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:
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.
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…
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.
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.
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)
This entry was posted in Destinations Frequently Asked Questions Educational and tagged 1-800 Yacht Charters, yacht charter Bahamas, Bahamas, Frequently Asked Questions, Did you know, Nassau, swimming pigs, pigs in bahamas, wildlife in caribbean, snow in the tropics, meaning of name, national fish, national flower, Yellow Elder, Lignum Vitae, Tree of Life, Big Major Cay, How did the pigs get to the island?, Why are flamingoes pink?, How many islands in the Bahamas?, Atlantic Blue Marlin, Big Gamefishing, Bimini, Exumas, Berry Islands, New Providence, Has it ever snowed in the Bahamas?, Snow in Bahamas, intrepidPosted on