Posts in Charter Activities
Political Principles: State of Escape

Andros and Abdication

The Politician and the King

Edward VIII was King of the United Kingdom and the Dominions of the British Empire, and Emperor of India, from 20 January 1936 until his abdication on 11 December of that year. Neville Chamberlain was British prime minister between 1937 and 1940, and is closely associated with the policy of appeasement towards Nazi Germany.

Chamberlain, already established in a previous post as having ties to the island of Andros in The Bahamas, is believed to have had a significant role in the 1936 abdication crisis. He wrote in his diary that Wallis Simpson, an American, divorcee socialite and Edward VIII's intended wife, was "an entirely unscrupulous woman who is not in love with the King but is exploiting him for her own purposes. She has already ruined him in money and jewels ...". In common with the rest of the Cabinet, he agreed with current Prime Minister Baldwin that the King should abdicate if he married Simpson. On the 6th of December, Neville Chamberlain and Prime Minister Baldwin both stressed that King Edward should make his decision before Christmas.


The King abdicated on 10 December 1936, four days after the meeting. On 28 May 1947, two weeks after the Coronation of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, Baldwin resigned, advising the King to send for Neville Chamberlain to become the next Prime Minister. 

Chamberlain is best known for his foreign policy of appeasement, and in particular for his signing of the Munich Agreement in 1938, conceding the German-speaking Sudetenland region of Czechoslovakia to Germany. When Adolf Hitler invaded Poland, the UK declared war on Germany on 3 September 1939, and Chamberlain led Britain through the first eight months of the Second World War.

The Politician and the Billionaire

In 1939, Axel Wenner-Gren, a Swede with residence in The Bahamas, met with Nazi Field Marshall Hermann Göering, (whose first wife was also a Swede). Göring was one of the most powerful figures in the Nazi regime, and the creator of the Gestapo. Wenner-Gren met with his friend Goring and then flew to London to meet with British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlin, in what was assumed to be an attempt to broker some sort of appeasement deal between Britain and Nazi Germany.  On 10 June 1939, Wenner-Gren reported back to Göering what was discussed with Chamberlin. Any peace negotiations or talks that may have transpired between the men all came to naught when Hitler invaded Poland, setting off World War II in September, 1939. 


The making of a Governor General

Edward Windsor was sent to the Bahamas as governor in 1940, where he resided at a Sigrist House, in Cable Beach, built in 1930 by Mr Frederick Sigrist, (a British aviation pioneer and his daughter was married to Thunderball movie producer, Kevin McClory). The Duke of Windsor and Wallis Simpson became inseparable friends with Wenner-Gren and his wife Marguerite.  Wenner-Gren was a multi-millionare a hundred times over, and the exiled Duke of Windsor was forced to live on a budget that was a mere fraction of what would have been afforded to him as king. The Windsor’s came to a hot, underdeveloped island with no friends and few allies. The Windsors found both in the rich industrialist, Axel Wenner-Gren.

The Governor and the Billionaire

By 1942 under pressure by the British and the Americans, the Governor was forced not only to cut ties with his friend Wenner-Gren for appearances sake, he was also forced to sign an order seizing seven companies, all of them Bahamas registered companies. 

Wenner-Gren was issued the ban from the Bahamas while he was visiting Mexico on his yacht. He spent the rest of World War II in exile in Mexico. Under the cloak of secrecy it is said Wenner-Gren would sneak into the Bahamas via Norman’s Cay in the Exumas to meet with the Governor and his wife. 

After the war, Wenner-Gren returned to the Bahamas and, among other things, invested in property on the island of Andros, with the ANDROS-BAHAMAS DEVELOPMENT CO. The Swede's connection to the Nazis was minimised, saying Wenner-Gren himself had exaggerated his relationship with men such as Air Marshal Hermann Goering.



American business man Howard Hughes bought the deceased Lord Inchcape's steam ship Rover site unseen and renamed her Southern Cross. She was subsequently sold to Swedish entrepreneur Axel Wenner-Gren, under whose ownership she helped rescue survivors from the SS Athenia, the first ship to be sunk by Nazi Germany during World War II. The Southern Cross was long suspect vessel to American observers. They noted she was often on hand to rescue passengers from torpedoed ships. Charges were made that Southern Cross was a fuelling station for Nazi submarines.

The Stories of the Politician live on…




Whisky Galore! is a 2016 British film, a remake of the 1949 comedy of the same name.   A romanticized version of the true events surrounding the SS Politician. The SS Cabinet Minister (1943) was carrying 50,000 cases of Scotch whisky en-route to America via The Bahamas when she ran aground affording the Scottish islanders the opportunity to get their hands on the "water of life”.  Onboard, and more valuable than the whiskey, is a top secret red leather case, which is said to contain documents that comprised of love letters written by the Duke of Windsor to his wife Wallis Simpson. In the film, the Duke is considered an embarrassment to the Establishment due to his undisguised admiration for Hitler and Nazism. 


From one Governor General to another

The number of books and publications regarding the Windsor’s love affair and their 5 years in the Bahamas is vast. And each appear to be a biased account by their authors. Most recently, Sir Orville Turnquest, former Governor General of The Bahamas, published his well researched version. “What Manner of Man is This, The Duke of Windsor’s Years in The Bahamas” takes an historical lens to the Duke’s governance and impact on the fledgling colony, a departure from tomes written about the controversial royal couple.

August 2019

This above all: To thine own self be true
Shakespeare by the Sea. Art courtesy of the Palm Beach Shakespeare Summer Festival.

Shakespeare by the Sea. Art courtesy of the Palm Beach Shakespeare Summer Festival.

Preference Sheets: Avoid a Comedy of Errors

Writing like Shakespeare may not be possible, but completing a preference sheet to the fullest will reap it’s rewards.

The ultimate in privacy, freedom and luxury, chartering Sweet Escape “is an amazing experience”. 

When you are being true to yourself, you are completely honest with what you feel, deeply value, and desire. It also means communicating your feelings wholeheartedly both with yourself and others, allowing your truth to flow through you and into the world. (


The tone and atmosphere in Shakespeare's play Hamlet make significant contributions to the play through establishing the mood and state of mind of the characters. Well, essentially so does your preference sheet to your charter experience on Yacht Sweet Escape. Hamlet is launched extremely well because there is no long drawn out introduction to the plot. The story begins almost immediately. You do not have to write as prolifically as Shakespeare but by making sure you take some time and address the preference sheet, you will equally contribute to the atmosphere and characters that surround you. Preference sheets are a starting point for the conversation between crew, guests and brokers to achieve the ultimate in a bespoke experience.  

Theater has always been a collaborative art. In Shakespeare's time, companies expected a new play every week. The nature of this schedule, in which a new play could be commissioned weekly, required playwrights to collaborate. Much as your preference sheet may be passed through the hands of a your employees, your relatives, your friends and charter broker, make sure you still take full advantage by reviewing and contributing what is important to you.

“Pleasure and action make the hours seem short.” – William Shakespeare. For the best holiday you will ever have, you should plan ahead.  Holidays and special occasions are booked seasons in advance.  Planning your trip around a special event, you will want to secure the dates as soon as possible.  Your entourage is important.  If you want a romantic vacation for 2 or a celebration with 12, that is entirely your choice, but advance planning will make sure you have the loved ones or party pals with you. Your preference sheet can advise of these special events or what theme nights you might prefer!


If you want to do the Exuma Cays, I mean all of them, you will be on the move a lot.  Yacht Sweet Escape has a cruising top speed of 19 knots and a shallow draft of 6’8”, making getting around in style pretty smooth. A guest should take thoughtful consideration and heed to our Captain’s advice regarding distances, transit times, and local attractions.  If you have a bucket list in advance that is great, but be open minded because there is so much more to see that our experienced crew can find for you. “It is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves.” -William Shakespeare. Nothing has to be set in stone pre-charter, though it is great to extend the Captain and crew a few ideas of what activities guests will enjoy.

Control4 Screen with built-in intercom system

Control4 Screen with built-in intercom system

“Better three hours too soon than a minute too late.” – William Shakespeare. One of the areas that sets the whole tone for the trip is the type of service one is expecting: white-glove or even an overly interactive crew. Your crew will check on your regardless and there are call buttons and the intercom through Control4 screens.

It’s entirely your choice. You can always voice your preferences while onboard, especially for the first time charterer who is initially unsure. Our Captain and the entire team will do their best to assist you by making guests feel welcome and alleviate any apprehensions.

Be true to ones self, but preferences need to cover all members of the group and not only the primary charter guest.  Be honest, informative and prepare for a serious pampering, As You Like It.  Whether you have a sensitive palate or serious food allergies, your provisioning is tailored to your request and preference sheets are the place to make your needs clear. 

“Just live for yourself and before you speak, listen. Before you write, think. Before you spend, earn. Before you pray, forgive. Before you hurt, feel. Before you hate, love. Before you quit, try. Before you die, live.” William Shakespeare. The words of our guests are the best recommendation for Yacht Sweet Escape.

Get your writing on point, compose a postcard onboard Yacht Sweet Escape. Have your letters mailed from The Bahamas. Yacht Sweet Escape has custom postcards and stationary for our guests to enjoy.

JUNE 2019

TREASURE HUNT: Pieces of Eight, Liquid Gold and a Sunken Sloop

Goombay Smash is a rum cocktail originating from historic Green Turtle Cay in the Bahamas. It is traditionally served in a sling or collins glass. The Goombay Smash was created by Emily Cooper, aka Miss Emily, at the Blue Bee Bar , New Plymouth. 


The original recipe has never been shared, but it is believed to have contained coconut rum, dirty rum, apricot brandy, and pineapple juice. Variations of the delicious concoction commonly uses rum, coconut and pineapple juice. Apricot liqueur is sometimes used and dark, amber or spiced rums, also known as dirty rums, are preferred. In place of coconut rum, coconut cream can be used. Other variations include Creme de Banana, orange juice and grenadine.

Goombay is a form of Bahamian music and a drum used to create it. The goombay drum is a membran-o-phone with one goat skin head held between the legs and played with the hands or sticks. Hence the name “goombay smash” for the tasty rum beverage that can get you intoxicated rather sneakily!

The goombay name has also evolved to become synonymous with local African-American music related to calypso. In The Bahamas, it’s most famous practitioner in modern times was Alphonso 'Blind Blake' Higgs, who performed at the Nassau International Airport for many years.

For much of his career, Blind Blake (1915 in Matthew Town, Inagua, Bahamas – 1986) was based at the Royal Victoria Hotel in Nassau. Included in his wide repertoire was ”Yas Yas Yas” and "Love, Love Alone", a song about the abdication of Edward VIII. Blind Blake's version of this calypso classic is said to have been enjoyed by the former king himself, who, as the Duke of Windsor, served as Governor of the Bahamas during World War II.  

Although Higgs was never famous in his own right, his music has been covered, perhaps most famously by the  The Beach Boys, with his 1952 recording of the Caribbean folk song "John B Sail" ("Wreck of the John B”).  The Beach Boys called it "Sloop John B".  

Richard Le Gallienne makes reference to this famous song in an article he wrote for Harper's Magazine in 1916. This was an account of a visit to the Bahamas when he spent a week on a schooner sailing from Nassau to the Exuma Cays and Harbour Island - his journalistic cruise leading to production of the romantic novel, The Invisible Chain and Pieces of Eight. by Larry Smith by Larry Smith

Pieces of Eight: Being the Authentic Narrative of a Treasure Discovered in the Bahama Islands in the Year 1903 by Richard Le Gallienne

Pieces of Eight was familiar to many Bahamians in the first half of the 20th century. It was written by Richard Le Gallienne - an English "man of letters" who died in 1947 at the age of 80. A minor romantic writer who lived in London, New York and Paris, Le Gallienne dabbled in journalism and publishing. 

Published in 1918, Pieces of Eight is a work of fiction that purports to be "the authentic narrative of a treasure discovered in the Bahama Islands in 1903." According to one early reviewer, it is "A polite treasure hunt which, compared to R L Stevenson's handling of the same plot lacks the thrills of real buccaneering, but which is romantic and beautifully descriptive of the tropic Bahamas." 

The book became a hot political issue pre-independence, when it was a prescribed school text, for its generally disdainful references to black Bahamians and use of racially insulting language. However, it features some interesting descriptions of contemporary Bahamian life, and is perhaps best known today for one of the earliest references to that great Bahamian folk song, the John B Sails.

The John B is supposed to have been a sponge boat that sank at Governor's Harbour, Eleuthera around 1900. The song has been recorded by many artists over the years and is on Rolling Stones' list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Times. The earliest recording of John B Sails was by Library of Congress researcher Alan Lomax in 1935, when it was sung by David Pryor, a sponge fisherman from Andros.

June 2019


Plantation to Politician

Arthur Neville Chamberlain (18 March 1869 – 9 November 1940) was a British statesman and Conservative Party politician who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from May 1937 to May 1940. 

Joseph Chamberlain, Neville’s father, made his career in Birmingham, first as a manufacturer of screws and then as a notable mayor of the city. He was a radical Liberal Party member.  In 1891, Joseph sent his 21 year old son, Neville Chamberlain, to establish a sisal plantation on Andros Island in the Bahamas in an effort to recoup diminished family fortunes. Neville spent time on many islands of The Bahamas including much of his youth in Green Turtle Cay. At one point it was incorrectly reported that the Chamberlain family purchased the whole of Mayaguana Island in the Southern Bahamas.


Neville Chamberlain spent six years on Andros but the plantation was a failure.  Neville left Andros finally in 1897, and went on to a successful political career. Joseph Chamberlain lost £50,000; the family finances were severely impaired from the loss but they soldiered forward in the years to come. 

Visit Andros onboard Yacht Sweet Escape

Divers exploring Andros's Ocean Blue Hole, an underwater cave system. - Jad Davenport

Divers exploring Andros's Ocean Blue Hole, an underwater cave system. - Jad Davenport

Andros is rich with cultural and historical landmarks, including a lighthouse with cannons from an old wreck, an old pirate's well and cave, native colony ruins, quaint towns with evocative names, plus a sisal and a batik factory. You’ll also want to experience crab-catching, a staple of the economy, and an outing can be arranged for you to see locals in-action.

The Andros dive experience ranges from shallow water, wreck and blue-hole dives to dramatic wall dives off the 6,000-feet-deep Tongue of the Ocean. About 1-1½ miles off the east coast of Andros sits the Andros Barrier Reef, the world’s third-largest fringing barrier reef, measuring 190 miles long and home to more than 160 species of coral and fish. Divers will find endless fascination entering the blue holes found all over the island, legendary sites where you can peer into the lair of the Lucsa (a mythical blue-hole dwelling monster) or see the holes “breathe” as water flows in and out with the tides. Experienced local guides are available to lead you to all of the sites safely. 

Visit Andros for an eco-tour to learn more about Chamberlain’s sisal farm. This seasonal tour which features the farms of North Andros gives visitors a glimpse into Bahamian agriculture at its best. While on the tour, you will be given an opportunity to speak with local farmers concerning methods used in growing crops, as well as sample produce in season. Guides will talk about the unique soil structure of the island and the crops that are grown seasonally and year round. They would also give a lecture on the history of farming in Andros going back to the Chamberlain Sisal Plantation to date.


Captain Morgan’s Cave

Captain Morgan’s Cave

Andros has many ecotourism options and for the treasure hunter, you can visit Captain Morgan’s cave. Morgan’s Bluff, the highest point in Andros, is named for the 17th-century Welsh privateer of the Caribbean. Sir Henry Morgan, 1635- 25 August 1688, was a very successful pirate and earned the title of Sir as a result of his daring and spectacular raid on one of the richest cities at that time - Panama City. It is said he was particularly fond of The Bahamas and that much of his bounty was buried there. Since 2011, the spice rum label has used the slogan "To Life, Love and Loot."

Dive site map of Andros


May 2019