Did you know? The British Virgin Islands (BVI or BVI’s) are home to reefs. Specifically, the largest barrier reef in the Caribbean? Moreover, the fourth largest ocean reef on earth?
The BVI reef stretches 18 miles from the island of Anegada to Virgin Gorda. It is considered by experts to offer some of the best snorkeling spots in the world!
Add to the allure of snorkeling and diving during your Virgin Islands crewed catamaran yacht charter. It is widely rumored that there is still Spanish gold buried in the sand on the reef. In addition, the gold is yet to be found! Many Spanish galleons, laden with gold and riches from the new world, traveled here. Further, they sank to their watery graves at the hands of pirates and hurricanes in the 1700’s.
Do you have a favorite snorkeling site in the Caribbean? Share your favorite spot with us, and we’ll send you a complimentary Eco-tote bag to carry your towels and snorkel gear. Leave a comment in the section below, and we’ll contact you for your address!
You probably know the Bahamas is a prime destination for a luxury yacht charter vacation. But how many of the following details do you know about this island archipelago? Here are five little known facts about this tropical paradise:
AND THE NAME MEANS…
The name, “Bahamas” is derived from the Spanish phrase, “Baha Mar” meaning “Shallow Sea.” This was the name given to the area by Spanish explorers. Indeed, the popularity of Bahamas yacht charters is in part due to the fact that the shallow waters with sandy bottoms are perfect for boating and watersport activities like riding waverunners, swimming with wild dolphins, and snorkeling.
DID YOU SAY 700???
Many people think of Nassau as, “the Bahamas.” With dozens of cruise ships, and thousands of tourists visiting Nassau, it’s no small wonder why. But did you know there are 700 islands in the Bahamian archipelago? The total area is 5359 square miles, including 1494 square miles of water – and more importantly – 2201 miles of coastline! This is the advantage of being onboard a luxury charter yacht, and escaping the crowded tourist areas in and around Nassau. Miles of beautiful, uninhabited beaches and moderate average temperature throughout the year help solidify the appeal to boaters to venture beyond Nassau to explore the nearby Exumas and Berry Islands, and beyond. There are literally hundreds of shallow coves where a Bahamas yacht charter vessel can drop anchor for a day of relaxation in the tropical sun. BONUS FACT: Nassau is such a popular tourist destination, many people think it is the name of an island. Nassau is actually a city on the island of New Providence…
SAY IT AIN’T SNOW!
Believe it or not, it HAS snowed in the Bahamas. On January 19th, 1977 a strong cold front that swept into Florida from the northeastern United States passed over the Bahamas. While mostly cold rain fell, local residents did report snowflakes falling from the skies. For a brief time, everyone packed away their swim trunks and waited for the warmer weather to return. The snowfall that day – 41 years ago – is the last time snow was recorded in the islands. The constant tradewinds bless these islands with warm weather – even in the winter months. Winter lows average a comfortable 70 degrees (Fahrenheit), and summer highs between 80–90. This is truly a climate where you can have fun nearly anytime of the day, and in any season.
WHEN PIGS FLY SWIM…
Many tropical tourist destinations offer visitors a chance to swim and interact with dolphins – and some offer intrepid vacationers a chance to swim with sharks.
But pigs???? A favorite stop on most yacht charter itineraries in the Bahamas is a visit to Big Major Cay, home of the swimming pigs. How did the pigs get to the island? No one knows for sure. Big Major Cay is uninhabited and the pigs are not native to the island. Some Bahamians say the pigs were left by a group of sailors, while others claim the pigs swam to shore from a shipwreck. Wherever they came from, there are approximately 3 dozen pigs and piglets living on “Pig Beach.” The pigs are known to wade out in the clear shallow waters and swim up to visiting boaters – in hopes of receiving a snack. Charter guests often get into the water and swim with the pigs, then take the yacht’s tender ashore, to sit and pose for photos with the famous residents of Pig Beach.
BIG BIRD / BIG FISH
The national bird of the Bahamas is the Flamingo, specifically the West Indian Flamingo – one of the largest species of flamingos. BONUS FACT: Did you know flamingos are pink as a result of their diet that consists largely of creatures like krill/shrimp? Once sadly hunted for their orange and pink feathers for fashion reasons, they are now a protected species. The Bahamian island of Inagua has the second largest population of flamingos in the world.
The Bahamas national fish is the Atlantic Blue Marlin. This strikingly beautiful fish is one of the biggest fish in the world. Females, significantly larger than males, can reach 14 feet in length and weigh nearly 2000 pounds. Average sizes tend to be in the range of 11 feet and 200 to 400 lbs. The area around the island if Bimini is considered the Big Game Fishing Capital of the Bahamas. Today, most fishermen practice catch and release, to help sustain the big game fish population.
While not a fish or bird, it’s worth mentioning the national flower is the beautiful Yellow Elder, and the national tree is the Lignum Vitae (Tree of Life)
HOW TO BOOK A YACHT CHARTER
In conclusion, COME EXPLORE THE BAHAMAS! We know at least TEN more little known facts about the Bahamas. For instance, the picture-perfect lagoons, to underwater caves, to pirate’s havens. There’s so much to see and do in the Bahamas, and the best way to see it is on a private luxury yacht charter . Come enjoy one of the most beautiful cruising grounds in the world – starting just 50 miles from the coast of Florida!
Many years ago, we first started blogging about private luxury yacht charters. We would get bored writing about the same topics over and over. For instance, “presenting XYZ sailboat,” “welcome ABC motoryacht,” or “explore this amazing destination.”
KICK IT UP A NOTCH
To jazz things up, our company President, Jana Sheeder made a command decision. She says blogs about off-the-wall, mostly nautical-themed trivia, entitled “Did You Know” peaked interest. She was right.
DID YOU KNOW these common phrases all have nautical roots?
Cup of Joe:
When newly appointed Secretary of the Navy Joe Daniels took his post in 1913, he banned wine and spirits aboard ships. So, the strongest drink aboard Navy ships was coffee. Over the years, a cup of coffee became known as “a cup of Joe.”
Shake a Leg:
This one is a little sketchy so I picked the explanation that sounded the best to me. Some sources claim the phrase originates from the British Royal Navy. Supposedly, officers would order sleeping sailors to throw a leg out from their hammocks to wake up! (Just a fun image…little guinea pig looks exhausted!)
As the Crow Flies:
In the 1700’s, it was thought (and possibly true) crows like to be on dry land and will fly straight to shore, bypassing any obstacles in their path. Ships would carry crows aboard, and in cases of poor visibility, let one free and chart the bird’s flight to shore. [Sounds cool, but I’ll stick to Google Maps!]
LUXURY TAX ABOLISHED The recent Mediterranean Yacht Charter show in Genoa, Italy, learned that the 3 year old Sardinia Luxury Tax is no more. ABOUT THE TAX The repeal of the Sardinia Luxury Tax is especially good news to charter enthusiasts. Anyone considering a yachting vacation in the Mediterranean is fortunate. The law […] read more
The world of luxury yacht charter has finally arrived in the Seychelles. Motor yacht SEA STREAM, a 76 foot Ferretti with room for 8 guests, is now available for Caribbean yacht charter enthusiasts looking for a new destination. Ferretti yacht SEA STREAM is now available as the only high quality, luxury crewed motor yacht available […] read more
PLAN AND PACK Yikes! What to pack? In just over three weeks, you leave on a week-long Bahama yacht charter vacation. You choose a sleek, performance, basic sailing yacht with crew. Your menu provided to your yacht through your charter broker, and your crew is ready to welcome you aboard. Seriously, what do you pack? […] read more