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Old 28-03-2011, 13:40   #1
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Bahamas to Key West

Meeting a friend in Nassau the first of May to help him with crossing back to Florida. We have a week and I am looking for suggestions on the crossing. How long will it take? Should we try for Miami to clear in and then down the coast to Key West? Suggestion on some places to see before heading back. Thanks in advance for any and all information and suggestions.

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Old 29-03-2011, 18:00   #2
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Re: Bahamas to Key West

Let the weather dictate where and when. I would not try to buck the GS, cross, then head south.
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Old 29-03-2011, 18:30   #3
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Re: Bahamas to Key West

Unless things have changed, and I truly hope they have, Miami is a P.I.T.A to clear immigration at. We brought a boat up from the leeward’s and dropped at a charter outfit in Miami. Customs was a phone call but immigration required a cab ride to the Port of Miami. Of all the places I’ve done C&I, and I've done lots, that place was a joke.

Hope things have changed but I'd pick a better port of entry.
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Old 29-03-2011, 18:50   #4
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Re: Bahamas to Key West

If your draft will allow you to cross the banks, I'd hit Bimini from Nassau, then cross to Miami... NBD if you're in a powerboat, but a sailboat Bimini to Miami is a bit of a crab. I like to check NDBC for local conditions, NOAA Miami for forecasts, and NDBC forcast for the Western edge of the Gulf Stream. Take all the above into account to plan your crossing. Figure your set & drift... I prefer to run South a bit on the East side if I can find a good counter current. The trade winds usually are in your favor crossing from the Bahamas; both in going south and west.
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Old 30-03-2011, 08:27   #5
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Re: Bahamas to Key West

Clearing in in Key West requires a phone call, a trip to the airport, finding a place to tie up (one of the fuel docks works well), another phone call and then a visit from Customs and Immigration.
Key West is also a training ground for the Coast Guard and Customs agents.
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Old 31-03-2011, 14:37   #6
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Re: Bahamas to Key West

Thanks for the replies. We will be on a 42 foot Manta CAT. Draft is about 4 feet. Are the only two places to clear Miami or key west?
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