Sailing from Miami to Bahamas can be a dream come true experience for casual vacationers, as the calm Bahamian water always welcomes the tourists to get the taste of its natural beauty. For centuries, the region has been an attraction for sailors and sailing through its crystal like water is always a great to experience.
The journey will also offer you a number of spectacular tropical beaches attached with several floating Islands in the bosom of Bahamian water. There are remote anchorages and some suitable areas from where you can experience the amazing view of sunsets. Moreover, for your best enjoyment, there are numerous perfect places for diving and fishing.
Here, in this article you will learn about the vital inputs for sailing from Miami to the Bahamas.
Step 1 – Things that you must consider before getting on board.
A few crucial facts you have to consider before starting your much awaited voyage towards the dream island, never try to ignore the extended weather forecast and never forget to be equipped with marine VHF radio, food and drinks, bilge pumps, lights and batteries, flare gun and efficient ocean maps, life jackets, mobile phones and GPS unit. Along with this, you have to make sure that you can easily access those life saving equipments at the time of emergency to prevent any unwanted casualty.
Never compromise with safety measures.
No matter how deep water you are floating on, you have to keep the safety measures in your mind. You may have to deal with such issues that will appear quite different from what you have faced while boating inside the states. During some tough situations, you may get help but it can be a long wait and anything can happen while you are waiting to get help. Thus, some indispensible safety equipment should be taken to prevent any kind of unexpected danger. Those equipments are:
Type one offshore life saving jacket for every person who is travelling on the boat. All jackets should be comprised with strobe light, whistle, and most importantly, a PLB should be attached to every jacket.
Another important component for sea voyage is a GPS chartplotter with upgrading cartography for the sea. However, the GPS antenna is assembled with the chartplotter that will allow you to exchange data from mother ship to tender and enhance your safety measures.
The most desired tool that we hardly forget to take with us in such a journey is the binoculars. However, two pairs of binoculars assembled with compass will be very advantageous for you. By using this component, you can keep close watch on your surroundings.
Always carry the first aid medical box
The sea journey may not always be smooth for you, thus it will be a good decision if you carry the first aid medical box with you. However, the box must comprise of all the components that will be needed during emergency.
Step 2 – Get prepared for your journey
Before you lay down your plan to spend your next vacation in Bahamas, be sure about which place is going to be your most preferred destination, as there will be many attractive ports and tourist spots that can be connected from Miami. You can choose the Bimini district that is merely 48 miles away from Miami and after crossing a few miles from Bimini, you can visit the wonderful Cat Cay and several other Gulf stream islands. However, if you want to add some twist that can make the vacation more remarkable, you can visit Nassau, which is one of the most visited tourist places in the region.
The island will welcome you with its mind-pleasing natural beauty and some recent human establishments. Nassau will offer you complete duty free shops, standard golf courses, natural wildlife parks, dedicated museum, excellent restaurants, and plenty of areas for sea diving that can take you near to its naturally persevered treasure.
Get excellent medical facility
You should not be worried about the medical facility in this island, since highly skilled and recognized doctors will be there for your service, and no matter where you are in the island, the doctors and other medical stuff will reach you whenever you need them to. To respond any emergency medical circumstances, there are hospitals that are well equipped to counter any situation. Along with this, for any outdoor emergency, medical chopper service is also available on the island.
Convenient inter-island transportation
You will not have to worry about a convenient transportation system, as taxi service is easily available in front of the hotels, and if you want you can hire one of them on hourly basis. If want to take a water ride, then ferryboats can take you to your desired destination or if you wish to float for sightseeing, then you can book them on hourly basis.
Get a preferable accommodation
Several well decorated and luxury hotels are located in the Bahamian island, and you can check in to any one of them that suites your needs best. However, in most of the hotels, the basic check in time is 3 p.m. and 11 a.m. is the check out time. If you are thinking about arriving before 3 p.m. then do not worry because you can avail rooms for your luggage and to change your cloths since most of hotels offers such rooms for early arrivals and late departures.
Step 3 – Calculate the distance and develop your plans for journey
If you are boarding on a speedy boat then it can hardly take six to eight hours to cover your 183 miles journey. However, you may make it a bit faster if you have some experienced crewmembers and the most important thing is that the region is known for its extremely favorable winds for sailing that can make your journey smoother and take even less time to reach your desired destination.
Step 4 – Schedule your journey regarding to weather conditions
You should confirm your sailing schedule after seeing the weather condition of the region, though the southern Atlantic high-pressure system remains friendly almost throughout the year. However, obey the forecast and take decision based upon it to avoid any face off with natural fury.
Step 5 – Time that you should avoid
There is probably no better and smoother sea route available in the world than the Miami-Bahamas sea route. However, it is the weather that could be a surprise, and we will never be able to predict it by just merely looking into to the sky. Thus, you should have the right information about weather forecast of next 54 hours and make sure that it will be shiny and windy. Moreover, do not sail from Miami to Bahamas if you detect the wind blowing above 15 knots. Therefore, obey all precautions and have a safe journey.
Step 6 – Select the right boat
On the course of your journey, you will find out that most vessels are cruising sailboats, large and medium yachts and trawlers. Along with this, many people are using fast powerboats, but that obviously costs more than other vessels.
However, if your journey is designed by a travelling agency then you may have not any choice in terms of selecting a boat for your voyage, but if you have designed your journey on your own, then picking up the right boat will be your responsibility. However, some crucial aspects will determine the boat configuration, such as how many people will be travelling on the boat, what will be the direction and velocity of the sea wind or how many days it will take to cover your journey.
Boats that are manufactured for offshore fishing trip are often proven good for Bahamian waters. You can pick the Center consoles boat that is very popular in the Bahamas. Although, many people prefer boats that are coming with cabin accommodations, so that they can make their journey more pleasurable.
Speed will always play a greater role in sea voyage. A boat that travels at around six knots will take most of a day to reach a safe harbor in the Bahamas. The speed of your boat will greatly depend on the direction of powerful Gulf Stream Current. However, the boat that will travel at the speed of around 25 knots can take you in the western island of Bahamas in 2-3 hours.
Step 7 – Get out with legal travel documents
Making the journey without getting clearance from the legislative government will not be a wise decision. Thus, to execute a hassle free vacation with touring in a wonderful island, get ready with legal travel document and read out all touring and sailing related norms and precautions described by the government.
Follow the government norms on tours and travels
You must be well aware about the fact that you are travelling outside of the US, and thus you will have to take your passport with you, no matter what is the form of your transportation. Moreover, the most important thing that you should keep in your mind that only birth certificate will not be sufficient for citizen of United Sates to visit the Bahamas.
Prepare your application form for U.S. customs
If you are voyaging with a boat that is longer than 30 feet, then you have to have to fill an application form for a U.S. customs sticker. However, the process is not as subtle as it may seem. The U.S. Customs and Border protection website will make this process of application much easier for you. You can visit the government website to download the application form.
However, the best thing you can do is just print the application form and dispatch it via fax machine to the customs. You must go through all these legal procedures, because you will also be asked by Bahamian officers of customs and immigration to show all required documents on arrival.
After returning to Miami, you have to find the nearest Homeland Security office for official check in.
However, touring to Bahamas has always been a pleasurable thing for travelers and no matter how you have made your journey, you will definitely be mesmerized by its charismatic natural beauty that has made the island one of the best tourist attractions not only in American continent but in the whole world.