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Trip Report - Cat Island July 2013

Bronx, New York
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294 posts
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Trip Report - Cat Island July 2013

Hello all & apologies for taking foreverrr to write a report 0= ) I think I've been suffering from post-vacation depression so I been slackin' .. even going for DAYS without checking in on TA & well, that's when you know there's a problem! :-D Anyways, Maui comin up in a few months here so I'm feelin' reinvigorated lol. Ok let's get to it.. never wrote a "trip report" so bare with me.

We stayed at Shanna's Cove, Friday July 19th - Saturday July, 27th

Friday, July 19th - Depart NYC to Nassau, then was supposed to catch a connecting flight to Cat via SkyBahamas after what was supposed to be a relatively short layover. Well that turned into a few hours waiting, and then they suddenly opted not to fly into Arthur's Town & only into New Bight which was kind of an inconvenience being that we were staying at Shanna's Cove. No biggie though as a super nice guy by the name of Omar who worked for Sky gave us a ride.

By this time it was later in the evening (maybe 6pmish), and on Fridays Gabi takes the Shanna's crew to Da Smoke Pot so it was either head to Shanna's & not eat as "nobody would be there" or head straight to Da Smoke Pot, which we did : ) Got there & met the super friendly & funny Julian & his wife ; ) Gabi arrived shortly thereafter with the crew & it was SUCH a nice, fun way to kick off our stay meeting our fellow Shanna's guests like that ; ) We ate, we rake'd n' scraped', we "danced" in a circle lol. . good times : ) It was getting kind of late & we were ready to get to the Cove & settle in, so Frank took us and another couple back to the Resort while the others stayed behind with Gabi.

Saturday, July 20th - Woke up NICE & early (around 6) & went for a dip in my new found "back yard" : ) Went for breakfast, then Gabi took most of us out to "Conch shell beach" (thats what I call it).. others were referring to it as the "pink sand beach", but pink sand is everywhere around Cat ; ) The purpose was to collect shells, but I just went along for the ride .. we walked pretty far & it was hot so, not really the most enjoyable outing for me. I probably would have skipped it but it was fun kickin it with the guys in the back of the truck.

From there we went to "Grammy's", a niiiice little oceanfront bar to get some drinks & relax a bit. At that point I really was just super hungry & wanted to get back to Shanna's to eat 0= ) We got back and ate something small because now at this point dinner was only several hours away so we didn't want to fill up all crazy. The remainder of that day was just chillin, maybe relaxing/resting in the room for a while til time to get ready for dinner. I honestly don't recall what was for dinner that evening (I had issues with the food but I'll address that in my proper review!), but dinners are kind of on the late(r) side so after dinner we would just head to the room, unwind & get to sleep.

Sunday, July 21st - Up bright & early again, morning swim ; ) Breakfast.. then we decided to take out one of the kayaks & explore the little coves along the way to Man O'War, as well as Man O' War itself. BEAUTIFUL, secluded beaches/coves along the way to MOW, worth checkin out & taking some pictures. Man O'War is seriously as beautiful, if not more beautiful than people report. About halfway to the "point" (heading north, up the beach) there are some clusters of coral to snorkel, and even more so at the "point" (where the beach turns eastward), and from what I heard, even MORE so heading further in that direction (east) which we didn't get a chance to do. Not really a WHOLE lot of fish/marine life to check out, but some nice sea fans, etc.. oh and watch out for those pesky barracudas :-/

Just a word of advice, whether you kayak or hike to MOW (or any where for that matter), bring plenty of water, snacks & some kind of shade, even if very minimal such as a hat. And PACE yourselves. I ventured out prepared with all of the above mentioned BUT - we stopped at every cove along the way to MOW, pulled the kayak in, snorkeled, then pulled back out & proceeded to the next spot. Bad idea as between all of that & MOW I totally burnt myself out without even realizing it until the moment we decided to leave. Using the word "struggling" to get back to Shanna's is probably the precise word lol. I could barely paddle, felt like vomiting .. and just really, really crappy. I resorted to getting out & just walking/towing the kayak so my wife wouldn't have to struggle to rescue both of us 0= ) So please, pace yourselves, take it easy out there in that heat & sun!

We made it back to Shanna's Beach I barely made it up to the room, and when I did LIGHTS OUT! lol A super THANK YOU goes out to a fellow guest who helped my wife put the kayak back! We rested for a while & then time to get ready for dinner. Again, apologies for not recalling all of these details as some of you very thorough Trip Advisor members do! But I don't recall dinner (it was most likely a chesseburger or pizza for me) 0= ) We ate, went back the room .. off to dreamland ; )

Monday, July 22nd - This day we just explored the beach & snorkeled southward to the "point" (looking left from a bungalow balcony/porch). Walking that way, you will see some what might look to be just rocks underwater, well some of it is just rocks, but deceptively, there's really a lot to see if you snorkel around those little areas (about halfway to the end/point). Further on down you'll encounter starfish .. maybe some barracudas, and maybe even some types of Rays if you're lucky enough ; ) Again, water, food, some shade if you plan on spending some time adventuring out there. That was the majority of our day, along with some rest in the bungalow, and lunch & dinner.

Tuesday, July 23rd - Probably the funnest day for me : ) Another couple staying at Shanna's (who are AWESOME btw!) rented a car this day & we tagged along. We just kinda drove south, stopping & taking pictures of things & places. The Bat Cave, a Church I don't remember the name of (was by a roundabout), Como Hill/Mt. Alvernia .. and we stopped at Fernandez Bay for lunch & snorkeled out back! Fernandez Bay is a beautiful, modern Resort .. the food was good with a few options not found at Shanna's. Snorkeling was just ok. While the Bay itself is outrageously beautiful, sparse marine life & the "remnants" of a sunken plane was literally just a glint of metal. If not for the metal you would think it was just a rock or something down there :-/ But a beautiful place to see & snorkel in regardless. We kinda had to get going at that point because our friends had to be at the Da Smoke Pot (they weren't going to be there for the usual Friday outing) by a certain time so we had to get crackin! On the way back we stopped at a "convenience" or small grocery store, it was a larger, building type looking one. . not one of the smaller ones you might see. Apologies again for not knowing the name, but they had quite a variety of stuff. . all kinds of drinks, milk, snacks, etc .. a lot of stuff, and not outrageously priced either imo. We also stopped for gas at the "lone pump station". They normally "close" around 5, and since it was past that nobody was out there. You can either honk, or knock on the door of the house across the street, but I'm pretty sure if you just honked they'd come help you ; ) We get back to Shanna's, get ready for dinner, eat .. and that was pretty much our evening.

Wednesday, July 24th - Breakfast, then we hiked it to Man O'War. Be sure to make use of the "walking sticks" situated at the beginning of the trail .. more so to clear spider webs in your path than anything lol. It wasn't a terribly long hike, but again .. HOT. Again, water, food, shade/protection. This time we walked to the "point" and spent some time snorkeling out there .. again not a WHOLE lot of fish, but the coral formations scattered about in that crystal clear water looks really cool, especially if you like to dive down & explore the bottom, and the cracks & crevices. Saw bunch more barracuda who actually kinda chased me back to the shoreline :-/ (nexxxxxxxt time you barracudas . . nexxxxt time!) Since we learned our lesson from our first trip to MOW, we decided not to stay TOO long since we had to hike it back, and so after snorkeling for a while we packed up & headed back. That was really our only activity for the day, once we got back we rested a little then sure enough time to get ready for dinner was upon us again. We ate dinner, then back off to dreamland.

Thursday, July 25th - We decided to rent the car & go explore a little further south than we had with our friends a few days prior. All we really did was just kinda drive around exploring, and we had the good fortune to be of some help & give the nicest old lady a ride to the "post office" (where they wait for mail from the mail/supply boat once a week). We did make it all the way down to Hawk's Nest for lunch & check out the place a little. It must be SO COOL to be a private pilot & just fly in there! The place was EMPTY lol, but lunch was nice & it was fun to check out the place. They have a pool, which is rare on Cat, and I know the consensus is "Who needs a pool when you're on Cat Island??" And I agree to some extent BUT, I personally find it nice & refreshing to jump in a pool after a long day in the ocean ; ) Anyways, let me not stray :-D But yeah the Resort was nice, the rooms looked kinda small from the outside, but yet again another Tropical Postcard looking beach/view ; ) From there we continued south & stopped to check out the plantation ruins or "Andrew Deveaux's Great House" .. continued south ending up on a somewhat scary road to be traveling on in just a dinky, little sedan :-/ Road was VERY worn out & rocky but we made it through with just a couple beads of sweat on my wife's forehead 0= ) On the way back up to Shanna's we stopped off at Yardie's and had some FRESH right out of the shell Conch Salad, some conch fritters, corn on the cob .. and my wife got something else I think ? (Hey 3 outta 4 ain't bad for me! lol) REALLY nice people there at Yardie's, with the the most awesome saying on a little painted plaque thing, "Kindness is never wasted" ; ) Dinnertime was coming up soon enough at Shanna's so we really had to run, and hoping we just didn't fill ourselves up too much so close to dinner cause Gabi would NOT be a happy camper if you didn't eat your dinner! 0= ) Soooo .. we stop off at the lone pump for some gas, head back to Shanna's, get ready for & eat dinner .. then, bedtime : )

Friday, July 26th - Our last day so we wanted to take it fairly easy. We decided to just walk back down the beach like we had on Monday & snorkel and swim some more down there. My wife stays close to shore & take millions of pics of the little fish, and I like to swim a little further out & dive down as deep as I can so we just kinda did our own things for a while out there .. and really, that was about it for our day. We made our way back to Shanna's might have gotten some lunch, then just kinda worked on packing for a while. Went for another swim & took some pictures before we had to get ready for dinner. Went & had dinner. . said goodbyes to most of our fellow guests as we wouldn't be seeing them in the morning, then went back to the room to finish up the packing, then we packed ourselves into bed for the night lol.

Saturday, July 27th - Departure day. I opted not to eat breakfast in the hopes of eating something different at Nassau, but my wife ate & we settled up the bill with Gabi. Unfortunately we didn't get to see or say goodbye to Frank :-/ SkyBahamas was up to their old tricks again apparently because today, again, they would not depart from Arthur's Town, only New Bight. So Gabi took us to Arthur's Town & Omar drove us the remainder of the way to New Bight. Man, these inter-island flights/carriers are a trip lol, once at New Bight they decided to proceed to Great Exuma first before Nassau :smh: They "made sure" everyone would be ok making their whatever connecting flight they had in Nassau but whoa.. all I could do was laugh ; ) We depart New Bight for a VERY short flight to Great Exuma, then onto Nassau. We continued on to Long Island from there but that's another Trip Report for another forum! :-D

My thoughts: Something off the beaten path, and secluded was what I was looking for and I found that with Cat Island. Although, Cat Island is a "DIY" kind of destination. Other than fishing or scuba diving there aren't many "planned" trips or excursions, so whatever you want to do you'll either have to walk, hike, kayak, rent a car, or I suppose call a taxi. While we had no problems (other than burn out kayak day :-/) doing our own thing, we kind of like the ease of trips/excursions. I can't even imagine the shock someone who doesn't do their homework on Cat Island experiences when they get there to discover.. TA-DA, nothing lol. 7 days was too long for me on Cat, I would have probably halved that & puddle jumped to another Out Island to explore for a few days, in addition to Long Island ; ) Plus I was getting a little tired of the repetitive food options. It was a beautiful place to visit with the FRIENDLIEST people (friendlier than on Long Island) & I'm happy I got to go & experience it after somewhat obsessing over it here on TA (c'mon you guys know what I'm talking about!). But I can't say I'll be back anytime soon. . too many places on my list!

Oh, ALSO.. the days might sound short, but like I said, it was HOT, and we could do only so much in the heat by ourselves so, we got a little worn out quicker than usual, and you know how time flies when you're having fun too!

Hope this provides some insight & some helpful information! Feel free to ask any questions if you guys have any I'm more than happy to try to answer : )

Happy Travels All,

Jay

Gastonia, North...
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1. Re: Trip Report - Cat Island July 2013

Thanks for posting!!! Would love to hear your comparisons between Long and Cat. Interesting that Sky Bahamas makes a stop in Exuma. That could be a nice 2-island trip without having to layover back in Nassau. We love Long Island and think the people are SO friendly so I can't imagine the people on Cat being even nicer than that. We plan to do Cat at some point so it's good to know that a week might be too long although we always rent a car for the entire stay so that helps to prolong the exploring. We are going back to Long Island next month, yeah! We were there this past July so I know what you're talking about with the heat and having the option of the pool as well as the ocean. You should try Great Exuma next if you haven't already. LOTS of food options and excursions to choose from. But rent a car for the entire time plus you can rent a boat if you want.

Can't wait to read your Long Island report.

Tallahassee, Florida
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2. Re: Trip Report - Cat Island July 2013

What a funny guy you are JayStarzZ! I bet you are a hoot to hang out with! Loved your report! We might go to Cat next year. We like October because it's not so hot and the water is still warm. Just a suggestion. Also, in addition to jungledriver's suggestions, try Eleuthera. Lots to do and see with some organized excursions and lots of places to eat even in the off season. Also, invest in a sun/swim shirt and keep it on when you are snorkeling. Again, thanks for posting! I smiled the whole time reading it!

Bronx, New York
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3. Re: Trip Report - Cat Island July 2013

Hi Jungledriver : )

Well quickly, for here, like I mentioned I personally found Cat Islanders super, super friendly. . the Long Islanders were super friendly too but we actually encountered attitude there which we experienced ZERO of on Cat, and we met some strange, somewhat rude people on the side of the road on Long Island lol. For me, Long Island edges out Cat in terms of ocean/water beauty, and definitely wins in the snorkeling category : ) Long Island is a tad more developed while still maintaining that "out island feel", with many more conveniences compared to Cat.

Interestingly enough, I usually rent a vehicle (where feasible) for the duration of my stays too, but I honestly just did not feel the need on Cat .. 2 days rollin' around & I felt it plenty. There were a couple of other from shore snorkeling sites I wanted to check out on Cat but we just didn't get to that. Plus, $80/day for the car is kinda steep when you're talking about a weekly rental. Also, while I felt like 7 days was too much for me .. other people stay 2 weeks & don't want to leave! Its subjective for sure, but being that you frequent Long Island and are already accustomed to the out island feel, maybe 7 days might not be too much for you? : ) Dunno, gotta try it out & see!

In all honestly if I could, I woulda switched it & did 7 days on Long, 4 on Cat but. . I'm extremely Blessed to have been able to visit either, for any amount of time so, no regrets here ; )

I've always looked at Great Exuma, and initially was trying to book something there but it was just very, very costly so.. maybe one day ; ) GE looks amaaaaaaaazing from the air though! Now renting a boat is something I've never done but would LOVE to do! We were in Bora Bora last year & while we did EVERYTHING else but rent a boat looking back I'm like "Shoot I wish we woulda done that & had that freedom to explore!"

Thanks for the read & reply Jungledriver .. I should be posting reviews as well as the LI trip report "soon" lol 0= )

Bronx, New York
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4. Re: Trip Report - Cat Island July 2013

Hey, Thanks bythesea! I grew up traveling in the summertimes & I just LOVE the heat and most importantly the warm water that comes with summer! As long as I'm very close to or constantly immersed in a body of water ; ) This January when we go to Maui will be my first non-summer vacation .. hoping the water won't be too cold but I'm looking forward to it!

The wife has already been to Eleuthera so we looked for places that both of us (her) haven't been to yet : ) And I actually DO own a nice, 50+ spf swimshirt which I wore daily out there! First time wearing one, trying to keep my tattoo'd arm protected, and man those things are great!

…photobucket.com/albums/b274/Jaystarzz/Baham…

Buying at least another one for Hawaii!

Glad you liked my first trip report! :-D

5. Re: Trip Report - Cat Island July 2013

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