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exumas quick trip report/comments

Old 06-06-2019, 05:22 PM
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Default exumas quick trip report/comments

I just got back from 8 days in the Exumas. We left on the Tuesday after Memorial Day and caught perfect weather the entire trip.PTE-->Bay Street-->Highbourne-->Compass-->Atlantis-->PTE. Two things seemed slightly different this year- The prices of everything really have crept up. I don't keep great expense records but dockage by the time you throw in VAT and other adders is about 30% more than it was a few years ago. Fuel is flat to down at $4.96/Gallon for diesel at Highbourne. I've definitely modified my spending habits. In 8 Days I think we only 3 meals off the boat and I bought very little fuel arriving back in FTL with a reserve of about 75 miles which isn't much for a 500+ mile trip.

So the bad news is that it's noticeably more expensive. The good news is that at every stop, people seemed to give a damn and be pretty happy. I haven't stayed at Bay Street in Nassau for a while and had a blast there. Met a bunch of people that we crossed paths with throughout the Exumas. The staff and security there was great. Highbourne could be straight up bitchy before and they couldn't have been nicer making all the boat puzzle pieces fit the full up marina. We pretty much had all the spots around Shroud and Normans to ourselves. Compass had 4, that's right 4 boats for the first two nights we were there. You need to be gone between 10-3 because of the tour boats but we're always out during the day anyways. I ruined a 50A connecter and the guys at Compass knocked themselves out to get an electrician there. Huge shout out to a THT member that offered to give me parts and support off of his boat. The point is, in past years it was kind of stressed and this year everyone seemed happy.

Zero dipshits blasting their stereos at any of the marinas we were at.

Finally, we wrapped up last night at Atlantis which I've always thought was kind of a pretentious zone. It's still expensive but I called the night before to check on dockage and they were cool. Didn't ask for a card, just said to call when I got there. Check in took about 2 minutes and checked out over the radio. I always thought they acted like they were doing you a favor and it didn't feel that way this year.

Blasted back to FLT through a couple of squall lines which are always there just north of Bimini. Boat wash time.

Net, maybe a little more pricey than it used to be but for some reason I don't we've ever had a more welcoming trip.

And the reason you go is always for the water. Always a complicated trip but worth it IMO.

Compass, Shroud and North of Bimini below.




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Old 06-06-2019, 06:47 PM
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Sounds like a great trip. Crazy to see compass so empty...funny to see the 3 grouped together and all that space...than big yacht has my favorite spot in the marina.

is the pic of shroud at the outflow of the washing machine?

Headed to Highbourne for 3 nights in August...stayed there one night on a previous trip...funny that you mention eating the meals aboard...we need to rent the cabins, and holy cow, it’s a stretch for us to spend that much on a place to lay our heads...one of the justifications is that we will cook b-fast and dinner at the cabin; they are well-equipped.
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Old 06-06-2019, 06:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Lazy Bones View Post
Sounds like a great trip. Crazy to see compass so empty...funny to see the 3 grouped together and all that space...than big yacht has my favorite spot in the marina.

is the pic of shroud at the outflow of the washing machine?

Headed to Highbourne for 3 nights in August...stayed there one night on a previous trip...funny that you mention eating the meals aboard...we need to rent the cabins, and holy cow, it’s a stretch for us to spend that much on a place to lay our heads...one of the justifications is that we will cook b-fast and dinner at the cabin; they are well-equipped.
You've got it right. That's the outflow of the washing machine. It's a huge beach and usually there are people there but not this time.
I was one of the three boats. I always put the boat in there because of the view forward and the fish under the boat on the coral. By day two the other areas were filling up.
It sounds like you've been there a bunch but if you haven't been in August it's really slow, which is a good thing.
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Old 06-06-2019, 07:31 PM
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Originally Posted by BoulderGT3 View Post
You've got it right. That's the outflow of the washing machine. It's a huge beach and usually there are people there but not this time.
I was one of the three boats. I always put the boat in there because of the view forward and the fish under the boat on the coral. By day two the other areas were filling up.
It sounds like you've been there a bunch but if you haven't been in August it's really slow, which is a good thing.
100%, that’s a great spot too...compass has to be one of the best snorkeling marinas in existence...that coral head is pretty cool. People flock to the sharks for their IG posts, but I like type bonefish, snapper, and pompanettes. That whole dock out to where you are is neat. Must have been great with that few of people
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Old 06-07-2019, 03:51 AM
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Fantastic trip and report, I forget 50’ Post?
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Old 06-07-2019, 04:23 AM
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Originally Posted by dpdash View Post
Fantastic trip and report, I forget 50’ Post?
56' Viking.
The boat ran great. I had a fresh water pump go out. That's a trip ending event. Thank goodness I had a spare with fittings, clamps and a 115VAC plug attached. I just plug it in the engine room. 30 minute swap.

I think the most interesting rig I ran into was a 35ish Power Cat with twin 300 Yamahas and fuel bladders on the roof. Two guys doing a trip from St Barths to FTL. They had some stories about rough passages, getting hung up in the DR waiting days for fuel and so on. Very skilled guys but that's still a huge trip. IIRC 1400NM.
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Old 06-07-2019, 04:46 AM
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I just thought of something else that was different this year. I lost XM weather just south of Nassau. Also, I have a tracvision 5 and could only get the 200 and higher stations on Direct TV south of Nassau. No local news which I check sometimes for weather. Not an issue with my antennas or receivers. The guy next to me was having the same issue. Not a big deal with the TV but I've had XM weather help me some navigating storms on the Exuma Bank.
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Old 06-07-2019, 06:35 AM
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Nice to meet you Tom,

That was my first time staying in compass in a long long time. Its still a fun place but the tour boat circus is an absolute joke. I guess you didn't have it too bad down your end of the Marina.

We have the same with the Trac7 and loose the local channels pretty much south of Hawksbill.
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Old 06-07-2019, 08:04 AM
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Originally Posted by BoulderGT3 View Post
I just thought of something else that was different this year. I lost XM weather just south of Nassau. Also, I have a tracvision 5 and could only get the 200 and higher stations on Direct TV south of Nassau. No local news which I check sometimes for weather. Not an issue with my antennas or receivers. The guy next to me was having the same issue. Not a big deal with the TV but I've had XM weather help me some navigating storms on the Exuma Bank.
Originally Posted by Kiwi Mike View Post
Nice to meet you Tom,

That was my first time staying in compass in a long long time. Its still a fun place but the tour boat circus is an absolute joke. I guess you didn't have it too bad down your end of the Marina.

We have the same with the Trac7 and loose the local channels pretty much south of Hawksbill.
Usse guys know there is a 200m range on that from the US, right? Anything after that is a gift.
Local channels are worse because they have "territories" here in the us.
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Old 06-07-2019, 08:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Parker Yacht View Post
Usse guys know there is a 200m range on that from the US, right? Anything after that is a gift.
Local channels are worse because they have "territories" here in the us.
I'm not sure you can use the word "gift" in a sentence or even paragraph with anything related to directTV .

Now that you mention it I do remember that limit but it must not have been activated before. I've watch the NBA finals for the past couple of years when I was in the Exumas.

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Old 06-07-2019, 09:31 AM
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We also just got back from a 2 week trip. We left the Wednesday before Memorial Day Weekend. The seas were weirdly dead calm the entire trip (except for the two days we were in Nassau and that was the plan). Our journey was Haulover-Cat Cay Club (Gun Cay) - Atlantis (Nassau) - Highborne - Compass - Staniel - Highborne - Valentines, Harbor Island (Eleuthra) - moved to Romoro Bay - Chub - Haulover.

Some Observations - Cat Cay Club is a pleasure to overnight and clear customs. There were only 6 boats in a 108 slip marina and a dedicated customs office right next to the restaurant. The people are super nice. They also have a great fuel dock with no wait. I'll never go back to Bimini again. It was oddly quiet the next day (Thursday before Memorial Day Weekend). We cruised over to Honeymoon Harbor and we were the only boat there. About 12 Rays followed us around on the beach looking for a handout, some were huge. If you don't overnight in Cat Cay Club they will refuse you restaurant service (which wasn't our problem but that's the rule). Next day to Atlantis and marina was eerily quiet, we got a slip right in the village. The same few yachts that were there were on our same path the rest of the 2 weeks ,we saw them in every stop. Highborne was super quiet. Compass was quiet except for the massive comings & goings of tour operators. We went to the washing machine at Shroud and there was only two other dingys that showed while we were there. Staniel had plenty of dock space but the resort is kind of a zoo, with tons of people in the bar (they fly in and rent apartments) and a big Sportfish full throttle blasting his county music at 10:00 pm. Staff was nice but it was a little amped up atmosphere for our liking - we can get that in Miami. Back too Highborne and they set us up a bonfire out on the beach that night - super cool, and there are nice new huts with lounge chairs on the beach for your use. Of course we did the pigs (friggin' gross - I almost barfed), the iguanas, Thunderball Grotto, Pipe Cay, Washing Machine at Shroud, etc.

Up to Harbor Island and Bandit led us through the Devils Backbone and gave a loaf of his famous bread. Valentines sucks. The marina had no power the entire day and night. The staff flat out lied and said it was the whole island, although they had power for the office and the fuel dock! The marina was virtually empty. After one night we moved to Romora Bay 1/8 mile away which was super nice and no power issues. The island has degenerated with a lot of Haitians that have moved in. Wives actually felt a little unsafe at night on the golf cart. Bandit says it has gotten bad and next time to stay in Spanish Wells. The beaches were nice and kind of pink. Restaurants were great.

Next stop was Chub which was a little unusual. We called ahead to see if there was fuel and were told "NO, but the barge is coming tomorrow". So we get to Chub about 1:00 pm and a 72' Sporty is fueling up at the dock, with another boat waiting. We get in line and were able to get the last 100 gallons. Had we left earlier we could have topped off BUT we were told there was no fuel. While fueling a yacht came in asking for a slip just to have lunch. Dockmaster pretty rudely told him no, they have to being staying there to eat at the restaurant. Boater said he called ahead and was told it was okay. Dockmaster says, "no its not turn around and leave". I think it's a little odd these empty resorts turn away business. The marina is amazing with new floating docks and the restaurant, grounds and pool are gorgeous, actually looks Disney quality. Once in the pool we sat in the shade by the unmanned swim up pool bar and noticed copious amounts of green algae all over the concrete underwater barstools and pool tiles, and the tiki style pool bar was in a state of disrepair. The investor obviously spent millions building the infrastructure so its a shame to see it not being maintained properly. Even though the bar was closed there was a super nice server bringing drinks to the pool all day. Lunch and dinner at the restaurant were beyond great. Again, the marina was eerily empty except for a group of boats from Naples that rolled in for the night. We left the next day for Cat Cay Club for fuel. At Cat there were literally 3 boats in the 108 slip marina. Then back to Miami on June 5 in dead flat seas.

Overall, the seas were dead calm, people were super nice everywhere, and it was eerily slow in all marinas and on all islands. Last two years I couldn't get a slip because they were all reserved. Very weird......
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Old 06-07-2019, 10:03 AM
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Originally Posted by BoulderGT3 View Post
I'm not sure you can use the word "gift" in a sentence or even paragraph with anything related to directTV .

Now that you mention it I do remember that limit but it must not have been activated before. I've watch the NBA finals for the past couple of years when I was in the Exumas.
I don't know why people B---tch at them.
I have had them since 92', when it was Hughes I believe, when I first went to Detroit and DYC, there was no cable and no local air TV, had me a DirecTV dish I would clamp to the rails.Since that time, living on a boat, it's all I have had.
I brought DirecTV to Cat in 92' after Andrew and all we had was the Haigh House, DirecTV, booze and a pool table.
I have seen multiple changes through the years, but all it all pretty good.
I have no land station, they do have a hard time understanding bote and no internet, but all in all, it works.
Keeps alot of people in Cat happy. :-))))

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Old 06-07-2019, 10:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Parker Yacht View Post
I don't know why people B---tch at them.
I have had them since 92', when it was Hughes I believe, when I first went to Detroit and DYC, there was no cable and no local air TV, had me a DirecTV dish I would clamp to the rails.Since that time, living on a boat, it's all I have had.
I brought DirecTV to Cat in 92' after Andrew and all we had was the Haigh House, DirecTV, booze and a pool table.
I have seen multiple changes through the years, but all it all pretty good.
I have no land station, they do have a hard time understanding bote and no internet, but all in all, it works.
Keeps alot of people in Cat happy. :-))))
They suck without exception. First, they don't understand fitting a receiver on a boat. 2. They have bullshit billing that charges me for items ad infinitum unless I call them and threaten to disconnect. Buy NFL ticket one time and it's easier to stop a virus from the Congo than it is to get them to cool it with the evergreen billing.
I changed to a business account this year and it's a little easier to manage but their bullshit business model is to add charges and remedy by dispute knowing a lot of people will give up.
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Old 06-07-2019, 10:36 AM
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Originally Posted by BoulderGT3 View Post
They suck without exception. First, they don't understand fitting a receiver on a boat. 2. They have bullshit billing that charges me for items ad infinitum unless I call them and threaten to disconnect. Buy NFL ticket one time and it's easier to stop a virus from the Congo than it is to get them to cool it with the evergreen billing.
I changed to a business account this year and it's a little easier to manage but their bullshit business model is to add charges and remedy by dispute knowing a lot of people will give up.
I guess I am "Grandfathered" in.
Whenever I call they go, you have been a loyal member for a VERY LONG TIME, I go yup.
Then they proceed to try and get me to link everything. Nope.
I say it's on a boat, been on a boat, staying on a boat, no internet.
It's OK for now, but, it's changing again.
Even though I have moves "ashore" I still have it, gotta bet my "Home Improvement and Last Man Standing".
What receiver issues you having?
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Old 06-07-2019, 10:38 AM
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Originally Posted by petealan View Post
We also just got back from a 2 week trip. We left the Wednesday before Memorial Day Weekend. The seas were weirdly dead calm the entire trip (except for the two days we were in Nassau and that was the plan). Our journey was Haulover-Cat Cay Club (Gun Cay) - Atlantis (Nassau) - Highborne - Compass - Staniel - Highborne - Valentines, Harbor Island (Eleuthra) - moved to Romoro Bay - Chub - Haulover.

Some Observations - Cat Cay Club is a pleasure to overnight and clear customs. There were only 6 boats in a 108 slip marina and a dedicated customs office right next to the restaurant. The people are super nice. They also have a great fuel dock with no wait. I'll never go back to Bimini again. It was oddly quiet the next day (Thursday before Memorial Day Weekend). We cruised over to Honeymoon Harbor and we were the only boat there. About 12 Rays followed us around on the beach looking for a handout, some were huge. If you don't overnight in Cat Cay Club they will refuse you restaurant service (which wasn't our problem but that's the rule). Next day to Atlantis and marina was eerily quiet, we got a slip right in the village. The same few yachts that were there were on our same path the rest of the 2 weeks ,we saw them in every stop. Highborne was super quiet. Compass was quiet except for the massive comings & goings of tour operators. We went to the washing machine at Shroud and there was only two other dingys that showed while we were there. Staniel had plenty of dock space but the resort is kind of a zoo, with tons of people in the bar (they fly in and rent apartments) and a big Sportfish full throttle blasting his county music at 10:00 pm. Staff was nice but it was a little amped up atmosphere for our liking - we can get that in Miami. Back too Highborne and they set us up a bonfire out on the beach that night - super cool, and there are nice new huts with lounge chairs on the beach for your use. Of course we did the pigs (friggin' gross - I almost barfed), the iguanas, Thunderball Grotto, Pipe Cay, Washing Machine at Shroud, etc.

Up to Harbor Island and Bandit led us through the Devils Backbone and gave a loaf of his famous bread. Valentines sucks. The marina had no power the entire day and night. The staff flat out lied and said it was the whole island, although they had power for the office and the fuel dock! The marina was virtually empty. After one night we moved to Romora Bay 1/8 mile away which was super nice and no power issues. The island has degenerated with a lot of Haitians that have moved in. Wives actually felt a little unsafe at night on the golf cart. Bandit says it has gotten bad and next time to stay in Spanish Wells. The beaches were nice and kind of pink. Restaurants were great.

Next stop was Chub which was a little unusual. We called ahead to see if there was fuel and were told "NO, but the barge is coming tomorrow". So we get to Chub about 1:00 pm and a 72' Sporty is fueling up at the dock, with another boat waiting. We get in line and were able to get the last 100 gallons. Had we left earlier we could have topped off BUT we were told there was no fuel. While fueling a yacht came in asking for a slip just to have lunch. Dockmaster pretty rudely told him no, they have to being staying there to eat at the restaurant. Boater said he called ahead and was told it was okay. Dockmaster says, "no its not turn around and leave". I think it's a little odd these empty resorts turn away business. The marina is amazing with new floating docks and the restaurant, grounds and pool are gorgeous, actually looks Disney quality. Once in the pool we sat in the shade by the unmanned swim up pool bar and noticed copious amounts of green algae all over the concrete underwater barstools and pool tiles, and the tiki style pool bar was in a state of disrepair. The investor obviously spent millions building the infrastructure so its a shame to see it not being maintained properly. Even though the bar was closed there was a super nice server bringing drinks to the pool all day. Lunch and dinner at the restaurant were beyond great. Again, the marina was eerily empty except for a group of boats from Naples that rolled in for the night. We left the next day for Cat Cay Club for fuel. At Cat there were literally 3 boats in the 108 slip marina. Then back to Miami on June 5 in dead flat seas.

Overall, the seas were dead calm, people were super nice everywhere, and it was eerily slow in all marinas and on all islands. Last two years I couldn't get a slip because they were all reserved. Very weird......
Interesting comments about Chubb and Staniel. Chubb was really on their game last year after the restaurant opened. The pool was clean and the food was great. The dock staff has always been absent so I'm not surprised about the fuel dock. The place has to be costing the owner a fortune and I've never seen more the 10-20 boats there. When I was there last year I was hopeful it would stay healthy. Maybe not.

I think I'm the only one that doesn't like the marina at Staniel. Too much activity and it is rolling, rocking and noisy with a lot of current.
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Old 06-07-2019, 10:44 AM
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Boulder Thanks for the update. Will be there in 2 weeks going Miami-Chub-picking up daughters at Baystreet then on to Highbourne- Compass Staniel and on the hook at Wardericks on the return to Nassau.
Would like to take family to the beach in your picture. Where is that? Can we get there w boat? Draft is 5’ or do we need tender, whats is closest to it Staniel or Highbourne
many thanks
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Old 06-07-2019, 10:52 AM
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Originally Posted by BoulderGT3 View Post
Interesting comments about Chubb and Staniel. Chubb was really on their game last year after the restaurant opened. The pool was clean and the food was great. The dock staff has always been absent so I'm not surprised about the fuel dock. The place has to be costing the owner a fortune and I've never seen more the 10-20 boats there. When I was there last year I was hopeful it would stay healthy. Maybe not.

I think I'm the only one that doesn't like the marina at Staniel. Too much activity and it is rolling, rocking and noisy with a lot of current.
Chubb's G.A.F factor is high. The guy built the place for his friends.
I'm not a fan of SC either, it lost it's allure to me about 30 years ago.
You REALLY want to see G.A.F factor, go to Albany.
$1500 drop off fee.
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Old 06-07-2019, 11:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Parker Yacht View Post
Chubb's G.A.F factor is high. The guy built the place for his friends.
I'm not a fan of SC either, it lost it's allure to me about 30 years ago.
You REALLY want to see G.A.F factor, go to Albany.
$1500 drop off fee.
I've not been going as long as you have. I think this is my 10th.
I've gotten to know Tucker and the boys at Compass. Compass has it's issues but I like them and I find something to do during the day. I also cut them some slack because they have a pretty small window where they make money. Probably 90 days?
At any rate, I had a power cable hit the water and ruin a 50A connector. Tucker had his electrician rerouted to drop everything and work on my boat without me saying a word.
Kiwi Mike on this board offered up parts and on and on. It felt like the way it should feel.
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Old 06-07-2019, 11:16 AM
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Originally Posted by mangrove11 View Post
Boulder Thanks for the update. Will be there in 2 weeks going Miami-Chub-picking up daughters at Baystreet then on to Highbourne- Compass Staniel and on the hook at Wardericks on the return to Nassau.
Would like to take family to the beach in your picture. Where is that? Can we get there w boat? Draft is 5’ or do we need tender, whats is closest to it Staniel or Highbourne
many thanks
The beach picture is Shroud Cay on the Sound/Atlantic side. The circle in the picture below. You can't get near it with 5'.
To go through the mangrove from West to East you need a jet ski or <18" at mid tide or lower. On the East side you could beach a tender but I don't think I'd anchor off unless you have someone on watch. The boat is going to be a ways out there to get to 5'.
The best way to get there is from Highbourne with a tender. It's the next island south of Normans. Maybe 10NM south of Highbourne. Or W Wells. It's worth figuring out.



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Old 06-07-2019, 01:00 PM
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Great. Thanks for the help
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