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The Official Bimini 2019 Thread

Old 05-14-2019, 01:26 PM
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The 242 number did work, thank you! Guys, has anyone ever heard of customs allowing someone to check in with just a US birth Certificate? We have a 12 year old that doesn't have a passport. My buddy thinks he can come as long as he has that birth cert and he is the legal guardian. I've never heard of this. Can anyone clarify?
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Old 05-14-2019, 01:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Lauderdale View Post
The 242 number did work, thank you! Guys, has anyone ever heard of customs allowing someone to check in with just a US birth Certificate? We have a 12 year old that doesn't have a passport. My buddy thinks he can come as long as he has that birth cert and he is the legal guardian. I've never heard of this. Can anyone clarify?
Yikes. I have read that kids don't need a passport traveling by sea. However, if something happens and you need to fly back they will not be able to get on the plane.

Maybe someone else know's more. But, according to everything I know you should be ok.

Yikes, it'd be so much better if everyone had a passport. I bet at the very least you get questioned by customs hard.
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Old 05-14-2019, 01:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Skurve04 View Post
Yikes. I have read that kids don't need a passport traveling by sea. However, if something happens and you need to fly back they will not be able to get on the plane.

Maybe someone else know's more. But, according to everything I know you should be ok.

Yikes, it'd be so much better if everyone had a passport. I bet at the very least you get questioned by customs hard.
I'm with you. Technically, I think you can by boat. I wouldn't want to explain a 12YO girl being on a boat with no proof of citizenship to either the USCG or Defense Force. You can't fly back without as you point out.
I pay my fees and do my paperwork. I won't even take a dog that doesn't have paperwork.
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Old 05-14-2019, 01:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Lauderdale View Post
The 242 number did work, thank you! Guys, has anyone ever heard of customs allowing someone to check in with just a US birth Certificate? We have a 12 year old that doesn't have a passport. My buddy thinks he can come as long as he has that birth cert and he is the legal guardian. I've never heard of this. Can anyone clarify?
Never heard of it. Not saying it isn't legitimate, but I've never personally heard of it.

My issue, if it were me, is that if there is a problem, everyone on the boat is screwed. I'm not really sure what that particular brand of screwed would look like... ranging from being turned away, to spending a ton of time on the phone trying to come up with a solution, to jail (probably being way over dramatic).

Just not a risk I'm willing to take.

Follow the rules or don't come on my boat.

Best of luck!

Jeff
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Old 05-14-2019, 03:45 PM
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They haven't allowed birth certificates in a few years. Must have a Passport, period.
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Old 05-14-2019, 05:03 PM
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They allow the use birth certificates instead of passports if you are going on a cruise line, but if you are going by pleasure boat you must have a passport. Unfortunately you need to take a hard look at expedited passport service. Its not cheap, but its cheaper than the fuel to run across and get turned back. Good Luck, crossing to the Bahamas is a great experience for 12 y/o! Hope you get it worked out.
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Old 05-14-2019, 06:06 PM
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OK weather seems to have leveled out. Friday isn't as nice looking as it was but Sunday has calmed down a bit. Seeing about 2' across the board. Hopefully this holds or even gets better.
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Old 05-15-2019, 02:44 AM
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Well now I have half the sites above showing rain all weekend and half showing rain just towards late evening. The Friday crossing keeps getting a little rougher. Thoughts?

Last edited by Windham14; 05-15-2019 at 03:13 AM.
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Old 05-15-2019, 05:25 AM
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Entire next week looks like a good blow from the east. Today looks good though. Not sure what youíre running but I donít go unless itís flat and we arenít quite there for that time of year yet for it to be a lake nearly every morning.
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Old 05-15-2019, 06:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Windham14 View Post
Well now I have half the sites above showing rain all weekend and half showing rain just towards late evening. The Friday crossing keeps getting a little rougher. Thoughts?
It's (almost) summer. Forecasts are going to show rain pretty much every day, at least in the afternoon. I personally wouldn't get too hung up on the rain part until you're a day out and then only if it's showing wall-to-wall rain all day, every day. But that's just me. If you only planned things on summer days in this climate that had no rain in the forecast, you'd never leave your house.

As far as the ocean state, as someone above just said, there's a lottt of east wind leading up to and through your time frame. While that's much better than anything from the north, that's also a lot of time for seas to build up. I'm seeing 2-3 ft forecasted in the stream for Friday. The old rule-of-thumb is to add 2' to the forecast and you'll never be surprised. So, at 2-3 that's sort-of my cut-off point. If I REALLY wanted to go, I'd probably still go. Anything bigger and I'm out.

Same thing for the wind. It's showing 10-15 kts. 15 kts is sort-of my cut off point. 10 kts is fine.

You're probably going to see a good number of four footers out there in the middle and it won't be a particularly fun or dry ride, but you can make a safe crossing as long as nothing goes wrong on your boat (lose power, etc).

If you do go over there, from what I'm seeing, it will be fishable, but not calm, beautiful water for slow cruising around or diving. You'll be rocking around all weekend unless you find places that are tight up against the island to leeward.

So, think about how much you want to go, the risks, if your boat is up to the task, if your crew is up to the task (probably biggest question for most people), keep watching the forecast and make your decision the night before. Then, if you get out there in the morning and it's too much, turn around. You can still have a great boating weekend here in FL if all else fails.

All of the above is just my opinion and I'm no old salt... so take it with a grain of salt.

Hope it works out for you.

Jeff
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Old 05-15-2019, 07:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Windham14 View Post
Well now I have half the sites above showing rain all weekend and half showing rain just towards late evening. The Friday crossing keeps getting a little rougher. Thoughts?
Just looked at some models....Friday's breeze will be at around 075-085 most all morning through 1500, so just north of east. velocity averaging 14-16 with a bump around noon to 18. That will be good conditions for running around offshore south florida, but once you enter the stream it will probably not be so nice. Friday last week the west wall was about the 54 line (079 54.0 W) and east of that the conditions were similar to what you would see if the breeze was 18-20. Expect breaking waves until you are about 3 miles off the bank. just plan to take it slow for 2/3 of the crossing. Sunday's return has wind at 125-130 around 13-14 knots so that will be a nice downsea day with the apparent breeze dropping off when you are in the north running stream.
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Old 05-15-2019, 07:21 AM
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This was much more technical and useful than my post
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Old 05-15-2019, 09:09 AM
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Thanks guys! We are going to head over. In a 33T (35) Contender with new 300’s on the back and all the safety gear. We’ve crossed in worse and I think when we get over the fishing will be good. Will definitely keep an eye on it though
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Old 05-15-2019, 10:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Windham14 View Post
Thanks guys! We are going to head over. In a 33T (35) Contender with new 300ís on the back and all the safety gear. Weíve crossed in worse and I think when we get over the fishing will be good. Will definitely keep an eye on it though
you will be fine, have a great weekend!
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Old 05-15-2019, 11:17 AM
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Hey guys, great feedback today!! We are planning to cross Friday first time in the morning with a 28' center console with 2 150 and 7 people on board (2 girls), what do you think about that?? Checking Ventusky they are projecting 5.5 ft waves.. CRAZY!!
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Old 05-15-2019, 11:57 AM
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Originally Posted by francesco_aps View Post
Hey guys, great feedback today!! We are planning to cross Friday first time in the morning with a 28' center console with 2 150 and 7 people on board (2 girls), what do you think about that?? Checking Ventusky they are projecting 5.5 ft waves.. CRAZY!!
I think the same as I said above. It's going to be sloppy in the middle... it's not going to be an enjoyable crossing, but you can probably make it over safely if nothing craps out on your boat.

I've never heard of Ventusky before, so I can't comment on that. If it's over 5 ft, it's going to really, really suck in a (probably overloaded) 28' cc w/ 300 total HP... especially if this isn't a normal thing from you (just guessing based on the fact that this is your first crossing). That would be borderline unsafe in my opinion... but my opinion probably isn't worth much.

Hope the forecast lays down for you.

Jeff
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Old 05-15-2019, 12:57 PM
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IMHO, in a 33 Contender you will be fine on Friday but it will be a bouncy ride. The winds are forecast at 15-18 mph straight out of the east. Thatís a head sea the whole way over. But that Contender eats that crap up. Just have beanbags for everyone and be prepared for the heavy spray. The return in similar winds will be downsea.

The 28 with 7 passengers is overloaded and is very marginal for those conditions. With 4 persons itís a lot safer but will still be a rough ride.
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Old 05-15-2019, 01:37 PM
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Originally Posted by francesco_aps View Post
Hey guys, great feedback today!! We are planning to cross Friday first time in the morning with a 28' center console with 2 150 and 7 people on board (2 girls), what do you think about that?? Checking Ventusky they are projecting 5.5 ft waves.. CRAZY!!

No weather forecast that I am using, 6 in total, have anywhere near that reading.... I think we are looking more like 2.5 to 3' max according to everything I'm seeing. That's a huge difference between what I'm seeing and the 5.5' you're seeing. The apps my buddy (long time Miami and Bimini captain) is using are showing 2 to 2.4' at 5 seconds. Not great but definitely not terrible.
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Old 05-15-2019, 02:00 PM
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Thank you all for the responses!!

First of all I want to clarify that the boat is 25', no 28'....

Windham, Could you (or anyone) please send me the apps or websites that you use to check the forecast??
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Old 05-15-2019, 02:21 PM
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Check post number 446 above by J Cane. It has most of them. Windy, Windfinder, Fishweather, Buoyweather and Passageweather are some I have on my phone. I like the Passageweather. It breaks down the wind and waves in different graphs and you can manually forward the time or let the site animate them. Those all show about the same readings.

I think it will be bumpy on the way over or maybe we get lucky and it's pretty nice. Either way once there I think the waters around Bimini where we fish will be pretty nice. Saturday and Sunday are looking better and better from a few days ago. The return on Sunday should be pretty smooth. We fish until about 12-1 on Sunday in Bimini and then start trolling as we see good water on the way towards Miami.
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