Cruising the Bahamas: What would your ideal boat look like?
I love cruising in the Bahamas. The many shades of blue and turquoise are simply incomparable and always unbelievably gorgeous. I can never get enough of the amazing views. One of my favorite itineraries is cruising from Florida to the Berry Islands, Nassau and finally to the Exumas with a mini cruise in the northern Exuma Cays, and then back to Florida through Nassau and the Berries.
Every cay on that trip has something special to offer. In the northern Exuma Cays, you can:
- Discover native Bahamian iguanas on Allan’s Cay,
- Dine at the lovely Xuma restaurant with a breathtaking view at Highbourne Cay,
- Snorkel a partially submerged plane wreck at Norman’s Cay,
- Enjoy a beautiful dinghy ride through the mangroves at Shroud Cay,
- Climb Boo Boo Hill to take in the incredible views at Warderick Wells Cay, part of and home to the visitor center of the amazing Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park,
- Pet the nurse sharks at Compass Cay,
- Feed the swimming pigs some carrots at Big Major Cay,
- Snorkel the Thunderball Grotto at Staniel Cay, enjoying a lovely meal and a few drinks at the Staniel Cay Yacht Club, and getting some provisioning done at the Pink and Blue Stores.
And if you have an extra day or so, you could head a little further south to visit the turtles at Farmers Cay (or Little Farmer’s Cay), before heading back. Along the way, you are also likely to see stingrays in the shallows at many of the gorgeous beaches.
While this itinerary includes several marinas where you could dock your boat, we prefer to spend as much time as possible at anchor. Waking up to the spectacular shades of blue from every angle is simply amazing. Sipping your morning coffee with some freshly made muffins on the aft deck while taking in the views cannot be beaten. Enjoying water toys, turquoise waters and pristine beaches, and walks on the islands … there is no shortage of fun, memorable things to do while out in the islands.
The bow of the boat usually offers a spot to hang out with a little bit more of a breeze. Bahamian sunsets are unbeatable, and watching the sun paint the skies with ever changing colors and patterns while enjoying a sundowner on your boat is an amazing experience.
Finishing off the fun-filled day with a grilled fish dinner on the flybridge? Simply heaven.
We really love our current boat and all she has to offer. Of course, there are always small improvements, which could make it even better. That got me thinking, “What would an ideal boat for this kind of Bahamas cruising look like?”
From my perspective, the ideal Bahamas cruising boat would be very light and open, and with big windows – including below deck – to enjoy the amazing views from where ever you are on the boat. It would have lots of different outdoor seating and hangout areas to enjoy your surroundings at any time of the day, depending on whether you are seeking out the sun or the shade. The boat would have some comfy indoor seating and lounging areas to take shelter from the occasional squall, or to take a break from the outdoors (maybe watch a movie, play some games, or work on a puzzle).
The ideal Bahamas boat would definitely need a shallow draft so you could get closer to the beaches, not have to worry as much about the shallows and the coral heads in the Bahamas, and even to be able to get into certain marinas. And lastly, it’d have plenty of space onboard for water toys and a tender to go to shore with, a water maker, and lots of storage space for provisions, including cold storage and trash (I know, not so idyllic … but very handy in practice!).
What would your ideal Bahamas cruising boat look like?