Arrinving at Bimini - I need HELP - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 07-19-2010
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Arrinving at Bimini - I need HELP

Hello everybody!!

We are planing to sail from Key Biscayne to Bimini.
Last week I read in a sailor blog that he had some problems when he entered Bimini last February. He found 2 sand banks that were not on the chart.
I would like to know if someone have sailed from February to nowadays.
Please , I need your advise.
I am sailing with a Hunter 40

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Old 07-19-2010
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Do not rely on someone elses waypoints. Go in ONLY when you can have good light and can read the water.

Be prepared if you go aground to heel the boat - usual method is to swing the boom out as far as it will go with the dink on the end possibly part filled with water and winch it up a bit. DO A PRACTICE RUN AND MAKE SURE THAT YOU HAVE THE DINGHY SUSPENSION SYSTEM SORTED OUT.

You do not HAVE to go into Bimini you can anchor out in the bay or [from memory check to see if still current !] just south of Bimini there is an anchorage that I would use in preferance to the Bay.

It is better to bounce around overnight in the swell at anchor in 12 feet of water than bouce around on your side on the beach.

I repeat go in ONLY when you can have good light [around mid day] and can read the water.

Last edited by TQA; 07-19-2010 at 11:01 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 07-19-2010
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We went over Memorial Day. Fort Lauderdale straight shot to South Bimini where we were in Bimini Sands marina for 2 nights.

We never went into town...although we did anchor one night around Cat Cay. The winds picked up and we spent a bumpy night out...but the anchor held and the generator kept things cool.

Didn't see any unmarked sandbars. But its the Bahamas...shallows everywhere. Go slow and sound things out in the dink with a handheld dept finder ($80 or less) if you're really worried.
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Old 07-20-2010
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There is a NEW channel into Bimini, the old one filled in.

The NEW channel is a bit further north than the channel that you find on the (explorer) charts, it was dredged by Bimini Bay Yacht Club and it IS now marked. It wasnt marked in March and several boats went hard aground and one was completely lost. I dont have my charts/notes with me; but to be SURE of the LAT/LON of the NEW channel and markers .... suggest you make a telephone call to Bimini Bay Yacht Club.
OR
See: Near Bahamas Free Update then go to 'updates' then go to "p. 54 Chart BIM 3"
The current edition of the "EXPLORER CHARTS - Near Bahamas" .... does NOT include the NEW channel into Bimini. Be SURE to follow the new channel marks precisely as the new channel is quite narrow and is CUT out of the ROCK/coral formations

As regards anchoring 'south of South Bimini .... all the sand in the 'bay' has been scoured out by storms and unless your depth is 4 ft. or less you wont find enough sand to anchor in. The 'next' viable anchorage south is Gun/Cat Cay.

Last edited by RichH; 07-20-2010 at 12:16 AM.
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Old 07-20-2010
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For the latest information on the Bahamas see Welcome to Seaworthy.com!
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Old 07-20-2010
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Went to Bimini over the 4th of July, all channel markers are now in place for the new channel - which the latest version of the Explorers Chartbook shows. Then entrance is roughly even with Bimini Sands. Just follow the bouys and watch the water, nothing hard about it. Note: I would not attempt this channel in a strong westerly breeze of any type.
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Jon--

What kind of depths did you see in the channel during your visit?
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Old 07-20-2010
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I went between Christmas and New Year. We made the approach just after dawn, and it was a little scary the first time in. We were in a cat that draws 4.5 feet. It was a bareboat charter and we were told that when the depth reads 3.8 feet we would go aground. The trouble is that the sounder is 23 feet away from the other hull. Kinda scary when the depth reads 4.3 feet.

We went in and out multiple times with no issues. The worst time was the first time with the rented captain calling the shots. Subsequent trips in or out were much less nerve wracking.
Align yourself with the entrance to the Bimini Sands about 1/2 mile offshore. You should be heading 090. As you approach the Sands you will see a single small green buoy that looks like this:


Take a left at the buoy and stay as close as you dare to the reef on the left as you head toward the channel. You should be able to stay in at least 7 feet of water. Don't get too close to shore, the debris from dredging the Sands is just north of the Sands entrance.

This picture is fairly accurate, except there is only one green marker buoy.
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Old 07-24-2010
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Thank you very much for your help!!!!
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