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The Salty Southeast
Cruisers' Net
Cruisers Helping Cruisers

Archive For: Bahamas

  • Be Careful Fueling Up in the Bahamas

    Cruising News:
    Be careful where and when you get Fuel in the Bahamas. If you are crossing to the Abacos and need Fuel, one of the better and cheaper places is Old Bahama Bay / West end, believe it or not. BUT… Do not get the Fuel if they just had their tanks filled. The mess in the Bottom of their tanks gets stirred up and the first one or two boats right after they get fuel will have a bad day. Spanish is Ok, but not cheap. Green Turtle White sound, is your next best bet.
    If you do get BAD FUEL. There is a great product available to tell you when your Racor Filter is Dirty. It is NOT a typical vacuum Gauge.
    This T-Handle Gauge simply replaces the existing T-Handle on your Racor and it locks in position so you can read it with the engine OFF. You can check it any time, and it will show you what your filters were doing when the engine was running at operating RPM, Not just at the dock.
    This unit saved us 2 engine shut downs that there was NO way we would have never been aware of. We filled tanks with BAD FUEL and the Racor 900 was clogged in 9 hours one time and 12 hours the next time. It happens real quick with BAD FUEL. The Gauge was showing a clogging Filter and we didn’t believe it until we saw the mess that used to be our perfectly clean filter.
    I think it is a MUST HAVE for anyone with a diesel engine in their Boat / Yacht. It can save you a bunch of BIG headachs
    You can find it at
    Capt. ROB

    Nassau Yacht Haven is decent, they have showers, laundry you can walk to markets, and over bridge to Atlantis. Reasonable rates friendly dock hands.
    Capn Dan

  • Huge Discussion on “Exumas Customs Check In”

    The discussion below is copied from the MTOA List-Serve, an organization, by the way, which all of us at the Salty Southeast Cruisers’ Net continue to recommend highly!!!!

    We are looking for an inexpensive place to check-in to customs/immigration. Bimini has moorings to tie to but we can’t find out who manages them or what they cost. Cat Cay charges $100 to tie up a dinghy to clear customs. Chubb Cay has an anchor area but no information on whether they also charge to tie up the dinghy. Any ideas/information would be helpful.
    Barry Kipnis

    By far the easiest place to check in is at Old Bahama Bay / West End. Tie up to their dock, near the fuel pumps for FREE and check in 30′ away. Reliably Open 7 days a week, minimum from 9am to 5pm. Great customs people. Best bet is to try to arrive at about 2pm. all the Go Fast boats have cleared by then. Fuel is good and is about the cheapest in the Bahamas.
    Captain Rob

    Barry, Our experiences are long ago, however we loved checking in at Turtle Key. (Abacos) Anchored out and then went ashore. May have changed. We did anchor at Chubb last time, however arrived too late to check in and went on to check in at Nassau. There we rafted up to a tug boat……did not allow you to anchor and check in. Out of date information I am sure…..Later Dude.

    Barry, Things in the Bahamas are constantly changing, so what is OK today may not be next week. We have anchored in Bimini and outside Chubb Cay and checked in. We immediately moved on after check in. The holding at Bimini is poor and there is strong currents. We have also anchored and checked in at Green Turtle. Most other stops are either convenient to find a slip or required as at Cat/Gunn. Walkers Cay marina was closed but Customs and Immigration is still there so that may be another option. Of course the marina could re-open by the time you get there. That is how quickly things change. Good luck.

    Sounds like you will have to spend a night on the banks. Bimini, the banks, Chub Cay anchorage and then on to Nassau to check in. You might get lucky at Chub Cay!
    Good luck,
    John Knapp

    Last fall we stopped at the Berry Island Club, just a few miles east of Chubb. Lincoln, the manager drove us to the airport customs office in his truck for $25, and we rented moorings from him for $15/night.

    There is plenty of room to anchor just off of the customs dock and further up by Bimini Bay. There were several boats at anchor when we were there in December.
    Gerry & Linda Etzold

    Hi All,
    We just cleared Customs at the West end…Anchored over night for free and tied up to the Customs dock ,,,Were in and out in fifteen minutes and 150.00 cash…..our boat is the Stella Maris Ip35 Enjoy….

    We just returned from Bimini and checked in to customs and immigration by temporarily tying up to the government dock there. we then anchored out several days in an area just south of the new Bimini Marina at the very end North Bimini. this is the 3rd time doing this and we find it works nicely with our 49 ft Endeavour power catamaran.
    Colleen Anderson

  • May Weather in the Abacos

    Hello there,
    My husband and I are planning a sail trip from Florida to the Abacos in May of this year. We don’t know whether we will be going by way of Miami and then Bimini, the Berries and then north…..or do we go by way of West End and then east and then south until we can turn west and go back towards Miami and Ft. Lauderdale?
    My question is….Can any one tell us what direction the wind most likely would be blowing in May? Does any one remember where it was coming from last May?
    We know it is mostly from the south east at about 5-10 during the beginning of July, when we usually get there.
    D. Benjamin

    Every sailor is going to give his or her opinion. You are starting to get less of a northerly component but any given year is different from the past to some degree. Personally I would start out going through Bimini and working my way north.
    C. Winston Fowler

    If your going to the Abacos my opinion would be to use the Gulf Stream to your advantage from Miami. It wil give you a Free 3 knots and You may not even have to adjust your sails. Head directly to the tip of Grand Bahama Island. Old Bahama Bay / West end 26′ 42′ 25n / 79′00′20 w. Great place to check in, Customs is right there 7 days a week 9am to 5pm at minimum; and I would suggest pay for a slip and stay over one night. You made it across the Gulf Stream and will need to unwind and relax to start the rest of your adventure. Then your next stop could be to anchor off Great Sale.
    The wind last year mid May was East / S.East and is about the norm. Probably the Best time of year in the Abacos.
    Captain Rob

  • Special Construction Prices at Hopetown Inn & Marina

    Hopetown Inn & Marina is offering a special while the marina is under construction. All the docks are built but only a few have water and power. They are charging $ 20.00 a night for boats up to 40′ and .75 a foot/night over 40 ‘, $4.00 for showers and water is .25 a gallon and free wifi in the laundry room or outside the office. The rate for my 39’ Mainship is $100.00 a week. Mooring balls are $ 20.00 a night. Contact the dockmaster Aaron on ch. 16 or 242-366-0003. There is a ferry to Marsh Harbor $17 one way and round trip $27, a 20 minute ride. The islanders go out of their way to be friendly and greet you with a smile. This is a well protected harbor with restaurants, shops and beautiful Bahamian cottages and roads built for golf carts. The restaurants and grocery store have dingy docks. This is one of
    my favorite locations in the Abacos. Treasure Cay has the prettist beach at Coco’s Beach.
    Charles Crawford, Mobile, Al.
    MV Bama Belle 390 Mainship

  • Chub Cay OPEN

    What is the status of Chub Cay. I heard it is closed and shut down. I heard this from a charter fisherman.
    Bahama Pappa

    I just called Chub Cay and am told they are fully open, including marina.
    Fuel is US$5.35 per gallon for both diesel and gas.
    Tele: 954-634-7496
    C. Winston Fowler

    Arrived from Bimini to Chub Cay marina near noon in a Pearson 365 ketch. Although very friendly marina, we were stunned by the sticker price of 4.50 USD per foot with a 40 foot minimum. This does not include power, as it is metered at 85 cents per kw. The water continues to be 40 cents per gallon in addition to slip fee. $174.00 for a night shocked us. We are leaving in the morning, early.
    Barry Umberger

  • Exumas Weather Reports?

    Staniel Cay referred me to you. We will be in the Exumas soon and I recall from a few years ago a morning weather report/net from a land based person near Staniel. I would like to be able to telephone them when I am not in VHF range. Do you have a phone number/information regarding this???
    Bob Teffenhart-trawler “islander”

    Hi Bob,

    The only regular weather that I can remember being available on regular basis, come from Highborne Cay at 8:00 AM – she makes the general call on channel #16 then switches to channel #6. That is the only one I know of at the moment and you can call Highborne for this on their telephone 242-355-1008 before coming down. I think they get their input from NOAA – Nassau. Another contact would be further down the island chain to George Town. At 8:10 AM they have a net which I believe is on channel #68.
    Things are changing fast in the Exumas. If you learn of new resources that we can share with the cruising community, please share them with us.
    Hope this has been of some assistance Bob. Enjoy your cruise; you’re headed for some beautiful waters and islands.
    God’s speed,
    C. Winston Fowler

    Weather in the Bahamas can be found on 4003 kHz at 0720 daily. It is from BASRA.
    Jim Kane

    Highborne weather broadcast at 0730

    In the Staniel area there is a woman, call sign “Blue Yonder” that gives weather and community announcements every morning at 8 am on VHF 12. She always announces first on VHF 16 before switching to 12. She relays Bahamas and NOAA weather along with 5 day buoy forecasts for Staniel Cay and The Tongue of the Ocean.
    Chris on M/V Private Idaho

  • Veternerians in the Bahamas

    Anyone have a list of vets in the Bahamas?
    Beth Durocher

    Don’t expect vet’s on the smaller islands. Nassau is of course the major source of vet care. Not sure about the villages of West End, Marsh Harbor, and George Town . . . but will try to find out.

    Hope this list is helpful – it is all I could find. Will need to check when you get into areas in case listings have changed.

    HepLyn Veterinary Home Service

    Veterinarians (DVM),Pet Care Services

    • Nassau
    • Nassau / Paradise Island, Bahamas

    Purrfect Pets

    Veterinarians (DVM),Pet Care Services,Pet Supplies & Food Retail

    • Prince Charles Drive & College Garden Drive
    • Nassau
    • Nassau / Paradise Island, Bahamas

    Central Animal Hospital

    • Tenwich St
    • Nassau
    • Nassau / Paradise

    Animal Clinic

    Veterinarians (DVM)

    • Wulff Rd & East Street
    • Nassau
    • Nassau / Paradise Island, Bahamas

    Nassau Veterinary Clinic

    Veterinarians (DVM)

    • 7th St Coconut Grove Ave
    • Nassau
    • Nassau / Paradise Island, Bahamas

    Palmdale Veterinary Clinic

    • Palmdale Avenue & Patton Street
    • Nassau
    • Nassau / Paradise Island, Bahamas

    Caribbean Veterinary Health & Healing Centre

    • Queens Highway
    • Freeport
    • Grand Bahama, Bahamas

    Freeport Animal Clinic

    • Queen Hwy
    • Freeport
    • Grand Bahama, Bahamas

    Caribbean Veterinary Health & Healing Centre

    Veterinarians (DVM)

    • Don Mackay Blvd
    • Marsh Harbour
    • Abaco, Bahamas

    Island Veterinary Clinic

    Veterinarians (DVM)

    • Marsh Harbour
    • Abaco, Bahamas

    Exuma Veterinary ClinicVeterinarians (DVM)

    • George Town
    • Exuma, Bahamas

    C. Winston Fowler
    C. Winston Fowler
    “The Salty Southeast Cruisers’ Net, LLC”


    Saturday, March 19thAnnual
    James Bond Casino Royale Costume Party 8:00
    pm, Staniel Cay Yacht Club

    • Dress as your favorite Bond, Bond-Girl, Villain
      or feel free to dress up in your best casino attire
    • Try your hand at blackjack* and poker*
    • Enjoy cocktails, music and dancing
    • Win prizes for Best Costumes so go all out!
    • Proceeds from this event support the annual Mixed-Doubles
      C-Class Regatta held every New Years at Staniel Cay.
    Bond in the Bahamas is a REALLY good time…
    Be a Villain…

    Be a Bond-Girl… good or bad!
    Or, of course, be your favorite 007!
    Fly… Boat… or Swim… Just get here! Staniel
    Cay Yacht Club… like no other place on Earth.
    *gaming chips have no cash
    value. prizes for chip leaders.
    Contact us for more information.
    | e:
    | Bahamas t: 242.355.2024 | U.S. t: 954.467.8920
  • Bahamas Check-In (1/22/11)

    Cruising News*: Just checked in yesterday Friday, 1/21/11 at Chub Cay. No problems with 180 day stay. The officer I worked with was a junior inspector (single stripe on his shoulder). He said there was no problem with 180 days and gave me same.
    However, his boss (a three stripe man) walked in about 3/4 of the way through the process. I related to him all of the concern in the U.S. about the 30 day vs. 90 day vs. 180 day stay. He told me he was only granting 90 immigration permits.
    The junior officer looked over at his boss having already done all the paperwork for me for a 180 day permit. His boss just waved his hand and said that was ok. I guess the junior man just learned something new.
    The boss said you could get an extension to the first application approximately 80 to 89 days after the first one for an additional 90 days, without any problem at any immigration office in the Bahamas.
    Scott Harris

  • New Bahamas Entrance Requirements

    Captain Chuck Baier, managing Editor for the Waterway Guide, has been kind enough to allow us to reproduce his note below which originally appeared on the MTOA List-Serve. Perhaps this will finally answer at least some of the questions which have recently been raised on the Net, and other on-line nautical mail lists and web sites about the regulations surrounding stays in Bahamian waters.

    I thought I would update everyone on this since it has been the topic of discussion for a while now. This was just published on The Eleutheran News site, , and this from Director Jack Thompson……

    “(Nassau, Bahamas)
    – In recent weeks a number of queries have been lodged with the Department regarding length of stay for Canadian, American and British nationals in The Bahamas.
    *All bona fide visitors (nationals)from the United States, Canada and United Kingdom are landed at allports for thirty (30) days.
    *Visitors from the aforementioned countries are allowed to remain in The Bahamas for a period up to eight (8) months.
    *Stay periods are approved following an interview with an Immigration Officer(s). In instances where visitors are desirous of additional time, an extension should be requested.
    *Visitors arriving by Pleasure crafts are required to complete the requisite forms and are allowed to remain in The Bahamas for up to eight (8) months. This policy also applies to the Home Owners.
    *The Department of
    Immigration encourages all foreign homes owners in The Bahamas to apply to the Department for a Home Owners Card in accordance with the International Persons Land Holding Ltd. The Department is ever mindful of its mandate to welcome genuine visitors while safeguarding our boarders against undesirables.”

    So this means that 30 days is the rule. For those lucky enough to get more, you have received a bonus, but everyone can not expect to receive more than 30 days. Have a great season.

    I was told the cruising permit for the boat is for a year,is that right because I left my boat there to go back,and I can renew 2 times before having to take her back to the states or pay duty on it. Can you tell me if that is right ?
    Thank you

    To follow our adventures, go to

  • More Discusson About Bahamas Registration

    We arrived at Bimini last week and received a 30 day permit.  Others  who  arrived received 120 plus.  It was purely based on who was at the desk  at the time.  However, when we arrived in Nassau, the dockmaster told us  that
    there is a new policy to allow only 30 days,  but US citizens can get it extended if you go to an immigration  office (not customs) 3 or 4 days before it expires for to up to 6 months.   He strongly encouraged all US citizens to
    write the immigration office and  complain loudly, as it has already affected his business.
    He indicated that the policy is directed at Canadian citizens who seemingly take more from the Bahamas than they bring (his words, not mine).  He  pointed out that there were no Canadian boats in his marina, but the anchorage  was full of them.
    So, it is politics as usual here, but it is also warm and sunny.
    Gerry Etzold
    Monk’s Vineyard

    We went to both the Immigration Office and the Customs office at the docks in Bimini. The other advice we received from the Customs folks (after we complained there) was to clear in at the central administration office downtown for immigration. Apparently, that office is much more lenient and interprets the “new” policy in their own way.

    We cleared in earlier this year at Bimini downtown. We docked at the Sea Crest Marina and Hotel ( next door to the government docks. Gave us 120 days for our $300. It was a slow day. Customs guy was asleep behind the desk. With much trepidation, I woke him up. Said nothing, just took my papers, stamped them, handed them back and went back to sleep. Immigration lady behind the glass was incredibly public relations savvy and public service oriented. She made sure everything was in order and offered up the extra 30 days when I told her we were headed to the Exumas on our trawler.
    So it seems like you can get anywhere from 30 days to 120 days depending on where you check in and who checks you in. I wonder what’s up with that?
    Gerry, I finally figured it out. I know what it is!!!!! You tried to teach them how to play “Butt Darts” didn’t you? Where is Capt. Sterling when you need him.

    As a boater, who happens to be Canadian, I think that maybe there is another side to this. If we boaters spend all our money on marinas then only one business makes money, but if more boaters anchor out then more then likely they will spend that marina money instead, at many businesses and more then one person will make money. Maybe it’s time to look at the big picture of where and how we spend our money and on who. Maybe it’s time for the Gov’t to see this and act with responsibility.

  • Spanish Cay Marina

    Subject: Spanish Cay, Bahamas
    Cruising News: I just checked in to the Bahamas at Spanish Cay Marina and it was great. New managers, former cruisers. They couldn’t of been more helpful and by the end of the day we had 8 sailboats here and no one else. The Clearing in was a snap and we got 180 days. I told the lady that I wanted to stay for a year and she laughed and then told me she could give me 180 days. Just a great stay.
    Mike Link

  • Enjoy the Holidays with the Staniel Cay Yacht Club Family

    Dec. 25th ? Saturday, Christmas Celebrattion12 Noon, SCYC – Children’s Christmas Party

    • For all children in the Staniel Cay area
    • Arts, crafts and games (Volunteers needed! Inquire at SCYC)
    • Presents with a visit from Santa!

    7:00 pm, SCYC – Annual Christmas Dinner

    • With all the fixin’s…
    • Make your reservations early!
    Dec. 28th ? Tuesday, Public Beach Cookouut and Fundraiser12 Noon, Staniel Cay Public Beach

    • The Staniel Cay Community invites all to attend!
    Dec. 29th ? Wednesday, Long-Drive Contesst and SCYC Pirate Party4:00 pm, SCYC – Happy Hour and Long-Drive contest off the dock!

    • How far can you hit it?
    • Prizes for winners!
    9:00 pm, SCYC – AHOY! AVAST! Arrrrr Ye Ready For the Annual SCYC Pirate Party?!

    • Bring yer booty and shake it!
    • Prizes for Best Pirate and Best Wench costumes!
      Dec. 30th ? Thursday, Pre-Regatta Eventss4:00-6:00 pm, SCYC – Annual Cruising Regatta Charity Auction and Mixed-Doubles Regatta Captains’ Happy Hour!

    • Complimentary grill and drinks!
    • EVERYTHING is free until 6:00 pm!!
    • Crew selection lottery and logistics review for regatta
    Dec. 31st ? Friday, New Year’s EEve Celebration10:00 am, Annual Mixed-Doubles Regatta

    • It’s “Tida Wave” vs. “Lady Muriel” and YOU are invited to sail!
    • Come experience the thrill of real Bahamian sailing at Staniel Cay. Traditionally an all-Bahamian affair, our “Mixed Doubles Regatta” puts you, our guests, on these beautiful hand-crafted sloops. To participate, sign up at the Staniel Cay Yacht Club.
    • Post-race awards ceremony at SCYC
    4:00 pm, Happy People Marina

    • Cruising Regatta Captains’ Cocktail Party

    7:00 pm, SCYC – Annual Pig and Turkey Roast Buffet

    • Dinner and dancing under the stars!
    • Great music, food and drink!
    12 Midnight, SCYC – Ring in the New Year!!

    • Complimentary champagne toast
    • New Year Fireworks Display
    • Revelry into the night!
    Jan. 1st ? Saturday, New Year’s Day Celebration10:00 am, Annual Cruising Regatta

    • All sailboats in the area are invited to compete in this annual race!
    • Fun, prizes and bragging rights!
    • Post-race awards and dinner on the public beach
  • New Bahamas Family Cruising Network

    Subject*: New Bahamas Family Cruising Network
    Cruising News*: A new Bahamas family cruising network is being setup for those families with children cruising in the Bahamas. the plan is to exchange information on cruising activities, education, community welfare, environment, interested parties may respond to we are looking to establish groups in the Abacos, Exumas, and beyond. exchange information in new providence and grand Bahama will also have value
    Tim Ramsey

  • Candian Cruising Couple Told To Leave George Town, Exuma After a 90 Day Stay

    The important note below was passed along to us by Captain Steve Morrell, editor and publisher of “Southwinds” magazine. If ANYONE has more info about length of stay prohibitions in the Bahamas, please click the “Comment on This Posting/Marina/Anchorage/Bridge” link below, and share your information.

    There has been a report of a Canadian cruising boater being asked to leave the Bahamas from George Town, Exuma, after his stay of 90 days ended. He was told that he should have gotten a visa for a longer stay from the Embassy before he came into the country in order to remain in the Bahamas for more than 90 days. Bahamian officials at the Department of Immigration as well as at the Bahamian Embassy in Miami confirm this and now cite statute law, which requires persons of certain nationalities to have a visa if they want to extend beyond a 90-day stay. Persons from the following countries can be extended up to a maximum of 8 months without a visa: Belgium, Denmark, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Nepal, Norway, San Marino, Scotland, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom, and United States. All others MAY be required to have a visa to extend after the 90-day period. It is up to the discretion of the Immigration Officer and the policy is not applied in a uniform manner. For those citizens to a 90-day period, it would be wise to check in with their own embassy before departing for the Bahamas to obtain a visa, or they can visit the Bahamas Embassy in Miami at the Ingraham Building, 25 SE 2nd Avenue; phone 305-373-6295 and ask for Ms. Thomas. Another option is to leave the country, re-enter, and clear Customs again. There is no guarantee one way or another that a person will be asked to either re-enter or produce a visa. As one Bahamian source said, “There are Laws of Convenience in the Bahamas, laws that have been on the books for many years but may or may not be enforced until it suits some purpose.” The new Immigration Officer in George Town, Exuma, states that the 90-day-only limit, without a visa, is being applied there. This may not be the end of this story!

    Depressing news on the Immigration subject. Having issued an “all clear” for cruisers to enter any Port of Entry into the Bahamas, based on comments of an Immigration officer in Nassau, who issued 180 permits to two boats clearing in on Tuesday, we heard today that everybody clearing in at Nassau will now receive 90 days MAXIMUM!
    If it wasn’t such a serious inconvenience to cruisers, it would be laughable, to watch the misinformation, inconsistent policy, and perceived bumbling on the part of various Immigration officers…..sometimes from the same Port of Entry.
    Suffice it to say, that, for now the only Port of Entry that has consistently given 180 days is Lucaya, Grand Bahama Island.
    Sorry, to any vessels who have been further inconvenienced by our “all clear” announcement. We thought we were hearing it from someone in charge. Now we are thinking nobody is in charge!
    Dick Giddings (W3RDT)
    “St. Jude”

  • Bahamas Cruising Permits????

    Subject*: Bahamas Cruising Permits
    Cruising News*: We are in Vero Beach staging to cross to the Bahamas. Everyone is talking about the “new” rules that are supposed to be happening in the Bahamas. We are getting reports that you can only get a permit for a maximum of 30 days and other stories are that you might get 90 max. Seems that it all depends on were you check in at as to how long you can stay and the fee is still $300 ?????? Does anyone know exactly what is happening?
    Larry Morrow

    Yesterday (11/29) Sam the Skull went back to Nassau to protest his 30 day permit, from two weeks ago. After lengthy pleading, he finally got 90 days, after deducting the two weeks he has already been in the Bahamas. He was told at the end of those 90 days, he would have to leave the Bahamas, clear into another country, and then could return and start the process all over again, (INCLUDING paying another $300.00???).
    Also yesterday, Blue Pearl went to the Bahamas Consulate in Miami, and got 180 day visas, at the cost of $65 per person.
    Also yesterday, Swell Horizon was given 30 in Nassau, but realized, on the way back to the boat, what it meant, and went back to plead for 180 days, as they don’t intend to return until May. The gal was quite firm, but when they finally asked to speak to her supervisor, she gave them 90 days, and subsequent pleading only caused an unpleasant confrontation.
    11/28: Nice ‘N Easy apparently had no problem getting 90 days in Nassau, but were flatly told “That is ALL.”
    11/27: Option III was only able to get 30 days at Bimini. I don’t know how hard they tried for more, because I had told them to just take it, and go to some other port and ask to have it extended, which is what they are going to do. (This is the port where s/v Valkyrie got 180 days just two weeks before.)
    And, in a previous email, I have listed some others who have had widely divergent experiences, at various ports of entry. We are starting to hear questions about “What if I don’t check in at all?” and “What if I just take the 30 days, and simply stay for four or five months?”.
    And a few are in Florida, rethinking a visit to the Bahamas until this is straightened out…. I love the Bahamas, but Cuba is looking more tempting all the time! Sea you later…
    Dick (W3RDT)
    s/v “St. Jude”
    Dover, NC

    The Immigration system for incoming boats is now back to what it has been for years, after a brief confusion related to the airport. Whatever boaters are given, they can visit Immigration Head Office in Nassau to have it extended to what they want. Otherwise they can do so at a port of entry within the last week of their initial period. That can be difficult re weather, so we recommend the former.
    In case of confusion over Cruising Permit length, they are still using forms which say 6 months, after decades of it really being 12 months. As it says that over the owner’s signature, just change it to read 12. C Ps may be extended for an additional two years, for $500 each year if desired.
    Nicholas Wardle

    I guess I understand….back to organized disorganization I have known since the ’80s, and just learned to deal with it. I guess we will have to educate a whole new generation of cruisers to the old ways! (Truly “SNAFU”!)
    The policy is: there is no policy, and boats can be given anything from 30 days to 8 months, at the whim of the issuing officer. And we will remind folks to change the Cruising Permits to one year…
    And, that they can take their paperwork to Immigration in Nassau for appeal…
    And, if we don’t get another chance to say it, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, from Dover, NC!!!
    Best regards,
    Judy and Dick

    As of this morning, a couple of boats clearing in at Nassau got 180 day permits. This is undoubtedly as a direct result of Carolyn and Nick Wardle (BASRA) speaking to the officials, on behalf of the cruisers, who are being inconvenienced, and the Bahamian merchants, who are losing business. I don’t ,as yet, know how long it is going to be before the 180 day policy gets out to all of the Ports of Entry. But, the “safe” places to clear in now include Nassau, and Lucaya, and a longer list will surely be added soon.
    Dick Giddings

  • Transiting to Abacos via Bimini

    if you do not want to transit up the busy east coast of fl & you have the time, & you want to leave the keys @ key largo you can go on to the biminis, go through gun cay cut, on to chub cay & clear. then cruise the berrys. at the north end of the berrys you can cross to mores island to cave cay(bight of abaco)(spence rock pass carries about 5.5ft @ mid to high tide). that puts you 1/2 a day to green turtle cay. this route is mostly anchoring & not much marina hopping.

    Back in the day, cruise ships attempted to make Baker’s Bay a landing depot with all the amenities but discovered they couldn’t predict the conditions (“rage”) in the Loggerhead channel so they abandoned the whole site. The one thing Cruise ship lines need is predictability. After the Cruise line bailed it has become quite the “destination”.
    I found it a great place to “end-for-end” my 250′ of primary anchor chain. The bottom was white sand and I dragged it all around in reverse. It did a great job!
    Phil “TrawlerPhil” & Aven Rosch

  • Canadian Vessels Entering the Bahamas

    Hi allay’alls,
    This situation has been boiling up the airways for the past couple of days, and we finally have some first-hand info, well now it’s second-hand, to share with you.
    So far, this appears to only apply to Canadians entering the Bahamas, but we are not positive about this either, because that just doesn’t make sense.
    The vessel “Marie Antoine” owned by Canadians but with Bahamian registry stays in the Bahamas year ’round but the owners fly back and forth from Canada. They arrived in Georgetown this year, expecting Immigration to approve their 180 day stay, as usual. Instead they were given 30 days! Then they were told that they could renew two times, for a total not to exceed 90 days. At that point they would have to leave the Bahamas for 24 hours and then come back and repeat the process.
    So, they immediately informed friends on the FL east coast of the problem…..again, Canadians, hoping to spend six months in the Bahamas, as usual. These two vessels, “Lady Ray” and “Union Jack” went to the Bahamian Consulate in Miami and were told, at first, there was no problem getting 180 days; but then a woman from an inner office said, “Wait! That’s not correct.” This gal is head of the “visa section” in the Bahamas Consulate, in Miami, and her name is Mrs. Vernell Thomas, and the office phone is: 305-455-1175, and another number which may ring directly to Mrs. Thomas’ desk, is: 305-316-4752.
    Mrs. Thomas sold these two vessels a $65 visa, plus additional fees for expediting the process, and the passport photo that was required to attach to the visa, which then becomes part of the passport. So that’s $95 per boat, plus the regular fees for the boat.
    The reason I suggest this is only happening to Canadians is that several US boats have cleared Customs and Immigration at other than Georgetown and had no problem getting the usual 180 day permit and fishing license. WHY Canadians only?
    To further confuse everyone, Michael Hoff, on “Valkyrie”, had called the Bahamas Immigration Office a week ago (when these rumors first popped up), and spoke to a gentleman who purportedly is in charge of all Immigration Offices in the Bahamas. Michael is accompanied by a Canadian citizen, and wanted to dot the I’s and cross the T’s well ahead of arrival on the Banks. He was told there is NO NEW IMMIGRATION POLICY, and if there was a new policy this gentleman would have had to sign off on it before it went into effect!!!
    So, now, less than a week later, we have names, and places, and phone numbers. But, I still wanna know, is this just more inconsistency or confusion of unclear or recently discovered OLD policy, or is it simply a regional attempt at ripping off visitors to the Bahamas? Since I started visiting the Bahamas regularly, back in 1991, I have been amazed to find the inconsistent stories of Customs and Immigration in the Bahamas. I have found the most consistent processing to be in Nassau, Green Turtle Cay, and Marsh Harbour (in my personal experience). Some of the others have originated some pretty wild stories about limited cruising permits, outrageous local fees, and some stories I won’t repeat here because I have a hard time believing them. But I have plenty of reason to suspect that this particular Immigration problem is NOT policy, because it just doesn’t make sense to me.
    If any of you can find out more and get a clear Bahamas Immigration answer to this, I would appreciate an email to me, describing what is what. And, IF there is a new policy, we had better ALL try to expose it ASAP! (Monty, I was told you were “tearing your hair out” trying to get to the bottom of this! Don’t do that, you do not have hair to spare!!!)
    Dick Giddings (“St. Jude”)
    aka Capt. Joe King

    This new rule also applies to Canadian home owners in Georgetown. After 30 years of visiting this island, this year I was given only 30 days at the Georgetown airport. Since then I received an extension of 60 days after which I will have to leave the island. I’m related to Bahamians who are trying to get to the bottom of this for me. Another example of the total disorganization of this government.
    Diana Daniels

  • Good Cruise to the Abacos

    Subject: Bahamas
    Cruising News: Just got back from a 2 week cruise from Stuart, FL to the Abacos, then back to FL and then out of FL to Brunswick, GA due to Insurance. The crossings of the Gulf Stream went very well but even though good weather was forecast we still left at first light. The Abacos are beautiful, the navigation was pretty easy, but the islands are expensive. The cheapest diesel is found at Marsh Harbor Marina in Marsh Harbor. It was 4.40/gl. At Spanish Cay it was 4.75/gl and a 1 night stay for a 54 footer with 50 amp and no water was 198. At Guana Cay we could not get a slip at Orchid Bay due to Nipper.

  • Bad Fuel at West End

    After 10,000 miles of trouble free cruising, we took on fuel at West End, Bahamas for the crossing back to Florida. 4 fuel filter changes later we limped into Lake Worth. We had the tanks pumped and cleaned. The gunk that came out was quite amazing. Not sure how much was attributable to West End vs the last time the tanks were cleaned (heaven knows when), but never a problem before the garbage they pumped in at the marina. Will have a filter before we do that again.
    Hank Evans
    Queen Ann’s Revenge

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