The little town of West End is the closest landfall on Grand Bahama Island from
the Palm Beach County Inlets (Jupiter, Lake Worth, Boynton, Boca Raton) and is
a quick trip in most boats.
Looking SE into the entrance of the harbor
at West End, against an early morning sun.
Latitude 26 42.3 Longitude 078 59.8
The old Jack Tar Marina has been taken over by new
ownership who completely renovated it, and renamed it Old Bahama Bay.
The previous commercial
entrance from the ocean is now the only entrance, eliminating the
tricky trip around to the north side. This makes it an excellent day or night
port to make landfall.
Note the jetty light is low and to the left of center, at the end
of the north jetty. Left of the entrance and to the rear is a 200 foot TV/telephone
tower, conspicously marked at night (most of the time). The construction crane seen
at the right of the entrance, to the rear, moves regularly and is not a reliable landmark.
Completely new, albeit pricey, marina and landside facilities have been built
(see sidebar). The fuel dock and the pink Customs and Immigration building
remain where they were, on the south side of the marina, with the plan being
to build new facilites for them at a later date.
Indian Key Light is NOT a channel marker.
Indian Key Light, about a mile north of West End, is awash at low tide, and the area around it in all directions is shallow as well. Watch your depth and stand well off to the west. If making for Indian Key Pass, do not make the turn NE until you have found the initial unlit marker and have it
on the correct heading.
(see Onto the Bank on the menu).
The pass is just north of this light and its marks are not lit.
|Jupiter||110 mag||60.3 nm
|Lake Worth||099 mag||56.1 nm
|Boynton||087 mag||57.4 nm
|Boca Raton||074 mag||62.2 nm
Old Bahama Bay
After months of construction, with more to come, Old Bahama Bay
opened for business in May, 2001. For a boater they offer:
- 72 slips with water and electricity.
Oct-Mar $2.05/ft minimum 35 ft.
Apr-Sep $2.35/ft minimum 35 ft.
- Diesel and gasoline fuel dock.
- 24 hour token operated landromat.
- Beachside kitchenette resort units.
($350-$565/day, with tax and surcharges)
- Oceanfront pool and lounge.
- Well appointed Dockside Grille with
international and local cousine.
- Botique Shop, Golf Driving Range, Pool.
- Taxi and bus service to Freeport.
- Planned 150 acre residential community.
- 1 acre canal and oceanfront homesites,
with prices from $250K - $550K.
West End is an excellent landfall location to clear customs, refuel, or just take a break
on the way in to the Bahamas. Customs opens a 9:00 a.m, closes
at 5:30 p.m. and are now available 7 days a week without overtime charges.
Fuel prices are at least a $1/gal cheaper than at Walker's Cay, so I stop there both coming
and going for that reason alone.
The mandantory water and electrical charges make the marina slip prices
the highest in the northern Bahamas. Still, it's a good place to plug
in the boat if it's big enough to sleep on, for a few days of enjoying
the excellent fishing and diving less than a mile away.
The very high room prices will likely discourage the average boater from
spending much time there, as reasonable accomodations are available just
down the coast at the Freeport and Lucaya areas at 1/3 the price.
No amount of investment will get rid of the no-see-ums that swarm the area
every summer evening at sundown. Bring lots of bug spray.