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Old 24-07-2012, 19:31   #31
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Nautical62, this is the first I've heard of tieing to a seawall at west end. Can you elaborate? What is the typical time needed there? What if you arrive late in the day, after hours?
Thanks much
G
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Old 24-07-2012, 19:57   #32
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Re: Harassment In The Bahamas

Just yesterday, Monday, received a call from a Mr Edwards, assistant comptroller of customs for the Bahamas asking if we had been in the Bahamas January and Feb. and he assumed we paid $300.00 and had a receipt to which I replied yes. He asked if I could mail him the original as it would seem that the officers who visit your boat and collect the fee have not been turning in all they collect and a case is being built against them. I mailed it yesterday. ?????
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Old 24-07-2012, 20:44   #33
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Re: Harassment In The Bahamas

Just got back from the Bahamas a month ago, after spending a month in the Abacos. We never saw any athoritys at any time except when we checked in at Bimini. They were very nice. We left through the west end, and anchored just outside of the Marrina for a few hours of rest. I do not see why you couldn't do the same to clear customs instead of going into the Marina and paying for a slip.
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Old 24-07-2012, 21:00   #34
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Re: Harassment In The Bahamas

I can't see any diffence between being boarded by The proper forces in the Bahamas, and being boarded by the USCG in our waters, and a lot of places that are not our waters LOL Its still a boarding by proper officials!! personaly these folks that cked us out in those waters were far more Proper acting and even smiled!! Where as our own USCG have an attitude way worse !! just my 2 centrs
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Old 25-07-2012, 05:50   #35
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Re: Harassment In The Bahamas

Quote:
Originally Posted by gettinthere View Post
Nautical62, this is the first I've heard of tieing to a seawall at west end. Can you elaborate? What is the typical time needed there? What if you arrive late in the day, after hours?
Thanks much
G
The customs building is just past the fuel dock, and he is right about just tieing up and clearing in. If you come in after hours Old Bahama Bay will charge you 40. bucks if you anchor in their basin. And I am sure they would charge you full slip price if you tie to their wall overnight. We just anchor on the other side of the condos. Find a hole in the grass and set your anchor there.
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Old 25-07-2012, 05:51   #36
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Re: Harassment In The Bahamas

In the July 15th issue of the Abaconian news paper, in letters to the editor, is another incident of a boarding by RBDF P49 near Green Turtle.

July 15, 2012 Newspaper
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Old 25-07-2012, 06:20   #37
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Re: Harassment In The Bahamas

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In the July 15th issue of the Abaconian news paper, in letters to the editor, is another incident of a boarding by RBDF P49 near Green Turtle.

July 15, 2012 Newspaper
After reading his complaint I fail to understand what he's complaining about. He was not flying a US or quarantine flag, he was fishing without a license, and he confessed... Duh. Even if he caught the fish before he got on the banks it doesn't matter, he was probably still in the Bahamian EEZ which is clearly marked on the charts. If he did this in the states they would have confiscated his gear as well as giving him a fine.

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Old 25-07-2012, 06:24   #38
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Re: Harassment In The Bahamas

I just returned from the Bahamas and my contact with officials was as follows:

Customs: Friendly and when handed my cruising permit bid me "Welcome to the Bahamas - Go have a great time".

Immigration: Extremely helpful and the officer filled out my form for me when she saw I was struggling with the tiny print without my reading glasses. She asked how long I wanted to stay and I replied three months. She said "I'll give you six in case you change your mind".

Police: In Bimini I emerged from cleaning my boat's bottom, a diving knife strapped to my leg. A police officer was there on another call and seeing me said: "That's a big knife". I pointed to my boat and replied: That's a big job". He simply smiled.

BDF: Twice waved as they passed us on anchor.

It was not until I returned to the U.S. did I feel oppressed by the dozen enforcement agencies all waiting with baited breath to write me a ticket for some minor infraction.
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Old 25-07-2012, 17:25   #39
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Re: Harassment In The Bahamas

Quote:
Originally Posted by gettinthere View Post
Nautical62, this is the first I've heard of tieing to a seawall at west end. Can you elaborate? What is the typical time needed there? What if you arrive late in the day, after hours?
Thanks much
G
Sorry, I just noticed this now. Looks like JusDreaming gave a good, accurate answer.

I'll add the process of doing the paperwork and clearing custom's and immigration has usually taken me something like 45 minutes, but may take longer if there are other boats ahead. The marina staff has always been courteous and helpful, and of course offer a slip. I usually just politely decline and they have never pushed it.

Here's a photo of my boat tied up to the sea wall to clear custom's and immigration. The fuel dock JusDreaming mentioned is the pink building visible behind the boat.



For me, it all depends on conditions, but most often I get a pre-dawn start from Palm Beach which has free anchoring and is fairly easy to leave at night. I check in mid afternoon that day at WE. Usually I anchor out and maybe enjoy their beach bar and head on the next day. If I check in early enough, I may head on as I find it easy to anchor at Mangrove, Great Sale or Stranger's at night.

At West End I've anchored at both Cross Bay - the big broad bay facing WNW (A2), or on the banks around the seawall north of the Beach Bar and condos (A1). Cross Bay can get surge around the west point in some conditions. The north anchorage on the banks is less exposed by has strong tidal currents and fairly scoured bottom, so it may take a little work to ensure the anchor is properly set.

Here's a photo taken from the area of the beach bar looking towards the north anchorage (A1), but no boats are anchored there at the time as a huge cold front is about to come through when I took the photo.



Here's a map I made of the area showing the anchorages:



(I've also seen boats anchor in that finger, off the Indian Cay passage)


I know some of the guidebooks recommend Cross Bay as a day anchorage only, but I find the anchor holds just as well at night. - Seriously, their legitimate concern is driven by the obvious fact it's okay for prevailing conditions, but clearly not where you want to be in W-NE winds. (cold front). However, since those are also bad conditions to cross the stream in, it's unlikely that's when I'll be there anchoring. Many ocean anchorages are only good in prevailing conditions.


Disclaimer: Those are my experiences, not advice and I certainly can't speak on behalf of the marina, Bahamas or clearance policy, and can't speak to anyone else's comfort or anchoring abilities other than my own.

I have a website, never finished that has these and many more Abacos photos and some of my experiences:

bahamasmariner.com/abaocs

More photos of West End specifically:

http://www.smugmug.com/gallery/11592...771856&k=WRAKL
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Old 25-07-2012, 17:37   #40
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Re: Harassment In The Bahamas

nautical62, thanks for the info, when I went through I anchored at cross bay with no problems at all except surge which was uncomfortable but so tired we did not notice.
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Old 25-07-2012, 18:46   #41
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Re: Harassment In The Bahamas

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nautical62, thanks for the info, when I went through I anchored at cross bay with no problems at all except surge which was uncomfortable but so tired we did not notice.
Thanks Rocketman. Enjoy your times in the Abacos? I think it's my favorite cruising area.

Both this comment and your previous post really hit home for me. I don't get why so many state that checking in West End somehow obligates them to pay for a slip. While the marina staff often asks and it's clear they'd be more than happy for me to pay for a slip, I've never once felt pressured to do so.

My first few crossings to West End I did at night with the philosophy that it's much better to arrive somewhere with a full day ahead than to be pushing the light. However, I really don't like sailing through the night preferring to get a good night sleep and your last comment gets at why I started doing day crossings instead: I prefer sleeping at anchor with some surge to staying up all night at the helm. If for some reason, I had an unexceptionally slow crossing, anchoring in Cross Bay at night, would not be that difficult. I find the surge varies - not so bad if it's been light out of the E, more likely if it's been windier out of the SE.

Feel free to shoot me a PM about your cruise if interested. I always enjoy hearing about people's time in the Abacos.
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Old 29-07-2012, 19:31   #42
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Re: Harassment In The Bahamas

I just got back from 5 weeks in the Abacos. We left from Ft. Pierce and cleared in Green Turtle. No issues at all and have been doing this for years. If you had to clear at the closest point why would they keep Green Turtle customs office open? It would not be close to any entry point. I saw the BDF several times but was never stopped. Actually in 20+ yrs never have been.
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Old 29-07-2012, 21:39   #43
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Re: Harassment In The Bahamas

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...If you had to clear at the closest point why would they keep Green Turtle customs office open?... .
It's convenient to boats entering the Bahamas via the Whale Cay Pass. (Not all boats enter the Bahamas directly from the U.S.). It's also a convenient place to renew cruising permits for boats in the area, or who store their boats on G.T. as I did.

I hope with fewer check-ins they do keep it open. I also hope the new policy or new enforcement doesn't cause longer waits at W.E.

It was nice for some to wait until G.T. to clear, but checking in at W.E. really isn't inconvenient. Last time I checked in there I think I walked 50 feet to the Customs office. When I arrived back in the States at Cape Canaveral, it was more than a mile walk to customs, and I certainly can't imagine the U.S. being light about having been in the U.S. for days before clearing in the way the Bahamas were.
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Old 01-08-2012, 19:12   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nautical62

It's convenient to boats entering the Bahamas via the Whale Cay Pass. (Not all boats enter the Bahamas directly from the U.S.). It's also a convenient place to renew cruising permits for boats in the area, or who store their boats on G.T. as I did.

I hope with fewer check-ins they do keep it open. I also hope the new policy or new enforcement doesn't cause longer waits at W.E.

It was nice for some to wait until G.T. to clear, but checking in at W.E. really isn't inconvenient. Last time I checked in there I think I walked 50 feet to the Customs office. When I arrived back in the States at Cape Canaveral, it was more than a mile walk to customs, and I certainly can't imagine the U.S. being light about having been in the U.S. for days before clearing in the way the Bahamas were.
I just returned from the Exumas on Sunday and cleared in Nassau from Ft Lauderdale. The customs agent said this was fine and need not clear out, just mail the permit back from the states. I was also boarded in Nassau by the RBDT P115 while at the dock, he checked my weapon and was more interested in my Bud Lite (5 cases) and some muffins than anything else, I gave him a few of each and we had a great laugh afterwards......I have found that if you treat these officials, including our own coast guard, with respect and a smile you get the same in return, just saying!
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Old 02-08-2012, 05:24   #45
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Re: Harassment In The Bahamas

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I just returned from the Exumas on Sunday and cleared in Nassau from Ft Lauderdale. The customs agent said this was fine and need not clear out, just mail the permit back from the states. I was also boarded in Nassau by the RBDT P115 while at the dock, he checked my weapon and was more interested in my Bud Lite (5 cases) and some muffins than anything else, I gave him a few of each and we had a great laugh afterwards......I have found that if you treat these officials, including our own coast guard, with respect and a smile you get the same in return, just saying!
I have heard they are considering a duty on beer, water, etc brought over to the Bahamas from the states. Thats probably why he was so interested.
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