FAQ

Get Acquainted

Your group will have a great time exploring the northern Exumas with their many beautiful beaches. In addition to scuba diving, you can spend time beachcombing, hiking, fishing, kayaking, stand up paddle boarding or photographing the many natural sights. The underwater window in cabin 6 always gives you a spectacular view of what’s below. In Nassau you can enjoy the shopping, casinos and night life of Nassau and Paradise Island.

Yes, as often as the wind blows. The best time for sailing is from October to April. During the period from May to September there is normally very little wind. Passenger participation is welcomed by the crew or you may just lay back and relax in the sun.

We serve three meals a day, as well as snacks and fresh fruits. Fresh fish is also served, in season, when caught. Most meals served will be American cuisine. A selection of beverages is always on hand, from soft drinks and lemonade to beer, wine and rum drinks.

Yes, as long a you aren’t in the Exumas Land & Sea Park. We furnish all of the fishing gear.

Eco-adventurers enjoy the many opportunities to go ashore in the Exuma Cays. We can take you to isolated beaches where you can sunbathe, explore, kayak, SUP, snorkel or fish. You will enjoy feeding and photographing the iguanas on Allan’s Cay. You can visit the headquarters of the Exumas Land & Sea Park on Warderick Wells and explore the many trails. Be sure to check out the whale bones on the island. Don’t miss the blow hole! You can also kayak the creeks that meander through Shroud Cay. These creeks are nurseries for many varieties of fish and sharks. For those interested in bird watching, the Exumas are a nesting area for many species of seabirds including White-Tailed Tropicbirds, Audubon Shearwaters, Brown Noddies, and Bridled and Sooty Terns. The possibilities are endless!

The Exuma Cays offers many opportunities to go ashore and explore and enjoy the uninhabited beaches.  For these occasions, we highly recommend proper footwear for these eco adventures.  Flip flops are not always suitable.  We suggest water shoes or TEVA type sandals.  Sneakers are fine but they might get wet!

You’ll spend your days in bathing suits and casual wear. Bring shorts, t-shirts and a windbreaker. Bring a pair of deck shoes/ sandals, suntan lotion (non-oil), and sunglasses. In winter, a sweatshirt is advisable. We provide three towels. If you would like more towels or would like a beach towel, you should bring them with you.

We do return to Nassau Thursday afternoon so that our guests may enjoy an evening ashore. Nassau has much to offer, with dining, entertainment, casinos and shopping all within a short distance. There aren’t any ports in the Northern Exumas, just quiet uninhabited beaches and gorgeous sunsets.

Spending money for an evening ashore (drinks, souvenirs) and crew gratuity (15% is customary in the live-aboard industry). The currency in the Bahamas is the Bahamian dollar, which is par with the US dollar. They are used inter-changeably. If you have US dollars, there is no need to change currency.

The live-aboard business is a service industry, and although the general public is seldom aware of it, gratuities are a major part of a crewmember‘s salary. Few other recreational activities rely so heavily upon the professionals in charge of your enjoyment and safety. Besides being at the mercy of Mother Nature, the quality of your experience is based on the people who provide it. The crewmembers are generally multi-talented and do several jobs on board. They oversee the diving, cook meals, wash dishes, clean heads and cabins, perform engineering duties, and navigate the seas. We strongly believe that gratuities should be voluntary and based upon the quality of the service the crew provides. A gratuity of 15% is customary, but many leave more when they feel the service was outstanding. If you are disappointed with the service, you should inform the Captain of your feelings.

Yes, we have a DVD player. We also have a stereo system and CD player with iPod docking station.

We have 110 volt household current. There are outlets in each cabin as well as the salon.

If someone needs to get in contact with you due to a true emergency, they should contact our US reservations office and they will relay the message. The calling areas of the remote out islands of the Bahamas are extremely limited.

Get There

All travelers to the Bahamas will need a passport. Check with the Bahamas Embassy for visa requirements if citizenship is not US or Canada.

Taxis are readily available from the airport, or with prior arrangements our office can arrange for transfers. The cost for one way in a taxi is approximately $35.00. We can arrange private transfer service for $15.00 each way per person. Cat Ppalu is docked at the Nassau Harbour Club. If your arrival in Nassau will be delayed, you can advise the crew by calling them directly at the dock at 242-376-7603.

You may board after 12:00 PM on Saturday. We like to shove off by 3 pm at the latest to make the trip from Nassau to the Exumas during daylight hours. We can, of course, stay longer to accommodate later arrivals as this is a charter only vessel.   Keep in mind that if it gets too late, then the captain may decide to leave early Sunday morning instead of Saturday afternoon for safety reasons.   We recommend flights that land no later than 2 pm to make the 3 pm departure.

The Cat Ppalu returns to Nassau Thursday early evening. We still serve dinner and provide lodging at the dock. This is your night in port so that you can experience some of the local culture. All passengers must disembark Friday by 9:00 AM.

There are a variety of hotels in Nassau and on Paradise Island. Please inquire or check the website listing for Hotels in Nassau.

Get Wet

Yes, anytime the boat is anchored. You need to bring mask, fins, and snorkel. Snorkeling is not supervised. Our instructor on board will be happy to instruct you in snorkeling skills.

Yes, if you are a certified diver. If not, you may take a resort course for a $125.00 fee. While the Northern Exumas are only 30 miles from Nassau there are no dive operations there, so you can experience truly virgin diving. The Exumas have walls starting at 40′, as well as a blue hole, drift, reef, and shark dives. There is one wreck dive. For over 40 years much of the northern Exumas has been a National Underwater Park with no fishing, spear fishing or collecting allowed. Because of these laws there are miles of undersea gardens in which coral, sponges and fish abound.

For a fee of $125.00 our dive instructor will spend some time at the beach giving you instruction. This will allow you to make two dives under their supervision. This resort course does not certify you. The BC and regulator are included in the cost. Additional dives may be arranged with the instructor on board for a fee.

Yes, our dive instructor can with prior arrangements. The cost is $15 per dive plus the cost of the certification envelope if not provided.

Certified scuba divers need snorkel, fins, mask, regulator, buoyancy compensator, u/w watch or computer, depth gauge and for night dives a dive light and cyalume stick are required. We provide tanks, weights and weight belts. There is storage on deck for all gear and we have a hose to rinse cameras and regulators. Between fall and spring, a wetsuit is recommended.

We have top of the line dive gear available for rent. All must be rented by prior arrangement. Glow sticks are available for $2 each for night dives.

Between fall and spring, a wetsuit is recommended. The chart will give you a general idea of the water temperatures and what weight wetsuit you will need. When deciding what to bring, consider that you will be diving a lot each day and it takes your body a while to warm up after a dive. Air temperature, the wind and whether it is sunny all affect how fast your body warms back up after a dive. What each person needs is an individual choice. Some wear a full suit in the summer and some dive with a shorty in the winter.

One on Saturday if everyone arrives early enough. 3-4 dives/day Sunday through Wednesday with two more on Thursday. The fourth dive of the day is a night dive and is offered Sunday-Wednesday.  Usually 19 dives are offered during the trip.

We do a shark feed once during the trip and we do see sharks on many of our dive sites and snorkel sights. Typically, we see Caribbean Reef Sharks and Nurse Sharks. Some sites are frequented by greater numbers of sharks while others are less populated by sharks.