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-   -   Bahamas Itinerary and Q's (http://www.trawlerforum.com/forums/s3/bahamas-itinerary-qs-37330.html)

Maerin 03-05-2018 07:50 AM

We're in Bimini now, headed across to the Exumas. We prefer the Exumas over the rest, our 1st trip to the Bahamas we moved a lot, saw Eleuthera, Spanish Wells, Royal Is. Nassau, Coral Harbor, down to Staniel, and up the Exumas to swing through the Abacos. So much to see, such a variety of venues, it's hard to imagine that you won't come away with a favorite spot. In subsequent trips we saw Conception, Rum, Cat, Long Is. the Jumentos, Raggeds, down to Duncantown. We gravitate toward the more isolated areas, but it's all great. I always think how much the folks who spend all their time in the Bahamas in one place are missing, but everyone has their preference. Even Nassau, that we avoid, has its attraction. I tell folks we really dislike it, but that's no reason not to attend. We spent 3 weeks there waiting for a genset exchanger, and had opportunities to bike all over the south side, rented a car to see the rest, and generally had a great stay. So it's all fun, each to his or her own tastes. If there's a takeaway, I'd say it's explore! The caves on Long Island, Dean's hole, Mt. Alvernia, Farmer's Cay, Dolphin House, Lorraine's, Compass, pigs, goats, the laundry at Black Point, potcakes. It's a smorgasboard of people and places. You'll have a great time!

diver dave 03-05-2018 08:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ski in NC (Post 642215)
My folks live in Cudjoe, so that is why a leg is planned in that direction. I highly doubt the boat will go the additional 20 miles to KW. I partly grew up in the Keys, and what KW has become is sad. Still has its charm, but just over run by the cruise ship patrons and the economy has evolved to little more than that needed to supply them with t-shirts and drinks.

Regarding anchoring and bugs: Yep, anchoring most nights. We've got AC and gennie. What we do in summer in NC is to close up boat in the late evening and run the AC for a couple of hours to chill and dry out the boat, then right before bed shut everything down. Usually boat stays comfortable til dawn that way.

In NC, the noseeums tend to be bad in the cockpit or anywhere outside, but only a few times did they want to go in the pilothouse, even with the back door open. Not sure if their southern cousins will be so polite. We will handle it somehow...

genset and a/c. Got it made! My family stays a week at venture out every year; would certainly consider living there, at least part time. Note that the ocean temperature will be close to 88 deg in the middle of summer on the bank +/-. You will have to report back on how well the boat holds the cold air. :thumb:

Ski in NC 03-05-2018 09:44 AM

Yikes! 88F sea temp!! I knew it would be warmer than our summer temp, which ranges 80-84F. I guess gennie might have to work overtime.

BandB 03-05-2018 11:49 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by k9medic (Post 642211)

By all means do drive to KW instead of boat. After several KW trips, I will never again head down there unless I'm mandated.

Wifey B: I love love love love love Key West. Ski says nothing but t-shirts and drinks. :nonono::nonono::nonono: Key West has more small art galleries with different artists per square mile than any place I know. You could spend two days easily just walking from one end to the other of them. Then all the wonderful sights from Hemingway to Butterflies to Ingham to Truman to the Dolphin center to Eco-Tours. There's a lot to see in Key West. We've been many times and still not seen it all. :D

Bigsfish 03-05-2018 12:14 PM

I enjoy Key West only for the fact that it is a fueling stop to Fort Jefferson which is an amazing structure and quite historic plus some of the best fishing in Florida. Having spent many years fishing out of KW and even having a shack on Boca Grande to spend many nights on a stilt house I enjoy the area and watched it grow from a navy town to a touristy area with all the problems that go with it.

Ski in NC 03-05-2018 12:23 PM

Wifey B- My Mom is one of the artists at the gallery on Front St close to Mallory Sq.

BandB 03-05-2018 12:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ski in NC (Post 642299)
Wifey B- My Mom is one of the artists at the gallery on Front St close to Mallory Sq.

Wifey B: Wow. :cool::cool::socool: I love local artists and their works. We weren't art aficionados at all when we lived in NC, but when we started cruising and could find art and crafts at each location, all the distinctive styles and works, we became huge fans. We don't know what the experts do and can't evaluate technique or style as they do, but we sure know what we like.

We love the stories that come with local art and actually buying from the artist. You learn when they created the piece and what they were thinking, their mood at the time. You learn why they're artists and how they became one. While we buy a lot for our stores for resale, we typically buy one item in each port, and sometimes more, for our home and then every time we look at it or show it to a friend, we remember the story and what it represents. To me a painting isn't just what is on the canvas but it's the life within the work.

I quite imagine we've met your mother at one time or another if she frequents the gallery. If she's a talkative lady, I'm sure we've enjoyed just listening. :D

Dougcole 03-05-2018 02:00 PM

I like Key West as well, Like most tourist towns, once you get off the main drag (Duval Street) it gets much better. KW has a long and rich history, one of the best towns for history in the US. Colorful people, great arts and architecture. Good food. It's a good place.

Eluthera is our next Bahamas destination. We have spent tons of time in the Abacos, a few weeks in the Berrys, Bimini, Exuma and Andros by plane/car.

I found the Exumas to be crowded and the fishing/freediving/spearing was not great and restricted in some areas. I think the swimming pigs were the worst thing that has ever happened to the Exumas, and I fear for the Abacos that their pigs may do the same thing. Very pretty though.

The far south islands are also on our list, but we need a bigger block of time than we currently get.

Last year we just went to our favorite two or three anchorages and spent three weeks there, fishing and spearing and beaching every day. We only covered a small distance and only spent a few nights in marinas. It was very fun and relaxing trip, one of my all time favs.

Bigsfish 03-05-2018 02:43 PM

Dougcole

What are your favorite two or three anchorages?

McGillicuddy 03-05-2018 07:15 PM

My question is about hurricane season. I was strongly considering going to the Bahamas after the season and I’m not sure what my insurance company will think of an extended cruise in the middle of the season? Although in fact, I haven’t asked them. (Geico). They do always seem to want to know where I am and my plans for hurricanes.

diver dave 03-05-2018 07:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by McGillicuddy (Post 642389)
My question is about hurricane season. I was strongly considering going to the Bahamas after the season and I’m not sure what my insurance company will think of an extended cruise in the middle of the season? Although in fact, I haven’t asked them. (Geico). They do always seem to want to know where I am and my plans for hurricanes.

The question being??

I, for one, have been chased out of the Bahamas by a hurricane. Bertha to be specific. We ran a couple days out of San Sal NW due to the forecast. Stopped at this famous hurricane hole in Eleuthra. Decided not to stay. At Gt Harbor, we lost the alternator (just had one). Made it to Freeport just before the wind came, in absolutely flat seas, but deadish batteries. At that point it was getting dicey. We holed up in a private canal, tried anchoring. That worked until the middle of the nite, where we had to rethink. Ultimately, we tied to trees. Trapped by rough seas for couple days; then shot due west home in 12' rolly swells. A blast at the time.

So, you take your chances.

Larry M 03-05-2018 08:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by McGillicuddy (Post 642389)
My question is about hurricane season. I was strongly considering going to the Bahamas after the season and I’m not sure what my insurance company will think of an extended cruise in the middle of the season? Although in fact, I haven’t asked them. (Geico). They do always seem to want to know where I am and my plans for hurricanes.

We submit navigation limits every year before we renew. If we find ourselves going out side the nav limits during the year, we give our agent 2-3 weeks notice, they go to the underwriters and come back with the additional cost for the additional navigation area. We’ve done this many times and it’s cheaper for us than trying to insure for an area for the year that we may go to. We’re with Geico Marine (use to be SeaWorthy) which is different from Geico/BoatUS.

BandB 03-05-2018 08:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Larry M (Post 642401)
We submit navigation limits every year before we renew. If we find ourselves going out side the nav limits during the year, we give our agent 2-3 weeks notice, they go to the underwriters and come back with the additional cost for the additional navigation area. We’ve done this many times and it’s cheaper for us than trying to insure for an area for the year that we may go to. We’re with Geico Marine (use to be SeaWorthy) which is different from Geico/BoatUS.

A good approach. We have coverage simply because of where we live. I know it's obvious, but still needs to be said, The Bahamas don't shut down for hurricane season. Most of the time there is no hurricane. Most hurricanes do come with adequate warning. You weigh risk at all times. Who would have thought boats would be lost this week along the Massachusetts coast, but it's happened. You just make the best decisions you can, but by avoiding every area subject to hurricanes during hurricane season, you won't be doing much boating.

McGillicuddy 03-05-2018 08:25 PM

I too am with Geico Marine. I submit my hurricane plan every season. My question was simply ‘what do insurance companies think of cruising the Bahamas during hurricane season?’ For me, I am subject to increased deductibles and have to notify in advance and pay additional premium to expand navigational limits.

BandB 03-05-2018 08:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by McGillicuddy (Post 642408)
I too am with Geico Marine. I submit my hurricane plan every season. My question was simply ‘what do insurance companies think of cruising the Bahamas during hurricane season?’ For me, I am subject to increased deductibles and have to notify in advance and pay additional premium to expand navigational limits.

It all depends on the policy and company. Yours thinks, "Ok, just a little extra." Ours thinks "You're already covered." Another might think "no way."

Dougcole 03-05-2018 09:10 PM

We are with Allstate, we get a Bahamas rider on our policy every year, it's not very much...$50 I think?

We go during the beginning of hurricane season every year, we do keep a close eye on things but so far we have been pretty lucky, just a few low pressures coming through that bring 2 to 4 days of rain and moderate winds. Usually just after they pass is a period of super nice weather though with very light winds.

Our strategy is to be in remote areas during good weather, more populated places during bad as it gives us stuff to do off of the boat.

Berwick 03-05-2018 10:14 PM

The trip from Pete's Pub in the Abacos to Spanish Wells is doable on a good day. The marina at Spanish Wells has been upgraded and is very nice and reasonable. Spanish Wells has a proper grocery, and is no longer dry! From there you can take the fast ferry to Harbor Island for the day, or hire a local to guide you through the Devil's Backbone on your boat to stay at one of the Harbor Island marinas (they are not reasonable, but give you access to Harbor Island sites and sounds). The trip from Spanish Wells to Highborn Cay in the Exumas is also doable on a good day, and as others have said, the Exumas are great. We did this trip in reverse last year. Our blog has some info-mvmoondance.blogspot.com. It is a great trip!

Ski in NC 03-06-2018 07:23 AM

On my list is to make a call to my insurance co. I hope that conversation does not result in a change of plans!! Present policy keeps me N of Fla beginning June 1. Hope I can buy a rider.

On a road trip to KW to help the folks. Will be off site for a while.

Thanks all for the good tips!!

Ski in NC 04-29-2018 10:02 AM

Just a little update: Plans still in effect, planning on leaving NC Jun 9.

One relevant tidbit: My insurance has me restricted to north of Fla beginning Jun 1. I was able to purchase a rider for coverage in Sfla and Bahamas for a month, ending Jul 9. Cost reasonable.

Girl has been helping getting the boat livable. This boat was built by a full on gearhead and now there are flowers in the head and galley!!

Going to have another couple meet us in the Abacos for a few days. I think they will fly over to one of the strips on Abaco.

Any good hints on air service from Fla to Abaco?

Bigsfish 04-29-2018 10:54 AM

Ski

We are planning a trip to the Abacos for three weeks about the middle of June. A little later in the year than we like but we had other commitments. As time gets closer we will touch base and perhaps meet up some place.


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