Harbor View Vacation Rental in Exuma

“Big Noch’s” Bar & Restaurant in Exuma

Big Nochs Bar

Big Noch is the nickname of an Exuma taxi driver and owner of the bar and restaurant of the same name in Rolle Town Exuma.

The bar has been open for some years but more recently it has gained a good reputation for their food.  Like many bars on island, it started catering to the local Bahamians, but now its appeal has spread to the tourist trade.  Their dining area is small and very basic (but adequate).  Their big growth is in  their  take out trade.

Big Nochs Bar

Based just a two minute drive from Harbour View, our rental guests have phoned Patrina and placed an order for collection some 20 minutes later.  The fare is traditional Bahamian with fresh produce including fish and lobster in season.

As an example, cracked conch is priced at $15. A peppered steak is $15. Your options range from chicken, pork, some curried dishes and fresh caught fish, conch and lobster.

Big Nochs menu

While Big Nochs does not have a seaview it certainly is convenient to have some fresh food available on our doorstep.  Give Big Nochs a try. 242 345 5013 and place an order with Patrina.

New Restaurant in Exuma

Blu on the Water

WOW !  That is the reaction as you drive over the brow of the hill and Blu On The Water first comes into view. 

If I was given complete freedom on choosing a location for a restaurant it would be right where Blu On The Water is located, it’s that perfect !

Blu on the Water

Blu is the brainchild of Ty and Sam (with a little help from their daughter Kylee) who have been catering to Exuma customers for some years. First  at what used to be Sam Grey’s restaurant at the marina in George Town, then later over on Stocking Island at Lumina Point.  Now they have their own location.

Blu on the Water

So Blu On The Water is in Rolle Town.  Between Master Harbour and Rolle Town settlement, about five miles East of George Town. As you arrive at Blu your reaction will also be “Wow”.  The view that faces you is the restaurant on your left, but your eyes will be drawn to the Ocean. It’s truly is a World class setting,  it’s stunning. To your right is Man O War Cay and directly in front is one of Exuma’s favorite tourist attractions, the Large sandbar that appears at low tide and extends for about half a mile. Left of the sandbar the Ocean colors change from white to pale blue to darker blue, as your eye travels westward you look into Elizabeth Harbour and its tantalizing line of offshore islands. ….The view is simply  stunning !

Blu on the Water

Having taken the obligatory photos, it’s time to turn you attention to the restaurant.  As you enter this new building you will be greeted by the friendly smiling staff and shown to one of dozen or so tables, all with views of the Ocean. Sip your favorite cocktail or a cold beer while you study the menu. The cuisine is international fare and prepared in the brand new kitchen under the watchful eye of your host Ty.

Blu on the Water

Blu on the Water is open daily from 11.30 through till 10 pm. I personally recommend you pick a time when the light allows you to fully appreciate the view. If you want a quality souvenir of your visit, there are tee shirts and labelled Tiki insulated mugs.

If you are staying with us at Harbour View then you are a five minute drive away.

Ty and Sam we wish you every success in your new venture. Phone 242 807 9265

Sailboats in Exuma

Exuma Sound

Every year from November onwards cruising yachts start arriving in Elizabeth Harbour in Exuma. Then over the next two months we get a daily intake, weather permitting, of more yachts until we have a fleet of around 400 cruising yachts in Exuma.

cruising yachts in Exuma

The boats arrivals coincides with the end of hurricane season and on a calm day you will see a line of sails on the horizon approaching the entrance to the harbour.

Each yacht will fly a flag at the stern of their boat,  the flag of their country of registry. So you will see mainly US Stars and Stripes, Union Jacks, and Canadian maple leafs.  Amongst that fleet will also be boats from many Europian countries and probably some Australian. As they arrive they will fly a yellow flag from the spreaders which indicates that the yacht has yet to check in with customs and immigration.

Some yachts are live-aboard cruisers, whose boat is their home, many of them will live on board for several years and some have children aboard. Some are snowbirds, heading south to escape the winter weather others will be cruising the Caribbean islands.

The boats vary in size and design, from 30 foot monohulls and catamarans, to 100+ foot mega yachts.  With 400 boats  that equates to over a thousand persons, which obviously plays a significant part to the local economy. The social life of the boaters is pretty hectic with daily volley ball matches, mass organized dinghy trips to various beaches and restaurants and culminating with  week long festivities at the cruising regatta. Events will include competitions in: The round-the island-yacht-race, talent shows, treasure hunts and sand sculptures.

boats at dock

Each morning the boats will listen to their vhf radios for weather forecasts and if there is a threat of strong winds in the future days then they often move their vessel to a more sheltered location, which is easily done in a large harbour that encloses many smaller islands.

The season starts in November and runs through to Easter, when many either start heading North to their summer home, or head  South to continue their Caribbean or even their circumnavigation.

This coming winter is expected to be busier than ever due to the devastation in the Northern Bahamas caused by hurricane Dorian. This monster storm ravaged The Abacos and Grand Bahama islands. Two of the islands that many cruisers visit. So where will they go this year?  Only time will tell, but many are expected to head on down to Great Exuma thus increasing the boat count for 2019-2020, and some years to come.

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.

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