How We Plan Our Trips
25 February 2023
While at home we frequently have friends ask us how and where we get our weather information and how we use it to plan our days. Fortunately cell coverage is very good throughout the Bahamas for the most part making weather data easy to obtain. The main sites we rely on are the same we use for sailing at home, Windy.com, Windfinder and Predict Wind, however we also subscribe to a weather service that is based in Florida. Chris Parker is the weather guru who most people rely on for detailed daily weather forecasts that are sent out via email but are also broadcast on SSB and streamed live at 6:30 a.m. Besides Chris's background as a professional meteorologist the 12 years he spent cruising the Caribbean and Bahamas provides him with an intimate knowledge of the area.
Below is an excerpt from a daily forecast that provides details for each region of the Bahamas. Those of you who are used to reading aviation forecasts as I am, may find these confusing at the beginning because he doesn't use the same format. However, once we got used to reading the forecast, synopsis and outlooks this has become our go to source.
S Part of C Bahamas(from Staniel Cay, Cat Island S-ward N Long Is.) ENE-E @10-18g22k today; NE-ENE@10-17g22k< 7-14g18k Sat25 Variable mostlyNE-E under 12k Sunday
The second thing we look closely at are the tide tables; unfortunately most electronic charts for the area have limited information. However, I found a local fishing website that provides reliable tidal information for numerous stations throughout the Bahamas. They even list the best times to fish, but that hasn't helped Bev yet as her luck hasn't changed.
Tuesday we relocated from Rudder Cay to Lee Stocking which involved transiting 2 narrow cuts on the Exumas bank. The winds were fairly light so that didn't play much of a factor in this particular decision but it was still important to time the tide correctly. Since the winds were light, but forecast to increase, we knew exiting Rudder Cay wouldn't be an issue even though we had to motor against a 2 knot flood tide. However, we wanted to enter Adderly Cut on the flood tide because it can get nasty in a hurry if not timed correctly.Knowing high tide was 9:30 we were off the anchor early and enjoyed an easy transit of both cuts, arriving in Williams Bay by 10 a.m.
Our friends on Sandbox will be arriving on Saturday from Georgetown with a load of groceries for us so in the meantime we have a few days to explore more of the area. Our time has been spent looking for conch, kayaking around the shallow bays admiring the huge Rays and hiking the island. I managed to find a couple of good coconuts, although they can be a challenge to open but the taste of fresh coconut makes it all worthwhile. Now if only we could find a few conch. We finally had a chance to meet up with 2 boats that we had crossed paths with several times on the way south and had a chance to enjoy a HH together.
Today's picture is of a huge Ray cruising along in 4 feet of crystal clear water.