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BAHAMAS
Bahamas - Abaco






WELCOME TO THE SEA OF ABACO "PARADISE FOUND"


The Abacos are a world scarcely touched by the twentieth century. The only tall buildings are swaying coconuts palms and the largest crowds are the fish and starfish darting through the many coral reefs. The Abacos are a simple place, adorned with colorful clapboard settlement homes adjacent to the many harbors and Atlantic Ocean. The locals are open and friendly and crime is almost unheard of here. Boating and fishing are the main activities, except for enjoying the almost-always perfect weather and excellent local seafood.

The Sea of Abaco offers timeless beauty as untouched as the days of the early Lucayan natives and the famous pirates who plied these waters. This curved archipelago is comprised of little islands, called "cays" just a short distance offshore creating a protected cruising area perfect for sailing or power boating. (By the way, for first timers, "cay" is pronounced 'key', and "conch" is pronounced "konk".)



Connection (operated by Gulfstream Airlines). There are two airports, Marsh Harbour and Treasure Cay, on Great Abaco Island, which is the third largest island in the Bahamas. Plan to fly into Marsh Harbour Airport, just a 10 minute taxi ride from our charter base. You can also charter a private plane from Abaco Air (242) 367-2266 or Cherokee Air, (242) 367-2089, which does allow for more flexibility, we would be happy to help you with your reservations. If you have a large group, or plan to visit often, Continental Connections has "Sun-Pak" discounted plane tickets you buy in quantities of 10 or 20 one-way coupons, which are around $200/pp/round trip. These are good for up to a year, have no penalties for changes or cancellations and are transferable. So if your plans are subject to change, these are a good bet and cheaper than regular fares, especially in "peak" season. To order "Sun Pak" tickets, call (800) 688-7225.

To clear Bahamas customs, everyone should have either a passport or certified copy of their birth certificate, plus a photo I.D. (Also upon your departure, you will need $15 cash for each person, over age 6, returning to the states, paid at the airport for Bahamas departure taxes, so don't spend all your cash!)

After you clear customs, the Bahamian taxi drivers will be waiting just outside the customs exit. They are very cordial, and speak their own delightful version of English, with a soft island accent. They own their own taxis and each driver has a number, so you can call them on VHF Channel 6 when you need a ride or are ready to go home.


PROVISIONS AND BEVERAGES


Bahamas Family Market, located the Conch Inn Plaza, specializes in yacht provisioning and provides just the right amount of food and supplies for your vacation. (They also remember to include such practical items as charcoal, extra trash bags and toilet paper!) Other grocery stores accept only cash, no credit cards.

Be sure to bring plenty of sun block, polarized sunglasses, and a hat or visor. Don't forget film and batteries for your camera. Film prices are high in Abaco due to the import duties but you are not taxed on personal film you bring in. Camera batteries are hard to find in the Abacos, so bring a spare.



CLOTHING AND LUGGAGE


As space is limited on boats, (and airplanes!) please pack light and use easily stowable duffel bags. Casual wear is appropriate everywhere in the Abacos. Be sure to bring a jacket/sweater/sweatshirt or rain slicker, for the occasional cool evening or windy weather. Good boat shoes with non-slip soles are a must.


Bring at least one or two days change of clothes, and items such as medication or prescription glasses in your carry-on luggage. Luggage is often delayed by the airlines. On your luggage tag, please print your name, FYC, at Abaco Beach Resort, Marsh Harbour. Phone (242) 367-4853, so if your luggage is delayed, they'll know to deliver it to our partners base office.


MONEY


Most restaurants and shops accept the usual credit cards, most groceries don't. Bring plenty of cash or Traveler's checks as a backup. The American dollar is exchanged equally with the Bahamian dollar. However, if you use your credit card for a cash advance in a bank, there is an exchange charge for getting Bahamian dollars.


RESORT FACILITIES


Charter guests are welcome at the Abaco Beach Resort at Boat Harbour Marina. Enjoy a leisurely brunch at the excellent Angler's Restaurant, a game of tennis, or a dip one of the beautiful pools, (we like the one with a swim-up pool bar and live Bahamian music!) Clean shore side restrooms with showers, laundry facilities, and small grocery and liquor stores are also on site. Hotel rooms and banquet facilities are also available. Please ask us for more details on accomodations and or reservations.


FUEL & WATER


Upon boarding your charter boat will have a full tank of diesel fuel and water. We recommend that you purchase drinking water and use the water onboard for bathing. You can generally purchase more water at marinas, but they do charge you by the gallon, so use water sparingly. Please return your charter boat full of fuel and water.


DOCKAGE


There is no charge for occupancy in FYC Bahama slips the first and last night of your trip. Since Boat Harbour is one of the finest marinas in the Sea of Abaco, it is frequently filled to capacity, especially during fishing tournaments. If you wish to come back to Boat Harbour Marina during your charter, please call the FYC base first to check if we have an open slip. You can re-fill your water, plug into shore power and enjoy an air-conditioned evening at the dock and all the resort amenities.


CRUISERS NET


Listen to The Cruisers Net - This is on VHF radio channel 68 daily at 08:15 a.m. – a must every day - you will hear local weather forecasts, restaurant specials, community events, charter arrivals and departures, and mail delivery. You will also hear announcements about e-mail service which a number of establishments provide free of charge or for a nominal fee.

The Cruisers Net also allows you to announce anything you want to. Feel free to ask dumb questions, rendezvous with your fellow cruisers, or to announce your own arrival in paradise. It is also how we stay in touch with our charter guests, in order to relay messages from back home, etc. so tune in daily.

The Cruising Guide to the Abacos - Bahamas 2000
In order to expedite your orientation, we recommend you obtain a copy of "The Cruising Guide to Abaco, Bahamas 2000" by Steve Dodge priced at $14.95 plus $5.00 shipping and handling, available at any online book store or at the FYC Bahamas base offices. You'll find it makes a great souvenir of your charter trip. This cruising guide is superior and is a must for safe and enjoyable boating in the Sea of Abaco. The following suggested itinerary refers to pages in this guide and will prove to be most helpful during your cruise. Note the index of place names on page 135.


BAHAMIAN CULTURE


Bahamian culture is like no other. It has embraced a panorama of native customs of the indigenous "Indian" people who populated The Islands Of The Bahamas over the eons. Then Bahamian culture suddenly underwent an abrupt change beginning in 1648 when English Puritans settled on the island of Eleuthera. It has further evolved over the past four centuries, witnessing the arrival of Bermudan slaves and free blacks, British Loyalists (accompanied by slaves) fleeing America after the War of Independence, freed Africans from slave ships, Black Seminoles from Florida, people from other Caribbean islands, as well as Chinese, Syrian and Greek immigrants.

These people - with their different backgrounds, traditions and beliefs - shaped Bahamian culture into the unique, colorful patchwork of life and lifestyles that it is today.
For more on Bahamian culture, history, politics and the like, please visit http://www.bahamas.com/travel_tips/index.html




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Tel: 1 (305) 735-3460 - Fax: 1 (305) 437 8116

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The Bahamas: Practical Travel Information . Please note: Information on this sheet is believed to be correct but not guaranteed

 








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