My first trip to the Bahamas was in a swing keel 30 footer. It was a Nimble 30. I *used* that shallow draft and really enjoyed having it! I was also pretty minimal while over there and equipped about the way you are now although the nimble had an inboard diesel (yanmar 2gm20f).
From my experience I would respectfully recommend:
- Don't attach anything to your lifelines. They are life saving devices and not for storage or mounting hardware. Please... I'm as guilty as anyone I'm just stating an ideal that I haven't always followed myself.
- The Honda generators are the bomb! We have used the old 650 and now own a 2k unit. You could certainly get by with a 1k unit.
- A 12 volt cooler worked really well for us. We arranged it so that the back and bottom were against cushions and wrapped a sleeping bag over it. Only the end with the fan was exposed and it operated fine. This despite the "fact" that they can only cool to 40 degrees below ambient temperature.
- Stay away from marinas as much as you can. I paid a reasonable amount for water at Marsh Harbor and a little more than a reasonable amount in the out islands.
- Steven Pavlidis... He is one of us! Absolutely hands down best guidebook for the Abacos. On subsequent trips over to the Bahamas he has saved our bacon more than once!
- Leave out of Lake Worth inlet and clear in at West End on Grand Bahama. Do *not* cross the stream if there is any northerly component to the wind or any forecast. Really shoot for light and variable if you can and just motor across. It's no time to be a purist. Minimalize your time out there. They are charging folks to anchor in the marina there at West End now. If you leave Lake Worth at midnight you can be in to the marina by around noon cleared in and out of there by 1pm and on your way to Great Sale Cay!
From Great Sale you can go on to the out islands, perhaps Powell Cay or even Green Turtle. At Green Turtle you get to go outside on the Whale Cay Pass and then back in again at around Guana Cay. This looks really easy on the charts but beware a "rage" condition out there that can kick your butt! You might hear the local cruisers net out of Marsh harbor in the morning and one of the topics they discuss is what the condition of the pass is. Get *some* local knowledge before heading out into it. From Bakers Bay on Great Guana it's about a 2 hour motor to Marsh Harbor. Unfortunately I think that developers have ruined Bakers Bay by now... a shame.
- BTW I've never been asked for a radio license in the Bahamas. I've cleared in there a half dozen times, been approached and questioned (by air) by the USCG and boarded by the Bahamian military, but never has anyone there asked me for a license. Still... maybe better not to be the first...
My favorite anchorage in the Abacos is in the "creek" at Double Breasted Cay. Awesome!
Hope some of this helps