Harbor View Vacation Rental in Exuma

Exceptional Place and Hosts !

disaster!

Harbor View is a magical place and as nice and peaceful as its owners.
The balcony view is GRANDIOSE, probably one of the most beautiful on the island.
And when we add to that the perfect location of the house … (in the southern part of the island which appeared to us wilder and calmer than the northern part … even if the whole island is very calm in general)
I thank again Gail & Don for their warm welcome, their very good advice to make our stay perfect… and help received after the puncture of my car tire the day of my arrival!
Thank you for everything and don’t hesitate to go to Harbor View … It’s Paradise!

The 66th Annual Family Island Regatta

regatta 2

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.

Harvesting Honey in Exuma

beehives in Exuma

We have a honey marketing facility here is Exuma. So next time you are looking for that unique gift to take home, why not buy a jar of 100% natural honey from Exuma.

I just spent a fascinating day at the headquarters where BJ spent the morning showing us around and answering our many questions.  They have more than a dozen hives and as the many local plants and trees come into bloom, so the pace of activity at the production site speeds up, this time of year being their busiest.

opening the hive
The hive with the cover removed

We watched as BJ sprayed a hive with smoke to calm the bees, although we were assured that this type of bee is favored because of its lack of aggression.  Then slowly and carefully he removed the lid exposing the top box.  Another puff of smoke and he starts to very carefully remove one of the 9 panels the spanned the box. On the panel were maybe a thousand  bees. BJ gave a sharp shake and the bees fell off or flew away.

extracting the panel from the hive
Removing a panel

Then that panel was put in a separate box to be processed and a new clean panel put in its place. There is about half inch gap between the panels and the foraging bees bring the pollen back to the hive entrance at the base of the stack of boxes. The pollen is then transferred to a worker bee that makes its way up the gap through the stack and the produce is put into the honeycomb and sealed with bees wax. The collection process was repeated for the remaining panels until we had a box with 9 new panels inside, ready to be placed back on the stack when we had gone through some of the lower panels.

Full panel of honey
The wax that seals in the honey

All this was done without gloves, just a beekeepers protective hat.  It was obvious that the beekeeper had to be confidant, move slowly and carefully, especially when rebuilding the hive as he lowered each box back in position taking great care not to crush any bees.

The predominant tree that is currently in bloom is the Logwood Tree and the honey from this tree is paler and processed separately from other blossoms that occur later.

Once the full panels reach the processing area. the wax is scrapped off,  exposing the raw honey. The panels are then placed in a large centrifuge, spun at high speed so the honey flies out of the panel and slides down inside the drum and is filtered and bottled.
Scraping the wax off

In a hive there are around 1000 bees on each panel and more than 90 % are female. The male bee’s only function is to fertilize the Queen, a job that costs them their lives. There is just one queen who lays eggs for 2 to 5 years. When she is past her prime she is replaced by feeding a replacement with Royal Jelly which will become the next queen. It’s a tough life being a worker bee and their life will last around only 2 months.
The honey centrifuge

The hub of this growing industry is at the Exuma Foundation located on the Queens Highway roughly halfway between GeorgeTown and the airport, and that is where you can buy your special Exuma Honey.

Exuma Weather in April

Your 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.

150th 5 Star Review of Harbour View Exuma:

Your kayak

” Exceptional Place & Hosts”

Harbor View is a magical place and as nice and peaceful as its owners.The balcony view is GRANDIOSE, probably one of the most beautiful on the island.And when we add to that the perfect location of the house … I thank again Gail & Don for their warm welcome, their very good advice to make our stay perfect… and help received after the puncture of my car tire the day of my arrival!Thank you for everything and don’t hesitate to go to Harbor View … It’s Paradise!”  https://harborviewexuma.com

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Karen’s Guest Review

beach wedding

I don’t know that we have enough words to express how grateful and blessed we feel to have met two of the most gracious, sweet, kind, caring people, our hosts and now friends, Don & Gail Amesbury.

From our very first inquiry about your beautiful vacation rental, we knew that we wanted to book with you just from the sincerity of your e-mail back to us. The details and info. you provided before we even arrived to the island was unbelievable. I would recommend to anyone thinking of booking with you, to not even take a second thought! Just book it and let Don & Gail walk you through what you need to know, they are the pros. They made our vacation, the very best ever, from beginning to end!

After booking, and from the correspondence from Don & Gail, we decided to get married in Exuma, and that was the best decision ever! We had planned to get married in Sept. this year but decided to have our dream wedding in Exuma and it was better than anything I could have ever imagined! It was truly magical. We went with an open mind and took all of their advice, and it couldn’t have been better. From the bottom of our hearts we are truly grateful to both of you, our new friends from Exuma.

Their apartment overlooking Moriah Cay, was incredible and waking up each morning with view from our bed was something we will truly miss. Exploring around the extremely private island right across from their place was beyond amazing! We never saw one other person on the island each time we were their. We saw sea turtles, baby sharks, starfish, sting rays, and the most beautiful beaches ever. It was truly heaven on earth.

The apartment was spotless and had everything we needed and more for the perfect relaxing vacation!

I can’t recommend their place enough and we look so forward to returning to this amazing piece of paradise!!!

Thank you, thank you, Don & Gail,

Sailboats in Exuma

anchored at night

Every year here in Exuma we watch a community of sailboats grow in our picturesque islands. Many are known as snow birds and they bring their boats to Exuma to escape the bitter winter weather  in their home area.

The migration starts around November as we see a trickle of  boats enter into Elizabeth Harbour and drop anchor in one of the many perfect locations that offer access to the soft sand beaches and protection from the prevailing wind.

Elizabeth Harbour is a beautiful area extending some 7 to 8 miles East to West and around a mile North to South. The southern shore is Great Exuma, the main island. The northern shore is a string of islands starting with Stocking Island at the western end, followed by Elizabeth Cay, then Guana Cay and finally Fowl Cay at the eastern end. So this Harbour is both large and well protected from the Ocean swells.

Inside the Harbour area are more small islands so during their stay in Elizabeth Harbour, which can vary from a few weeks to maybe 6 months, the boats can change their anchorage and their surroundings based on changes in the weather and the pure desire to change their setting.

Who is on these boats? Well it is a real mixture of solo sailors, many couples, and some families with children. The majority have travelled from Northern America and Canada.

The boats they are living aboard also vary from sailboats ranging from the 30ft to 60ft, some catamarans, mostly monohulls then a few power boats.

As Christmas approaches the numbers continue to increase, until by the New Year the totals are around 400 to 500.

So you are on a sailboat in a beautiful tropical setting, escaping the crappy weather up North, but what are you going to do with yourself each day?  Well we can swim, snorkel and scuba in 70 degree water, we can play volleyball each afternoon with your fellow boaters on the four courts on Stocking Island.  We can set up groups to play bridge or mahjong. 

Each of the boats will have an inflatable run about of 10ft to 15ft that they use as their personal transport to get ashore, go shopping, visit other boats.

At the end of the season, usually starting at Easter, the numbers start to decline as some boats leave to return to the East coast of the US where the boat will be stored for the summer and the owners fly home. Others leave their boats in Elizabeth Harbour when they head home. There are areas in the Harbour where many moorings have been placed ready to accept stored boats. The boats are managed by local boatmen who check the security of the boats, run the electrics to keep the battery charged, and open them occasionally to avoid stale air.

There is another category of boater that I have not mentioned. That is the true cruiser. Usually a couple, sometimes a full family, that are fortunate enough to be able to adopt the cruising lifestyle and travel the world at a leisurely pace (Ah sweet memories !). Not surprisingly you will be able to pick them out by the national flag at their stern.

So there you have a short version of the life on those many boats that visit this boaters paradise. 

Why don’t you visit Exuma and experience it for yourself. If you don’t have a boat you could stay with us at Harbour View.

Cruising sailboats

Extract from our Guest Book

View from Master Suite
“We certainly hit the jackpot when we found you guys at Harbour View Exuma
We were very impressed with the degree of detail given in the correspondence.
Your willingness to aid with wedding plans was over the top helpful. It was the reason why we decided to get married in Exuma.
You both have a welcoming personality, always able to answer questions or provide suggestions.
Moriah Cay is an ideal spot, it is fabulous and we have enjoyed it greatly”.
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