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Old 12-09-2002, 01:56 PM
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Looking to hear from anyone who has shot across to bimini for lunch. Any tips or hints, I have heard that you need to diplay a flag to clear customs.

And any advice for marinas/restaurants ? Should be a great run, only about 50 miles off Lauderdale.
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Old 12-10-2002, 12:02 AM
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Hi,

We frequent Bimini quite often in the spring to early fall months and in winter when we have a solid good forcast. It's only 54 miles, but it's 54 miles straight into the Atlantic....... Miss it and you'll see France or North Africa several weeks later ............ Coming back is alot easier, hard to miss the good ole US mainland
You will need to check into Bahamian Customs when you arrive there, a courtesy flag is an option, but a courtesy nonetheless. Clearing Bahamian Customs is about $100 for a boat and up to 4 people. They will issue a cruising pass to keep with you while in Bahamian waters, even if only for lunch. You'll also need to clear US Customs when you return to the US. Easiest way with Customs is to buy a Customs Stamp for $25 which allows unlimited US re-entries over a 12 month period. Call US Customs for details. You still need to call them when you return US side with your Customs #. They usually just verbally clear you. That stamp is a decal that you affix to your Port side windscreen or windshield.

In Bimini one of the nicer places is the Big Game and Fishing Club. Keep in mind Bimini is small and you can walk the entire island in less than 1 hour. Fuel is pretty good, although pricey at PLUS $3 per gallon. Bahamian Customs is about 5 minutes from the Big Game Club.

If you've never been there, be careful when approaching as you can't just enter the channel straight in, you have to come from the south about 500 yards and then turn north into the channel. If it's clear weather use the Texaco sign on South Bimini as your guide, head for it, and when 100 yards or so from shore turn north into the harbor. Once "inside" be carfeul not to drift east of the harbor channel, it gets shallow with a strong current real quick.

Finally, It's Bimini, and it's the Bahamas. They work at their speed, not yours. Slow down your talk, your thoughts, your heartbeat and your demands and you'll be just fine

Steve
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Old 12-10-2002, 12:47 AM
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Everything Steve said is right on the money but I will add a few thoughts. There are two Islands in Bimini, North and South. North Bimini is where all the action is and the hotels that Steve listed above. In the past few years a new Townhome/condo development has evolved call Bimini Sands- www.biminisands.com . The advantage to Bimini Sands is that it is very clean and new and has 24 hr security. It is a little more inconvenient for night life as you have to take the water taxi to North Bimini to the historic restaurants and bars. Bimini Sands has its own restaurants, bar, pool, etc, but if you are staying for more than a couple nights you will probably get sick of eating the same restaurant more than once. Travel to North Bimini for dinner but make sure you keep an eye on your watch or the water taxi will close and you will be tipping some Bahamian kid in his Boston Whaler to give you a lift home.

Almost all the food in Bimini is fried so when you get sick of that you can go to the bar at the South end of the island and find the only pizza on the island which is actually very good.

It is highly recommended not to make this trip during the winter months as the Gulf Stream can have seas as large as 15-20 feet. Bimini is one of my favorite places to visit and if you have never been through the Bermuda Triangle the challenge is always a thrill.
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