarding the Bahamas

Claiborne;
As many of us are waiting for a weather window to leave for West End on Grand Bahama Island, this might be of interest.
Our itinerary will take us to West End to check in with Customs, spend the night, and leave for the Abacos early the following morning. However, as I called to make a marina reservation at Old Bahama Bay (at West End), they informed me that they now have a Three Night minimum, and a mandatory water charge. In addition, their marina rate are approaching $2.00 per foot with a forty foot minimum.
It appears they know there is no place else to go on the first night out for those of us who cannot sail straight through, and, are taking full advantage of the situation. I know I do not want to spend in excess of $200 for a 13 hour stay.
Not sure of a solution, but wanted to let everyone know about my phone conversation with them.
Thanks !
Jeff
s/v Manatee

I was just informed by Old Bay marina at West End on Grand Bahama island that they have a 3 night minimum (along with other charges). Our plans called for checking in at West End, then off early the next morning to anchor at Great Sale Cay…….. I definitly do not want to pay for 3 nights and only stay for 13 hours or so.
This will be my first time in the Bahamas by boat, and I am curious if anyone has any first hand information about places to anchor at or near West End. The guide books I have indicate two places indicated as "marginal", and I would like to go a bit more prepared.
Thanks for any help !
Jeff
s/v Manatee

Having to pay for 3 nights when you only stay 1 is a rip-off (and the marina isn't cheap, at that)
I have done the crossing from Lake Worth Inlet at night, timed to hit the banks just after dawn. Then I could cross the banks during daylight and reach Great Sale with plenty of light to find a spot to anchor. It's not a difficult trip, and you get to skip West End altogether. You can check in when you reach the Abacos, if that's your destination.
Julie Stocksdale
s/v Jolie

Re: Old Bahama Bay Marina Question
We checked out anchorage spots off the north and west sides of West End in 2006 and were not happy with either with the winds we had so bit the bullet and went into a slip. I would say that either of these anchorages would be OK only in calm conditions. The northerly one especially seems to have poor holding and lots of hard things to hit if you drag.
This 3 night minimum seems strange as people often check in there and go on the next day. I would look for another choice for check in. We often go all the way to Green Turtle (or Treasure Cay, but long way to airport) and some stop at Spanish Cay.
Wayne Thomas
FLUKE KK Whaleback

Concerning the question about three night minimum at Old Bahama Bay at West End Bahamas.  We spent and paid for only one night, arriving Christmas Day 07.  Everyone was very friendly and efficient, even though they were working Christmas Day.  Called and made a reservation at their 800 number.
cheers,
Roger Arrowood
"Pelican"
Great Harbour N37

Re: Old Bahama Bay at West End…we were told the 3 day minimum is for US holiday weekends ONLY. (The person who arrived on Christmas day was there after the weekend and therefore only had to pay for 1 night.) That came straight from an email I received from Old Bahama Bay.
S/V Seashell

Boat Theft Alert in the Bahamas

Posted by admin | Posted on 12-28-2007

Caution: Boat theft alert, Nassau BahamasSee:
http://bahamasyacht.forumotion.com/your-first-forum-f1/
Marianne

Caution: Boat theft alert, Nassau BahamasSee:
http://bahamasyacht.forumotion.com/your-first-forum-f1/
Marianne

Great Bahamas Cruising Notes

Posted by admin | Posted on 12-28-2007

The thread below was pirated from the Great Loop List. It contains TONS of good info about cruising to and in the Bahamas. I will also repeat this thread on the "Bahamas" page.

Looking for information from those who have done it. Starting the loop March 1, and wanting to know the best way to incorporate 4 to 6 weeks in the Bahamas.
Is Miami, Bimini, Berry Islands, Abacos, Grand Bahama, then back to Palm Beach a practical and sensible route? What suggestions based on experiance do you have?
Kiwi Pete

In 2006 I left from Miami, did Bimini to Chub Cay/Fraziers Hog Cay(got stuck there 4 days due to high winds) to Nassau to Allen's Cay, down the Exumas to Georgetown stopping at Hawksbill Cay, Warderick Wells(stayed over 1day), Staniel Cay(stayed over 2days), and Lee Stocking Island. Stayed at Georgetown a few days then back up the Exumas to Allen's then over to Royal Island and Spanish Wells and then up to Little Harbor in the Abacos. From there I hit Hopetown for a couple of days, Great Guana(Nippers!) for a couple of days then Green Turtle, Great Sale(had to spend an extra day there due to weather), West End and then Lake Worth. I spent 5 weeks doing this route and while I didn't stay a long time in any one spot and I did have a couple of full days running, I wasn't in a hurry and definitely enjoyed my time there and felt that I got a pretty good feel of the Bahamas(went again in '07) and was happy that I saw/experienced as much as I did.
Matt Winnacker & Val
Attitude Adjustment
Mainship 34

We left Pompano Beach early April (dates are hard to remember so I quite trying) and crossed the gulf stream aiming for Freeport, entered the Bell Channel and stayed at Market Marina (handy Bahamian customs right at the marina). Used the raft to expore the Lucaya Channel and beaches and restaurants on a daily basis. We intended to explore the Abacos but had some mechanical issues to deal with. Returned to the USA about a month later, landing at West Palm Beach. We stayed on the hook in Lake ? (I forget the name, Lake Worth maybe) but its part of the ICW and the West Palm entrance. Used the raft to go ashore and clear customs and re-provision. Customs is easy to do, called the toll free number and pre registered. When we arrived at the customs office it was a walk through. Continued north on the ICW a few days later. Seems to me we started north May 4th. Made miles every day but 6, lost 4 to hurricane Andria and 2 days to sight seeing in New York, staying at 79 street marina, very kewl. Arrived Georgian Bay June 11th. All ICW except the Chesapeke, Delaware Bay, ocean side from Cape May to New York, 78 miles from Oswego to Trenton, Ont. We started at dawn each day and met lots of fog on Delaware Bay, ocean side and Lake Ontario. Be sure you can rely on your radar.
Maureen Douglas

We started our loop trip last year with a trip to the Bahamas.However, if you start 3/1 I'd plan to be back by April 10 or so or you may have to push up the coast and through the canals. Our speed was 7.5 knots on average so a faster boat may be able to stay in the Bahamas a little longer.
We crossed from ft Lauderdale to West End, Grand Bahama Island on Feb 20. It's about 70 miles on a course that gives you a good push from the Gulf Stream. Customs at Old Bahama Bay Marina was a snap.
From there we cruised over Little Bahama Bank to the Abacos, stopping at Mangrove Cay, Grand Cay, Crab Cay, Powell Cay, Green Turtle Cay, Guana Cay, Man-O-War Cay, Marsh Harbor, Hopetown and Treasure Cay before starting back via Mangrove Cay back to Old Bahama Bay Marina. We then crossed back to Ft Pierce, a trip of 80 miles which is again riding the Gulf Stream current. Our crossing back was on April 4. The advantage of staying in the Abacos versus going to the Exumas is that it is considerably shorter and requires fewer good weather days. Last year a number of boats had trouble getting from the Exumas to the Abacos because of the strong winds.
We were not pushed going up the coast. We spent almost a week at Vero Beach, 3 days at Cumberland Island and several days at Oriental (the latter due to bad weather). We stopped and visited friends along the way and even played tourist a bit. We arrived in Norfolk on May 12, Cape May NJ (Via Chesapeake Bay and the Delaware River) on May 25 and reached Sandy Hook on 5/29. We spent several days there playing tourist in NYC. We reached Oswego on June 21. We then waited on weather, visited friends and played tourist in both the US and Canada for a while. We started up the Trent Severn on July 3 and had plenty of time to make the AGLCA rendevous in Penetang on July 22.
I hope this is helpful.
Steve Purdy
M/V Sun Cat

If you are going to the Bahamas be sure to include the Exumas, especially if you like beautiful water, great snorkeling in shallow water and some great places to anchor with wonderful beaches and very few other boats. Check my web site for some recent photos, I was there 4 times this year. _www.captainpete48.com_ (http://www.captainpete48.com) Staniel Cay has a great place to snorkel in 5 feet of water where 2 James Bond movies were filmed.
"There is no passion to be found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living" – Nelson Mandela
Captain Pete Peterson

The thread below was pirated from the Great Loop List. It contains TONS of good info about cruising to and in the Bahamas. I will also repeat this thread on the "Bahamas" page.

Looking for information from those who have done it. Starting the loop March 1, and wanting to know the best way to incorporate 4 to 6 weeks in the Bahamas.
Is Miami, Bimini, Berry Islands, Abacos, Grand Bahama, then back to Palm Beach a practical and sensible route? What suggestions based on experiance do you have?
Kiwi Pete

In 2006 I left from Miami, did Bimini to Chub Cay/Fraziers Hog Cay(got stuck there 4 days due to high winds) to Nassau to Allen's Cay, down the Exumas to Georgetown stopping at Hawksbill Cay, Warderick Wells(stayed over 1day), Staniel Cay(stayed over 2days), and Lee Stocking Island. Stayed at Georgetown a few days then back up the Exumas to Allen's then over to Royal Island and Spanish Wells and then up to Little Harbor in the Abacos. From there I hit Hopetown for a couple of days, Great Guana(Nippers!) for a couple of days then Green Turtle, Great Sale(had to spend an extra day there due to weather), West End and then Lake Worth. I spent 5 weeks doing this route and while I didn't stay a long time in any one spot and I did have a couple of full days running, I wasn't in a hurry and definitely enjoyed my time there and felt that I got a pretty good feel of the Bahamas(went again in '07) and was happy that I saw/experienced as much as I did.
Matt Winnacker & Val
Attitude Adjustment
Mainship 34

We left Pompano Beach early April (dates are hard to remember so I quite trying) and crossed the gulf stream aiming for Freeport, entered the Bell Channel and stayed at Market Marina (handy Bahamian customs right at the marina). Used the raft to expore the Lucaya Channel and beaches and restaurants on a daily basis. We intended to explore the Abacos but had some mechanical issues to deal with. Returned to the USA about a month later, landing at West Palm Beach. We stayed on the hook in Lake ? (I forget the name, Lake Worth maybe) but its part of the ICW and the West Palm entrance. Used the raft to go ashore and clear customs and re-provision. Customs is easy to do, called the toll free number and pre registered. When we arrived at the customs office it was a walk through. Continued north on the ICW a few days later. Seems to me we started north May 4th. Made miles every day but 6, lost 4 to hurricane Andria and 2 days to sight seeing in New York, staying at 79 street marina, very kewl. Arrived Georgian Bay June 11th. All ICW except the Chesapeke, Delaware Bay, ocean side from Cape May to New York, 78 miles from Oswego to Trenton, Ont. We started at dawn each day and met lots of fog on Delaware Bay, ocean side and Lake Ontario. Be sure you can rely on your radar.
Maureen Douglas

We started our loop trip last year with a trip to the Bahamas.However, if you start 3/1 I'd plan to be back by April 10 or so or you may have to push up the coast and through the canals. Our speed was 7.5 knots on average so a faster boat may be able to stay in the Bahamas a little longer.
We crossed from ft Lauderdale to West End, Grand Bahama Island on Feb 20. It's about 70 miles on a course that gives you a good push from the Gulf Stream. Customs at Old Bahama Bay Marina was a snap.
From there we cruised over Little Bahama Bank to the Abacos, stopping at Mangrove Cay, Grand Cay, Crab Cay, Powell Cay, Green Turtle Cay, Guana Cay, Man-O-War Cay, Marsh Harbor, Hopetown and Treasure Cay before starting back via Mangrove Cay back to Old Bahama Bay Marina. We then crossed back to Ft Pierce, a trip of 80 miles which is again riding the Gulf Stream current. Our crossing back was on April 4. The advantage of staying in the Abacos versus going to the Exumas is that it is considerably shorter and requires fewer good weather days. Last year a number of boats had trouble getting from the Exumas to the Abacos because of the strong winds.
We were not pushed going up the coast. We spent almost a week at Vero Beach, 3 days at Cumberland Island and several days at Oriental (the latter due to bad weather). We stopped and visited friends along the way and even played tourist a bit. We arrived in Norfolk on May 12, Cape May NJ (Via Chesapeake Bay and the Delaware River) on May 25 and reached Sandy Hook on 5/29. We spent several days there playing tourist in NYC. We reached Oswego on June 21. We then waited on weather, visited friends and played tourist in both the US and Canada for a while. We started up the Trent Severn on July 3 and had plenty of time to make the AGLCA rendevous in Penetang on July 22.
I hope this is helpful.
Steve Purdy
M/V Sun Cat

If you are going to the Bahamas be sure to include the Exumas, especially if you like beautiful water, great snorkeling in shallow water and some great places to anchor with wonderful beaches and very few other boats. Check my web site for some recent photos, I was there 4 times this year. _www.captainpete48.com_ (http://www.captainpete48.com) Staniel Cay has a great place to snorkel in 5 feet of water where 2 James Bond movies were filmed.
"There is no passion to be found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living" – Nelson Mandela
Captain Pete Peterson