Published on 07 september 2008 at 0h00
Look no further… The image of the earthly paradise you have somewhere deep within you, you may well discover it for real here, in the Bahamas! The Bahamas, with 700 islands, crystal clear waters dotted with leafy islands, fine sandy beaches are waiting to greet you with open arms for a dream vacation in catamaran…
The Abacos are a group of islands and islets stretching over some 210 km (130 miles) in a turquoise sea… The first colonists settled there from New England in 1783; they soon prospered thanks to fishing. Today, the quiet, naturally protected waters of the Abacos remain these islands’ main attraction. You will surely reach the Abacos from Marsh Harbour, which not only has an airport, but also the only traffic lights on Great Abaco Island. The Abacos are rimmed by one of the largest barrier reefs in the world, thanks to which you will enjoy an unforgettable week of cruising in catamaran. Indeed, everywhere in the Abaco islands you will find magnificent marinas (up to US standards), boats for rental (with or without a crew) to discover the islets. Climb the steps to the red and white-striped lighthouse in Hope Town that is still run with kerosene. The brightly colored houses of Green Turtle Cay also seem to belong to another century. And at Man-o’-War Cay, boat makers still use the ancestral techniques they were taught. Then head for Treasure Cay, one of the most beautiful beaches in the Bahamas. Diving aficionados will delight in exploring the veritable “underwater garden” in Pelican Cay National Park… It was on October 12, 1492, that Christopher Columbus “discovered” the New World, landing on Watling’s island (Guanahami), which he renamed San Salvador. But the Bahamas had already long been inhabited by Taino and Lucayan, or Arawak, Indians. The name Bahamas derives from the Spanish “baja mar”, meaning shallow sea… The Spanish showed little interest in the Bahamas and the islands quickly became a hideout for buccaneers and pirates, like the famous Blackbeard…
For one week in catamaran :
Valid passport (valid for six months after date of return) and return or out-going ticket. The Bahamas are very well serviced: from the USA (via Florida) there are connection to the main islands; from Europe, direct flights to Nassau or via Miami (Air France, British Airways, American Airlines, Delta, US Airways, Sabena, Swissair…).
Cyclone season from June to November, but there is usually little danger in June and July. Tourist season : year round; summer is warmer and wetter. Temperatures : the Gulf Stream on the western coast and the tradewinds to the southeast offer very pleasant climatic conditions. Average temperatures vary from 25 to 32°C (77-90°F) for the air and 24 to 30°C (75-86) for the sea.
Sailing conditions :
Winds : From December to February, the dominant winds blow northeast at 15-20 knots. Starting in June, they are from the southeast, blowing at 10-15 knots. Marking: Zone “B” (on entering the port, green buoys to port).
The Bahaman dollar has the same value as the US dollar and both are valid.
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