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Maritimo boating destinations – The Bahamas

Maritimo M55 owners, Bill and Pam, recently took their 12-month-old M55, from its home in South Carolina, to the Bahamas via Fort Lauderdale, and then all the way back again the same way. The testament to any trip is would they do it again? The resounding, and loud answer, was ‘definitely yes’. Best of all, they shared their experiences with their friends Tom and Brenda, who took their original, 2009 Maritimo 60 along, as well.

They spent two nights in Bimini before they got to Chub Cay, and after that they headed for Nassau. “Nassau is on the twelfth largest island, New Providence, and it has a big marina with a lot of resorts. The marina is affiliated with Atlantis, so there are wonderful restaurants, beach and pool areas, and lots of activities. This is a really good destination, and we stayed for four nights, which meant we had covered everything we had wanted to,” said Pam.

“From there we went to Harbour Island and the marina called Valentines, as we had heard a lot about it, and it was only a four-to-five-hour steam to get over there. Please note that it has a very tricky entrance, an area called the Devil’s Backbone, which is a jagged reef. The marina highly recommends that you hire a pilot, who comes to you, ties up behind you, and then takes the helm of your boat to get you in,” said Bill highlighting the danger of the area.

“It was fun, but also very interesting, because they had three different people that we had an option to use. We elected to go with a guy named ‘Little Woody’, who has been doing it for 32 years now. He was on our boat at about one o’clock in the afternoon and we were his sixth run of the day. He does anything from our size boat up to 150 feet, and not only that, his wife is a baker and they present you with some homemade goodies once you are all tied up,” said Bill. “She made us Carrot Cake,” added Pam.

“I have to tell you this was the best 150 US dollars I’ve ever spent, to say nothing of the reduction in stress, and it was so easy, we elected to do the same again on our departure. Truly brilliant, and cheap insurance,” said Bill highlighting the relaxed nature of the voyage that preserved their sanity and avoided big arguments.

“We stayed three nights at Valentines Marina, and the food there was incredible. The island is also known for its pink sandy beaches. The interesting part about all of the Bahamas, except for just one marina, is that all of the docks are fixed, not floating. It’s very difficult at either low tide or high tide if you don’t have long legs, and there is about a three-foot range,” said Pam.

“Here in the southeast of the USA there are mainly floating docks, where up north they have mainly fixed docks, so it can be a bit of challenge to overcome. Not a deal breaker, just something to be aware of,” said Bill.

“The privately owned Highbourne Cay, who call themselves ‘The cay away from the everyday’, was our next port of call. It is beautiful! We were there for three more nights, and really liked it. Amazing water, gorgeous beaches, and very few people. We almost had the whole place to ourselves. Wow. It only has the one restaurant, but it is excellent, with stunning sunset views. Highbourne just has to be one of our highlights from this trip.”

Pam added, “We’re not fishermen, but it seems to be something that people really like to do all through the Bahamas. Chub Cay is actually called the Billfish Capital of the Bahamas, and was filled with a lot of smart Sportsfishing vessels, and there were a few more here, as well. Highbourne differs from other places, as there are no activities, as such. So, it is all about the relaxing. Being laid back and having good food in a wonderful location is very easy to do.”

A further trip South to Staniel Cay was next. The dock there was not to the travellers’ liking, so they stayed just the one night, but did get a local guide in a 17-foot skiff to give them a three-hour tour. They were far more impressed with the pretty surrounds than the dock itself, and the highlight had to be seeing the swimming pigs. There were a lot of boats anchored in this big area.

The next day they made for Chub Cay once more, and enjoyed four more days there. This was a good idea, as it turned out to be their other favourite along with Highbourne. Both are privately owned, and at Chub Cay there is an airstrip, a great restaurant with amazing food, a clubhouse, and everything all over the island was ‘beautiful’, as Bill and Pam informed us.

“They do outdoor lunches, there’s a huge pool area, not a lot of activities, but also a good place to relax. We enjoyed it all. Very nice,” added Pam.

“A week at each of Nassau, Chub Cay, and Highbourne Cay would be perfect,” said Bill in closing.