A catamaran proves to be the perfect party platform for a reunion of college pals on a charter cruise through the Abacos
Careers and years have a way of tugging friends apart. So photographer Bob Grieser’s 29-year-old godson Sean, who had a landmark birthday looming, resolved to gather his pals from all corners of the continent for a tropical vacation. The trip would launch from Grand Abaco Island, one of the Bahamas’ 700 islands and cays that sprawl across 80,000 square miles of the Atlantic Ocean. Located on the north end of the archipelago, it was a swift 190-mile flight from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, flying over slivers of land and swirling sands that created tie-dye designs in the water below.
The Sea of Abaco (an overstatement, as this body of water is just 6 miles at its widest point and sandwiched between boomerang-shaped islands and barrier reef) can be exceptionally shallow, and several of the anchorages and harbors have tricky entrances, and tidal restrictions. We paid close attention at the chart briefing at Sunsail’s Marsh Harbour charter base, and feverishly took notes.
For our active group of Generation Y adventure junkies (generation “why-not” I would later conclude) a catamaran was a must. Plans included scuba diving, paddleboarding, kayaking, snorkeling and swimming, in addition to hikes, runs and compulsory dancing until the wee hours. The Sunsail 444 four-cabin catamaran would provide ample deck and storage space for all our toys and equipment, plus sprawling accommodations for eight soon-to-be exhausted explorers.