ISLANDS

Each island has its own story and history. Click on each island below to learn more and see pictures of the many islands that we visit on our cruises. Come, explore the out islands with us!

World famous for its indigenous population of Rock Iguanas, Allen’s Cay is a must for all ages! Allans Cay is a Bahamian National Park administered by the National Trust. The only way to visit Allan’s Cay is by boat. The charter sailboat Cat Ppalu visits Allans Cay every week. It can pull right up to the beach and drop the bow ladder for easy access to the shore. The iguanas are so accustomed to tourists that they wait on the beach to be fed handouts. Visitors come bearing gifts for these iguanas in the form of fruit on a stick! Their eye sight must not be very good or their depth perception is off, because a finger and a grape look alike to them. Poke a grape on the end of a stick and see if you can snap that perfect photo with the iguana reaching up to snatch it and then watch it run off to eat.
The entire population is estimated at 1,000 iguanas. The natural history of this iguana is perhaps the best understood of any rock iguana due to a 20-year population monitoring and research program. The Allen’s Cay iguana is extremely well known to many yachters and sailors who share stories of their stop here and is a popular anchorage for liveaboard sailboats.
The seven year apple gets its name from those that try it, while it is edible; it tastes like turpentine, so you won’t try it again for another 7 years. The fruit starts out green, as here, and gradually turns yellow, then black, then wrinkled as the dark brown pulp dries inside. Probably best to leave it for the iguanas!
When you are done with feeding the iguanas, the secluded sandy beach is a great place to swim and explore. Hike up and around to see if you can find the rock cairn constructed long, long ago….
The channel between the islands is a popular anchorage for sailboats and the waters around South Allen’s are great for snorkeling.

Southwest has a variety of diving including several unique dives. It is a popular area to go for the liveaboard scuba diving boats when the winds are between North and east because the high cliffs of the island shelter the reefs that are just offshore. The walls drop straight off, so that you can hang off them and see nothing but water below. There are several large coral heads in shallower water that are shaped like large mushrooms with the top 100′ across. One of the Split Coral Head is the site of our shark dive. There is a shallow blue hole, Jake’s Hole that has a pristine reef around it. One of the most unique dives you will ever do is the Cobia Fish Cage. This is an experimental aquaculture fish cage to raise cobia. The cage looks something like a flying saucer as you approach it. Huge schools of fish including grouper and sharks hang out under and around the cage waiting for fish food to fall through the bottom of the cage. These dive sites are only visited by liveaboard dive boats like the liveaboard charter sailboat Cat Ppalu.

On the eastern shores of this cay are some of the loveliest beaches in the Bahamas. Gin clear water washes up on pristine beaches, wading pools form with the tides. Step back in time and examine the Bahamian Stromatolite formations! Stromatolites are rare in today’s oceans. However, they can be found in several localities along the margins of Exuma Sound. The Bahamian stromatolites are living relatives of Earth’s oldest reefs. Bahamian stromatolites are the only known examples of present-day stromatolites growing in open ocean conditions, equivalent to those of many 1 to 2 billion year-old. Many research institutions have studied these extremely rare formations.
The Highborne Cay Marina has a dock where fisherman clean their catch of the day. The spectacle is all the nurse sharks that gather for the scraps that are tossed over. Be sure to walk out on the dock and see this feeding frenzy first hand!
Snorkeling along Highborne is fabulous and so is the diving! Basket-star Reef, with its prolific coral life and fish life is always a great dive and if you are feeling like a little excitement, dive into the Washing Machine! This cut offers a swirling ride thru the islands that divers love! These reefs can only be visited by liveaboard boats like the charter sailboat Cat Ppalu.
The Highborne Marina has a pretty well stocked grocery store for liveaboard boaters. There are 16 slips and they monitor VHF 71.
Norman’s Cay won notice as the base of Colombian drug runner, Carlos Lehder, back in the 70’s. Lehder’s operation was eventually infiltrated by the “feds”; but only after a US congressman & his wife strayed too close and were murdered. There was a big DEA raid, all sorts of shooting in which Carlos Lehder was captured. The walls of some of the old houses are full of bullet holes. There is a crashed disintegrating aircraft in the southern harbor that is great for snorkeling with many fish and even a turtle or two as local residence of the wreck.
After all that hiking, bop into Mac Duff’s (now known as the Norman’s Beach Club Bar and Grill). Just watch for airplanes on the walk back to the boat as they come in for a quick landing on the runway.
The charter sailboat Cat Ppalu visits the northern Exumas every week. Cat Ppalu has 4 kayaks and 2 stand-up paddle boards on board for its guests use to explore the islands. Norman’s Cay has a great inland bay that is interesting to explore.
Drift Dive Wax Cut south of the island which is a swift drift with the tides just right! Fly by coral gardens and tons of fish along the way.
One of the first jewels in the long chain of islands of the Exumas, is Ships Channel Cay. This quaint little cay is visited by Power Boat Adventures’ passengers to enjoy for a few hours what you will do for a full week aboard the charter sailboat Cat Ppalu!
Quirky and quaint– the little sand bar is a great place to stop for a cold drink, a little beach combing, hiking and hog dodging! The resident hog greets you and then demands your drink so keep it up high. Resident nurse sharks and stingrays hang out along the beach and under the dock which makes for great photo opportunities!
The view from the highest point is breathtaking– the shades of blue and green span the spectrum and tickle your senses.
Scuba dive one of our favorite sites, “Lobster no Lobster” named aptly so! You can only dive these reefs on a liveaboard like the charter sailing catamaran Cat Ppalu.
This is just one of many little gems we may stop to admire along the way…..
Visitors aren’t allowed when the Powerboat Adventure boat is there midday, but normally are welcome at other times. They can be reached on channel 82A.
Shroud Cay is in the Exuma Cays National Land and Sea Park at its northernmost end. Remember to take nothing but pictures and leave nothing but footprints! The Land and Sea Park is a no take zone with over 30 years of protection. The sanctuary is one of the most successful and is modeled by many other countries with an interest in preserving their marine habitats.
This beautiful island is home to rare white-tailed tropic birds that nest in the craggy nooks of the limestone rocks. This bird is endangered with fewer than two thousand across the Atlantic. They are majestic in flight but rather clumsy on land. Nesting season is a sight to behold with pairs feeding their young and circling constantly.
The beach is known as Camp Driftwood among boaters. Spend the day lazing along the beach, kayak the mangroves and explore the inner island areas. There is even a freshwater spring at the western entrance to the mangrove creek.
Hike to the highest point for a vantage point that has great views! View the expansive mangrove system from here and look further for the rock cairn left by a visitor of long ago.
Wax Cut Drift Dive is on the northern end of the island with the most stunning corals! At slack tide, you can dive the center which is named Fire Coral Wax Cut Drift Dive is on the northern end of the island with the most stunning corals! At slack tide, you can dive the center which is named Fire Coral Reef. The wall to the east is called Shroud Wall and has beautiful coral formations leading to the edge of the Sound.
Shroud Cay and it’s reefs may only be visited by liveaboards like the 12 passenger charter sailboat Cat Ppalu.
Most of the action on Staniel Cay centers around the friendly Staniel Cay Yacht Club, where yachters, charter sailboats and landlubbers alike stay, dine, and congregate. Our crew will take you to some of the uninhabited islets nearby, see marine life like nurse sharks, and visit with the famous “swimming pigs” of Big Major Cay, which paddle out to sea in hopes of getting a handout from sailors. Thunderball Grotto, a natural fishbowl, is featured in the James Bond film “Thunderball.”
One of our favorite eco-adventures is Thunderball Grotto. The Grotto is a small, partially underwater cavern with a sky-light, which is accessible to snorkelers at low tide. It was made famous by the James Bond movie Thunderball; you can see pictures from the filming of the movie at the SCYC bar. Getting inside the grotto is at first a little intimidating, but if you go at low tide you don’t even have to put your head under water to gain entrance, just find the opening and guide yourself in using your hands as a brace against the sides of the rocky cave. Once you are inside Thunderball you will be amazed! Any fear you might have had will instantly be replaced by awe when you enter the interior. Inside the cave the light beams down from the opening in the roof, illuminating the crystal clear blue water below. The light beam penetrates the surface of the water and dances all the way to the ocean floor 20 feet below, a myriad of tropical fish dart in and out of the light, their bright colors flashing in the sun.  Among the colorful parade are queen angelfish, sergeant majors, rock beauties, grouper, blue chromis, snapper, and parrotfish.
The next stop is Big Major Cay, home of the famous swimming pigs. Yes you read that right, swimming pigs! We’ve counted at least six pigs that have made this small island their home, and each one has become accustomed to the fact that visitors most likely mean food. So when they a see a boat floating up to shore they know it means a handout, and so they will swim out to beg. It is the coolest and craziest thing you will ever see! Pigs in paradise—you gotta love it! An ideal way to visit Staniel Cay and swim with the pigs is on a liveaboard charter sailboat like the charter catamaran Cat Ppalu. She sleeps 12 in six cabins, so is ideal for a family vacation or a vacation with a group of friends
The first park of its kind in the world, the Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park is famous for its pristine beauty, outstanding anchorages and breathtaking marine environment. It is the largest underwater park in the Caribbean.
The island was selected to be the headquarters for the Park due to the wide variety of naturally occurring ecosystems, and it’s centrally located geographical position within the park. From rocky bluffs to sand dunes, mangrove creeks and sand flats, this island has it all! The Park Visitor Center sits on a point overlooking this harbor, and a pleasant afternoon can be had just sitting on the deck and watching the tide transform the harbor over a five hour period.
The skeleton of a 53′ Sperm Whale (died after swallowing a plastic bag) watches guard over Powerful Beach near the park office. On Saturday nights, cruisers frequently gather around the small tiki hut on the beach for a happy hour. Over 7 miles of trails cross throughout the island allowing visitors to hike from one end of the island to the other.
As the highest point on the island, Boo Boo Hill has become the spot for visitors to bring a piece of driftwood with the name of their boat on it as an appeasement to the gods.
The southwest end of the island, called Pirate‘ Lair, is the former pirates hangout. Stromatolites, an ancient and very rare form of early life on earth, line the sand bank between the two cays, and anchoring is prohibited anywhere in this harbor. A nature trail leads from the beach and goes by a fresh water spring the pirates used. Numerous snorkeling and exploring opportunities abound in this area.

The Visitor Center is open from 9:00 AM until Noon and from 1:00 PM until 4:00 PM Monday through Saturday, and from 9:00 AM till Noon on Sunday. Liveaboards may contact the park during normal office hours to schedule overnight mooring balls. Park Staff monitor VHF 16 24 hours a day for emergency calls. Warderick Wells may only be visited by boats like the 12 passenger charter liveaboard sailboat Cat Ppalu.There is excellent scuba diving and snorkeling just north of Warderick Wells. Due to the lack of fishing in the park there is a very healthy population of fish including grouper.