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54Isea& iIWINTER 2010

furtherafield Bahama split T he art of chartering is one that it pays to master - particularly when it comes to somewhere like the Bahamas, which throws some 700 islands and uninhabited cays into the mix. Where to start, quite literally, can be baffling. Just how far do you go ( again, quite literally) to ensure you get the best of the islands? Fortunately, both nature and the practicalities of cruising help to narrow your choice, leaving you with the cream of the Abacos and Exumas, and a few more remote islands for those with the desire, and time, to prolong their cruise. Most Bahamian charters tend to begin and end in Nassau, whisking you through the Exumas and often being extended a few days to encompass Harbour Island and Eleuthera, and possibly the Berry Islands. As sea conditions are unpredictable in the Gulf, it is advisable to let your yacht travel ahead and for you to meet it in the Bahamas. Daily flights to Nassau make this easy. You can fly direct from many US cities, Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach international airports, as well as from many international destinations. Travelling to your yacht is then a quick sprint on a local plane, seaplane or private air charter. Clustered in distinct groups, with a few drifting loners, the islands of the Bahamas are perfect for chartering - you just need to know which to include on your itinerary BySuzette McLaughlin cruising grounds WINTER 2010I sea& iI55 ?