Slow down until your speed just slightly exceeds the speed of the wave, then cross. Weather is another big component, but everyone’s tolerance for conditions is different! Click to see all 30 topics covered! Mouth of creek, visual center 8′ I sounded a route with my dinghy, then confirmed it the next day with the big boat at low tide. Along the way, we sold pretty much everything we owned (twice! You need to verify ahead of time that there is fuel where you headed, Many Marinas sustained major damages in recent hurricanes and some just have not been rebuilt as of yet. We actually would always leave from Cape Florida….at the southern tip of Key Biscayne. A cruising permit is required for all foreign private, non-commercial, pleasure boats (and occupants) to sail in Bahamian waters. You dont want to try to enter the harbor in Bimini in the dark! Here’s how to make it more efficient. ), gained a great boat dog, had a bunch of wonderful times and some adventures . The only down side was leaving on Sunday, lots of. It’s also not a bad idea to go as a group. Planning to cruise the Bahamas? If you want to visit the Bahamas by boat and are leaving from Florida, Crossing the Gulf Stream is one of your most important things to consider. G3a center channel 5.9′ G3a to G3 center channel 5.7′ It typically averages between 2 and 2.5 knots. We had a fast trip and made better than expected time, so we came in right at Gun Cay (a bit of counter-current on the Bahamas side helped, too). Be very, very cautious of trying to cross in front of another vessel — speeds are deceiving in the stream. I’m going to discuss crossing the Gulf Stream from Florida to the Bahamas (and return) in this article. In the form of boat cards. So a large part of the crossing will be in the gulf stream However if you're going from FT Pierce to Freeport or further north west like Marsh harbor its about 160 miles keeping in mind you have a 2.5 knot current pushing you north at a rate of 2.5 nautical miles per hour therefore it is necessary to steer a more southern course to arrive at the preferred point. Hi! There are two important concepts to know in planning this route. The master of the boat must report to CBP telephonically and be directed to the nearest Port of Entry to satisfy the face-to-face requirement, or report to the nearest designated reporting location along with the boat's passengers for inspection. or past. It’s perfect as you progress across the stream, you wash northwards toward Bimini. Crossing the Gulf Stream. And so on, until we got to the reef and made our way into Hawk Channel, where we had a glorious sail south — out of the Gulf Stream — down to Angelfish Creek. Crossing the Gulf Stream by boat from Florida to the Bahamas takes more planning than most routes. Even if the Gulf Stream is averaging 2 knots, that’s 18 miles of northing. That might not work . Click here. and learned a ton about what does and doesn't work! Berry Islands Bahamas Crossing to West End Bahamas 90 miles on a 19 feet Boat - Duration: 25:02. Go to Hillsboro or Fort Lauderdale. I haven’t done that crossing but 8d analyze it the same way. not long after dark… sail all night and plan on arriving in Bimini as the sun rose in the east. tips, reviews and how-to's for your liveaboard cruising, Published on March 8, 2020; last updated on June 12, 2020 by Carolyn Shearlock. . In this example, we’re thinking of leaving from Angelfish Creek and going to Gun Cay —  53.2 miles. You also definitely want to pay attention to the weather forecast as a northernly component to the wind will turn the GS into a washing machine. Don't drive yourself crazy trying to figure everything out. Nassau is the capital of the Bahamas and is a very busy port. Our average speed, without current, is about 6 knots, so we know it will take about 9 hours (6 x 9 = 54 which is close enough for estimating). Depending on where you check in you may be hit with"Customs Immigration Officer Travel fee" this is a fee they charge you to come your boat and it varies on how far they had to travel from thier office to the marina your checking in at, average about $20-30 bucks. So, our starting point needs to be about 22 miles south of Gun Cay. Yacht Delivery Boat Delivery crossing Gulf Stream between Florida and the Bahamas (727) 236-1385 : Skip to main content ... Bahamas Crossings . If your crossing the Gulf Stream in a six knot boat you should pick a destination 25 nm North of where you start, in both directions. Such a simple, straightforward and USEFUL description of the planning process! In addition to the print publication, BoatUS Magazine sends email newsletters with exclusive curated content specific to your boating interests. Angelfish Creek Soundings: Admittedly, we would have traveled fewer miles had we just fought the stream. if you happen to stop at a marina that has these offices very nearby you may not have to pay this but you should be prepared to walk from one office to the next there not always next door but dont worry the people are friendly speak english and will give you directions. Thanks Carolyn! Because the trip is longer and you’re in the stream longer, the estimated steering heading is less likely to be “perfect” and may need a little tweaking as you see how conditions are actually developing. That means Lake Worth to West End is a bad idea. Crossing the Gulf Stream as quickly as possible will decrease the danger from both of these. Returning to the United States also requires contacting US Customs and Border Patrol The master of the vessel must report their arrival at the nearest CBP facility Have some alternate destinations in mind. • Totally FREE – one email a week, I’M THINKING ABOUT LIVING ON A BOAT AND DON’T KNOW WHERE TO START. Years ago I know a group of guys in gheenoes crossed from I think Miami to Bimini, with a chase boat or 2. Many of us dream of “pure sailing” across the Gulf Stream but it’s rare to get conditions that allow for a fast crossing under sail alone. . THE Gulf stream is northern current (meaning its pushing to the north) between Florida and Bahamas that flows at a rate of 2.5kt to 5.0 knots. Carolyn — thanks thanks thank! The last thing cruise ships want is to run into sailboats. To figure this with a real-life example of leaving from Angelfish Creek: I always plan for alternate “destinations” on the crossing so that if we get swept more or less than expected we have options already plotted and examined. Even a 25-year old Sabre 38 will still command a price of $75,000 for MK I, and well over $100,000 for a MK II. FAILURE TO REPORT A VESSELS RETURN TO THE UNITED STATES IS A FEDERAL CRIME WITH CIVAL AND CRIMINAL PENEATIES WITH FINES AND IMPRISONMET AS WELL AND SEIZURE AND FORFETURE OF VESSEL If you're going between FT Lauderdale / Miami area to Bimini Island, it only about 60 miles. Hmm, I discovered that Angelfish Creek is more like 15 miles south of Gun Cay. Read our privacy policy. But we were able to add a bit of a twist on this by using a day with northeast winds (not good for making the crossing) to head south along the Bimini chain to Riding Rock — taking advantage of a counter current as well. For the return trip from Bimini to Florida, the planning was similar to our eastbound crossing. R2a 75′ off 6.2′ The same principles apply for Florida to Cuba and return. Choose which side you plan to pass on and turn toward that direction. Figuring where you should leave from, how long the trip will take, what course to steer and other details can seem overwhelming. Landing Fees are one of the little unexpected fees you get hit with everywhere this is a fee a marina charges for you to tie up with for a short while example stopping to clear customs or stopping at a restaurant or some other attraction but not staying overnight landing fees can vary price depending on area and requested length of stay and result of the wind patterns acting on North Atlantic Ocean. Plan to cross the wake (which is traveling the same direction as you) at between a 45- and 90-degree angle. Fuel Every crossing I made was begun in the evening so that we would be arriving in the Bahamas in full daylight. Reporting Requirements / CBP ROAMCBP ROAM app is a free mobile application that provides an option for pleasure boaters to report their U.S. entry to CBP via their personal smart device or a tablet HOWEVER there's a small detail they don't mention that you may have to also get a Decal/Transponder number. This is supported by the fact that a rise in small boat crossings has coincided with a fall in the overall number of people seeking asylum. Should you have engine problems on the crossing and have to sail at slower speeds, be aware that you’re almost certainly going to end up further north than you had expected. There used to be a well known light there, called BUG LIGHT. I know a lot of people make that crossing but I think that it’s an easier and faster trip if you start a little further south. Upon arrival, boaters must visit Bahamas Customs and Immigration at their Port of Entry to obtain this permit. I think we have crossed the stream about 10 times, and it is always different. You will not follow the rhumb line and your chart plotter will keep showing you being further off course until you make that turn on the far side of the stream. Everyone must have proof of citizenship and fill out an immigration card. It was very eye-opening to us to turn literally two degrees south of due east and see our speed over ground drop over half a knot — a few degrees more and it dropped nearly a knot! Leaving from that far north, you will be fighting the Gulf Stream the whole way, as I discussed. But what’s the minimum amount south? R12-R10 visual center 9′ The sea state is characterized by statistics, including the wave height, period, EXAMPLE 'Seas 3 to 5 ft' Period 6 seconds YOU PROBABLY WANT LESS THAN 2 TO 4 It has been tested a number of times since by friends. Maintain speed until you reach the wave. Entering Policies . US Hi, Enjoyed the article. Don’t measure the actual distance between the two points, but just the east-west component. For crossing the Gulf Stream as fast as possible, your heading should never be any amount south of due east on the way to the Bahamas or south of due west on the return. • Tips from Carolyn *grin*. Since we live aboard the boat, it’s no trouble to use a day that isn’t good to cross (generally due to north winds) to move to a more southerly jump-off place! Featured Articles . You’re better off with what might be called the third option. Having done the crossing dozens of times in our Dufour 34, I can tell you the best and easiest way to get to Bimini is to leave from Cape Florida…. We, of course would compensate for the Gulf Stream…stearing somewhere around 120 degrees magnetic if memory serves me…it’s been a long time since the last trip ….you can’t get lost if the weather is decent…you can see the glow of the lights in Bimini most of the way! It was substantially updated and republished on January 4, 2019. 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