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Old 10-18-2013, 10:49 AM   #1
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Question Essentials for Bimini; what to bring

We are planning to be on the island for 10 days. I've read these tips: pack a lot of water, etc., can't throw garbage away, meat tenderizer for jelly fish stings, carry $200.00 in cash. Any other ideas that I need to know to mitigate stupid avoidable costly mistakes? Thank you~Bigfish's wife
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Old 10-18-2013, 02:27 PM   #2
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We are planning to be on the island for 10 days. I've read these tips: pack a lot of water, etc., can't throw garbage away, meat tenderizer for jelly fish stings, carry $200.00 in cash. Any other ideas that I need to know to mitigate stupid avoidable costly mistakes? Thank you~Bigfish's wife
Water and garbage aren't really a problem anymore. Bring lots of ones for taxis tips etc... Budweiser can be used as barter currency.

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Old 10-18-2013, 02:27 PM   #3
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Golf cart tires, batteries (gulf cart) and beer can be used as currency.
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Old 10-18-2013, 06:15 PM   #4
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Passports with at least six months of validity left.

If you want to make phone calls bring an unlocked cell phone, either a quad phone (all four frequencies) or a phone with one or both of the Bahamas frequencies.

Meat, expensive in the Bahamas.

Fuel, expensive in the Bahamas.

Explorer charts for the area you are planning to visit

Two extra five gallon jerry jugs to cart water from shore to the boat.

At least two credit cards in the event one is compromised. (Notify your credit card company you are going to the Bahamas).

Marty
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Old 10-18-2013, 07:08 PM   #5
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More money for a "cruising permit"
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Old 10-18-2013, 07:33 PM   #6
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Speaking of cellphones in the Bahamas, rates for US roamers are crazy expensive, like $2.00+ per minute. Text rates are also crazy but thankfully no charge for incoming texts.

To beat the system, have people that want to get in touch with you text you first then you can call them back via Skype and wifi.

Install and set up the Skype app on your phone or computer before you leave. Add about $10 to your skype account so you can call cell phones and regular phone rather than just other Skype accounts. TEST IT BEFORE YOU LEAVE, get familiar with its use. Know how to set your cell phone to wifi only (For an iPhone you need to turn on airplane mode, then turn the wifi on and then connect to a wifi hotspot).

Larger marinas have pay wifi that is worth the nominal charge; particularly if you can use Skype. Bars and other shops usually have wifi that is too slow to use Skype but you might get lucky.

The last few trips I made down there I figure I saved over $1000. The last time I went and used my cellphone over the Batelco network, I had a $250 bill after 5 days of sun and fun.
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Old 10-19-2013, 06:54 AM   #7
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If you will be anchoring out , learn the Bahama Moore , and have 2 anchors.
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Old 10-19-2013, 07:16 AM   #8
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I have cruised the Bahamas for years and its very rare to have to use a Bahama anchoring style with two anchores.

Have fun

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Old 10-19-2013, 07:17 AM   #9
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Rum is also good for currency

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Old 10-19-2013, 08:14 AM   #10
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Yeah, don't forget the cruise permit. Last year it was $300 for our boat. If you are taking a pet you will need a permit from the Minister of Agriculture and a vet certificate no more that 48 hrs old. Some times they look at the date on the permit. Sometimes they don't. If you have weapons on the boat, make a list of types with serial numbers and number of rounds ammo. Passports because they are required for reentry into the US.

The Bahamas are making it very hard to just take a short cruise over. There have already been discussions of raising fees, but so far cooler heads have prevailed.
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Old 10-19-2013, 10:41 AM   #11
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"Any other ideas that I need to know to mitigate stupid avoidable costly mistakes?"
Planning to spend ten days in Bimini might be a mistake. I think two or three days would be plenty then go somewhere else.
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Old 10-19-2013, 01:53 PM   #12
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Yes Moonstruck is correct, make sure all your papers are in order. Have your vet date the health certificate so you stay within the 48 hr requirement or leave it blank and you fill in the date.
I had heard the cruise permit had increased but checked today and it is still $300 cash for boats over 35'.
Inward Declaration and Application for Cruising Permit - Customs Department - Government

Do the local boaters option so you don't have to clear customs in person on your return. Saves a taxi ride to the nearest customs port of entry.

Why would you want to stay 10 days in Bimini?

I stayed in the Abacos for 3 weeks using a single anchor and conventional anchoring methods. Worked for me.
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Old 10-19-2013, 02:41 PM   #13
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10 days in Bimini will feel like 10 years. You should be aware that about the time you are going to sleep, that this is when the Island comes alive, and the locals only have two speeds for running their high speed boats (with no lights of course) til the sun comes up- FAST and stop. "wake zone? we don't have that here!"
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Old 10-19-2013, 03:13 PM   #14
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10 days in Bimini will feel like 10 years. You should be aware that about the time you are going to sleep, that this is when the Island comes alive, and the locals only have two speeds for running their high speed boats (with no lights of course) til the sun comes up- FAST and stop. "wake zone? we don't have that here!"
Bimini is a great fishing destination if you want to fish at day and party at night. Probably the better nearby harbors are on Grand Bahama Island. From Palm Beach Inlet nor farther that Bimini. With 10 days like TimJet said you could do the northern Abacos. Now, that's real cruising. About 100 miles to anchor at Great Sale. Only about 50 or so miles crossing the stream then you are on the Little Bahama Bank. Beautiful.
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Old 10-19-2013, 04:06 PM   #15
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I'll second the Abacos idea. We spent 3 weeks there in June on a friends 52' Ocean Yacht. Ran from Stuart to Spanish Cay and checked in there. A shorter trip would be to run from Stuart to West End and check in there. The marina is also pretty nice too. From there its an easy trip to the Abacos. There are so many neat places there to visit and have a great time..very laid back too.
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Old 10-19-2013, 11:22 PM   #16
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I think Bimini is about to take a big turn for the worse. There is now a 660 foot cruise ship making daily trips from Miami to Bimini to feed people to the new casino.

The Bahamas government has just approved the construction of a 1000 ft pier so this monster can dock.

They hope to bring 1500 people a day to Bimini.
That will more than double the population of the less than 10 square mile island.

BIMINI, Bahamas: Bimini residents mixed on proposed mooring for Resorts World ferry - Business - MiamiHerald.com
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Old 10-20-2013, 07:44 AM   #17
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I think Bimini is about to take a big turn for the worse. There is now a 660 foot cruise ship making daily trips from Miami to Bimini to feed people to the new casino.

The Bahamas government has just approved the construction of a 1000 ft pier so this monster can dock.

They hope to bring 1500 people a day to Bimini.
That will more than double the population of the less than 10 square mile island.

BIMINI, Bahamas: Bimini residents mixed on proposed mooring for Resorts World ferry - Business - MiamiHerald.com
sounds like the little towns in Alaska that have a love/hate relationship with visiting cruise ships....hopefully that kind of tourism won't hurt cruising and help the economy enough to make sacking little cruises for every nickel and dime will get less likely.
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Old 10-20-2013, 09:52 AM   #18
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Since the Bahamas raised the price of their cruising permit to absorbitant, it has stopped any quick weekend trips over to Bimini or Grand Bahama Island. If I have a cruising permit still valid it is worth it. It has probably stopped many other short stays. Just wonder how that is working out financially for the Bahamas.
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Old 10-20-2013, 12:21 PM   #19
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Since the Bahamas raised the price of their cruising permit to absorbitant, it has stopped any quick weekend trips over to Bimini or Grand Bahama Island. If I have a cruising permit still valid it is worth it. It has probably stopped many other short stays. Just wonder how that is working out financially for the Bahamas.
Hard to imagine that like fishing licenses...they can't prorate the length of stay...

Have any info why? Anyone hear why?
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Old 10-20-2013, 12:36 PM   #20
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It would be interesting to find out what importance the Bahamians put on cruising boats and the tourist income they generate. $300 is not a lot of money but it probably does curtail some FL east coast folks from skipping over to West End or Bimini for the weekend. The fuel used to go to the Abacos will probably be a far greater expense than the cruising permit.

Regardless, some folks like me will probably skip the Bahamas when we go over to the east coast of FL in part because of the cost of the cruise permit.

Some of the boats I saw tied up at West End for sure aren't bothered by the cost of a cruise permit.
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