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katefears
Apr 04, 2024
In Latest
Explorer Chartbook updates are available online for the current publications. Near Bahamas, 11th edition (October 2023) Exumas and Ragged Islands, 11th edition (October 2023) Far Bahamas and Turks & Caicos, 9th edition (October 2023)
Free Chartbook Updates content media
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katefears
Mar 07, 2024
In Exumas and Ragged Islands
Press Release Effective From Feb 13th, 2024 (Until Further Notice)   The Moriah Harbour Cay National Park was designated in 2002 and is managed by the Bahamas National Trust (BNT). The BNT is a Bahamian non-profit organization mandated by law to conserve and protect the national parks of The Bahamas. The western boundary of Moriah Harbour Cay National Park runs from the Cottage on Great Exuma just west of Crab Cay, approximately 3.5 nautical miles into Exuma Sound. The park’s Eastern boundary runs from Forbes Hill Beach just east of Pigeon Cay, approximately three (3) nautical miles to sea. A map of the park boundaries can be found on the Moriah Harbour Cay National Park webpage. While you are within the boundaries of this beautiful park, please enjoy yourself, but do obey the park rules and regulations. The BNT is in the process of zoning the park for specified uses. Until further notice, the following rules and regulations apply to all areas within the park. • No extractive fishing of any kind is allowed, including spearfishing, netting, trapping and hook and line. • For the safety of people and wildlife, the shallow water flats, mangrove creeks of Moriah Harbour Cay and Man O War Cay, and the reefs and sandbanks between Stocking Island and Fowl Cay are no wake zones. Vessels should operate in these areas at no more than 3 knots at all times. • While ashore, dogs should be kept on a leash no longer than 6 ft, including the Eastern end of Stocking Island, Fowl Cay, Moriah Harbour Cay, Red Shank Cay, Pigeon Cay, and the Man O War Cay Sand Bar. This is to protect vulnerable bird and reptile species. • Music should not be played loudly to avoid disturbing others and wildlife. • All Bahamian laws apply within the park boundaries, including fisheries regulations, seasons, and environmental health regulations, which prohibit the discharge of pollutants. • There are currently no designated anchorages in Moriah Harbour Cay National Park. Vessels equipped as liveaboards are asked to immediately move from within the park boundaries with the following exception. Until park rules and zoning are finalized, temporary anchorage (up to 72 hours) is allowed in the Master Harbour area and south of the Man O Cay Sand Bar north of Rolle Town. • Please use good judgment to avoid obstruction or interference with other vessels in high-traffic areas. Holding tank use is mandatory within the park’s boundaries. • Small vessels are allowed to access and anchor on sandy shorelines. • The Bahamas National Trust appreciates your support as we work to protect the seagrass, coral reefs, and other sensitive habitats within Moriah Harbour Cay National Park. The park does have amenities for visitors to use. • Help us protect fragile reefs and seagrass using the yellow buoys provided at snorkelling sites or carefully anchoring in the sand. Hiking trails, Basil’s Classroom, and cabanas on Stocking Island and Fowl Cay are free for you to use at your own risk. • Garbage should be disposed of properly. Your assistance with litter and debris collection is greatly appreciated. Please respect wildlife by leaving animals and plants in their habitat. Please report any sightings of persons violating park regulations or conducting illegal activities by contacting our park office at 242-822-8688 by phone or WhatsApp between the hours of 9 am and 5 pm or The Bahamas National Trust Enforcement Hotline at 242-396-0188 after 5pm.  To learn more about the role the BNT plays in managing terrestrial and marine national parks, conserving wildlife, and informing environmental policy, please visit its website:www.bnt.bs and follow/subscribe to its various social media channels: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube. Your visit, membership, or donation can make a substantial difference in preserving the natural beauty of The Bahamas for future generations. ### For inquiries about The Moriah Harbour Cay National Park email the Park Office at mhcnp@bnt.bs or via phone or Whatsapp at 242-822-8688 between the hours of 9am-5pm.   About the BNT: The Bahamas National Trust (BNT) was created by an Act of Parliament in 1959 to build and manage the national park system of The Bahamas. Possibly the only non-governmental organization in the world charged with such a responsibility, the BNT works daily to conserve and protect the natural resources of The Bahamas through science, stewardship and education for present and future generations. There are currently 33 National Parks managed by the BNT with more than 2 million acres of marine and terrestrial areas protected.    Editor’s Note: Moorings: The moorings are currently reservation-only and may be reserved online https://bnt.bs/mhcnpmoorings/   DAILY MOORINGS FEES (Including 10% VAT) Up to 39’ — $30 40-49' — $40 50-59’ — $50 60’ is the maximum length allowed on the moorings. Pumpout: Currently, the Programme Coordinator is asking all vessels to use their holding tanks while in the park boundary whether in the mooring field or in temporary designated anchorage areas. The Elizabeth Harbour Conservation Partnership is working with local authorities and businesses to restore pumpout operations and proper waste treatment facilities to Elizabeth Harbour.
Moriah Harbour Cay National Park Rules content media
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katefears
Mar 04, 2024
In Eleuthera
Governors Harbour Winter Residents Reception March 7, 2024 This is an annual event that is held to show appreciation to those who chose our beautiful island as their second home. The event features live entertainment, a display of local crafts and souvenirs as well as Bahamian eats and drinks. Leon Levy Native Plant Preserve Banks Road Governor’s Harbour Harbour Island Visitor's Reception March 22, 2024 This is an appreciation event for all visitors who have chosen Harbour Island as a place to visit, build a second home or invest. Harbour Island Underneath the Fig Tree For more information, contact the Harbour Island Tourist Office, (242) 333-2621. Rock Sound Homecoming Festival March 25th - April 1st, 2024 This event welcomes both locals and visitors to the Rock Sound area to enjoy great food, live entertainment, and good fellowship among one another. Contact Ms. Lashonda Leary(242) 558-3804, lashondashonell@gmail.com Ongoing Events... Governor's Harbour Fish Fry every Friday @5:30 p.m.-until Spanish Wells Artisans & Farmers Markets Every 2nd & 4th Saturday of each month 9:30AM- 2:30 PM (excluding September) Contact: (242) 470-4751
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katefears
Feb 27, 2024
In Bimini/Cat Cay
For many cruisers, the short hop from south Florida to Bimini is the fastest way across the Gulf Stream to the Bahamas. If you've followed that magenta line more than once, you know that the entrance into North Bimini is always changing with shifting sands. In fact, one of the old buoys is now firmly planted and partially submerged on the shoal. Don't go by that one! Over the years, we have made many changes to the Bimini Chart BIM 3 (See Explorer Chartbook Near Bahamas 11th Edition, p. 54). It’s important to check the edition of your chartbook to be certain that you are using the latest data.   We recently had an Explorer Chartbook user kindly send us his actual printed route into North Bimini from his GPS. He met some shallow water. It showed that he used a different path from the one in his current chartbook. When we asked about the chartbook edition he was going by, he was dismayed to find it was an 8th edition while the newest version is the 11th. Clearly, the route from the older edition had been changed about three times and he was using outdated information, which put him very close to the shoal.   The chart below shows the best route starting at the South Bimini Waypoint and lining up with the range markers on South Bimini. The range is still standing; however, the  range lights are probably not working. Go in close to shore, and follow the shoreline into Alice Town, North Bimini. This is the deepest route and it carries 7-8 feet (2.3 meters).   The alternate route is the northern one into North Bimini from the Bimini Waypoint. The controlling depth is 6.8 feet (1.8 meters). Shoaling is continuous near the entrance to this route.   It is best to arrive in daylight so that you can see the bottom on your way in. It is not recommended that you navigate this route in the dark unless you have been there before and have a good breadcrumb trail.
Bimini Channel Update, February 2024 content media
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katefears
Jan 30, 2024
In Long Island
FACILITIES CLOSED   (Make a note in your chartbook.)  Salt Pond Fox Gift Shop (now KC Wine & Spirits 338-0015)   Simms BTC office   Grays HARDWARE: Archies Supply RESTAURANTS: Midway Inn Restaurant (damaged by Hurricane Joaquin)   Deadmans Cay HARDWARE: A&M Electric MEDICAL SERVICES: Pharmacy   Buckleys BANKS: Scotia Bank closed (ATM only)   Hamiltons FUEL: Treco’s Gas Station
Long Island Update: Facilities Closed content media
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katefears
Jan 29, 2024
In Long Island
NEW FACILITIES   Burnt Ground LAUNDRY: at Alfred’s Gas Station   Stella Maris FLIGHTS:  Makers Air 954-771-0330 from Ft. Lauderdale and back Thursdays and Sundays   RESTAURANTS: Ducky’s Restaurant, Liquors, and Tackle Shop 338-2035   Deals GROCERIES: Island Convenience Store 338-8111 (moved from next to Greenleaf Restaurant) Dinghy in to Deals Beach.   Millers HARDWARE: Alex Building Supply   Salt Pond LAUNDRY: Long Island Harbour Club (call 801-2671 for availability)   LODGING: Long Island Harbour Club 801-2671   RESTAURANTS: Long Island Harbour Club and Vantage Point Restaurant. Also, Sunday brunch at Long Island Harbour Club. Vantage Point Restaurant, Salt Pond Long Island Harbour Club, Salt Pond The Bight SHOPS: Long Island Trading 337-7222 (next to Letta’s Restaurant) also offers Concierge Service   Deadmans Cay MEDICAL SERVICES: Bonaventure Clinic 822-2932 (private clinic)    Gordons RESTAURANT: Gordon’s Beach Bar, 472-1537 Gordons, Long Island (southern tip of island).   It is worth the drive down to the south end of Long Island for the food, the view, the beachside accommodations, and a cool dip in the turquoise waters. The open-air beach bar features favorite Bahamian dishes and a full bar, plus comfortable beach furniture for outdoor dining. Gordon’s Beach Gordon’s Beach Bar & Grill PUBLIC REST ROOMS: The government has built several new public rest rooms up and down the length of the island. They are not always convenient to either the Queen’s Highway or to a dinghy dock, but if you are traveling by car and need a rest, here’s where they are located. We found only one locked—at the Simms government dock. They were clean and well supplied.   Seymours on Queen’s Highway near Sunset Restaurant Glintons off Queen’s Highway west to jetty near Eagle’s Nest Burnt Ground at landing Simms government dock Salt Pond government dock Deadman’s Cay Junkey Landing Road and Jerry Wells Road McKinnons Clarence Town government dock Gordons beach   TRANSPORTATION:  Sheeprunners 472-1030 fast passenger ferry between Salt Pond, Long Island, and George Town, Exuma. This new route adds some choices for those who want to make a day trip from Long Island to Exuma; also for those flying in to George Town International Airport to get to Long Island on the same day.   Current schedule: Friday and Monday departs Salt Pond government dock at 7:30 a.m. and arrives George Town government dock at 10:00 a.m. Departs George Town 3:30 p.m. and arrives Salt Pond at 5:00 p.m. In case of rough weather, the Sheeprunner may land passengers at the Exuma community of The Ferry, a taxi ride to George Town. Call for information on additional trips. Phone: 242-472-1030 Email: generalmanager@longislandharbourclub.com(mailto:generalmanager@longislandharbourclub.com) Vantage Point Restaurant, Salt Pond
Long Island Update: New Facilities content media
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katefears
Jan 09, 2024
In Eleuthera
Pascal’s Place is looking very sad and no longer the ‘go to’ bar / restaurant for cruisers in the bay and the dinghy landing is just a dangerous jumble of tumbled down dock. However! Wild Orchids (https://www.facebook.com/wildorchidseleuthera/)waterfront restaurant and bar about 100 meters south of the Government Dock is excellent. Great food, fair prices but perhaps best of all, a good solid well lit dock for dinghies! (Thanks to Alec for the update!)
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katefears
Apr 27, 2023
In Crooked/Acklins
Note from a recent cruise: "We had a great trip up the West Coast of Acklins. We spent a week exploring there and it was awesome. Only saw one other boat and only for one day. We made each jump up the coast around high tide (usually one or two hours before and after), and never saw less than 7 feet of water. It was a week after the full moon when we started. We used a combination of visual piloting, your routes on the Chartbooks, sonar charts, and also looked at the satellite views in Apple Maps and Google Maps, which give some indication where deeper water as well. But much of the trip we followed the course on the Chartbooks. Thanks again for the input! Cheers, Bill
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katefears
Apr 17, 2023
In Flights
https://znsbahamas.com/exuma-set-for-air-transport-infrastructure-upgrade-other-airports-to-follow/ Exuma will be the first of several Family Islands to receive much needed air transport infrastructure improvements which are expected to boost visitor arrivals and improve the standard of living for residents of this southern island. The Government signed a contract worth $34,245,083.36 February 2, 2023 with Bahamas Hot Mix to undertake the Exuma International Airport Airside Construction project. The Hon. Alfred Sears, Minister of Works and Utilities, led the signing ceremony in the conference room of the Ministry of Works and Utilities (MOWU) JFK. Among others, the contract includes pavement rehabilitation works for apron, taxiways and runway, new taxiway installation, fencing and drainage, lighting and electrical, navigational aids and runway markings. Representatives from various agencies attended the ceremony including Luther Smith and Reginald Saunders, Permanent Secretaries; George Hutcheson and Dr. Kenneth Romer, Directors; Charlene Collie, project engineer and members of the Project Execution Unit of the MOWU; officials from the MOWU, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the Ministry of Tourism and Aviation (MOTIA), the Ministry of Finance, Integrated Building Services, the Department of Aviation, the Airport Authority and the Civil Aviation Authority. In accordance with the Government’s air traffic master plan, the islands of North Eleuthera, Marsh Harbour and Treasure Cay, Abaco will also receive upgrades. The objective of the Airport Infrastructure Program is to improve air transport connectivity and flow of people to the Family Islands through infrastructure improvements and climate change resilience by upgrading, rehabilitating and maintaining selected airports. In addition to improving operating procedures, the safety management system, emergency response plans, and internal capabilities in the Bahamas Airport Authority, the airports will be raised to International Civil Aviation Organization standards. Minister Sears said, “The work at the Exuma International Airport aligns with MOTIA in conjunction with The Ministry of Public Works in implementing the Airport Infrastructure Program (BH-L1041), based on the loan agreement #3907/OC-BH-L1041 signed between the Government of The Bahamas and the IDB. The programs’ objective is to assist the country in its progress towards the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals, specifically Goal 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth) Goal 9 (Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure) and 13 (Climate Action) including to contribute regionally and globally to the sustainable integration of The Bahamas through secure air transport infrastructure improvements in the Family Islands airports. “The Family Island air transport infrastructure is in need of improvements to comply with international aviation standards and to achieve a resilient stock of infrastructure against climate change. The IDB supports this improvement process given the bank’s experience in air transport infrastructure.” Minister Sears underscored the limitations of Family Island main entry ports for the regional and global integration of The Bahamas. He said the Exuma International Airport is in need of investment and requires a wide range of upgrades. He said security deficiencies including visual aids, lighting and marking, mobile equipment, the layout of the runaway, apron and taxiways, impose a risk to the operation and compromises new traffic demand. “The airports face challenges to meet the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) safety and security standards and to respond to events related to climate change. Such events require action in order to maintain certification by the Bahamian Civil Aviation Authority, to guarantee safety for passengers and crew, and keep the operation of this transport mode. Delayed implementation of these measures could also have an adverse impact on future traffic flows, and the economy. “For the country, to have a strong market presence in the competitive Caribbean tourism industry, it is crucial that the island gateway airports offer the highest possible level of safety and quality of aviation infrastructure and services. The need for these improvements are evident according to traffic demands, various analyses performed having identified and prioritized these required investments and the revenues and costs expected from each airport.” Work is expected to begin on the New Bight Cat Island Airport very shortly. The airport in Grand Bahama will be a public private partnership slated to begin in the future; and emergency paving will be undertaken at the North Eleuthera Airport before redevelopment begins. Integrated Building Services, led by Nick Dean, is the contractor for the airside works, construction and contract administration of the works. Ms. Collie said designs for the airport in North Eleuthera are expected to be completed within the third quarter of 2023 with the intention of entering a bidding process before the end of the year. Ms. Collie said the MOWU is aware of daily “challenges” on the runway there. She indicated that the remedial works for Eleuthera will last approximately 3-4 years while major infrastructure works are undertaken. “Eleuthera is slated to have a new runway further to the right of the existing runway. The existing runway will convert into a parallel taxiway with several taxiways joining runway to apron. That’s all under design for the second quarter of 2024 earliest,” she said. Dr. Romer said Exuma is positioned to become the hub for the central and southern Bahamas and there have always been “very aggressive” plans to ensure that it is properly developed both on the airside and the landside. “Exuma is one of the islands that has exceeded pre-pandemic airlift and pre-pandemic seat capacity levels. Exuma is on the rise and investment in the infrastructure further supports our mandate to increase tourism,” he added. Source: Felicity Darville
Exuma set for air transport infrastructure upgrade; other airports to follow content media
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katefears
Apr 10, 2023
In Eleuthera
https://lighthousepointbahamas.com Disney is in the process of building a huge cruise center at the Southern Tip of Eleuthera. They have reported that anyone who needs a job on Eleuthera could be employed there. They have had to import skilled labor but have relied on locals for most of the jobs in the project which will take several years to complete. Mighty good news for folks in Eleuthera.
South Eleuthera Update content media
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katefears
Mar 21, 2023
In Electronic Data
March 10, 2023 AquaMap original article: GREAT NEWS FOR THOSE WHO ENJOY CRUISING IN THE BAHAMAS. The Nautical Chart “Raster vs Vector” saga started almost 40 years ago. The raster image looks the same as the paper chart we were habit to, it shows all the necessary data at once, it is large enough to easily give an overview as well as the details of a certain area… On the other side, the vector can be queried to get more info, can change the colouring of the presentation, can change the unit of measure (Explorer charts are in meters while US users are feet oriented), will not pixelate on overzoom… Pros and cons are from both sides, but certainly the vector is the way to go. Bahamas is certainly one of the most important areas for the Aqua Map product. For all these reasons we decided to vectorize our product based on the famous Explorer Charts©. The vectorization process has been quite complex compared with a classic nautical chart. The main objective was to maintain into the final product the same (as much as possible) look and feel of the Explorer paper chart: Natural shade of the depth areas…light near the coastline and dark in the deep. The Explorer Charts are full of important Caution, Anchorages and General notes. Texts are very important and many times are oblique to describe a channel or a feature along its length. A full network of Waypoints and Recommended Routes all connected with relative distance information. Touristic attraction like “blue holes”, “national parks”, “marine reserves”, etc. Last but not least we finally integrated our product with the Light Sectors. All this and much more, required specific objects to be invented out of the s57 standard (the international standard used by all the Hydrographic Offices in the world to produce their electronic vector charts). Let’s see a bit of the new product. “NOTES” have been placed in the proper position and iconized at the higher zoom levels. Just zoom in a bit more, or tap on the icon, and you will get the full text for that note. While on the raster most of the time the notes are displaced, you have to look for them all around the chart, from their real position to avoid clutter. “DEPTH SHADING” to obtain a look and feel as much as possible closed to the original Explorer chart, we created a new style of presentation that we called “Natural” vs the current one called “Standard”. The new presentation style is shading the shallower depths with a yellow/white colour, while using a dark blue for the deepest waters. Chose the one you prefer. NATURAL STANDARD “FEET/METERS” this is the power of the vector format. "NO OVERZOOM” the vector is certainly showing a cleaner screen…even if sometime the user loses the feeling to navigate on a low detail chart… The app will let the user chose between Standard or Natural presentation of the vector chart, but if you still like the Raster style…open the Setting page and just switch the “Additional Raster” on. Enjoy! Giorgio Ghiggini, Aqua Map Team.
AquaMap Launches Vectorized Explorer Charts content media
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katefears
Mar 06, 2023
In Abacos
Yachts can clear Customs (242-357-6657) at Walkers Marina (883-869-2553) once again (with advance notice to bring officers in). Updated Waypoint: WALKERS CUT pp. 9, 11, 24, 62 (Near Bahamas, 10th Edition) 27°17.38’ N 78°20.98' W New Waypoints to note on your Near Bahamas, 10th Edition: TOM BROWN pp. 9, 11, 24, 62 27°15.82’ N 78°22.43' W GULLY ROCKS pp. 9, 11, 24, 62 27°15.56’ N 78°23.08'W
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katefears
Feb 21, 2023
In Berry Islands
CHUB CAY CUSTOMS/IMMIGRATION: $110 fee to tie up at marina fuel dock to clear Customs. Shuttle bus from marina to airport. MARINA: New phone number 786-209-0025. (will connect with fuel dock or marina). For dockage rates, check www.chubcay.com. TRANSIENT SERVICES: Day pass for non-members $110 for 5 people. Online special $50. GREAT HARBOUR CAY RESTAURANTS: Marina Grill & Chill Fridays, Pizza Saturdays. Delete Until Then Breakfast Cafe, Paula's, and Rocky Hill B&G. SHOPS: Add Candy Frost in village and Trameko's handmade baskets at marina. TRANSPORTATION: ADD V&K Rentals 451-1517, Ramseys 464-4012. Delete Happy People, 3 Anns, Jimmy's, Krum's, Pat's.
Berry Islands Update content media
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katefears
Feb 15, 2023
In Exumas and Ragged Islands
BANKS: Scotia Bank across from Exuma Mkt closed. No ATM at Exuma Yacht Club. ATMs at Royal Bank at Turnquest Plaza and BTC. BASRA: No longer available. DINGHY LANDING: St Francis expanded dock with slips. GROCERIES: Hoggies is closed. HARBOUR MASTER: No longer necessary to hail Harbour Master when entering Elizabeth Harbour. LAUNDRY: Exuma Cleaners- no longer picks up at Forbes. PUMPOUT: No pumpout in harbour. Emerald Bay Marina closest available. MAIL: No longer can be received at PO. MARINE SERVICES: NAPA is closed. PROPANE: truck no longer coming. RESTAURANTS: New restaurant name at St. Francis Snappy Turtle. Citty Wick Pizza, Fanny's, Two Turtles, Big D's #2 are closed. TRANSPORTATION: Delete Airport Car Rental, Berlies', Dons, Thompons. No water taxi available. TRASH: Truck behind Island Boy. Put trash in bed of truck cash in window $2/small bag, $3/large. Other prices for oil, etc.
George Town Update content media
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katefears
Feb 14, 2023
In Abacos
LAUNDRY: Lighthouse Marina now open. Also new laundry in town at Hope Town Canvas. MARINAS: Sea Spray in early stages of rebuilding with docks under construction. Restaurant to come later. RESTAURANTS: Abaco Inn, Capt. Jacks and Firefly reopened. SHOPS: Gift shop at Lighthouse Marina open.
Hope Town Update content media
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katefears
Feb 07, 2023
In Exumas and Ragged Islands
Explorer Update: (edited 2/8/23) DINGHY LANDING: Good new docks at Rockside Laundry, Lorraine's and Scorpio's. FUEL: Tanks and dock in but not open. GROCERIES: Adderleys and store adjacent to DeShaMon both open. RESTAURANTS: Emerald Sunset View at Regatta Point open. Lorraines’s High Tide Restaurant. Scorpio's new waterfront location now Black Point Yacht Club. Cruisers Happy Hour there.
Black Point Update content media
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katefears
Jan 23, 2023
In Cruising Information
Our latest survey of gas and diesel prices is online here
January Fuel Price Survey Posted content media
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katefears
Jan 19, 2023
In Latest
Maritime Ministries need more CRUISERS to help! If you are heading from Florida to The Bahamas and can bring backyard garden bucket kits to help with food sustainability, please reach out. The Bahamian Ministry of Agriculture and Customs has already approved this project. We will load up and provide paperwork, and our church partners in The Bahamas will retrieve the buckets at the docks. Info at https://hopefleet.org/hope-buckets email admin@hopefleet.org to get in touch.
Help Needed transporting "Hope Buckets"  content media
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katefears
Jan 18, 2023
In Cruising Information
2023 Bahamas Public Holidays content media
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katefears
Jan 18, 2023
In Customs/Immigration
Plan on Paying an Extra $50 in Cash To Enter Bahamas Peter Swanson writes about an antiquated Customs/Immigration policy that allows officers to charge a $50 cash "attendance fee." Be aware!
Plan on Paying an Extra $50 in Cash To Enter Bahamas  content media
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katefears

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