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Old 08-07-2016, 07:19 PM   #1
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Cruising The Exumas

We are heading off the The Exumas for three or four months this coming spring. We may visit Cat, Eleuthera and Long as well.

We are ordering the Explorer Charts, but would also like a good cruising guide for the Exhumas, something like the Dodge Guide To The Bahamas, which is our bible when going there.

I looked at the guide by Stephen J. Pavlidis, but the review go from the awesome to the awful.

What do people recommend?
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Old 08-07-2016, 07:50 PM   #2
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Have not found a really good guide yet for Exumas, Dodge it great for Abacos.
Explorer charts are great with some local info.
The best in my opinion is to use Active Captian. Plan routes ahead or just browse the locations and look at reviews and anchorage/port info.
Real Time info.
The current guide I have to Exumas (can't remember the name) was the latest edition but still 2 yrs out of date!
Best info is the current stuff from cruisers, not some gut writing a guide!
PS: I use garmin blue chart Mobil on an iPad with active capt'n gives me all I ne to know + Explorer Charts
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Old 08-07-2016, 07:55 PM   #3
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Have not found a really good guide yet for Exumas, Dodge it great for Abacos.
Explorer charts are great with some local info.
The best in my opinion is to use Active Captian. Plan routes ahead or just browse the locations and look at reviews and anchorage/port info.
Real Time info.
The current guide I have to Exumas (can't remember the name) was the latest edition but still 2 yrs out of date!
Best info is the current stuff from cruisers, not some gut writing a guide!
PS: I use garmin blue chart Mobil on an iPad with active capt'n gives me all I ne to know + Explorer Charts
I have the Active Captain and Garmin on my iPad as well. Would still like a good quality guide though - especially for the waypoints - which Dodge does so very well.
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Old 08-07-2016, 08:05 PM   #4
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If you look closely at the blue charts, diamonds for way points are provided on suggested routs just tap on it for Lat/Lon
Explorer also has waypoints listed
Can't go wrong with either one.
Biggest decision is weather to go through the Abacos or straight there from Fla.
If your are planning to go all the way down to Georgetown, you will have to choose an inlet to get on the outside depending on your draft.
Not difficult just study the charts.
Traveled last yr with sailboats 6' draft no sweat, I draw only 4.25'
Let me know if I can help
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Old 08-07-2016, 08:18 PM   #5
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Exhumas ho

We did the exumas in the winter and spring of 2014. We had explorer charts and guide books, but almost never used them. Active captain was our first choice of references. We used Garmin Blue charts on an iPad with active captain info overlaid.

Gordon
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Old 08-07-2016, 08:56 PM   #6
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If you look closely at the blue charts, diamonds for way points are provided on suggested routs just tap on it for Lat/Lon
Explorer also has waypoints listed
Can't go wrong with either one.
Biggest decision is weather to go through the Abacos or straight there from Fla.
If your are planning to go all the way down to Georgetown, you will have to choose an inlet to get on the outside depending on your draft.
Not difficult just study the charts.
Traveled last yr with sailboats 6' draft no sweat, I draw only 4.25'
Let me know if I can help
Was just looking at the blue charts to see how we could stay inside most of the time where all of the good anchorages and better water is, but be able to pick our visitors up from GGT - where everything (anchorages and marinas)is to the east. I will need to work that out.

Our plan is West Palm, Lucaya, Paradise, Exhumas. We have been to the Abacos multiple times on our own bottom, flew and rented a center console and flew and did the Mooring cats. Time for somewhere new.
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Old 08-07-2016, 08:58 PM   #7
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We did the exumas in the winter and spring of 2014. We had explorer charts and guide books, but almost never used them. Active captain was our first choice of references. We used Garmin Blue charts on an iPad with active captain info overlaid.

Gordon
Just spent the last hour playing with Blue Charts. I do wish they wouldn't use the X's for uncharted as Dodge uses them for coral in his book!
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Old 08-07-2016, 09:31 PM   #8
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Was just looking at the blue charts to see how we could stay inside most of the time where all of the good anchorages and better water is, but be able to pick our visitors up from GGT - where everything (anchorages and marinas)is to the east. I will need to work that out.

Our plan is West Palm, Lucaya, Paradise, Exhumas. We have been to the Abacos multiple times on our own bottom, flew and rented a center console and flew and did the Mooring cats. Time for somewhere new.
My first suggestion is to stop spelling Exuma with an "h" in it.

When you go to GTown becareful if you stay in Emerald Bay. They F'ed up when they designed the entrance and if any swell out of the N rolls in it can make the ride in trough the cut tricky and the marina very Rolly.


It's only about a 40nm run outside from Galliot cut to GTown. So it's not like you have to be out in the sound to long to get to "chicken harbour".
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Old 08-07-2016, 10:46 PM   #9
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Just spent the last hour playing with Blue Charts. I do wish they wouldn't use the X's for uncharted as Dodge uses them for coral in his book!
Are you talking about the + signs they use to mark coral heads and dangerous areas in the Blue Charts?
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Old 08-08-2016, 06:02 AM   #10
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Are you talking about the + signs they use to mark coral heads and dangerous areas in the Blue Charts?
Yes, when you click on them on the chart it comes up as not charted, dangerous. Where Dodge uses them for reef/coral. I guess no different in how you approach those areas!
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Old 08-08-2016, 06:05 AM   #11
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My first suggestion is to stop spelling Exuma with an "h" in it.
Whoops, same thing the kids tell me when I pronounce Chicago with an "r" in it!

And that's a five hour run for us!
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Old 08-08-2016, 06:37 AM   #12
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http://www.waterwayguide.com/shipsto...roducts_id=226

With this and the current Explorer charts and web info, you have up to date knowledge rom accountable sources in an easy to access format.

Welcome to Explorer Chartbooks
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Old 08-08-2016, 07:07 AM   #13
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And that's a five hour run for us!

You shouldn't have a problem finding a 5 hour window to make the jump.

Although you might have to leave a day or two earlier than you might like.
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Old 08-08-2016, 08:57 AM   #14
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We spent 16 weeks in the Bahamas last winter, the majority in the Exumas.

One resource that hasn't been mentioned, surprisingly is this:
www.bahamascruisersguide.com/

It's fairly current and they do a nice job of giving the overviews you might want.

Needless to say, we're big users of internet connectivity and this year, throughout the Exumas, there was absolutely no issue of having full-time, high speed 4G connectivity. Prices have fallen too. So even underway, there is no issue having perfect connectivity. Just get a cellular amplifier - they're not very expensive.

Internet access allows you to gain access to the latest info - stores, hazards, facilities, and restaurants come and go often in those parts.

We used Wikipedia a little too - it's always good for a basic overview. Google satellite imagery is also extremely useful for seeing what things really look like.
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Old 08-08-2016, 09:23 AM   #15
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T Mobile has an unlimited text and data deal that works in the Bahamas now.

I'd disagree that you have full time 100% connectivity. Cellular data can still be hit or miss at times. As call the cellular network it's self.

But pretty much every major island has a tower on it now. So you can get a signal most anywhere.

Compass Key is one of the few exceptions. You can only get a weak signal there at times as it's located between the towers on Highbourne and Staniel. And the marina is ringed by hills.
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Old 08-08-2016, 09:51 AM   #16
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T Mobile has an unlimited text and data deal that works in the Bahamas now.
T-Mobile gave me a full setup to test that new plan. If you just need limited email, it's probably OK. I sent everything back. I found it to be impossible to load normal websites even when looking at a 300 ft tower.
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Old 08-08-2016, 10:11 AM   #17
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Interesting. While I haven't tried it myself, we had a T Moble user on board for this last trip and he had no problems. Plus I talked to several other T Moble users on this last trip and they had nothing but good things to say about it.
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Old 08-08-2016, 11:08 AM   #18
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...they had nothing but good things to say about it.
In the Keys, it was fantastic. In the Bahamas...not so much.
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Old 08-08-2016, 11:48 AM   #19
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In the Keys, it was fantastic. In the Bahamas...not so much.
To clarify, this last trip we were in the Bahamas for 6 weeks. All seemed good for the T Mobile users.

Talked to one guy using it while we were in Atlantis and he had been there as well as other islands for over 2 months as I recall and was very happy with the service.

How long ago did you try it? Could they have done something to improve it?

I was going to a T Mobile phone for the boat and you're the first to say they had a negative experience so I'm interested in what's true now.
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Old 08-08-2016, 12:02 PM   #20
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I was going to a T Mobile phone for the boat and you're the first to say they had a negative experience so I'm interested in what's true now.
My experiences were all January, 2016. I tested it in Nassau just across from Atlantis. It was terrible.

It is possible that a T-Mobile phone would do better - that would be something built in on purpose though - why would BTC do that? I was using an unlocked GSM iPhone. When pushed, T-Mobile admits that they connect at 3G frequencies and are only given the very lowest end of bandwidth. I'd be surprised to see 1mbps of throughput.
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