If you are seeking a warm cruising destination to escape chilly winters, the Bahamas is hard to beat. A cruisers’ paradise, the Bahamas and the Exumas are by far the most popular islands for cruisers looking to escape cold winters and enjoy mile after mile of gin-clear blue seas and white sandy beaches. The Exumas boast 365 cays and islands, and offer something for every style of crew; uninhabited beaches, exquisite snorkeling, yacht clubs filled with interesting travelers, and possibly a celebrity or two. With hundreds of secret beaches and private bays, it’s no surprise that the Exumas is home (or second home) to celebrities like Johnny Depp, Faith Hill, and John Travolta.
One of the favorite stops within the Exumas is the Staniel Cay Yacht Club. Staniel Cay offers a full service marina, restaurant and bar, activities, and the world famous swimming pigs. A handful of pigs were originally relocated to Big Major Cay, a smaller island just a few minutes by boat from Staniel Cay, to be part of a small sustainable farm that was never competed. After the farm development was abandoned, the pigs were left to be and are now the island’s sole inhabitants. The pigs should actually be added to the list of celebrities in the Exumas, as their fame is growing and they are regularly visited by tourists, travel writers, and fellow stars!
After getting your selfie with a swimming pig, there is still lots to explore around the Staniel Cay Yacht Club. The Thunderball Grotto is natural cave aquarium that can be accessed by underwater tunnels and is a snorkeling destination not to be missed. The Yacht Club offers accommodations dotted along the cliffs surrounding the marina as well as a full service bar, dining facilities and organized activities such as paddle boarding, kayaking, and fishing,
As you travel further south in the Exumas, Georgetown is considered THE yacht destination for cruisers. With all the amenities of a small town and lots of drinking holes, Georgetown makes it easy to stay aboard for days (or months). Many cruisers make Georgetown their last stop before heading home to mainland USA, as the stronger headwinds and longer crossings that would take them further south are daunting; hence why Georgetown has gained the nickname of the “Chicken Port” amongst cruisers. For the adventurers, Georgetown is a great place to provision and head into the southern Bahamas and beyond into Turks and Caicos.
Regardless of whether or not you chicken out, a visit to Cape Santa Maria Beach Resort on Long Island should make it into the logbook. A mere 30-50 nautical miles from Georgetown, you can leave in the late morning, drop anchor and join us for happy hour in the afternoon. The Cape is the perfect place to come ashore for some freshly made rum punch, Bahamian-style cooking and to treat yourself to a few nights in crisp linen sheets and a fresh shower – a true luxury in any cruiser’s book.