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Old 04-03-2012, 17:35   #1
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Good Near Bahamas Locations

I just moved to the East Coast of Florida recently and I am planning my first trip to the Bahamas (a week or less) within the next couple of months in a 44' sailboat. I took a look at Lucaya and Freeport, but the slip fees seem really high compared to what I am used to in CA (3X). Are there any reasonably priced locations in that area? I am not too concerned about having five star hotels or fancy restaurants. A mooring or protected anchorage would also work, but a slip is preferred.

Thanks for any recommendations and/or advice.

Bob
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Old 04-03-2012, 17:56   #2
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Re: Good Near Bahamas Locations

A one week trip to the Bahamas is a little tough if you are sailing. Weather windows for crossing the Gulf Stream etc... The only time I stayed at a dock in the Bahamas was in Nassau... Most of the docks are not in places that will not be much different than staying in FLorida I imagine....?
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Old 05-03-2012, 13:12   #3
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Re: Good Near Bahamas Locations

Wow, a week is an awfully short time to spend in the Bahamas on a sailboat. Bear in mind that you will pay a customs fee of $300 on any vessel 35' and over. If you are dead-set on going anyway, I would suggest Old Bahama Bay Marina, which is at West End, Grand Bahama. It is less than 60nm from Lake Worth Inlet. You can clear customs right next to the marina office at OBBM. They have nice amenities there, with two restaurants (I love Bonefish Folly's), a large swimming pool with a bar, a manicured beach and a fitness room. You aren't going to find anything nicer on Grand Bahama.





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Old 05-03-2012, 16:02   #4
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Re: Good Near Bahamas Locations

Thanks very much for the photos and information. I believe you can make multiple trips for the $300 within a 90 day period. Is that the case?

Thanks,

Bob

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Wow, a week is an awfully short time to spend in the Bahamas on a sailboat. Bear in mind that you will pay a customs fee of $300 on any vessel 35' and over. If you are dead-set on going anyway, I would suggest Old Bahama Bay Marina, which is at West End, Grand Bahama. It is less than 60nm from Lake Worth Inlet. You can clear customs right next to the marina office at OBBM. They have nice amenities there, with two restaurants (I love Bonefish Folly's), a large swimming pool with a bar, a manicured beach and a fitness room. You aren't going to find anything nicer on Grand Bahama.





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Old 05-03-2012, 17:17   #5
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Re: Good Near Bahamas Locations

Try Sunrise Resort & Marina (formerly Running Mon Marina) in Freeport. 2 free nights stay in a slip with no minimum stay required and Boat US discounts. It's located in a quiet neighborhood within walking distance of a Stop & Shop Grocery and cheap cafe with good local fare. Free bikes to use to ride (or you can walk) to the Straw Market or use the cheap bus system to go to downtown Lucaya, if you want. Walking distance to a beautiful (and deserted while we were there) beach. It's an older resort but it's been well maintained. We stayed there back in December along with 6 other cruising boats and were treated wonderfully by the manager (Ta'Shar) and staff. Email the manager directly - Tashar@sunriseresortandmarina.com
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Old 05-03-2012, 18:15   #6
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Re: Good Near Bahamas Locations

"I believe you can make multiple trips for the $300 within a 90 day period. Is that the case?"

Bob,
I believe you get one free exit and re-entry in the first 90 days of the Cruising Permit, not multiple trips.
Like most of the other posters, I'm some what at a loss to recommend where to go in the Bahamas for a week (including the one day each coming and going). That means 5 days or less in the islands. You'll need to allow as many as 2 those days for weather delays. I believe the best you can expect is 3 days at one of those recommended (expensive) marinas.
I'm not recommending you not go if all you have is a week, just don't expect to actually see the real Bahamas.

John
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Old 06-03-2012, 05:50   #7
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Re: Good Near Bahamas Locations

Head over to the Abacos, its very doable in 1 week- I used to run week charters from W.Palm to there for many years -
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Old 06-03-2012, 06:16   #8
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Re: Good Near Bahamas Locations

You didn't say where you are, but I would heartily recommend the Biminis. You can stay at Bimini Bay, north Bimini (not Bimini Sands, south Bimini) for a reasonable rate, have a first class dock and resort at the north end, and out the south end get a very good example of the types of towns throughout the Bahamas. You will pay $300 for your cruising permit, which is good for as many entry/exits as you want until 12/2012. It is a completely separate thing from your visa entry, which you must renew each time you come in at immigration. Entry to the Bahamas in Bimini is fast and easy, you go to them with your paperwork and they stamp everything in two offices right next to each other, no waiting for customs to come to you. North Bimini has enough small groceries to keep you in food, enough liquor to soothe your soul, and enough virgin beaches, interesting mangroves and great conching, lobstering and fishing to keep you busy. You can also sail from here to Cat Cay or Dollar Harbor for a few nights at anchor if you wish, in only a few hours. From Miami or Fort Lauderdale the trip is about 6-7 hours, but should only be done on days with absolutely no northern component in the wind. This is not heresay, I am here and have done this for several years, so my info is current and accurate (for U.S. citizen).
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Old 06-03-2012, 06:47   #9
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Re: Good Near Bahamas Locations

For Bahamas fees for check-in and procedures see: By Private Boat - Vacation Planning | The Bahamas


If you are in southeast Florida, then like "Waterworldly" says - the Great Bahamas Banks are really wonderful for exploring and swimming/snorkeling and it is only 44 nm from Miami to Bimini - an easy day crossing.

Bimini and Cat Cay have marinas, but the anchoring out behind Gun Cay and the swimming/snorkeling at the "Sapona" wreck just SE of Bimini is a favorite of mine. And the fishing is good off the eastern edge of the Gulf Stream.
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Old 06-03-2012, 07:11   #10
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Re: Good Near Bahamas Locations

Quote:
Originally Posted by Free2bme View Post
Try Sunrise Resort & Marina (formerly Running Mon Marina) in Freeport. 2 free nights stay in a slip with no minimum stay required and Boat US discounts. It's located in a quiet neighborhood within walking distance of a Stop & Shop Grocery and cheap cafe with good local fare. Free bikes to use to ride (or you can walk) to the Straw Market or use the cheap bus system to go to downtown Lucaya, if you want. Walking distance to a beautiful (and deserted while we were there) beach. It's an older resort but it's been well maintained. We stayed there back in December along with 6 other cruising boats and were treated wonderfully by the manager (Ta'Shar) and staff. Email the manager directly - Tashar@sunriseresortandmarina.com
I'm a little confused: I get to their website and check the rates at the marina. I read: 0.90 $ per foot per week as a weekly rate!! is that true?
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Old 06-03-2012, 07:26   #11
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Re: Good Near Bahamas Locations

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I'm a little confused: I get to their website and check the rates at the marina. I read: 0.90 $ per foot per week as a weekly rate!! is that true?
Make that $0.90/ft/day/week or $6.30/ft for a week. Weeks are fixed at 7 days while months can vary from 28 to 31 days so quoting a daily rate for a month's stay is difficult for the marina. So they quote a flat rate per foot for a month.

In essence you get a 10% discount for a week's stay off the daily rate. Some marines put their first "discount" at 5 days rather than 7 days, some even give a break at 3 days. It is not uncommon to see some "strange" presentations of slip rates - and more common these days is that fewer and fewer marinas are even posting rates on their websites. You have to email them to get the rates for your size boat and length of stay.
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Old 06-03-2012, 07:51   #12
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Re: Good Near Bahamas Locations

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. You will pay $300 for your cruising permit, which is good for as many entry/exits as you want until 12/2012).
Are you sure about this- is this something new??
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Old 06-03-2012, 08:11   #13
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Re: Good Near Bahamas Locations

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Make that $0.90/ft/day/week or $6.30/ft for a week. Weeks are fixed at 7 days .

Thanks for the explanation
Even like that it seems too good to be true, moreover in the Bahamas. I'll check it with them.
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Old 06-03-2012, 08:40   #14
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Re: Good Near Bahamas Locations

From West End, the Grand Cays, Double Breasted Cays, Strangers Cays and Carter's Cay group are all within a day. The Grand Cays has slips that are much less expensive than at West End, but realize it's more of a working class Bahamian town than tourist town.

The Anchoring off Strangers is very straight forward.

Bimini is certainly another option of a place to go and just hang out for a few days before crossing back.
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Old 06-03-2012, 09:02   #15
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Re: Good Near Bahamas Locations

second the bimini idea .. if leaving from miami. seems like a great place to spend a week or 2 .. the hemingway history makes it more interesting.
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