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Old 01-12-2010, 11:15 PM   #1
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A couple of us are currently in Key West. We had planned on leaving for the Bahamas after Key West Race Week (ends 23 January.) None of us have been to the Bahamas but none have an overriding reason to go. We have all been on various other Caribbean Islands. Today one boat suggested: "If we are going to continue to have a parade of Highs with cold temperatures and miserable conditions - wind, wave, etc. in the Bahamas why don't we just explore the west coast of FL and the north coast of the Gulf of Mexico instead."

Note that we anchor out all of the time. We only enter marinas when necessary to purchase fuel etc. so we are not motivated by the "go, if it is bad you can party on the dock" that for many others is their plan. I am not disparaging such a lifestyle, it is just not ours.
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Old 01-12-2010, 11:54 PM   #2
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I wouldn't think the west coast of Florida is so great...until you get up to Pensacola. If it were me, I'd love to go out a bit and head up to Pensacola and explore between Pensacola and New Orleans. Actually, the winds are probably going to be such that you explore from New Orleans to Pensacola...not sure though... What sort of time frame are you working with?
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Old 01-13-2010, 01:08 AM   #3
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I still think that the water in the Bahamas is some of the prettiest I've seen anywhere. The islands are nothing like the Caribbean, with the exception, perhaps, of Great Exuma. Lots of fish, lobster, friendly people, beautiful water, and a few more challenges with regard to anchoring than in the Carib. It's such an easy place for us to get to that it seems to be a shame to ignore it. The water will be a bit chilly for snorkeling or diving without a wet suit, or at least the top of a wet suit, but I'd go there. You do have to watch the weather, understand "rage seas" whipped up by northers, and know about the currents along some of the cuts in the Abacos, more in the Exumas.

My one criticism of the Bahamas is that too many of the islands have been sold to corporations or individuals who ban anybody from going ashore. That can't happen in the Caribbean, and for that I like the Caribbean.

The other challenge is that food in the Bahamas is pretty simple, you do best by carrying as much of your own as you can. (toilet paper as well, by the way). Marsh Harbor, Great Exuma, Nassau, are some of the few places where you can get fresh food conveniently.

You might have a challenge getting fresh water occasionally, but there aren't many marinas to tempt you, so anchoring out is pretty standard.

But then, my experience in the Gulf is minimal, so I can't really compare.
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Old 01-13-2010, 03:52 AM   #4
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I was just considering this same questions... I'm in Stuart, FL as some know... it's a short hop from here to Grand Bahama.... or should I just shoot through the Okeechobee to the gulf coast... both have their attractions.
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Old 01-13-2010, 04:13 AM   #5
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hey, Atavist, we'll be in Stuart by Thursday of next week. Will you still be there? We'll be shmoozing with the rest of the PDQ owners coming for a cookout get-together, but that's not a lot of our time.

see you?

J
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Old 01-14-2010, 12:51 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atavist View Post
I was just considering this same questions... I'm in Stuart, FL as some know... it's a short hop from here to Grand Bahama.... or should I just shoot through the Okeechobee to the gulf coast... both have their attractions.
Hey Atavist - One word of caution with the Canal, and although it is a great trip, and have done it several times (albeit not on a sailboat)....the Corps have not done a great job with the channel for some time, so dependent upon your draft, I would do some research...I could never get across with almost 7'....though things could have changed somewhat I am sure, it would serve you well to make lots of inquiries....

Good Luck!
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Old 01-14-2010, 01:00 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redbopeep View Post
I wouldn't think the west coast of Florida is so great...until you get up to Pensacola. If it were me, I'd love to go out a bit and head up to Pensacola and explore between Pensacola and New Orleans. Actually, the winds are probably going to be such that you explore from New Orleans to Pensacola...not sure though... What sort of time frame are you working with?
Hey there guys....I must respectfully, disagree.... See'ns how, and be'ns as I spent many years cruising that area, from the Keys to Texas... There are many wonderful places to cruise, but then, perspective is a funny thing. There are many wonderful areas to explore through the Florida Bay, in the Naples area, Siesta Key is incredible, Sarasota, and the Tampa Bay. And then the St Pete/Clearwater area north of there. The issue really is the water depths.... Cedar Key is a wonderful, sleepy little town with a Heart of Palm Salad (world famous, they say) not to be missed....then crossing to Appalachicola and points in between...Panama City, Destin, Ft Walton Beach, Pensacola, Gulf Shores...well they really are some of the most beautiful beaches in the world...if, of course, you are into that type of thing....and lots of great places to lay anchor, and get out and explore the divers history of the area...

Just my .02...

C

Again, really depends on your perspective, but you might want to consider it at some point....
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Old 01-14-2010, 01:50 AM   #8
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Hey Jeanne, I'll still be here for at least another month I imagine as it stands... keep me posted on your progress.

thanks for the warning Boomerang. Fortunately my old girl only carries 4.5 ft of water so I can get through most places with little difficulty.
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