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-   -   Grand Bahama Island (http://www.fksa.org/showthread.php?t=1028)

RickI 03-08-2006 10:57 AM

Grand Bahama Island
 
There is a lot of growing interest in your vast archipeligo of islands among kiteboarders. I hope you
don't mind my throwing in some info here and encourage input from guys that know these areas and better
may have even kited there. That said here goes the first one ...

Quote:

Originally Posted by jbrickner
Hey RickI,

Noticed you had driven around the Island of Grand Bahama looking for kiteable areas. Thanks for the
information (old kiteforum post). We are stying at a hotel just southeast of freemont. Large sand beach.
Looks good for E or W wind. How about south or north wind?

Is the area north of Freeport (large bay) kiteable.

Looking for any kind of feedback at all.

-Jason

Hello Jason,

I don't think there are any kite shops or instructors on the island at this time so you will pretty much be
on your own on GBI. If you head east you should see sand beaches with exposure to the south. The further
east you head as you can see from the map at the link below, the wind should turn slightlly side onshore
from onshore if from the south. More about beaches close to Freeport can be found at:
http://www.geographia.com/grandbahama/beaches.htm
http://www.bahamas.com/bahamas/islan...d=3802&level=2

http://gallery.kiteforum.com/albums/...hama.sized.gif
Click for full sized image:

Heading to the east of Freeport along the coastal road towards McLean's Town you'll find roads heading
off to the south to the shore at fairly regular intervals. Most of the area is bordered by sand beaches
and very little activity.

http://www.fksa.org/albums/album166/..._1_s.sized.jpg
CLICK FOR FULL SIZED IMAGE

For north wind, you might want to do a road trip to West End at the NW tip of Grand Bahama. There is a
private marina/property there but they have exposed beaches/launch areas for winds from the
S to W to N to E to SE there depending on which side of the point of land you launch from.

I understand that some areas on Grand Bahama faired poorly following the 2005 hurricane season. It seems
like the southern portion of GBI was hit fairlyl hard by Hurricane Wilma.
Some may still be rebuilding
potentially including some of the areas described below. See AJ's comments in the next post.

Heading way to the north to West End and Old Bahama Bay (former Jack Tar Village) there are some nice
beaches for N to E to SE winds. This may be a guest only access area in a fairly expensive resort. There
are other shallows further south on the east side of the town of West End but without the nice beaches
if memory serves..
http://www.oldbahamabay.com/

http://www.fksa.org/albums/album166/...nd_1.sized.jpg
The south end of the beach on the east side of Old Bahama Bay Resort

http://www.fksa.org/albums/album166/..._2_s.sized.jpg
CLICK FOR FULL SIZED IMAGE

http://www.sky-chaser.com/image/flying/flysetpt.jpg
A view to the south over West End and points south, GBI
From: http://www.sky-chaser.com/

A bit to the south of the north end of the island, along the west coast there is Dead Man's Reef. You
probably wouldn't be encouraged to kiteboard here given the emphasis on snorkeling but adjoining
areas might be open to riding. This resort took a bad hit in Hurricane Wilma. Some photos appear
at the resort website.

http://www.fksa.org/albums/album166/...ef_s.sized.jpg
CLICK FOR FULL SIZED IMAGE

I don't know about the condition of beaches/launches on to the north of Eight Mile Rock slightly to the
north of Freeport to take advantage of northerly winds. You have a lot of mangrove coast along Grand
Bahama particularly along the northern shore. Whether they have taken some of it out in this area
is not known to me.

There are discrete aerial photos of various areas of the coast on Grand Bahama at:

http://www.skypic.com/baha.htm#grandbahama

They have some large sand beaches. You just need to stay away from the crowds and find a launch that is
side to sideonshore as opposed to offshore if you can. Renting a car to drive to various areas on the island
may make sense.

For weather forecasts and historical wind info there is:

http://www.wunderground.com/global/stations/78062.html
and for Settlement Point at the north end of the island, for realtime winds:

http://www.ndbc.noaa.gov/show_plot.p...eas=wdpr&uom=E

For historical winds:

http://www.ndbc.noaa.gov/images/climplot/SPGF1_ws.jpg
More specific info can be found at:
http://www.ndbc.noaa.gov/station_his...?station=spgf1

The latest SCAT Sat. wind map for the area appears at:
http://www.ndbc.noaa.gov/quikscat.php?station=spgf1

ikitesurf also provides realtime and some archive wind data for four stations in the Bahamas at:
http://www.iwindsurf.com/windandwher...1&timeoffset=0

Still more wx info for the Bahamas appears at:
http://oii.net/weather/

http://gallery.kiteforum.com/albums/...ama_Island.jpg

http://www.frommers.com/images/desti...hamaisland.jpg
Further info can be found in Frommers

In short there are beaches exposed to winds from most directions on Grand Bahama, IF you can drive to them.
Otherwise having a chase boat for setup and riding offshore may show some promise.

mocean 03-08-2006 11:28 AM

no worries
 
local input / info here
good to ride on the flats .
free port still hasent realy recoverd from the multi huricanes that hit it last year.
the only place to hang out in on free port is port lucya .
some cheap places to stay.
watch out for the hustler taxi drivers.
good luck you will be in the boon docks of the bahamas.
aj

RickI 03-08-2006 11:15 PM

Thanks for the input AJ. I just uploaded some surface shots of potential launch areas along to coast to the north and east of Freeport.

Would you know if Old Bahama Bay (formerly Jack Tar Village) is open? They had a nice east wind launch but I suspect Wilma may have done some damage last summer there.

RickI 02-16-2009 11:16 PM

This is a couple of years old. Any recent kiting reports out of Grand Bahama and in particular in the area of Freeport?

Citispider 12-11-2011 08:36 PM

All,

With the Bahama Express ferry that just started this past week with its daily shuttle, I have to believe that there will be kiters going To Grand Bahama more frequently. Has there been any updates to area?

Spider

RickI 12-19-2011 08:49 AM

I'm not aware of any new kiting operation school or shop over there. The beaches are best set up for Westerly or southerly wins with some east. We took the discovery over about a year ago for a weekend of free diving on the nearby Wrecks and shark filled areas. Visibility was about 120 ft, I highly recommend the area. I would think that you would need rental car to get around to potential launches.


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