Ex­uma Cays, Ba­hamas

Yachts International - - Sternlines - For more in­for­ma­tion: bn­by­achtchar­ters.com

The only prob­lem for an Ex­u­mas char­ter client is de­ter­min­ing how to take ev­ery­thing these 365 vi­brant is­lands and tiny cays of­fer and squeeze it into a seven-day itin­er­ary. This ar­chi­pel­ago is a pris­tine re­treat just a short dis­tance from the U.S. main­land, ac­ces­si­ble via di­rect flights into Nas­sau and then, if part of the itin­er­ary, a short hop­per flight to the heart of the is­lands. The Ex­u­mas are quite a con­trast from the more touristy parts of the Ba­hamas, with white sand beaches, translu­cent wa­ters and un­touched reefs.

Com­pass Cay of­fers char­ter guests an opportunity to swim with—and pet— the res­i­dent nurse sharks. Do it. These sharks may as well be rough-skinned pup­pies, as cu­ri­ous about peo­ple as we are about them. Char­ter guests must mind their fin­gers (as the yacht’s crew will help­fully in­struct as they stand by and watch) and then the ex­pe­ri­ence is ex­hil­a­rat­ing. Some char­ter clients say that meet­ing the nurse sharks at Com­pass Cay is one of the best mem­o­ries not only of their va­ca­tion, but also of their life.

Just around the cor­ner is one of the best swim­ming holes in the Caribbean. The deep, crys­tal­clear, blue la­goon known as Rachel’s Bub­ble Bath gets its name from the wave ac­tion. A rocky out­crop de­taches the pool from the ocean, and at mid- to high tide, the waves get high enough to crash over the rocks and into the la­goon, cre­at­ing bub­bles of white foam like a nat­u­ral spa tub. The spot is ideal for a swim or a well-timed leap off the rocks into the wa­ter.

With so many un­spoiled cays, char­ter guests here of­ten have beaches all to them­selves—ex­cept at Big Ma­jor’s Cay, a small, un­in­hab­ited is­land where res­i­dent pigs, some quite large, swim out to greet peo­ple on the in­com­ing ten­ders. The pigs are friendly, es­pe­cially if they see that food is avail­able (the yacht’s crew will pre­pare car­rots and the like), but the pigs are wild an­i­mals, so the crew will help guests to treat them re­spect­fully.

Near the pigs’ home is Thunderball Grotto, named for the James Bond movie “Thunderball.” The grotto’s en­trance is small, al­most hid­den—and to get in­side, even at ebb tide, char­ter guests have to hold their breath, dive un­der­wa­ter and swim for it, trust­ing that they will come up able to breathe on the other side. (Don’t sweat it; the yacht’s ca­pa­ble crew have done this many times and will be right there.) Once in­side, pre­pare to be daz­zled by the placid wa­ter teem­ing with a kalei­do­scope of bril­liantly col­ored fish and the cav­ernous walls that echo over­head like a sonic fortress.

The vi­brant pal­ette of col­ors and tex­tures of Ex­u­mas’ wa­ter­borne land­scape is some­thing of a mas­ter­piece.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.