Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Recommended charts for sailing the Bahamas


James Cromie
 

Thanks guys.  This is extremely helpful as I plan for our first trip to the Bahamas.  

Best,
James

On Oct 16, 2018, at 3:42 PM, 'Mark Erdos' mcerdos@... [amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:


James,

 

I think you might be over thinking this a little bit. You will find Navionics charts perfectly ample to move up and down the islands. However, when entering shallow areas use the Explorer Charts and the waypoints on their magenta line. Put this course unto your plotter. Do this and you will not have any issues.

 

Keep in mind the Bahamian waters are very clear. You will quickly learn to read the water color. The bottom is almost always sand and the tide is about 3 feet. If entering a shallow harbor, do it at low tide, stay in the darker color water and go slowly. 

 

Perhaps the most hazardous issue when going up and down the island chain is a phenomenon known as rage. This is when the water flow is against the wind in certain cuts between islands. You should become familiar with this and understand how the water flows and ebbs as the tide changes. Often times the current flow between islands (in narrow cuts) can exceed you boat’s ability to make headway. Timing island passages with the best tidal flow is a must do. 

 

Another concern in the Bahamas is to have a safe anchorage when the winds clock westerly. There are tons of nice spots when the wind is from the east but during a front these can turn nasty. The few safe spots in a westerly wind will quickly fill up. The Explorer guides can help you better plan for all conditions. This is not much of an issue in the Abacos but in the Exumas you can get caught. When in the Exumas and bad weather is heading in, the best places to be are Elizabeth Harbour (George Town) on Exuma Island, Cambridge Cay (aka as Little Bells) and Waderick Wells Cay. Both Cambridge and Waderick are inside the Exuma land and Sea Park. We once were stuck at Cambridge Cay for 12 days. It was an awesome place to be stuck. There is always room in Elizabeth Harbour, it is a huge bay and there are at least 100-200 boats at any given time during the season. 

 

 

 

Hope this helps.

 

 

 

With best regards,

 

Mark

 

Skipper

Sailing Vessel - Cream Puff - SM2K - #275

Currently cruising - Aruba

www.creampuff.us

 

From: amelyachtowners@...[mailto:amelyachtowners@...] 
Sent: Tuesday, October 16, 2018 11:55 AM
To: amelyachtowners@...
Subject: Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Recommended charts for sailing the Bahamas

 

  

Thanks for the feedback. 

Are the explorer cmap digital charts worthwhile?  This would mean using a Cmap chart reader software on a PC, as my BG Zeus chart plotter isn’t compatible with CMAP format.  What experience do any of you have with PC based chart readers for this format?

 

James


On Oct 16, 2018, at 10:34 AM, Porter McRoberts portermcroberts@... [amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:

  

I would not trust Navionics on depth, only the explorer charts. Routinely navionics was off. Set up the waypoints from the explorer charts on your chart plotter and hold to the tracks. With this method you will be safe with a very high likelihood. 

I shaved some sea grass once in 5 meter water (on navionics) with our keel. 

 

 

Porter

IBIS 

54-152

 

 

Excuse the errors.  

Sent from my IPhone 


On Oct 16, 2018, at 9:14 AM, 'Mark Erdos' mcerdos@... [amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:

  

James,

 

Navionics charts work well but the best charts are the Explorer Charts (paper guides). They show anchorages and note areas of good holding and the depths are very accurate. In the Abaco Islands the best charts we found were in Steve Dodge’s The Cruising Guide to Abaco, Bahamas. This guide include routes in the Abacos with a nine foot draft. 

 

 

 

With best regards,

 

Mark

 

Skipper

Sailing Vessel - Cream Puff - SM2K - #275

Currently cruising - Aruba

www.creampuff.us

 

From: amelyachtowners@...[mailto:amelyachtowners@...] 
Sent: Tuesday, October 16, 2018 8:56 AM
To: amelyachtowners@...
Subject: [Amel Yacht Owners] Recommended charts for sailing the Bahamas

 

 

Fellow Amelians:  Though this is not an "Amel-specific" question, I pose this to you because I would like to know your experience sailing the Bahamas with a 6'7" or more draft.  

 

I have heard that Explorer Charts are perhaps the most reliable regarding depth soundings in this region.  I would like to know if any of you use Navionics while in the Bahamas, and if so, is it adequate?

 

Ultimately, I am trying to determine if I need to supplement my Navionics digital charts and Maptech paper charts with something else.  

 

I appreciate your input as always!

 

James

SV Soteria

SM2K 347

Portsmouth, RI

 

 



Join main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io to automatically receive all group messages.