NEW COLGATE SAILING ADVENTURES® CRUISE IN THE EXUMA CAYS OF THE BAHAMAS
NEAR-SHORE AND OFFSHORE SAILING IN CRYSTAL CLEAR WATERS
This fun Colgate Sailing Adventures® Flotilla Cruise takes you to some of the most picturesque 365 islands in a 120-mile archipelago northeast of Cuba. Sailing is starts with a southbound leg along the west coast of the Exuma Cays, with easy navigation, secluded harbors and lavish ports nestled in amazing clear-blue waters.
In between anchorages, you discover deserted beaches and quaint seaside bars that truly capture the essence of this amazing island chain. Famous for swimming pigs, three-foot iguanas, and some of the most renown dive and snorkeling spots, our Exuma sailing charters offer both near shore and offshore sailing, with exciting sea conditions on the passage between Nassau and the Exuma Cays.
The weather in November is a lot like Florida, with 5-20 knot trade winds and temperatures averaging 83°F. There’s very little rain this time of year. Average water temperature is 79 °F. Tidal range is up to 3.5 feet. Waters are the most amazing shade of turquoise. Beautiful reefs teeming with colorful fish in shallow waters provide superb snorkeling. Lovely anchorages with miles of sandy beaches and quaint villages beckon each evening with places to explore and dine ashore or just relax aboard under a canopy of stars as the sun sets.
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Those of you who have sailed with Nate and Heather Atwater on many other Colgate Sailing Adventures Flotilla Cruises, know how caring and organized these two special sailors are. The photo at right was taken in the Bahamas on one of the many cruises they have hosted. Lifetime sailors, the Atwaters will again lead this cruise and make sure you see all the highlights, including a cadre of pigs swimming off Staniel Cay. When most have signed up, Nate will assign crews to each boat based on the Required Flotilla Cruise Resume. Send this in as soon as you sign up for our Bahamas sailing adventure, please!
This is an easy cruise to get to as there are many flights from the U.S. into Nassau’s Lynden Pindling International Airport (NAS). Then it’s only a 30-minute transfer to The Moorings/Sunsail base at Hurricane Hole on Paradise Islands by taxi. If you want to go early and stay ashore in a hotel while exploring Nassau, a list of hotels near the base will also be available in the Handbook. The itinerary for this cruise will be given to you by the Atwaters after they meet with base managers. Here are some of the anchorages and cays you may visit during your Bahamas sailing adventure.
Known as the “Gateway to the Exumas,” Highborne Cay is a private island whose owners invite sailors to explore its luxury cottages, world class marina, and eight deserted beaches within walking distance of the marina. At Horseshoe Bay’s beach you can snorkel over the splendid “Octopus Garden” reef. A one-mile dinghy ride northwest of the marina takes you to Leaf Cay beach where you are welcomed ashore by friendly three-foot iguanas. In the evening, enjoy a cocktail or dinner at Highborne Cay’s hilltop restaurant, with breathtaking 360-degree views and amazing sunsets.
About 7 nautical miles from Highborne Cay is Norman Cay, known for its pristine reefs and neighboring islets. On the southwest point of the island is a sunken plane in 10’ of water, where snorkeling reveals a bounty of tropical fish and pristine coral displays. Nearby, there are plenty of seashells to collect as you stroll along Twinkie Beach known for its lone palm tree – the perfect photo op. If a real-life “cheeseburger in paradise” sounds good to you, head ashore to MacDuffs on the southern end of the cay, for a fun lunch.
Great Guana Cay
Great Guana Cay’s anchorage is one of the largest in the Exumas, well-protected and easy to approach. The locals in the quaint little town of Black Point Settlement will make you feel right at home with their friendly island culture, ftraditional Bahamian cuisine, and handwoven palm leave baskets made by the settlement women. You can even order homemade bread from Lorraine’s Café and pick it up the next morning.
Staniel Cay was the backdrop for two James Bond movies, and the spectacular underwater caves located just west of Staniel Cay were named “Thunderball Grotto” based on their feature-film debut. This must-see snorkeling and diving site is riddled with vibrant heads of coral and abundant marine populations. Then make reservations at the Staniel Cay Yacht Club for a nice lunch or delicious fresh seafood dinner. Golf carts are available for rent at the marina if you wish to explore by vehicle. A short distance from Staniel Cay, is Big Major Cay where you’ll find the infamous swimming pigs.
Warderick Wells Cay
19 nautical miles from Staniel Cay is the headquarters of the 176-square-mile Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park, which extends from Shroud Cay to Bell Cay. It is the largest underwater sea park in the Caribbean, where you can swim among sea turtles, snorkel and dive on vibrant reefs with tropical sea life. There are 20 marked nature trails to explore on land and 20 secluded beaches located throughout the island’s border. Both the hiking and snorkeling are unmatched because of the breathtaking scenery and natural beauty thanks to the highly protected Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park.
Also part of the Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park territory, Shroud Cay is an uninhabited archipelago of rocks and white-sand beaches with an enchanting channel of mangroves where conch, lobster, sea turtles, and other various marine creatures thrive. There are numerous sandy-bottom creeks and estuaries to explore by dinghy. Camp Driftwood Beach offers a lovely lookout point for a special photo op.
6.5 nautical miles from The Moorings/Sunsail base is a little Bahamian hideaway called Rose Island. Its 11-mile boater’s paradise provides wonderful snorkeling conditions, secluded coves, and four beaches: First Beach, MacTaggart’s Beach, Footprints Beach, and Sandy Toes. For a vibrant bar scene, head to the hotel on Sandy Toes where you’ll find a fun seaside bar and grill. If you prefer something more low key, head to the hilltop at Sandy Toes Beach to take pictures of the swaying palm trees and waves coming onshore. As you spend your final night on board in the serene anchorage on the north side of the island, a breathtaking sunset reminds you of the beauty enjoyed on this Exumas cruise vacation. Reserve your spot on our Bahamas sailing adventure below!
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There are so many pristine beaches with calm waters, you and your crew mates may want to consider reserving in advance paddle boards and/or kayaks for super island-time fun. Costs and contact information will be in the Exumas Cruise Handbook sent to you when you sign up.
THE YACHTS YOU CRUISE ON
This Exumas Colgate Sailing Adventures® Flotilla Cruise fleet are all four-cabin, four-head catamarans – super comfortable and fun to sail with tons of room to store water toys and relax while dining, reading, sleeping and, of course, enjoying a group party or two, or three . . .
The five catamarans reserved for our Bahamas sailing adventures are a Moorings 5000 (which will be skippered by Nate Atwater), two Moorings 4500, Sunsail 454 (identical to the Moorings 4500), and the new Sunsail Lagoon 424. All have big saloons with wrap-around seating, four spacious cabins below with private baths, big aft decks for dining and relaxing, fully-outfitted galleys with everything you need to prepare meals and cocktails, refrigerator/freezer, easy access to the forward trampoline and seating, raised cockpits with 360° visibility, Bluetooth connectivity, Raymarine navigation electronics, generator powered air-conditioning, and more.
SIGN UP TODAY FOR OUR BAHAMAS SAILING ADVENTURES
- Single in a private cabin: $3,895
- Two people sharing a cabin: $3,295 per person
$300 Discount for Sailors with US Sailing Bareboat Cruising Certification
- Single in a private cabin: $3,595
- Two people sharing a cabin: $2,995 per person
If one person in a party has US Sailing Bareboat Cruising Certification and the other doesn’t, the person without that certification does not get the discount and pays the regular price listed in the first paragraph above.
HOW TO SIGN UP FOR THIS NEW EXUMA BAHAMAS FLOTILLA CRUISE
Please call Cheryl Jones (239-985-7530) to book your cabin or email firstname.lastname@example.org. But don’t wait as there are only 15 cabins available on this Bahamas bareboat charter, and nearly half are already sold! 30% deposit of the total package is due when you sign up. Your sailing resume must also be included with your deposit. The final or full payment is due July 10, 2020, with a $300 refundable security deposit. No refunds are allowed after July 10, 2020. Please purchase travel insurance – learn more.
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Your Bahamas Flotilla Cruise Packages Includes:
- A single private cabin or a shared cabin for you and your mate on one of the reserved yachts
- All breakfasts, lunches, snacks and three dinners aboard
- Get-acquainted party and dinner the first night
- Fun group party and dinner during the cruise
- Cruising tax and damage waiver
- Ice, water and fuel provided before setting sail
- Signature Exumas cruise shirt and hat
- Comprehensive confirmation guide electronically sent well in advance of trip
- Nate and Heather Atwater with you throughout the trip, sailing on a lead boat
- Roundtrip travel from home to Nassau and Moorings/Sunsail base
- Hotel stays before or after the cruise
- Beverages you wish to have aboard during the cruise
- Any meals, beverages or provisions purchased during the cruise
- Tours, watersports or other rentals
- Marine park fees if any
- Mooring balls and docking fees shared by all aboard
On Colgate Sailing Adventures Flotilla Cruises, each boat sets up a kitty to cover shared costs during the cruise like beverages, moorings and docking fees, usually starting with $100 per person. The $300 refundable security deposit required with final payment is refundable after the cruise ends if there has been no damage or loss to any of the yachts in the fleet. If there is an assessment by the charter company, all on the cruise share in that cost.
For another exotic sailing opportunity, check out our 2021 Seychelles Island Sailing Adventure.