Explorer Chartbooks, A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET PARTNER, has long been the standard navigational supplement for enjoyable, informative, and safe cruising through the beautiful Bahamian waters and island visits.
Bahamas Chatter: “New Fuel and Dockage Prices for January 2017” plus 2 more
Posted: 27 Jan 2017 10:52 AM PST
We just completed a survey of most of the marinas offering fuel and dockage in the Bahamas. Some we were unable to contact at the present time. Most diesel and gas prices were up, with a few exceptions.
Please go to our website www.explorercharts.com under Fuel and Dockage Prices to check our latest findings. We will be updating continuously as we get new information.
GREEN TURTLE CAY UPDATE JANUARY 2017
Posted: 27 Jan 2017 08:03 AM PST
Fortunately, the Abacos were spared any major damage in 2016’s Hurricane Matthew, which devastated parts of New Providence, Andros, and Grand Bahama.
Green Turtle Cay seems to be bustling with activity with lots of yachts in the area. One new amenity since our last (7th) edition of the Explorer Chartbook Near Bahamas is that Customs officers will come to your boat at a marina to clear you in. You no longer have to go to the Customs office in the New Plymouth settlement or at Treasure Cay. Certainly this is much more convenient than in the past.
Another “amenity” to the area is the recent tourist interest in the swimming pigs of No Name Cay, south of Green Turtle Cay. For those having spent time in the Exumas, this is nothing new with the big attraction of feeding and swimming with the pigs at Big Major’s Spot (The Bay of Pigs!). However, in the Abacos, it is a huge tourist attraction with adventure cruises from the various islands bringing thrill-seekers to experience the excitement of getting in the water with 20 or more mama and papa pigs and their piglets.
With the influx of more yachts in the winter season, Donny’s Boat Rentals has expanded into Donny’s Marina (in Black Sound). Donny offers dockage as well as moorings for safe protection from frontal passages and otherwise bad weather conditions. Leeward Yacht Club also offers a good choice of protection and services in Black Sound.
The New Plymouth settlement now offers a new choice in Laure’s Kitchen (not to be confused with the former Bahamian Laura’s Kitchen) offering Asian cuisine in a small eat-in or carry-out café. In addition, a new gift shop, the Treasure Chest, has opened.
In White Sound, both marinas—Bluff House and Green Turtle Club—are fully operational and welcoming to transiting yachts.
GRAND BAHAMA: FREEPORT/LUCAYA UPDATE January 2017
Posted: 27 Jan 2017 07:26 AM PST
After surveying West End (see earlier posting), we visited the south shore of Grand Bahama, stopping in the four main channels to marinas and services.
Off Freeport harbour, usually ships are anchored there. It is wise to stay clear of them.
From west to east, the channel at the Explorer waypoint “Bahamia Bay,” the entrance is narrow and shoaled on the sides.
Enter with caution. The Bahamia Bay Marina does not appear to be open or in any kind of repair after Hurricane Matthew. There were no lights at the entrance. Night entry of any of these smaller channels should not be attempted as you need to be able to read the water.
The channel entrance at the “Sunrise” waypoint is also narrow and shoaled in places. Beware of the rock on the starboard side entering the channel just past the red marker. Sunrise Marina is beginning to open after the hurricane but still has much damage. A few boats are able to tie up at the face dock but other slips are inoperable at the present time.
Knowles Marine is open and has fuel, hauling and boatyard service available.
The channel at the “Ocean Reef” waypoint is also narrow and shoaled at the sides. Ocean Reef Marina has made great strides in repairs after the hurricane and is fully operational and almost filled to capacity.
“Bell Channel” is in good condition as charted on Explorer Chart GB 6. Both Port Lucaya Marina and Grand Bahama Yacht Club are fully operational. Some of the Port Lucaya restaurants have not yet reopened but food and shops are open in the Lucayan Village. Fuel is available at GBYC but the restaurant is not yet open.
The Grand Lucayan Waterway is open for all vessels of vertical clearance of less than 8.3 meters at high water at the Casuarina Road Bridge. Since our last 7th edition of the Explorer Chartbook Near Bahamas, there is a new bridge across the waterway at The Narrows, where the Grand Bahama Highway crosses. Although we do not have official measurements, it appears to be higher than the older Casuarina Road Bridge.
There are new pole markers in place at the dredged channel entrance to Dover Sound. The controlling depth is 1.2 meters at low water, which is approximately 2 ½ hours later than Nassau tide (on the other end of the waterway). The poles on each end of the dredged channel are currently lighted with red and green flashing lights.
The pole charted northwest of Cormorant Point has been replaced and is currently lighted.
Monty & Sara Lewis