Harbor View Vacation Rental in Exuma

Black Point Sailing Regatta

sailing regatta

Last weekend was the annual Black Point Sailing Regatta. Held every year on the public holiday commemorating The Bahamas emancipation from Great Britain.

sailing regatta at Black Point

The event is held off the shores of Great Guana Cay, one of the many small islands which form part of the chain of islands known as The Exuma Cays.

This is the 56th year of this annual event and the commodore Gregory Adderley is the son of the founding commodore Lawrence Adderley who died earlier this year.

Black Point regatta

The 2019 winner was a local sloop “Crazy Partner”. Second was “Lady Eunice” and third “Sacrifice”. The races were in temperatures hovering around the high 90s with light winds.

Where to Exercise in Exuma

Beach Waves

The Exuma shoreline is dotted with beautiful soft sand beaches so there is no excuse for not enjoying a swim any time of the year.  The average water temperature around our coastline is 75 at the lowest in winter rising to 88 in summer and it is very rare that the swell becomes a problem.

Moriah Harbour Cay National Park
Moriah Harbour Cay National Park

Next on the list of where to exercise also involves our beaches. Now we are talking about walking or running.  What could be better that indulging in a brisk walk, or a run along a soft sand beach, maybe barefoot, with the sound of the Ocean breaking on the shore beside you.

Exuma’s beaches are not littered with beach umbrellas and deckchairs, our island is not that sort of resort. On most beaches at any time of year you can expect to be one of a few, or even the only, person in sight.

walking the shallows
walking the shallows

If you are fortunate enough to be renting in The Hartswell area you have the big advantage that you have access to Moriah Harbour Cay where you could exercise on the mile long North beach to your hearts content. Take a picnic and explore the ever changing beaches, spot the many juvenile sea creatures, turtles and rays. There are literally hours of exploring to do, so you will certainly burn those calories and be able to cool off with a relaxing swim. All with the bonus of a kayak trip to and from the deserted island and National Park.

Talking of kayaking. That’s another popular exercise in Exuma. Many rentals include kayaks in their listing, we at Harbour View certainly do. So burn those calories as you paddle the blue ocean, the mangrove areas, see the bonefish, watch for turtles and enjoy.

Harbor View Exuma kayak
Harbor View Exuma kayak

Wherever you stay for your accommodation you will be close to The Queens Highway.  So if beaches are not close by then you can walk or run the tarmac road.  There are no pavement or sidewalk so go with care.  Travel on the right hand side of the road so you are facing traffic and keep to the verge and wear something light colored or reflective.  It may sound dangerous, and I guess it is !  But I have have walked daily for many years and still have no tyre (tire) marks on me.

I would not recommend you exercise along the roads in dusk or dark or even an hour after dawn. Cars can have the sun directly in their eyes and have difficulty seeing you.

So have a great vacation, relax and burn some calories, keep hydrated, wear a hat and plenty of sunscreen.

sorry we don’t have a gym for you, but it’s more fun in the sun.

Weather in June in Exuma

Beach Waves

As June looms on the horizon it is time to look at the average weather statistics for the month of June.

The daily temperature is usually around 86 degrees during the daylight hours and dropping to 77 degrees at night.

June statistically is one of our wetter months with as much as 2 inches. But, when you check the weather forecasts during June you may see forecast saying “70% chance of rain”. Before you reach for the umbrella be aware that what this means in reality is that there is a 70% chance that it will rain somewhere in the islands. If you have experienced tropical weather you will know that we often get rain in very local patches.  Rain in George Town, not a drop in Hartswell.

The humidity has been climbing throughout the year and now it is approaching 90%. So its not surprising that if you exercise we recommend you get an early start before the sun gets too high.

That humidity we just mentioned will be to some extent offset by breezes from the East at 13 miles per hour.  Enough to provide a cooling effect, but not enough to make swimming or kayaking difficult.

Now we come to the best news !   The Ocean temperature has reached 83 degrees !!

So now we see the adults cooling off with a gin and tonic or a beer as they sit in the shallows and work on their tan.

So come and join us for the Month of June in Exuma. Check our website for availability

Cocktails of The Bahamas

Cocktails of The Bahamas

One of the pleasures of a vacation is to visit the local bars and sample cocktails.

Cocktails of The Bahamas are many and varied but tend to revolve around tropical produce like coconuts, pineapples and rum. So join me as we explore five of the best known cocktails of The Bahamas.

Bahama Mama

It is believed that the name derives from a Caribbean dancer and performer in the 1930s who also went by the stage name “Bahama Mama.”

To make the drink pour 1 ounce coconut rum, 1/2 ounce each dark rum, coffee liqueur, and grenadine, and 2 ounces each pineapple and orange juice into a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake well and strain into a hurricane glass filled with cracked ice.

Sky Juice

The name comes from the fact that you need a coconut to make the cocktail and they grow on very tall trees, hence Sky Juice.

Sometimes called “Gully Wash”.  This cocktail varies from sweet to very sweet.

To make Sky Juice, gin is mixed with coconut water and condensed milk, served over ice  and garnished with freshly grated nutmeg. It’s creamy without being too thick, sweet without being too sweet.

Goombay Smash

Named after the wife of a bar owner in Abaco, Miss Emily. Although Miss Emily never touched a drop of liquor, she brewed the first Goombay smash. She made it in gallon batches from where she served it to the bar clients. Now it can be found throughout The Bahamas.

To make a Goombay Smash start with a large glass of ice cubes. Add six tablespoons of pineapple juice. Quarter cup orange juice.  Quarter cup of coconut rum. Two tablespoons white rum. 2 tablespoons good rum. Two tablespoons dark rum. Shake well and garnish with pineapple wedges.

Yellow Bird

This Cocktail of The Bahamas was named after the song “Yellow Bird”, made famous by Harry Belafonte.

The recipe says take the juice of half a lime, add one and a quarter ounces of orange juice or pineapple juice.  Add one ounce light rum. Add one ounce dark rum. quarter ounce Galliano liqueur or grenadine. Garnish with pineapple chunks.

Pineapple Upside Down Martini

This one is the easiest: Pour the pineapple juice, vodka and grenadine into a shaker full of ice. Shake, then strain into two martini glasses. Garnish with a piece of pineapple and a cherry on a skewer.

So there you have it. Five Cocktails of The Bahamas.  Try them and decide which is your favorite. But be warned, they have a kick so drink responsibly… Enjoy

If you go to our website you will find a comprehensive list of the bars and restaurants where you can try these local specialities

Beekeeping in Exuma

Bees in Exuma

Until recently there was no beekeeping in Exuma.

Bees were scarce  until the staff at the Exuma Foundation, under the leadership of Catherine Booker  intervened and had some hives imported with the help of the Savannah Bee Company.

Now, only three years later there are hives across the island and honey is being marketed from the Exuma Foundation facility on the Queens Highway halfway between town and the airport.

Watch the video to appreciate the dedication that goes into this venture and check out our more detailed review of the process on Harborviewexuma.com

Guest Review for Harbour View Exuma (May 2019)

Sailboats At Anchor in Exuma

“What an amazing trip!! Everything we’ve ever dreamed of, perfect setting with perfect hosts.  We explored Exuma and its beaches but we always ended up at Moriah Cay. What a special place. Everything that you described was so accurate and stunning.

Kayaking, swimming, exploring, sunbathing, places to eat.

Special thanks for such easy and pleasurable arrangements. Look forward future stays.

Rita & Jim”

Harbour View Exuma

Exuma Weather in May

Wedding Pretty Molly Bay Exuma

As we glide into May in Exuma, let me tell you what we expect from the weather gods this month. May is one of our favorite months with comfortable temperatures and warm Oceans.

The temperature is hovering around 85 degrees F so don’t forget the sunscreen, especially when you  are on the beach. At night it will drop down to the mid seventies for a peaceful nights sleep.

May is one of the months when we can experience a total of an inch and a half of rain, but this seems to be less each year. When it does rain it is usually a short sharp downpour, with the sun returning minutes later.

May is not a favorite month for the windsurfing fans as our winds normally hover around 13 miles per hour, be aware that this refreshing breeze may deceive you into not applying the sun screen.

Perhaps the best news of all is that the Ocean temperature will be into the eighties, so you can just relax in the blue water and appreciate Exuma’s amazing beaches.

Have a great vacation.

The 66th Annual Family Island Regatta

Exuma Sailing Regatta

On April 23rd 2019 The  Annual Out Island Regatta starts.

Over the next five days the population of Exuma escalates as visitors from many of the family islands descend on Great Exuma to enjoy some great boat races, loads of Bahamian food and one heck of a lot of Kalik, rum punches and Bahama Mamas.

disaster!

The regatta started 66 years ago with the intention of preserving the boat building skills that the islands possessed from generations of fishermen and boat builders. The type of boats are called skiffs. They are entirely built of wood, usually around 30ft long with a forward mounted mast of exceptional length.
The long boom means the boat can carry enormous sails for such a  small craft.  The boat carries several lead blocks for ballast and a crew of around 10, some of which will sit on a hefty plank well out to the beam of the boat, to act as a counter-weight to the sails and wind force.
The skill is to slide back into the boat and back out the other side as the boat rounds a marker. 

regatta 3

The boats are divided into classes A thro’ E depending on their size. Each boat must be designed, built and skippered by a Bahamian.
Each race is two laps around a triangular course inside Elizabeth Harbour and there are some large financial prizes.

There are about ten boats in each race and they line up and anchor on the start line. The commodore of the Regatta fires a cannon to signify the start of each race. Then its chaos as the crew scramble to lift the anchor, raise the sails and steer clear of the competitors.

reggatta 4

Following the race are a series of spectator boats cheering on the boat from their island.  In addition there are more spectator boats at the turn bouys, which is where collisions and capsizes are most frequent.

While the main focus is on the water, back on land you find wooden shacks lining the streets of George Town, each offering drinks and/or food and LOUD music. !  So by early evening you can imagine that many visitors and locals are well lubricated and dancing the night away.

Exuma Weather in April

Harbor View Exuma kayak

So as we move into April let me tell you what weather your Exuma vacation has in store for you. Weather records have been collected for many years and averaged so we can be sure that it will not snow this April in Exuma ! in fact we are seeing a trend for higher temperatures.

The average daytime temperature in April is 82 degrees Fahrenheit (24 degrees centigrade) and drops to a comfortable 73 degrees at night.  So open windows and no need for air conditioning.

The humidity is rising and April levels are expected to be around 61%, which is comfortable but does mean in my case that my daily walks move from an afternoon event to an early morning happening.

Rain is forecast to total one inch for the month. When you consider that rain in Exuma tends to be in short heavy amounts, it probably means it will rain about twice this month.

Winds in April average around 13mph from the east. Around twice during the month we may get stronger wind from the West. These tend to be remnants of storms off the east coast of the US. On those occasions a day with wind from the west will be followed by another blustery day with wind from the north, then 24 hours later it will settle down to an easterly breeze.   Great for those who live for Kitesurfing.

Perhaps the most important weather fact for those on vacation in Exuma, is the Ocean temperature. The good news is that it is expected to be at least 78 degrees.  So you can spend as much time as you like in the water.

For a look at what the weather is currently in Exuma check out this link.

So there you have a prediction of April weather in Exuma. Come on down and enjoy.

The Welcome Book

welcome to Harbour View in Exuma

As vacation rental property owners we feel a responsibility to ensure that our guests get the maximum pleasure from their vacation. But we have to draw a fine line as on-site owners between respecting our guests privacy and helping them get the most from their valued time.

When a guest arrives we are well aware that it can be overwhelming after an all day travel experience to be in a new country, a new island, new accommodation.   where to go?, what to do?, what not to do?

The answer is a “Welcome to Harbour View” book. It’s there in the lounge for them to read and benefit, as and when they are relaxed; in their own time. So when they arrive we only have to greet them and point out a few basics, such as operation of the air conditioning. How to contact us if they have a question, or are looking for local knowledge.

The Welcome book is divided into chapters.

The first chapter relates to a few house facts. Such as; our internet details. We are on a well so we appreciate guests being frugal with water.  That we recommend they use bottled water (where to get it, where to get bottles refilled) for drinking.

The second chapter is about traveling. Guests are advised to rent a car in advance of their arrival. So we remind that we drive on the left.  That they should put our phone number into their mobile phone or take one of our business cards so they can contact us if they experience a problem. Similarly they are encouraged to take the welcome book with them.

The third chapter is a comprehensive list of the many beaches that they can visit. Each beach is shown on a map with the distance from our house. So that if they set the mileometer to zero when they leave the home, their beach destination is known to be “x” kilometers away. The beach is described by size, whether there are shells,  shade or which is best protected from winds.

Pretty Molly Bay

The fourth chapter is a comprehensive list of restaurants. Again we give directions, show each on a map, and give the distance.  We also enclose a menu in order that they can get some idea of the range of costs and whether they have specialities… asian food….. Bahamian fare.  And most important, the contact phone number and which days they might close.  There is nothing worse than getting all dressed up and driving 20 minutes to find some restaurant is closed.

lobster at Santannas
DCIM100GOPROGOPR2528.JPG

The fifth chapter is a list of special excursions that are available. These range from fishing guides (bone fishing is very popular in Exuma), scuba trips, ATV guided tours, kiteboarding lessons, and of course the most popular at present is the “swimming pigs” trip. This is an all day boat trip through several of the nearby tropical islands with stops to see, feed and swim with wild pigs on a deserted island,  see and feed wild Iguanas found only in Exuma, to swim with (or not) nurse sharks, and to swim and explore Thunderball Cave, made famous in two James Bond films.  An exciting and a trip to remember. Well our book tells you who runs the trip, who to contact, how much it costs, and where to go on the big day.

Swimming Pigs

So what have I learned  from writing this story?  That I can improve my welcome book.  

I can add photos.  I can make my welcome book more interesting to my valued guests. 

In fact I think I will devote some time to making my book, not just factual and informative, but make it a coffee table book and find out how much it would cost to print and present to our guests as a thank you for staying with us.  If the improved version sits on their coffee table it could be talking point with friends and, who knows , maybe a new enquiry??

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