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Old 17-01-2016, 16:25   #16
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Re: Florida to Bimini, Bahamas

Bimini also has a potentially tricky entrance that is not well charted on many charts.
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Old 18-01-2016, 07:43   #17
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Re: Florida to Bimini, Bahamas

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Originally Posted by Ocean Girl View Post
We left out of marathon, stopped at Sombrero reef for a nice swim, then rode the stream to Bimini. We checked in at Bimini Blue Water, do not recommend. We'd go to big game or to south Bimini , Bimini sands Marina( call ahead to see if customs office is open, I think they are only there during high season).

To check into Bimini we had to go to customs at the big game club, then immigration which is a 5min walk up the road. Everyone was very courteous. As soon as we checked in we left the marina and anchored outside the harbor on the northwest side of the island. Even though we paid for the night at blue water, the harbor was way too rough with big fishing vessels throwing big wakes, lots of black flies, no breeze.

What will take you three hours to cross took us about 24.

Pic is approach to north Bimini harbor
i read that you have to fly a bahama flag and a yellow flag. what for?
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Old 18-01-2016, 08:00   #18
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Re: Florida to Bimini, Bahamas

The yellow flag is your quarantine flag. You fly it until you check in. Then you switch it with your Bahamas, or courtesy, flag.


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Old 18-01-2016, 08:40   #19
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Re: Florida to Bimini, Bahamas

Just wait for good conditions and go for it, we left FL up the New River at 0600 and motored into North Bimini just on sunset, it was pretty rough to start with due to the slop left over from a Northerly two days previous but that improved as we got further out, in the end we had to motor the last 10 miles in glassy conditions, put a line out the back, we caught a great wahoo.
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Old 18-01-2016, 08:55   #20
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Re: Florida to Bimini, Bahamas

Hi Anchor, sounds like you could use some basic and advanced training. That can be a very nasty 50 miles. All this advise is good but I would add perhaps an offshore boating course or just getting some experience with experienced boaters. Chapman's, power squadron, coast guard aux. are all good educators. Learn so to live and enjoy the ride. It'll be a lot more fun when you are more secure out there in the stream. Maybe offer free help aboard a boat heading over there for experience. Good luck brother...
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Old 18-01-2016, 09:00   #21
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Re: Florida to Bimini, Bahamas

Just depart with south or southeast winds no more than 15 knt

Run due east of Down Town Miami and you will be fine.

I would recommend going with another boat in case you have engine problems

I would check in at the Bimini Sands resort on South Bimini which is the pink colored condos as you're approaching south Bimini
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Old 18-01-2016, 09:51   #22
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Re: Florida to Bimini, Bahamas

Have a gps with the Bahamas chip.
Have an Epirb if possible.
Watch the wind, from the north is bad, easterly also.
Bahamas Bureau of Tourism was located just outside of Ft.Lauderdale, they have a ton of info.
Leave a float plan.
When in Bimini lock up the boat when away from it.
I LOVE Bimini...............
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Old 18-01-2016, 10:28   #23
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Re: Florida to Bimini, Bahamas

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Originally Posted by CREX View Post
Hi Anchor, sounds like you could use some basic and advanced training. That can be a very nasty 50 miles. All this advise is good but I would add perhaps an offshore boating course or just getting some experience with experienced boaters. Chapman's, power squadron, coast guard aux. are all good educators. Learn so to live and enjoy the ride. It'll be a lot more fun when you are more secure out there in the stream. Maybe offer free help aboard a boat heading over there for experience. Good luck brother...

Listen to the above voice of reason!

Rule #1 if you have to ask strangers on the internet if you are ready. You are NOT ready.

Do some small trips- Virginia Key, Elliott Key or Key Largo. Do some deep sea fishing ---- head 5 then 10 then 20 or miles out. Taking small controlled steps reduces the odds of a failure.

It will also let you understand your fuel consumption and how to navigate with a GPS.

No matter what purchase, register and learn about the use of, an EPIRB. It is reasonable to assume that your life and the life of your passengers/crew are worth the cost of an ACR EPIRB.




Sent from my iPhone- please forgive autocorrect errors.
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Old 18-01-2016, 13:00   #24
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Re: Florida to Bimini, Bahamas

I've made that trip a few times in a 25' power boat and had a friend in a 21' cross together. 24' Chaparral should be just fine at least as far as handling the trip.

Bottom line, wait for a calm day, no matter what direction the wind is blowing, and you'll be there in 2-4 hours depending on how fast you go. Wind out of the north can be very bad in the Gulf Stream but if it's only blowing 5-6 kts then don't worry.

1. Get a marine VHF radio!

2. Sign up with BoatUS or Seatow unlimited service so you can get a tow home just in case.

3. At your speed having to go south to allow for the Gulf Stream setting you north is not necessary. Leave straight from Ft Lauderdale (Port Everglades).

4. VERY IMPORTANT. If you start out and the wind and waves are more than the weather forecast predicted, turn back!!!!!! It usually gets stronger the further offshore you get. But don't judge the ocean by the conditions in the inlet. It can get very choppy in the inlet but be much calmer outside.

5. Make sure you get charts and a guide book. The Explorer Charts are very good. The Waterway Guide to the Bahamas is good.

6. Get a GPS. Handheld unit will be fine. You may not need it to find Bimini (I managed to do it a couple dozen times back in the old days before GPS) but if you do need to call for help it will give you the exact position to tell the tow boat.

7. Single engine, if well maintained and you know the engine doesn't scare me but bring some basic tools, spare belts, maybe even a prop if you have one.

BUT!!!! I agree if you have no experience in the ocean, navigation and don't have 100% confidence in the boat then maybe you want to practice somewhere closer to home.
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Old 18-01-2016, 13:39   #25
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Re: Florida to Bimini, Bahamas

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yikes, ok maybe i need to bring it back a notch and stay near the coast. maybe like destin or even hang around the florida keys
Think about the trip this way. Ft Lauderdale to Bimini would be like going from Browns Bridge to Bald Ridge Marina and back about three times. But you'll be in the Ocean and out of sight of land for an hour or two.

If you pick a reasonable day the water won't be any choppier than Sunday afternoon on the lake.
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Old 18-01-2016, 14:09   #26
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Re: Florida to Bimini, Bahamas

the very best case is to wait for a westerly: the wind shifts out of the west so you have it at your back on the way over and it flattens the ocean out. 25 kts out of the west and the ocean is still flat, then for us sailors, the wind will usually shift around out of the East for the downhill ride back to Florida.
You'd almost have to live here as the Westerlies don't come very often but it's magical when they do.
Take a sea anchor if you can lay your hands on one and for sure, a good EPIRB and life jackets and a ditch bag (dry bag with water, protien bars and your cell phone in a ziplock bag.
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Old 18-01-2016, 15:35   #27
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Re: Florida to Bimini, Bahamas

I went from Pompano to Bimini in my 21' Contender with 150 Yamaha 4 stroke. took almost 2 hours.

Find the right weather / wind conditions and it's no problem. Hundreds of guys go on day fishing trips, just over and back. Buddy boat is always good. VHF, depth finder and GPS,normal gear.
Have fun
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Old 18-01-2016, 18:02   #28
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Re: Florida to Bimini, Bahamas

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Originally Posted by CREX View Post
Hi Anchor, sounds like you could use some basic and advanced training. That can be a very nasty 50 miles. All this advise is good but I would add perhaps an offshore boating course or just getting some experience with experienced boaters. Chapman's, power squadron, coast guard aux. are all good educators. Learn so to live and enjoy the ride. It'll be a lot more fun when you are more secure out there in the stream. Maybe offer free help aboard a boat heading over there for experience. Good luck brother...
yes i agree, for i have only experience with inland lakes and boating in destin florida. I will check into some more hands on. thank you
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Old 18-01-2016, 18:05   #29
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Re: Florida to Bimini, Bahamas

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Originally Posted by oldbert35 View Post
Just depart with south or southeast winds no more than 15 knt

Run due east of Down Town Miami and you will be fine.

I would recommend going with another boat in case you have engine problems

I would check in at the Bimini Sands resort on South Bimini which is the pink colored condos as you're approaching south Bimini
the pink condos must be the same ones on almost every video boating from florida to bimini. i plan on going with a group that has done the trip before. i look fwd to this because its one more check of the bucket list
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Old 18-01-2016, 18:08   #30
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Re: Florida to Bimini, Bahamas

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Originally Posted by tdh1849 View Post
Have a gps with the Bahamas chip.
Have an Epirb if possible.
Watch the wind, from the north is bad, easterly also.
Bahamas Bureau of Tourism was located just outside of Ft.Lauderdale, they have a ton of info.
Leave a float plan.
When in Bimini lock up the boat when away from it.
I LOVE Bimini...............
i heard that especially your fishing gear will grow legs and walk or swim off the boat lol
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