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Author Topic:   B I M I N I W H A L E R E V E N T July 6-10
smirkless posted 06-06-2005 12:45 PM ET (US)   Profile for smirkless   Send Email to smirkless  
Boston Whaler is having an official Boston Whaler Owners Event July 6 -10, 2005, Bimini, Bahamas. Boston Whaler owners, their families and guests are invited to attend a
weekend of fun, fishing and camaraderie. The event will include free giveaways, entertainment, food, drinks and your choice of participating in a fishing tournament (inshore and offshore divisions), an on-water scavenger hunt or just hang out and relax.


We are going... weather premitting. We are planning to run over the day before the group on Wednesday the 5th if the weather is nice, just like we did last year. If it's not as good, we will go on the 6th with the group. We have reservations on North Bimini at the Blue Water. Booking a room at this date may be difficult but still possible. I think Blue Water has the 2-2 bedroom suite above the Anchorage which is great (190/night). I would even switch my reservation if someone wanted 1/2 of the suite. Here are some numbers.

Seacrest (242)347-3071
Blue Water 242-347-3166
Big Game 1-800-737-1007
Weech's 242-347-3344
All my Children 242-347-3334

Last year we got there in 2 hours 15 minutes and it was just like butter. The run back was about 2 hours and 40 min.

smirkless posted 06-22-2005 07:32 AM ET (US)     Profile for smirkless  Send Email to smirkless     
Any Continuous Wavers comming to this event?
Patman and Whalerboy posted 06-30-2005 11:52 AM ET (US)     Profile for Patman and Whalerboy  Send Email to Patman and Whalerboy     
What is the smallest boat that goes over there in the fleet? Am interest in the event, just want to make sure my boat is big enough. Be sure to post pictures of the trip and events. Thanks
smirkless posted 06-30-2005 12:33 PM ET (US)     Profile for smirkless  Send Email to smirkless     
It's been done in a 13'er but we had a 16 Dauntless and our 1966 16'7" Sakonnet there last year. It always depends on the weather.
RocketMan posted 06-30-2005 01:56 PM ET (US)     Profile for RocketMan  Send Email to RocketMan     
I'm impressed that anyone has run a Sakonnet over to Bimini from the U.S.A., though I know they drive cars over from Cuba. Don't forget to try the Bonefishing in the flats east of the Bluewater to go along with the blue water fishing offshore. Love that Bimini blue water.
smirkless posted 07-04-2005 12:42 PM ET (US)     Profile for smirkless  Send Email to smirkless     
Thanks Rocketman, just might try that. Looks like the weather will be fine on Wednesday & Thursday but might get kinda messy later Friday and may be rockin & rollin Saturday & Sunday. May have to come home early with tail between legs and son Ethan lashed to the deck just like my Father did to me when I was a kid. As always, got to play it by ear. At least the wind should be at our back for the run home. Leaving Tuesday morning for Miami. Picking up brother-in-law from Wisconsin at the airport then striking out super early Wednesday morning.

Hope everyone has a great Independance Day! Will get photos posted when we get back.

RocketMan posted 07-08-2005 08:54 AM ET (US)     Profile for RocketMan  Send Email to RocketMan     
Am interested in any update(s), whether the trip occured, etc. particularly in light of the recent events associated with Cindy and Dennis.
smirkless posted 07-08-2005 04:13 PM ET (US)     Profile for smirkless  Send Email to smirkless     
We made it there and back!!!!!!

That's over on Wednesday morning and back on Thursday morning. Last year the trip took 2:15 hours from Cape Florida and was like butter. This time it took 4:30 hours and was like hamburger... or at least we were. The seas were only 2-4 but combined swells and chop directly from the east. Still managed to make it on a 17 gal. primary tank and used 2 gal. of our 6 gal back-up tank leaving us 4 gal. to spare. At our burn rate that would still be over 1-hour of fuel. I don’t know how we got such good consumption in that chop but I guess the reduced speed helped. We followed a research vessel for about 20 minutes to give us a break but it was too slow to cruise. The boat and woodwork made it without a scratch. Dislodged the starboard Bimini top mount, anchor strap, cooler cleat, CD player, bow light, two railing mounts, rod rack, and various screws for which origins have not been established yet. We each have one bruise and are still extremely sore.

After arrival and check-in, we made some Bimini Bread sandwiches and swam on the beach for a little R&R. Later we cruised on the leeward side of Bimini to the North Rock for snorkeling and a swim through the hole in the reef. We still had time to run down to the concrete ship for a swim. I stayed on board to make Epoxy repairs.

Back at the Blue Water Hotel, we watched the weather reports which confirmed what we already knew; we would have to go back on Thursday morning. We cleaned up and had dinner at the Big Game – conch fritters and cracked conch. Checked out the scene at The Compleat Angler later.

Thursday, woke to increased wind and immediately checked the weather again. While we had hoped to get in a little fishing and possible meet with any Whalers that happened to be as crazy as us, we knew we had to cut and run. Fueled up, fired up the GPS and hauled ass. About 20 miles out of Bimini, we saw two sizable whalers headed our way. Got Will (Whaler 1) on the VHF. Whaler 3 was the other one… so what happened to Whaler 2??? We guessed that the event was reduced to just the two of them and ourselves headed the other way. We all wished each other luck and kept on going. The trip back took about 3:30 in 3-5’ waves with an occasional 6’er but the slightly south of east following sea helped. We found that a straight downwind course made us get stuck in the valleys too often where a slight angle allowed for an “escape” or end run around the big waves.

I’ll post a few photos ASAP.

Smirk out.

cmarques posted 07-08-2005 08:30 PM ET (US)     Profile for cmarques  Send Email to cmarques     
Glad to hear you made it back safe!


RocketMan posted 07-09-2005 08:25 AM ET (US)     Profile for RocketMan  Send Email to RocketMan     
WOW. Well done, all things considered. You seem to have mitigated your risks rather sanely. Enjoyed the trip vicariously and some of the details were pleasantly reminding. Love Bimini and all its haunts.

Got some questions. How many in your boat? How many other boats with you? How did you navigate over? What extra safety equipment did you take? Any fishing opportunities (e.g. debris w/dolphin) along the way? What comments did you get from the other Captains at the Blue Water and the natives, customs, etc.?

I haven't been over there in 4-5 years now, since my friend and his 40-footer moved away. And my Sakonnet's in need of reconditioning. However, your trip provides inspiration and aspiration to get my boat back in top notch condition and perhaps plow along on a future excursion(s). Hope you were able to bring back some fresh conch, mon, and are high and dry watching Dennis spin by.

sharkbait posted 07-09-2005 01:00 PM ET (US)     Profile for sharkbait  Send Email to sharkbait     
Hey Smirk... sorry about the lousy weather...glad to hear it worked out safely...

I remember you telling me a story about the Bimini trip (at Beercan) and I promised myself I would make one...not this time...

Look forward to seeing some pics!


RocketMan posted 07-09-2005 01:36 PM ET (US)     Profile for RocketMan  Send Email to RocketMan     
A couple more things that I thought of later.

The first is you've earned some kind of honor. This for having a Classic that not only looks good enough to be on the cover of a BW brochure, but goes beyond being just a showpiece and demonstrating the willingness to tackle a difficult trip.

Another is for posting prints on classic Whaler wood components and identifying some of those Classic design flaws. What ideas might you have toward improving the fasteners that backed out? Maybe another configuration or some sort of improved locking feature. I will be rebuilding this fall and would like to incorporate real improvements.

And, Re: the top dislodging. Others have noticed in the picture of your boat in the brochure that the top was at 'half mast'. I saw a question once asking about that but never saw the answer. Could you explain if the top that dislodged was the same one, in the same position (and if so, why), or otherwise.

Thanks, and sorry about all the quizzing. But the wife and I are happily stuck working in the garage having avoided Dennis, and, there's nothing quite like experience for a teacher.

smirkless posted 07-10-2005 12:03 PM ET (US)     Profile for smirkless  Send Email to smirkless     
I'll try to answer all that I can.

How many in your boat? 3

How many other boats with you? No other boats with us.

How did you navigate over? Handheld GPS - only way.

What extra safety equipment did you take? Marine VHF, extra batteries, first aid, flairs, tools, extra screws, zip ties, epoxy, silicone caulk, extra plugs, quick start, bungees, beer, ice, water, food, cell phone did not work out of sight of Miami and did not work in Bimini for the first time in 4 years. Bimini looked a little rough probably because of last summer's hurricanes.

Any fishing opportunities? Yes, no actual sightings but we took a few casts on the larger weed lines. It was so rough, standing on the deck with all our gear was not particularly safe.

What comments did you get from the other Captains at the Blue Water and the natives, customs, etc.? They were all somewhat surprised. Last year, the customs official challenged me on having come across in a 17'er but was just joking.

No time for other fishing or conching unfortunately. It really hurt to have to come back after one day not to mention the $150 permit for just one day there.

What ideas might you have toward improving the fasteners that backed out? Under other conditions, none of the failures I mentioned would have occurred other than some loose screws over time. The Bimini mount is attached to the top of the gunwale, not the inside step as it should be. This is due to the extra room required by the previous owner between the console and top frame. For that purpose, it works well but a stronger backing behind the glass is needed. The mount became dislodged when the top was secured forward as you mentioned. It probably would not have happened it it were fully up due to the downward pressure from the straps. When it came off, we simply put the screws back in and bungeed it down to the front and side rails; a good idea prior to having the problem. My front "poles" that hold the top up when rolled forward are mounted on the gunwales as well but are double zip-tied to the bow rail ass well. This gives it lateral support to keep it from rapidly bouncing port-starboard. There are other was to keep this from happening but this is the easiest when using front poles.

The weather was not as bad as the impending weather. We had no rain and as long as we weren’t running at the waves or trying to stand and fish, it was great.

With a boat like this, its best not to become obligated to anyone so if you have to cancel-out, you did not burn someone who flew across the country for the trip.

RocketMan posted 07-10-2005 06:23 PM ET (US)     Profile for RocketMan  Send Email to RocketMan     
Thanks for the detailed reply and too bad about locking in to an approaching hurricane, especially mid-July. That sure would be a nice trip to make, there's a lot the Whaler can do over there.

I guess keeping the top at half mast is intended to keep the spray off when stowed. I've always stowed mine right down on top of the gunwhale so occasionally have to rinse it down. But it's lasted 20 years and still in good shape. And it lays down nicely outside the bowrail out of the way.

Preventing the screws from coming loose is what I'm after. Without going overboard with something like aircraft-type safety wire, the best bet seems to be through bolts with a locknut where possible.

Hope next trip opportunity brings better weather....

Rocket out.

smirkless posted 07-12-2005 09:25 PM ET (US)     Profile for smirkless  Send Email to smirkless     
Whats the best / easiest FREE photo posting website? I'm finding Geocities difficult to use. Any ideas?
p5surf posted 07-13-2005 12:59 PM ET (US)     Profile for p5surf  Send Email to p5surf     
Smirkless try:
minitauk85 posted 07-18-2005 06:08 AM ET (US)     Profile for minitauk85  Send Email to minitauk85     
Haven't been to Bimini since the mid 80's, did some great diving back then. Flew over each time, Chalks seaplanes were an experience in themselves, and I dare say landing on the Bimini airstrip back then was probably the most dangerous way to go of all! Potholes 4-5 across, ditched planes to the left and right of the strip (abandoned smugglers that didn't make the night landing) My brother and I flew over in the middle of summer and took advantage of Neal Watson's hospitality. went during the week and had the diveboat to ourselves all 5 days! Down to the important stuff- does anyone have the recipe for Bimini Bread? How about the recipe for a Goombay Smash? I know Smashes are best shaken on board a Whaler!
RocketMan posted 07-18-2005 03:31 PM ET (US)     Profile for RocketMan  Send Email to RocketMan     
I've had a few over the years and used to have the recipe. We quit drinking them because they were too heavy and fear of salmonella. I checked the web for recipes and there is a fair amount of variation. Most leave out the raw egg, which I do remember from Miss Emily's on Green Turtle Cay.

The basics are light and dark rums, coconut rum, pinapple and orange juices, grendadine, and a raw egg all blended together with some ice. Basically a high-cholesterol pina-colada.

smirkless posted 07-29-2005 12:38 PM ET (US)     Profile for smirkless  Send Email to smirkless     
Looks like we were the only ones to turn tail and run home caus of the hurricane. There were 14 boats that attended the event including 4 dealer boats. They had a rough 3-hour trip over. They extended the trip thru Monday due to 10 foot seas on Sunday but had an easier run home in about 2 hours. Apparently the fishing was better than last year as well. Wish we had stayed!
RocketMan posted 08-01-2005 09:18 PM ET (US)     Profile for RocketMan  Send Email to RocketMan     
Hey now, its only August 1st! There's still time for another trip or two before the Labor Day hurricane season.

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