We travelled to Nassau for a few days this Easter vacation. Had we been staying there for longer, we would have liked to have done a trip right down the Exuma Cays to visit the famous island with the swimming pigs, but as we did not have the time for this, we researched other boat trips we could do, within a day, from Nassau.
We didn’t have to look very far before we decided on the number 1 (according to tripadvisor) boat trip from Nassau – the Powerboat Adventures Trip.
The reviews sounded amazing and the number of endorsements they have from various newspapers and tv channels, including the New York Times and Animal Planet, suggested that it would be as good as it seemed.
The boat departs from the port on Paradise Island and despite us only staying a short walk away, we still had a minibus transfer down! After signing in and completing all the waivers – lets face it, hanging out with iguanas, sharks and stingrays does have its risks – we headed round to the boat.
As with all boat trips, most people wanted to sit at the front or back – where they were in the open air. With two youngish children, we had our eyes set on the central section which was enclosed. As it turns out, we chose the best spot – it is a powerboat after all and as it speeds across the waves, there is a lot of splashback! The people who sat outdoors were soaked!
Unlimited bottled water is available for your convenience as you wend your way down to the Exumas.
The first part of the journey took around an hour – the kids dozed, we scanned the horizon for islands and wildlife – sadly there were no lucky sightings of dolphins or sharks!
The first stop is a small island, Allans Cay, where you are provided with skewers and grapes to feed the greedy inhabitants. Iguanas of all sizes cone out to greet you and enjoy munching on the fruity treats.
There is time to take a (very) quick dip in the sea – you are wet anyway from the walk to the shore – and then its time to set off again.
From there you head straight to the Powerboat Adventures private island, Ship Channel Cay – an absolute paradise – where you will spend the rest of the day.
The sea is genuinely that colour and the sandy beach is pure and white. Bliss!
Once everyone has disembarked, a paddle is in order to see the Stingrays. They do warn you not to swim as the sharks may come in. The large stingrays come right up and rub themselves against you with their rubbery wings.
Once the team are all sorted they get you to line up, kneeling in the water and they give you little strips of fish to feed the rays. You lay the fish on the top of your hand, holding it between two fingers and place your hand flat on the sea bed. The stingrays swim over and suck the fish up into their mouths. Pretty cool! My 5 yr old dropped his fish and my little finger was sticking up so they tried to suck my finger up too but it was awesome!
There is a free bar on the island where you can get served unlimited drinks all day. So after a refreshment stop, it’s time for next activity.
As if they know the daily timetable, the stingrays swim away and the sharks make their way in. There are reef sharks, nurse sharks and lemon sharks. Two of the guides stand in the water, overseeing the sharks and making sure they don’t come in too close to the shore and where we were all standing in the shallows. Then another guide arrives with the bait and feeds the sharks, pulling them right up close to the crowd.
The sharks head off and there is time for a little break.
Next is snorkelling. You have to be able to swim to do this although they provide life jackets. My 5 yr old was not a strong enough swimmer for this activity, so I stayed behind on the beach with him.
My 7 year old decided she wanted to go. I was a tad worried about her, but she amazed everyone with her confidence and ability.
They swam out quite a distance and she tells me she saw lots of fish! I expect there are very few, if any, of her friends who have had this kind of an opportunity. She has no idea how lucky she is!
Lunch is served!
A great buffet is served – hot dogs for the kids and freshly grilled fish and meat for the grown-ups.
Despite layering on the suncream, by this stage we were feeling the burn a bit so we watched the next activity from the shelter of the beach hut.
The guides brought a load of conch in from the sea. They remove the conch to make a lovely conch salad for everyone and hand out the shells – one for each group.
Finally, there is some free time before the boat heads back.
We decided to get ahead – we wanted our inside seats again, so headed to the boat a few minutes before.😀
An hour or so journey back to Paradise Island and this amazing day comes to an end.
A once in a lifetime opportunity. If you are ever in thay vicinity, you must do this trip!