Day 1: Fly directly to Georgetown, Great Exuma (International Airport code: GTT) and join your boat in Elizabeth Harbor. After a welcome cocktail with your crew, Peter & Tina or Adam & Sarah, you can dive right in and snorkel the famous Mystery Cave made famous by the world renowned Jacques Cousteau. Afterwards, dinghy 2 minutes to feed the stingrays on Stocking Island and feast on fresh conch salad, a delicacy of the Bahamas. Meanwhile, we maintain a sharp lookout for the resident dolphin, Nikki. Very often she is nearby, eager for new playmates. Jump right in and swim with Nikki the dolphin. She’ll swim close enough for you to film with our underwater video camera. Join beach volleyball on Stocking Island with fellow sailors. Ride the surf on Stocking Island. Kiteboard at Mariah Harbor. Dine under the stars on grilled lobster and freshly baked bread.
Yes, friendly non-threatening sting rays…..
Day 2: Awake to a leisurely breakfast and set sail north through the Exumas to Cave Cay. Experience an invigorating sail on catamarans Freebird or Rubicon. Take a turn at the helm, participate in trimming the sails, or sit back and relax as your captain and crew handle it all. Handle the fishing rods or watch as your captain reels in catch of the day. Arrive at Rat Cay and tuck into a calm and secluded anchorage. Jump in the dinghy to drift dive the cut, holding onto the dinghy as it drifts across a reef in the cut, studded with purple gorgonians (sea fans) and neon-orange brain corals. Look for big groupers, snapper and gorgeous leopard rays. Set sail on beautiful Exuma Sound, enjoying sailing around stunning cays through turquoise waterways. Anchor at Farmers Cay. Explore Oven Rock Cave where pirates once hid their loot. Walk along the beach to the local cafe to meet the raconteurs of the island. Bahamians are very friendly and love to laugh.
Day 3: Begin the morning with Tina in a session of yoga on the beach. Swim back to the boat or kayak around the quiet harbor, keeping an eye out for osprey (fish hawks), and Great Blue herons. Enjoy another fast sail north to Staniel Cay. Explore the charming out-island settlement with its lively yacht club. Watch sharks being hand fed chum at marina. Jump in to swim with the nurse sharks if you dare, as nurse sharks don’t have teeth being bottom feeders. They’re more like giant Catfish! Dive into the stunning waters and snorkel the famous Thunderball Grotto, an underwater cave filled with colorful schoolmaster snappers. Who remembers the movie, “Thunderball”, with James Bond (aka Sean Connery)? Next, visit Pig Beach to feed the funny characters, the swimming pigs. Eat on board or dine at the Staniel Cay Yacht Club to meet the locals and hear how the former drug trade affected the islands back in the 1980’s.
Day 4: Awake for a leisurely breakfast in the cockpit. Sail on to Warderick Wells, the headquarters for the Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park. Explore the 4 miles of trails on this protected cay, filled with gorgeous views of the cays and turquoise waters of Exuma Sound. Climb to Boo Hill, keeping a lookout for the stunning white-tailed tropicbird that nests in the bush. Watch for the resident iguana. Snorkel and free-dive the vibrant coral reefs, crowded with big groupers that are curious and friendly. Explore mangrove channels by kayak or dinghy. Walk to Park Headquarters at sundown to meet other international sailors from all parts of the globe on the Park Ranger’s porch. The view will leave you in a peaceful state of wonder. Dine on fresh fish beneath a vault of glistening stars.
Day 5: Sail north through the scenic Pipe Creek channels, like turquoise-emerald ribbons on waterways. Explore Rachel’s Bubble Bath, a natural shallow whirlpool that changes magically with the tides. The lagoon is surrounded by high rocks, which are great to climb and see the views from a high vantage point. Hike around the island of Compass Cay: look for nesting seabirds, glass fishing balls and shells along the Crescent Beach. Feed the sharks, and dare to swim with the sharks; the nurse sharks don’t have teeth and are accustomed to swimmers. Kayak to the Rocky Dundas Caves to snorkel the chambers.
Day 6: Sail south to Sampson Cay while lounging on the trampolines, feasting on fresh conch salad and home baked bread right out of the oven along the way. Drift dive Sampson Cut while holding on to the dinghy. Be overwhelmed by the beauty beneath you as jewfish, spotted eagle rays and giant Horse-eye jacks fin by amongst purple gorgonian fans waving in the gentle current. After the cut, free-dive and snorkel for sand dollars and queen conch. Learn how to extract the conch so you can make your own at home. Dine on conch fritters for hors d’oeuvres while listing all the exotic fish you’ve seen, referencing them from our field guides. Sail south to Farmers Cay. Have a relaxing dinner on board, to your preferences.
Day 7: Sail south to Georgetown, Great Exuma on an exciting sail. Look for the resident dolphin in Elizabeth Harbor. Hike the beautiful, long beach of Stocking Island for exotic shells and sea glass. Free-dive and snorkel in the Tongue of the Ocean, spearfishing lobsters and groupers. Dine on the beach next to a bonfire, enjoying a meal of your freshly caught fish grilled over the fire. Relax in chairs beneath the big, starry sky and know that you’ll be back again! Most people begin to plan their next visit right then!
I’m delighted that one of my favorite charter companies permitted us to share this fabulous trip plan with you. Visit their site HERE perhaps to choose an alternate route to travel on your charter in Bahamas Paradise? They offer a choice of 2 sailing catamarans for your luxury charter. Explore the lovely pictures there.
PS: If you choose Catamaran Freebird, Owner/Chef/Mate Tina Dreffin, world traveler, has just won a prestigious award, Proud Recipient of the IPPY Book Award! for her book, “Blue Water Walkabout” See a snip HERE She and her husband, Peter Dreffin have logged thousands of miles on their world-wide adventure which began in Africa. They raised 2 sons on board. One of them, Adam, is the Skipper and owner of Rubicon.
Adventure awaits! It’s very true. You shall return.
(NOTE: All Itineraries are subject to weather and sea conditions and your personal preferences.)
NOTE: To view more chartering options, please choose the kind of boat you’d like to charter aboard. Catamarans, Monohulls or Motor Yachts