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Bahamas: Entry Fees are high if only staying a few days

By Pierre Lebrun — last modified May 22, 2015 02:22 PM

Published: 2015-05-21 23:00:00
Countries: Bahamas

 

Nassau, Bahamas

I was sailing from Puerto Rico almost directly to Cape Hatteras USA, when I got hit by a storm that blew off my chain locker cover on the 30 April 2015. That storm also left my radar reflector hanging by a thread. On the third day of North wind (on the nose), I realized with the help of  the 7 day Buoy Weather report, that I had no chance to make it to Cape Hatteras in that week. The most sensible thing to do was to back track and go for shelter in the Bahamas that was only 240 miles away.

I think it was a tropical depression and when I got to Bahamas Customs at 4 pm on the 11 May 2015, I was pretty depressed by the whole situation and still dripping from the heavy rain. I asked Customs in Nassau if I could stay for a few days to shelter myself and do quick repairs. No problem.

However, when I asked how much they would charge me for my 36’ Pearson, the answer was $300.00 USD (only $150.00 if the boat is 32’or less). I got up and tried to leave but the big Customs officer was aggressive telling me that now that I have touch land, if I leave without paying, they will seize my boat.

I was stunned, filled in all the forms (that they did not care to check) and paid the $300.00 US that I can’t really afford to normally pay for a few days. Nassau is probably a paradise for the too rich, but unless you want to spend a long time there with your sail boat in fantastic clear water, it is too expensive for a short time.

After 9 years of going all around the world, I can tell you that was one of the worst receptions and definitely the most expensive place I have stopped in my trip.

Pierre Lebrun
Captain of Vesper III, Canada

 

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