The Berry Islands

Our second destination after Bimini was The Berry Islands. Sailing from Bimini we crossed the Great Bahama Bank. You can sail until dark and just anchor wherever you want in this shallow water and continue to the Berry Islands the next morning.

Great Harbour Cay
Approaching from the west, the area around Great Harbour Cay is one of the few areas were you’ll find enough depth to sail into. There are excellent anchorages around Rat Cay and Cistern Cay but you’ll need to be very careful when approaching. Most of the anchorage in the area are only 8 to 10 feet deep. It offers good protection from NE to SE. We rode out a storm there for three days. You are also a short dinghy ride to the government dock and stores. Another attraction is the Cistern Cay Blue Hole that we didn’t get to see as we were stuck on the boat with heavy weather for three days. Maybe next trip. Great Harbour Marina is a good place to hide from a blow. You can anchor inside the cut but it’s grassy and holding is not good. The marina is pretty basic but it’s well run, staff is helpful, and fuel, water, and ice are available. It’s a short bike ride to stores and the marina has free bikes for marina guests.

To explore the rest of the Berries you’ll need to sail west around Great Stirrup Cay, the island owned by Norwegian Cruse Lines. Sail around that and then turn south to travel along the east side of the Berries.

great harbour cay berry islands Bahamas
Great Harbour Cay Marina
north berry islands, bullock harbor
Bullock Harbour anchorage areas

Hoffman Cay
Sailing south along the east side of The Berries we stopped at Hoffman’s Cay. The main attraction is the Blue Hole. It’s a short walk along a trail and you can easily walk down to the water, or if you’re more adventurous, jump from the cliff into the deep blue water. Enter below White Cay but don’t stop at that first anchorage. Depths vary quite a bit and there’s no protection from the east. We saw a sunken sailboat off White Cay as we entered the anchorage. That makes it a little hard to sleep thinking about that. We had better luck when we went farther up by Hoffman’s and closer to the blue hole. There is good protection from the east. Of course we had west wind but that’s sailing.

Sunken Sailboat
blue hole Hoffmans cay Bahamas
Blue Hole – Hoffman’s Cay

Chub Cay
We chose to make this season a combination of anchoring mixed with an occasional marina stop. If you’re looking for a luxury resort you can head to the far south end of the Berries. Chub Cay is a private resort. You can anchor nearby but you will have to purchase a membership to use the facilities, but it’s good for a year. You can get fuel and shop at the grocery store without any additional charge. The marina can be pricey but if you call in advance you can sometimes get a better deal. We met folks that stayed 10 days and got a $50 per night deal. Otherwise expect to pay $100+ per night. They have a large swimming pool with swim-up bar, hot tub right on the beach, and a nice restaurant. There’s a more remote beach just a short walk from the club which is excellent for shell collecting. You can also walk to a small local bar and grill, The Naughty Rooster. One attraction we heard about is a river that is a sea turtle habitat. It was a very long walk but from the shore you only see a turtle head occasionally. It wasn’t worth it. The resort offers SUP tours for $100 but that’s the only way to really experience this place. We had seen a hundred turtles by that time so a few more were not worth $100 a person.

pool at chub cay in the Bahamas
Pool and Spa area at Chub Cay
sport fishing boats at chub cay Bahamas
Large Sportfishing boats fill most of this marina
Chub Cay Resort
Shells collected at the remote beach

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