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Old 22-05-2014, 06:36   #1
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Bimini Check In- MEMORIAL WEEKEND!

We're making our first trip across to the Bahamas during this settled weekend weather- planning to spend 6 weeks or so (Exumas!) But we hear Bimini will be packed with boats for the holiday weekend. Looking for suggestions as to how we can check in quickly and exit Bimini for the bank...
Thanks,
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Old 22-05-2014, 07:02   #2
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Re: Bimini Check In- MEMORIAL WEEKEND!

Stop at Bimini Sands on S. Bimini. Hop in a taxi to the airport. They will process you quickly. The other option is to dock at one of the marinas in Alice Town on N. Bimini. Big game club, Browns, weech's etc. It is then a short walk to the customs and immigration offices. Both options will be busy on the holiday weekend. If you can time your arrival for the early morning you will beat the rush. The majority of the crowds are s. Fl fishing boats that will arrive in the afternoon.
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Old 22-05-2014, 07:24   #3
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Re: Bimini Check In- MEMORIAL WEEKEND!

Thx Capt. Alex- unfortunatley, we've called around to all of the N/S marinas (including Bimini Sands) and the docks are full for the weekend. Guessing the limited anchorages will be crowded as well. Might just continue on across the bank and check-in at Frasers Hog in the Berrys or maybe Morgans Bluff? Heard the holding outside Bimini Sands in Nixons isn't so good?
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Old 22-05-2014, 09:16   #4
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Re: Bimini Check In- MEMORIAL WEEKEND!

Holding in Nixon's is poor but In this weather you can just lay some chain on the bottom. We have been anchored on the ocean side of n cat cay for the last couple of nights. Pure sand and calm. Bimini will be crazy for checking in this weekend but if you really want to you should be able to find a spot at weechs as they will fill up last. We are at weechs now waiting on a guest to fly in today and it's empty so far.
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Old 22-05-2014, 10:56   #5
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Re: Bimini Check In- MEMORIAL WEEKEND!

Skip Bimini and check in at Chub Cay or Nassau. If you check in at Chub you have to spend $100 at the marina for fuel or dockage for the privilege of tying up there while you check in. In Nassau it is very easy to check in either from anchor or a marina.
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Old 23-05-2014, 01:24   #6
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Re: Bimini Check In- MEMORIAL WEEKEND!

Since Customs is at the Big Game Club, If they have room at the docks when you arrive, they will let you tie up just to clear in. Then move on. If the anchorage isn't full next to them, you can stay put and dinghy in to their docks. Chuck
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Old 23-05-2014, 05:19   #7
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Re: Bimini Check In- MEMORIAL WEEKEND!

Seems the answer is that if you are going to spend 6 weeks there why don't you toss the schedule and plan to arrive Monday afternoon after everyone has checked out to return home?
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Old 23-05-2014, 06:58   #8
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Re: Bimini Check In- MEMORIAL WEEKEND!

Skip Bimini and Nassau. Continue across the bank and checkin at Morgans Bluff on Andros the next day. Then you are one day away from the Exumas. The Explorer charts are a must.
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Old 23-05-2014, 09:27   #9
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Or go to fresh creek , andros and jump in taxi to airport. Plus a great place to dock up at the marina and spend one night.
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Old 23-05-2014, 09:37   #10
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Re: Bimini Check In- MEMORIAL WEEKEND!

if you were coming in from Florida, is required that you check in at the nearest port which is Bimini or can you continue East and check in at nassau ?
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Old 23-05-2014, 12:18   #11
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If you go.through gun cay and around the top of andros you can go to fresh creek.just as easy as nassau. When we go to abaco we dont stop at bimini ever. If we take the northern route then we stop at west end. Bimini will be a nightmare to clear for a sailor this weekend. Adds an extra day.
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Old 23-05-2014, 22:13   #12
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Re: Bimini Check In- MEMORIAL WEEKEND!

Quote:
Originally Posted by motion30 View Post
if you were coming in from Florida, is required that you check in at the nearest port which is Bimini or can you continue East and check in at nassau ?
There has been some difficulty concerning that over the past year or so, particularly in the Abacos. I believe that the official Bahamian policy is that boaters must check in at the first opportunity after entering Bahamian waters. Some boaters have been stopped by the BDF (Bahamas Defence Force) but I haven't heard of anybody being executed lol.

Perhaps someone else has more current information.

You might find some info on the Explorer Charts website.
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Old 23-05-2014, 23:11   #13
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Re: Bimini Check In- MEMORIAL WEEKEND!

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Originally Posted by FSMike View Post
There has been some difficulty concerning that over the past year or so, particularly in the Abacos. I believe that the official Bahamian policy is that boaters must check in at the first opportunity after entering Bahamian waters. Some boaters have been stopped by the BDF (Bahamas Defence Force) but I haven't heard of anybody being executed lol.

Perhaps someone else has more current information.

You might find some info on the Explorer Charts website.
Bahamian waters is the key. If you're going around the outside and in transit then you're ok. But you can't cut through. Doing that you're in their waters. Bimini does not generally give you a problem as if you're not going there you stay well away from it. Problems occur once you enter the Bahamas banks. Think of the shallower areas between the islands as part of the islands, not a transit channel. Perhaps someone can find a clearer explanation. Part of it is to keep moving toward your arrival point as well. You can't anchor off an island and spend the night without having checked in.

Personally, I would find an entry point marina with a slip for the night and spend that first night in a marina. That way if check in is slow you won't be unduly bothered and you don't have to worry about finding somewhere to dock. Since you find no slips available in Bimini I'd just steer wide of it to somewhere else. While Bimini may be a mad house for the weekend, most of the rest of the Bahamas will be much calmer.
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Old 24-05-2014, 06:20   #14
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Re: Bimini Check In- MEMORIAL WEEKEND!

Quote:
Originally Posted by FSMike View Post
There has been some difficulty concerning that over the past year or so, particularly in the Abacos. I believe that the official Bahamian policy is that boaters must check in at the first opportunity after entering Bahamian waters. Some boaters have been stopped by the BDF (Bahamas Defence Force) but I haven't heard of anybody being executed lol.

Perhaps someone else has more current information.

You might find some info on the Explorer Charts website.
There were a couple of incidents several months back of RBDF boats turning people back from Mangrove and Sale Cay to check in at West End. I spoke with the Commander of the RBDF in Nassau right after that and while he reiterated that boats are required to check in to the first port of entry when coming into Bahamas waters, it was not his policy to chase boats down and force them into any port. After that conversation, there were no other reports. He did state that boaters found in the Bahamas for a period of time and that have not checked in would be arrested. As a matter of fact a few have. Chuck
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Old 24-05-2014, 06:35   #15
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Re: Bimini Check In- MEMORIAL WEEKEND!

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Originally Posted by AnchorageGuy View Post
There were a couple of incidents several months back of RBDF boats turning people back from Mangrove and Sale Cay to check in at West End. I spoke with the Commander of the RBDF in Nassau right after that and while he reiterated that boats are required to check in to the first port of entry when coming into Bahamas waters, it was not his policy to chase boats down and force them into any port. After that conversation, there were no other reports. He did state that boaters found in the Bahamas for a period of time and that have not checked in would be arrested. As a matter of fact a few have. Chuck
I have read about these incidents , that's why I posed the question. I have a silly rule. I try to stay out of the world prisons
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