Experienced captains know and understand Bahamas waters, they can read the shade of colors and estimate depths. Waters in the Bahamas can be unforgiving if captains don’t keep a good level of attention and do not prepare their trip precisely.
Unlike the more forgiving waters of, say, Chesapeake Bay, the Bahamas are riddled with reefs, rocks, and brown bars (rocky ledges) that can quickly hole a boat, and there’s no U.S. Coast Guard daily presence. There are some very good salvage firms, but the waters to which they must respond are vast. Lack of infrastructure means inconveniences and often long periods of time required for repairs. In many areas, there are few or no secure marinas or good anchorages available for storm protection. The Bahamas is mostly beautiful wilderness, so take care and navigate conservatively. To do so, you’ll need the most reliable charts.