We booked it online some days in advanced, as the number of visitors is limited per day, based mostly on the boat size: for the trip we have selected the maximum number is 22 passengers (which makes the experience not overcrowded and way more worth it), and we were lucky to get the last 2 seats.
At 8:30 a shuttle picks us up at our hotel, to take us to the Paradise Island Ferry Terminal. If you are driving there in your own car, it is advisable to arrive with some time in advance, as parking space is not that easy to find given most of the tours depart from this point. Once there, we confirm our reservation, get our bracelets and... we are ready to board! A beautiful white 40’ 1000 HP high performance boat is waiting for us at the dock and once the 22 tourists are on, and the crew has taken their places we are on the go!
The boat is, as we would expect, very fast, taking us to the first point of our destination at a speed of 40mph. The fresh wind in the face indicates us that we are no longer near mainland and as the color of the sea turns from turquoise to aquamarine to dark blue we realize we are approaching paradise. After one hour we arrive to Allan’s Cay. At first sight this doesn’t seem be more than another extremely beautiful island, but as the boat approaches the shore, we realize that what at the distance seemed to be dry trunks and branches, are actually iguanas, tons of them! This protected specie is known as Allen’s Cay Rock Iguana (Cyclura cychlura inornata), also called by locals the Bahamian Dragon.
So we get off the boat into the water and once we reach the beach we meet face to face with the owners of the island, who already know is lunchtime for them. We spend about 10-15 minutes there, some people spend them taking pictures and feeding the dragons while some others decide the beach is just more appealing than this prehistoric-look-like creature and simply plunge for a swim.
And after this brief but peculiar stop we are all back on the boat and taken away to Powerboat Adventure’s very own private and secluded island, Ship Channel Cay.
Ten minutes later the splash of the anchor indicates us that we are there. With its two miles long and half a mile wide, this in-the-middle-of-nowhere-island offers spectacular views in every direction one decides to look.
From the boat, a green wide dock conduces us to the full stocked bar, where exotic fruits, snacks, and drinks (liquor, wines, beers, sodas, juice and plain water) are waiting for us, all inclusive, but this is just to get enough strength to keep it up until lunch, as the adventure is about to start.
Once again, our tour guide has something to tell us. He indicates us to get in the water and make a sort of human barrier, facing our new friends, who glide gracefully as they approach us with curiosity. As he gives us more instructions, we get on our knees while he distributes some slices of fresh fish. In the meantime, this sea ghosts have familiarized with the group and swim around our legs. The feeling is soft, slippery, and quite peculiar. The tale however, is poisonous, so we must remember to be careful not to touch them from there, as these are wild animals and could get scared and try to defend themselves. We place the piece of fish between our fingers and palm down we submerge our hands, the stingrays then float above them and just like a vacuum cleaner, suck the fish to then float away.
Our intrepid guide will be the one in charge of the feeding, leaving the rest of us behind him, cameras ready, and lots of expectation.
Suddenly the earlier peaceful water gets infested of reef sharks, nurse sharks and lemon sharks, they are swimming in circles waiting what they know is coming. Finally Ramon appears again holding a rope with a huge piece of bait that he throws to them, provoking a splashing battle in which one can only see tails, fins and pointy teeth. Once one of them gets the bait, Ramon starts pulling the rope until he gets face to face with the beast, raises it, kisses it, and then lets it go.
He does that a couple of more times, giving us the chance to take a very close look to them, always taking care of not hurting the sharks and keeping the audience safe.
Once the feeding is over, and just as the stingrays did, as if it was a perfectly coordinated on-stage-show, the sharks disappear and suddenly the waters are clear again. This means is time for some snorkeling… yes, in the exact same area where only minutes ago we played with the rays and watched sharks rip off some chunks of meat.
Once we reach the departure point and we get into the water, the current wind as indicated is strong and is taking us back east, which makes it easier for us, allowing us to just concentrate on floating on the warm water while enjoying the beautiful reef, full of fish of neon colors that swim and hide in the coral, and a ground that seems to have been taken from another planet. After 5-10 minutes we are back to our now familiar beach with, thankfully, no sharks around.
The day is far from finishing and all this excitement has gotten us hungry, luckily for us, its lunchtime! Leaving behind (at least for a while) all the hustle we go back to the bar area, where the crew has set in place a very varied and delicious buffet that includes grilled fish and steaks, pasta and vegetables, hot dogs, salads, tropical fruit platters, cheese platters and a couple of more treats. Of course the bar remains open so we can take whatever drink we want to accompany our lunch, and we must say, everything is exquisite.
And this is it, time for us to relax and enjoy the Bahamas' famous 3 S: sun, sand and sea. We still have a couple of hours to enjoy them before boarding again the boat that will take us back to reality. And so we do.