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Old 11-02-2014, 09:55 PM   #1
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Bahamas this winter ?

The wife and I are looking at going to the "islands" sometime after Christmas (family stuff till then). We will be leaving from Venice La. and stay in close until we get to the Fl. Keys. I would like to spend some time in the Tortugas befor crossing. Having not been to the Bahamas by boat any info or advice is much appreciated, especially about crossing from the western Fl Keys.
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Old 11-02-2014, 10:11 PM   #2
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The wife and I are looking at going to the "islands" sometime after Christmas (family stuff till then). We will be leaving from Venice La. and stay in close until we get to the Fl. Keys. I would like to spend some time in the Tortugas befor crossing. Having not been to the Bahamas by boat any info or advice is much appreciated, especially about crossing from the western Fl Keys.

1) Crossing- Are you willing to do overnight runs? If so it's about a 160nm from Key West to Bimini. If not I would run up to Marathon or Key Largo and make the jump. Either way you'll get a nice little 2-3 knot boost from the Gulfstream.

There are some choices once you get to Bimini marina wise. The top ones on my list are Bimini Bluewater, Bimini Sands, and if you want a luxury touristy place Bimini Bay. There are others but these are the ones we usually stay at.

How long do you want to go for?
If you have time I would cross the Great Bahama Bank and head south toward the Exumas.

I wouldn't reccomend stopping in Nassau unless you need to provision, not much to see there.

And if you really got time once your done with the Exumas you can goto Eleuthera which is really nice too.
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Old 11-02-2014, 10:14 PM   #3
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The wife and I are looking at going to the "islands" sometime after Christmas (family stuff till then). We will be leaving from Venice La. and stay in close until we get to the Fl. Keys. I would like to spend some time in the Tortugas befor crossing. Having not been to the Bahamas by boat any info or advice is much appreciated, especially about crossing from the western Fl Keys.
I would suggest getting up to Key Largo or Biscayne Bay for the crossing. I don't know how much time you have, but that sounds like an ambitious schedule. Will you have enough time to really enjoy the areas?
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Old 11-02-2014, 10:34 PM   #4
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It would really help to know how long you intend to spend over there. Otherwise it's hard to advise you on where to go and what to do.

You've got good advice so far on your options on how to and where to cross.

If you need fuel or provisions Nassau is worth the stop.
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Old 11-03-2014, 06:31 AM   #5
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If you need fuel or provisions Nassau is worth the stop.

However there is a HUGE tax on everything imported (40%?)

SO load up with everything you will need before going.

Fresh bread and fruits , vegis and fish need be only local purchases.
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Old 11-03-2014, 07:39 AM   #6
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What N4712 said. Although I would recommend bypassing the Tortugas and spend that huge amount of time and distance burned over in The Bahamas. If you "just gotta" see the Fort, there's high speed cats and seaplanes that run regularly from Key West, and I think just planes from Marathon.
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Old 11-03-2014, 09:23 AM   #7
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Time is not a factor.
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Old 11-03-2014, 09:57 AM   #8
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Time is not a factor.
Then after your done with keys cross over to Bimini, cross the bank and go explore the Exumas. After that point north and head toward Eluthera, then Abacos, then home.
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Old 11-03-2014, 10:30 AM   #9
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Time is not a factor.
OK, then what are you looking for? Anchoring out most of the time? Mix of marinas and anchoring out? Want to be alone most of the time? Or meet other cruisers? Do you fish and/or dive? Do you have a water maker?
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Old 11-03-2014, 05:50 PM   #10
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We like to fish. My wife is an avid fly fisher and loves bonefish and permit. We do like diving. I like offshore fishing. Not planning on marina hopping and dont really need to be near people. Thinking mostly anchoring. I do have a watermaker and 500 gallon fresh water capacity. Can carry 1000 gallons of fuel. Draft is about 4 feet. We "may" need to be back next May, maybe not. Possibly points further south.
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Old 11-03-2014, 06:07 PM   #11
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Going south after the Exumas would be my suggestion. Head to Long Island, Crooked Island/Auklands Island (great bone fishing), Mayaguana (great diving). Then loop back to Rum Key, Cat Island and Eleuthera. There is great bluewater and reef fishing all down through all the islands.

If it's blowing out of the east you can travel down the west side of the Exumas and stay in the lee all the way to the southern tip of Long Island.

If you go even further south check out the Turks & Caicos or perhaps Jamaica. Or better yet, Cuba.
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Old 11-03-2014, 06:17 PM   #12
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Going south after the Exumas would be my suggestion. Head to Long Island, Crooked Island/Auklands Island (great bone fishing), Mayaguana (great diving). Then loop back to Rum Key, Cat Island and Eleuthera. There is great bluewater and reef fishing all down through all the islands.

If it's blowing out of the east you can travel down the west side of the Exumas and stay in the lee all the way to the southern tip of Long Island.

If you go even further south check out the Turks & Caicos or perhaps Jamaica. Or better yet, Cuba.
South is good, especially in the winter. The cold fronts that hit the US fade the further south you go. Still, it's all good in the Bahamas.
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Old 11-03-2014, 08:37 PM   #13
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I will be heading over to the Bahamas after Christmas also. I値l be hanging out at Marathon- Boot Key Harbor for a couple of weeks. I plan on heading over with the first favorable weather window in Jan., hopefully the first week or two. I値l be spending the rest of the winter there, mostly in the Exumas.

We値l be diving and fishing, mostly. Let me know if you池e interested in buddy-boating over. I値l be running at 8 kts. Probably too slow for you. KJ
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Old 11-04-2014, 09:34 AM   #14
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Thats about my speed, we're slow minded.
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