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Exumas Bareboat #145706
10/05/2017 12:57 PM
10/05/2017 12:57 PM
Joined: Aug 2017
Posts: 44
Charleston, SC
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CHS_JDE Offline OP
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CHS_JDE  Offline OP
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Charleston, SC
Rookie bareboaters with experience who were going to go to BVIs in September. Obviously that didn't happen. Were considering going back in June but some of the crew are hesitant. We were exploring other options and wanted to get opinions on Exumas. Moorings just added that as a destination, but prices are astronomical. Any of the other charter companies there reputable?

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Re: Exumas Bareboat [Re: CHS_JDE] #145707
10/05/2017 03:16 PM
10/05/2017 03:16 PM
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 3,215
Somewhere out there
kneafseym Offline
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kneafseym  Offline
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Somewhere out there
We love the exumas, but can be a tough spot to bareboat compared to BVI. I don't know where the base is, but Georgetown is the main city in Exumas.

Some differences:
1. Groceries are mostly available in Georgetown and some days the supplies vary. You can get fresh fish from locals.
2. Tide. You have to pay attention, you will run aground, it happens.
3. You can just hang in the water with a beer unless you have a line attached, you will drift fast.
4. From Georgetown everything is generally downwind, then upwind. So not a lot of great sailing. A one way from Georgetown would be great. Or heading to Long Island from Georgetown.
4. The beaches are much better than anything in BVI
5. You will find occasional beach bars.
6. In June the crowds will be thin as the cruisers will need to be heading out for Hurricane season insurance requirements.


Mike
Re: Exumas Bareboat [Re: CHS_JDE] #145708
10/06/2017 07:29 AM
10/06/2017 07:29 AM
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 1,896
Maryland
Eva Offline
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Eva  Offline
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Maryland
Looks like the Moorings would have you starting at Highbourne Cay, at the northern end of the Exumas. This is a swanky resort island, with a megayacht marina, and services to match. You can get groceries and liquor here, but I imagine they are pricey and limited -- and you won't be able to get anything else -- no food, water, ice, fuel, restaurants -- until you travel substantially south (Staniel Cay, or Black Point settlement).

There is a charter outfit outside of Nassau called Navtours that also allows Exuma charters. They market to a French Canadian market, which is why you don't hear much about them. We sailed with them this May, crossing from New Providence to Shroud Cay, in the Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park (aka Paradise) and ending at Staniel Cay (and paying the one-way charter premium). New Providence island has a lot more choices for provisioning, and it's easy to get a flight to Nassau from the U.S. I expect charter rates are more "reasonable" as well. (My trip report is here: Exumas Charter)

However, in addition to the points Mike K. lists, you need to add the consideration of the crossing here. In June, the weather is not likely to be an issue impacting your crossing, but despite chart plotters, you've pretty much got to have someone on watch while crossing the "Yellow Bank" to watch for uncharted coral heads. If you're stuck motoring (as is likely the case), this is a 7+ hour trip.

The Exumas are the stuff of beach lover and escapist fantasies (swimming pigs and the tourists they attract notwithstanding....). However, for a first time charterer, I would strongly suggest the Abacos over the Exumas. They are less charter-oriented than the BVIs, but definitely boat-oriented, with line of sight navigation, shallow and protected waters, and lots of amenities for sailors. Also, several charter companies from which to choose.


I've got a Caribbean Soul I can barely control... (JB)
Re: Exumas Bareboat [Re: Eva] #145709
10/06/2017 08:37 AM
10/06/2017 08:37 AM
Joined: Aug 2017
Posts: 44
Charleston, SC
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CHS_JDE Offline OP
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CHS_JDE  Offline OP
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Charleston, SC
Who do you recommend out of the Abacos for catamaran bareboat? We have been to Elbow before but were land based with a power boat. Great area.

Re: Exumas Bareboat [Re: CHS_JDE] #145710
10/06/2017 10:48 AM
10/06/2017 10:48 AM
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 1,896
Maryland
Eva Offline
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Eva  Offline
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Maryland
Both Moorings and Sunsail are available in the Abacos, and they are always a safe bet. However, my personal preference is to go with someone smaller. I've heard good things about Cruise Abaco, which might be locally owned (not sure). Also, Dream Yacht Charters has a base in the Abacos.

The charter bases are all in Marsh Harbour, which makes it easy to fly in. And there is a large grocery store (Maxwell's) to meet your needs (as well as liquor stores, a bakery -- gotta have Bahamian bread!).


I've got a Caribbean Soul I can barely control... (JB)
Re: Exumas Bareboat [Re: Eva] #145711
10/06/2017 12:26 PM
10/06/2017 12:26 PM
Joined: Aug 2017
Posts: 44
Charleston, SC
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CHS_JDE Offline OP
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CHS_JDE  Offline OP
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I was set up with Moorings in BVI, but in the Abacos, they are THOUSANDS more expensive for the same week in June. DYC is a reputable outfit?

Re: Exumas Bareboat [Re: CHS_JDE] #145712
10/06/2017 01:58 PM
10/06/2017 01:58 PM
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 1,896
Maryland
Eva Offline
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Eva  Offline
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Maryland
I have heard good things about Dream Yacht Charters, but have no personal experience.


I've got a Caribbean Soul I can barely control... (JB)
Re: Exumas Bareboat [Re: Eva] #145713
10/18/2017 01:05 PM
10/18/2017 01:05 PM
Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 559
Lake Norman, NC
EllenS Offline
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EllenS  Offline
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Lake Norman, NC
Can you charter in the Abacos in February or is it iffy?
Thanks
Ellen

Re: Exumas Bareboat [Re: EllenS] #145714
10/19/2017 07:20 AM
10/19/2017 07:20 AM
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 1,896
Maryland
Eva Offline
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Maryland
February is iffy for weather, with cold fronts passing through regularly. There are only a handful of harbors that are protected from the west, and you could be stuck for a couple of days until the weather settles. You could get lucky and have perfect weather, but management of expectations is key in the "winter" months.


I've got a Caribbean Soul I can barely control... (JB)
Re: Exumas Bareboat [Re: Eva] #145715
10/20/2017 12:56 PM
10/20/2017 12:56 PM
Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 559
Lake Norman, NC
EllenS Offline
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Lake Norman, NC
Thanks Eva,
Do you need to wait until May for the weather to settle?
Ellen

Re: Exumas Bareboat [Re: EllenS] #145716
10/20/2017 01:28 PM
10/20/2017 01:28 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 76,302
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
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Carol_Hill  Offline
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Central Florida!
Regarding weather in the Bahamas, do remember that the Bahamas are roughly on the same latitude as Miami, so weather in general in the winter may not be that WARM.


Carol Hill
Re: Exumas Bareboat [Re: EllenS] #145717
10/20/2017 01:30 PM
10/20/2017 01:30 PM
Joined: Oct 2017
Posts: 30
Buffalo NY
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Eriesailor Offline
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Buffalo NY
Eva hit it right on the nose about the cold fronts. I was there in late January when a westerly with 30 to 40 mph winds set in for a few days. We were holed up in Compass Cay for three days. No restaurant and only very expensive beer, liquor and snacks for sale at the marina but even still, there are much worse places to be stranded at for 3 days. Tucker the owner of the marina is a great guy and the island is beyond beautiful with a great beach on the north side. Swimming with all the nurse sharks was pretty cool too. Our next stop, Staniel Cay was a regular metropolis compared to Compass Cay. I loved both of those islands.

Re: Exumas Bareboat [Re: EllenS] #145718
10/23/2017 06:57 AM
10/23/2017 06:57 AM
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 1,896
Maryland
Eva Offline
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Eva  Offline
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Maryland
You could probably go in April, with increased odds of reliably good weather; but May is a better bet.


I've got a Caribbean Soul I can barely control... (JB)
Re: Exumas Bareboat [Re: CHS_JDE] #145719
12/16/2017 03:17 AM
12/16/2017 03:17 AM
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 42
Alberta
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Alberta
Hi there, sorry for the time delay, I just noticed your post about our absolute favorite place. We have chartered a catamaran and cruised the Exumas at least 5 times in the last 7 years from a Canadian Company called Navtours. https://www.navtours.com/en/home/

We have sailed Georgetown to Nassau, Georgetown north then back down, Nassau to Georgetown, and this year was Nassau south to Black Point then back North. As far as timing we have been down in all months between December and June multiple times (Some land based). Its the luck of the draw in the winter months - January was chilly, but we've had great weather in February along with cool.

later March and April are great times in my opinion. Less cold fronts, the water is warming up nicely, fishing is good. Because of the extra distance to cover compared to the BVI's, you need 10 days or 2 weeks ideally. You will likely have to make adjustments to your itinerary depending on the weather, but not a big deal. Someone mentioned staying at Compass Cay, that's our go to place for when the wind is forecast to be up. That way we're protected and there are things to do - swim with the sharks, go for a hike, paddle the creek, etc. Check out Navtours - they have been very good to us over the years, and we have never had an issue. I'm not connected in any way, I just wanted to point out they are a great charter option.

Re: Exumas Bareboat [Re: CHS_JDE] #192124
04/12/2019 06:09 PM
04/12/2019 06:09 PM
Joined: Jun 2016
Posts: 56
jredenbaugh Offline
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We are planning to bareboat the Exumas in Late April of 2020. We are probably going to charter from Moorings in Nassau. 7 days, south the back up. What are some favorite cays? How long to motor from Nassau to Highborne Cay? It’s a power cat 514. We should be able to cruise about 10 knots.

Re: Exumas Bareboat [Re: jredenbaugh] #192309
04/15/2019 07:20 AM
04/15/2019 07:20 AM
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 1,896
Maryland
Eva Offline
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Eva  Offline
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You should plan on 5-6 hours to get to Highbourne Cay. Even though you can cruse at 10 knots, you may not want to -- you will be crossing the Yellow Bank to get over, which is riddled with coral heads, only some of which are charted. So caution and a good lookout will be essential.

In terms of favorite cays, it really depends on what you're looking for. I'll be bareboating in the Exumas in a few weeks, and I plan to avoid all human contact on this trip, except with my crew and with the staff at Exuma Park headquarters in Warderick Wells. For "civilization," there is Highbourne Cay (pretty swanky, as the Exumas go); Normans Cay (one restaurant); Compass Cay (marina, and sometimes burgers on the grill); Staniel Cay (popular marina, restaurant, bar, resort); Black Sound (settlement with stores, restaurants) -- and a few more if you keep going south. Pretty much everything else is uninhabited, or at least amenity-less -- the entire stretch between Normans Cay and Compass Cay being part of the Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park.


I've got a Caribbean Soul I can barely control... (JB)
Re: Exumas Bareboat [Re: Eva] #219230
03/01/2020 08:38 AM
03/01/2020 08:38 AM
Joined: Jun 2016
Posts: 56
jredenbaugh Offline
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How was your trip to the Exumas? We leave mid April. Did you charter with Moorings? I was wondering about their base...

Re: Exumas Bareboat [Re: jredenbaugh] #219382
03/02/2020 08:21 AM
03/02/2020 08:21 AM
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 1,896
Maryland
Eva Offline
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Eva  Offline
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Maryland
The trip was amazing -- it's hard for the Exumas to be anything but! We sailed with Navtours, not the Moorings. Here is my blog post of that trip: Exumas Bareboat Let me know if you have any specific questions.


I've got a Caribbean Soul I can barely control... (JB)
Re: Exumas Bareboat [Re: CHS_JDE] #225226
04/20/2020 04:55 PM
04/20/2020 04:55 PM
Joined: Apr 2019
Posts: 16
Houston, TX
Matt W Offline
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Matt W  Offline
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Houston, TX
Has anyone ever incorporated Green Cay on the Tongue of the Ocean to their Exumas itinerary? Or been there?

Re: Exumas Bareboat [Re: Eva] #226228
05/08/2020 06:14 AM
05/08/2020 06:14 AM
Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 1,344
Bucks County, Pa.
toast Offline
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Bucks County, Pa.
thanks for sharing your trip!! took me away since I cannot get anywhere right now, or for a while....


Toast.......to Life; White Bay...heaven on earth.
Diane

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