Bahamas: The Hit It or Miss It Run Down

Sorry about the lack of blog posts!  Wi-fi is scarce and to be candid, its a lot of the same day in and day out.   See above if you’re wondering what we’re up to on the daily!

We’re now making our way back to the States – traveling each day as the wind/weather permits.  I’m sooo excited to be back in Florida!  It may sound silly, but how many piΓ±a coladas can you actually enjoy?  With that being said, here’s our Hit It or Miss It list, island by island, cay by cay!

exuma map

1. Bimini:  Hit.  This gem is just two hours off the coast of Florida  AND there’s a (new) legit Hilton hotel that is stunningly beautiful.  There’s a casino, multiple relaxing pools, bars, good wi-fi, a fitness center and several dining options.  Offsite, Big John’s is worth hitting (newly remodeled) and its worth taking a short boat ride over to Honeymoon Harbor  – where you can swim with the stingrays.  We’re told the fishing here is also fantastic…but that also means the water is riddled with sharks!…so maybe not the best diving area?  Not sure, we didn’t risk it.

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2.  Nassau:  Hit.  As mentioned in my previous post, we had an absolute blast at Atlantis.   Everything at the marina is first rate – the service is friendly, the docks are impeccable and the hotel itself is grand in nature.  “Paradise Island” was appropriately dubbed!   On our way back, Atlantis was fully booked so we opted to stay on the other side of Nassau at Palm Cay Marina.  Another little slice of paradise…The marina is new, has the cheapest fuel we’ve seen in the Bahamas and has an excellent staff.  Cars are on site for rental, the area feels fresh and clean and it appears that its only getting better (fitness center and condos under construction).

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3.  Berry Islands:  Miss.  Maybe i’ll get some different opinions here and maybe its a product of having been in the islands for too long and not being able to truly appreciate it but unfortunately, there wasn’t much take away from the Berrys.  The people on the island were incredibly friendly (inviting us to attend a cookout on the beach) and the marina we visited had free bikes and was reasonably priced – but just another 3 hrs. south (see # 5) puts you at the gates to pure bliss….so if we had to do it over again, we’d bypass this stop.


4. Allen’s Cay:  Hit.  Because…iguanas!


5.  Highbourne Cay:  Hit!  Highbourne Cay Marina is what vacation dreams are made of.  Let me start with the surreal water.  I have no idea why, but its a different, more brilliant color than anywhere else we went in the Bahamas.  But once you get into your slip, it just gets better and better.  As you make your way up to the office to check in, the grounds are plush and clean and incredibly inviting.  The staff are friendly and efficient.  The onsite grocery market is seriously the best stocked and cleanest in all of the exumas (yes, better than Exuma Market in Georgetown).  They offer complimentary bikes to explore the island, which you could spend days doing….making your way to Horseshoe Beach (with complimentary beach chairs, kayaks and paddle boards)  or to the Hawk’s Nest – perched on a high point of the island and fully equipped with workout gear (free weights, TRX straps, resistance bands, yoga mats, etc.).  The onsite restaurant is delicious and (true to form) has an amazing view and perfect ambiance. They even have Whispering Angel rosΓ© on the menu!  (score!)

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6.  Norman’s Cay:  Hit.  This was one of my favorite anchorages – it was peaceful and the sunset was unreal.  We had dinner at MacDuff’s.  It was priiiicey but good.

 

7.  Warderick Wells Land & Sea Park:  I’m on the fence about this one.  There’s not much other than the scenery to take in.  We took a decent hike up to the cliffs and Tom did a fair amount of snorkeling but you can’t fish or spear anything on the island, there are no amenities (i.e. restaurants, convenience store, water, ice, power or any trace of cell service).  If you go into knowing this, then it could be fun for a night or two.  We used the opportunity to learn a new card game and lounge under the stars.  No complaints, but not exactly enchanting either.


8. Staniel Cay/Big Major Cay: Hit.  Who doesn’t want to see the swimming pigs??   The Staniel Cay Yacht Club also has a good thing going on!  Friendly staff (Jen, is sweetest!), a fun island vibe and the food is incredible.  Definitely do the evening sit-down dinner!  Its romantic and priced on point.  Its also worth noting that we spotted Bono dining here…Tom was awestruck. 😍

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9. Farmers Cay: Miss. This was a sore disappointment for us.  There’s nothing noteworthy here that you can’t see elsewhere and the docking facilities were in sad shape. Goat photos not taken at “Farmers Cay” but too cute and appropriate not to post! πŸ˜‚

10. Emerald Bay:  Hit. Tom would harshly disagree with me on this but (!) given that Great Exuma was supposed to be…great…i’d have to say, in my book, this was the shining star of the big island.  The Marina at Emerald Bay is owned/operated by Sandals and it has its act together.  You can purchase day passes to the Sandals Resort or walk directly across the street to Grand Isle Resort for an idealistic beach experience.  The Marina at Emerald Bay has free laundry and free wi-fi…rarities!!


12.  Georgetown: Miss.  I feel a little sheepish saying it but Georgetown was a huge disappointment.  The area is riddled with litter and frankly, everywhere we went we encountered rude staffing – from the grocery store to the restaurants (with the exception of Lumina Point – which I guess is technically Stocking Island, not Georgetown proper).   The hike up to the monument is nice for some physical activity and the happy hour at Lumina Point was refreshing….the cocktails were tasty, the view is on point and the staff seemed genuinely happy to be there.

17 thoughts on “Bahamas: The Hit It or Miss It Run Down

  1. I had called the Coast Guard twice. you guys are so so fortunate to have done this whole loop, forever memories that is for sure. Be safe and get back to Florida. I hope the expressions in the pictures mirror your being that happy together in real life, it is a gift hard to find in today’s confusing world, ENJOY. Jack

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  2. Thank you for your candid thoughts Kate. We’re headed that way in the Fall and the better armed we are with info the easier it will be to list the “must see” places.
    Been great following your adventure. Keep on enjoying!!
    Peter

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks for the list…we are headed down there for the kids spring break and our list includes Atlantis, swimming pigs, iquanas and of course lots of snorkeling and beach time! Love reading about your adventures! Hugs from OBA! Cam

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  4. We always look forward to your posts! We were at the boat show in January in San Diego and met Simon from Bavaria. When we told him our story of buying a house on a canal in Cape Coral and wanting to do the great loop, the keys and Bahamas the first thing he asked was, are you following Kate and Tom’s blog. Got a ride on the Virtess 420 and can’t wait to see their new R40 Fly! – John and Leeann

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    1. Hiii! This is so nice to hear! We LOVE our Bavaria…and keep peaking at the newer models. They’re gorgeous. Please let us know if you have any questions about the loop – it’s been such a fun experience.

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  5. John and Leeann, my wife and I have been following on facebook and love the pictures, comments and honesty of what you liked and disliked. We are excited to do our own loop, in a few years. You look like you are having a blast, staying in shape and exploring a once in a lifetime trip that you could never do if you paid to have someone take you on a cruise. How big is your boat? We have a 45 Silvertons Yacht and think we need to go to a 50 foot for room and living on board for so long. What are your thoughts? Good luck and God’s speed.

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    1. Hi there! Thanks for following along! It’s been an amazing adventure. Our Bavaria is 44 in the water, 49 LOA. We’ve made our totally fine (we have three bedrooms, so one is primarily storage at this point) but I think it’s the ideal size for the loop.
      Please let us know if you have any questions! You can even view all of our expenses under the “track our trip” tab.

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  6. Hi Kate, you probably don’t remember this, but back in September my husband and I met you and Tom as you were docking at Jacobson Marina in Frankfort, MI. We were hanging out on the bow of our boat and you guys stopped and chatted for a few minutes. I’ve followed your blog ever since, and we’ve both become slightly obsessed with the whole Great Loop experience. Anyway, we’re in Ft. Lauderdale at the Marriott Beachplace this week, and I saw on your Instagram that you are in town too. We’d love to buy you guys a drink and hear about your adventure. Let me know! – Kathy

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh right, it WAS windy that day! Gotta love Lake Michigan. πŸ™‚ Either Wednesday or Thursday would work! Where are you guys staying? Is there a bar nearby? We have a car and can meet wherever it’s convenient.

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