Those of you thinking about or even planning, a Bahamas sailing vacation, need to know the following.
There are 700 islands in The Bahamas covering 150,000 square miles of tropical sea with approximately 5,000 square miles of land. TWO of these islands and their adjacent cays were devasted by hurricane Dorian. They are the Northernmost Grand Bahama and Abaco Islands. The principal towns of Freeport, Marsh Harbour and Hopetown will have to be re-built almost from scratch. Our heart goes out to the survivors and together with other companies in the Marine Charter space, we have pledged support for the reconstruction.
It is unfortunate for the bareboating community and even more so for the local population, that the Marsh Harbour bases and the Sea of Abaco will not be operational or navigable for the foreseeable future. We will keep you informed about the charter situation as it develops.
The good news, however, is that the other 650 islands and Cays were not affected and are open for business as usual. Crewed yachts and bareboats continue to be available out of Nassau, Staniel Cay and Georgetown.
Please do not cancel your plans or re-schedule your charters elsewhere. The great Exuma locations, Eleuthera and the Out Islands, with their pristine waters are waiting for you.
Each island of The Bahamas has its own personality and something different to offer. Enjoy a variety filled vacation or holiday by visiting as many islands as time allows. Spend a few fun days in cosmopolitan Nassau with its duty-free shops, golf, museums and restaurants. Lie back and relax on the bright white sand of Long Island’s deserted beaches. Experience the dive of a lifetime in challenging wreck sites off the coast of San Salvador. Witness the spectacle of nesting flamingos and other exotic wildlife in Inagua National Park. Cruise through the Exumas’ 100-mile-long string of pristine cays. I am sure you have heard of the swimming pigs? Check them out and swim with them in the Exumas! They love to come right up to your dinghy.
The hard part is deciding which islands to visit! Here are some really interesting things to see and do in the middle and southern islands:
- Visit Allen Cay in the Exumas and take a selfie with some of the monster Iguanas that hang out on the beach.
- Stop off at Staniel Cay with its iconic bar and exotic clientele.
- Snorkel the Thunderball Grotto on Staniel Cay. The James Bond movie Thunderball was filmed here as well as Never Say Never Again, Splash starring Tom Hanks and Into the Blue with Jessica Alba and Paul Walker.
- Stop off at Big Major Cay in the Exumas and swim with the pigs
- Dive on the wreck of the 101 gun HMS Conqueror off Rum Cay.
- Visit some of Christopher Columbus major landfalls and subsequent stop-offs in San Salvador, Clarence Town and Acklins Island. This is one of the great Bone fishing areas in the world.
- Visit Sleepy Mayaguana Island and the Flamingo breeding grounds on Great Inagua Island, the largest in the Western Hemisphere.
All of this against the backdrop of the marvelous Bahamian waters that are the clearest and cleanest that you will find anywhere in the world.
The best way that we can all help the Commonwealth of the Bahamas through these challenging times is by allowing them to do what they do best: being your gracious hosts in their beautiful islands.
For a detailed destination description of the different islands in the Bahamas please click here.
If you would like to make a donation to the re-construction efforts, simply email us at and we will send you a list of institutions that are actively participating in the clean-up and re-construction and that are receiving donations and materials that will be shipped to the Bahamas. However, the most effective way we can help is to spend our vacation dollars in these beautiful islands. We will be so very happy to help you find the perfect yacht for this and to help you with any information you may need to go cruising in the Bahamas.
In the meantime, here is a list of institutions and charities that are contributing to the immediate needs of the population and the reconstruction efforts as suggested by Forbes Magazine.
- The American Red Cross is online.
- The Salvation Army is accepting money.
- Project Hope, an international health-care organization, is accepting donations.
- Americares sends aid and medicine.
- Habitat for Humanity will be helping rebuild houses.
- Team Rubicon is a veteran support organization, staging resources and support.
- World Central Kitchen teams are providing food on Grand Bahama and the Abacos. Chef José Andrés’ organization is once again helping the hungry.
- Check with your local state or county relief efforts. Among others, The National Association of the Bahamas, based in Miami and working with the Bahamas consul general there, has set up a Hurricane Relief Fund.
- New Florida Majority partnered with a dozen South Florida organizations, including the Florida Immigrant Coalition, Sant La Haitian Neighborhood Center and the Miami Workers Center—to support community emergency operations centers (CEOCs) in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Palm Beach and Jacksonville.
- The Bahamas Disaster Relief Fund, set up by the Bahamian government, is accepting wire transfers.
- The Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency has posted instructions here.
- Mercy Corps is coordinating response efforts, and accepting money here.
- The Grand Bahama Port Authority has established the Grand Bahama Disaster Relief Foundation. It is accepting donations and supplies.