NASSAU, THE BAHAMAS – The 47 marina and allied members of the Association of Bahamas Marinas are open for business and are anticipating a busy winter season, almost all members having experienced no significant damage during the recent hurricane Matthew.
In Grand Bahama, Port Lucaya Marina has been a popular port of call immediately after the storm and business has returned to normal. With underground cable power, recovery was swift and all services and power are restored.
The famed Grand Bahama Yacht Club made a fast recovery since the storm. Its new clubhouse and restaurant escaped damage. By Saturday October 21st evening power and all utilities will be up and running.
Matthew’s small eye passed over Old Bahama Bay Resort & Yacht Harbour. Even at category 4, the marina and resort did extremely well and suffered little damage. The marina continues to receive and welcome yachts, although power is yet to be restored. Many yachts have their own-power generating capacity. The resort itself escaped damage and will open once power is back.
ABM members were reporting full restoration of power and water to their docks and resorts within a day or two of the hurricane, the small eye of which traveled over the Exumas, Nassau, Chub Cay and Grand Bahama Island. All the Exuma marinas including Highbourne Cay and The Marina at Emerald Bay (Sandals) reported no or slight damage with Safe Harbour at Cave Cay soon to repair two damaged docks and fully operational with other docks.
In Nassau and Paradise Island, all marinas escaped unscathed. In the harbour, Bay Street Marina and Nassau Yacht Haven reported no damage and are fully functional. Palm Cay on the southeast coast of New Providence only had a couple of channel markers misplaced while marinas at Lyford Cay and Albany were undamaged. Albany chose to close temporarily to cleanup foliage and make the luxury estate pristine.
In Grand Bahama, Old Bahama Bay & Yacht Harbour is close and awaiting power re-connection, however, the marina is open for business with all facilities except power. Bradford Marine in Freeport Harbour is up and running with restored power for its dry dock, travel lift and all its repair services. Port Lucaya Marina is open for yachts, having reported a few vessels underwater while Grand Bahama Yacht Club’s clubhouse and docks are fine. On Friday October 21, power and internet returned to Port Lucaya Marina and the power company expects Grand Bahama Yacht Club to have power by Saturday.
Blessed with mere a cooling breeze and some rain, the islands and cays well away from Matthew’s eye such as Cat Island, Long Island, Eleuthera, Abaco and Bimini were untouched. In those more fortunate islands, the marinas’ efforts were focused on aiding their neighboring communities and cleaning debris.
Association President, Stephen Kappeler said: “Our associations’ marinas have been extremely lucky. This was a powerful storm yet our 31 marinas and 16 allied members recovered within a couple of days. All 31 marina members are open, except one that is merely cleaning up, and all members are fully operational. A few places are repairing some sections of dock.”
“With the Bahamas’ exceptional building codes and strong structures we’ve withstood this Category 3 and 4 test generally very well. Our hearts go out to those ravaged by floods in the Carolinas who fared far worse. We greatly appreciate all the help and donations our island settlements have received, both from generous locals and our friends abroad. Many settlements such as West End and Eight Mile Rock in Grand Bahama were hit hard. We’re very grateful for all the supplies and assistance pouring in to help rebuild homes and roofs where the eye swept over,” said Mr. Kappeler.
“Our many years experience in preparation and recovery—as well as our customer service—have stood us in good stead. Our associated group all around the Bahamas are already welcoming boats, yachts and fishermen and they are having a great time,” added Mr. Kappeler. “The storm has actually lifted communal spirits and is inspiring a greater-than-usual warm, eager spirit to make sure all our guests are totally happy and well-served.”
To reassure Bahamas-loving captains and owners, the Association of Bahamas Marinas—which recently received a new name and branding—will have many members present at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show from November 3rd to the 7th.
“At the upcoming show, our association and the Bahamas Ministry are making a big push to get the word out that we’re doing just fine and able to give our clients a top-class Bahamas yachting and travel experience. Come and visit us at the Bahamas Tourism booth—or at our members own booths,” said Mr. Kappeler. “As usual, the Bahamas Ministry is printing a Boat Show Specials magazine with many dockage and accommodations specials, only available at the shows. Make sure to come by and pick up your Boat Show Specials copy.”
At the Fort Lauderdale show, the Bahamas Tourist Center booth will be located in the central Bahia Mar-Hall Of Fame-Las Olas Marina venue in booths 111-115. Staniel Cay Yacht Club will be in booths 174-177, and Cape Eleuthera Resort and Marina will be located The Sailfish Pavilion in the Convention Center, booth #4207. Valentine’s Residences Resort & Marina in Harbour Island, Eleuthera, also has a booth – visit booth #Land 1059 in the Bahia Mar/ Hall Of Fame/Las Olas Marina location.