During the age of piracy, the Exuma Cays were popular stomping grounds due to unpredictable ocean depths and the hiding places sprinkled among 365 islands in a row. This chain also enjoys a constant warm breeze and protection from large ocean surges.
Gaze across dazzling white sandbars, snorkel crystal waters, explore a deserted island or just laze of deck with a cocktail in your hand and contemplate life. Sailing the Exumas definitely justifies a few days, as there is so much to see and do. At the same time, chartering a yacht is also the perfect excuse to relax and watch the world go by.
MUST-SEE SAILING SPOTS IN THE EXUMA CAYS
On the Atlantic side of the cays lies a 400ft deep blue hole where you can also see the only living intertidal stromatolite reefs in the world – a living coral fossil that dates back 3 1/2 million years.
If you want to spot plenty of wildlife, pull into the Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park, located near the northern tip of the island chain. Established in the 1950s, it was the first of its kind in the world, and to this day it remains an impressive sanctuary.
Highbourne Cay is known worldwide as the gateway to the Exuma Cays. This privately owned island welcomes yachtsmen and guests to its first-class marina and luxury cottages. Due to tremendous popularity, reservations for both are strongly recommended.
Only 35 miles southeast of New Providence, Highbourne hosts stop in visitors on a daily basis who purchase fuel, water, and ice, as well as shop for groceries and basic supplies at the Highbourne Store. Please call in on Channel 71 and we will be happy to welcome you at the Dinghy Dock.
Nearby Warderick Wells has more than four miles of nature trails shrouded in rare plants, caves and the ruins of a loyalist plantation dating back to the slave era and the earliest of European settlements in the Americas.
Near Staniel Cay is the Grotto made famous by the James Bond movies Thunderball and Never Say Never Again. Just north of Staniel Cay are some underwater caves, which can be entered by snorkelers or divers.
For a quieter bask on the beach, pull into Little Exuma’s Tropic of Cancer Beach (also known as Pelican Beach). It’s also an excellent snorkeling spot.
ORGANIZE YOUR NEXT BAHAMAS YACHT CHARTER BEFORE DEPARTURE
While Exuma is a popular destination for yachters, most charters in the Bahamas come out of Abaco or Nassau. If you are based in the Exumas, you have the choice of covering the same waters with a few day trips or organizing your charter to pick you up in George Town and take you on an overnight trip.
The best way to source a reliable local boat and crew, or pull one over from Nassau, is to ask concierge at the resort. The process could take time, so it is recommended you make inquiries well before your trip to Grand Isle Resort & Spa.
Bahamas Bareboat Charters is a good place to start. This company specializes in Exuma and Eleuthera, and the charter often comes with a crew. Having an expert sailor or two on board can make all the difference in the world.
As the pirates knew quite well, sailing the Exuma Cays is beautiful, but unpredictable due to the many islands, sandbars and varying ocean depths.
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