Archives for July 2015

5 Days on Staniel Cay, Part 1 – The Beaches

Staniel Cay, a small island in the middle of the Exuma Cays, a chain of beautiful islands and cays in the Bahamas, is a hub for the area because of the amenities it offers: a small airstrip, three grocery stores, three restaurants, a clinic, church, marina, gas and a variety of accommodations.

We got to spend 5 days on this lovey island (thanks to Embrace Resort), which is only about a square mile in size and home to about 100 people. What’s it like to stay on a small island, or cay such as Staniel Cay?

Bench on the beach - copyright Rum Therapy
Well, if you like spending lots of time on beautiful deserted beaches, if you like an island where on-island transportation is via golf carts, bicycles or walking, if you don’t mind that there’s really only one nightspot – but it’s a good one, if you enjoy getting to know the locals and other visitors to the island by name, and if you don’t mind “island time”, you would probably love Staniel Cay. We absolutely did.

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Our arrival from Nassau was by Flamingo Air on a very small plane that seated about 8 – less if the passengers have much to carry on. The views over the Exuma Cays were spectacular and we could hardly wait to land and start exploring.

Exumas from the airplane - copyright Rum Therapy
From the moment we set foot on Staniel Cay, we felt welcomed. Smiles and greetings from everyone – even other visitors were abundant and we quickly started to relax and get on island time ourselves.

Welcome to Staniel Cay - copyright Rum Therapy
Our first day or so was spent exploring the island by foot and golf cart. What’s there to see? We’ll show you!

Beaches…
 Exuma is known for its stunning beaches and sandbars and there are secluded ones around every corner in the chain of cays, but if you don’t want to leave Staniel Cay, there are several great ones right on island to explore, such as,

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Ocean Beach.
On the east side of the island, you can access this long expanse of beautiful sand from the bluff above it. We took our golf cart, parked at the top of the bluff and walked down to the beach.

Ocean Beach - copyright Rum Therapy
Once on the beach, you can find just the perfect secluded spot to spend the day. As you can see, you won’t be competing for a little space.

Ocean Beach - copyright Rum Therapy
The surf was very calm the two days we visited and we spent a lot of time in the water snorkeling and floating, but I imagine it could get rough on stormy or windy days due to its orientation.

Ocean Beach - copyright Rum Therapy
Find all of these beaches marked on the Staniel Cay map below.

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Another beach that we really enjoyed was Pirate Trap Beach.

Pirate Trap Beach - copyright Rum Therapy
The beach itself is not huge and varies with the tide, but the views from the cove are stunning and the water was calm and great for swimming when we were there.

Pirate Trap Beach - copyright Rum Therapy
Although the Ocean Beach and Pirate Trap Beach were our favorites, there were several other beaches on island that are worth exploring.

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Ho Tai Cay was a bit hard to find, but had a nice little park with picnic tables, a tire swing and a volleyball net in the water. The beach is located on an inlet on the islands southeast side and gets very low during low tide, but is probably always calm due to its location.

Ho Tai Cay - copyright Rum Therapy
Just over the hill from the park was another beach that we believe was the upper edge of the South Beaches. We couldn’t find a public access path to the South Beaches (beside this little area) as the beach is dotted with private homes, but it looks like another beautiful area.

Ho Tai Cay - copyright Rum Therapy
And last, but certainly not least – the beach next to the Staniel Cay Yacht Club. It was calm and fairly shallow. Looked like a perfect place to kayak or SUP.

SCYC Beach - copyright Rum Therapy
Did we do anything other than visit beaches during our stay on Staniel Cay. Yep.
Check out Part 2 – The Island and Part 3 – Off  the Cay. We’ll let you know the other fun things we got to experience on this beautiful cay!

Find Staniel Cay and its beaches on our Bahamas Map

To see more posts on the Bahamas and other islands, check out our Island Blog Directory

 Copyright©Rum Therapy
Pictures and other content may not be re-used without written consent from Rum Therapy, LLC

The Jungle Bee Giveaway Winner

Wow! There were some great comments for The Jungle Bee to choose from, but they had to choose just one and they just let me know that the winner of The Jungle Bee Giveaway is:

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Beth Borrego!

Beth wrote, “Simple island elegance gracing your feet…..ahhhhhhh and what you cannot see….as I wear this, in my hand, a nice fresh ice cold Pain Killer, served to me at the waters edge by my doting husband. A nice breeze blows the edge off of the heat as the sun shines down on us. It’s our honeymoon. We’ve planned for it, dreamed of it, saved every penny to take it, and now it’s going to be a memory that will last forever. And the photo of my feet dressed up in this fine island ankle jewelry will be a reminder of our special event.”

Congratulations Beth! Please contact Sarah from The Jungle Bee to give her your shipping info through a message on their Facebook page or via email sarahjselva@gmail.com.

Thank you to all who participated and be sure to visit The Jungle Bee online!

The Jungle Bee Jewelry Giveaway

Ready for another giveaway? The Jungle Bee is offering a free giveaway of their beautiful “Just Peachy” Toe Anklet and Anklet set! Leave a comment for them below this post on why your feet (or girlfriend or wife’s) need some Jungle Bee Jewelry!  Then, go to The Jungle Bee’s Facebook page and be sure to give them a like! They’ll pick a random person and we’ll let you know who they choose Sunday morning on our website!
(due to shipping costs, shipping is limited to US addresses only)

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Just Peachy Toe Anklet and Anklet Set

This giveaway is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook.

Xero Shoes – Better Than Barefoot and Perfect For Travel

Do you struggle with the type and amount of footwear to bring on your tropical vacation? We sure do. We’d rather be barefoot all the time, but out of necessity (a gash from a sharp piece of coral or a burn on the foot can put a damper on your vacation fun!) we usually end up bringing flip-flops to wear on hot sand and surfaces, some kind of water shoes to wear during water sports and boating and sturdier shoes to wear while hiking. Shoes and flip-flops end up filling valuable space in the limited amount of luggage we try to take.

Imagine our interest in learning more about Xero Shoes, a company from Broomfield, Colorado that creates Lightweight Performance Recreation Sandals – ultralight sandals originally created for barefoot running.

The weight and packability of the sandal is what first peaked our interest, but after testing them out, we’ve found so much more to like about this ultra comfortable footwear.

Xero Shoes
John ordered the Amuri Z-Trek Sport Sandal in Coal Black/Castle Rock and I selected the Amuri Cloud – Women’s Barefoot Sandal in the beautiful Aquarius color.

Xero Shoes

We received our shoes quickly – just a few days after placing our order and both pairs fit perfectly, probably due to their measuring system which takes the guesswork out of ordering your size, especially if you wear a half size.

We’ve been wearing our Xero Shoes for a couple of weeks now and have tried them out on the beach,

Xero Shoes - copyright Rum Therapy
gone hiking in them, and tested them out on hot surfaces. They’ve been so comfortable that I even forget I’m wearing them and coming from someone who goes barefoot whenever humanly possible, that says a lot!

Xero Shoes - copyright Rum Therapy

Xero Shoes also offers beads and pendants to decorate and personalize your sandals. I’ve got my eyes on the dolphin pendant and some of the brass crow shoe beads – I think they’ll look amazing with the beautiful blue color of my sandals.

Xero Shoes - copyright Rum Therapy
Other situations we have yet to test but think our Xero Shoes will be perfect for:

Sailing. The tread on the Xero Shoes, the ability to tighten the straps and the lightness of the sandal would be perfect for navigating a sea-misted deck.

Stand Up Paddleboarding and other water sports. Again, the tread and lightness of the sandal would increase stability and provide protection for the foot without added weight during all kinds of water activities.

Xero Shoes
Guess what will not be taking up tons of space in our luggage during our next tropical adventure. 4 or 5 different pairs of shoes.

Xero shoes - copyright Rum Therapy

Guess what will be taking up very little space.
Our new Xero Shoes Sandals.
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Better than Barefoot and Perfect For Travel.

To find out more about Xero Shoes, the story behind their ultralight sandals and to find a pair that’s perfect for you, visit their website (and be sure to read about owners Steven and Lena’s presentation on Shark Tank!)

Xero Shoes Website

And keep up to date with their new products and news via their social media sites:
Facebook
Instagram
Twitter
Pinterest

This is a sponsored post. Although we were compensated by the company who sponsored it, the views are solely our own and we only recommend products or services we believe our readers will enjoy.

Rum Therapy Best-Of List 2015

We love it when our island, beach and rum loving readers ask for suggestions on what to see and do and where to stay on islands they are planning to visit. 

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In fact, we’ve put together several guides on what to do in some of our favorite spots – such as Cruz Bay, St. John, Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, North Sound, Virgin Gorda, Marigot, St. Martin and Philipsburg, St. Martin and regularly review different accommodations, although unfortunately we don’t get to visit every location every year and things change over time.

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So, we thought we’d ask for the assistance of our wonderful readers who do a good amount of island traveling themselves and those that actually live on these beautiful islands, in compiling the first Rum Therapy Best-Of List that we’ll leave posted on our website for easy reference to those traveling to these tropical locations in the near future (similar to the reader collaboration we had on The Rum Therapy Ultimate Beach Playlist).

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Although this list will just touch on a few of the great things to experience on each of these islands, it should prove to be a good place to get a few ideas while planning your vacation!

In 2015, we will focus on the following island locations:

USVI:
St. Thomas
St. John
St. Croix

copyright Rum Therapy
Categories we’ll take nominations for:

Best Beach
Best Beach Bar or Island Bar
Best Rum Drink
Best Restaurant
Best Place to Stay
Best Shop or Boutique
Best Souvenir to Bring Home from this Location
Best Attraction to Experience Here

Check our site over the next few days for your chance to give us your opinion on The Best-Of the USVI!

 Copyright©Rum Therapy
Pictures and other content may not be re-used without written consent from Rum Therapy, LLC

Embrace Resort, Staniel Cay

Imagine a small, intimate eco-friendly resort with 7 well appointed themed villas, a spa, pool, cabana and upscale restaurant all on a beautiful, quaint little island in an exquisite chain of small islands in the Bahamas called the Exuma Cays. The island is Staniel Cay and this resort, Embrace Resort, is the dream of owner Nicole Ferguson and daughter Natajia, who are well on their way to realizing their vision.

Embrace is an acronym for the names of the 7 villas that will soon grace the resort: Exuma, Mayaguana, Bimini, Ragged Island, Andros, Cat Island, Eleuthera – all named after Bahamian Islands.  4 of the villas are already complete and range in size from 1 bedroom (including a honeymoon villa with indoor spa tub) to 3 bedrooms.

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Andros – 3 bedroom villa with  complete kitchen

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Bimini – 2 bedroom villa

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Ragged Island – 1 bedroom Honeymoon Villa

Once completed, the resort will host the only spa, fitness center and meeting space on the island and will also include a pool and restaurant. Nicole and Natajia also run a business called 3 N’s Vacation Services which offers destination wedding planning, boat rentals, tours & excursions and golf cart rentals. Guests of Embrace Resort will certainly benefit from their expertise, knowledge of the island and services available.

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Owner Nicole Ferguson

We were invited to visit and learn about Embrace Resort and stayed in Mayaguana, an intimate 1 bedroom accommodation with a refrigerator, microwave, large en-suite bathroom, air conditioning, wireless in the room, and flat screen TV with dish network.

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Although the resort is not directly on the beach, it is close to several of the islands fine beaches and they are easily reached by walking or by golf cart. It is also just minutes away from the islands restaurants and grocery stores and the popular bar and nightspot at Staniel Cay Yacht Club.  Staniel Cay is easily reached by air via Nassau or Ft. Lauderdale on either Flamingo Air or Watermakers Air.

Every effort is being made to make Embrace Resort sustainable and eco-conscious in the choice of building materials and systems used in the construction of the resort, which is important anywhere, but especially on a small island where every action leaves a mark on the delicate ecosystem.

Staniel Cay and the entire Exuma chain is an area that is getting more and more attention lately due to the diversity of activities available in the area, from fishing to boating to experiences you won’t find anywhere else. From our base at Embrace Resort, we were able to visit Big Major Cay and its swimming pigs,

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Swim with the nurse sharks on Compass Cay,

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Snorkel through Thunderball Grotto – used in the filming of the 1965 James Bond movie “Thunderball”,

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and spend lazy afternoons floating in some of the clearest water we’ve ever seen…

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 Embrace Resort is scheduled for a Grand Opening in 2016 once the entire resort is finished, and although the restaurant, swimming pool and spa are not yet complete, the 4 villas that are already constructed are available to rent and can be booked through their website: Embrace Resort.

To find out more about Embrace Resort, be sure to follow them on their Facebook page and Twitter.

A big thanks to Nicole and Natajia for hosting our stay at Embrace Resort and we look forward to visiting again next year to see all that Embrace will have to offer!

Amora Giveaway Winner

Well, the good folks at Amora had a lot of great comments to choose from, and the winner of the Amora Giveaway, a Beach Scented Diffuser and a Painkiller Scented Lip Butter is...

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Robin Stahura!

Robin, please contact Laurie from Amora to give her your shipping info through a message on their Facebook page or via email [email protected].

Thank you to all who participated and be sure to visit Amora – The Essence of St. John online at http://www.amora-vi.com/!