Cat Island, Long Island? Can we do both?

May 23rd, 2008, 07:54 PM
  #1  
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Cat Island, Long Island? Can we do both?

We are in the beginning stages of a Bahamas trip. I've always wanted to visit Cat Island and heard great beach reports for Long Island, too.

What transportation is available between Cat Island and Long Island?

Also, what day trips are available from Cat Island? Do you rent a whaler? Or take a public vessel?

Sent availability requests to a private home north on Pigeon Cay beach. Also, south on the island at Fernandez Bay Beach Resort and Sammy T's.

A preference to either for those that have been? Callaloo, I'm reading your reports now. We have the same requirements so your reports have helped a great deal.

BeachGirl
BeachGirl247 is offline  
May 24th, 2008, 05:38 AM
  #2  
 
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Callaloo's probably sailing her Sabre on the Chesapeake.

Keep in mind that Sammy T's is on north Cat, north of Pigeon Cay. A house in Pigeon Cay would be more self catering vs. FBV or Sammy T's. We stayed at a house in Bennett's Harbour which was very nice, although without air which would bother some. ( http://www.a1vacations.com/rental-home/p207945 )

As far as connecting to Long Island, I suspect the only way is to return to Nassau and connect to Long Island.

To me, Cat's a laid back, find you own interest kind of island, walk a beach, kayak, read a book under a palm,etc. Trust me you'll never cross paths with many people.
RobertoB is offline  
May 24th, 2008, 05:53 AM
  #3  
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Cat Island sounds perfect for us.

If you had to choose between north or south on the island, which would you prefer? We normally rent a house but are not opposed to staying at a "resort" on Cat. While a resort they appear to be small and quiet. We will rent a car, too.

Regarding food, did you bring meats and other items with you? Is there a place to get fresh fish and vegetables? Any advice here is appreciated.

I wasn't sure of the distance between Cat Island and Long Island. I was hoping we could rent a boat or hire someone to take us over. I'll also look into hiring a private plane, too. We did that from Eleuthera and took a flight over the Exumas and other islands and landed at Staniel Cay Yacht Club. I got many beautiful shots from the air.

Thanks!
BeachGirl
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May 24th, 2008, 06:12 AM
  #4  
 
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BG: When are you going? Those 2 islands are high on my list. Would love to read a report and see some pics when you're back.
caribtraveler is offline  
May 24th, 2008, 06:38 AM
  #5  
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Hi Carib, we're leaving June 19-29th. It can't come soon enough!
BeachGirl247 is offline  
May 24th, 2008, 06:39 AM
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Callaloo is a wealth of info on Cat Island. I was looking at Cat for our short trip and she gave me great info. Unfortunately for us the timing of flights didn't work out for a short trip, but it's on our list for the future. Here's some tidbits of info that she provided (copying from her email).

Callaloo wrote:
Fernandez Bay and Island Hopp Inn are 5 minutes from TBI; Greenwoods is a 45 minute drive.

I have a particular fondness for Fernandez Bay Village, and recommend it to people who would enjoy (tolerate?) "rustic chic". Other places which I recommend (though I have stayed at them personally) are Hawk's Nest and Sammy T's. As for Greenwood's, it's a beautiful setting, but it seems a bit motel-ish to me (caveat: I haven't been in the rooms); people who have stayed there love it, but like all travel, it's all about managing expectations and matching the right people to the right place. Island Hopp Inn does not appear to be much more than a couple of cottages on Fernandez Bay, but I haven't really checked it out.

I do believe there is off-beach snorkeling at Greenwood's. However, that's an ocean beach, so being able to get to the reef depends very much on the surf conditions. I don't really consider Cat to be much of a snorkeling destination, though we have enjoyed some modest snorkeling off the beach at Fernandez Bay.

Happy planning!
mymoosie is offline  
May 24th, 2008, 05:26 PM
  #7  
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Anyone have any info on traveling between Cat and Long Island?
BeachGirl247 is offline  
May 26th, 2008, 12:16 PM
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BeachGirl,

I think you'll have a hard time getting from Cat to Long Island unless you go back to Nassau. There just isn't much air traffic from either of these islands AT ALL, much less between them. But it's a quick flight to Nassau, and you might be able to find convenient flights.

I haven't been to Long Island yet (but am going later this year), but I expect it will be much like Cat Island. On Cat Island, I love Fernandez Bay Village; we'll be staying at Cape Santa Maria on Long Island.

I suspect that you just need to choose one island and give it 5 or more days; next time, choose the other (though I will admit that I fell so hard for Cat Island that we went three times before I tore myself away to go to Long Island...).

You probably won't be taking any day trips from either island, and I'm not aware of any place offering rentals of boats. For that kind of adventure, you might want to look into the Abacos (lots of ferries and rental boats), or to a lesser degree, the Exumas (try Staniel Cay Yacht Club).
Callaloo is offline  
May 27th, 2008, 06:32 AM
  #9  
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Thanks, Callaloo. We won't split our trip if it entails flying back to Nassau. We don't need day trips but asking what was available as I'm not finding much information on Cat Island. That's a good sign it will be a very quiet island and just what we're looking for.

Fernandez Bay cannot accomodate us without moving us 2 times - I don't really want three different cottages. Sammy T's only had a garden room so it looks like a house rental is necessary.

Are you familiar with the north end of the island around Bennett's Harbour and Pigeon Cay Club? I've found a house rental that is near the club and pics of the beach are very nice but having not been there it is difficult to decide.

Roberto, thanks for your info, too. I'm emailing that property as well. Did you like the beach and location?
BeachGirl247 is offline  
May 27th, 2008, 06:59 AM
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We have been to the north end of the island, and have seen the entrance to the Pigeon Cay Club, but never actually seen the property (though we have run into people staying there, and they liked it). The north end of the island has some really nice beaches (including the only beach I actually saw signposted -- the Port Royal beach), so you really can't go wrong staying anywhere on the island.

Have you looked into Hawk's Nest? It's at the southern end of the island, but has a vibe very similar to (if not a little more groomed than) Fernandez Bay.

I've also seen Roberto's pictures and report of the house he rented near Bennett's Harbor. It looked awesome, and if I weren't too lazy to do self-catering on a vacation, I would consider it. That house comes with a car, and that's a HUGE positive, since rental cars on Cat Island can be quite pricey, and tend to be quite old. (Some car rental places require a large cash deposit, which can be a challenge since there is not a single bank or ATM on the island.)

Should you visit Trip Advisor for reviews of houses on Cat Island, be wary. There are a number of posters who have rave reviews of a number of houses -- but, curiously, those folks have never been anywhere else and never posted on Trip Advisor except to extol the virtues of the particular houses. Very curious indeed...
Callaloo is offline  
May 27th, 2008, 08:49 AM
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Thanks, Callaloo. I'll check it out. Hawks' Nest is much more manicured compared to everything else we've looked at. We like the "rustic" look of FB, too. Reminds us of Petit St. Vincent cottages.

RobertoB, can you top your trip report that has the pics of the house you rented? I searched but I'm coming up empty handed.

Thanks everyone.
BeachGirl
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May 27th, 2008, 06:45 PM
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BeachGirl

I'll send you photos of the property in Bennett's Harbour.

Beach was great. The property came with a dinghy If it's still operational.

The car rental brings back a funny memory. Not funny at the time. The Blazer had just been repaired and the steering wheel had a tendency to lock when parked. There were some anxious moments on some of Cat Island's remote beaches.
RobertoB is offline  
May 28th, 2008, 05:50 AM
  #13  
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Thanks Roberto! This pics are just what I needed to see. I sent another availability request to them but haven't heard back yet.

How far from TBI airport to the rental in Bennett's Harbour? 30 minutes? And did you find a grocery or food stand nearby?

Thank you.
BeachGirl247 is offline  
May 28th, 2008, 07:45 AM
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I'd actually be shocked if it's available. It has a high rental rate including the owners who enjoy it themselves. They built the house one wall at a time over a period of years. They could actually be there now.

We flew into Arthur's Town from Nassau with Southern Air after over nighting in Nassau. TBI is probably 30 min maybe a little more. I know their caretaker has picked up people at TBI.

The grocery store in Orange Creek was reasonably stocked for an Out Island as small as Cat. Fresh vegetables are always in short supply. I did bring in frozen chicken breast, sausage, even Hebrew Nationals.The grocery selection was no better near the Bight but the beer/wine selection was much better. Almost non existent in the northern part of Cat.

Another Cat Island story; the owner of the store said to me when I came in ' I see that you're staying at the Henn house.' O.K. it's a small island but how did you know that? You're driving their car she replied.
RobertoB is offline  
May 29th, 2008, 04:48 AM
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I have never visited the Bahamas, but it is "on my list". Here' a link to a a Bahamas travel agent that does arrange a flight from Long island to Cat island. If you browse the site, they show lots of multi-island trips.

http://tinyurl.com/53gq5d
RumRita is offline  
May 30th, 2008, 07:24 AM
  #16  
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Thanks, RumRita. I'll check it out. I plan on asking at the airport if there are any pilots for hire on the island. We did that on Harbour Island and it worked out.

RobertoB, thanks for all you are sending me. Keep it coming! Pigeon Cay is one of our choices for a home rental.

BeachGirl
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Jun 18th, 2008, 08:59 AM
  #17  
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Thanks for all the help.

We leave early tomorrow morning and make it as far as Nassau. Then Fri am fly out at 8:30 for Cat Island for 9 glorious days!

BeachGirl
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Jun 18th, 2008, 09:13 AM
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We'll be looking forward to a trip report!! Where did you decide to stay?
Callaloo is offline  
Jun 18th, 2008, 10:14 AM
  #19  
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We rented "Mike's Beach House" near Pigeon Cay Beach Club. Looks like a good spot and we have access to the club's internet and water sports. And we're staying overnight at Orange Hill in Nassau tomorrow night as we couldn't get there in time for the 3 pm flight on Cat Island Air.

Fernandez Bay couldn't accommodate us without moving 3 times and Sammy T's only had garden room. House is more our speed since we cook. But we'll visit them for lunch or dinner and check things out, too.

I've written down yours as well as Roberto's beach explorations to help us find many of the hidden beaches.

Really looking forward to this trip!!

BeachGirl
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Jun 18th, 2008, 03:02 PM
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Have a great trip BeachGirl!

Look forward to your 'take' on Cat Island.
RobertoB is offline  
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