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Anchoring Fees

We have received confirmation from Exuma Park that the anchoring fees are indeed being collected as of March 1, 2018.

THE QUEEN CONCH NEEDS PROTECTION

The queen conch (Strombus gigas) is a large marine mollusc, formerly abundant throughout the Caribbean region. It is now under threat from overfishing.

There has been a major decline in the population of protected queen conchs in the Bahamas’ Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park over the last 20 years.

The most recent survey found predominantly older queen conchs, with a shortage of juveniles to replace them.

Researchers believe overfishing in upstream areas has depleted the park’s larval supply. Increased predator density within the park may also be a problem for juveniles.

Queen conch fisheries outside protected areas in the Bahamas are experiencing intense fishing pressure and are near collapse.

Conchs play a huge role in Bahamian culture.

Act now to save the Queen Conch.

Shedd Aquarium Postdoctoral Research Associate Dr. Andy Kough has been working alongside partners at the Bahamas National Trust to survey different habitats around The Bahamas for queen conch. Using Shedd’s research vessel, the R/V Coral Reef II, Dr. Kough and fellow researchers are gathering data to inform conch fishery management and protect populations into the future.

Long Island Update 2018

Here are some changes to add to your 6th Edition Explorer Chartbook Far Bahamas, in case you haven’t already found them:

NORTH END, CAPE SANTA MARIA TO HARVEY’S BAY

Pratt’s Store at Seymours closed
Beach Bungalow Restaurant closed
Internet Connection near Stella Maris closed
Williams’ Auto Car Rentals at Glintons closed
No more scooter rentals at Stella Maris Inn

Coming soon: Tiki Bar and Grill at north end of Queen’s Highway at Seymours; boat tours of swimming pigs and feeding the stingrays.
Add Columbus Harbour Tours with Omar Daley at 357-1417.

HARVEY’S BAY TO MCKANNS

Add Green Leaf Bar and Grill at Bunches
Long Island Souvenirs at Deals
Wemyss-ical Treasures at Wemyss

SALT POND (Thompson Bay to Grays)

Long Island Breeze closed
Royal Bank of Canada in Cartwrights closed
Scotia Bank at Buckleys operating only two days a week with limited services (still have ATM for now)
Explorer Chartbooks now available at Seafarer Marine, Salt Pond, as well as Long Island Petroleum
Hardings Supply Centre Salt Pond closed
Add to Restaurants: Club Washington in McKanns and Tiny’s Hurricane Hole (formerly Parrots of the Caribbean) on Thompson Bay
Internet at Sou’Side Grill and Tiny’s
Also laundry at Tiny’s (two washers and dryers)
Seaside Car Rental (formerly listed as Fox Auto) correct phone number 338-0140 or 357-1528
Stan’s Car Rentals closed

DEADMANS CAY AREA
Add to Groceries: Kirtland’s Supermarket and Deli
JB Carroll’s Grocery and lodging closed
Library at Buckleys closed
Constantakis no longer rents cars in Petty’s
Add to Restaurants: Lloyd’s Sporting Lounge (Restaurant) at Turnbull, Big Gate on airport road.

CLARENCE TOWN and SOUTH END

The new Lighthouse Point Restaurant at Flying Fish Marina offers a spectacular view of the ocean and the cut into the harbour. There is also a new ship’s store with limited but growing supplies.

Add to Bakery and Groceries: Everyday Essentials (delicious baked bread and goodies and dry goods) on the hill in downtown Clarence Town

Below Clarence Town, closed businesses are Yelredda’s, Sweet P’s, Red Door at Berry’s, BTC Roses. Government clinic is still open.

J’s Convenience Store at Dunmore, expanded merchandise

A road trip revealed that the Queen’s Highway gets worse with potholes as you travel north from Salt Pond and better as you travel south, but it is always worth a road ramble on Long Island to find the old and the new.

Rock Sound, Eleuthera, Update

Thanks to a fellow cruiser for this new information on Rock sound:

Four Points, then Pascals, then Wild Orchids, now it is Frigates Restaurant. They have built a really nice enlarged dinghy dock and the gully has been partly dredged out. Great happy hours, free wifi, really nice but pricey for dinner. Hall’s grocery store has done some renovations and is really nice and well stocked, better prices than the Marketplace. They just completed a big dredging project and bulit an apron at the gov’t dock and the fast ferry/Island Link made its initial run into Rock Sound yesterday, huge uptick for the south end of the island as previously fast ferry only came into Gov Hbr. The old mailboat Eleuthera Express apparently has been retired due to age, all this infrastructure being funded by the Fast Ferry company. Everything else pretty much the same in Rock Sound, just as friendly as ever. Some expansion on the 3T’s laundromat, very clean and friendly.

The road near Glass Window was washed out with this last storm and folks have said it was worse there Sunday then during recent hurricanes. There is a report of some tourists who were swept away there, one survived but one missing.

Seminar: Crossing the Gulf Stream

A seminar on the topic of Crossing the Gulf Stream will be held on April 19, 2018, at Dania Beach, Florida in the IT Parker Center. Time to be announced.

The two-hour seminar will be led by Captain Chase Camacho, USCG Master for 27 years. Captain Chase has traveled to the Bahamas since 1991. Also about six other captains will be there to assist with any other questions. Special Guest will be the U.S. Coast Guard.

Topics include:
Do’s and Don’t’s of crossing the Gulf Stream
How to prepare
What to bring
Storage
Important engine quick fixes

The fee is $795/boat up to 5 people and $100/pp for additional passengers.

For further information, please contact Captain Chase Camacho at chaseuone@gmail.com.

New fuel and dockage survey March 6, 2018

A new survey of dockage and fuel prices has been completed and posted showing most of the marinas offering these services in the Bahamas. Some we were unable to contact at the present time and they are shown in red. In general, fuel prices were up with a few exceptions.

Please go to our website www.explorercharts.com under Fuel and Dockage Prices to check our latest findings. We will be updating continuously as we get new information.

George Town/Elizabeth Harbour Fuel Update

In our monthly fuel survey,for several months we have been unable to get a response to our calls to Exuma Yacht Club. Now we can give a first-hand report on fuel in Elizabeth Harbour. The marina was severely damaged by hurricanes last year and has not been rebuilt. There is no fuel (or water) at the dock. Gasoline can be obtained by jerry-jugging from the filling station.The Harbour Master reports that delivery of diesel can be made to the rough concrete government dock, where the mailboat and freight boats come in. Arrangements can be made through the filling station in town.

The nearest fuel stations are the Marina at Emerald Bay on Great Exuma and Long Island Petroleum in Salt Pond.

Additional information on the harbour: The moorings in Hole #1 have been reduced to just a handful and there is no pumpout boat operational. It is wise to be aware of the possible harbour pollution with the large number of vessels there.

Tale of Two Lights

We have a first-hand report on two navigational lights; one of which is crucial to navigation in an open area and the other one entering Nassau Harbour from the east.

The first, the Northwest Channel Light, is still not lighted. There is a pole (approximately 30′) with a rope trailing from the top. This crucial light has not yet been replaced (for several years).

The second, the light on Porgee Rock, has been rebuilt and is working. The irony of this is that we just took that light off all of the Explorer charts of the area and published the new data last summer, and now it is working again! Oh well! So make a correction on your charts: The Porgee Rock Light is now working (for now).

Monty Lewis
Explorer Chartbooks

Long Island Mutton Festival in March

From the Long Island Tourist Office:

If you are setting sail this New Year, and looking for excitement during your journey, then Long Island Bahamas is the place to drop anchors!

We will be having two days of fun, live bands, Bahamian Artists, competitions, and goat skin demonstrations…much much more!!

Mutton Festival:
Friday, March 16th, & Saturday, March 17th, 2018
Salt Pond Cultural Site, Long Island, Bahamas

Long Island Tourist Office

Changes in Bimini Entrance Buoys

The 2017 hurricanes brought changes to the entrance buoys of the channel to Bimini. The waypoint in Explorer Chartbook Near Bahamas 8th edition remains the same, but some of the buoys are off station as originally plotted on the chart.

* The first red buoy on the chart is now off station, having moved northward off the southern tip of North Bimini right in the middle of a very shallow sandbar. Don’t go there!

* The first red buoy you see approaching South Bimini is actually the second one on the chart. It is in the correct position.

* There is a green buoy beyond that and it is off station near the entrance to Bimini Sands Marina on South Bimini.

* There are four small buoys along the shore of South Bimini leading into North Bimini. They are in correct position. The lighted pole at the entrance also remains.

Another note on Bimini: The marinas no longer furnish Customs papers for you to fill out on your boat. Here’s a link: https://forms.bahamas.gov.bs/dp_form.asp?fid=263.
You have to either go to Customs to get the forms and fill them out there or download them and print them out so you can fill them ahead of time.

The Customs office is still at the Big Game Marina, while Immigration is a little farther north at the Administration Building (both shown on the chart).

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