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 piña coladas can you actually enjoy?  With that being said, here’s our Hit It or Miss It list, island by island, cay by cay!

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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 rosé 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! 😂

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.

Life is Simple; Just Add Water

The past few weeks have been insanely indulgent – yet more simplistic than I had imagined this part of our journey would be…


Every part of the trip until now has been somewhat scheduled and full of information and options (i.e. what marina has the most amenities; where to get the cheapest fuel; closest grocery store; best dining options; etc.)  NOT the case in the Exumas!  Most islands have one marina; one restaurant; one “convenience store”; no wifi…you get the idea.  So while its not always luxurious…its relaxing.


Tom even caught dinner a time or two…so we’ve been testing all sorts of lobster recipes! 

So what else?  The PIGS!  I’ve been practically counting the daaaays to get my hands on these little guys.  Turns out, they aren’t so little!  😯



We saved scrap fruits and veggies for a few days prior to our visit, but in hindsight, we didn’t even need the bait.  They’re happy to see you regardless.  I’m secretly hoping that we’ll be able to stop back by on our return trip and that maybe someone will have had baby piglets! 😬

Up next: George Town.  And another friend hoping on board for a few days! See you next week! (wifi permitting!)

Time Well Wasted

The weeks are flyyyyying by!  We left Bimini and made our way to Atlantis – where (obviously) frozen concoctions and water slides ensued.

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After a 4 day childlike binger, we decided to make our way to the Exumas!  We provisioned accordingly in Nassau and untied the lines.  The weather was perfect and the cruising was uneventful…but when we arrived at Highbourne Cay, Tom noticed that something was awry in our engine room. A belt had completely disintegrated while we were underway.

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Thankfully, Tom and Shawn were able to diagnose the problem and get a new belt ordered/overnighted to the nearest airport…so it was ultimately a small hiccup.

Highbourne Cay could only be described as majestic.  The water (if possible) was even prettier than we encountered in Bimini and the Highbourne Cay Marina staff have thought of EVERYTHING you could possibly want in an island retreat.  We hiked; we biked; I got a workout in; Tom napped…and the guys even found time to snorkel and tinker around with their water toys.

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Needless to say, we are having a fantastic time.  (All those locks and days of whining have finally paid off!) 😎