Sailing the Bahamas: 3 Best Islands

The Bahamas: the turquoise water, soft white sand, palm trees gently rustling in the wind.  It’s paradise.

If the best part about the Bahamas is its beaches, then the best way to experience this is obviously by boat. The western islands are only fifty miles from Florida’s east coast, and with a bit of preparation, even a modest-sized boat and get you there in a couple of hours.  

It is beautiful, but remember that conditions are mercurial.  Winter waters bring strong winds, and while the weather is calmer in the summer, it is hurricane season.

Here are three islands to put on your list.

  • Bimini

  • Abandoned Shipwreck in Alice Town, Bimini

    Abandoned Shipwreck in Alice Town, Bimini

Bimini is a popular first stop for tourists and deep-sea fishermen alike.  Here, you can get a great taste for Caribbean lifestyle.  Head to Stuart’s and try conch salad, a blend of raw conch, tomatoes, onions, green peppers, dashed with spices, fresh orange and lime juice. It’s a tiny island, but there is plenty to do. Explore The Dolphin House, an ecological masterpiece, museum, and art gallery, and inn all in one. It’s composed entirely of materials from the ocean; the walls are embellished with shells, rocks, coral, and sea glass, all held together with a paste constructed from ground conch shells.

  • Chub Cay

    Chub Cay

    Peaceful Vistas at Chub Cay

Chub Cay is about 30 miles west of Bimini, and is a peaceful, stop for boaters.  This is a small island with a pristine beach and a luxurious marina for prestigious yacht owners. Because it is smaller, it offers something of an escape from the chaotic tourist resorts of other islands. What Chub Cay lacks in amenities, it makes up for in natural tranquility.

  • Northern Exumas

  • Swimming Pigs in Staniel Cay, Exumas

    Swimming Pigs in Staniel Cay, Exumas…only in the Bahamas.

To get to the outlet of Exumas, you can depart from Miami or Ft. Lauderdale and head out out for about 50 miles. Stop in Bimini or Cat Cay, and continue again until you hit Nassau.  It is only 40 miles from Nassau to the northern end of the Exumas, but because it’s across open water you may hit choppy water depending on the wind. As in most boating excursions in the Bahamas, be prepared for a bit of bumpiness and sea spray.  The northern Exumas offers bountiful anchorages to moor in.  Look for the Exumas Land and Sea Park.