Please select your home edition
Highfield Boats - Power - LEADERBOARD

Ideal Isolation

by Horizon Yachts 26 Jul 08:35 PDT
Alec and Barbara Hammond self-isolating in the Bahamas © Horizon Yachts

Alec and Barbara Hammond are the owners of the Horizon Power Catamaran PC60, Ptolemy. Built in 2015, Ptolemy is the second Horizon PC60 for these repeat Horizon yacht owners, who commissioned the four-stateroom yacht to suit their retirement lifestyle. When the COVID-19 pandemic began spreading across the globe and The Bahamas closed its doors to visitors in late March 2020, the Hammonds decided to hunker down aboard their 60ft power catamaran and enjoy the enhanced solitude of their favorite cruising grounds.

Cruising Log: Solitude and Comraderie in Staniel Cay

"After two months in mostly solitary isolation in the Ragged Islands in the 'deepest corner' of the Bahamas, we are beginning to turn towards the north and are now in the Exuma Islands," writes Alec. "We spent a few days in our favorite anchorage at Big Farmer's Cay where, once again, no other cruising boats were to be seen."

Ptolemy then moved on to the popular Big Major's anchorage at Staniel Cay where they were the sole vessel in the sheltered anchorage that normally hosts 25 to 30 boats at anchor during the height of the season. They wouldn't be alone for long, however.

"We have been keeping in touch with three Horizon Power Catamarans on their 1,200-mile passage from the Virgin Islands to Fort Lauderdale," says Alec.

Since everyone had been self-isolating on their boats for several weeks, the Hammonds decided to take the opportunity of having the beautiful Staniel Cay anchorage to themselves and host a pot luck evening. It was a sight to see, as the three Horizon PCs slipped into the anchorage and a semi-Horizon PowerCat Rendezvous between two PC60s, a PC65 and the Horizon Power Catamaran PC74 flagship, Seaglass took over the scenic destination. Sunset cocktails, a delicious potluck dinner, and flowing drinks and frivolity ensued! The trio resumed the journey the next day, "some, I'm delighted to say, were nursing raging hangovers!" says Alec.

Cruising Log: Bahamian Hospitality & the Little Things

"We stayed another twenty-four hours nursing our own hangovers and then slipped onto the fuel dock at Staniel Cay Yacht Club where we were welcomed by an old local friend, Brooks, who had also slipped in for fuel," writes Alec.

But getting diesel during the limited service and supply situation created by the COVD-19 pandemic would turn out to be a bit more drama than originally anticipated. For five long hours, Ptolemy sat at the dock as the dockmaster tried to get the pump to work without success. Luckily, the pump was fixed by the next day and the dockmaster messaged the owners so Ptolemy could return to fill up with 400 gallons of fuel and head to the Staniel Cay Marina dock for the night.

"We continue to enjoy the company of sharks under the boat most of the time. When we see them in the underwater lights at night, we think of them as our guard dogs!!"

For so many people around the world, being unable to enjoy those small things that are so often taken for granted has become the very thing everyone misses the most. This night at the Staniel Cay Marina would be the first night Ptolemy was not on anchor somewhere for close to three months. While the marina, bar and restaurant were officially closed, the staff arranged for a lovely steak dinner to be delivered to the boat.

"Whilst most folk back home, or wherever they may be during this awful time, can get restaurants or bars to deliver or maybe go to a drive-by window for a meal, this was the first dinner not cooked on board by Barbara for more than eighty days, so it was quite something to celebrate and enjoy!"

The Bahamian spirit that so defines these amazing cruising grounds was prevalent, and Nettie Miller, who is part of the Staniel Cay Marina management, personally delivered a package of mail and medication to them. "The lovely Debbie, who sent the package from Oxford Products back in the U.K., had slipped in a couple of magazines to keep a sad old classic car nut happy," writes Alec. "Thanks Debbie!"

The delicious steak dinner leftovers made for another satisfying lunch the following day. "Being a sensible chap," says Alec, "I didn't eat the fat from around the edge, instead coated it in mustard and fed it to the nagging black-headed gulls, which is always entertaining!"

Captain's Log: Nature's Splendid Retreat

"So, are we stir crazy?" writes Alec from Ptolemy's mooring at the stunning Cambridge Cay anchorage in the Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park. "Well, not really, but we are beginning to think that we have done enough quarantining and isolating and are feeling the 'tug' of home, family and friends."

Following the weather windows as they appeared, the Hammonds slowly made their way toward Fort Lauderdale, Florida via New Providence and the Berry Islands for scheduled service and maintenance, during which the Hammonds made plans to stay with friends in Maine before their return to the U.K.

"Obviously we are very mindful of COVID precautions and will do everything we can to limit exposure," says Alec. "If the second spike that some predict becomes a serious reality, we may just turn around and disappear back into The Bahamas!"

Related Articles

Horizon Yachts launches custom FD90 Motor Yacht
With a truly expansive gastronomic environment Commissioned for experienced American owners, this voluminous build features a unique three-stateroom layout with a country-kitchen configuration and numerous customizations to suit the owners' - as well as their dogs' - cruising preferences. Posted on 16 Oct
Horizon Power Catamarans open house
"By Appointment Only" Open House on October 29th-31st at Fort Lauderdale, FL Horizon Power Catamarans will be following CDC guidelines and will require all guests to wear a mask. There will only be one group of people on a vessel at a time with cleaning in between to disinfect after each party. Posted on 2 Oct
Horizon Yachts announces Invitation-Only Showcase
In lieu of exhibiting at FLIBS, Horizon Yacht USA plans a private showcase of new yacht builds Horizon Yacht USA is pleased to announce plans for a private, invitation-only yacht showcase at its Hall of Fame Marina location in Fort Lauderdale. Posted on 24 Sep
Horizon Yachts launches FD92
The first tri-deck model in Horizon's acclaimed FD Series A new model has joined Horizon Yachts' rapidly expanding Fast Displacement (FD) Series of high-volume, high-performance motoryachts. Recently launched, the brand new FD92 is the Series' first ever tri-deck design Posted on 17 Sep
Another Horizon PC60 launches
Built for a repeat owner, the latest PC60 is the 20th hull of the successful model Marking a milestone for The Horizon Group's Vision shipyard, the recently launched PC60 is the 20th hull to come from the successful Power Catamaran Series model. Posted on 24 Jul
Five Horizon PowerCats in build for U.S. owners
Sales continue at an aggressive pace for Horizon Power Catamarans Horizon continues to see strong sales in its PowerCat models, with three PC60 and two PC52 models currently in build for U.S. clients. Posted on 23 Jul
Horizon FD Series
Three FD owners share their stories Horizon Yachts and designer Cor D. Rover have partnered to collaborate on a brand-new design, the FD125 Skyline superyacht. Posted on 9 Jul
CC98 in build for repeat Australian owner
New vessel will accommodate a helicopter as well as a submarine This is fourth Horizon vessel for the experienced Australian owner, who requested specific - and somewhat challenging - details drawn from the best aspects of his previous vessels, including accommodations for a helicopter as well as a submarine. Posted on 27 May
Another Horizon FD102 hits the water
Christened To-Kalon, Hull Two will be the first FD102 superyacht in the U.S. The latest Horizon FD102 superyacht has launched and will soon be delivered to her American owners. Christened To-Kalon, after the owners' previous vessel, the FD102 is the couple's first build with Horizon. Posted on 8 May
Horizon Yachts Virtual Boat Show
Experience the show! You're serious about your next Horizon, and we're all serious about social distancing. In this time of safe social interaction, in-person boat shows may be on hiatus but yachting dreams remain alive and well. Posted on 24 Apr
Maritimo 2019 FooterHighfield Boats - Power - FOOTERMarina Exchange FOOTER 1