Posts in Destinations
ESCAPE: IF you like Piña Coladas

National Piña Colada Day is celebrated on 10 July, so is Bahamas Independence!


On July 10, 1973, The Bahamas became a free and sovereign country, ending 325 years of peaceful British rule. The Bahamas is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations. Celebrate Independence Day 2019 with a visit to your favorite immaculate beaches on charter with Motor Yacht Sweet Escape!


"Escape (The Piña Colada Song)" is a song written and recorded by British-born American singer Rupert Holmes. You’ll know the song. That loping 70s riff, familiar from childhood, a parent’s mixtape or a favorite FM playlist. The singer’s bright, breezy delivery. And then the irresistible hook: “If you like pina coladas, and getting caught in the rain. If you’re not into yoga, and you have half a brain … ”.   Discovered by millennials in 2014 on the Guardians Of The Galaxy film soundtrack, this particular track was a US No 1 on its release in 1979 then re-charted in 1980, making it the only pop song to hold the top spot in different decades.

The piña colada is a sweet cocktail made with rum, coconut cream or coconut milk, and pineapple juice, usually served either blended or shaken with ice. Because a drink like the piña colada is all about the escapism, it should be garnished with either a pineapple wedge, maraschino cherry, or both. The piña colada has been the national drink of Puerto Rico since 1978.


For a millennial take on the 70’s hit we make our our version of Escapism.  The use of young coconut water instead of a heavy coconut cream, adds freshness and vitality to that classic favorite of a piña colada.



Chunks of pineapple muddled to a pulp with a teaspoon of castor sugar

A healthy squeeze of lime for freshness

Coconut water and equal parts light rum

An ounce of Blue Curaçao would give it a color variation

Shake well so diluted with ice and aerated with the pineapple pulp

Pour through a fine strainer

Pack with crushed ice

Garnish heavily to add the escapism vibe!

Piña Colada Variations:

  • Amaretto colada – amaretto substituted for rum

  • Chi chi – with vodka substituted for rum

  • Lava Flow – strawberry daiquiri and piña colada blended together

  • Virgin piña colada or piñita colada – without the rum, thus non-alcoholic

  • Kiwi colada – with kiwifruit (fruit and syrup) in place of pineapple juice

  • Soda colada – resembles original recipe but soda is used instead of coconut milk

  • Kahlua colada – Substitute Kahlua (coffee liqueur) for rum

Enjoy Bahamian Independence Day onboard and have a classic Piña Colada.  Get all the Escapism you need before you head back to the real world!

July 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

SIX DEGREES OF SEPARATION : Slim Aarons and ThunderBall
Slim Aarons captures film producer Kevin McClory takes his wife Bobo Sigrist and their family for a drive in an ‘Amphicar’ across the harbour between Paradise Island and Nassau, 1967. Hanging in  Cottage Sweet Escape .

Slim Aarons captures film producer Kevin McClory takes his wife Bobo Sigrist and their family for a drive in an ‘Amphicar’ across the harbour between Paradise Island and Nassau, 1967. Hanging in Cottage Sweet Escape.

Kevin McClory was an Irish screenwriter, producer, and director. McClory was best known for adapting Ian Fleming's James Bond character for the screen, for producing Thunderball, and for his legal battles with Fleming.

Ian Fleming and Ivar Bryce met in 1917, on a beach in Cornwall. Sharing similar interests and social status—Bryce’s father made a fortune in the guano business and Fleming’s grandfather founded a Scottish merchant bank—the two became fast friends. They attended the same college, and both served in British intelligence during World War Two. In 1950 Bryce married heiress Josephine Hartford, whose grandfather founded the Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company.

In 1957, McClory produced and directed a film, The Boy On The Bridge, with financial assistance from heiress Josephine Hartford Bryce, the sister of Huntington Hartford II (the founder and owner of The Ocean Club) and her husband was Ivor Bryce. In 1958 Fleming approached McClory to produce the first Bond film. McClory rejected all of Fleming's books but felt that the character James Bond could be adapted for the screen. In 1961, without permission, Fleming novelised the draft screenplay Thunderball making it his ninth novel which initially did not credit McClory or any other writers of the screen adaptation of the character of James Bond.

Dust Jacket for  Thunderball  by artist Richard Wasey Chopping (14 April 1917 – 17 April 2008), a British illustrator and author best known for his painting the dust-jackets of the Ian Fleming's James Bond novels. His illustrations covered 9 novels from 1957 to 1966 for James Bond books by Ian Fleming and the cover of John Gardner's first Bond continuation novel,  Licence Renewed  (1981). Several original dust-jackets by Chopping are hung in the Ian Fleming/Sean Connery bedroom at Chalet Sweet Escape.

Dust Jacket for Thunderball by artist Richard Wasey Chopping (14 April 1917 – 17 April 2008), a British illustrator and author best known for his painting the dust-jackets of the Ian Fleming's James Bond novels. His illustrations covered 9 novels from 1957 to 1966 for James Bond books by Ian Fleming and the cover of John Gardner's first Bond continuation novel, Licence Renewed (1981). Several original dust-jackets by Chopping are hung in the Ian Fleming/Sean Connery bedroom at Chalet Sweet Escape.

Having received a pre-released copy of Thunderball, the novel by Fleming, McClory sued in 1961, postponing its release. In 1963, in an out-of-court settlement, McClory gained the literary and film rights for the screenplay, while Fleming was given the rights to the novel, although it had to be recognised as being "based on a screen treatment by Kevin McClory, Jack Whittingham and the Author”. Fleming, unfortunately, was unwell through most of this process and passed away August 12, 1964. The film, staring Sean Connery as Bond, premiered on 9 December 1965 in Tokyo and opened on 29 December 1965 in the UK; it remained the highest-grossing Bond film until Live and Let Die (1973).

The legal rights McClory had previously gained in 1963, allowed him to retell the Thunderball movie as 1983’s “Never Say Never Again”, marking the return of Sean Connery in the lead role, and also his last time as 007. It also was the only Bond dramatic feature made outside of the family of producer Cubby Broccoli. In fact, the movie was released the same year as another Bond pic, “Octopussy,” starring Roger Moore.


The Battle for Bond (2007), by Robert Sellers, is a cinema history book of how the literary character James Bond metamorphosed to the cinema James Bond. The book details the collaboration among film producer Kevin McClory, novelist Ian Fleming, screenwriter Jack Whittingham and others to create the film Thunderball.

The first release of the book features unpublished letters, private lawsuit documents and cast-crew interviews; there are also five Thunderball screenplays, two by Fleming, three by Whittingham, and two treatments by Fleming that document the creation and development of this James Bond project. The Ian Fleming estate, the Ian Fleming Will Trust, protested the inclusion of several Fleming letters in the book, which it said were used without permission. The book was subsequently withdrawn and unsold copies sent to the estate for disposal. The publisher, Tomahawk Press, later published a second edition without the letters, which it claimed were not fundamental to the story.

May 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