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  #1  
Old 10-07-2013
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Miami to Bimini

Sailors,

I plan to sail east to Bimini from Miami and although I've done it once I still have some questions.

We plan to leave this Friday night to make it to Bimini during daylight.

Our concerns:

1. Channel entrance and depth we have a 7 feet deep keel.

2. Which marina to stay with?

3. What is needed to clear customs and immigration.

4. How to properly choose a bearing to beat the Gulf stream and not over sail south or north.

Any other tips are much appreciated.

Thanks, Alvaro!
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Old 10-07-2013
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Re: Miami to Bimini

Go to this site for customs information:

http://www.noonsite.com/
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Old 10-07-2013
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Re: Miami to Bimini

Common correction for Lauderdale to Bimini, which should work for Miami as well is to assume an average current of 2.5 knots northward for the expected duration of the voyage, IE: ten hour trip figure 25 miles.
Of course his is only a guesstimate, but worked well for me on numerous trips long before gps was available.
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Re: Miami to Bimini

I know nothing and I'm newer than new but I would think that someone leaving on FRIDAY would have all this sorted out and would know the answer to these questions....????

I mean it's not like you can see Bimini from Florida, right..?
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Re: Miami to Bimini

Its a simple "set and drift" calculation to determine course to steer. Here:
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Re: Miami to Bimini

Quote:
Originally Posted by azguy View Post
I know nothing and I'm newer than new but I would think that someone leaving on FRIDAY would have all this sorted out and would know the answer to these questions....????

I mean it's not like you can see Bimini from Florida, right..?
Its about 43 nautical miles away and I've sailed it before about a year ago.

As a refresher I'm asking for additional tips and recommendations.
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Re: Miami to Bimini

That's a great informative video, thanks!

Would anyone have information pertaining more to the Gulf Stream itself though?
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Re: Miami to Bimini

1. Channel entrance and depth we have a 7 feet deep keel.
The channel into AliceTown is relocated by blasting through the coral bed. Its deep and well marked; but watch your drift in this channel if a 'rip' is running. Use your EYEBALLS in this channel as the markers have changed probably since you were last there.
Dont do this channel at night until you are very familiar with it.
Be aware that there is now a high-speed fast-passenger ship that goes between Miami to the Bimini Bay resort on N. Bimini .... see the schedule on the Bimini Bay Resort website and time yourself not to be in the entrance channel when this ship is also there.

2. Which marina to stay with?
There are 3 smaller marinas 'just inside' AliceTown near the ferry terminal: Browns, Bimini Blue Water & Seacrest ... I prefer Seacrest but it really doesnt matter. Of course there is the Bimini Bay Re$ort

3. What is needed to clear customs and immigration.
US Passport and either $300 (or $150 if ~35 ft or less in boat length).
Animals need a Bahamian Import cert. $10 ??? and a Certification of Health from a US vet.
Beware of the dog pits there, so keep your dog WITH YOU at all times.

4. How to properly choose a bearing to beat the Gulf stream and not over sail south or north.
To Bimini, I typically add ~20° to the compass heading until I start to be 'released' from drift then straight to the Bimini entrance channel to AliceTown. Dont sail a straight-line waypoint course across the GStream; but, add that 20° early and then 'adjust' when past midway. This will cause you to sail a 'soft S' course to Bimini.

The chart listed 'anchorage' just to the south of S. Bimini is now scoured out; but, shallow drafted catamarans do still anchor there quite close to shore.

Best weather info to cross the stream is Chris Parker @ Caribbean Weather on Single Side Band (listen in)
SUMMER: (March-October):
4045 USB 6:30am AST / EDT, 1030 UTC
WINTER: (November into March):
8137 USB 7:00am AST / 6:00am EST, 1100 UTC
4045 USB 7:30am AST / 6:30am EST, 1130 UTC
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Re: Miami to Bimini

Do not do this on a schedule. Check the weather forecast then decide if you go.

Do not go with any North in the forecast even if you think you have a tough boat and a tough crew.

Finally time your arrival in Bimini to be between 10 am and 2 pm, you need to be able to read the water as you enter.

Last edited by TQA; 10-07-2013 at 10:42 PM.
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Old 10-08-2013
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Re: Miami to Bimini

Quote:
Originally Posted by asanchis92 View Post
That's a great informative video, thanks!

Would anyone have information pertaining more to the Gulf Stream itself though?
Click on Passage Weather, there click on the Sector Map for Florida-Bahamas and when that opens it will include a Tab that reports predictions for the Gulf Stream for about 5-6 days forward. The site's weather and GS predictions seem to be very accurate in the near term (4-6 days) and we rely on it all the time for our travels in Florida/Bahamas.
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