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Capt. Sam's picture
Capt. Sam
Last seen: 1 month 1 week ago
Joined: 2/22/10
Posts: 319
Planning a cruise from PC, Fl down through the Keys and on to the Bahamas

After a Winter and Spring of many maintenance tasks and upgrades I'm trying to leave by the first week in May from my home slip in Panama City, Fl, down to St. Pete, down the Fl SW coast, then through the Keys and on to the  Bahamas. I've got a good collection of chart books and guide books for all of those areas.  I plan on being gone until July.  I would appreciate any advice from anyone with experience cruising these areas.  I'm especially interested in how I should work my way through the Keys as I see lots of skinny water among those islands. Wind Rose is a 1994 C36 mk1,75, with 4'5" wing keel. I prefer to anchor out most of the time with maybe dockside stays two or three times a week at most. Also would appreciate recommendations on Fla Departure points and Bahamian landing points. I think I'd like to start out cruising the Abacos and was thinking clearing in at West End??
I would appreciate any recommendations about hazards to avoid and the best way to get through.
Thanks.
Sam

Capt. Sam Murphy
1994 Catalina 36, Hull 1327
Shoal draft, two cabin model.
Panama City, Florida

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Capt. Sam Murphy
1994 Catalina 36, Hull 1327
Shoal draft, two cabin model.
Panama City, Florida

rkibler's picture
rkibler
Last seen: 1 year 8 months ago
Joined: 5/7/14
Posts: 32

Not trying to start a battle over books.  But I found the "The Gentlemen's Guide to the Passage South" by Bruce Van Sant very informative and covers your basic questions.

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Rob Kibler
s/v "Meander"
2003 C36 MKII #2124
Capt. Sam's picture
Capt. Sam
Last seen: 1 month 1 week ago
Joined: 2/22/10
Posts: 319

Thank you Rob. I surely not opposed to book recommendations. I'll check it out immediately
Sam

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Capt. Sam Murphy
1994 Catalina 36, Hull 1327
Shoal draft, two cabin model.
Panama City, Florida

Desert Sailor
Last seen: 1 year 6 months ago
Joined: 1/30/15
Posts: 15

You might want to read this account. Although they started on the east coast their information about the Bahamas is very useful.
http://cblights.com/cruising/icwbahamas.html
 

mutualfun's picture
mutualfun
Last seen: 8 months 4 weeks ago
Joined: 6/25/07
Posts: 454

Lots of good questions Sam. We have been over 5 times now and can provide some insite. Bahamas offers a lot and has many different places to cruise. It all depends on what your looking for. The Abacos are like an extension of Florida. Lots of people and lots of places to spend money at. If you need supplies this is the set of islands to go to. If your going in the fall the weather will have lots of fronts. As they come from Florida. The exhuma's have much less people and .much less places to spend money. To us this is a great set of islands. More known as the out islands. The smaller settlement's are very friendly and nice to visit. You get more of the taste of what the Bahamas are like. There are places where you can get water. Some places free and some you pay for. Very few marinas in the exhuma's. Georgetown Exhuma is the biggest settlement and a great place of get water and all types of food. The Raggeds and Jemunto's are for those that want to be totally on there own. Only one town and that is Duncan Town. About 50 people and very few supplies and water. Long island is very nice but once again only 2 Marina's I know of. Thompson Bay is where many cruisers go to. Can get water at a cost there and one food store there which has food supplies. The island of Eleuthrea is more populated and has some nice places to go. Only a few Marina's. Water is there but hard to find. Good places also to resupply. The Berry island's are a nice group of islands and only 3 Marina's that I can think of.

We have left from Lake Worth in our first year. But now leave from the Miami area or south of there. We have never been to Bimini as we do an over nighter going over and coming back. We have checked into Frazer Hog, Lucaya,Great Harbor, and Nassau. Great Harbor is our favorite check in. If you want to send me a email I will give you my number as I am sure you have more questions. Hope this helps you.

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Randy Sherwood
Mutualfun 1990 # 1057
T/R W/K M35a
Home. Charlotte, Mi.
Boat. St Augustine,Fl.

Capt. Sam's picture
Capt. Sam
Last seen: 1 month 1 week ago
Joined: 2/22/10
Posts: 319

Thank you Randy and the others that answered. Good suggestions all. I now looks like my crew will only be able to  give me two weeks which is not enough time to go all the way to the Bahamas. Darn it.
Anyone want to come aboard in the Keys?

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Capt. Sam Murphy
1994 Catalina 36, Hull 1327
Shoal draft, two cabin model.
Panama City, Florida

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