Subject: Check-In at Spanish Cay
Cruising News: Be forewarned, that at Spanish Cay, they now have a $50 “dockage fee” if you are just visiting for your customs check-in. I was told that this was a new policy… After I told them that in the cruisers guide it indicates there was no charge, they knocked $10 off. Other than that, it was a pleasant process.
Subject: Spanish Cay Checkin
Cruising News: Referring to an earlier post about a $50 check in fee if you clear customs in Spanish Cay, unless there were 10 people on the boat, something is wrong. I have cleared there but always stay a night. The bottom of their webpage (in the marina page) states there is a $5 usage fee, per person, if you clear customs but do not stay at the marina. Again, I have never been charged as I stay the night.
The $50 charge is well posted at the marina and I believe on their website. I’ve checked in there twice (2005 and 2008), but always stayed the night. In 2005 I had a Cruising Permit (purchased at West End a month earlier) so I was just exercising my re-entry priviledge. Since $50 is about 2/3 the daily berth fee for a 40-45′ boat you might as well spend the night. Obviously they are trying to get people to stay and have dinner at the restaurant (very pricey, but very good). Spanish Cay is still the closest place to checkin in the N. Bahamas and not get a lot of attitude (IMO) as in West End or Fox Town.
For example in 2005 I didn’t know you are are supposed to pay the fee for the Cruising Permit in cash. I got a lot of grief from the C&I folks in West End. You would have thought I was Public Enemy #1. I got my crew to loan me enough cash to cover the fee. In 2008 I checked in at Spanish Cay and forgot about the cash issue (happens a lot at my age). I just got a sigh from the C&I agent and she accepted my personal check.
We also were surprised at the $50 fee as the cruising guide says that you can tie up for free to check in. We hadn’t planned to spend the night and with a strong N wind, it wasn’t very protected. After some ‘discussion’ they gave us a credit that we could use for dockage in the spring if we decide to stop there. FWIW, I would bypass Spanish Cay and check in at Green Turtle in the future.