Captain James Lowe
USCG 200 Ton Licensed Master
(727) 236-1385

Bahamas Crossings

Are you looking to relocate a vessel between the Bahamas and Florida? Look no further than Captain James Lowe. With multiple successful crossings of the Gulf Stream, he has the experience and expertise to ensure a safe and smooth journey for your vessel. Whether you need him to accompany you on your journey or relocate your vessel for you, Captain Lowe is the right choice. Trust in his proven track record of navigating the Gulf Stream and delivering vessels to their destinations on time and in excellent condition. Contact Captain James Lowe today to discuss your vessel relocation needs.

When planning a voyage across the Gulf Stream, it's important to remember that it may not be as straightforward as simply marking a date on a calendar. Weather and sea conditions can have a significant impact on your journey, and it's essential to take them into account.
For example, a north wind can create challenging conditions when sailing across the Gulf Stream. Wind blowing against the current can cause an uncomfortable chop, which can be dangerous for smaller vessels or inexperienced sailors. Therefore, it's crucial to keep an eye on weather forecasts and plan your voyage accordingly, taking into consideration wind and current direction. By doing so, you can ensure a safe and enjoyable journey across the Gulf Stream.

Check Offshore Weather

it's also important to ensure that your vessel is adequately prepared for the journey. You should make sure that all necessary safety equipment is on board and that your vessel is in good working condition.

 Bahamas Beach

Sea State
The sea state is the condition of the free surface of the water and the result of wind and swell. The sea state is characterized by statistics, including the wave height, period,
EXAMPLE 'Seas 3 to 5 ft' Period 6 seconds
NOTE* 'Individual waves may be more than twice the significant wave height'. So, 2-4 could produce an 8 foot wave

Gulf Stream
Captain James Lowe can provide valuable insight into the Gulf Stream, which is located along the eastern coast of the United States. This swiftly moving current is formed by wind patterns in the North Atlantic Ocean and can be likened to a "river" in the ocean. While the exact location and velocity of the Gulf Stream may vary slightly from day to day, it generally flows in a northern direction off the east coast of Florida at a rate of 2.5 to 5.0 knots. The Gulf Stream can be as wide as 60 miles in some areas, but it is only a few miles offshore in southern Florida and flows between Florida and the Bahamas. Captain James Lowe also notes that in his experience, the seas tend to be slightly higher in the Gulf Stream. Gulf Stream Chart

If you are traveling from the Fort Lauderdale/Miami area to Bimini Island, the journey will cover a distance of approximately 60 miles, with a significant portion of the crossing taking place within the Gulf Stream. However, if your destination is further northwest, such as Freeport or Marsh Harbor, the distance will be around 160 miles. In this case, it's important to keep in mind that the current is pushing you northward at a rate of 2.5 nautical miles per hour, which means you'll need to steer a more southerly course to reach your intended destination. To learn more about this, you can do a Google search on "Set and Drift."
On the other hand, if you are coming from the south, such as the Florida Keys to Bimini, you can take advantage of the Gulf Stream's northward flow to help propel you towards your destination.

It is important to remember that there are many busy shipping routes between the Bahamas and Florida, and it is critical to remain vigilant and keep a watchful eye on the horizon for any approaching vessels. In addition, if your vessel is equipped with radar, it is highly recommended to utilize it to enhance your situational awareness and help you avoid potential collisions with other vessels.
It is worth noting that Captain James Lowe is a trained radar observer and can effectively use radar technology to improve safety and navigation during the journey.

You need to verify ahead of time that there is fuel where you headed, Many Marinas sustained major damages in recent hurricanes and some just have not been rebuilt as of yet. It may be necessary to carry extra fuel in jerry cans, keep in mind transferring the fuel from the cans to the vessels tanks in seas presents a new challenge.

Landing Fees
Landing fees are a type of fee that boaters may encounter at marinas, which are charged for short-term stays such as stopping to clear customs, visiting a restaurant, or other attractions. These fees are often unexpected and can vary in price depending on the location and length of the requested stay.

Bahamas Customs / Immigration
When entering the waters of the Bahamas, it is crucial to adhere to the necessary protocols. One of the mandatory requirements is to display a yellow quarantine flag until all crew and passengers have cleared Customs/Immigration. Only the captain is allowed to disembark and complete the check-in process, although some officials may meet with boat crews at local marina bars. Bahamas Customs and Immigration officers will visit the vessel, and all individuals onboard must provide proof of citizenship and complete an immigration card. It's important to note that US citizens are required to present a valid passport. As a seasoned captain, Captain James Lowe has undergone this process numerous times and is well-versed in the necessary procedures.

Bahamas Cruising Permits

  • Pleasure Vessels Not Exceeding 34 feet: $150.00 (3 months) $300.00 (12 months)
  • Pleasure Vessels Exceeding 34 feet but less than 100 feet: $300.00 (3 months) $600.00 (12 months)
  • Pleasure Vessels Exceeding 100 feet but less than 150 feet: $500.00 (3 months) $1,000.00 (12 months)
  • Pleasure Vessels Exceeding 150 feet but less than 200 feet: $800.00 (3 months) $1,600.00 (12 months)
  • Pleasure Vessels Exceeding 200 feet: $1,000.00 (3 months) $2,000.00 (12 months)

It should be noted that these fees include:

  • Cruising Permit fees
  • Fishing Permit fees
  • Attendance fees for both Bahamas Customs and Immigration Officers
  • Transportation fees for both Bahamas Customs and Immigration Officers
  • Re-entry of vessel if within 90 days.

Now its TIME for another hidden fee. Depending on where you check in you may be hit with "Customs Immigration Officer Travel fee" this is a fee they charge you to come your boat and it varies on how far they had to travel from thier office to the marina your checking in at, average about $20-50 bucks.(not sure if its an official fee but dont be surprised if you get asked for it) if you happen to stop at a marina that has these offices very nearby you may not have to pay this fee.
When arriving at a port of entry and checking in, it is important to be aware that the immigration and customs offices may not always be located in close proximity to each other or the marina where you have docked. This may require you to walk a certain distance to reach the necessary offices. However, the locals are generally friendly and willing to help, and they speak English, so do not hesitate to ask for directions.

Returning to the United States also requires contacting US Customs and Border Patrol
The master of the vessel must report their arrival at the nearest CBP facility


Reporting Requirements / CBP ROAM

CBP ROAM app is a free mobile application that provides an option for pleasure boaters to report their U.S. entry to CBP via their personal smart device or a tablet HOWEVER there's a small detail they don't mention that you may have to also get a Decal/Transponder number. DTOPS for Private Vessel (30+ ft.) or Report Arrival By Phone

With his extensive knowledge and experience, Captain James Lowe is skilled in navigating the Gulf Stream and facilitating crossings between Florida and the Bahamas. He possesses expertise in various areas including weather and sea conditions, vessel preparation, sea state, the Gulf Stream, shipping routes, fuel availability, landing fees, Bahamas and US customs and immigration, and Bahamas cruising permits. Due to his familiarity and experience in these areas, Captain James Lowe is an ideal choice for anyone seeking a reliable captain for their Bahamas crossings.