CSR Bahamas Rendezvous (Spring Break 2016)

Discussion in 'Southeast' started by Alex F, Dec 6, 2015.

  1. Alex F

    Alex F Well-Known Member

    Nov 14, 2006
    East Coast
    2005 420DB with AB 11 DLX Tender, Raymarine Dual E120 MFD/Radar/XMWeather, ST7001 A/P, AIS, SeaLift
    T-Cummins 450Cs Straight-Drives, 9KW Onan Generator, 40HP Yamaha for tender.
    Steve, Randy, Mark and I have been discussing a trip to Bahamas during spring break 2016. Considering the time required for detailed planning, which includes lots of variable, I'd like to start this thread early and see who else would be interested doing the trip with us.

    WHEN
    This is something I have no control over, so I have to plan our cruise in coordination with our kids school schedule. Latest posted dates in our school district for 2016 spring break falls on the week
    from 3/25/16 to 4/3/16.

    WHERE
    The primary focus of this trip will be exploring
    Eleuthera Islands.

    Proposed Itinerary:
    Day 1 (3/25): FL to a jumping off point like Chub Cay.
    Day 2 (3/26): Chub Cay to TBD
    Day 3 (3/27): TBD
    Day 4 (3/28): TBD
    Day 5 (3/29): TBD
    Day 6 (3/30): TBD
    Day 7 (3/31): Nassau, Atlantis Resort and Marina
    Day 8 (4/1): Nassau, Atlantis Resort and Marina
    Day 9 (4/2): Nassau to a jumping off point like Bimini, or any other port of the interest.
    Day 10 (4/3): Crossing back to FL.

    At this time we're open for any suggestions on the itinerary. However, I have to make it to Nassau on 3/31 to pickup additional crew.

    It goes without saying, for those that wish to do the trip and have more time on their hands, hopefully you can use these dates as a basline and work your additional cruising plans from here on. If you can join us just for few days, that's still works. If we can do the crossing (either there or back) together, that's great. It's always better to have a buddy boat.

    GENERAL APPROACH
    Considering the challenges presented by the weather at this time of the year, we need to have few plans. Here's my proposal

    Plan A:
    Depart from FL on 3/25/16, follow the plan for exploring Eleuthera Islands and have arrival date to FL on 4/3/16.

    Plan B:
    As we monitor the weather and see that the crossing for the dates from Plan A doesn't look good, but there's an opportunity to do the crossing withing a day or so, have modified itinerary (for example, leave a day ealier or day later, if we have to cut one port off, or stay there less than originally planned), but still proceed with the cruise to Eleuthera.

    Plan C:
    The weather just doesn't cooperate to do the crossing. We have to abort the Bahamas cruise and shift our focus on staying local in FL coastal waters. My preference would be to explore FL Southwest Coast, but I'm open to any recommendations.


    List of Potential Participants:
    [CSR name]: [crew names], [boat info], [Traveling From]
    1. "Alex F": Alex and Jelena, Michelle(18), Daniel(11), "Inspiration" 420DB, Ft Lauderdale
    2. "COD": Steve and Kris, kids TBD, "Retreat" 500DB, Adventura
    3. Anyone else?


    List of Maybies:
    [CSR name]: [crew names], [boat info], [Traveling From]
    1. "Odyssey": Randy and Kathy, crew TBD, "Odyssey" 44EB, Delray Beach
    2. "FootballFan": Mark and Deborah, crew TBD, "Devocean" 470DB, Adventura
    3. "
    Shadow9999":, Robert and Diane, SeaDuced VSC-50, Punta Gorda FL
    4. "Gimme Time": AJ and Amy, "Gimme Time" 420AC, FL West Coast


    Randy and Mark are working on their schedule but so far it looks positive.

    Those that have any experience with this area, please provide your suggestions on must have ports/points of interest, things to-do, navigation tips, etc. Your help is greatly appreciated.

    Who would like to join us? Don't be shy.
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2015
  2. shadow9999

    shadow9999 Member

    110
    Nov 23, 2009
    NJ and FL
    Viking Sport Cruiser 50
    Volvo D12's
    Hi Alex,

    This sounds interesting. Put me down as a maybe at this point.

    Shadow9999, Robert and Diane, SeaDuced VSC-50, Punta Gorda FL
     
  3. Alex F

    Alex F Well-Known Member

    Nov 14, 2006
    East Coast
    2005 420DB with AB 11 DLX Tender, Raymarine Dual E120 MFD/Radar/XMWeather, ST7001 A/P, AIS, SeaLift
    T-Cummins 450Cs Straight-Drives, 9KW Onan Generator, 40HP Yamaha for tender.
    Sounds great, Robert. I added you to the list of Maybies. It would be great if you could make the trip.
     
  4. Alex F

    Alex F Well-Known Member

    Nov 14, 2006
    East Coast
    2005 420DB with AB 11 DLX Tender, Raymarine Dual E120 MFD/Radar/XMWeather, ST7001 A/P, AIS, SeaLift
    T-Cummins 450Cs Straight-Drives, 9KW Onan Generator, 40HP Yamaha for tender.
    For our last year's trip I've used Steve Dodge's Cruising guide to Abaco, suggested by Tom. It was a great guide. As I'm doing my research I come across recommendations for "Explorer Chartbooks". As I'm looking at the site explorercharts.com there are 3 books that cover the area:

    1. "Explorer Chartbook Near Bahamas",
    2. "Explorer Chartbook Exumas & Ragged Islands"
    3. "Explorer Chartbook for Bahamasand Turks & Caicos"

    Does anyone know which of the 3 books has most detailed info for Eleuthera? It looks like my primary choices are between #1 and #3.

    Any other cruising guide publications we should consider?
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2015
  5. trit21

    trit21 Active Member

    Dec 16, 2007
    Live, Orlando: Boat, Ft. Pierce
    See signature
    See signature
  6. cod

    cod Member

    687
    Nov 25, 2010
    Naples, Fl.
    2005 500 Sedan Bridge/
    Cummins QSM 11's/
    Alex, are you looking for area info or charts? I think Explorer Chartbooks are just that, mostly charts with some info like tides and such. I have the 2015 Waterways Bahamas Guide which covers all of the Bahamas including Eleuthra in nice detail similar to Steve Dodges Cruising Guide.
     
  7. Alex F

    Alex F Well-Known Member

    Nov 14, 2006
    East Coast
    2005 420DB with AB 11 DLX Tender, Raymarine Dual E120 MFD/Radar/XMWeather, ST7001 A/P, AIS, SeaLift
    T-Cummins 450Cs Straight-Drives, 9KW Onan Generator, 40HP Yamaha for tender.
    Hey Steve,

    No, I'm not looking for charts. I was looking for similar cruising guide we got for Abacos. I was just thinking if there was better alternative to WWCG. It doesn't look like there's for Eleuthera. So, I just ordered WWCG-2016.

    On the other hand, from what I see, there are few options for Exumas, though. But that's another trip, hopefully.
     
  8. trit21

    trit21 Active Member

    Dec 16, 2007
    Live, Orlando: Boat, Ft. Pierce
    See signature
    See signature
    If you are planning on going to Eleuthera and traversing the Devils Backbone, there are guides that will pilot your boat in for you. I am assuming you know this already but just wanted to let you know in case you didn't, Devils Backbone is not to be taken lightly.
     
  9. cod

    cod Member

    687
    Nov 25, 2010
    Naples, Fl.
    2005 500 Sedan Bridge/
    Cummins QSM 11's/
    Thanks Tom and yes, I have been told and read it in the Waterways Guide. Have you personally done this with a guide? Would love to hear your experience doing it?
     
  10. Alex F

    Alex F Well-Known Member

    Nov 14, 2006
    East Coast
    2005 420DB with AB 11 DLX Tender, Raymarine Dual E120 MFD/Radar/XMWeather, ST7001 A/P, AIS, SeaLift
    T-Cummins 450Cs Straight-Drives, 9KW Onan Generator, 40HP Yamaha for tender.
    Thanks Tom.

    When I found that web page ealrier, for some reason links to the individual charbooks kept taking me to the same landing page. The closest I was able to find was:

    http://www.bluewaterweb.com/p-51216-explorer-chartbook-far-bahamas-6th-ed.aspx

    To verify I'm getting what I was looking for, I called and emailed the vendor. But, my attempts were unsuccessfull. So, I followed Steve's route and ordered the WWCG latest vesrion.

    Ditto what Steve, said. Would love to hear your experience, if you or any of your friends used the guide. Chances are we'll be re-tracing the steps.
     
  11. trit21

    trit21 Active Member

    Dec 16, 2007
    Live, Orlando: Boat, Ft. Pierce
    See signature
    See signature
    My friends have all used them (including the guides in and out of Devils Backbone not me personally) the go to guide is the Explorer charts as the provide the most up to date data and most accurate. As far as a guide, what is where, that I don't know. I know several sailboats that go there for 2-3 months every year and since we are planning on going to the Exumas this year, we have picked their brains and asked questions very similar to yours. They tell me there really is no guide like the Abacos Guide book for anywhere else with that type of accuracy and information. But, I don't know so maybe WWCG is the answer. My friends have also told me going in and out of Devils Backbone is no big deal with a guide. Call him, he comes to your boat, you tow his little dinghy as he drives in and out, done. Price was like $100, maybe $200 with tip, not exactly sure but wasn't hugely expensive.
     
  12. trit21

    trit21 Active Member

    Dec 16, 2007
    Live, Orlando: Boat, Ft. Pierce
    See signature
    See signature
    As a side note, if you have a Garmin chart plotter, Garmin uses explorer charts for charting. I have enclosed a link for the electronic charts that use the Explorer charts, but if you use Raymarine I think you are out of luck as Navionics does not use explorer charts. http://explorercharts.com/chatter/?page_id=8936
     
  13. Alex F

    Alex F Well-Known Member

    Nov 14, 2006
    East Coast
    2005 420DB with AB 11 DLX Tender, Raymarine Dual E120 MFD/Radar/XMWeather, ST7001 A/P, AIS, SeaLift
    T-Cummins 450Cs Straight-Drives, 9KW Onan Generator, 40HP Yamaha for tender.
    Thanks for the link, Tom. I believe that just like mine, Steve MFDs are RM. But, we both run Garmin mobile on our iPads. The charts on iPad were very good, during our trip to Abacos.

    I'm still waiting for my WWCG to arrive, but in the meantime I'm starting compile a list of ports. So far the following are on my radar:

    Chub Cay,
    Atlantis,
    Spanish Wells,
    Devil's Backbone,
    Harbor Island,
    Governor's Harbor,
    Rock Sound,
    Cape Eleuthera Resort.

    Am I missing any "must see" places?
    Obviously, the whole list might be too much for 10 day trip. Which ports would cross-out for now?
     
  14. cod

    cod Member

    687
    Nov 25, 2010
    Naples, Fl.
    2005 500 Sedan Bridge/
    Cummins QSM 11's/
    Alex,

    Another place we should definitely stop at is Half Moon Bay on Little San Salvatore. It's a pristine beach frequented by cruise ships and been told it's beautiful. Also, I would like to stay at Valentines Resort & Marina on Harbour Island.
     
  15. trit21

    trit21 Active Member

    Dec 16, 2007
    Live, Orlando: Boat, Ft. Pierce
    See signature
    See signature
    Garmin mobile does not have the explorer chart pack from what I understand, only on the older preloaded charts and the chips for purchase the ideal data. From what I understand anyway.
     
  16. Alex F

    Alex F Well-Known Member

    Nov 14, 2006
    East Coast
    2005 420DB with AB 11 DLX Tender, Raymarine Dual E120 MFD/Radar/XMWeather, ST7001 A/P, AIS, SeaLift
    T-Cummins 450Cs Straight-Drives, 9KW Onan Generator, 40HP Yamaha for tender.
    Steve,


    The Valentines Resort & Marina is what I had marked on my plan as well. I'll look into the Half Moon Bay.
     
  17. Alex F

    Alex F Well-Known Member

    Nov 14, 2006
    East Coast
    2005 420DB with AB 11 DLX Tender, Raymarine Dual E120 MFD/Radar/XMWeather, ST7001 A/P, AIS, SeaLift
    T-Cummins 450Cs Straight-Drives, 9KW Onan Generator, 40HP Yamaha for tender.
    I just read reviews on AC on it. Sounds very cool.
     
  18. Alex F

    Alex F Well-Known Member

    Nov 14, 2006
    East Coast
    2005 420DB with AB 11 DLX Tender, Raymarine Dual E120 MFD/Radar/XMWeather, ST7001 A/P, AIS, SeaLift
    T-Cummins 450Cs Straight-Drives, 9KW Onan Generator, 40HP Yamaha for tender.
    Tom,

    Do you know where would be a "safe" place to get fuel, in the Eleuthera stretch? From what I see, Cape Eleuthera Resort and Marina seems to be a good option. Have you heard any reason not to get fuel there?
     
  19. Gimme Time

    Gimme Time Active Member GOLD Sponsor

    737
    Jan 7, 2007
    Charlottesville, VA./ Deltaville, VA
    2006 52SB, Ray Marine E120, Garmin 7612 through BOE site sponsor,
    QSM11s
    GT is a pretty good maybe but to early to tell for sure. We plan to go over sometime this coming Spring as we plan to be in KW till March 1 then will decide next phase but this sounds pretty good to us.

    AJ
     
  20. Alex F

    Alex F Well-Known Member

    Nov 14, 2006
    East Coast
    2005 420DB with AB 11 DLX Tender, Raymarine Dual E120 MFD/Radar/XMWeather, ST7001 A/P, AIS, SeaLift
    T-Cummins 450Cs Straight-Drives, 9KW Onan Generator, 40HP Yamaha for tender.
    AJ,

    "pretty good maybe" sounds good to me. Keep us posted on how your plan unfolds. Would be great if you could make it.
     

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