Posts in Charter Activities
DANCING IN THE MOONLIGHT and Who Let The Dogs Out?
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Recently while on charter in the Southern Bahamas there was the super moon! This picture was of the moon in the penultimate evening of the super moon, twas a clear and dreamy sky. We could not help but dance in the Bahamian moonlight!

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"Dancing in the Moonlight" is a song written and originally recorded by the French-American rock group King Harvest. It was released as a single in 1972 and reached number 13 on the Billboard Hot 100. In 1994 the Baha Men released the song as a single, but it also failed to chart. Their version was later used in the movie Fat Albert. In 1994 Baha Men music was also featured in the movie My Father the Hero. The movie was mostly filmed on Paradise Island with a purpose built set on Cabbage Beach.

"André Arnel (Gérard Depardieu), a Frenchman divorced from his wife, takes his teenage daughter, Nicole (Katherine Heigl), on vacation with him to The Bahamas. She is desperate to appear as a woman and not a girl, so in order to impress a local boy Ben (Dalton James), she makes up more and more ridiculous stories, starting with André being her lover and leading to some bizarre assumptions by the rest of the community."

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The film featured music and appearances by the Baha Men. The group's songs create the movie's island soundtrack.
"Back to the Island"
"Mo' Junkanoo"
"Gin and Coconut Water (Traditional)"
"Land of the Sea and Sun"
"Oh, Father"
"Island Boy"

During the summer of 2000, the one of the most familiar, yet unanswered questions, “Who Let the Dogs Out”, launched one of the most beloved bands, the Baha Men, into our hearts and homes. Their pulsating Island rhythms seemed to appeal to everyone, as “Who Let the Dogs Out”immediately rose to the top of the charts throughout the world. They were a band long before this moment, but as Rolling Stone Magazine declared, “After 20 years, the Baha Men are an overnight success.”

Yacht Sweet Escape has a huge library of films that feature The Bahamas. Be sure to ask for recommendations as the list is extensive! You may want to dance in the moonlight every night while on charter, with an amazing audio system onboard you can find your groove.

APRIL 2019

BIRDS OF PARADISE

Charter Yacht Sweet Escape in the Southern Bahamas for an Audubon Adventure.

The Flamingo is the national bird of The Bahamas.  The West Indian Flamingo which once roamed the entire neo-tropical region (tropical Americas) was hunted to a near extinction. Today the West Indian Flamingo is mostly found on the island of Great Inagua in the Bahamas but has also recolonized islands in the Bahamas such as Mayaguana, Crooked and Acklin islands, Exumas, Long Island and Andros. These photographs are from a small group that flew by while Yacht Sweet Escape was on Charter in Crooked Island, the Southern Bahamas, February 2019. The mating season usually starts March and that is when you are more likely to see them. During the Southern Bahamas charter in February, our guests were lucky to have seen fabulous flamingos on several occasions, as well as having encountered other interesting wildlife including sperm whales, pilot whales, several species of turtles, sting rays, lemon sharks, and bats!

Flamingo Facts:

  • Flamingos emerged early on after the extinction of the dinosaurs, with their cousin or possible ancestor, Juncitarsus, appearing in the fossil record about fifty million years ago. 

  • What appears to be the flamingo knee — half-way down the leg — is actually an ankle. What appears to be the ankle is actually where the toe starts. The West Indian Flamingo has a large, heavy, down curved bill that is most often described as “strange”.  Adult West Indian Flamingos can reach up to five feet in height.

  • These birds prefer the salt life, whether it’s saline lagoons, muddy flats, or shallow coastal lakes. They are tough creatures, able to tolerate two times the salinity of sea water and alkalinity up to pH 10.5, which would dissolve human skin.

  • The West Indian Flamingo is also refered to as the American, Caribbean or Rosey Flamingo. There are 6 type of Flamingos in the world. The West Indian Flamingo has also recolonized other countries such as Aruba; Brazil; Colombia; Cuba; Dominican Republic; Ecuador; French Guiana; Guyana; Haiti; Jamaica; Mexico; Netherlands Antilles; Suriname; Trinidad and Tobago; Turks and Caicos Islands; United States and Venezuela.

Booby Cay, Bahamas: Important Bird Area

Brown Booby off Yacht Sweet Escape, Clarence Town, Long Island, Bahamas February, 2019

Brown Booby off Yacht Sweet Escape, Clarence Town, Long Island, Bahamas February, 2019

Booby Cay lies to the east of mainland Mayaguana in the remote Southern Bahamas. It gets its name from the flock of Brown Boobies that call it home. It is also a habitat for a species of small rock iguanas, only found there, and descendants of wild goats left behind by early settlers.

The Brown Booby, Sula leucogaster, nests on Booby Cay, and White-tailed Tropicbird, Phaethon lepturus, nest on the cliffs at Northwest Point. Non-breeding numbers of Brown Pelican, Pelecanus occidentalis, Masked Booby, Sula dactylatra, and Royal Tern, Sterna maxima, are also regionally important. Magnificent Frigatebird, Fregata magnificens, nest in this Important Bird Area. The wetlands support shorebirds, ducks, herons and egrets. Reddish Egret, Egretta rufescens, is apparently common, and up to 200 Caribbean Flamingo, Phoenicopterus rubber, frequent the wetlands at Blackwood Point. The Near Threatened Whitecrowned Pigeon, Patagioenas leucocephala, breed in this IBA.

APRIL 2019

OCEAN ATLAS: The Largest Underwater Sculpture in the World!

Did you know that The Bahamas is home to The World’s Largest Underwater Sculpture?

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Installed October 2014, a short swim off the coast of western New Providence, British sculptor Jason de Caires Taylor’s Ocean Atlas is 18-foot-tall statue of a young Bahamian girl who appears to be holding up the ocean. The work alludes to Titan Atlas of Greek mythology, who holds up the heavens. This sculpture is depicted as a young local Bahamian girl sustaining the ceiling of the ocean, symbolically represents the shouldering of the environmental burden we are asking of younger future generations. The sculpture has captured the attention of artists and divers from around the world.

The largest single sculpture ever to be deployed underwater, it reaches from the sea floor five meters up to the surface and weighs over sixty tonnes. Assembled underwater in sections using an ambitious new technique developed and engineered by Jason deCaires Taylor.

Jason deCaires Taylor is no stranger to underwater sculptures, and is known around the world for his amazing installations using pH-neutral concrete that are accessible by swimmers, snorkelers and scuba divers. Over time, his sculptures change colors and become covered with coral and biological growth, eventually becoming home to new organisms as artificial reefs.

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The sculpture commissioned by B.R.E.E.F (Bahamas Reef Environment Educational Foundation) aims to create an underwater sculpture garden in honor of its founder Sir Nicholas Nuttall. It includes other sculptural works by local artists Willicey Tynes and Andret John and an artificial reef trail designed by Reefball.  With our oceans and coral reefs currently facing collapse from numerous threats including; overfishing, habitat loss, ocean acidification, global warming and water pollution the piece symbolizes the burden we are currently asking future generations to carry and the collective responsibility we have to prevent its collapse.

The work, which during low tide will reflect a mirror image on the underside of the sea’s surface, is a dramatic increase in scale from Taylor’s previous works and ensures that even after substantial coral growth the figure will still remain highly recognisable. A solar light and flag is located on the highest point to aid marine navigation. Constructed using sustainable pH neutral materials it creates an artificial reef for marine life to colonise and inhabit, whilst drawing tourists away from over stressed natural reef areas.

Not far from Rudder Cut Cay, (one of the magician David Copperfield’s resort islands), is a sunken statue of a mermaid. The sculpture is officially named The Musician and was also created by the artists Jason DeCairnes Taylor.

David Copperfield installed the underwater sculpture off the SW coast of Rudder Cut Cay to amuse his resort guests. The underwater sculpture consist of a stainless steel mermaid lying in attentive rapture on the seafloor near the bench of a baby grand piano with open lid. Currents are quite strong in the area making it a challenge to see the sculpture in the crystal clear water.

Exuma’s the only place in the world you can tickle some keys or swim with a mermaid…even if they are stationary. The trip to Rudder Cut Cay will take you past Musha Cay and further south you will find Big Farmers Cay. Located just south of Big Farmer's Cay, is a stretch of pure white sand which emerges from blue-green water at low tide. It is widely known as the "Mile-long Sandbar" and is perfect for shelling, sunbathing, and picnicking. You will have it all to yourself on most days!

photos and information courtesy of B.R.E.E.F.

April 2019

Swim or Sink: Snorkel, SCUBA or Hunt for Treasure

The clear and pristine water of The Bahamas allows for incredible views beneath the surface as well as those fantastic pink powder beach vistas. Snorkelers have a panoramic view seen through glass. This crispness creates confidence in the more intrepid of nautical explorers because one can see exactly what’s in front of you and for that matter, in every direction! The art of SCUBA gives a immersive experience of all the wonderful Atlantean and mythical treasure The Bahamas has to offer. The draw back is, of course, it requires certification. With a dive master onboard, there is no better place in the world to gain your certification!

The water of The Bahamas stays between 72 and 83 Fahrenheit, or 22-28 degrees Celsius, year round. No wetsuits needed, although shorties are available onboard; for SCUBA diving there a variety of thicker full-body suits and booties also available. The warm and sheltered waters are ideal year round for snorkeling and SCUBA diving. There is no real wind-chill factor and regardless who could resist a plunge in the hot tub to soothe the wary muscles after a fun filled afternoon. With snorkeling in The Bahamas, the experience becomes three dimensional, and by far not a sacrifice to the more rigorous SCUBA activities. Snorkeling can be preformed by the less confident of swimmers while offering the ability to wear a life-vest. The shallow waters are abundant with marine life for close encounters as loved by SCUBA divers.

Snorkeling is an easy and fun activity for any level of adventurer. The wonderful shallow waters of The Bahamas have a variety of shipwrecks, sunken planes, as well as man-made sculptures, by the talented artist Jason de Caires Taylor, that appeal to everyone; there is even an underwater train wreck! Along with the plethora of natural beauty including water in every hue of turquoise, the motley of marine life in The Bahamas is effervescent as abundant. Starfish of every variety, shells and corals, schools of fish that leap into the sunshine are all a common sight; so are the larger variety of marine life inclusive of turtles, rays, dolphins, manatees, and of course the very docile nurse shark. This variety of marine biology that is within a mere few feet of water can make what is know as a gentle activity of snorkeling, what can be traditionally be referred to by SCUBA enthusiasts as a lesser experience, to one that is riveting and unparalleled by other regional snorkel locales.

Wether you are an experienced SCUBA diver or a novice snorkeler, The Bahamas is the ideal place for an underwater excursion. Don’t hesitate to let Captain Paul, also a master diver, show you the best of The Bahamas. One of the many advantages of yacht charter is that the location of your dive can be tailored to your desires, there are 700 islands to choose from. In the Bahamas there are magnificent blue holes, sea walls and drifts and coral, and sculpture gardens. There is no shortage of ideal locations for any level of diver so that the entire family or group can be catered to without any trade-off of adventure.

Beneath Earth’s waters it is estimated that there are 3 million undiscovered shipwrecks. Of course, after the shark dive experience with Stuart Cove’s, a huge romanticized draw to diving in Bahamian waters is the prospect of finding treasure. The story of the Nuestra Senora de la Maravilla is one of the few true successful discoveries. In 1656, having been grounded in a mere 30’ of water then sunk off the Little Bahama Bank, while carrying five million pesos of treasure, the Spanish ship Nuestra Senora de la Maravilla was rediscovered in the early 1970’s. Since her discovery, having been one of the largest find in the 20th century, the wreck area is still being searched today, but officially the Bahamian government has not granted any leases on the site since the early 1990s. It is possible the bulk of the treasure has yet to be claimed, with over half of the official cargo still unfound today!

Just about every island in The Bahamas will have its own beloved pirate mascot like Arthur Catt for Cat Island, Captain Morgan in Andros, Blackbeard just about everywhere and many more. Furthermore each island will have folklore of buried treasure that has never been found by land or lost at sea. Although Captain Paul cannot promise you will find much of these lost treasures while snorkeling, you will make memories that are unfathomable while on your charter with Yacht Sweet Escape.

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Top 5 Bahamas Snorkeling Destinations

1. Staniel Cay

While the rest of these sites can prove to be quite beautiful, they are no match for what Staniel Cay has in store. A visit to Staniel Cay, the jewel in the crown of the Bahamas, provides you with some of the very best snorkeling in Bahamas. The incredible diversity of sites here is why this destination is worth a visit. For a start, you can take a short boat trip out to Thunderball Grotto and get lost in the exciting world of James Bond. This site was used in the filming of the 1965 Bond movie “Thunderball” which led to the naming of the Grotto. Swimming through an underwater tunnel to emerge in a shimmering cave full of turquoise light is something that every snorkeling enthusiast should experience.

If you feel inclined to visit some less natural sites, then Staniel Cay will also grant you access to the wreck of a drug smuggler’s plane. This fascinating site displays the damaged wreck of a small aircraft surrounded by nothing but clear turquoise water and a soft white bed of sand below.

2. Green Turtle Cay and the Abaco Islands

Setting out from Marsh Harbour, the largest settlement in the Abacos, you will have a plethora of different sites available to visit. Amongst these, you will find Green Turtle Cay to be one of the very best destinations. This island has an enchanting ambience both above and below the waves. Snorkeling here will allow for endless coral exploration blended with the flurry of fish that call this area home.

3. Long Island

While Long Island certainly provides its fair share of great coastal snorkeling sites, the real attraction here is Dean’s Blue Hole. The world’s second deepest blue hole and the site of many freediving competitions, this site has a little something for everyone, including snorkelers. You won’t need to swim out above the cavernous blue hole to get a taste for the its beautiful mystery. Snorkeling around the shallows, with soft sand and crystalline water can serve as an excellent use of your time.

4. Bimini

The tiny island of Bimini can be found on the western outskirts of the Bahamian archipelago. This destination boasts warm currents and a range of diverse coral reefs to explore. Bimini Road is one of the most popular of all the snorkeling sites, home to a series of stone monoliths that are rumoured to be part of the lost city of Atlantis. Your trip to Bimini will also be one of the most lively underwater experiences you have on your Bahamas snorkeling tour. Rainbow Reef is a magnificent and colorful coral ridge that plays host to one of the largest fish populations in the country. Alternatively, you could choose to visit Stingray Hole, which is aptly named due to the countless stingrays that call this reef home. In fact, if you bring along some fresh fish strips on your snorkel, you’ll even have the chance to feed these stingrays right from your hand.

Another excellent wreck-site close to Bimini is the remains of the Sapona. It was damaged during a hurricane in 1926 which led to its watery grave. However, it is one of the few wrecks shallow enough to snorkel and offers some of the best snorkeling in Bahamas. It’s sites like this one that make Bahamas snorkeling so unique.

5. Freeport

From the city of Freeport on Grand Bahama alone, there are a number of different Bahamas snorkeling tours to choose from. Freeport Bahamas snorkeling is very popular because of the calm waters, and diverse sites, providing excitement for both beginners and experienced snorkelers. Not to mention its proximity to Miami, being the nearest Bahamian settlement to Florida. Amongst other truly great destinations, the most visited site is undoubtedly Deadman’s Reef. The reason this site is so popular is that it displays both extensive coral heads as well as playing host to a thriving marine life population. Sites like this one are generally found much further offshore and require a boat trip to visit, but Deadman’s Reef is near enough to Paradise Cove to swim.

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MARCH 2019