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Old 13-06-2016, 09:40   #1
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Clearing into the Bahamas

I've cleared into the Bahamas twice before without any problems. I'm planning my next sail to the Bahamas and would like to get opinions on how to deal with the fact that I will be first reaching the Bahamas where there is no port of entry.

On my next trip I will be sailing south from North Carolina to the Bahamas and would like to stop at some of the most northern islands before reaching a port of entry. According to Noonsite:
The Bahamas can be transited without clearing in until arrival at a Port of Entry at a convenient time, but during transit do not enter a port or go ashore.
Based on that I can't stop to visit these northern islands. Have you run into this problem? If so, did you stop?
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Old 13-06-2016, 10:07   #2
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Re: Clearing into the Bahamas

I just found this list of ports of entry in the Abaco, which is much more extensive than I had earlier known. Does anyone know if the ones at Grand Cay and Walker's Cay are still in operation?

Green Turtle Cay
Marsh Harbour
Spanish Cay
Sandy Point
Grand Cay
Treasure Cay
Walker's Cay
The Berrys
Chub Cay
Great Harbour Cay
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Old 13-06-2016, 10:15   #3
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Re: Clearing into the Bahamas

Found more information:

The Customs post re-located here from Walker's Cay and can be found at Rosie’s Place on Little Grand Cay. Currently there are no known plans to move it back to Walker's Cay. Last updated April 2016.

For me this is good news since Little Grand Cay will be easy to stop at on my entry into the Bahamas.

Hopefully this will help others.
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Old 14-06-2016, 09:09   #4
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Re: Clearing into the Bahamas

Quote:
Originally Posted by mlibkind View Post

On my next trip I will be sailing south from North Carolina to the Bahamas and would like to stop at some of the most northern islands before reaching a port of entry. According to Noonsite:
The Bahamas can be transited without clearing in until arrival at a Port of Entry at a convenient time, but during transit do not enter a port or go ashore.
Based on that I can't stop to visit these northern islands. Have you run into this problem? If so, did you stop?
The whole point of clearing in is to make it legal for you to go ashore. In the USA if you don't do that you go to jail. USA jails are, I'm sure, a lot more comfortable than Fox Hill prison in Nassau.
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Old 14-06-2016, 09:38   #5
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Re: Clearing into the Bahamas

Whether you can stop without going ashore, and for how long, is a question I can't answer for sure. I can say for sure that you cannot go ashore anywhere without first having cleared customs and immigration. That's illegal entry. Of course, in the USA, this may be a path to citizenship...nonetheless I wouldn't try it elsewhere. As FSMike said, Bahamian jails are probably not exceptionally pleasant; if you've ever been exposed to some of the seedier sections of Nassau you will understand. Catch those islands on the way back! Pete
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Old 14-06-2016, 09:48   #6
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Re: Clearing into the Bahamas

Wouldn't the safe thing be to contact the Bahama officials?
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Old 14-06-2016, 10:20   #7
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Re: Clearing into the Bahamas

When we were leaving the Abacos we spent a few days waiting for weather at Great Sale Cay. We saw boats every day enter in the evening then head out early morning. We talked to one sailor and he was just stopping for the night on his way from west palm to green turtle to clear in. I would assume that's what they were all doing. They all had their quarantine flags up. I would think stopping for one night to get some rest before heading somewhere to clear in would be acceptable. I wouldn't dilly around for days though before clearing in. Green turtle is a day's sail from great sale anyways. As was said above why chance it. Do it right then your free to do as you please without worry.
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