Some things age and some things become a classic
Cinema Poster for Thunderball, Original hanging in the sky-lounge onboard Yacht Sweet Escape. Original Bond film posters are highly collectable.

Cinema Poster for Thunderball, Original hanging in the sky-lounge onboard Yacht Sweet Escape. Original Bond film posters are highly collectable.

The Bahamas is a classic Bond location: many Bond scenes have been filmed here, including for Thunderball (1965) and Never Say Never Again (1983) both starring Connery, Licence To Kill (1989) and Casino Royale (2006) and subaquatic scenes were filmed for You Only Live Twice (1965), The Spy Who Loved Me (1977), For Your Eyes Only(1981) and The World Is Not Enough (1999).

Locals love to talk about Bond films, perhaps because the movies with scenes filmed here were shot when Nassau and some of the other 700 islands that make up the 180,000 square miles of the Bahamas were nothing like the tourist destinations they’ve become today.

Thunderball, the fourth movie in the Bond series, is set largely in The Bahamas. The Thunderball cinema poster is hung in the sky lounge onboard Yacht Sweet Escape.

Thunderball Grotto, located just west of Staniel Cay, is a fantastic underwater cave system that is great for snorkeling, diving, and wading. It is teeming with exotic marine life and a kaleidoscope of brilliantly coloured coral reefs and fish, like yellow-tail snappers, angel-fish, sergeant majors and the like. The Grotto's mystique is heightened by the small, almost hidden entrance. It is advised to enter at ebb tide (low or slack tide) and snorkeling equipment is optional, fins or flippers suggested. At high tide, however, diving equipment is necessary. Yacht Sweet Escape crew will be waiting at the exit for our guests, as the currents can on occasion be substantially stronger than anticipated.

The grotto got its name, i.e. Thunderball Grotto, from the 1965 James Bond spy film Thunderball, which was shot there. It was also the site of another James Bond film, Never Say Never Again in 1983, also based on the Thunderball novel.

Somethings age others Mature…

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Combining two iconic Bond elements, celebrity photographer Annie Leibowitz shot a Louis Vuitton campaign in the Bahamas with Sir Sean himself posing on a dock with a Louis Vuitton bag.  Sir Sean resides in The Bahamas and has had a love affair with golf since filming Goldfinger in 1964. Courchevel 1850 and neighboring Meribel, both have golf courses. The Bahamas has over 10 courses while you can hit eco-golf balls aft-deck Yacht Sweet Escape.

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As it is Valentines Day coming up, hint hint, Yacht Sweet Escape suggests a gift of some new luggage that will be yacht appropriate, (a story for another time), and who can’t help but love the new Louis Vuitton Keepall 50. For the Pre-collection Spring-Summer 2019, The iconic Keepall Bandoulière readies for space tourism. First introduced in the 1930s, the Keepall is here fashioned from Monogram Satellite canvas with the classic LV Initials and Monogram blossoms on shiny silver canvas. Silver-color and blue-color hardware complete the journey.


The Best James Bond Ski scenes

Chalet Sweet Escape  pays hommage to Sean Connery and Ian Fleming’s beloved charter of James Bond. Of course, Courchevel and Meribel have golf courses to visit in the summer months.

Chalet Sweet Escape pays hommage to Sean Connery and Ian Fleming’s beloved charter of James Bond. Of course, Courchevel and Meribel have golf courses to visit in the summer months.

Daniel Craig, Spectre,  2015

Roger Moor, The Spy Who Loved Me, 1977

George Lazenby, On Her Majesty's Secret Service, 1969

Pierce Brosnan, The World Is Not Enough, 1999

Roger Moore, A View to a Kill, 1985

Timothy Dalton,  The Living Daylights, 1987

Entry Hallway at Chalet Sweet Escape. The collection of art throughout the Chalet reflects the love of modern art in Courchevel 1850, married with the history of the Savoyard.

Chalet Sweet Escape is located in the center of Courchevel 1850 and all of it’s high end shopping and art galleries. The photograph below of the waiters skiing epitomizes the grandeur of the ski scenes of the early 1960’s and just how fabulous it all was. This Slim Aaron’s photograph hangs in Chalet Sweet Escape as a simple reminder of a wonderful time.

Three skiing waiters on a ski slope, with the man in the foreground carrying a bird on a tray, the second man carring a wine in an ice bucket and the third carrying a menu, 1962. (Photo by Slim Aarons/Getty Images)

Three skiing waiters on a ski slope, with the man in the foreground carrying a bird on a tray, the second man carring a wine in an ice bucket and the third carrying a menu, 1962. (Photo by Slim Aarons/Getty Images)

While your charter may not allow much time in Nassau to fulfill your shopping list, try pre-arranging it to be onboard for arrival through our local contacts. Don’t hesitate to contact us to arrange for you the ultimate shopping concierge service from John Bull, including Cartier, Tiffany, BVLGARI, and Rolex of course. From ultra rare pieces, to the right sizes, John Bull has several locations in The Bahamas where the right piece may just be or be delivered to. They are in Atlantis, Albany and Bay Street while they also have boutiques through some Bahamas Islands. While your ski trip may include strolls along the Croisette and window shopping at the art galleries, Chelsea and Liam,(our team at Chalet Sweet Escape), can arrange your special gifts or treats to be delivered wherever, or how ever you like.

February 2019

A Movable Piste

Ernest Hemingway produced most of his writing between the mid-1920s and the mid-1950s. He won a Nobel Prize in 1954 and many of his works are literary classics. He lived a colourful and extreme life. A Moveable Feast, Hemingway's memors (of his life as an unknown writer living in Paris in the twenties) are deeply personal, warmly affectionate and full of wit.

Hemingway has a beautiful passage in A Moveable Feast about “skiing through the forest following the tracks of hare and of foxes,” and of spotting a fox snatch a ptarmigan from the snows above treeline. He writes of snows and winds and traversing through blizzards. 

Finally there was the great glacier run, smooth and straight, forever straight if your legs could hold it, your ankles locked, you running so low, leaning into the speed, dropping forever and forever in the silent hiss of the crisp powder. It was better than any flying or anything else, and you built the ability to do it and to have it with the long climbs, carrying the heavy rucksacks. You could not buy it nor take a ticket to the top. It was the end we worked all winter for, and all the winter built to make it possible.

Chalet Sweet Escape  celebrates Hemingway’s spirit of adventure and complexity. Hemingway skied, fished, hunted and explored.

Chalet Sweet Escape celebrates Hemingway’s spirit of adventure and complexity. Hemingway skied, fished, hunted and explored.

In an interview featured in The Telegraph in 2013, actress Mariel Hemingway states:

“So many writers glorify my grandfather’s way of living as much as they glorify his work. And so they try and mirror that. I think it’s the misconception of addiction and living life on the edge, as if it’s cool,” she argues.

Ernest Hemingway did indeed live his life on the edge: on the edges of his skis, and on the edges of the glaciers of Europe. The kinetic nature of his stories show traces of skiing-induced exhilaration, and a mind that lived on the precipice of danger and adventure. He often said that writing broadens both the ass and the mind, while noting that he liked to write standing up.

This makes us wonder how many stories he concocted not just from an upright position, but while soaring down the slopes of Europe. —www.shipskis.com/blog/skiing-hemingways-tracks/

Ernest Hemingway,  The Old Man and the Sea , Jonathan Cape (1952)

Ernest Hemingway, The Old Man and the Sea, Jonathan Cape (1952)

Islands in the Stream, published posthumously, eludes to Hemingway’s time on Bimini, The Bahamas.

Hemingway's permanent home was in Key West from 1931 to 1939; Hemingway acquired a 38’ boat on April 18, 1934, after returning from a safari in Africa. During the summers of 1935-1937, Bimini offered better fishing and a more rugged environment. It is suggested that Hemingway used his Bimini experiences to write famous novels like the Old Man and the Sea, and Islands in the Stream. 

Many sharks patrolled Bimini’s waters and they unfortunately “apple-cored” scores of Ernest’s giant marlins. It may have provided Hemingway with material for his mid-1950s literary classic  The Old Man and the Sea .

Many sharks patrolled Bimini’s waters and they unfortunately “apple-cored” scores of Ernest’s giant marlins. It may have provided Hemingway with material for his mid-1950s literary classic The Old Man and the Sea.

Ernest Hemingway is closely tied to Bimini’s history, because he led the way for fishermen who pilot their own boats across the Gulf Stream from Florida to follow in his footsteps, becoming rivals of some of the world’s feistiest game fish and each other. Hemingway caught numerous record-breaking fish from yacht Pilar. In 1935, he won every tournament in the Key West-Havana-Bimini triangle. In 1938 he established a world record by catching seven marlin in one day, likely attributed to his skills achieved the summers before while in Bimini.

Hemingway lived on his yacht, Pilar, or at the historic Compleat Angler Hotel. The Compleat Angler Hotel was a modest three-story hotel on the island of North Bimini in the Bahamas. The establishment, located in the center of Alice Town, contained 12 guestrooms in addition to it’s rowdy bar. It is said Hemingway worked on To Have and Have Not there. After many years of business, The Compleat Angler unfortunately burned down in 2006. 

Bimini resident Thomas Hudson is the central character in Islands in the Stream, which was written in the 1950s but not published until 1970, several years after the author's death. An artist by profession, Thomas is solicited to paint a picture "to end them all...You got to have vision, Tom. We can paint the end of the world…”.

The End of the World Bar has been a Bimini fixture since at least the 1950s and it is tempting to believe there is a connection with Hemingway's novel. No more than a shack on the dune, the saloon attracts innumerable online references, although it is unlikely that Hemingway (who committed suicide in the US in 1961) ever drank there.


S. S. Sapona

The S. S. Sapona was a cargo steamer built by the Liberty Ship Building Company in Wilmington, North Carolina and launched in January, 1920. The Sapona was purchased by Carl G. Fisher in Miami Beach, Florida. Fisher traded the ship's engine and machinery to a dredging company in exchange for dredge work and the ship itself was used for oil storage.

In April of 1924, the Sapona was sold to rum runner, Bruce Bethel, in the Bahamas. He towed the ship near Bimini where she was used as a floating warehouse for rum and whiskey during Prohibition. Bethel also planned to use the ship as a night club.

In 1926, the Sapona ran aground on a reef during a hurricane and the stern of the ship broke off from the rest of the ship. Bethel's liquor stocks were also destroyed and he died penniless in 1950.

photo courtesy of Resorts World Bimini

photo courtesy of Resorts World Bimini

During World War II, the wreck was used for target practice by the Air Force and Navy. The legendary Lost Squadron of Flight 19 disappeared in the Bermuda Triangle on December 5, 1945 while returning home from a practice bombing of the Sapona. It is said that the bombing of the Sapona was stopped shortly afterwards.

The S. S. Sapona lies in 17 foot deep water, 4 miles south of Bimini Island in the Bahamas. The wreck is a very popular diving site since it is in such shallow water and attracts a multitude of fish. Sapona was also a key set in Thunderball, 1965.

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Recently, Resorts World International opened a grand marina that can accommodate vessels up to 200’. Bimini has many amazing dive sites and the fishing is STILL unparalleled, and Resorts World Bimini are still hosting several annual fishing tournaments. The 39’ Nortech tender of Yacht Sweet Escape is ready to make your fishing experience your most amazing one yet. Our Deck Crew are capable and enthusiastic to get you out there, following Hemingway’s spirit of adventure. Of course the alpine ski and Chalet Sweet Escape’s season is in full swing, but don’t hesitate to inquire about last minute availabilities or plan for the 2019-2020 season with special early booking incentives.

February 2019

sailor superstitions

Old school maritime tattoos were born out the lives and adventures of sailors; and so does the pig and rooster tattoo! According to seafaring traditions they would keep a sailor from drowning. A lucky charm of sorts.

A plausible explanation is that pigs and chickens were often carried on deck in wooden pens as they were easier to keep and a valuable source of food. In a shipwreck the pens, being of light wood, would often wash ashore. Pigs and chickens were at times the only survivors of ship wrecks, and perhaps it was the sailors who were fortunate enough to survive a shipwreck or a near drowning would get the tattoo as a symbol.

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At further thought, having a pig and rooster tattoo would guarantee that a sailor eats well. There are swimming pigs through-out numerous islands and cays. The infamous Paradise Island was until recently Hog Island with an adjacent Rooster’s Cay (supposedly still owned by Eddie Murphy), and there is even an Egg Island, Eleuthera, The Bahamas.

With the history of Egg Island dating back to the first settlers to The Bahamas, the island's name supposedly comes from it formerly being home to a population of wild chickens put there by sailors who wanted a source of fresh eggs while at sea.  Now the island is home to a population of wild goats which are occasionally shot for food.  The goats have evidently eaten all the eggs, though, because the chicken population is nowhere to be found.

One variation was to have a tattoo of a pig on the left knee and a rooster (cock) on the right foot signified “Pig on the knee, safety at sea. A cock on the right, never lose a fight.”

Nature’s amusing accident…

Swimming with Pigs at Big Major Spot in the Exumas

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Big Major Cay is uninhabited and the pigs are not native to the island. Some say they were left by (or escaped from) a group of sailors, who planned to come back and cook them. Or that the pigs swam over from a shipwreck nearby. Wherever they came from, there are now about 20 pigs and piglets on Pig Beach. With daily visits from Bahamians and tourists, the pigs are living the easy life on Big Major Cay. There are other islands throughout The Bahamas to see these infamous swimming pigs.

In 2014, Charles Allan Smith filmed a documentary named “When Pigs Swim”. This is arguably, what propelled the pigs into the world-wide spotlight. The rest is history as they now have been featured in Expedia commercials internationally, several documentaries and just about every traveler’s bucket list; tourist have found the pigs not only in Exuma but in Abaco, Long Island, and Eleuthera.

In October 2018, T.R. Todd with Skyhorse Publishing published Pigs of Paradise: The Story of the World-Famous Swimming Pigs.

“The Bahamas are famous for sun, sand—and swimming pigs.” —National Geographic

In the middle of paradise, with billionaires and celebrities for neighbors, is an island populated only by swimming pigs. For decades, this archipelago of 365 islands would remain largely unknown to the world. It would not be a ruthless pirate, pioneering loyalists, a notorious drug kingpin, or the infamous Fyre Festival that would unveil Exuma to the world, but rather the most unlikely of creatures. Appearing in magazines, videos, newspapers, commercials, TV shows, and countless selfies, the Swimming Pigs of Exuma, in the Bahamas, have become a bucket-list sensation and have been named one of the marvels of the universe.

But how did they reach this celebrity status? What made them so famous? And why, in February 2017, did so many of them die?

Pigs of Paradise is an unlikely story of humble beginnings and a swift rise to stardom. With interviews from historians, world-renowned ecologists, famous pig owners, and boat captains, it thoughtfully considers what this phenomenon says about not only these animals but also about us.

Yacht Sweet Escape has a variety of itineraries that will be able to visit the SWIMMING PIGS of The Bahamas, wether that be Exuma or further a field. They are a sight to behold with their mysterious swimming talents, as they enjoy the salt-life of the beautiful Bahamas.

January 2019

Not all water is equal

Approximately 71% of the Earth's surface is water-covered, and the oceans hold about 96.5% of all Earth's water. Many people think The Bahamas archipelago is a part of North America and the Caribbean. It’s neither. Geographically, the Bahamas is located in the Atlantic Ocean, while the majority of other Caribbean territories are located in the Caribbean Sea.

Unmistakable, the Bahamas from space.

Unmistakable, the Bahamas from space.

The Bahama Banks are the submerged carbonate platforms that make up much of The Bahama Archipelago and its banks are the Great Bahama Bank, Little Bahama Bank and Cay Sal Bank. The limestone that comprises the Banks has been accumulating since perhaps as early as the Jurassic period. The waters of the Bahama Banks are very shallow; on the Great Bahama Bank they are generally no deeper than 25 meters (80 feet) but with very steep slopes around them such as the border of the Tongue of the Ocean. You can find the third largest fringe barrier reef, and Dean’s Blue hole (the world’s deepest blue hole), one of many blue holes, in The Bahamas.

The Bahamas and its 3 major Banks and deep drop offs, in the Atlantic Ocean.

The Bahamas and its 3 major Banks and deep drop offs, in the Atlantic Ocean.

This build up of limestone makes variation of shallow water banks and contrasting deep drops an incredible canvas, especially from space. For astronaut Scott Kelly, the sight of The Bahamas from his vantage point onboard the International Space Station had been a regular talking point on Twitter - sending out photos of the beauty of the nation as seen in 2015, during his year from space.

The Caribbean Sea is a sea of the Atlantic Ocean in the tropics of the Western Hemisphere. It is bounded by Mexico and Central America to the west and south west, to the north by the Greater Antilles starting with Cuba, to the east by the Lesser Antilles, and to the south by the north coast of South America. Atlantic deep water is thought to spill into the Caribbean and contribute to the general deep water of its sea. Atlantic Ocean water enters the Caribbean through the Anegada Passage lying between the Lesser Antilles and Virgin Islands and the Windward Passage located between Cuba and Haiti.

The Caribbean with the Bahamas and the Gulf of Mexico, Atlantic Ocean.

The Caribbean with the Bahamas and the Gulf of Mexico, Atlantic Ocean.

LESS ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT: LESS PLASTIC IN OUR OCEANS ANd SEAS

Columbus Cove, Long Island. Columbus first landed in The Bahamas in 1492. Long Island is home to the monument of the landing of The Santa Maria, Dean’s Blue Hole and what is believed to be the largest Lucayan Indian settlement throughout the Caribbean and Bahamas.

Columbus Cove, Long Island. Columbus first landed in The Bahamas in 1492. Long Island is home to the monument of the landing of The Santa Maria, Dean’s Blue Hole and what is believed to be the largest Lucayan Indian settlement throughout the Caribbean and Bahamas.

Yacht Sweet Escape now has the GROHE Blue® kitchen faucet system that reduces CO2 emissions by 60% as compared to bottled mineral water. It delivers delicious filtered water chilled to the perfect drinking temperature in three options – still, medium or sparkling – at the touch of a button.

Yacht Sweet Escape strives for the best tasting, safest eco-friendly options for our drinking water supply. With the human body being made of approximately 60% water, Yacht Sweet Escape wants only the finest of water for our guests. To make your water drinking more interesting, we can provide a variety of customized chill and carbonation variations. Using the GROHE Blue® we will eliminate the unnecessary wastage of using single-use-plastic, excessive storage of plastic onboard and the process of the manufacturing the technology is equally as green; GROHE itself is an award winning company for being a sustainable model for an eco-conscious business.

GROHE Named to Fortune 2017 “Change the World” List for Global Sustainability Efforts

The Only Plumbing Industry Company Recognized for Providing Water and Energy Conservation Solutions that Have Positive Social Impact.

According to Grohe, the GROHE Blue® combines convenience and a healthy lifestyle in one environmentally-conscious package. Compared to the pollution and energy consumption caused by filling and transporting bottled mineral water, filtering tap water has a negligible environmental impact. GROHE Blue® saves on precious resources; seven liters of water are needed to put just one liter of bottled water on a supermarket shelf! Energy is also saved, as heavy bottles are no longer needed to be carried onboard.

Using GROHE Blue® filter systems means taking responsibility for the environment. Sparkling water made @WholeFoods' top 10 food trends for 2018. Enjoy it straight from the tap of our GROHE Blue® Chilled & Sparkling. Feel good about what you put into your body with a conscious effort to make choices that effect our oceans.

In the US alone, over 33 billion liters of bottled water is sold per year, 80% of which end up in a landfill or our oceans. Estimates show that the annual consumption of bottled water requires an energy input of 32-54 million barrels of oil. 

For our turn-downs, Yacht Sweet Escape uses the Alfi® Hotel TT Thermos in polished stainless steel and clad in a stitched melange grey leather. Alfi®’s own AromaSafe principle and the fact that all Alfi® products, including this vacuum carafe, is produced with absolutely no toxins whatsoever makes Alfi® an even greener choice. By integrating the GROHE Blue® systems and these incredibly efficient vacuum thermoses, it allows for our guests to keep their optimal temperature in still or sparkling at their besides every evening. This chic thermos eliminate the use of plastic bottles and help us to keep plastic from our seas and reduces the use of fossil fuels. Alfi® is a brand synonomis with luxury yachting, and we could not help but be obsessed with this particular ultra exclusive design by Alfi® only found through their European market!

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JANUARY 2019