“Goooood morning, cruisers!” the jovial voice rang through the VHF at 0815 every morning, kicking off the best part of every day in the Bahamian Abacos: Cruisers’ Net. From weather reports in various passages, to announcements from area restaurants and dive shops, Cruisers’ Net allowed us to become a fast fit in the friendly waters. The sailing was beautiful, the navigation was challenging and the deep teal of the waters never failed to bring a smile to my face as we sailed from island to island.
I sailed the Abacos with Fairwind Sailing in celebration of their new base in Marsh Harbour, Bahamas. We sailed aboard the beautiful Island Retreat, a sturdy Island Packet 40 that is an ideal platform for learning how to sail. Captain Dave, president and founder of Fairwind Sailing was my enthusiastic tour guide around the islands, showing off all the Bahamas had to offer. Distance between hot spots was never more than a few hours’ sail, and each island had its own fun to offer. There was the pig roast on Great Guana, the bonfire on Treasure Cay, the bike ride around Green Turtle Cay and the reliable winds to carry us between each place.
With protected anchorages and beautiful seas, the Abacos are an ideal place to learn to sail. This new location marks the seventh school for Fairwind Sailing and president Dave Bello is excited to see it spring to life. “The Bahamas are a beautiful and challenging place to learn to sail,” said Bello. “The people are so friendly and the sailing is just gorgeous.” The area is also close to home (only about 100 miles from Florida), easily accessible and breathtakingly beautiful.
Fairwind Sailing will be offering Instant Bareboater (ASA 101, 103 and 104) throughout this season and is especially looking forward to sailing Island Retreat back north in May with students aboard receiving their ASA 107 and 108 certifications en route to Annapolis. Spots are still available for both their Instant Bareboater and Ocean Passage classes.