Harbor View Vacation Rental in Exuma

Guest Review for Harbour View Exuma (May 2019)

anchored at night

“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

beach wedding

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.

Rare Animals in Exuma

Iguanas

We have seven species of Bahamian Rock Iguanas in The Bahamas. In the Exuma chain of islands we have one species that is protected and endangered with around only 5000 animals remaining.

These brown bodied creatures grow to between 2.5 to 3 feet long. They are plant eaters and their diet includes the manchineel plant which is toxic to humans. They get their moisture from the plants they eat and it is believed they do not need water to survive.

The female lays between three and a dozen eggs at around 6 years old, which she buries in the sand. After 3 months the babies hatch and dig their way to the surface. They have a ridge along their spine which is used to dissipate excess heat.

If attacked they can disconnect their tale, which will regrow.  Iguanas have a life span of around 40 years.

These friendly creatures can be seen if you take the all day excursion known as the swimming pigs trip.

The Exuma Sailing Regatta Has Started

sailing regatta

So the largest, most important, sailing regatta has started in Elizabeth Harbour in Exuma. Formally named the Out Island Sailing Regatta, this is the 66th annual event.

Originally intended to preserve the boat building skills of the Bahamas boat building industry.  Now it is a vital part of the tourism attractions.

Held annually in the last week of April and broken down to classes determined by boat size. The boats have 60 ft masts, way longer than one would expect from such relatively small sailboats, thus providing the opportunity to fly enormous sails.

The celebrations continue on shore where shacks have been prepared to provide local foods and drinks.

So come on down and enjoy.

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,

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