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Wayne.B
 
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Default Bahamas/Abacos Cruising Information

On Mon, 27 Mar 2006 19:27:27 -0700, "RG" wrote:

After Marsh Harbour, a must do is Hopetown, Elbow Cay. a very short hop just
east of Marsh Harbour. One of the most picturesque anchorages anywhere. Be
sure and go to the top of the lighthouse to take photos of your boat on the
hook.


Thanks, I was wondering about Hopetown and you've convinced me.

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Da Kine
 
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Default Bahamas/Abacos Cruising Information

West end is where you want to be but DO NOT show up until about 9 am or
you will be charged overtime. You are in international waters 3 miles
off any island. Don't let them intimidate you.

There is a great reef off man=o=war and guana cay's. Nassau has some
forts. Walk over to the queen’s staircase and go up the water tower
next to the old fort. You might want to check out the aquarium on
paradise too.
I prefer to leave Miami and check in at Bimini. Gun cay use to be a
nice stop but the beach is not 2 feet of water. If you go to Bimini
first and then across to west end it is a pretty long day but there is
some good fish along the ridge to Isaac. Either way, if you go onto the
banks anywhere in the abacos this time of year, be sure to check the
tides. You can get minus tides that will drop the control down to 5
feet. It’s a soft stop but you might not like the feeling of being
stuck so far from everything. The good news is that you won’t be the
first person to get stuck there☺

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Da Kine
 
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Default Bahamas/Abacos Cruising Information

Sorry about this guys = I have no idea what's going on -

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thunder
 
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Default Bahamas/Abacos Cruising Information

On Mon, 27 Mar 2006 17:35:39 -0500, Wayne.B wrote:

We are getting ready to leave in a couple of weeks for a cruise to the
Abacos. The plan is to leave from either Port St Lucie or Ft Pierce on
the FL east coast, cross the stream at night weather permitting, and check
in the next day at Walkers Cay. From there we plan to work our way south
along the northern rim of Great Abaco, ending up at Marsh Harbor and
beyond.


How is the St. Lucie inlet these days? There was a time that it was a
little intimidating.
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Default Bahamas/Abacos Cruising Information

A guide for first time Bahamas cruisers.
http://members.tripod.com/capkool



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Wayne.B
 
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On Tue, 28 Mar 2006 06:49:43 -0500, thunder
wrote:

How is the St. Lucie inlet these days? There was a time that it was a
little intimidating.


It still is by all reports. If conditions are not near perfect when
we get there I'll go north to Ft Pierce.

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PrefersOffshore
 
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Default Bahamas/Abacos Cruising Information

The first mate and I just returned from the Abacos, spending a couple
of weeks onboard. As you know, water's pretty thin there, so pay
attention to tide charts and follow the waypoints with a little more
care than ususal. Cruising Guide to Abaco is a good one.

Don't miss Double Breasted Cay on the way down. Spectacular. Green
Turtle's Black Sound is the place to be if you want to spend time in
the settlement, New Plymouth. White Sound has great marina and
services, but unless you need dockage, pick up a mooring in Black Sound
and rent a golf cart to see the place. Don't miss the Gully Roosters
playing at the White Sound's Green Turtle Club if you're around on
Wednesday nights. Kevin - the band leader - is dockmaster at Black
Sound's Other Shore Club.

Great Guana Cay is fine. Fisher Bay is where Troy of Dive Guana
operates - if you need guide to snorkel and dive, he's quite
personable. He's also got moorings there. Main harbor for Great Guana
isn't too pretty, but dockage there may appeal to you. Nipper's Bar on
the Beach is a place to check out. We happened to catch a Jimmy
Buffett wanabee there - Barefoot Man. Was kind of like a Spring Break
for 50-year-olds scene, but good time anyway.

Man-O-War Cay is a great stop. The island is dry, so if you enjoy a
little plazma, make sure you have it aboard. The Hybiscus restaurant
there is really quite a nice find. And these people, although quite
parochial, are marvelous folks. Early loyalist history still carries
forward the strongest at this stop. Every 3rd person you meet is an
Albury. They layup a fine run about boat there too. You'll see
Albury's all over the place piloted by the locals and day renters.

Hopetown, Elbow Cay is indeed a most scenic place. The lighthouse was
mentioned earlier, and you won't want to miss it. But go a half hour
before sunset and watch the keeper, Jeffrey, light her off. It's the
last world's three remaining original kerosene fired lamps. They use
silk mantels, just like the Coleman lanterns. The settlement at
Hopetown is great fun with a spectacular beach just east of the
settlement.

Cruisers Net, VHF Ch. 68 at 0800 is very good source for weather and
other happenings around the islands, with best first hand info about
Whale Cay and Man-O-War Cay Channel passage conditions. Treasure Cay
is essentially just a resort, but appeals to some.

Beaches and reefs are terrific, of course. A rather hidden treasure,
it being close to Marsh Harbor may be the reason, is a dive / snorkel
spot called Mermaid Reef. Many think it can't be that good since it's
close-in. Not so.

Hope your trip is a good one!

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Wayne.B
 
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Default Bahamas/Abacos Cruising Information

On 28 Mar 2006 13:06:50 -0800, "PrefersOffshore"
wrote:

The first mate and I just returned from the Abacos, spending a couple
of weeks onboard. As you know, water's pretty thin there, so pay
attention to tide charts and follow the waypoints with a little more
care than ususal. Cruising Guide to Abaco is a good one.

Don't miss Double Breasted Cay on the way down. Spectacular. Green
Turtle's Black Sound is the place to be if you want to spend time in
the settlement, New Plymouth. White Sound has great marina and
services, but unless you need dockage, pick up a mooring in Black Sound
and rent a golf cart to see the place. Don't miss the Gully Roosters
playing at the White Sound's Green Turtle Club if you're around on
Wednesday nights. Kevin - the band leader - is dockmaster at Black
Sound's Other Shore Club.

Great Guana Cay is fine. Fisher Bay is where Troy of Dive Guana
operates - if you need guide to snorkel and dive, he's quite
personable. He's also got moorings there. Main harbor for Great Guana
isn't too pretty, but dockage there may appeal to you. Nipper's Bar on
the Beach is a place to check out. We happened to catch a Jimmy
Buffett wanabee there - Barefoot Man. Was kind of like a Spring Break
for 50-year-olds scene, but good time anyway.

Man-O-War Cay is a great stop. The island is dry, so if you enjoy a
little plazma, make sure you have it aboard. The Hybiscus restaurant
there is really quite a nice find. And these people, although quite
parochial, are marvelous folks. Early loyalist history still carries
forward the strongest at this stop. Every 3rd person you meet is an
Albury. They layup a fine run about boat there too. You'll see
Albury's all over the place piloted by the locals and day renters.

Hopetown, Elbow Cay is indeed a most scenic place. The lighthouse was
mentioned earlier, and you won't want to miss it. But go a half hour
before sunset and watch the keeper, Jeffrey, light her off. It's the
last world's three remaining original kerosene fired lamps. They use
silk mantels, just like the Coleman lanterns. The settlement at
Hopetown is great fun with a spectacular beach just east of the
settlement.

Cruisers Net, VHF Ch. 68 at 0800 is very good source for weather and
other happenings around the islands, with best first hand info about
Whale Cay and Man-O-War Cay Channel passage conditions. Treasure Cay
is essentially just a resort, but appeals to some.

Beaches and reefs are terrific, of course. A rather hidden treasure,
it being close to Marsh Harbor may be the reason, is a dive / snorkel
spot called Mermaid Reef. Many think it can't be that good since it's
close-in. Not so.

Hope your trip is a good one!


Thanks, good information.

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Jet Tech Sports
 
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Default Bahamas/Abacos Cruising Information

Wayne,

We have also just returned from the Abacos. We were also at the Barefoot Man
concert. Wayne B. hit it on the head. Spring break for us "older" crowd. I'm
fifty goin' on twenty. Everyone here has given you good info so I'll only
add a little. Regarding information, on the web go to
www.coconuttelegraph.net, then to the forums. This a great forum with great
people. Also, www.Drralph.net. He has a great wealth of info on the Abacos.
Lastly, there is another couple on a Nordhavn that are currently down there.
They have a great travel log that is a very informative narrative. It is at
www.knottydog.com. Your trip sounds like a great time on a great boat. If
you would like feel free to call me and I'll give you some details. Wish we
were there again already.

Kim Davis / Jet Tech Sports Inc./
770-924-0756 / 404-915-0899




"Wayne.B" wrote in message
...
We are getting ready to leave in a couple of weeks for a cruise to the
Abacos. The plan is to leave from either Port St Lucie or Ft Pierce
on the FL east coast, cross the stream at night weather permitting,
and check in the next day at Walkers Cay. From there we plan to work
our way south along the northern rim of Great Abaco, ending up at
Marsh Harbor and beyond.

The return leg is still open ended but time and weather permitting we
might continue south to Nassau and then swing back to the states via
the Berry Islands and Miami.

Does anyone have any good information to share on "must see" places in
the Abacos, favorite towns/marinas, or other good information to pass
on? Our boat is a Grand Banks 49 trawler drawing a bit over 5 feet,
typically cruising between 8 and 10 kts.

We already have just about every cruising guide that I've been able to
locate, plus both paper and electronic versions of the Explorer
charts.

Any comments regarding accuracy of the Explorer charts, or lack
thereof, would be welcome.

Thanks in advance.




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Wayne.B
 
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Default Bahamas/Abacos Cruising Information

Thanks everyone for all of the good Abacos information. Our three
week trip was very successful and went just about as planned. As
someone mentioned, Double Breaster Cay is a spectacularly beautiful
place and one of my favorite anchorages of the trip, although not
without its challenges.

We went out from Florida through Port St Lucie inlet as planned with
no issues, albeit on a fair weather day and a rising tide. Dredging
operations are in progress there and the shallowest water that we saw
was about 8 feet, well back from the breakwater, and just after low
tide. We arrived at Walkers just before sunset, dropped anchor in a
minimally protected spot, hoisted our Q flag, poured a drink, and were
treated to our first ever "green flash" as the sun set over the
crystal clear emerald water. Up until then we had not been sure if the
green flash was a myth or not. It is quite real but very brief.

Checking in at Walkers Cay was not a problem although the marina is
officially closed and there is a lot of dock damage from hurricanes of
the last few years. Do not attempt entry in bad visibility as the
channel has shifted somewhat. The customs office is right up the hill
from the docks, right by the end of the airstrip. Check in was
efficient and cordial, dockage totally free. We spent the next
night two islands south, anchored at Double Breaster Cays.

Our next stop was Grand Cay where we anchored in the inner harbor not
far from Rosie's Marina and Restaurant. Dinner at the restaurant
requires a reservation by mid-afternoon. Food was tasty and promptly
served, decor decidedly minimalist. Grand Cay still has a lot of
unrepaired hurricane damage and is suffering economically because of
the closure of the hotel and marina at Walkers Cay.

Spanish Cay Marina was our next stop. The breakwater there offers
welcome protection and the docks are in excellent condition, with an
interesting array of sport fishing boats in attendance. Rumor has it
that well known Bahamian singer, "Bare Foot Man", keeps his personal
boat there. The pool and hot tub are nice amenities included with
dockage, and we enjoyed a good dinner in the restaurant. WiFi
internet service is available at $10/day.

From Spanish Cay we went on to famous Green Turtle Cay where we
anchored for a few days in Black Sound. The entrance to Black Sound
is a bit intimidating for our 5 1/2 ft draft but we went in on a
rising tide and never bumped. There are several "must do" attractions
at GTC. One is to dinghy into New Plymouth, rent a golf cart, and
explore the rest of the island including the famous Green Turtle Club
at White Sound on the north end. Also on the north end of GTC is a
magnificent ocean beach easily accessible by golf cart. Another
"don't miss" attraction is the eclectic cruiser's beach bar,
Pineapple's, hosted by the famous Sara Pineapple, and easily reached
via dinghy and Black Sound. Don't miss it. It's quite a scene and a
good place to pick up Abacos cruising tips and local folk lore. We
enjoyed free WiFi service in Black Sound courtesy of the Coconut
Telegraphs organization. There are several small grocery stores in
New Plymouth

After several days at Green Turtle Cay we moved on south via the much
feared Whale Cay passage on a day when it was behaving itself very
serenely. This is not always the case and it is frequently impassable
for days at a time in strong north easterlies. South of Whale Cay we
stopped at Great Guana Cay, primarily to visit the famous Nippers
beach bar. Nippers and the beach are both well worth the visit, with
the bar high up on the dunes overlooking the ocean, reefs and a
magnificent beach. Don't miss it.

After a day at Great Guana we moved on to Marsh Harbour which is the
population center of the Abacos. The harbor is very well protected,
has plenty of swinging room for anchoring out, and a good place to
park your dinghy called the "Union Jack" dock in honor of a cafe of
the same name that was once there. Members of the Royal Marsh Harbour
Yacht Club donated their time and materials to build a very decent
floating dock, along side a sturdy concrete pier. Nicely done and a
very welcome addition to a good cruising harbor. Marsh Harbour has
supermarkets, hardware stores, chandleries, a boat yard, car rentals,
and a good selection of marinas/pubs/restaurants. It's a good place
to reprovision. WiFi service is available at $40/week via "OII", Out
Island Internet. We rented a car one day and drove around Great Abaco
Island visiting some of the sights we had missed by boat, including
the fantastic beach at Treasure Cay, and the interesting settlements
at Cooperstown and Cherokee Sound. Marsh Harbour has several
different yacht charter companies, and the airport offers flights to
the US mainland.

Carry your handheld VHF ashore with you since virtually all of the
local businesses and taxi companies monitor channel 16 and use it
liberally. The Abacos cruisers net meets on channel 68 every morning
at 0815, and there is a Bahamas Weather Net on 4003 KHz USB every
morning at 0700 with good information. On the internet there is an
Abacos weather site called Barometer Bob's that is popular and has
current forecasts.

Next on the agenda was a quick stop at the boat building center at Man
of War Cay, continuing on the same day to Hope Town at Elbow Cay. The
approach and entrance to Hope Town is challenging for boats drawing
over 5 feet and should only be attempted in good visibility on a
rising tide. The harbor and town are well worth the effort however
and we docked for three days at the foot of the famous lighthouse. By
all means rent a golf cart and drive south to Tahiti Beach. We were
there during a big north easterly and the ocean surf on the east side
of Elbow Cay was easily over 20 feet high, with spectacular wind blown
crests. It was quite a photo opportunity. There is also an
interesting museum in town, and several good restaurants on the water
including Captain Jacks and the Harborside. Walk north past Captain
Jacks on the back streets for an interesting perspective of the town
and inlet. Hope Town WiFi service was available via OII.

Our last stop in the Abacos was Little Harbor to the south. Little
Harbor is the home of the famous Pete's Pub and art gallery. Rental
moorings are available. Little Harbor has a rich history and a
decidedly funky cruising boat atmosphere. Once again, a rising tide
is your friend in the narrow but well marked entrance, and also once
again, WiFi was available from OII.

Beginning our return home, we next headed 50 nautical miles south
towards Eleuthera Island, passing over the 4,000 fathom curve, and
cruising along in big 12 foot swells from astern. At over 24,000
feet, that was by far the deepest water we've ever encountered. After
spending the night in the beautiful secluded cove at Royal Island, we
followed up with a quick trip the next morning into the fishing harbor
at Spanish Wells before heading back west to Chub Cay. The weather
was so clear that we were able to see the skyline of Nassau/Paradise
Island from over 20 miles away as we passed to the north. The marina
at Chub Cay is under heavy reconstruction but we anchored outside with
no problem along with a number of other cruising boats. Since the
airport is operational we assume that customs/immigration is also
available but it would be wise to confirm before arriving. Several
WiFi networks were operational on Chub Cay but I was unable to
connect.

Leaving Chub Cay the next morning, we proceeded up Northwest Channel
leaving the light to port, westward to Russel tower leaving that to
port also, and on across the banks, exiting just south of Castle Rock.
Minimum depth that we encountered anywhere along that route was 12
feet although there is a charted 6 foot spot 3 miles to the south of
the rhumb line that should be avoided. We were tracking an east bound
sail boat on the RADAR that appeared to briefly get into trouble
there.

From Castle Rock it was south west to a Gulf Stream crossing on a calm
night, entering into Hawk Channel near Key Largo, and onto Moser
Channel at Marathon before heading home. We flew the Q flag non-stop
from the Keys, and cleared in at Fort Myers as we arrived home.

When I get a chance I'll post some pictures on
alt.binaries.pictures.sports.ocean



On 28 Mar 2006 13:06:50 -0800, "PrefersOffshore"
wrote:

The first mate and I just returned from the Abacos, spending a couple
of weeks onboard. As you know, water's pretty thin there, so pay
attention to tide charts and follow the waypoints with a little more
care than ususal. Cruising Guide to Abaco is a good one.

Don't miss Double Breasted Cay on the way down. Spectacular. Green
Turtle's Black Sound is the place to be if you want to spend time in
the settlement, New Plymouth. White Sound has great marina and
services, but unless you need dockage, pick up a mooring in Black Sound
and rent a golf cart to see the place. Don't miss the Gully Roosters
playing at the White Sound's Green Turtle Club if you're around on
Wednesday nights. Kevin - the band leader - is dockmaster at Black
Sound's Other Shore Club.

Great Guana Cay is fine. Fisher Bay is where Troy of Dive Guana
operates - if you need guide to snorkel and dive, he's quite
personable. He's also got moorings there. Main harbor for Great Guana
isn't too pretty, but dockage there may appeal to you. Nipper's Bar on
the Beach is a place to check out. We happened to catch a Jimmy
Buffett wanabee there - Barefoot Man. Was kind of like a Spring Break
for 50-year-olds scene, but good time anyway.

Man-O-War Cay is a great stop. The island is dry, so if you enjoy a
little plazma, make sure you have it aboard. The Hybiscus restaurant
there is really quite a nice find. And these people, although quite
parochial, are marvelous folks. Early loyalist history still carries
forward the strongest at this stop. Every 3rd person you meet is an
Albury. They layup a fine run about boat there too. You'll see
Albury's all over the place piloted by the locals and day renters.

Hopetown, Elbow Cay is indeed a most scenic place. The lighthouse was
mentioned earlier, and you won't want to miss it. But go a half hour
before sunset and watch the keeper, Jeffrey, light her off. It's the
last world's three remaining original kerosene fired lamps. They use
silk mantels, just like the Coleman lanterns. The settlement at
Hopetown is great fun with a spectacular beach just east of the
settlement.

Cruisers Net, VHF Ch. 68 at 0800 is very good source for weather and
other happenings around the islands, with best first hand info about
Whale Cay and Man-O-War Cay Channel passage conditions. Treasure Cay
is essentially just a resort, but appeals to some.

Beaches and reefs are terrific, of course. A rather hidden treasure,
it being close to Marsh Harbor may be the reason, is a dive / snorkel
spot called Mermaid Reef. Many think it can't be that good since it's
close-in. Not so.

Hope your trip is a good one!


Thanks, good information.


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