The Exumas are an archipelago of 365 cays and islands. They sit on a carbonate shelf 35 miles southeast of Nassau.
To the east of the Exumas are the deep waters of Exuma Sound, where deep sea fishing is excellent. To the west of the Exumas are the shallow waters generally referred to as "The Banks". Because of the location of the Exumas between the deeper and shallower water, we found that the tidal currents around individual cays were often stronger and more unpredictable than we had expected.
The Exumas is a recommendeded sailing area because it is home to The Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park, encompassing several interesting and unique cays which can be visited within the time frame of a week or so.
The striking turquoise water of the Exumas makes it possible to identify this chain of small cays from outer space.
Our initial itinerary had us sailing south from Highborne Cay, the most northerly point, turning around to go back to Nassau after reaching Staniel Cay, the most southerly point, with overnight stops in between those points at Warderick Wells Cay and Norman's Cay. We knew there would be long distances of up to 35 nautical miles to cover on some days but we optimistically hoped we would have a brisk northeast wind to carry us along.