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Old 01-02-2016, 18:01   #31
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Re: Bahamas Customs Check In

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Originally Posted by wayne.b View Post
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That's not entirely accurate. You are not required to divert to a closer port of entry if you are en route to a different port. We've checked in many times at Nassau and also Green Turtle Cay. No one has ever questioned that strategy and of course we always give our last port of call as somewhere in the US. What does get you into a gray area legally is stopping to anchor. You are definitely not allowed to get off the boat or fish, same with stopping at a non-port of entry. You should start flying the yellow Q flag as soon as you enter Bahamian waters.
I WOULDN'T ARGUE WITH ANYTHING YOU SAY. However, relative to most of the Bahamas, you're leaving out the most important fact - there's no police (Nassau excepted)!! And even if you did happen on to one, he would try to sell you a ride in his cab or braid your hair (watch out for lyce), rather than ruin your day with Government rules.

We and 1,000's more, sail from Florida to the Grand Bahama Bank, north of West End, then on to Sail Cay to anchor and rest up, before heading to the Abacos to check in. Never a question or problem. Sometimes I even remember to put the yellow flag up, sometimes not. As a Bahamian would say: "No Problem". They take Government Rules much less seriously than we do!!

The USA hires high school grads with tennis shoes and a buzz cut. Fills them full of UURAA and now they are a solution chasing a problem, with 1200 hp mounted on the transom. None of those guys work for the Bahamas, they can't afford them, but then they don't need to afford them, they use ours who come and go at will.
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Old 02-02-2016, 08:15   #32
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Re: Bahamas Customs Check In

If you want more than 30 days, you will need to check in at an entry point that has both Customs AND Immigrations. There are some places that have Customs only. In a Customs only office, by Bahamian law, the Customs agent can only authorize 30 days. Immigrations Officers have more leeway. The length of time you receive for your Visa will still depend on the whim of the Immigration Officer. We have received 90 days in one entry Port and at other times received 180 days at the same Port, different Officer. The incidents Waterway Guide mentioned did indeed happen, but there were only two boats turned back. I spoke personally with Commodore Roderick Bowe and he assured me that while this is Bahamian law, it is not a directive of the RBDF to their crews to seek out and turn back boats to the nearest Port of Entry. He suggested that it might have simply been and over enthusiastic crew and he would look into it for me. After that conversation, no other issues were reported. HOWEVER, it is Bahamian law that requires boaters to check in to the nearest Port of Entry immediately upon entering Bahamian waters. Hope this all helps. Chuck
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Old 02-02-2016, 10:22   #33
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Re: Bahamas Customs Check In

And for the latest Bahamian economic tragedy, google the Baha Mar resort and casino in Nassau.
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Old 02-02-2016, 11:35   #34
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Re: Bahamas Customs Check In

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And for the latest Bahamian economic tragedy, google the Baha Mar resort and casino in Nassau.
Can you help us understand how this affects Clearance procedures or issues? Chuck
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