Bahama Hurricane Relief & Support Cruise November 2-9

Join us on a sailing catamaran cruise, November 2 – 9, out of Nassau to the Exuma islands and back. This is a chance for you to support the Bahamas in several ways as they recover from the massive hurricane that struck the Abacos and Grand Bahama.

Thousands of people have been evacuated to Nassau and other larger islands with barely the shirt on their backs. The World news media has characterized “The Bahamas” as being destroyed. In fact, most of the Bahamas, including the stunningly beautiful Exuma Islands are untouched. However, the tourist reservations for the Bahamas is plummeting for the coming year.

What we are going to do:

1) Charter a Lagoon catamaran  based in Palm Cay Resort and sail through the northern half of the Exumas – this will inject dollars into the economy that will multiply many times! Also, photos posted and stories told on social media about the cruise will help others to plan vacations there!

2) 10% of the charter will be donated to a charity involved in rebuilding the Abacos

3) Will encourage everyone going to bring relief supplies to the Abaco people relocated in Nassau – including lots of children who are now orphans.

After Hurricane Irma devastated the Virgin Islands, we did a similar cruise and the people there were immensely grateful that we were there, appreciative of the supplies that we brought and asked us to encourage our friends to come vacation there.

Charter details:

Assuming that we will have 4 staterooms booked (double occupancy) then we will charter Lagoon 50 catamaran based at Palm Cay Marina near Nassau.

Here is a sample itinerary of the cruise:

11/2: Arrive at Nassau and head to Palm Cay Marina in the afternoon to acquaint  ourselves with the boat. The marina has five-star facilities and is a great base to start. We will organize the supplies and distribute some of them with the remainder to be distributed the morning of the 9th before returning home.

Palm Cay

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11/3: Sail to Allen Cays to see the rare Northern Bahamian Rock Iguanas, which are only found in the Exumas. You can feed these gentle creatures with grapes but beware that the iguanas can grow to a large size and can jump! Sail onwards to Highbourne Cay to snorkel the Octopus Garden reef at Horseshoe Bay. You can see stromatolite reefs on the east coast, dating back 3.5 billion years, and if the weather is calm, we can also snorkel the Elkhorn and Staghorn reefs. Then we will spend the night at the Highborne Cay Marina,  enjoying the beach, hike the island path and trails and relax during happy hour at the marina restaurant overlooking the gorgeous bay.

Allens Highborne

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11/4: Sail down the cays to explore the Exuma Cays Land & Sea Park at Warderick Wells Cay, an area of outstanding beauty with sand dunes, mangroves and wonderful beaches. Hike the seven miles of trails ashore, wander among the remains of 18th century loyalist settlements and enjoy bird watching. Walk up Boo Boo Hill and we can leave our boat’s name on a piece of driftwood at the top as an offering to Neptune, taking care to avoid the blow holes. Or you can relax on white sand beaches, snorkel the coral reefs and spot hawksbill turtles, lemon sharks and vibrant fish. There’s even a sperm whale skeleton to examine on Powerful Beach and stromatolites to the south-west of the island, the world’s oldest living reefs.

Wardwick Wells

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11/5: On to  Compass Cay, where you can get into the water with friendly nurse sharks and swim with them. You can also feed the sharks with fish. On the north coast you’ll find the famous natural whirlpool called “Rachel’s Bubble Bath”.

Compass

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Then we  head to Staniel Cay. Near the yacht club is  the amazing Thunderball Grotto on an nearby outcrop, where the James Bond film Thunderball was filmed. Snorkel this marine cave at low tide and marvel at the shafts of sunlight that illuminate the cavern. Opposite is Big Major Cay, where you can swim with the Exumas pigs on Pig Beach.

Staniel Cay

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11/6: Sail to Shroud Cay, which is part of the Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park. We can explore the shallow mangroves and creeks that meander across the island. You’ll be able to spot turtles, rays and nurse sharks. Once you reach the east side of the island, you will enter a vibrant  blue lagoon and set foot on one of the most beautiful beaches in the Bahamas. If you want to stroll Driftwood Beach and take the steep walk to Camp Driftwood, be aware that you can no longer leave mementos, only rocks. It was from this look out point that the US authorities spied on Norman’s Cay and its drug trafficking activities.

Shroud Cay

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11/7: Norman’s Cay is an abandoned former drug trafficking island and run by Carlos Lehder, which explains its runway. You can snorkel the smuggler’s plane wreck, which rests in just 10ft of water on the south-west coast of the island. Or how about a barefoot walk on Twinkie Beach to forage among the seashells and then dine at Norman’s Cay Beach Club to watch the sunset.

Norman Cay

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11/8: Snorkel around Wax Cay and bring your Hawaiian sling to catch lobsters or Nassau groupers. Late morning, head back to Nassau and enjoy the pool, beach and restaurants at Palm Cay.

11/9: In the morning we will depart the boat and distribute the remainder of our relief supplies. Afterwards, head to the airport for your flight home.

The Lagoon 50 has comfortable double occupancy staterooms with large full to queen size beds and full bathrooms (heads) with showers. There is a large main cabin or salon and a big covered aft deck as well as lounging areas forward and on the trampolines plus up on the fly bridge.

Lagoon 50

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The cost of this is $1,900 per person (double occupancy) which includes all boat cost/fees/taxes, fuel. linens/towels, ice/water, provisions for 7 breakfasts, 5 lunches and 4 dinners (other meal ashore to help the economy) and skipper.

To secure your spot we need a 50% deposit as soon as possible via Venmo or major credit card with the balance due by October 1st. We can take your credit card payment by phone or give you Venmo directions.

We urge you to join us and make a difference in the Bahamas like we did in the British Virgin Islands: 26 backpacks of school supplies for Jost Van Dyke students, tools to Virgin Gorda, clothing to Virgin Gorda, variety of supplies to Anegada – plus we patronized the local restaurants!

Irma Relief Cruise

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Please contact us with any questions at ross@yachtretreat.com or call 843-802-2074.

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