.The Internet now offers safety, information and a sense of community to cruisers in The Bahamas. Many cruising websites provide timely maritime and local island information, as well as social announcements to keep cruisers in the know.
There are also websites and blogs that enrich the Bahamian experience and make life more enjoyable, such as Rolling Harbour (rollingharbour.com). It features wildlife news and photos, a variety of useful links, lists of pertinent books, maps of Abaco, and more. The blog is informal and delightfully random, but it is a great place to gain a general knowledge of Bahamian wildlife on land and sea.
Cruisers will also want to check out the following websites and social media pages of these major conservation organizations to learn about their environment, educational programs, volunteer opportunities, and events. Cruisers are welcome to get involved in many activities.
Salvage support is something cruisers hope to never need, but if you or someone near you needs to be salvaged or towed I recommend calling Overseas Salvage at (242) 355-2140 (overseassalvage.com) or R&B Boatyard at (242) 333-4462 (rbboatyard.com). These companies are equipped with experienced personnel, impressive equipment and can respond effectively. They will discuss pricing with you before getting underway.
Rum Cay is one of the beautiful islands in the southeast Bahamas and an excellent stop for those headed or returning from further south. The anchorage in Port Nelson is tenable in winds from NW-SE, though there is usually considerable surge causing the “Rum Cay Roll.” Sumner Point Marina provides excellent protection from all weather. In 2011, Hurricane Irene caused considerable damage to the south coast of Rum Cay and altered the natural movement of the sand filling much of the channel into the marina, but things are looking up. Sumner Point Marina is now under new management and reconstruction is expected to start this winter. In the meantime, some slips and facilities are available. For questions about facilities and for help of any kind in Rum Cay, call Bobby Little at (242) 525-0184.
The Bahamas National Trust (BNT) has established new mooring and anchoring fees for the Exuma Land and Sea Park and created a new membership category: Support Fleet Membership. Price varies with the size of your vessel, but the membership includes priority on the waiting list for moorings at Warderick Wells, two complimentary mooring nights to be used within one year, a BNT membership card, BNT newsletters, and a variety of BNT membership benefits. Membership also keeps you informed about BNT events, educational programs and conservation initiatives. Be assured that you will be investing in the sustainability of one of the finest cruising areas in the world.
French Leave Eleuthera is a new resort in Governor’s Harbour, with Harbour Village on the east side of the harbor. Harbour Village has a new dock with slips for two megayachts (up to 180′) with full services. There are also five megayacht moorings. Yachts staying at the docks or tied to the moorings will have access to all the resort facilities, including the pink sand French Leave Beach half a mile away on the ocean side of Eleuthera. The 1648 Bar and Grill located just south of the megayacht slips is open to the public. Reservations for the docks and moorings are strongly recommended. Governor’s Harbour is an historic town with a vibrant community that offers a full range of supplies and services. Be sure to visit the Anglican Church and the Haynes Library. frenchleaveresort.com
By Stephen Connett, Southern Boating January 2015