View Full Version : Bahamas - General

25th April 2009, 05:55 PM
The Bahamas, officially the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, is an independent, sovereign, English-speaking country consisting of two thousand cays and seven hundred islands that form an archipelago. It is located in the Atlantic Ocean southeast of the United States; north of Cuba, Hispaniola (Dominican Republic & Haiti) and the Caribbean Sea; and northwest of the Turks and Caicos Islands. It remains a Commonwealth realm.

The closest island to the United States is Bimini, which is also known as the gateway to the Bahamas. The island of Abaco is to the east of Grand Bahama. The southeasternmost island is Great Inagua. Other notable islands include the Bahamas' largest island, Andros Island, and Eleuthera, Cat Island, Long Island, San Salvador Island, Acklins, Crooked Island, Exuma and Mayaguana. Nassau, the Bahamas capital city, lies on the island of New Providence.

Entry is through an official Port of Entry. These are of two varieties. Both Customs and Immigration agents man the first. Only a Customs agent mans the second; these are far more common. For initial entry they are functionally identical except that the latter can only issue a 90 day visa while the prior can authorize 180 days and grant extensions.

There are no limits or duties on food, liquor or tobacco provided they are not removed from the boat. Firearms must be declared and are retained on board; type, serial numbers and ammunition count are entered on the Cruising Permit. Dinghy make and length, as well as outboard horsepower are also recorded on the Cruising Permit. (Note that dinghies over 17 feet [5.2 meters] must be entered as separate vessels).

The Q flag should be flown when entering port for the purpose of requesting Partique. The United Nations ILS Treaty allowing innocent passage is observed, as is Force Majeure. With the occasional exception of Nassau and Freeport the Master and all crew attend shore for formalities.

Minimum documentation for the boat is proof of ownership i.e. a notarized bill of sale. Minimum documentation for crew is a passport; except U.S. and CA nationals who may enter with a birth certificate and picture I.D. UN vaccination cards may be required if entering form countries with current infectious disease outbreaks.

Duplicate copies of a Maritime Declaration of Health, a De-ratting Certificate, an Inward Report for Pleasure Vessels and a Crew List must be completed. Each crew member must also complete the standard International Immigration Card. All forms are provided.

The Cruising Permit fee includes the Master and 3 crewmembers - additional crew may be added for $15 each. The Cruising Permit includes a 3-month fishing permit that can be extended. Authorization to spear fish will be add to your permit at no charge if you request it.
The Cruising Permit is valid for one year and allows two entries within 90 days. This document must remain on board at all times. It may be extended for an additional 2 years by applying to Customs and paying $500 per year's extension (Dec.'07).

Clearing out is unnecessary provided you agree to mail your Cruising Permit back to Nassau after departure. If you require an outbound clearance it can be issued in advance when clearing in or upon departure.

Islands in the group:
Grand Bahama
Great Inagua
New Providence
Cat Island
Long Island
San Salvador Island
Crooked Island
Turks & Caicos

The Bahamas on the World Cruising Wiki - HERE (http://www.cruiserlog.com/wiki/index.php?title=Bahamas)