Our last trip to Cat Island, an out island in the Bahamas, was in 2010 on our boat. It was a lot easier getting there by plane although we did have a weather delay out of Ft. Lauderdale that left us with very little time before our connection in Nassau. I was happy to land on Cat Island after a 45 minute flight on an aging plane with no air-conditioning!
Our best sailing and traveling buddies, Rick and Eva, invited us to stay with them at one of their favorite resorts, Fernandez Bay Village on Cat Island. Our little cottage on the beach was the perfect setting for a relaxing and fun vacation.
Life at Fernandez Bay Village is very simple. No need to carry money, no shoes, no worries! We quickly settled into our cottage at the far end of the beach and took a 5 minute walk down the beach for happy hour at the honor bar followed by dinner out on the patio. The food is mostly simple Bahamian fare which I love. Over the course of our stay we had conch fritters, grilled and cracked lobster, grilled Mahi and Grouper along with simple vegetables, peas and rice, grits and, best of all, johnnycake!
Dressed for dinner
My favorite colors
Eva and I took the complimentary shuttle to the grocery store to pick up some snacks. Just like other out island stores, it’s tiny with very to choose from. We managed to score a few essentials: rum, ginger beer, Pringles, cheese and crackers!
We also rented a car so that we could explore the island for a few days. The car rental process was basically handing over a credit card, getting the key and getting the rules – drive on the left, no big dents or broken glass!
Exploring the island is a real adventure. After lunch we bushwhacked our way to an excellent swimming spot on the ocean side called Sandy Bay. To get there we passed muddy salt flats and the dump while scraping and bouncing our way through the bushes. It was worth it! (And many thanks to Rick, our fearless driver!)
Our Honda was a relic, complete with cassette player!
We could stay here all day!
This is what the beaches look like on the ocean side. Plastic trash ends up here with no place to go. That’s what I think about every time I take a plastic bag or buy something with gratuitous plastic packaging.
Beautiful sunset. It was too cloudy for a green flash.
We had storms off and on. I didn’t mind having some overcast days because the sun is pretty intense.
Our cottage was cute and comfortable. It’s air-conditioned except for the bathrooms which have windows open to the outside. Some of the island creatures like to visit the bathrooms. I was warned to turn on the light at night because frogs and lizards like to hang out in the toilet!
The power went off with the flow of storms and the occasional snake visiting the power box.
Our beach was the perfect place to hang out and swim or kayak. We paddled through the mangroves on winding paths that lead to yet another beautiful beach. It’s important to check the tides because at low tide there’s not enough water to kayak through.
We spotted sea turtles, rays and small sharks.
We visited The Hermitage which sits on the highest hill in the Bahamas – 206 ft.
It’s a steep climb to the top but there’s also a longer trail that’s easier.
This sign wasn’t here a few years ago. Guess someone tried to sue!
From the top you can see boats anchored by the cell tower in New Bight. That’s where we stayed in 2010!
It’s much tinier than it looks from far away. The builder, Father Jerome, was a master of perspective.
We visited Shanna’s Cove, a newer resort, close to the northernmost tip of the island.
We enjoyed the stunning view and home-made pizzas for lunch at Shanna’s Cove. It looks like a great place to stay if you don’t mind a climb down to the beach.
After lunch and another treacherous car ride we found the beach near Shanna’s Cove.
On our last night at Fernandez Bay Village I spotted a new couple that looked very familiar. Turns out that they were from Vero Beach and were heading home after staying on a friend’s boat. Small world! Someday I’ll figure out where I remember them from!
We lucked out on our trip home and caught an earlier flight from Nassau to Ft. Lauderdale. I hope we have a chance to visit Cat Island again. I love everything about the out islands (except the biting bugs!). It’s uncrowded and relaxed with friendly people and beautiful scenery.