sunset behind the bridge which links New Providence and Paradise Island already afteroon when we were leaving to overnight somewhere free of charge the lounge in the afternoon light leaving New Providence New Providence - Harbour Britta enjoying her first moments on the Cat at New Providence seriously good dinner with a bit of a sunburn Inguana at Allans Cays begging for food full sails up - magnificant anchoring at Allens Cays Normans Cays - just a quick hop from Allens ok, getting serious now, leaving for Allens Cays moored at a small island slightly north east of New Providence lost the clevis at the top end of the main sail - needed to replace that one pre dinner drinks and nibbels at Highborne Cays Heineken should pay us for that Exuma Cays are great but damn shallow sunsets right in the middle of the ocean dropped anchore at Stanleys Cays = drinks! only time that we checked into civilisation - stanley cays New-Providence and  Exuma Islands May 2nd - 12th 2009 Vessel: Lagoon 440, owners Version, 2x 55HP  Equipment: Generator, VHF, AutoPilot Raymarine, Watermaker, Icemaker, AC, Diving-Compressor  Provider:  360yachting Journey: approx. 160nm, 9 days  Setting: Jan just finished his Coastal-Skipper and VHF Certificate in January 2009 and it was clear that we didnt want to spend a holiday with  other people in a packed boat. Albeit the rest of the Crew (Mirja, Britta and Georg) didnt have little to no sailing experience we  wanted to take the challange and to enjoy the fun. While Jan being made redundant and sitting at home he spend quite some time in  identifying the right sailing area (moderate winds, little waves and swell, little tide and current). We found the Bahamas. Jan sturdied  the area in great detail i.e. where to go, read tons of reports about sailing there, whatched clips on youtube about the vessle,  anchoring etc. in order to be certain about all and any circumstances which might occure. Given that the rest of the crew had no clue  how to handle a vessel and do the knots, an intro-presentation was prepared. Yes: there were a lot of warning from super-skippers beforehand. They were all proven to be wrong. A good preperation and low-risk-  area spiced up with a good insurance (which we didnt needed) and we kicked off. Incidents:  Got lost in a very shallow area at Shoud Cays Hoisting the main sail while the battens were messed up by the lazy jacks ropes  Lost the clevis at the head of the mainsail without having any spare (took the one from the anchore-pressure-mitigating-rope)  Leakage alarm went on and not off anymore (the floater of the bilge pump was a bit dirty at night)  Dinghi motor didn't stop (annoying)    The vessel: The Lagoon 440 is very luckery cat. With the given specs the crew is totally independent of fresh water. Once stocked up, a cruise  lasting 2 weeks or more is easily possible without visiting any harbour. It seems big and it is. The showers are working perfectly - hot  and cold sweetwater came with decent pressure. With the watermaker on board and a capacity of 60l ph it is as good as being in a  hotel (minus the service, well one cld train the crew...). It runs very easy, the furling head-sail is unfurled while putting the rope on the rear electric whinch. Shifting it is as easy as with any  other sail-boat as the head-sail is not a very big one. The main sail is brought up with the starboard (electric-) whinch. One has to be  a bit careful that all ropes are running smoothly and that the battens are not cought by the lazy-jacks-ropes. Trimming the sail is a  matter of using the traveller intensively. Its advisable to install a lazy guy while sailing with winds from the back and waves coming in  from the same end. The main sale is massive.  Crossing against the wind is a bit tricky, I would say that one is loosing 30° on either side min. With all other winds the boat runs  nicely and it doesnt show you the wind pressure as it doesnt bend over into lee side. So one has to watch the wind-indicator. The first reef should come around 18knots and the second around 23knots as an indication - if you want to treat it well. I would keep the sails  up a bit longer if the wind comes in a bit more from behind.  As an indication the vessel makes 8+knotes with apparant wind around 14knots and true wind 90°/270°.  Using the engine is pretty simple. One can save fuel (it takes very little anyway) if using only one engine at a time if one is motoring a  bit longer and is not in a hurry at the same time. It doenst cost a lot of speed. Manovering is very simple. I compare it with a tank.  One engine ahead, the other back or neutral... it dosent require much space to undertake a 360° turn nor much action. Easy. Given  the superstructure and the big hull above the surface stronger winds impact the monovering quite a bit.  One big plus is the litlle drought of 4.3 feet. Cruising Area: The Inner-Bahamas are shallow as hell. Whether it is sandbanks or coral-blocks - navigating in 6 feet water is a bit stressful. There  are hardly any markers and sandbanks doo shift. Charts are not necessarily right eventhough they are fresh out of the press. So a  sharp lookout is at times mandatory. Cruising at night stupid. If the sun is coming from 0° in the afternoon while looking for a anchore  place it will drive u nuts. One can't see anything of the bottom anymore which is usually very important and key. However the  bahamas have a tide of not more than 3 feet which is very convinient and the current is in open areas not much. The inner Bahamas  are well protrected against waves, swell and storms - this is a true plus for the beginners. Plus it has beaches to die for. The wind is  stable from NE-SE while mainly coming from the E. Good holding for the anchhore.  Charter company:  360yachting is a one-man-shop which has however the best charter boats to offer plus prices are decent. The guy Phil is difficult to  reach as he is quite often sailing and delivering vessels from a to b. As the majority of the boats they are owned by privat individuals.  They leave their stuff on board and spares were not easy to find if at all. The grill was dirty as hell and the rest of the vessel was not  really tidied up (but clean). When we arrived the boat was under maintance until 4pm that day as one of the 2 Raymerines didnt work  (and was taken of the ship later). The dinghi motor was a big mess. Very difficult to start, choke was stuck and very difficult to shut  down at times. And we got promised to get diving tanks and weights. The latter one werent there which did cost us half a day. The  impression we got that the shop is not really professional but the boat was ok and ignoring the poor communication in the booking  and afterbooking process we had good fun. Click on the images to enlarge/ dia-show. did the 25 miles passage and passed the coral heads in the middle successfully beautiful beach at Allens Cays and warm and chrystal clear water like wall plugs... life cant be greater for them heading back for New Providence no hazard, no damages - all went well = well deserved drinks! more more more James Bond Thunderball Grotto at Stanley Cays The famous swimming pigs at Stanleys Cays - they are living on the beach - nobody knows how they stranded there. But now they get feeded by everybody and thus, they swim over to the dinghis