Bimini in June 2018
Hello to all, Matt here. I usually post in the NE section as I'm from Jax. Figured I would try and start a thread here to try and get some pointers, tips and guidance from anybody who feels so inclined....it would be much appreciated and I would be more than happy to return the favor for anybody heading up my way.
So my hopes and plans are as follows... I've got a 1995 Mako 231 with a new motor, all new wiring and electronics and I just fininshed replacing all hardware and thru hulls. I feel pretty confident in my boats ability to get us there. 5 people aboard my boat. Another boat, 22' Angler with 5 more people. Thinking tentative dates of June 13th-17th. Trailer to Ft Lauderdale, stay the night and wake up the next morning and make the cross to Bimini. Check in with customs then be on our way. We were thinking about staying at the Big Game club for three nights. Wake up Sunday morning the 17th and head back. I know there is a lot of things between depart and return I need to have covered. I'm a new when it comes to this and would like to make sure I have everything I need and don't end up in Bahama jail. We are wanting to have a mixture of things to do, fish, snorkel, sandbar hop, sightsee.
I have done a ton of reading and research and feel like I have a decent handle on everything I need, but would love any other ideas or contributions from you veteran crossers. As far as safety gear, I believe I am covered and then some. Epirb, Handheld VHF and GPS, stocked ditch bag, first aid supplies, sunscreen and so on. As far as checking into customs, what papers will i need and where can I get some ahead of time to fill out? Whats the proper procedure for flying the Q flag and the Bahamian flag? Just for the sake of keeping things simple, I don't plan on bringing any dive tanks or spear equipment that has a trigger. Strictly snorkel gear and slings. What can I expect to catch fish for during June? Are mahi around? Deep dropping possible? Other pelagic or bottom fish? Any to do's and NOT to do's? I'm sure I am forgetting many things to ask about. Any help would be appreciated.
Also, what weather site/app should I use to check the seas and weather and how far out should I book the rooms?
Tight lines, Matt