What To Do In Exuma

Exuma Events Calendar

Power Boat Cruises
Exuma’s water, beaches, weather and cloud formations are memorable. Everywhere you look, there’s a different color of blue.

In addition to a half day trip in Elizabeth Harbour with starfish on the sandbars, you must put aside one day for a trip to the Exuma Cays. This is string of 365 small Islands in awe-inspiring waters. The colors will leave you breathless. There are tame iguanas, sharks and sting rays and swimming pigs and sand bars to walk on between Cays. At Staniel Cay, you can snorkel at Thunderball Grotto, where the James Bond movie, Thunderball was filmed. And take an extra day to continue on to Compass Cay to the Land and Sea Park, teeming with marine life.

Capt. Jerry Lewless www.captjerrytours.com is a wonderful raconteur and we always go on his leisurely half day tour of George Town’s Elizabeth Harbour and his full day trip to the Exuma Cays in his 26 foot catamaran with twin 175 hp motors 242-345-5076 (home) or 242-357-0636 (cell). If you have small children, a trip with Capt. Jerry will unquestionably be your family’s most lasting memory of your holiday in Exuma.

Another completely doable boat trip with a 4 year old is an all day trip to Long Island.

We went along the coast, through Moriah Harbour Cay National Park along pristine beaches, dunes, mangrove creeks and sea grass beds spotting birds which can include gull-billed and least terns, nighthawks, plovers, oystercatchers and osprey which nurse there, passing mangroves which are vital nurseries for juvenile crabs, crawfish, conch, grey snappers, yellowtails, and grouper.

We stopped at Sandy Cay at the tip of Little Exuma to walk on a virgin white sand bar and visit some iguanas.

It was then a 30 minute boat ride to have lunch at the Cape Santa Maria Resort on Long Island. Cape Santa Maria is located on the leeward side of Long Island on Exuma Sound, just shy of the northern tip of this 70-mile-long island. Christopher Columbus made his second landfall in the New World on this shore.”

The beach at Cape Santa Maria is a gently curving 3-4 mile stretch of, powdery white sand with the occasional patch of ironshore. The water is a gem-like clear blue.

It was then a 1 hour 22 mile boat ride back to George Town. This trip can be dependent on the weather forecast.

There is no more knowledgeable guide to the Exuma Cays than Capt. Jerry, a 5th generation Exumian, born in his grandfather’s house at The Ferry, Little Exuma in a bedroom dissected by the Tropic of Cancer. Capt. Jerry’s mother was the Shark Lady of Hogs Cay on Little Exuma, who caught sharks with a hand line. Her home still stands as a small museum.

Capt. Jerry is an environmentalist. He reveres the sea life and fauna in the Exumas where the amazing sea colors may be the prettiest in all of the Bahamas.

A trip with Capt. Jerry can be spiritual: two green turtles swim out and follow his boat, viewing a colony of starfish with an admonition from Capt. Jerry to look and not touch, through to the importance of mangroves to natural land preservation, and trees with cascarilla bark, used to make Campari. And Wild Dilly also known as the Gum Tree with round fruit Capt. Jerry chewed as gum when he was a child. Or leaves from a tree that will treat poison ivy and anything else that ails you.

The “Pirates of the Caribbean” film crew stayed in Capt. Jerry Master Harbour Villas outside of George Town, so he provides an insider’s guide to the Elizabeth Harbour caves used for Pirates of the Caribbean Movies.

Capt. Jerry reveres the land and sea as only someone with a lifetime of experience close to nature can ever achieve.

Sugar Adventure Company www.sugaradventure.com give’s one of the best private tours on the island Contact info@sugaradventure.com or call 242.524.8093 or 242.345.2331 for prices.

Captain Horace or Harris “Sugar” Smith was born in Alexander, Exuma. His love for the seas began at the early age of 8 when he went with his uncle to transport residents back and forward from Alexander to Barratarre before the Barratarre Bridge was built. Today, his sons Horace Jr. and Montel are following him in the business of Sugar Adventure Company.

Clayton “Pat” Smith’s Exuma Water Tours 242-355-5077 http://exumawatertours.com/

Full Day $200/person or $100 for children 10 and under

We took seven family members on Exuma Water Tours 32 passenger boat tour and while I would recommend you just charter a 12 passenger boat if you’re a larger group, it’s more affordable for a small group, and swimming with the pigs, sharks and in the grotto was a huge hit.

The boat trip is a long day and can be rough on the body (rough water, wind, sun and salt) but his padded bench seats and decent shelter really help. Bring a jacket for the trip back.

Some of the things that Sugar does that Exuma Water Tours did not do…… Sugar catches a few conch and makes conch salad, and usually spears a fish or two to feed the sharks, and has all you can drink rum punch and beer, whereas Exuma Water Tours have pop and water

Clayton “Pat” Smith builds his own boats in Stuart Manor south of Barraterre without any drawings, using a fishing line as a plumb and from his own knowledge of what he wants in a boat.

His fifty passenger 47’ boat with a 14′ beam is an amazing feat of grass-roots engineering and boat building.

Pat does all the aluminium welding himself, which is a highly sophisticated skill in itself, and employs most of his 17 siblings and nephews, two of whom we met at the site one afternoon. We were told this boat withstood the ultimate stress test when it fell off the jacks lifting it onto the transport trailer without suffering any damage.

Professional boat builders can’t believe every single part of this boat was built so perfectly out of someone’s head without any drawings. This one is powered by three 300 HP outboard motors and Pat’s nephew Randy states the boat will last a lifetime. Watch Pat Smith’s video about its construction http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OQ0qWn-f_iA&sns=em

Stevie Ferguson Bone Fishing Guide
The reason we used Stevie Ferguson was very simple. One day we were sitting in a beach restaurant, and two people who’ve been coming to Grand Isle for seven years to fish said the only guy to use was Stevie Ferguson.

So I thought why not and he was VERY good with my granddaughter and quite a sweet gentle guy who really focussed on the mission of catching a bonefish. She caught a bonefish, a grouper and half a dozen red snappers for dinner. I lost my hook four times and didn’t catch anything big enough to keep.

Stevie and my granddaughter worked like clockwork with Stevie taking the fish in while she did all the fishing.

I like his approach to getting results. If nothing happens in 15 minutes, move on to the next stop where something might happen. I’d go with him again.

Stocking Island is a must see when visiting Great Exuma, and the tourist office in George Town has a map of all the hiking trails on the island. You can easily spend a day or two visiting the different coves, snorkeling around the mystery cave, hanging out at the Peace and Plenty Beach Club the sting rays at Chat ‘n Chill.

JENEICE & SON Artifacts Museum is just north of Steventon.  Janeice Rolle holds four Museum Celebrations a year. We went twice — for a picnic lunch on Saturday and on Sunday for some desserts.

Janeice has produced a video of the pre-opening celebration on the January 10-11th, 2015 weekend which had had 35 viewers when I looked at it, three of which are mine https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XGf_HyNIY_A

Your comments and suggestions are always welcome!