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56Isea&iIAUTUMN 2011

ELEUTHERACAT ISLANDNEW PROVIDENCEPARADISE ISLANDLITTLE SALVADORLITTLE EXUMABIG MAJOR'S SPOTSTANIEL CAYWARDERICK WELLS CAYHAWKSBILL CAYHIGHBOURNE CAYALLAN'S CAYRock SoundThe BightNassauGovernor'sHarbourScattered over 100,000 square miles of iridescent blueshoal waters, more than 700 Bahamian islands andcays lie in a gentle east-west curve just 50 miles southof the US coast of Florida. Most of the cays aredeserted and surroundedby unspoilt reefs, shallowfishing waters and a plethora of dive sites, while a handful areinhabited. From the cosmopolitancapital of Nassau to thequaint, laid-back Exumas and the shallow waters of theAbacos, the Bahamas offers high style with Bohemian living. Begin your charter in Nassau, before sailing off to the 100-mile string of pristine cays known as the Exumas lying to thesoutheast of Nassau. For those on a longer charter, HarbourIsland, to the east of Nassau, and the Abacos further north arealso prime cruising grounds. Sun-drenched sands New Providence Island and Paradise Island are bustlingneighbours with vibrant nightlifes and an abundance of dutyfree shops, casinos and restaurants. Board your yacht in theworld-class Atlantis Marina on Paradise Island and relax intolife aboard as you begin your cruise towards the Exumas. Overthe next few days your yacht will glide from idyll to idyllas you chill out on board, snorkel, dive, swim, fish andplay with the numerous watertoys. First stop is Allan's Cay, which is a haven of calm. The three isletsthat make up this cay have a perfect anchorage at their centre,so take the tender from here to Leaf Cay and feed bananas to thelocal family of wild iguanas before returning for your first eveningon board. On the second day you will discover Compass Cay, anatural paradise of 450 acres with 15 beaches to explore, the mostspectacular being the long Crescent Ocean Beach. For a uniquemarine adventure, throw hot dogs to the nurse sharks that swimaround the shallow waters and then dive in to swim with theseincredible creatures. The less adventurous can step ashore anddiscover the many scenic trails, or go with the crew by tender tobonefish in the shallow creek meandering up the centre of theisland. Spend the evening berthed in Compass Cay Marina andtake the tender around to the spectacular horseshoe beach on theeast side. While the crew set up a sunset picnic, relax in the islet'snatural Jacuzzi known as Rachel's Bubblebath. The deep,aboardashoreSUGGESTED ITINERARYDay 1Paradise Island to AllanÕs Cay (35nm) Day 2AllanÕs Cay to Compass CayDay 3Compass Cay to Staniel Cay (10nm) Day 4Staniel Cay to Warderick Wells Cay (20nm) Day 5Warderick Wells Cay to Hawksbill Cay (10nm) Days 6Hawksbill Cay to Highbourne Cay (20nm) Days 7Highbourne Cay to Paradise Island (45nm), or on to Eleuthera Island and the Abacos (45nm) AUTUMN 2011I sea&iI57Above:the BahamasÕimmaculate pastel-painted houses arealmost as appealing as its natural landscapesOpposite page: put your feet up and relax on a charter through the Bahamas