What Do You Do When You Get To The Bahamas?

Is It Really Better In The Bahamas??
This is a follow to our post, What Cruisers Want To Know About The Bahamas.

You've done all of your homework. You've picked the perfect weather window. You were in awe as the dark blue of the Gulf Stream gave way to the crystal clear, but shallow waters of the Bahamas Banks. The feel of accomplishment just can't be describe. You have arrived, so now what? The answer is almost as endless as the Island chain itself.

Arriving on your own boat is by far the best way to experience the Islands. If you decide to do nothing else, just island hopping in your boat can take up an entire season. Visiting the cities and settlements from the small to the cosmopolitan. The Abacos, with their New England flavor, offer such settlements as Hopetown or Marsh Harbor, which have become the hub of the Abacos for the boating community. You can still visit the Artist Colony at Little Harbor founded by Pete Johnson, where is family still displays many works of art. If nightlife and excitement are your pleasure, Grand Bahamas and Freeport with their large casinos and resorts will occupy all of your time and a lot of your money. The protected shallow waters of the Northern Bahamas is wonderful for sailing, snorkeling, diving and some world-class fishing. Fishing is a big part of the Bahamas experience. Deep-sea fishing for Mahi-Mahi, Marlin, Tuna, Wahoo or Mackerel are but a few of the possibilities for the catch of the day. Enjoy fly-fishing for Bonefish, catching Jack or Snapper in the morning and cooking your catch on the grill in the evening is our definition of "the good life". Fish from your own boat, hire a guide or charter a fishing boat.

Fishing or Island hopping may not be your only choices. The diving and snorkeling in the Bahamas is some of the best in the world. And no place is better known for their dive sites than the Exuma chain. Dive or snorkel on patch reefs, do deeper wall dives, or try one of the well known Blue Holes for a dive experience you will never forget. We have snorkeled with sharks at the Land and Sea Park and Barracuda amongst the Elkhorn Coral off Concepcion Island.  Bring along a kayak, or rent one from one of the vendors found in many Exuma settlements for a close up and personal view of the waters and environment that can be experienced no other way. Natural preserves like the Exuma Land and Sea Park offer nature trails to hike and undisturbed underwater habitats to explore. The southern Bahamas offers a real Caribbean experience, with deserted islands and white sandy beaches that rival any other in the Caribbean.

If golfing happens to be your passion, the Bahamas offers three world-class golf courses. The Abaco Club is a private golf club offering reciprocal privileges. Treasure Cay Golf Club at Treasure Cay and Grand Isle Resort on Great Exuma round out these challenging 18-hole courses with vistas that will at times be distracting to players. All of the clubs offer amenities that rival or surpass many golf clubs found in the U.S. The lower Exumas are often the seasonal destination for many boaters. During the winter months, the warm and balmy trade winds make for some very comfortable weather. Your options are almost endless. Feed the iguanas on Allans Cay, swim with the pigs at Pig Beach on Big Major Spot, snorkel Thunderball Grotto of James Bond fame at Staniel Cay or join in the festivities that run almost non-stop in Georgetown. Georgetown is home to the annual Family Island Regatta Week. We have counted over 400 boats in the harbor during regatta week and there was still plenty of room. There are daily volleyball games going on at, you guessed it, Volleyball Beach. A different cruisers activity is going on almost every day from sing-alongs to pot lucks, or boating seminars to local holiday festivities.

The biggest problem we have encountered on our trips to the Bahamas is when it is time to leave, we haven't done everything we planned to do. It truly is better in the Bahamas, and that's probably why boaters like ourselves are drawn back over and over, and over again. So go, enjoy and look for us the next time you find yourself wondering what to do today.  Chuck Baier and Susan Landry

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