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Old 28-10-2012, 08:27   #1
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First time to the Bahamas with 6' draft

Hi
Will be going to the Bahamas for the first time. I have 6' draft. Where is the best place to check in? I will be leaving Key West. Is the channel to Alice Town Bimini deep enough?
Thanks
Bob
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Old 28-10-2012, 08:30   #2
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Re: First time to the Bahamas with 6' draft

We check in at Nassau. Stopping at Bimini or Cat only delays getting to the good parts of the Bahamas. Coming from KW you don't need to go that far north (to Bimini) . Get on the Bank at South Riding Rock, continue on to Nassau. Your draft is not a problem.
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Old 28-10-2012, 08:32   #3
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Re: First time to the Bahamas with 6' draft

You will be fine going into Bimini. In fact you will be able to go almost everywhere, HOWEVER, you may not be able to get into, or out of many harbours and snug anchorages on lower tides. You will figure it out soon enough, have fun and don't waste too much time worring about it. In fat we have WAY too much water at this moment!
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Old 28-10-2012, 08:50   #4
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Re: First time to the Bahamas with 6' draft

Bimini if fine, but the channel, at least last year about this time, is only partially marked. You should get some local knowledge before attempting entry. As of last January, the channel was deep enough for us (6+). Here are some waypoints/info that we provided to another boat last January:

Here you go, with all of the usual caveats. We came out with a tide about 2 feet over low tide. The lowest point we saw was about 8.8 feet. I think it would have been deeper if we waited a bit longer before starting to make our turn to the buoys.

They should like up midway between the two outer makers from the west, then these points should work:

25-42.675n
79-18.431w

25-42.668n
79-18.335w

25-42.693n
79-18.184w

25-42.727n
79-18.149w

25-42.78n
79-18.13w

Let me know if these work for them. The visual instructions are to line up, and then head directly for the channel going to the small basin South Bimini. Then, when perhaps 200-250 feet from the west shore of South Bimini, start making s slow turn to the left, so that you end up 150 feet from the shoreline. Then keep that distance, and watch the makers put in by locals when closer in. Worked for us in reverse.

I would want to verify that the channel has not shifted since then, especially after Sandy's visit.

Chris
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