It’s no surprise that during 2020 and 2021, there were record boat sales as folks turned to boating to create a COVID-free environment in a world of lockdowns and mask mandates. Investment portfolios were healthy, so for many, a family-size express cruiser was the perfect solution. It is spacious and self-contained so once you left the dock, apart from an occasional stop for fuel, you could discontinue all the health protocols in your luxurious personal bubble on the water. The itch to go further afield has been there since the early days, but initially there was no place to go as the world was locked down. Now that business is back in full swing, work is preventing you from getting away for more than a week.
So where do you go to get the most out of a week off? The Bahamas is the answer, but it’s a big country with more than 700 islands spread over an area larger than New England and New York combined. Bimini is the closest island, but a week there will seem long for most people. It’s better for a power weekend which makes it a good fallback in case you get delayed by weather. The Berry Islands are a possibility, but they lack variety. If your crew wants nightlife in addition to natural beauty, you will be hard-pressed to keep them happy, unless they believe that 9PM is boater’s midnight. Eleuthera or Exuma are simply too far away even for a 20- to 25-knot express cruiser to cover in a week, and the rest of the Bahamas would require flying to a boat if all you have are seven days.
For those with limited time, the Abacos are tantalizingly close and always receive high marks for the clarity of the water and the quality of the fishing. But more importantly, they offer the greatest variety of destinations as well as boasting a higher concentration of marinas than any other part of the country aside from Nassau. You might say the Abacos were made for boaters. The following is an itinerary to make the most of a week in paradise.