Bahamas - Staniel Cay | Distant Shores Sailing Newsletters

Bahamas - Staniel Cay

We have been waiting for the arrival of some spare parts for our Mastervolt generator which will be flown in to Staniel Cay in the Exuma island group of the Bahamas. The package is coming in on a small charter plane, Watermakers Air, from Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

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Distant Shores II anchored off Thunderball Cave at Staniel Cay

There have been delays with the shipment so we've been hanging out at Staniel Cay longer than we'd planned but it is a great place to be with lots to do and see despite being a small settlement with a population of a couple of hundred people. Not a bad place to be delayed.

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The Farmers Market at Staniel Cay

The Exumas are a 120-mile-long island chain-within-the-chain of the Bahamas Out Islands, strewn like a string of pearls extending north toward New Providence from Great Exuma. With the clear aquamarine water of the banks to the west and the deep sapphire water of the sound the water colours are the most stunning you have ever seen.

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We filmed several episodes about cruising in the Exumas for Distant Shores Season 5 which you can see on DVD and also download.

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The cottages at Staniel Cay Yacht Club. Nurse sharks hover beneath the fish cleaning station hoping for goodies.

Staniel Cay, although small, is a hub in the Exumas. Centrally located it is a good base to explore the islands to north and south. Staniel Cay Yacht Club is a gathering place for boaters, both power and sail as well as private pilots who fly in to the landing strip and stay in the club's cottages. There are other cottages, hotels, boutique resorts and also villas for rent in Staniel Cay. A couple of other restaurants too.

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Taste and Sea Cafe, Staniel Cay

Rental at some of the cottages includes a small boat for getting out to the attractions on the surrounding cays. One of these is the grotto called Thunderball Cave since a scene from the James Bond movie, Thunderball, was filmed here. The cave is full of fish and to add to the beauty streams of light filter in from the ceiling overhead.

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Sheryl surrounded by fish in Thunderball Cave

“Pig Beach” on Big Major Spot, the next cay to the north, is another favourite anchorage where you can feed the swimming pigs - the most unusual marine life!

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One of the swimming pigs at Big Major Spot, Staniel Cay

On July 4th, American Independence Day, Staniel Cay Yacht Club put on a special dinner, party and fireworks that we attended with fellow cruising sailors.

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It was a beautiful evening with so many attending they put tables all down the dock – Paradise for boaters!

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In the summer there are more powerboats than sailboats and some of them such as Party Girl pictured below are pretty impressive!

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When the atmosphere gets overly festive and you feel like finding a quiet place, it's just a 40 minute sail up to Pipe Creek, a collection of little cays with ribbons of blue water where you can anchor surrounded by sparkling sand bars.

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Pipe Creek

Our favourite spot is in a shallow bay off Thomas Cay in Pipe Creek where we this week we filmed a couple of segments for a new how-to video we are producing about anchoring. It will be released at the end of the summer.

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Anchored off Thomas Cay in Pipe Creek

We'd love to know what your top two concerns about anchoring are? We want to be sure we're covering everything a new boater should understand about anchoring as well as techniques that experienced sailors would like to brush up on. Please send us an email. We value your comments.

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July 10th is the Bahamas' Independence Day and there will be more festivities to enjoy here. Hopefully our package will have arrived by then so that we can continue north to the Abaco island group, our next destination...

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