Looking at planning our first crossing to west end

ShanecarrollShanecarroll Posts: 19 Greenhorn
When do groups start planning and making trips over to west end ..do groups gather in early spring Feb or March. .any info is great.contact of group or individual that has crossed.

Replies

  • bmoodybmoody Posts: 940 Officer
    Crippled as it is by the loss of old posts, the search function here will help you.

    Details matter -- size of your boat, ports, tolerance of your crew, etc.
    Feb-March is early for the groups of smaller boats to cross, but not to plan to cross in June.

    Now is the time to learn your boat's systems and engine (can you diagnose and repair a fuel delivery issue?), gather capital supplies (do you have PLB or EPIRB, class 1 PFDs, fishing tackle, and spare parts?), and save extra dollars for fuel needed for this trip.

    All that said, go for it. Many of us have had LOTS of great times on West End trips.
  • ShanecarrollShanecarroll Posts: 19 Greenhorn
    Thanks very much..we run a sea pro 28 cc twin 150 ..have all safety equipment. .plenty of new tackle. .just don't want to go at it alone have read alot of post on info ..what all parts is wise to carry ..other than what I have ..props.plugs.fuel prime bubble..tool set..extra anchors and rode..two radio and one hand held 2 garmin unit .radar epirb all brand new inflatable is a thought with a air supply.thanks again I see so many post that go Un answered .as far as marina I'm flexible don't know anything or anyone on that side of fl I am from South ga..heard alot about old Bay and west end over at Bahamas but there again no contact just what I read ..
  • IronworkerIronworker Posts: 20 Greenhorn
    Your boat is sufficient for the crossing. I would not take anything that you wouldn't take on an offshore trip from Brunswick. Don't overload the boat.

    Watch the weather and go have fun, its not that hard.
  • SlipkidSlipkid Posts: 241 Officer
    You will be there before you know it. Sounds like you are well prepared. Have a weather window and have 3-4 hundred bucks (depending on # of guys aboard) cash for customs and the folks at Old Bahama Bay will guide you from there. Easy Peasey.

    Get a yellow quarantine flag. They like you to fly it until you clear customs. It's nice to fly a Bahamian courtesy flag thereafter but it's not necessary.
    2003 Viking 45C
  • ShanecarrollShanecarroll Posts: 19 Greenhorn
    Thanks. .now when the time rolls around how hard is to to get in touch and plan a crossing with other boaters ..I seen on here that serval request for boat buddies go Un answered. .
  • bulletproofbulletproof Posts: 2 Greenhorn
    We have been running for years and I'm just up the road from you. We are running over in a couple of weeks depending on the weather. PM if you have any questions, maybe I can help.
  • ShanecarrollShanecarroll Posts: 19 Greenhorn
    #is 2292255963..u say u just up road from me??
  • Al BundyAl Bundy Posts: 238 Deckhand
    PM me your email address and I'll send you a PDF copy of the customs and immigration forms that you can fill out and save for future trips. Also, find a place to get the immigration cards.. much easier to fill out the night before the trip than at the dock in the midday sun. Sign up for the "local boater option" to streamline the float plan process and checking in process. https://svrs.cbp.dhs.gov/Default.aspx
  • nuevowavonuevowavo Posts: 6,298 Admin
    Old Bahama Bay at West End is a great place for your first trip. Customs is right there, good prices on gas at the fuel dock, nice rooms, restaurants, pool, etc. for your first trip.

    You could also check in at Customs there and then run around Settlement Point a little further east and stay at Blue Marlin cove or Bootle Bay. Both nice spots, not quite as luxurious. Bootle Bay is more of a Bahamian experience, run by a great family. And LaShanda does a terrific job cooking up your catch! http://www.bootlebayfishinglodge.com/

    Most folks with boats your size wait until April to plan a trip. You want to make sure you've got a good weather window on both sides of your crossing, without any northern aspect to the wind direction. The Gulf Stream can kick up dramatically with a north wind.
    Federales, bring my baby back to me!
  • alacrityalacrity Posts: 2,661 Captain
    nuevowavo wrote: »
    Old Bahama Bay at West End is a great place for your first trip. Customs is right there, good prices on gas at the fuel dock, nice rooms, restaurants, pool, etc. for your first trip.

    You could also check in at Customs there and then run around Settlement Point a little further east and stay at Blue Marlin cove or Bootle Bay. Both nice spots, not quite as luxurious. Bootle Bay is more of a Bahamian experience, run by a great family. And LaShanda does a terrific job cooking up your catch! http://www.bootlebayfishinglodge.com/

    Most folks with boats your size wait until April to plan a trip. You want to make sure you've got a good weather window on both sides of your crossing, without any northern aspect to the wind direction. The Gulf Stream can kick up dramatically with a north wind.

    lots of great advice in this post.

    ***THE GUY IN MY AVATAR IS BLAIR WICKSTROM***

  • dzankdzank Posts: 250 Deckhand
    All of the advise posted is terrific. Picking the right weather window for the west to east crossing is critical as the winds are usually prevailing from an eastern quadrant. Obviously this time of year poses challenges with any cold fronts coming through. I have done over 100 trips over the years going back to 1982 and usually the crossing east to west isn't much of a problem even with 15 knots or so of wind as again the winds are generally prevailing from the east. We carry all of the safety equipment you would expect including EPIRB, sat phone, waterproof handheld VHF, etc. Our preferred place to stay is Bootle Bay as we have know the Hepburn family for decades. BB "ain't fancy" but it's been totally renovated in the last 15 months and is very secure, clean, and comfortable. It doesn't hurt that LaShanda (Vida's wife) and Linda are the best cooks on Grand Bahama! Be happy to answer any specific questions as we've doing the crossing and fishing the West End/Walkers area forever.
  • Gary MGary M Posts: 13,123 AG
    March and April are usually windy months........ even into May too. June, July, August are your calmest months.

    Keep in mind that you also have to cross again to get home. Many guys suffer from 'get-home-itis' and can end up crossing back when they shouldn't. Leave yourself with a day or two extra at the end of the trip to get home.

    Don't skimp on your return fuel load either just because it's more expensive for gas over there.
  • dzankdzank Posts: 250 Deckhand
    Gary M has great advise. Just be very careful with the weather as the crossings can be challenging in the wrong conditions. Your boat is more than capable and there are tons of things to do in the West End area especially as you work your way to the north near Memory Rock. We have been fishing/diving that area for 30+ years and always have a great time. Don't try to "push" the crossings either way as all that will do is give you a bad taste on what should be a fabulous experience. The locals can put you on the fish I guarantee. PM me if you want some specifics.
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