Communications in the Abacos

Published 19 years ago, updated 4 years ago

There is a cruisers net operated on VHF channel 68 at 0815 local time. The net schedule starts with a comprehensive weather report based on NOAA forecasts with local interpretations. This is followed by local observations on conditions at several Atlantic passes where rage sea conditions caused by distant Atlantic storms sometimes exist even in calm Bahamian weather. After the weather news, commercial and community announcements are made, cruisers are welcomed to the area, and cruisers leave messages with each other for chats on other channels. Patty and Bob Toler manage the net from Marsh Harbour.

The cruisers net also offers an e-mail service for short messages that are read over the VHF radio during the daily net. The e-mail address is cruis[email protected]

VHF channels 68 and 16 are used as hailing frequencies. Many Bahamians illegally use the marine VHF as a telephone for commercial and private messaging.

At 1930 local time on VHF channel 09, there is a weather broadcast by Dave, a retired NOAA forecaster, on Deja Vu.

At 0700 local time every day on 4003 USB, there is a BASRA (Bahamas Air-Sea Rescue Association) weather net giving Bahamas weather forecast from the Nassau Meteorological Office, Florida coastal weather forecast and tropical weather information when appropriate.

News and weather are available weekdays on Radio Abaco, 93.5 Mhz FM at 0700, 0800, and 1800.

With a good FM receiver, National Public Radio news on 90.7 or 91.3 Mhz is available from Florida at 0700 and 1700 local time.

Internet access: In Marsh Harbour, the Bahamas Family Market offers an Internet facility. In Hope Town, Malone Estates offers Internet access. There are several establishments that will provide telephone plug access if you bring your own computer. Charges generally run $1 per minute for a call to the United States for America Online, Compuserve, MSN, or other Internet service providers.

The best way to stay in touch by e-mail is through a PocketMail gadget and services and a Batelco phone card. There are many payphones throughout the Abacos and the cost is $1 per minute for a 2400 baud message rate to the Internet via the United States.

Michael Frankel, 2002

Internet Access Update Wi-Fi connections are available in many places in the Abacos, including Marsh Harbour (in the harbour and Boat Harbour Marina), Green Turtle Cay, and Spanish Cay. The cost varies greatly from free to $40 per month. Reception is not always perfect. Ask marinas or cruisers for latest update when arriving.

Pierre Buhler, 2004

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