Author: Mike Milewski
Preparing To Go To The Bahamas From South Florida (What You Need To Know)
GPS makes crossing a heck of a lot easier.
This past weekend our fishing team (Team Reel Dreams) decided to make the run from Boynton Beach FL to Bimini in the Bahamas roughly 73miles across the gulf steam. This can be a very easy trip even for a first timer if you take advantage for a good weather window. Weather and preparation are the most important element to having a successful crossing
What You Need Before Leaving The Dock!
Let’s talk about preparation below is a list of key items you should have before leaving the dock.
All immigration and customs forms fill out for the boat and individuals and $150 cash if your boat under 30ft. This includes 3 people. $20 pp after 3.
Passports for individuals on the boat
CBP ROAM app downloaded for expedited entry back to the US.
CASH- most of the island is cash only
All safety gear and tools
Handheld chart plotter
Handheld VHF radio
Extra fuel filter
Well maintained engine, working electronics, Nav lights, and radar if possible, ect.
Full tank of Gas
Float plan sent to a family member
Room and dock booked if needed.
All provisions needed for your trip.
Best Time Of The Year To Cross To The Bahamas For Center Console Boats
Now that we covered the majority of details before you leave it time to make the run across the steam. Summertime is always the best and most reliable time to cross over. Winter time cold fronts create a north wind that will be against the stream and can create dangerous crossing conditions. Please keep in mind my article is geared to a smaller center console and not a 90ft Viking.
Our Trip & Bimini Report
The past weekend seas were flat calm, we cleared Boynton inlet around 7:00am, set the auto pilot, and arrived in 2hrs. We did battle a few storms along the way but nothing to worry about. We raised our Quarantine Flag as we pulled into the Bimini Big Game club to clear immigrations and customs. Currently immigration is across the street in the “pink” building and customs is inside the gates of the Big Game Club. Once we cleared customs we raised the Bahamian flag ,stopped at the blue water gas dock, and we were off to enjoy the day at the Sapona shipwreck. It truly was a perfect day! After cooling off we decided to do some deep dropping and picked up some yellow eyes for dinner.
We got back to the dock, checked into our room, cleaned up the boat, had a few beers, met some new friends and shared fish stories. After dinner we walked around the island and made our way around to a few of the bar Bimini had to offer. We ended up spending some time at the island house and had a blast.
The next we made the best of the morning before making the run back home and beat out some of the afternoon thunderstorms. Our one regret was we needed a few more days. Unfortunately we all had to get back to work on Monday morning. We are already trying to plan our next trip out!!
Thanks as always to Bullbuster for all your support and the best line and tackle!!
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