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Communications

VHF RADIO

Below is a list of VHF channels and their uses.

You might want to copy this and keep it handy

Channel 16 - Calling Only
Call here then switch to a working channel for any conversation.

Channels 09-14, 17-19, 69-72. The usual working channels
Try to listen on 16 for a minute or so before making a call, then switch to a working channel that hasn't been used by the previous parties. All too often the usual switch is to "One Fo" with just a big pileup there. Channel 17, which is a low power channel on most new radios, is an excellent choice for working nearby stations.

Channel 06 - The Taxis
If you need a taxi any where on Abaco, just call "Any Taxi" here on VHF 06 with your location and any taxi within range will come back. If you have a favorite driver, remember the Taxi Number, and call him directly, "Taxi 88". For short conversations it is OK to stay on 06, but be prepared to switch to a working channel if things get busy.

Channel 68 - Cruiser's
Many visiting boats leave their radios on this channel after the Cruiser's Net. If you cannot reach a boat on VHF 16, try 68.

Channel 83 - Medical and BASRA
The medical clinic in Treasure Cay stands by on VHF 83 with a powerful radio that covers most of the usual cruising waters. BASRA (Bahamas Air Sea Rescue) is a voluntary organization that has the closest we have to the rescue functions of the US Coast Guard.

Channel 65 - Dolphin Research
There is an active dolphin and whale research program on Abaco. We leave this channel for them and urge anyone spotting marine mammals to call "Dolphin Research" on 65 and be prepared to give a position report, number of animals, and especially any identifying marks such as nicks on fins and body scars.

Channel 72 - The Elbow Cay Rescue Squad, Emergencies only
Especially stay off this channel. The members of this active and capable unit, the Elbow Cay Fire department and paramedic organization, monitor 72 with handheld VHFs that they carry on their belts. But if you need help in the vicinty of Hope Town, this is the channel to use in getting assistance.

All the other Channels - Private Use
Just because a channel is quiet don't think no one is listening, and often the VHF is in the Living Room and the whole family can hear. For instance there are residents on Treasure Cay that stand by on VHF 66, VHF 08 is heavily used on Guana Cay, and on and on... When you hear someone on VHF 16 answer "Go Over", you can bet they are going to "their" channel. In fact you know you've finally arrived when you know where "over" is.

IMPORTANT:  Rig your radio so you can hear and operate it under way. There is a sailboat on the rocks in Northern Abaco that could have gotten into harbor safely if the crew could have operated the radio from the cockpit and steered and communicated at the same time. The weather was so stormy no one  could go below to the only radio to get detailed guidance instructions that could have saved the boat.

Bahamian AM BCB Radio Stations

 

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