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Old 09-16-2014, 03:42 PM   #1
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Routing from Stuart to the Exumas

Hey All,

We are planning an Exumas trip next summer. We have been to the Abacos 9 or 10 times, and though we love it there, and have found a ton of off the beaten path spots we're ready for a new adventure.

We have 3 weeks or perhaps just a little bit more. The boat is currently lying in Stuart. We generally do longer crossings at our fast cruise speed of 14 to 15 knots and then settle down to hull speed once we get to our "destination".

Example of how we we handle the Abacos trips would be that we cross the stream and banks from Stuart to Grand Cay at fast cruise then day hop at hull speed down as far as Little Harbor. We might go faster if we need to bang across an inlet or are running out to fish, other than that we slow down. Fast cruise range is safely 250 miles. Slow is much more than that.

My initial thought is to go Stuart to Lauderdale on leg one, then anchor out. Then Lauderdale to Bimini leg two, stay in a marina. Leg three Bimini to the Berry's . Not sure whether to anchor out there or stay in a marina, I looked at Chub which seems nice but very pricey.

Leg four Berry's to Nassau. I've been to Nassau and have no desire to linger there, but it seems like the last place for a while to refuel and provision.

Leg five on to the Exumas where we would work south as far as we feel like going then head back. I'm not dying to get to Georgetown honestly.

I know lot's of you have done this trip. Any tips or thoughts?

Thanks,
Doug
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Old 09-16-2014, 04:45 PM   #2
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We haven't had the full Exumas experience but have a general idea. Chub is nice, and has good wifi so it was worth it for us. Although on our return of the first part of trip the island genny broke down, but it was no biggie we just ran ours. As to going to Nassau, why don't you bypass Nassau by going straight to Highbourne where you can get fuel. Unless you need groceries I would bypass Nassau.
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Old 09-16-2014, 04:47 PM   #3
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Sounds like a pretty good plan. I would either anchor out in the Berrys and/or stay at the a Berry Islands Club on the West end of Frazers Hog Key. Much more island time then Chub. Which sadly they messed up when they tried to remind it into a cookie cutter copy of you generic US marina/condo/beach home resort. You might even want to stay a couple days in the Berrys. It's a very nice area to poke around in.

In Nassau I'd stay at say Nassau Yacht Haven. You have easy access to places to resupply from there. There is a nice US style grocery store almost across the street from there. The fuel is cheapest in Nassau as well.

From Nassau it's a fairly short hop to the beginning of the Exumas. You might want to hop scotch your way down so you can see new places on the way back. Georgetown is nothing special in my opinion. Nice enough place but way to many stuck in time so called cruisers who hang on the news of every social event and pot luck dinner announced over the morning cruisers radio net and never get any farther down island. It's not nick named "chicken harbour" for nothing.

There are to many great places to get away from all that in the Exumas. I like them much better than the Abacos that have sadly become a suburb of Florida in a lot of ways.

There is a cool spot on Pipe Key where the old Decca station was where you can tie up to the old abandoned dock for the station and have your own private marina.

Then there is the Exuma marine park, swimming pigs, feeding the Iguanas, the sunken drug planes, tidal creek tender tours, snorkeling Thunderball "cave", the beautiful beaches, blue holes, etc., etc.
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Old 09-16-2014, 05:28 PM   #4
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Can't help with your question, but I do have one of my own. What is your fuel burn like at your "fast cruise"? Also, how far are you off WOT RPMs? I ask only becuase our Nordic Tug will do 15.5 knots wide open (we did it during the sea trial), but we never really run it much over 8 knots. I think our range at around 12-14 would be about the same as you. Sorry for the hijack, just an inquiring mind who wants to know.
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Old 09-16-2014, 05:46 PM   #5
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Thanks guys, good suggestions all.

Capt. Bill, I kind of agree with you on the Abacos, the last few years we have spent more and more time north of the whale and less and less south of it. Seems to me a lot of people rush by some of the best areas there.

Oliver, I'll take a look at Highbourne, thanks.

Carolena, at 2,800 rpms we trn anywhere between 14 and 16 knots, depending on load, current, how clean my props are etc. WOT is about 3,400 RPM. At 2,800 I allow for a little less than 1 nmpg, though I think that is on the conservative side. It's tough to say honestly, as I don't have flow scans and I vary my speed so much in between fill ups.

Do you guys think three weeks is enough time?
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Old 09-18-2014, 03:32 PM   #6
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Well, in my opinion, three weeks is plenty of time to "see" much of the Exumas. The good news is that after picking your favorite spots, you will want to come back each of the next several years to spend more time at each of them. I totally agree with Capt. Bill about Georgetown - "meh". And it's too bad that Nassau is right along the route from the Berrys to Exumas. I'm not a fan of Nassau and avoid it at costs. Most of my Exumas trips have entailed running south from Little Harbour in the Abacos through Current Cut to either Hatchet Bay or Governour Harbour on Eleuthera - then, the next day, jumping across to Allans Cay (with its famous iguanas.) As a previous poster said, Highbourne is just beautiful and a great place to fuel up and really start your Exumas adventure. Whichever way you go, you'll have a great time. Be sure to dinghy through the tidal creeks across Shroud Cay - and don't miss Compass Cay. For a surreal experience, stay a night at Cave Cay - you'll be the only boat in the modern, floating dock "marina". The caves are cool to explore - and Three-Mile Sandbar is amazing...
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Old 09-20-2014, 12:58 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dougcole View Post

Do you guys think three weeks is enough time?
There is never enough time.
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