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West Palm Beach to Abacos

Discussion in 'Destinations' started by 1948Isaac, Jul 2, 2017.

  1. Khalid

    Khalid Active Member

    Messages:
    88
    Ratings:
    +75 / 0
    Boat Make:
    Yamaha
    Year:
    2016
    Boat Model:
    242 Limited E-Series
    Boat Length:
    24
    Great trip and video!
    We just started the planning of our trip to Abacos next June and trying to land the itinerary.
    Where did you stay? One place or more? Any insight on an itinerary will be greatly appreciated.

    We made it to the Exhumas in June and caught the Bahamas bug :)
     
  2. robert843

    robert843 Jetboaters Admiral

    Messages:
    2,846
    Location:
    Myrtle Beach, SC
    Ratings:
    +3,147 / 35
    Boat Make:
    Yamaha
    Year:
    2017
    Boat Model:
    AR
    Boat Length:
    24
    We left West Palm beach and went all the way to Treasure Cay where we were staying in one day. We departed West Palm and traveled 60 miles to West End cleared customs and refueled. We then headed to Spanish Cay 100 miles and refueled and continued on to Treasure Cay where we stayed I think it was another 50 or so miles to Treasure Cay. There is a lot to do in Abaco so plan your Days well. We departed each morning from Treasure around 9am and didn't return to Treasure most days till about dark as there was a lot of travel involved visiting the various Cays around Abaco. @1948Isaac and I rented a house in Treasure Cay with a dock and it was noce there are some many rental options in Abaco it can be overwhelming when you start looking but I would try and figure out what things you want to hit while over there then plan your location around your itinerary so you are centrally located. Abacos was a much easier trip for us then our Exuma trip the year before as once you clear West End as long as the winds are coming form the south you are pretty much in protected water the rest of the trip.. Abaco was nice but the group consensus was that we all preferred Bimini and Exuma over Abaco but we are water people we get up in the morning head out and go look for snorkeling and Fishing spots Abaco had a lot more land based activities. If you like to Island hop and check out the various cool beach bars and sights you will still have a blast. @Andy S anything I'm missing you think should be thrown in here? One big thing is Supplies are plentiful in Abaco you will not need to load your boat down with food and drinks for a week when you get there Treasure Cay has a descent grocery store and Marsh Harbor has a place called Maxwell's that was really large and had everything you could ever need food wise it was about the size of a Walmart.
     
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  3. veedubtek

    veedubtek Jetboaters Captain

    Messages:
    1,766
    Location:
    Winston Salem, NC
    Ratings:
    +2,382 / 35
    Boat Make:
    Yamaha
    Year:
    2016
    Boat Model:
    FSH
    Boat Length:
    19
    Personally, I'd stay on Guana next time. Treasure was nice, but a snack and a nightcap every night at Nippers or Grabbers would be ideal for me. I'd recommend something with a gated/guarded marina too, just to be safe ;) Lots of stories of boat theft over there. Probably not much worry with a jet, but better safe than sorry.
     
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  4. Andy S

    Andy S Jetboaters Admiral

    Messages:
    2,396
    Location:
    Chapin, SC 29036
    Ratings:
    +2,519 / 31
    Boat Make:
    Cobalt
    Year:
    2016
    Boat Model:
    Other
    Boat Length:
    26
    I agree with @robert843 about figure out what you want to do and see first and the pick a central location for a place to stay. Staying in Treasure Cay was central but still most days it was 30 miles out, run around, and then 30 miles back to the house. Treasure Cay is secure, there is a one channel in and out and at night a cable gate is strung across to prevent unwanted guest form entering. If the gate is closed when you want to come in or out, you can raise the security on the VHF and they will be there pretty quickly to let you in or out. The dock slip next to the for our house, the boat was there but the owners were not and the boat and triple outboards were cable locked to the dock, something I have never seen before. As @veedubtek boat theft in Abaco is an issue that it seems the Bahamians are working hard at preventing. Every notice I saw of a stolen boat was one with multiple outboards, so jet boats are problem fine.

    My crew, similar to others that traveled with us, like the rural minimal development of Exuma and Bimini over developed feel of Abaco. Don't get me wrong Abaco is very nice, much like being in the Florida Keys, and we are very glad we went but of the 3 spots Abaco is our 3rd choice.
     
  5. Khalid

    Khalid Active Member

    Messages:
    88
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    +75 / 0
    Boat Make:
    Yamaha
    Year:
    2016
    Boat Model:
    242 Limited E-Series
    Boat Length:
    24
    Thanks gents!
    We are considering staying at Marsh Harbour. Our group will likely be 20+ with some flying in. So, we are figuring that Marsh Harbour can be convenient from that stand point. (Not a must though).

    The 1st question is, Is Marsh Harbour too far southeast from the cays/reefs/fishing spots?

    2nd, if we were to stay in one location for 3-4 nights and another for the remaining 3-4, which two locations would you suggest?

    Thanks again
     
  6. veedubtek

    veedubtek Jetboaters Captain

    Messages:
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    Location:
    Winston Salem, NC
    Ratings:
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    Year:
    2016
    Boat Model:
    FSH
    Boat Length:
    19
    IMG_1941.jpg
     
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  7. veedubtek

    veedubtek Jetboaters Captain

    Messages:
    1,766
    Location:
    Winston Salem, NC
    Ratings:
    +2,382 / 35
    Boat Make:
    Yamaha
    Year:
    2016
    Boat Model:
    FSH
    Boat Length:
    19
    Seriously, I'd do Guana and Marsh Harbour. With Guana, you get the cool bars/restaurants, the barrier reef, and easier access to run up to green turtle, nunjack, etc... Then do Marsh Harbour with easier access to mermaid reef, man-o-war, hopetown, tahiti, etc... There's tons to see everywhere, but plan on 20 miles at least every time. I'd plan it to hit the Cheeseburger in Paradise party again too, but I'd make it a point to see some of the races and after parties next time.
     
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  8. Khalid

    Khalid Active Member

    Messages:
    88
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    +75 / 0
    Boat Make:
    Yamaha
    Year:
    2016
    Boat Model:
    242 Limited E-Series
    Boat Length:
    24
    Would you not recommend staying at Green Turtle instead of Guana?

    Also, you mentioned that you hit the reef. How/where did that happen?
     
  9. robert843

    robert843 Jetboaters Admiral

    Messages:
    2,846
    Location:
    Myrtle Beach, SC
    Ratings:
    +3,147 / 35
    Boat Make:
    Yamaha
    Year:
    2017
    Boat Model:
    AR
    Boat Length:
    24
    Well somehow Captain Morgan there got us in there at high tide and the tide had descended when we went to leave. LOL not really his fault in fact all three boats with us got trapped inside the great barrier reef there it was a nerve racking 30 minutes or so trying to get out. Def worth seeing though its the largest reef I have ever snorkeled. We flew people into Marsh as well they just caught a cab from Masrsh to Treasure so it wasn't bad. If you stay in Marsh you will want to try and find something on the East Side of Marsh as everything on the West side will add several miles to your trip everyday due to a finger of land you must go around every day. Marsh is pretty close to staying in Nassau just a little smaller if you were to compare it to something just no cruise ships but plenty of stores and restaurants
     
  10. Khalid

    Khalid Active Member

    Messages:
    88
    Ratings:
    +75 / 0
    Boat Make:
    Yamaha
    Year:
    2016
    Boat Model:
    242 Limited E-Series
    Boat Length:
    24
    Thanks for the pointers on watching out for the tide and staying in eastern Marsh.

    We started looking amd there seems to be many housing options.
     
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  11. veedubtek

    veedubtek Jetboaters Captain

    Messages:
    1,766
    Location:
    Winston Salem, NC
    Ratings:
    +2,382 / 35
    Boat Make:
    Yamaha
    Year:
    2016
    Boat Model:
    FSH
    Boat Length:
    19
    Robert talked about the reef already, definitely take mind of that. Between anchors and tide, there's definitely things to be mindful of there.

    Guana all day though. I'm jaded probably, but I fell in love with both Nippers and Grabbers. Once you see the view from each, you'll understand. Grabbers all day, sunset (or all day) at Nippers. Just amazing places, both of them. I'd be happy to spend a weeks vaca at either one.
     
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  12. Khalid

    Khalid Active Member

    Messages:
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    Ratings:
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    Boat Make:
    Yamaha
    Year:
    2016
    Boat Model:
    242 Limited E-Series
    Boat Length:
    24
    That sounds great! Too bad the trip is a very long 8 months away!
     
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  13. George1

    George1 New Member

    Messages:
    14
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    +7 / 0
    Boat Make:
    Yamaha
    Year:
    2017
    Boat Model:
    242X E-Series
    Boat Length:
    24
    Sounds like a lot of fun. I would like to make the trip soon!
     
  14. Berrie

    Berrie Member

    Messages:
    30
    Location:
    Albany, GA
    Ratings:
    +32 / 2
    Boat Make:
    Monterey
    Year:
    2001
    Boat Model:
    Other
    Boat Length:
    31
    We made this trip in the summer as our first off-shore / Bahamas experience - without a buddy boat.
    I felt quite uneasy I'll admit, but it was an amazing trip.
    We stayed in Treasure Cay for 5 days. It took us about 7-1/2 hours to get there. 2-1/2 to West End, and then 5 to Treasure Cay.
    It was the first week in June, and quite frankly the weather was not good, but we still had a good time.
    We would love to go back with a group, as we didn't see nearly as much as we would have liked to.
    At this moment we are looking at maybe West End or Bimini for Spring Break (last week of March), and then another trip in the summer. All depending on weather and buddy boat(s) availability - I don't think we'd like to make the crossing by ourselves again, unless the weather is perfect.
     
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  15. 2nazt

    2nazt Jetboaters Lieutenant

    Messages:
    1,503
    Location:
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    End of March is always real iffy for weather. I don’t get offshore fishing much during that time frame it seems.
     
  16. Berrie

    Berrie Member

    Messages:
    30
    Location:
    Albany, GA
    Ratings:
    +32 / 2
    Boat Make:
    Monterey
    Year:
    2001
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    Other
    Boat Length:
    31
    I know, we won't know for certain until 2 days prior.
    On the other hand, March also has the lowest rain chance and great weather - IF there is no North in the wind.
     
  17. robert843

    robert843 Jetboaters Admiral

    Messages:
    2,846
    Location:
    Myrtle Beach, SC
    Ratings:
    +3,147 / 35
    Boat Make:
    Yamaha
    Year:
    2017
    Boat Model:
    AR
    Boat Length:
    24
    @Berrie we agree on not seeing everything we had a large list but its all spread out over such a large area it was tough. We had descent weather during the trip running the inside during the days was all tight chop we would go offshore fishing everyday as well and in the evenings we would be in 4-5ft plus seas but with huge intervals probably 8 seconds plus so it wasn't bad at all. We enjoyed our trip we went a few weeks after you my only regret was we went to Exuma first in 2016 I think we may have enjoyed Abaco more had we gone there first but I think it was tough for this trip to follow our Exuma trip as it was just incredible down there. The travel to Abaco was definitely easier then to Exuma though I would recommend Abaco to anyone looking for a longer trip then Bimini even though we all preferred Exuma the trip to Exuma was a lot more expensive and even though its only about 80 miles further it really felt a lot longer to Exuma. Our total crossing time to Treasure Cay was probably about 10 hours but that was Stopping in West End for Customs probably an hour and a half to two hours or so and a stop in Spanish Cay to Fuel and Snorkel for about an hour or so. Our return trip was only around 6 hours.
     
  18. Khalid

    Khalid Active Member

    Messages:
    88
    Ratings:
    +75 / 0
    Boat Make:
    Yamaha
    Year:
    2016
    Boat Model:
    242 Limited E-Series
    Boat Length:
    24
    I don’t expect Abacos to compare to the Exhumas. But it’s proximity is a huge advantage. I’m also hoping that GBI provides a good shelter from southern winds making it an easier trip (northern winds don’t matter since we won’t be crossing anyway)

    During our last summer’s trip to the Exhumas, only 2 out of 4 boats and 1 out of 6 waverunners made it all the way to the Exhumas. The rest decided to stay in Nassau.

    We got beat up from Bimini to Nassau which put a damper on the group’s enthusiasm. The crossing from Nassau to Exhumas was into 15-20 MPH headwind and 5’+ waves. I’m fortunate that my crew and one more Boat agreed to make the crossing to the Exhumas. It was definitely the highlight of the trip, eventhough that part was for less than 2 days.

    Regarding checking-in with customs, I think you have a grace period of 48 hrs from entering the country to check-in. I recommend getting to the destination before doing so. Plus the Bahamians are very chilled and they understand the need to get out of dangerous seas as fast as possible.

    I wouldn’t cross from Florida without at least one more Boat. This way, when worse comes to worst (I.e mechanical breakdown), we can abandon ship.
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
  19. robert843

    robert843 Jetboaters Admiral

    Messages:
    2,846
    Location:
    Myrtle Beach, SC
    Ratings:
    +3,147 / 35
    Boat Make:
    Yamaha
    Year:
    2017
    Boat Model:
    AR
    Boat Length:
    24
    The law is you are to checkin at the first port of entry you stop at so where ever your first fuel stop is that is supposed to be your check in point. So if you have fuel to make it all the way to Abaco I would check in at Spanish Cay. The way the law reads if I remember correctly is no one can even leave your boat and touch bahimaian soil ecept the captain to check into customs till this is done. All that said I'm sure you could possibly get a way with checking in at a different island but West End the customs office is basically next to fuel dock so not sure I would do it if I was getting fuel there.
     
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  20. Berrie

    Berrie Member

    Messages:
    30
    Location:
    Albany, GA
    Ratings:
    +32 / 2
    Boat Make:
    Monterey
    Year:
    2001
    Boat Model:
    Other
    Boat Length:
    31
    @Khalid We left WPB with 2.5' @ 4 seconds forecast. The actual was more like 2' @ 6 seconds, quite a comfortable ride - until the last 10 miles. There was a major rain storm hanging just south of West End, and it whipped up solid 3' @ 3 seconds, with strong winds and whitecaps everywhere. That was when I felt quite uneasy being by ourselves, even though our boat handled it well.

    We refueled and cleared in West End, and waited for about an hour to see what the rain storm was going to do. It remained mostly stationary, so we decided to continue on. The ride to Indian Passage was unpleasant, but once we made it into the passage, the water flattened out. About halfway to Great Sale it started to rain, but without any wind. The Little Bahama Bank became as flat as a pancake, andwe could make good progress. The only thing slowing us down was visibility (no radar), which at times was less than 200'. Once the rain got even thicker, visibility became dangerously minimal, and we decided to stop over at Spanish.
    We spent the night there, and moved on the next morning to TC.

    While in TC, there were rain showers every day, and even between the islands there was mostly 2'+ waves at very short intervals.
    One day the forecast called for 4' with 25 knot winds, so we didn't get out that day at all.

    One the way back, it was a little rough for the first hour, but after that we had the most beautiful weather. We spent the night in West End, and made the crossing back early the next morning in 2' seas.
     
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