Written by Missy Johnston
Harbour Island, Bahamas
Charter a yacht choosing from one of the many private yachts for charter in the Bahamas, and enjoy a luxury yacht charter out of Harbour Island. The yacht charter cruise area around Harbour Island, including Spanish Wells, is the heart of the Colonial Bahamas era, as this was the first area that Europeans settled in the Bahamas by sailing from Bermuda in search of religious freedom. In fact the largest island anchoring the area is Eleuthera, which is the Greek word for freedom. This is a luxury yacht cruising area where not only will you enjoy the beautiful crystal clear waters for snorkeling and scuba diving, and the unique pink sand beaches for which this area is famous, but you can also explore villages and see excellent examples of Bahamian Colonial architecture. Most of the crewed yachts for rent in the Bahamas are motor yachts due to the shallow waters, and there is a very nice selection available for your yacht charter.
Bahamas Charter Itinerary: Out Islands
Harbour Island to Harbour Island
Bahamas Current Cut
Day 1: Board your yacht in Harbour Island. Enjoy the streets of Dunmore Town that the glossy magazines are labeling as the “new St Barths”. Walk along the narrow flower-lined streets. Renowned for brightly colored houses and white picket fences, this elegant little town has art galleries, restaurants, boutiques and straw work to offer. Golf carts are the means of transportation around Harbour Island and will allow you to explore the many narrow streets. If fishing or diving is your passion, perhaps you can provide the catch of the day that can be prepared for dinner. Diving enthusiasts will enjoy the sight of an unusual underwater train wreck. Harbour Island is renowned for the pink sand beaches; find an isolated anchorage around the island for a relaxing swim in waters gently lapping on pink sand beaches. Overnight.
Northern Eleuthera, Bahamas
Day 2: In the morning cruise along the Devil’s Backbone heading to Current Cut, a narrow channel between the northern tip of Eleuthera Island and the adjacent island of Current. Here there is great snorkeling, and for strong swimmers, float through the tidal changes that create quite a current right through the cut. For Divers, a high speed drift dive through the cut is considered one of the top diving experiences in the Bahamas. In the evening visit Current Settlement on the southernmost tip of the northern end of the island of Eleuthera, a quaint quiet little town settled over 200 years ago. Overnight in a quiet anchorage.
Governors Island Bahamas Library
Day 3: Cruise along the western side of the island of Eleuthera, in waters protected from the open Atlantic Ocean on the eastern side of Eleuthera to Governor’s Harbor anchoring around James’ Cistern for lunch and swimming, snorkeling, exploring and shelling along the long open beaches. After lunch visit Governor’s Harbor which was first settled in 1648 by freedom of religion seeking Eleutheran explorers from Bermuda, fleeing the religious dictates of the English Crown. Eleuthera is the Greek word for Freedom. As the oldest settled township in the Bahamas from the colonial period, there are great examples of traditional Bahamian homes. Stretch your legs with a walk around town, and then return to cruise to the other side of Cupid Cay near Laughing Bird Cay to anchor and enjoy excellent snorkeling and beaches in this secluded area. Overnight.
Gregory Town, Bahamas
Day 4: Cruise to the nearby deserted Sheep Cay with extensive sandy beach areas to enjoy a picnic lunch, swimming, and shelling along these rarely visited beaches. After lunch, head north to Hatchet Bay, on the way, perhaps stopping to visit the Hatchet Bay Caves. For the Caves you may want to consider hiring the services of a local guide and do be sure to take a flashlight with you. The caves feature stalactites and stalagmites, and are home to bats. And while graffiti can be seen, (some of the wall writings date to the 1800’s), the writings create a record of ships that have passed by for over 2 centuries. Entering into the well protected Hatchet Bay is dramatic through a narrow but deep man made cut into this once land locked lake. Wander along the streets of little Alice Town before returning back to the yacht for cocktails and dinner. Overnight.
Day 5: Head to Gregory Town, a colonial Bahamian Pineapple trading center until the 1880’s when the United States took the pineapple to Hawaii to help develop a cash crop in this new U.S. Territory. However pineapples are still grown here and the locals produce pineapple rum at the local Pineapple Town Plantation and Distillery, which may be open for a visit. Take a walk around town and visit the few shops featuring items for sale with a lot of pineapple motifs. And do stop to taste this delicious sweet local black pineapple. Cruise north towards Current Settlement for a secluded anchorage along this coast with miles of deserted beaches to swim, snorkel, enjoy water sports, and shelling.
Day 6: In the am, you may want to try your hand at bone fishing around the flats of Current Settlement or along the Coast of Current Island, for which a local guide and flat bottomed boat can be hired. Stalking the elusive bone fish is a unique fishing experience. Cruise around the end of Current Island, with mainly deserted beaches, perhaps stopping at Egg Cay or Russell Cay or a number of the little dots of land and beach in this area only able to be reached by private yachting, finding a peaceful anchorage for swimming, snorkeling, shelling, water sports and for dinner on the top deck under the stars.
Day 7: After breakfast cruise to the historic town of Spanish Wells. First discovered by Christopher Columbus, Spanish Wells became the last stopping point of the Spanish during the colonial days of Florida to refill with water from the fresh water springs on this island before their long Atlantic crossing. Later settled by Eleutheran explorers from Bermuda, and then English Loyalists fleeing after the American Revolution, Spanish Wells has retained a conservative English feel amongst the approximately 1500 residents. Spanish Wells is a center for lobster fishing in the Bahamas, however there are also many locally made handicrafts from the island in the local shops. In the afternoon, run back through the Devil’s Backbone where there are numerous wrecks, many caused by locals luring the unsuspecting with lit lanterns attached to tethered donkeys onto the reefs for salvage. This is a great spot to stop and explore and snorkel some of the wrecks. Head to a quiet anchorage across from Harbour Island for your last evening dinner surrounded by the crystal clear waters of the Bahamas.
Day 8: In the am enjoy the waters for a great final swim and snorkel and then to the docks for the airport in North Eleuthera for the flight home.