Harbor View Vacation Rental in Exuma

Exuma Weather in July

Girl on a Beach

So what weather can you expect on your July vacation in Exuma?

As the calendar moves from June to July we are into the height of summer and also statistically, we are in hurricane season.  In the 20 plus years we have lived in Exuma I do not recall experiencing a hurricane in July, that problem is usually threatening in September.

Girl at Sunset

So back to the weather. Our temperature statistically shows highs of 87 degrees F ( 30 C) during the day and 78 degrees F (26 C) at night.  But, as a believer in global warming, and someone who has just experienced one of the hottest Junes on record, I suggest that you can add a couple of degrees to have us hovering around 90 F.

Swim Time

While June is statistically one of our wettest months, July offers us up to one inch of rain for the month.

Humidity has by now soared into the high nineties with a 13 knot breeze providing a little cooling effect.

Now to the good news !  The Ocean has really warmed and is now a toasty 84 F (29 C) degrees, Yippee !  So no excuses for missing that dip.

So July is on our doorstep, it’s going to be hot and humid, so keep hydrated,  loads of water,  loads of sunscreen.

So why not picnic on a soft sand Exuma beach, choose one with shade and exposure to the East to get that cooling breeze, and spend your day in and out of the Ocean till you become all wrinkly !…. Enjoy

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.

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

Bonefish Guides

Large Bonefish

We often see him  from our balcony at Harbour View, as he poles his 16 foot Dolphin boat through the shallows of the southern side of Moriah Cay.  Both he and his anxious bonefish client scouring the calm waters with their polaroid sunglasses, searching for that elusive bonefish.

Bonefishing Exuma

We watch closely as Drexel points some 30 yards away, the fisherman nods and starts the rhythmic motion with his fly rod, back and forth, back and forth, each time feeding more line in an arc, then he casts.

 Silence reigns as the line descends into the water. Then suddenly there is a major disturbance as the fish bites, realizes he has a problem and shoots off at maximum speed.   The sound you hear is the reel as it feeds out the line, the fisherman tightens the clutch on the reel just slightly, and the battle begins.

For the next 45 minutes the guide advises the client as the fish continually changes directions, hoping to get into the mangroves,  to double back and get some slack, then another run. All the time the guest is working to keep tension on the line, to keep his catch away from the rocks.

Eventually the fish tires and is drawn to the boat where Drexel uses his net to bring the beautiful victim aboard. A quick high five, a photo shoot, remove the lure and gently lower the fish back  into its habitat.

Bonefish catch
Best of the day

Well that’s the result today but how did this guide know where to take his guest? How did the guide know when to take his guest to that location and how did he see that fish when most of us miss them?

Well twenty plus years ago Drexel Rolle, born and bred in Exuma, had just left school and had his first job working at the Peace and Plenty Bonefish Lodge. The lodge, now a private home, was the hotel on the Northern shore of Exuma across from Moriah Harbour Cay. If fly fishing was your thing, then this was one of the best World class locations. Aficionados from around the world made their way to Exuma and the bonefish lodge.  

Dexelle's   the best

The enthusiasm of the fishermen and the enthusiasm of the guides quickly set Drexel on a course that was to serve him for the rest of his days.  The stories he heard and the excitement they expressed made him decide that he was going to be a renown bonefish guide.

So years of training, how to cast, where the bonefish will be at different states of the tide, how and where they will be at different stages of their lives, what lures get the best results. Safety training, CPR, boat safety, captains license. All the things he needed to master before he could have certification and therefore promote confidence in his clients

bonefishing in Exuma

Move forward to the present day and Drexel Rolle is one of the leading experts and guides in the bonefish industry in Exuma.  Nowadays everybody need a license to fish and bone fishing is a catch and release sport. You can fish for bonefish without a guide, (you still need to get a license ) but you stand a good chance of a long tiring day with little results.

The guides know where, they know when, and they know how. That’s why you pay them the big bucks !

My biggest catch

Bonefish can live for 15 years and as juveniles they tend to stay in shoals, mainly on the flats on the southside of Exuma where they vary between pound and a half up to seven pounds.

As they mature they become more solitary and the larger specimens can be found off Crab Cay, or between Hartswell and Moriah Harbour Cay where they can weigh up to 16 pounds and will give you an arm wrenching two hour battle.

If you want to try this exciting sport give Drexel Rolle a call at 1 242 345 5025 or on his mobile at 357 0243, or better still e mail him. 

Drexel is also available for a fishing trip for a day,  so go search for that Wahoo or Mahi Mahi. Let an expert help you provide the meal of a lifetime.

Sailboats in Exuma

Sailboats At Anchor in Exuma

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

Excursions in Exuma

charter boat Exuma

One of the leading providers of adventure trips in Exuma is Out Island Explorers.  A family run business headed by Tamara and Dallas, with help from their photogenic boys, Joss and Emit.

Whether your interest is kayaking, sailing, fishing or snorkeling, Out Island have you covered.

Their kayak trips range from a daily rental trip in company with others, with a variety of start points so you can explore different areas of the famous blue waters. Next on their agenda are trips over several days. These usually follow a route through the Exuma Cays with camping each night. The most exciting trip is probably through the worlds first marine park at Waderick Wells Cay, where because of the no fishing rules, the many species of fish, turtles and lobsters are among the largest and more plentiful you are likely to see.

Out Island Explorers also run sailing trips. Their fleet of 21ft shallow draft boats can sail the leeward waters of the islands which are sheltered from the Atlantic resulting in sailing in calm seas enabling you to see through the shallow waters.
The fleet is accompanied by the Out Island staff, with camping at night and camp fire meals. Trips vary from two or three days to an extended trip to Staniel Cay with a flight back to Exuma.

Dallas and Tamara also have a 30ft power boat and will take you for a half or full day charter for either snorkeling, fishing, or a trip to an offshore island, aptly names Sandy Cay, which was the setting for many scenes in “Pirates of the Caribbean”

In addition Out Island Explorers also have a Hobie Cat for rent by the day, or the week.

So, contact Dallas and Tamara for full details and make your Exuma vacation that much more memorable while you stay at Harbour View.

Snorkeling close to home

coastline adventures

Just yards from our home, Harbour View, and in less than 10 foot of water lies one of the best snorkel spots in Exuma. Located just off shore between Hartswell and Moriah Harbour Cay.  While the area of the reef is not large it is well populated with all sorts of fish, from medium sized Grouper and Permit, to the dreaded Lion Fish, and even some lobsters, It’s a rewarding swim.

Exploring the Lagoon inside Moriah Harbour Cay

Moriah Harbour Cay Exuma

Moriah Harbour Cay is a marine reserve and has some of the best beaches in The Bahamas. But that is only part of the story. Because Moriah Harbour Cay is an island, a deserted island, access is limited to those with a boat or kayak, so it is unusual to see another person.

I regularly kayak across to the Cay and enjoy a leisurely walk along the edges of the lagoon that takes up the center section. Depending on the state of the tide you will see baby sharks, that approach you to see what is causing the noise as you paddle, they come within feet until they realize your size at which point they turn tail and accelerate.  The same applies to baby rays that live amongst the mangroves.

Take a walk in the warm water, let the stresses of modern day wash away and watch natures young creatures. For more information check out our website

A Day Trip with Robert’s Island Adventures

swimming pigs

Want a day trip on a boat, full of adventure, great scenery, pristine blue waters, including the famous swimming pigs?  Then give Roberts Island Adventures a call and they will make it a reality.

Robert Thompson, born and bred in Exuma has spent his life with boats and the Ocean. Now the proud owner of Roberts Island Adventures, he has a fleet of power boats including a 38 foot Rabco that takes crew and four guests, and a 35 foot Avanti that takes up to 6 guests and crew. All boats are regularly maintained and have all necessary safety gear.

Robert and his son William are the skippers and they are just itching to take you and your friends on either a full day or half day trip of a lifetime. Whether your interest in going snorkeling, spear fishing or fishing, the boys know where to go to get the best results. They know where the turtles can be found, they know where the lobsters are hiding, so you can be sure of getting those pictures you crave or that fish dish you were planning.

Their all day trip starts by wending your way through the smaller cays, passing by the islands of the stars, David Copperfield, Faith Hill, Tim McGraw, Tiger Woods, they all have homes on a Cay (an island). The order of the stops will vary with the tide but you will stop at Leaf Cay and go ashore to see the iguanas, unique to the Bahamas. Feed them some grapes, pose for the photo op and off we go.  Next stop may be at Big Major Cay where you will be greeted by the sight of pigs of various sizes swimming out to the boat, looking to be fed. Be warned, these are wild animals and they do not like their backs scratched as they get sunburn.  After a fun time and more pictures its “all aboard” and off to swim with the sharks! No panic, their nurse sharks, large and intimidating but basically harmless. The last part of the trip is to Thunderball Cave close to the island of Staniel Cay. This picturesque location was in one of the first James Bond films, and it truely is spectacular. More fish of all varieties and the hole in the roof provides beams of light which reflect down into the water.
Now its time to digest the exciting places you have visited as the boat makes its way back to Exuma.

Robert’s adventures come with a knowledgable and smiling crew and a cooler of cold beverages. So indulge yourself, and let Roberts Island adventures provide you the trip of a lifetime. To book go to his website

roberts island adventures
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