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Old 06-10-2014, 07:13 PM   #1
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Just got back from Bahamas

We'll I guess I made all the mistakes for a first time adventurer. First I checked in at Bimini and was asked If I wanted receipt , and I said no , so instead of being charged the $ 300.00 standard charge , the customs man tacked on another $ 100.00 for a dingy. always ask for a receipt. I figured I was helping him from doing extra work, Big mistake!!!! Next I was anchored in Nassau harbor and was boarded by the Bahama defense force , they asked me to see the weapon and bullets I had declared , I was happy to show them in my Jim bag , we'll you guessed it the bullet count was off because I estimated , They asked me to kindly go with them, 9 hours later they agreed to release me after I handed over $ 2,500.00 cash.
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Old 06-10-2014, 07:39 PM   #2
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Greetings,
Mr. W2. Not to start the gun debate again but what prompted you to bring a firearm to the Bahamas?
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Old 06-10-2014, 07:56 PM   #3
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Greetings,
Mr. W2. Not to start the gun debate again but what prompted you to bring a firearm to the Bahamas?
for protection just incase?
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Old 06-10-2014, 08:29 PM   #4
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They are pretty lax over there except what is required of you. When they increased the cost of the cruise permit to $300.00 there were supposed to be no charges for overtime or travel. I have heard of people that didn't know that pay extra fees. It is all cash.

If you haven't done everything right, you can expect to pay exorbitant fines, and possibly lose your boat. The Bahamas are a great cruising area, but take careful care of business. It is too bad that you had that experience.

By the way there has been a rash of boat thefts there. Mostly center consoles with big engines, but anything with a Yamaha outboard is fair game to them. This has increased with the large group of Haitians that have come in.

A weapon on board when anchored in remote areas? You bet.
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Old 06-10-2014, 09:17 PM   #5
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I admit to my mistake in Bahamas

I have a friend in Scotland Cay who had a 32' contender with a pair of 225 yah amass , they cut the cables to drop the boat quickly .they flew over the islands and found it 2 days later in Naussa boat yd. just as engines were being taken off. They got boat back with elec. and valuable stuff gone.I heard they just raised cruising permit from$ 300.00 to $ 400.00 in July . I did make a rookie mistake, and I won't make that one again , I'm not sure if I will go next year , I sure like the Exumas. I'm not sure how I feel about the gun issue , My trawler is also my only home, As far as getting ripped off in customs that was my first day there so I had a good idea of things to come.
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Old 06-10-2014, 09:35 PM   #6
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Just a few days ago a center console with twin Yamaha 300s was taken from Lubbers Landing. They got on it fast with neighbors boats and one private plane looking for it. A few hours later it was found adrift in a grove of mangroves missing the engines. They didn't cut the engines out, so other than that the boat was unharmed.

A year or so ago the stole a boat that belonged to the owner of the Green Turtle Club. Now that's brazen.
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Old 06-10-2014, 09:40 PM   #7
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Greetings,
Mr. W2. Not to start the gun debate again but what prompted you to bring a firearm to the Bahamas?
What kind of question is that?
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Old 06-11-2014, 12:58 AM   #8
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We'll I guess I made all the mistakes for a first time adventurer. First I checked in at Bimini and was asked If I wanted receipt , and I said no , so instead of being charged the $ 300.00 standard charge , the customs man tacked on another $ 100.00 for a dingy. always ask for a receipt. I figured I was helping him from doing extra work, Big mistake!!!! Next I was anchored in Nassau harbor and was boarded by the Bahama defense force , they asked me to see the weapon and bullets I had declared , I was happy to show them in my Jim bag , we'll you guessed it the bullet count was off because I estimated , They asked me to kindly go with them, 9 hours later they agreed to release me after I handed over $ 2,500.00 cash.
So how much did you miss the bullet count by? Guessing more than 1 or 2 bullets.
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Old 06-11-2014, 01:04 AM   #9
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Just as a matter of interest, and showing my downunder ignorance, but who administers the Bahamas, or is it a country in its own right..?
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Old 06-11-2014, 01:09 AM   #10
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Just as a matter of interest, and showing my downunder ignorance, but who administers the Bahamas, or is it a country in its own right..?
Country. Member of Commonwealth of Nations.
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Old 06-11-2014, 07:10 AM   #11
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Greetings,
Mr. 291. "What kind of question is that?" An honest question I thought. I was unaware of the circumstances regarding criminal activity in the Bahamas or the OP's reasons. We plan to cruise the area at some point in the future and first hand knowledge/experience is much better than a website extolling the crime free, rosy, "all is well" character of the country. As I stated, I don't want to start any new debates.
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Old 06-11-2014, 07:25 AM   #12
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Cruising the Bahamas is a bucket list item for many and loads of fun. They may be lax on the rules but you can bet your life if you are it will come back to bite you.
We cruised the Abacos 2 years ago and did not carry a gun. Being we were in some very remote areas with some out of VHF range and the fact the Bahamians are accepting of Americans having guns aboard (as long as you follow the rules) I would highly consider carrying a gun.

And don't even consider being lax on the US rules for reentry.
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Old 06-11-2014, 07:28 AM   #13
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Whatever precautions one would take in South Florida, one would take in the Bahamas, though in my opinion fewer are actually required. Note that the examples of crime cited are all related to stealing high performance outboards. A lot of that going in FL now too.
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Old 06-11-2014, 08:24 AM   #14
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Note that the examples of crime cited are all related to stealing high performance outboards. A lot of that going in FL now too.
And it's got little or nothing to do with the Haitians.

FWIW, I've been cruising and running charters in the Bahamas for decades and never carry a gun unless an owner insists on it.
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Old 06-11-2014, 08:42 AM   #15
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Regret your loss of the cash. Next time I teach a boating class I will add this to my list: guy who showed up in Martinique with only a state registration (US boats are both state and federally registered), boat that had all four of its crew passengers at customs for check in at West End in the Bahamas, boat that didn't think it was necessary to have a courtesy flag when anchored in a foreign country and boat that failed to check into the country when anchored but went to shore for dinner.
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Old 06-11-2014, 08:59 AM   #16
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guy who showed up in Martinique with only a state registration (US boats are both state and federally registered), boat
Not all of them. And they are not required to be federally documented. Boats with only FL state registration travel to and from the Bahamas all the time.
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Old 06-11-2014, 09:06 AM   #17
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WMAN2BLAME, sorry to hear about the severe fleecing you took at the hands of the officials. I'm sure after such an experience it is difficult not to be disillusioned & bitter and it is a credit to you that you do not attempt to discourage others from making the trip, rather to be forewarned of the traps. I see the first incident as official corruption plain & simple, the second incident as an excessively heavy hand for an innocent mistake. The 9 hours behind bars would have sufficed to put the fear of god in anybody. Thanks for posting your experience's, it is this sort of first hand knowledge that will help others from falling into similar traps.

RT said it well: first hand knowledge/experience is much better than a website extolling the crime free, rosy, "all is well" character of the country.
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Old 06-11-2014, 09:51 AM   #18
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As to the bullet count, although I view what they did to you as rather harsh, it is their country, and when we visit we have to follow their firearms laws to the letter.

If that means counting every bullet, thats exactly what it means. I'm just glad you were actually able to carry a firearm into their country. Thats not the case with many countries.

So, the lesson learned, as you put it in your original post is to be exact when declaring things at a border entry.

Another thing I would recommend is if you are going to carry a firearm, take some time to learn the rules of engagement of where you are cruising. I imagine they might come in handy if you ever actually used a firearm in a foreign country....especially against one of its citizens.

We need to remember that we are guests in a foreign country. They do not have to let us in. They do not have to treat us with the same "rights" as their citizens. Just like someone coming to your house, your guests have to follow your rules, and we have to follow foreign governments rules.
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Old 06-11-2014, 09:57 AM   #19
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I don't think he spent 9 hours "behind bars".

But that would make for a more "entertaining" story. :-)
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Old 06-11-2014, 10:35 AM   #20
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We need to remember that we are guests in a foreign country. They do not have to let us in. They do not have to treat us with the same "rights" as their citizens. Just like someone coming to your house, your guests have to follow your rules, and we have to follow foreign governments rules.

Excellent issue, and while we are at it remember to observe their customs as well.
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