Charter Itinerary Miami Beach To the Bahamas
Seven Day ItineraryOVERNIGHT BOARDING is an option when checking in after 3:00 pm. Once you check in you will still have plenty of time for provisioning and to get in some sightseeing. There are two grocery stores within a five minute taxi ride from our office, the large, modern Publix On the Bay and Whole Food Market (formerly Wild Oats), an organic food store. Your vessel orientation will be scheduled for 10:00am the following morning.
Please note: We have tried to make this guide as helpful as we can. The information contained is believed accurate, but not guaranteed. Please consult your charts, cruising guides and rely on your own best judgement while navigating the Florida Keys.
If you are arriving this morning, we will check you out on your boat and you can
get your provisioning complete. This afternoon, you could take your boat out for
an afternoon sail to get comfortable and then return to our dock for an
enjoyable evening on
When heading out for Biscayne Bay, motor out of the Miami Beach Marina in
a southwesterly direction leaving the flashing Red “16” to starboard. Rapidly
cross the main ship channel and proceed along the south side of Dodge Island in
Fisherman’s Channel. Watch out for the large cruise ships and the
In the Intracoastal Waterway, the red markers are always between you and the
mainland and the green markers are between
you and the ocean. (Remember “Red Dirt,
If you are leaving for Bimini this morning, you will have an extra day in the Bahamas to enjoy the crystal clear water and deserted islands. Your sailing directions are explained in Day 2.
The Bahamas have no aids to navigation so you must arrive during daylight
hours in order to see the few landmarks available. You need to allow
between eight and twelve hours to make the fifty-mile crossing to BIMINI.
Leaving from Miami Beach Marina, we suggest you leave the dock at the crack of
dawn. As you depart heading south out of the
When you are a couple miles from your outer waypoint raise your QUARENTINE FLAG
on your starboard flag halyard. Start paying attention to the flow of traffic.
Larger boats have to follow the same entrance as you. As you near the outer
waypoint you should visually be able to pick up the two white range markers on
the beach. Get one of your crewmembers on the bow of the boat to read the waters
for you. Line up on your range markers and head towards the beach. Explorers
next suggested waypoint is 25-42-17N / 079-18-23W, which will bring you
approximately 100 feet of the beach that is where you should make your turn
towards Alicetown. Head towards the stone jetty, you should see 13 to 9 feet of
water under you keel. You will see a shoal area at the northwestern end of South
Bimini…at this point, ease toward the southern tip of North Bimini and then
parallel the eastern side of
The dockmaster at your marina will give you all the Customs and Immigrations paperwork to fill out. The Skipper of your boat takes all the forms, plus the boat documents, and passports to Customs and Immigration to get your Bahamian cruising permit. The cruising permit now costs $300.00 for the first 4 crewmembers, and additional crewmembers are an additional $15.00/person, cash only. There is no charge for Immigration unless you check in after business hours, on Sundays or holidays. When you are finished, you should lower your Quarantine Flag, and replace it with your Bahamian Courtesy Flag on your starboard flag halyard. Your thirsty crew can now get off the boat and celebrate your Gulf Stream crossing!
You will find friendly people, quaint shops, several bars and restaurants and a beautiful deserted white sand beach on the west side of the island. The Anchorage Restaurant across from the Bimini Blue Water Resort is a great place for dinner or if you would like a spectacular sunset with your meal try the Bimini Bay Restaurant. Call the Bimini Bay Restaurant to make a reservation, tell them where you are staying and they will send a courtesy van to pick you up.
Bimini Blue Water Resort – 1.809.347.2166/2291
Bimini Big Game Club – 1.809.347.3391/3393
Distance - 50 Miles
All marinas monitor channel 16
After leaving Bimini Harbor, turn to the northeast for about three and half (3.5) miles to the rocks just off the hotel marked on the chart. There are wonderful underwater sights to see for all the snorkelers and divers on board. If there are mooring buoys, pick one up, if not, take care not to drop your anchor on any rocks or coral. You do not want to damage any coral and a fouled anchor is not much fun to pull up either!
For your evening anchorage, sail northeast two and half (2.5) miles to North Rock and then turn southeast for another two and a half (2.5) miles. From this point motor into the shoreline until you are in eight to ten (8-10) feet of water for anchoring. You may feel like you have the world to yourself while walking this beautiful deserted beach and exploring the mangroves by dinghy.
Did you get a fishing permit while in Bimini? Did you catch tonight’s dinner while you were sailing today? Even if you brought it with you, why not fire up the barbecue for a grilled dinner tonight! This anchorage is for calm weather only. A strong wind from the north through the southeast would be uncomfortable and possibly dangerous.
Distance – 9 Miles
Today you are going to backtrack your course from yesterday and then continue another two (2) miles south past the Bimini Harbor entrance. Between ROUND ROCK and NORTH TURTLE ROCK you will sail east and southeast clearing the shallow area just east of Turtle Rocks. You will be able to see the wreck of the SOPONA, a concrete ship, from quite a distance and this is your intermediate destination today. Anchor anywhere around the ship putting out plenty of anchor rode, as it is not the best holding ground, and take turns so the boat is never left unattended. The brightly colored fish love to congregate here and if you swim around to the west side of the wreck you can actually snorkel inside the broken hull! Be aware the current runs swiftly through here at times.
From the Sopona sail almost due south until you are just off the rocks north of GUN CAY about three and a half (3.5) miles. At this point, motor along the eastern edge of the sand bar and Gun Cay. The secret to successful anchoring here is to find a sandy spot, drive over it and drop you hook just a head of the sand. Your anchor should drag through the grass and hold in the sand. Two anchors in case of a night squall please! This is a very popular anchorage so you will often have company here. Gun Cay is an uninhabited island always awaiting a shore party!
Distance – 18 Miles
This morning why not turn on Bahamian time and have a lazy morning swimming and sunbathing. If you would like a more active morning – try taking the dinghy around to HONEMOON HARBOR, the white crescent beach at the north end of Gun Cay, for a walk and shell gathering. Anchoring FYC yachts overnight here is forbidden due to the poor holding.
To depart Gun Cay anchorage, motor around the southern tip staying close to the island. Continue around the tip until you can turn west with the lighthouse on your stern. You have a couple of choices today. If you would like a night out “on the town” you could head back north to Bimini and pull into a marina for the evening. On the way, try stopping at some of the rocks for an afternoon of snorkeling. If you enjoy fishing, sail back along the edge of the Bahama bank where the fish are hiding.
If your preference is deserted tropical islands, turn southeast after clearing
the shallow water around Gun Cay. Your destination this evening will be DOLLAR
HARBOR at SOUTH CAT CAY. After passing RABBIT ROCK set a safe course off the
southern end of Cat Point and then motor north into
Distance – 8 Miles
If you spent the night in Bimini, you could sail down to Dollar Harbor at South Cat Cay today or stop again at the anchorage in Gun Cay. The distances are short so you have plenty of time to have breakfast ashore this morning if you would like.
Distance - 10 Miles to Gun Cay
Distance - 14 Miles to South Cat Cay
If you are already in Dollar Harbor, take your dinghy or your boat out to WEDGE
ROCKS for another afternoon of snorkeling. You can either stay at
You should have enough light in the sky by 6:30 a.m. to be able to see your way
out of the anchorage.
Another successful Gulf Stream crossing! It is definitely time to go and party
Distance - 50 miles
You have the morning to pack, clean up and turn the boat back over to FYC at 10:00 a.m. A copy of the “YACHTSMAN’S GUIDE TO THE BAHAMAS” will be aboard your boat. If you would like your own copy or “crossing chart” you can purchase it from us and we’ll be happy to send it to you before your trip so you can begin planning your adventure to Bimini!