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Pipe Creek

Pipe Creek is an anchorage in Central Exumas.

Central Exumas is a charter location in The Exumas, a yacht charter area in the Bahamas.

The anchorages on Central Exumas:

Staniel CayStaniel Cay
Little Major’s SpotLittle Major’s Spot
Big Major’s SpotBig Major’s Spot
Fowl CayFowl Cay
Dennis CayDennis Cay
Sampson CaySampson Cay
Pipe CreekPipe Creek
Compass Cay MarinaCompass Cay Marina
Compass CayCompass Cay
Chicken CayChicken Cay

Pipe Creek Overview

Pipe Creek is a stretch of islands between Compass Cay in the north and Staniel Cay in the south. According to residents, the creek comprises Pipe Cay, Hattie’s Cay, Little Pipe Cay (Kemp Cay), Wild Tamarind Cay, Joe Cay, Thomas Cay, and Overyonder Cay.

Note – In some guides, you may find that Pipe Creek is referred to as the area between Compass Cay and Sampson Cay.

Navigation and Anchoring

The area around Pipe Creek can be an adventurous sail thanks to its shifting sandbars, unpredictable channels, and large rocky bars that appear out of nowhere. Extreme caution and intrinsic navigation skills are highly recommended to avoid any mishaps while sailing in shallow waters. You may have to make a choice between a shallow spot and a rocky ledge. The cuts in the creek are also known to have strong tidal currents that should be used to one’s advantage while sailing.

If proper measures and precautions are taken, you can safely navigate through Pipe Creek and enjoy its unparalleled beauty.

Navigating Pipe Creek

You can enter Pipe Creek from the banks or Exuma Sound side. If entering from the north, stick to the southwestern tip of Compass Cay and follow the high tide in. You can anchor to the north or northwest of Pipe Cay. If coming from Exuma Sound, enter at Compass Cay Cut. Here and across Pipe Creek, you will need two anchors to maintain steady.

It is best to stick to the internal area of Pipe Creek and avoid going northward so as to avoid the protruding rocky bars.

From the southern end of Pipe Creek after Compass Cay lies Pipe Cay, a private bank without any visitation restrictions. On the western side of this cay lies the remains of the old U.S. Navy Decca Station, which can be identified by four 16-foot dolphins (piles) arranged as entry and exit points. Use these to port while navigating in and out of the cay. There’s low tide inside this area, which also has a cove.

You may anchor here in daylight or move forward and find some space near the Decca Station. This space can accommodate two 40-foot boats easily up against a concrete wall. There’s an anchorage just off the southeastern tip of Pipe Cay. Enter from the western tip of Kemp Cay and lead yourself up to the darker waters between the two cays. You will find a rocky patch here, which needs to be passed to find the dark channel to the south of Pipe Cay. We recommend entering in high tide to manage proper anchoring.

If you sail southward from within the creek, you will find Overyonder Cay and Wild Tamarind Cay.

Miscellaneous Navigation Pointers

An alternative entry point is from Exuma Sound at Joe Cay Cut although it is filled with deep channels with a chance of unreliable currents.

There is an anchorage in the northeastern side of Wild Tamarind Cay. This is a rocky patch, so make sure you stick to the cay’s shore and avoid the huge rocks.

A view of Overyonder Cay from the top - Daniel Piraino, Google
The whole of Pipe Cay - Daniel Piraino, Google

Places of Interest In and Around Pipe Creek

As you move southwards from Compass Cay, you will find Decca Station near Pipe Cay. It has a small, isolated island that other than some beaches has nothing to see. But the east of the station does offer a stunning view of the whole of Pipe Creek. Do note that the station’s grounds are covered with poisonwood.

The southeastern tip of Pipe Cay is known for shoals of bonefish. The sandbar here is an excellent spot for photography.

You can engage in snorkeling and enjoy the beautiful underwater views of Joe Cay. There’s also a staghorn coral reef to the south and west of a cut between Overyonder Cay and Sampson Cay. This is also a great spot for snorkelers but you should be aware of the strong currents.

Almost all the cays have beautiful beaches that are worth visiting for a swim, a stroll, and even a dive.

Trivia – Kemp Cay, which is also known as Little Pipe Cay, was named after Moses and Drucilla Kemp, a duo who worked nearby till 1929. (source: The Island Hopping Digital Guide to the Exuma Cays, Part III by Stephen J. Pavlidis)

Services

Overyonder Cay (with its high hill and small houses) and Kemp Cay are the most conspicuous of the banks in Pipe Creek. However, entry to either is by invitation only.

Transit closest to Pipe Creek

    Yachts available in Pipe Creek

    4 reviews
    Jetski

    MAGIC LIFE (Day Charter Boat)

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    Azimut
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    Built: 2016

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    3 reviews

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    118 ft
    Broward
    8 guests
    Refit: 2019
    100 US Gall/Hr

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    42 reviews

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    50 ft
    Leopard
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    Jetskis: 2
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    112 ft
    Westport
    8 guests
    Refit: 2020
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    3 cabins
    55 ft
    Azimut
    6 guests
    Refit: 2018

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    4 reviews

    AMURA II

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    55 ft
    CNB Bordeaux
    6 guests
    Built: 2011
    30 Litres/Hr

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    3 reviews
    Jetskis: 2

    THERAPY

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    75 ft
    AICON
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    Refit: 2016/2021

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    Jetski

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    70 ft
    Sunreef Yachts
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    45 ft
    Sea Ray
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    Refit: 2014

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    Jetski

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    76 ft
    Ferretti
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    Refit: 2021

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    6 reviews

    LEGEND & SOUL

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    62 ft
    Rodriguez Yachts
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    SAMARA

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    4 cabins
    80 ft
    .
    8 guests
    Refit: 2019
    30 US Gall/Hr

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    My Girl

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    3 cabins
    62 ft
    Fairline, U.K.
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    Built: 2013

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    ODIN

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    4 cabins
    126 ft
    Trinity
    8 guests
    Refit: 2020
    50 US Gall/Hr

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