The island of Abaco lies to the east of Grand Bahama. Great Inagua is the most southeastern. Other notable islands include Andros Island, the largest island in the Bahamas, Acklins, Cat Island, Crooked Island, Eleuthera, Exuma, Long Island, Mayaguana and San Salvador Island. Nassau, the Bahamas capital city, lies on island of New Providence. In all there are over 700 islands in the Bahamas The Bahamas offer a wide range of yacht charter including bareboat yacht charter, skippered yacht charter, luxury crewed yacht charter, monohull and catamaran charter and both sail and motor yacht charter.
Yacht charter in the Bahamas offers turquoise waters and sparkling white sandy beaches. There are many attractive, interesting yacht anchorages. The climate of the Bahamas is subtropical to tropical. The Gulf Stream significantly moderates the climate particularly in the winter. Summer temperatures in the Bahamas average 30 degrees Celsius and are just 5 degrees Celsius cooler in the winter. Summer and autumn can bring very severe weather in the form of hurricanes.
History: The seafaring Taino people moved into the southern Bahamas around the seventh century from Cuba and Hispaniola. They came to be known as the Lucayans and there were an estimated forty thousand Lucayans on the Bahamas at the time of Christopher Columbus' arrival. His first landfall here was on San Salvador Island, also known as Watling's Island, in the southern part of Bahamas.
Later Bahamian Lucayans were taken to Hispaniola as slaves. In two short decades many Lucayan societies ceased to exist due to forced labour, warfare, disease, emigration and out marriage. After the Lucayan population was eliminated, the Bahamian islands were virtually unoccupied until the English settlers came from Bermuda in 1647 and settled on the island of Eleuthera. In 1718 the Bahamas became a British crown colony. Some 8,000 loyalists and their slaves moved to the Bahamas in the late 1700s from New York, Florida and the Carolinas.
Slavery was ended in the Bahamas in 1834 and this led to many slaves fleeing the USA and making a dangerous crossing of the Atlantic for the promise of a free life in the Bahamas. In 1964 the British made the Bahamas self-governing. And in 1973, the Bahamas became fully independent, but remained a member of the Commonwealth of Nations. The culture of the Bahamas is a mix of African and European influences. This can be seen in the islands music and different styles include; junkanoo, rake and scrape, calypso and a unique form of hymnal.
Marching bands are also an important part of life and are heard playing at funerals, weddings and other ceremonial events. In the less developed outer islands of the Bahamas, known as the "Out Islands" or "Family Islands", regattas are important social events. They usually comprise one or more days of racing by old-fashioned workboats and combine an onshore festival. The Bahamas also have festivals associated with the local traditional crop or food, such as the "Pineapple Fest" in Gregory Town, Eleuthera or the "Crab Fest" on Andros.
Currency: US Dollars and US$ travellers cheques can be used. Major credit cards may be accepted in hotels, restaurants and some shops. Abaco is a major centre for yacht charter in the Bahamas. Here a full service marina is home to many charter yachts. Fuel, water, ice, laundry and shower facilities are all available.
You can also provision the yacht here. Fly to Abaco from Florida's Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale and Miami airports. Your charter yacht is just five minutes from airport. There are several modern marinas in the Bahamas.
The main cruising area for yacht charters comprises Great Abaco and Little Abaco, along with a delightful string of sandy cays just to the east. Begin in the centre at quaint Man-O-War Cay. The beach at Treasure Cay is one of National Geographic's Top 10! Great snorkelling and a Marine Park are to be found at Fowl Cay. Green Turtle Cay is known for its cultural appeal with its museum, sculpture gardens, and fine dining at the Green Turtle Club. Visible for miles is the historic lighthouse of Hope Town, a candy-striped sentinel on the southeastern reef.
South to the Pelican Cays National Park you' will enjoy extensive colourful coral and sea life. Giant starfish can be seen scattered along the sandy bottom for miles.
Ken Jones runs a Yacht Charters Guide. Click here for info about Bahamas Yacht Charter And here for reports on Bahamas Marinas.