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Exumas

The Exuma Cays are located in the middle of  the ‘Islands Of The Bahamas’, yet remain mostly undisturbed. This island chain is a collection of some 365 cays and islands stretching over 120 miles, supported at the southern end by two main islands, Great Exuma and Little Exuma.

Shroud Cay where the Sound meets the Sea

Shroud Cay where the Sound meets the Sea

Occupying approximately 110 square miles, the Exuma Cays are located 35 miles southeast of Nassau. Most cays are uninhabited and many others are privately owned.  The main attractions for visitors to the Exumas are its world-class sport fishing and boating. The miles of picturesque islands, cays and hidden coves make for some of the most spectacular sailing in the islands of the Bahamas, both for recreational and competitive yachting alike.

 The average year-round temperature in the Exumas is a perfect 78 degrees F, and the rolling hills, wide sandy beaches and brilliant, clear blue waters give life to some of the earth’s more spectacular creatures.

Herman The Crab          Photo by R. Davis

Herman The Crab - Photo by R. Davis

The Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park is located in the northern Exumas (approx. size 112,640 acres). On April 18, 2002, a new park was declared on Moriah Harbor Cay. Moriah Harbor Cay and its marine environs are a vital part of the ecosystem between Great and Little Exuma. It encompasses pristine beaches, sand dunes, mangrove creeks and sea grass beds. A variety of bird life nest here and is home to several rare birds, including gull-billed and least terns, nighthawks, plovers, oyster catchers and a resident pair of osprey.

The mangroves are a vital nursery for colorful fish and breathtaking species of flora, young crabs, crawfish, conch, gray snappers, yellowtail, and groupers. On the land, palmettos, buttonwoods, bay cedar and sea oats work in concert, providing stability, nutrients and beauty to the ecosystem.

Bahamas Coral Head

Bahamas Coral Head

Exumas Natural Tidal Pool

Exumas - Natural Tidal Pool

Snorkelers will find the wide, shallow coastal region teeming with life and easy to explore, while divers can explore the huge coral reef or Exuma Sound which is filled with caves, blue holes and shipwrecks.

The population of The Exuma Cays is only about 3,600 – most of whom rely on farming, fishing and tourism for their livelihood. The island is dotted with ruins of earlier settlements, outdoor markets, and quaint farming communities. Fresh pineapple, tasty tomatoes, juicy guava, sweet mangoes, huge avocados and pigeon peas are the pride of the island and are exported nationwide. The Exumas also claim bragging rights to their place in Hollywood, having twice been the location for James Bond films — more than any other island in The Islands Of The Bahamas.

On the Beach!

On the Beach!

 

Itinerary:  Nassau – Nassau

Day 1-  Board in Nassau and cruise to Allan’s Cay. Explore the nearby beaches, meet the large population of Iguanas that come out to greet the visitors. Good snorkeling reefs and fishing around this collection of small island and reefs.

Day 2-  Cruise to Hawksbill Cay. Delight in the beautiful expanse of beaches and climb the large hill for a panoramic view of the anchorage. Walk the trails to explore ruins of Loyalist plantations dating from 1783-1830.

Day 3-  Cruise to Wardrick Wells, headquarters of the Exuma Land and Sea Park and be amazed at the awesome display of watercolors and sand banks. Visit the headquarters and take advantage of the walking trails and snorkeling reefs and check out the Sperm Whale skeleton on the beach. Make certain to hike up to “Shaggy Dog”, the flotsam & jetsam creation contributed by traveling cruisers and charter yacht guests. The view from the top of the hill is beautiful.

Day 4-   Cruise to Staniel Cay and visit the quaint settlement sprinkled with brightly colored houses. The highlight of this area is “Thunderball Cave”, where snorkelers can visit the site of such movie hits as James Bond’s “Thunderball” and “Splash”! A fine dinner or drinks at the Staniel Cay Yacht Club is always a great Out Island experience.

Day 5-   Cruise to the Pipe Creek area and explore the multitude of interconnecting islands, rocks and sand bars. The fishing, exploring and snorkeling opportunities will satisfy all concerned.

Day 6-   Cruise to Shroud Cay and take the dingy and wave runners riding through unspoiled mangrove creeks then lunch on a spectacular beach on the ocean. This is quite a spectacular spot and one that is not often shared with outsiders. This is where the “sound meets the sea”.

Day 7-   Stop by Norman’s Cay to snorkel on the airplane wreck after breakfast and then make your way back to to Nassau for a visit to Atlantis and a final night of celebrating a wonderful and unique vacation. Atlantis offers and exciting time ashore for all ages.

Day 8-   Depart your yacht at the appointed time in order to catch your flight home.

Note: There are 120 miles in the Exuma Cays chain offering a very extensive cruising area for repeat visits or trips longer than one week.

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