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WorldCaribbeanMiddle AmericaLesser AntillesBahamas
24°15.000'N, 076°00.000'W Chart icon.png
Capital Nassau
Language English, Creole
Currency Bahamian Dollar (BSD)
Time zone EST (UTC−5) , DST: EDT (UTC−4)
Calling code +1 242

The Bahamas, officially the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, is an independent, sovereign, English-speaking country consisting of two thousand cays and seven hundred islands that form an archipelago. It is located in the Atlantic Ocean southeast of the United States; north of Cuba, Hispaniola (Dominican Republic & Haiti) and the Caribbean Sea; and northwest of the Turks and Caicos Islands. It remains a Commonwealth realm.

The closest island to the United States is Bimini, which is also known as the gateway to the Bahamas, whilst the furthest is Great Inagua.

All the islands are low and flat, with ridges that usually rise no more than 15 to 20 m (49 to 66 ft). The highest point in the country is Mount Alvernia, or Como Hill, which has an altitude of 63 metres (210 ft). To the southeast, the Turks and Caicos Islands, and three more extensive submarine features called Mouchoir Bank, Silver Bank, and Navidad Bank, are geographically a continuation of the Bahamas, but not part of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas.


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The climate of the archipelago is semitropical and has two seasons, summer and winter. During the summer, which extends from May through November, the climate is dominated by warm, moist tropical air masses moving north through the Caribbean. Midsummer temperatures range from 21 °C to 34 °C with a relative humidity of 60 to 100%. In winter months, extending from December through April, the climate is affected by the movement of cold polar masses from North America. Temperatures during the winter months range from 15 °C to 24 °C.

While there has never been a freeze reported in the Bahamas, the temperature can fall 3°C during Arctic outbreaks that affect nearby Florida. Snow has been reported to have mixed with rain in Freeport in January 1977, the same time that it snowed in the Miami area. The temperature was about 5°C at the time.

Yearly rainfall averages 1,320 millimetres (52 in) and is usually concentrated in the May-June and September-October periods. Rainfall often occurs in short-lived, fairly intense showers accompanied by strong gusty winds, which are then followed by clear skies.

Winds are predominantly easterly throughout the year but tend to become northeasterly from October to April and southeasterly from May to September. These winds seldom exceed twenty-four kilometers per hour except during hurricane season. Although the hurricane season officially lasts from June to November, most hurricanes in the Bahamas occur between July and October.

Weather links


(Also see: Gulf Stream Crossing)


Emerald Bay, Great Exuma
Key to symbols: |Island icon – island |Port of entry icon – port of entry |Harbour icon – harbour |Marina icon – marina |Anchorage icon – anchorage ||
AbacosAbacos/wiki/Abacos Port of entry icon – port of entry |Harbour icon – harbour |Marina icon – marina |Anchorage icon – anchorage |Needs data icon – needs data |
Acklins Acklins /wiki/Acklins Island icon – island |Needs data icon – needs data |
Andros Andros /wiki/Andros Island icon – island |Port of entry icon – port of entry |Harbour icon – harbour |
Bimini Bimini /wiki/Bimini Port of entry icon – port of entry |Harbour icon – harbour |Marina icon – marina |
Blue Lagoon Blue Lagoon /wiki/Blue_Lagoon Needs data icon – needs data |
Cat Island Cat Island /wiki/Cat_Island Needs data icon – needs data |
Crooked Island Crooked Island /wiki/Crooked_Island Needs data icon – needs data |
Eleuthera Eleuthera /wiki/Eleuthera Port of entry icon – port of entry |Harbour icon – harbour |Marina icon – marina |
Exumas Exumas /wiki/Exumas Port of entry icon – port of entry |Harbour icon – harbour |
Grand Bahama Grand Bahama /wiki/Grand_Bahama Port of entry icon – port of entry |Harbour icon – harbour |Marina icon – marina |
Great Inagua Great Inagua /wiki/Great_Inagua Port of entry icon – port of entry |Harbour icon – harbour |
Long IslandLong Island/wiki/Long_Island,_Bahamas Needs data icon – needs data |
Mayaguana Mayaguana /wiki/Mayaguana Needs data icon – needs data |
New Providence New Providence /wiki/New_Providence Port of entry icon – port of entry |Harbour icon – harbour |
San SalvadorSan Salvador/wiki/San_Salvador_Island Needs data icon – needs data |
Turks & CaicosTurks & Caicos/wiki/Turks_Caicos Island icon – island |


Add here VHF channel for coastguard, harbor masters. etc.

Also see Cruiser's Nets


Add any navigation notes such approaches, dangers etc here. If this section does not apply remove it.



Entry is through an official Port of Entry. These are of two varieties. Both Customs and Immigration agents man the first. Only a Customs agent mans the second; these are far more common. For initial entry they are functionally identical except that the latter can only issue a 90 day visa while the prior can authorize 180 days and grant extensions.

There are no limits or duties on food, liquor or tobacco provided they are not removed from the boat. Firearms must be declared an are retained on board; type, serial numbers and ammunition count are entered on the Cruising Permit. Dinghy make and length, as well as outboard horsepower are also recorded on the Cruising Permit. Note that dinghies over 17 feet (5.2 meters) must be entered as separate vessels.

The Q flag should be flown when entering port for the purpose of requesting Partique. The United Nations ILS Treaty allowing innocent passage is observed, as is Force Majeure. With the occasional exception of Nassau and Freeport the Master and all crew attend shore for formalities.

Minimum documentation for the boat is proof of ownership i.e. a notarized bill of sale. Minimum documentation for crew is a passport; except U.S. and CA nationals who may enter with a birth certificate and picture I.D. UN vaccination cards may be required if entering form countries with current infectious disease outbreaks.

Duplicate copies of a Maritime Declaration of Health, a De-ratting Certificate, an Inward Report for Pleasure Vessels and a Crew List must be completed. Each crew member must also complete the standard International Immigration Card. All forms are provided.

The Cruising Permit fee includes the Master and 3 crewmembers - additional crew may be added for $15 each. The Cruising Permit includes a 3-month fishing permit that can be extended. Authorization to spear fish will be add to your permit at no charge if you request it.

The Cruising Permit is valid for one year and allows two entries within 90 days. The cost is $150 for vessels up to 35' and $300 for vessels over 35'. This document must remain on board at all times & is good for one year. It may be extended for an additional 2 years by applying to Customs and paying $500 per year's extension (Dec.'07).


Clearing out is unnecessary provided you agree to mail your Cruising Permit back to Nassau after departure. If you require an outbound clearance it can be issued in advance when clearing in or upon departure.

Customs and Immigration


Download Customs Declatation Form

Yachts may remain in The Bahamas for a maximum of three years, but yearly extensions after the first year must be obtained from Bahamas Customs in Nassau (apply timeously).

If you have a firearm on board, you must declare it with Customs. You must provide the firearm serial number and manufacturer, plus an exact count of ammunition. Though you are allowed to have a firearm on your vessel, you cannot take it off the vessel unless you obtain a permit from the Bahamian police ahead of time. Weapons must be under lock and key at all times.

AMATEUR RADIO - All amateur radio operators wishing to transmit (including email) must to apply for a Bahamas reciprocal licence from: Public Utilities Commission, P O Box N.4860, Nassau, Bahamas. The licence is valid for a year from date of issue.

VHF/SSB - Have your vessel and home country licences for both the operator/s and equipment available.


If arriving by air and planning to leave by boat, a copy of the cruising permit (with the particular crewmember's name listed on the yacht's manifest) must be produced.

A stay of up to six months, which may be extended to eight months, is allowed. Be very careful to note the time allowed when checking in and make sure that you apply for any extension from a local immigration officer BEFORE it expires.

BEFORE the expiration of the time allowed (incl. extensions), you must leave the country either by boat or by air.


  • Conch. Harvesting and/or possession is allowed outside of park areas.

Health and Security


Submit any health warnings/information. Remove any of these sections do not apply to this particular country.




See each island.


List transportation to other countries, etc.


Submit details/contacts of cruiser's "friends" that can be contacted in advance or on arrival - who can offer information and assistance to our cruising "family".


List links to discussion threads on partnering forums. (see link for requirements)



Books, Guides, etc. Use the Reference template or not at your discretion. For example:

{{Reference|Rod Heikel|Greek Waters Pilot|Imray|Laurie and Wilson, Cambridgeshire (2010)|9780852889718}}, expands to
Rod Heikell, Greek Waters Pilot, Imray Laurie and Wilson, Cambridgeshire (2010), ISBN 9780852889718
  • Author, Title, Publisher, ISBN ISBN number
  • Author, Title, Publisher, ISBN ISBN number

You may want to remove the above entries and use instead a link to the Country or Region that lists the relevant references. If so enter, after removing {{MagentaText|xx}}, the following:

See [[Country or Region#References_&_Publications|Coutry or Region]].

If you do not use the above link, please remove it.


We welcome users' contributions to the Wiki. Please click on Comments to view other users' comments, add your own personal experiences or recommend any changes to this page following your visit.

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Names: Lighthouse, Everyman, JeanneP, TaoJones, Haiqu

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