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Bahamas Charter

Discussion in 'Marinas & Waypoints' started by YES!, Apr 1, 2013.

  1. YES!

    YES! Senior Member

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    I know there are some of our esteemed YF members that manage and operate charter boats, so I am seeking advice for a great boat & crew to surprise my wife for our 30th anniversary on a 1 week Bahamas cruise. Itinerary Nassau, Staniel Cay, Cape Eleuthera (Island School to visit an old shipmate), Harbour Beach and back to Nassau the first week of September. Need comfortable accommodations for party of 4.

    The bottom line is whether any yachts are around for hurricane season?

    Thank you in advance for any advice, suggestions or insights.

    If this is not a suitable topic for the general YF population, please email or PM.

    Thanks,

    Stan
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2013
  2. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    PM Pascal.
  3. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    Just got back from a two week charter in the exumas. we ve done quite a few plus a few owners trips there as well.

    That s a busy and ambitious itinerary... It's doable but lots of running and missing some great spots along the way. With a week we really recommend to focus on the Exumas or Eleuthera for the best possible time. Chartering is supposed to be relaxing... Our not to be missed stops are Staniel (two nights), Normans, Shroud, Warderick Wells. Either Warderick or Normans can be worth an extra night.

    This amounts to about 130nm total out of Nassau and just one to two hours a day underway at slow relaxing speed and lower fuel burn

    Overrated stops in my opinion: Highborne and Samson

    One place we haven't made it to yet: compass cay but I've heard it s nice

    Romantic stop: the old Decca dock on Pipe cay, have the crew bring some firewood (none can be found on the cay) and torches for a romantic bonfire on the beach next to the dock after dinner, that will really surprise yr wife. Few boats to in here so you usually have the place to yourself (100' dock with 9' MLW depth)

    Many boats head north for the summer but some stay down. First week of Sept is the peak of the season and even if no storm forms tropical waves usually pass thru every few days, it s all coming down to luck

    Here is a link to some pictures I have on panoramio

    Panoramio - Photos by Sandbarhopper > Exumas

    Or if using Facebook search for "yacht charmer", I have a bunch of pics and videos of the Exumas there
  4. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    I really like Highbourne and Sampson. You can keep Staniel IMO. Both Highbourne and Sampson Cay are beautiful islands.
  5. YES!

    YES! Senior Member

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    Thank you, Pascal & Capt J,

    We have many trips to the Bahamas running 12 foot drafts on 63 meter yachts so we know the terrain well.

    Our prime interest is visiting Cape Eleuthera as the founder of the Island School and his wife are dear friends. We want to surprise them. Based on Pascal's advise, we would probably just do Nassau to Eleuthera and return via another close spot or two. Our interest is not running from island to island but juist some quality, private time on board.

    The real issue is what boats remain in the area available for charter during hurricane season? Will you be there, Pascal, or do you know who might that you can recommend?

    Thank you all,

    Stan
  6. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    Samson is nice, the sandbars in the lagoon are great and the beach on the sound side is nice with great snorkeling. The marina thought is just "cold". Sure the docks are much better than SCYC and the protection is unequaled but it s just a boring place. :)

    I ve only been to Highborne a couple of times and besides being a nice marina there isn't much to do compared to other places. Guests didn't think it was worth the stop.

    On the other hand every time we bring guests to Staniel they either want to stay an extra day or regret leaving. Sure the docks are a bit crowded and power very unreliable but there is something special about the place.

    We re staying south this summer but we have a repeat guests penciled in around the first half of September and I don't know the dates yet

    Not sure who to recommend. One of the members here booked a CheoyLee for about tight now, can't remember his name of hand, it s in another exuma thread, hopefully he ll chime in
  7. YES!

    YES! Senior Member

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    Please let me know your September availability once you have the charter confirmed, Pascal.

    Maybe we could do the last week of August since the significant date around which I am developing the anniversary plan is a Michael Buble concert at Atlantis on August 31st.

    As always, you knowledge and experience are much respected and sincerely appreciated.

    Stan
  8. Danvilletim

    Danvilletim Senior Member

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    We just got back! 85 cheoy lee. Great time. 4 crew was a nice surprise. We did highbourne. Next time I'd like to do compass cay. Sampson would be ok also. Great time. Would love to fly into Staniel and avoid Nassau!
  9. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    It s hard not to have a great time in the Exumas no matter where you go :)

    Nassau is a PIB! You can fly to Staniel on Watermakers, their own service, but out of Ft lauderde Executive

    Or, you can fly to Gtown and start there although most boats will charge extra to bring the boat to Gtown. There are some nice spots on the way though, Lee stocking and Rudder cay are beautiful
  10. Danvilletim

    Danvilletim Senior Member

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    Good suggestion on watermakers. Already thinking about our next trip. Would be nice to start at staniel and goto Georgetown. See some more stuff.

    Is there much charter activity outside of Exumas? Where?
  11. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    Seeing Georgetowne is a waste of time IMO. Stick around Staniel to Highbourne.........
  12. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    I agree about a Gtown but there are some nice spots south of Staniel and the best part is that most people don't go there.

    Lee Stocking is beautiful and is the highest point in the Exumas making is It feel more like the Caribbean. And often there are no other boats anchored there.

    Same with rudder cay, rat cay, etc

    What we sometimes do is anchor off Rat Cay and pick up the guests at barraterre with the tender. Barraterre is an easy cab ride from gtown airport, without the hassles and traffic of Nassau. It also gives the guests a different experience, much more island like than the typical Disney world like arrival at Atlantis. From there we head back north either and sometimes end the charter in Nassau. It s a different more varied itinerary
  13. Capt Bill11

    Capt Bill11 Senior Member

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    Contact The Yacht " Island time"

    They have 3 boats for charter here in Nassau. A 90', a 110' and a 130'.

    I'm currently sitting on the 90' after running some charters for them. The 90' runs with 4 crew and tows a 21' hard tender with a 150hp on it.
  14. Capt Bill11

    Capt Bill11 Senior Member

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    Based on that I would suggest you bypass Nassau and fly into Eleuthera and meet the boat there. You could fly into Rock Sound and meet the boat at Cape Eleuthera.
  15. YES!

    YES! Senior Member

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    Website for Island Time looks great, Capt Bill. Thanks.

    Should I email the contacts on the website or PM you? We can discuss options as we have an Aug 31st date in Nassau.

    Not easy finding boats that stay south for the summer.

    Stan
  16. missnmountains

    missnmountains Member

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    Compass will be a pass for me in the future. We have been there. The only thing to do is pet the nurse sharks. There is quite a bit of current entering the narrow channel in. A boat in our group mishandled it and ended up grounded.

    I will admit it is a good central location for dinkin' around.

    Ken
  17. Capt Bill11

    Capt Bill11 Senior Member

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    The current can be avoided by timing the tides. Your right it's quiet there. But there is a beautiful beach on the sound side and most guests love feeding the sharks.

    I've been going to the old Decca station for years and years. It is a great spot that almost no one goes to. In fact I kind of wish Pascal would shut up about it. :)
  18. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    lol sorry Bill, just sharing the good spots with fellow boaters, stop being selfish :)

    so you're running charters in the Exumas? lucky you :) we've done 4 weeks so far this year and cant' wait for the next ones!
  19. Capt Bill11

    Capt Bill11 Senior Member

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    Yes I share that spot as well. But I hate to think that one day I'll try to get in and it will be all booked up. :)

    Just ran a couple of trips on the boat I used to run in Costa Rica that is now based in Nassau. But I'm not there full time.
  20. CaptNeil

    CaptNeil Member

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    The funny thing is that no matter how much you speak about the Bahamas it always seems to stay the same in the out islands. I'm sitting here in Eleuthera right now and it seems the same that it was 30 years ago when I first came here. I've been through the Abacos, Berrys, Exumas, Mayguana, San Sal, Cat etc. and things just seem to stay stuck here in neutral. Every few years some new person shows up and touts the latest greatest resort. They are there for a few years and then they either find it not so lucrative, they are swatted hard by a hurricane or the government decides to come in and demand more from the owner. In all instances the owners just leave and the native vegitation swallows the venture. So no matter how much Pascal shouts about how great a cove or anchorage is it will never get so popular that Capt. Bill will need to be put on a waiting list.

    I can say this though, I never thought I would be sitting here writing a post on the internet 30 years ago in Eleuthera..................