Onsite Review: Little Whale Cay

a private paradise Little Whale Cay, as a private island, is as spacious a place as any 12 travelers could dream of. But that doesn’t mean they can’t explore beyond its shores. The options here, both above and below the waves, can keep clients happily occupied for days upon days. And in this part of The Bahamas—where the locals are few and the visitors fewer—guests can get the feeling they didn’t just book a private island, but a whole private region for exploration, stretching all the way to the horizon.

The hub for that exploration is the Little Whale Cay marina, a small but well-equipped stone outcropping not far from its quaint chapel. This is where you’ll gear up for watersports, and not just the general kayaking and snorkeling gear, either. Guests can choose from Sunfish and Captiva sailing dinghies, or hop aboard a custom-built 30-ft. fishing boat for a day of deep-sea fishing. The flats surrounding Little Whale Cay are also perfect for bonefishing, an authentically Bahamian pastime.

Boston whaler power boats are also available for clients’ use. With an experienced guide to pull them along, clients can strap on some water skis for an adrenaline-fueled ride around the island. Inflatable “doughnut” tubes can also be dragged behind for a more leisurely—but also potentially more bumpy—experience. Jet skis are not kept on the island itself, but much like everything else your clients could expect here, they can be brought in upon request.

Those Boston whalers are also your ticket off the island entirely, and into a maze of surrounding islands with deserted beaches, lush coves, and plenty of history. Take Whale Cay, the appropriately named, larger island nearest to Little Whale Cay, for example. This was once home to Marion “Joe” Carstairs, who by all accounts is one of the greatest Caribbean characters you’ve never heard of. An heiress to an oil fortune and talented speedboat racer, Carstairs claimed the island as her own in the 1930s and lived out the remainder of her eccentric life there—dressing as a man, embarking on affairs with starlets like Marlene Dietrich, and fiercely guarding its shores. Legend has it that Carstairs always believed that Little Whale Cay was rightfully hers, and would regularly shoot at its buildings and inhabitants with a rifle from a perch on Whale Cay. Today, of course, the reign of the “Queen of Whale Cay” has ended, and discreet guests can motor their way across the sea to see the serene shores of the island she left behind. Rates start at $10,500 per night for up to 12 guests.

For more information, call (800) 783-6904 or visit littlewhalecay.com.