"First visit to Lucaya - Arriving 22 Feb 2001" Top 5 Page for this destination Lucaya Travelogue by grandmaR

Lucaya Travel Guide: 58 reviews and 178 photos

February 22, 2001

We were sailing up to Lucaya from Bimini. The sea was glassy calm and deep blue. The blue sky with white cumulus clouds was a metallic reflective sheen over the deep blue. You could only see the darker color in the shadow of the swells. Schools of glittering flying fish were constantly skittering and skipping across the water. The only fly in the ointment was that the winds were so light that we had to have the motor on.

After lunch we turned NE toward Grand Bahama. As we sailed across the NW Channel, the current turned against us, flowing west, and our speed dropped to under 6 knots.

I was reading the guide and picking out landmarks on the shore. The first thing we saw was 3 towers near Freeport. Then we saw the oil terminal structures off Freeport and the oil tanks offshore.

The Greek Temple looking thing was the Xanadu Hotel. The column effect is really just lines of windows.

The thing that looked like a French chateau (with turrets) was a house behind Ocean Reef Yacht Club.

Since the Bimini chart was so far off, I wasn't comfortable with just going to the Bell channel off Lucaya. I was trying to pick out the actual marker. This was made more difficult by the fact that there were cruise ship moorings (usually a couple of big oil drums with a light on them) scattered around which were much the same color and size as the marker.

Also it was getting toward sunset. We could see the (fake) red and white lighthouse that we knew was on the west side of the entrance, but still couldn't see where that was.

We called the marina to tell them that we were coming, and they said that it was OK they were open until 11 pm. We took the sails down.

Finally we saw the red and green markers and were close enough that we could see that the jetty had two ends coming out towards us rather than being a single rip rap of rocks along the shore. There were red and green lights on the ends. As we turned in the channel (we did not see the line of breakers that was on the chart), a power boat was coming out. He stopped at the end of the jetties and turned around and went back in. Don't know why.

As we reached the outer end of the jetties, and were starting through them, a huge catamaran party boat (loud music and lots of people) called Bahama Mama appeared at the other end. Fortunately, they paused to wait for us to get through. Not sure there would have been room for both of us.

I called the marina (Lucaya Village)and they said to go to slip B318, so we motored slowly around the side of the marina, and, with the help of the dock hand and the people on adjacent boats, we docked at the fixed concrete docks. Fortunately no wind or current.

The marina on the other side (Port Lucaya) was mostly for big power boats.

The slip was really a little too small for us, and the last piling was about 10 feet short of the end of the boat. The finger pier only went to about even with the midships shrouds. So to get off, we had to go through the gate in the lifelines and sidle along outside the lifelines a couple of feet and then step over. Or if it was low tide, crawl up onto the pier.

Prices here were $1.00/foot, and water was $5/day (mandatory - you had to take the water). Electricity was 25 cents a KW, and cable TV was free. The following year there was a charge for cable. They put us in this slip because they didn't have any bigger slips with 30 amp electrical service.

The guide book said there was a restaurant, but there wasn't - all the restaurants were at Port Lucaya.

I went up and registered. We had gone 67 nm at 5.8 knots - a total of 11.5 hours. After Bob got the boat secured, we took the free water taxi (which runs every half hour) over to Port Lucaya and had dinner. We ate on the water at a place with Pub in it's name. I had chicken pot pie, and we had ice cream for dessert. The ice creams were $4 @.

We discovered another reason to stay in the Village - there's live music every night in the Count Basie pavilion right on the water until 11 pm. This is also where the Bahama Mama and the other tour boats and dive boats leave from.

After dinner we walked back to the shuttle dock, and went back to the
Village. I stopped to get pocket mail at the pay phone and use the

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