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Old 02-06-2023, 02:02 PM   #1
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Bahamas Anchorages and Marinas

My wife and I are visiting several islands in the Bahamas over a two-month period to look into bringing the boat down from Maine next winter. (Flew down, flying from island to island.) We're staying in VRBO's but visiting marinas and conducting "research" in the local bars, talking to fellow boaters.

Thus far, we have been to Nassau (no thanks), Bimini, Grand Bahama, and now Abaco. Heading to Andros tomorrow, then Eleuthera and Exuma.

Grand Bahama and Abaco marinas have been rebuilt (mostly).

A couple questions:

1. What are your favorite places to drop the hook?
2. Any favorite marinas (or ones to stay away from).
3. A non-boater told us one had to be careful of pirates on the waters. First we have heard of that. Any truth to it?
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Old 02-06-2023, 03:26 PM   #2
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I stayed in the Abacos for a few months years ago and am familiar with Freeport and Nassau. Given your distaste for Nassau, I think the areas that would suit you are Marsh Harbor in the Abacos and Georgetown in the Exumas. Both have large, protected anchorages as well as marinas and cruiser friendly places to hang out in.

We used Marsh Harbor as our base and every other week stayed there at a marina for a night to re provision, wash the accumulated salt off and fill up the water tank. The remainder of the two week period we would hang out in pretty but not particularly secluded anchorages such as Treasure Cay, Great Guyana Cay- Nippers on Sunday, Hopetown, Tahiti Beach, Little Harbor- Pete's Pub, etc. My apologies if these are no longer good places due to the hurricane. It has been a while since we were there.

You could do the same at Georgetown but I suspect the surrounding anchorages are more remote.

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Old 02-06-2023, 05:20 PM   #3
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Echo what DavidM wrote in Post #2 above, adding that Eleuthera has a variety of small anchorages. I used to spent time on the hook at Spanish Wells, at the north end of the island, and used North Eleuthera Airport as a transit point back and forth to Florida. The Berry Islands used to be fairly unspoiled, and may still be, other than Chub Cay which I am told has become a high-end destination. Some of the smaller islands, such as Frozen and Alder Cays, may require permission to go ashore. Years ago, before any homes had been built there, I once met the U.S. Ambassador to the Bahamas and his wife out for a stroll on Frozen, along with another couple. They had just buzzed up from Nassau for the weekend on a big sportfisherman.

You definitely want a dinghy capable of planing speeds, as many anchorages are some distance from where you want to go ashore. As to pirates, I think you can relax. Throughout years of cruising in the Bahamas and Caribbean, I never encountered any, and never met anyone who said they had.
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Old 02-06-2023, 08:26 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike H View Post
My wife and I are visiting several islands in the Bahamas over a two-month period to look into bringing the boat down from Maine next winter. (Flew down, flying from island to island.) We're staying in VRBO's but visiting marinas and conducting "research" in the local bars, talking to fellow boaters.



Thus far, we have been to Nassau (no thanks), Bimini, Grand Bahama, and now Abaco. Heading to Andros tomorrow, then Eleuthera and Exuma.



Grand Bahama and Abaco marinas have been rebuilt (mostly).



A couple questions:



1. What are your favorite places to drop the hook?

2. Any favorite marinas (or ones to stay away from).

3. A non-boater told us one had to be careful of pirates on the waters. First we have heard of that. Any truth to it?


As for Exuma bars, try Staniel Cay Yacht club. Easy to get to from the airport. SCYC is also a great pace to stay but it will likely be fully booked this time of the year. Plenty of cruisers there most nights. On Eleuthera, Spanish Wells has a nice marina, and well,protected. Harbor island is worth a visit but if you donít care for Nassau, you might not like this.
Lots of good marinas. Most are much more expensive than the states. Some are all weather, many are not. So if you plan on leaving your boat in one, unattended, then the list gets much shorter.
A number of blogs on line hosted by Bahamas cruisers, including ours. Mvprivateer.com. Many of our posts cover Bahamas cruising. Just arrived at Hog in the Raggeds.
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Old 02-06-2023, 08:27 PM   #5
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All excellent choices.
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Old 02-06-2023, 11:06 PM   #6
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My experience is pretty dated, but I think you can find everything in Nassaue from seedy places to very glamorous spots on Paradise Island, and everything in between. Location is indeed everything there. I liked Port Lucaya as it was always kind of busy and I liked one of the Dive Shops there. If you are at all into snorkeling or diving, Great Guana has an amazing reef on the north side.

Are you a diver ? Do you want to swim ( or dive ) with dolpins, go to casinos, fish etc. Do you need an airport close by? Will you be leaving your boat for extended periods ?
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