Picture the Bahamas and what do you see? White sands and clear turquoise seas bathed in tropical sunshine? Idyllic anchorages with fabulous snorkelling and diving conditions? A laid-back atmosphere with beach bars serving rum cocktails and other delights? The smiling faces of the legendary Abacos people?
There's all that and more in the beautiful Bahamas, just a one-hour flight from Miami.
Unlike the chain of Caribbean islands to the south that were formed by volcanic activity, the Bahamas are the above-water parts of two extensive banks that rise from the depths of the Atlantic Ocean. The shallow waters here are dotted with around 700 islands and cays sheltered behind miles of coral reef that teem with sea life.
The delights of a sailing vacation in the Bahamas unfold around Great Abaco Island, its associated cays and the family-friendly cruising grounds of the Sea of Abaco. In the winterless climate of this special place, the trade winds blow gently across calm turquoise waters sheltered from the ocean beyond.
Choose between well-equipped marinas and the most scenic of anchorages for your overnights, spend your days exploring quiet hamlets, natural landscapes or historic sites, enjoy the local cuisine in fun beachside bars or luxury resorts, go snorkeling or scuba diving, and experience some relaxed sailing along the way. These are just some of the rewards of chartering a sailboat in the beautiful Bahamas.
The Bahamas cruising ground is expansive, and central Abaco offers just about all that charter sailors are looking for in a holiday with family and friends. But if sailing and discovery are the main objectives, there's much more to explore on an extended voyage through this widespread archipelago.
In the Bahamas, January is the coolest month (77°F/25°C) and August the warmest (90°/32°). The Bahaman islands average an impressive 3,000 sunshine hours per year, with summer being the wettest season.
As throughout the Caribbean region, the possibility of hurricanes peaks in late summer. During normal weather conditions the wind is generally calm to moderate and only occasionally becomes fresh.