Forget the high tide of boats cruising north for the summer. Instead, cast off for the Lucayan Archipelago, also known as the island group comprising the Bahamas and Turks and Caicos. The lull in crowds during months, such as June, July and August, make it even easier to enjoy all the watersports and wonderful activities these tropical gems have to offer.
“The summer months, when the sea is most calm and the temperature averages about 84 degrees, is the best time of year for boaters to cross the Gulf Stream,” says Heather Krasnow, director of public relations for Resorts World Bimini, a luxury resort located in the westernmost Bahamas about 50 nautical miles off the South Florida coast and home to IGY’s 230-slip Marina at Resorts World Bimini.
Calm waters mean exceptionally clear waters.
Scuba is definitely a ‘wow’ experience in the Lucayan Archipelago. Bimini is a world famous diving destination that offers dozens of unique spots including the S.S. Sapona, a concrete ship wreck that sitting half-way out of the water which was used during Prohibition to store liquor; and the ‘Road to Atlantis’, a must-see dive site that claims to be part of the mystical lost city.
Due to its location in the north flowing Gulf Stream, Bimini lies directly in the middle of the migratory routes for at least 45 different species of sharks. Gulf Stream Tiger, Black Tip and Lemon sharks swim here during the summer. Wild Atlantic Spotted Dolphins are especially abundant in the summer making unforgettable free swim buddies during dive excursions. To the southeast, the Princess Alexandra National Park off the coast of the Providenciales provides a wondrous marine environment of protected reefs, shallow bays and undersea walls. Caribbean Reef Sharks and Bottlenose Dolphin are a highlight here as are schools of rainbow-colored fish and other marine life like sea turtles, eels and spotted eagle rays.
“The swells are generally a lot less in the summer and the waters are so clear that watersports such as scuba diving, paddle-boarding and sport fishing are awesome,” explains Adam Foster, general manager of IGY’s Blue Haven Marina, situated in the Providenciales, an island in the northwest Caicos Islands and part of the Turks and Caicos. This 5 Anchor 78-slip marina, welcoming yachts to 220’ LOA, is about 550 miles southeast of Bimini.
Paddle-boarding is excellent along Bimini’s mangrove-lined channels, inner shore and coastline. Ditto in the protected waters off the Providenciales. Watersports concessions in both locales offer paddle-boards for rent as well as guided tours. These operators often rent kayaks and provide lessons for windsurfing and kite-surfing. Kite-surfing is especially popular in the Providenciales during the summer thanks to steadily blowing tradewinds. Long Bay is the most popular kite beach and offers miles of open crystal-clear ankle to waist-deep flat water.
The Lucayan Archipelago is a sports fisherman’s paradise.
Bimini is often referred to as the bonefish capital of the world. The gin clear inshore waters are perfect for sight-fishing the elusive bonefish and permit, while a few miles off shore, the waters are rich with tuna, snapper, wahoo, marlin and other prized big game fish. Resorts World Bimini offers a full-service excursion center on-site that can arrange a variety of activities including offshore fishing charters.
Summer is the most plentiful time of year to fish for blue marlin, tuna and other pelagic species in the Providenciales. The Blue Haven Marina hosts the 20th Annual Caicos Classic IGFA Billfish Release Tournament July 2 to 6. A dozen or more boats, with crews from the Turks & Caicos, Bahamas and U.S. mainland, have participated in past years.
Beyond watersports, both the Marina at World Resorts Bimini and Blue Haven Marina offer luxury amenities such as world-class marina facilities, restaurants, shops and accommodations. What’s more, holidays are extra special. The Blue Haven Resort hosts events for the U.S. Fourth of July, while World Resorts Bimini commemorates the U.S. and Bahamian Independence Days (July 4th and 10th) with festivities that include fireworks, Junkanoo bands, and authentic Bahamian fare. The islands of the Lucayan Archipelago are definitely the place to cruise this summer!