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Old 08-27-2013
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Is it time to boycott the Bahamas?

It seems the Bahamas are getting out of hand with their fees;
If you're sailing north to the Bahamas anytime soon, you might want to take note:
Bahamas: Fee for pleasure vessel effective July 1st 2013
(1) A temporary cruising permit shall, on approval of the inward report by the Customs authority, be issued on Form No. C39 upon payment of —
(a) a fee of two hundred and fifty dollars ($250.00) for a pleasure vessel not exceeding thirty-five feet in length;
(b) a fee of four hundred dollars ($400.00) for a pleasure vessel exceeding thirty-five feet in length.
I think it's time the cruising community showed a bit of solidarity and let the Bahamas government know that these fees are not acceptable.
Even if this is a six month cruising fee, most of us have little or no desire to stay that long and as minimum fees they are outrageous!
Consider you are on a voyage from the VI to Ft. Lauderdale and you need fuel. You stop at San Salvador and purchase some of the most expensive fuel on earth and have to pay $400.00 on top of that!
If you plan a three week cruise to the Bahamas next winter, your cruising fee will be $400.00 for that three week period.
You have a medical emergency and need to stop at Great Inagua to get a crew member stitched up, nothing major, perhaps, but a necessary stop; add $400.00 to the medical bill.
This has to stop. If we allow the Bahamas to get away with this, other Caribbean Islands might soon follow suit.
Put off any planned voyage to the Bahamas and write to their consulate in Washington informing them that you had planned a voyage to their lovely island chain, but just didn't feel like getting screwed!
Let's see if we, as a group can stop this trend before it becomes so widespread that once again the only folks out yachting will be the rich.
"Any idiot can make a boat go; it takes a sailor to stop one." Spike Africa aboard the schooner Wanderer in Sausalito, Ca. 1964.

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