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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest > General Discussion (sailing related) > Key West to Bimini (Direct)?
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Thread: Key West to Bimini (Direct)? Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
06-20-2012 12:18 AM
Cruisingdad
Re: Key West to Bimini (Direct)?

Quote:
Originally Posted by creedence623 View Post
Alright, our departure is 10 days out!

The plan is Sarasota to Key West (time built in for a stop in Captiva if needed). Key west until July 8th, then the run to Morgan's Bluff (with stops or direct- there's a plan for either option), and on down the Exuma chain as far south as Georgetown. We have a month (plus or minus) to make our way down from Key West and back so I'm hoping we'll make it all the way down.

I have my courtesy flag ordered (bought a Mexican one too just in case weather looks more favorable for a run to Isla Mujeres). I just ordered the latest Explorer Chartbooks for the area. I checked noonsite for both Mexico and the Bahamas, and will get my exit documents if we decide on Mexico.

Of interest to some may be this quote I pulled from the Bahamas Customs/Immigration web page:


If entering The Bahamas by boat, there is a flat fee to clear Customs and Immigration, which is $150.00 for boats 30 feet and under and $300.00 for boats 31 feet and over. This covers a vessel with three persons or less. Also included is a cruising permit, a fishing permit, Customs and Immigration charges and the $25.00 Departure Tax is waived for up to three persons. Each additional person above three will be charged $25.00 Departure Tax. In Grand Bahama the Departure Tax is $28.00. If you plan to stay longer than 12 months, special arrangement must be made with Bahamas Customs and Immigration.


Looks like they dropped the threshold for the $300 permit down a few feet to 31'.


I just ordered my US Customs decal (is that really necessary?) so that's all in order, my USCG documentation won't be in by my departure date, but I have my state registration paperwork, I've got my insurance for the trip, I think I'm good to go.

Oh, and just for grins I got the topsides compounded, polished, and waxed:





Is there anything at this point that I'm overlooking?



CD, what's your schedule looking like? You still going to be in the neighborhood around then?
I am still sitting in St Pete. Generator issues. I will PM you.

Brian
06-15-2012 02:26 AM
creedence623
Re: Key West to Bimini (Direct)?

Alright, our departure is 10 days out!

The plan is Sarasota to Key West (time built in for a stop in Captiva if needed). Key west until July 8th, then the run to Morgan's Bluff (with stops or direct- there's a plan for either option), and on down the Exuma chain as far south as Georgetown. We have a month (plus or minus) to make our way down from Key West and back so I'm hoping we'll make it all the way down.

I have my courtesy flag ordered (bought a Mexican one too just in case weather looks more favorable for a run to Isla Mujeres). I just ordered the latest Explorer Chartbooks for the area. I checked noonsite for both Mexico and the Bahamas, and will get my exit documents if we decide on Mexico.

Of interest to some may be this quote I pulled from the Bahamas Customs/Immigration web page:


If entering The Bahamas by boat, there is a flat fee to clear Customs and Immigration, which is $150.00 for boats 30 feet and under and $300.00 for boats 31 feet and over. This covers a vessel with three persons or less. Also included is a cruising permit, a fishing permit, Customs and Immigration charges and the $25.00 Departure Tax is waived for up to three persons. Each additional person above three will be charged $25.00 Departure Tax. In Grand Bahama the Departure Tax is $28.00. If you plan to stay longer than 12 months, special arrangement must be made with Bahamas Customs and Immigration.


Looks like they dropped the threshold for the $300 permit down a few feet to 31'.


I just ordered my US Customs decal (is that really necessary?) so that's all in order, my USCG documentation won't be in by my departure date, but I have my state registration paperwork, I've got my insurance for the trip, I think I'm good to go.

Oh, and just for grins I got the topsides compounded, polished, and waxed:





Is there anything at this point that I'm overlooking?



CD, what's your schedule looking like? You still going to be in the neighborhood around then?
05-05-2012 08:57 PM
Cruisingdad
Re: Key West to Bimini (Direct)?

I gotta get a new bottom on the boat so St Pete/Tampa is the cheapest (believe it or not). Only gets more expensive as you haed south. Depending on timing and otehr unrelated factors, I suspect I will be jumping out of FMB.

Brian
05-05-2012 08:37 PM
creedence623
Re: Key West to Bimini (Direct)?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cruisingdad View Post
Tampa to Key West in a day? You sure? I overnight from Tampa to Charlotte Harbor off of Cabbage Key. Then it is 141ish miles to the Tortugas. Weren't you going to the Tortugas first? Mile Marker 1 from FMB to outer marker of Tortugas is 121nm IIRC. Made that run many times. That alone is a overnighter. Remember, light winds. You will be motoring a lot. You and I run about the same ~7-8 knts under power with a clean bottom. The tides runnin north off Sanibel/Captiva out of Charlotte will slow you down unless you remain well offshore.

BTW: Do you race? I love the Tampa-FMB race off Davis. You do that?

If you are going Bahamas, and just hanging in K West, I would not go there (and save a bunch of money). Go the 7 mile to Marathon and duck under the bridge. I would hang in Marathon. Course, I have kids and Key west is fun to be around but we are out of there soon.

If you are going via way of Tortugas, go N side and exit east. N entrance is good but needs daylight as does E entrance so need to plan on a light arrival. I know the Tortugas well if you wanna chat about it? I would NOT enter Tortugas at night. Also, you will lose all VHF on that trip. I wrote a long thread about that somewhere here. No SSB, you are on your own.

Ok, my timing is probably Marathon around the end of June unless we can push out to Bahamas quicker. I love Marathon and the kids do so I will be moving slower than you. Keep an eye to the sky. If a storm comes, the only harbor in the keys (IMHO) is Boot Key. You do know you can punch out of Boot Key without really losing much time on your run? Still would go Rod Key. Worst case, you sit there another day. Best case, you haver a relaxing trip and really lose no time even going outside. The GS gets really nasty in some winds.

Curious what RichH and SV Hylyte have to say about this??? You guys around??

Brian

PS Wheat is the Crab season? The bay is loaded during crab season. Just a warning. I never remember that stuff.
Yeah, I plan about 30 hours from Anna Maria Island to Key West. We stopped in Captiva on the way home last time, and really enjoyed our time there, so I may duck in there if weather doesn't support a single hop to the Keys, but my intent is to get down there and THEN relax. I also plan on heading well offshore this time. Those crap traps were REDICULOUS last time. The plan is to bring the family over to the Dry Tortugas for a long weekend when they meet us in Key West. From there, we'll of course have to drop them off making Key West our jumping off point. We are going to keep a close eye on the weather, I'm by no means set on the plan to make a single jump to the Bahamas, if the weather isn't ideal I'll likely hop my way up. (I still have to keep the ride comfortable for the wife)

I totally agree with you on Marathon, it's one of my favorite spots. Sombrero Reef is probably my single favorite dive spot in the Keys. I like the pace of the middle Keys a lot better than Key West, and if it weren't for the family coming down for the DTs, I think we'd have spent some extra time around there.

I used to do a lot of racing on my Catalina 36 when i lived in Virginia, and some racing when I was living in Hawaii. I'm still relatively new to the Tampa Bay Area sailing scene, but now that I have the new boat I am DEFINITELY going to be looking to start doing some offshore races. I am trying to tweak my work schedule for next year for the Isla Mujeres race, and if the SYC ever gets a green light for the Havana race, you can bet I'll be there for that. I haven't done the race to Fort Meyers, but I'll see if I can fit that one in next year as well. I work overseas and won't be home until early June so it looks like I'm going to miss out this year.

Where do you sail out of, are you around Tampa?



As for the forecasts, I'm going to do my best to wait for the 'best' window I can; but ultimately, I'm going to have to take it as it comes. At some point, I've got to trust that I'm not going to get in over my head in a 40' boat given a reasonable forecast.
05-05-2012 01:18 AM
RichH
Re: Key West to Bimini (Direct)?

Simple and most probable ... someone got 'caught out', sued the govt. and won ... and now ALL the NOAA forecasts for the entire country are for gloom and doom and usually forecasting much WORSE than 'actual' because if its 'better' than forecasted, no one sues.

You'll miss a LOT of good sailing if you listen to NOAA forecasts !!!!!!!!!!! :-)
05-05-2012 01:04 AM
Cruisingdad
Re: Key West to Bimini (Direct)?

Quote:
Originally Posted by RichH View Post
Simply wait for a good weather window @ Boot Key / Marathon ... you'll want an extra backup weather day, just 'after' the day you cross the GS to keep the 'surprises' down.
Wait for your window, then stage from Rodriguez Key.

Best weather info for crossing the GS is Caribb. Weather (Chris Parker) @
4.045 USB 6:30am AST / EDT, 1030 UTC
8.137 USB 7:00am AST / EDT, 1100 UTC
4.045 USB 8:00am AST / EDT, 1200 UTC
8.104 USB 8:30am AST / EDT, 1230 UTC
If you have a portable SW radio with Upper Side band ... just listen in.

NOAA doesnt get it 'right' a lot on GS crossing weather reports -- too general !!!

Best is to cross on a SE to SW wind ... NEVER with a wind with a 'north component'- makes the waves 'stand up', like a washing machine.

When leaving Rod. Key simply add ~20° to your magnetic course to compensate for the northward flow of the GS ... dont follow a rhumb-line track via GPS waypoint to Bimini or the GStrm. will cause you to 'overshoot' too far north of Bimini.

Before leaving Rod. Key scan the eastern horizon ... if it looks like there are "elephants marching along the far horizon", stay another day at Rod. Key.

:-)
Agree with NOAA errors. Our experience too. Not sure why.

B
05-05-2012 12:29 AM
RichH
Re: Key West to Bimini (Direct)?

Simply wait for a good weather window @ Boot Key / Marathon ... you'll want an extra backup weather day, just 'after' the day you cross the GS to keep the 'surprises' down.
Wait for your window, then stage from Rodriguez Key.

Best weather info for crossing the GS is Caribb. Weather (Chris Parker) @
4.045 USB 6:30am AST / EDT, 1030 UTC
8.137 USB 7:00am AST / EDT, 1100 UTC
4.045 USB 8:00am AST / EDT, 1200 UTC
8.104 USB 8:30am AST / EDT, 1230 UTC
If you have a portable SW radio with Upper Side band ... just listen in.

NOAA doesnt get it 'right' a lot on GS crossing weather reports -- too general !!!

Best is to cross on a SE to SW wind ... NEVER with a wind with a 'north component'- makes the waves 'stand up', like a washing machine.

When leaving Rod. Key simply add ~20° to your magnetic course to compensate for the northward flow of the GS ... dont follow a rhumb-line track via GPS waypoint to Bimini or the GStrm. will cause you to 'overshoot' too far north of Bimini.

Before leaving Rod. Key scan the eastern horizon ... if it looks like there are "elephants marching along the far horizon", stay another day at Rod. Key.

:-)
05-04-2012 10:47 PM
Cruisingdad
Re: Key West to Bimini (Direct)?

Tampa to Key West in a day? You sure? I overnight from Tampa to Charlotte Harbor off of Cabbage Key. Then it is 141ish miles to the Tortugas. Weren't you going to the Tortugas first? Mile Marker 1 from FMB to outer marker of Tortugas is 121nm IIRC. Made that run many times. That alone is a overnighter. Remember, light winds. You will be motoring a lot. You and I run about the same ~7-8 knts under power with a clean bottom. The tides runnin north off Sanibel/Captiva out of Charlotte will slow you down unless you remain well offshore.

BTW: Do you race? I love the Tampa-FMB race off Davis. You do that?

If you are going Bahamas, and just hanging in K West, I would not go there (and save a bunch of money). Go the 7 mile to Marathon and duck under the bridge. I would hang in Marathon. Course, I have kids and Key west is fun to be around but we are out of there soon.

If you are going via way of Tortugas, go N side and exit east. N entrance is good but needs daylight as does E entrance so need to plan on a light arrival. I know the Tortugas well if you wanna chat about it? I would NOT enter Tortugas at night. Also, you will lose all VHF on that trip. I wrote a long thread about that somewhere here. No SSB, you are on your own.

Ok, my timing is probably Marathon around the end of June unless we can push out to Bahamas quicker. I love Marathon and the kids do so I will be moving slower than you. Keep an eye to the sky. If a storm comes, the only harbor in the keys (IMHO) is Boot Key. You do know you can punch out of Boot Key without really losing much time on your run? Still would go Rod Key. Worst case, you sit there another day. Best case, you haver a relaxing trip and really lose no time even going outside. The GS gets really nasty in some winds.

Curious what RichH and SV Hylyte have to say about this??? You guys around??

Brian

PS Wheat is the Crab season? The bay is loaded during crab season. Just a warning. I never remember that stuff.
05-04-2012 09:06 PM
creedence623
Re: Key West to Bimini (Direct)?

I was just talking dates with the wife a few minutes ago. We are going to head out of Tampa Bay on the 25th of June, and weather permitting will do the run without stopping putting us in the Keys the next day. I think we're going to hang out around Key West for a week or so, and have some family visit for the first weekend in July, then we're going to make the run east.

If your in the area or making the trip down around then, let me know.
05-04-2012 07:32 PM
Cruisingdad
Re: Key West to Bimini (Direct)?

Quote:
Originally Posted by creedence623 View Post
Hey CD, thanks for chiming in. Your post about sailing down to the Keys a while back was not only a great read, but a good reference when I did the run a few months ago.

I grew up in Florida, and have made countless runs down to the Keys over the years (usually by land) so I'm pretty familiar with the highlights. I was hoping to keep the focus of this trip on the Bahamas, but if weather isn't working out for a straight run, I'll use the Marathon stop as a plan B.

I'll try to post pics when it's all said and done!
Sounds great. When are you going again? I was considering a run there circa end of June.

Brian
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