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We pride ourselves at New Smyrna Outfitters on Living the Life.
However, right when you think you have everything dialed in you inevitably meet a guy or gal that has you beat. Let us introduce you to Capt. Robbie Robinson from Lubbers Quarters Cay, Abacos, Bahamas.

Tripp Tip #1: All females on charter planes must use the restroom before boarding, especially after a long drive to the airport with Mimosa’s in hand. Bring along a wide mouth bottle just in case and hope a funnel is on board.

First thing you must do after landing for a boat trip is purchase your rations. Our crew of eight and one taxi cab driver in a Suburban had to figure out how to pack in luggage, food, liquor, and beer and get to the marina. It was mind over matter. Our taxi driver was experienced and came through for us. It was one low riding SUV leaving the last store.

Tripp Tip #2: Food and beer is expensive in the Abacos and oddly enough the liquor is cheap. Plan accordingly when bringing your supplies from the state side. We brought lots of food with us but no beer. That hurt the pocket book at $42 a case! Keep in mind the airline limited us to 40lbs per person for the flight. Although they never weighed our luggage… hmmm.

Tripp Tip #3: We had a man down early the first day and he did not make it to the Pura Vida Tiki bar. It is easy to get caught up in the surroundings and start heavy on the Rum right away. If you are drinking during the day, drink beer with ice and save the liquor for the evening. This keeps you hydrated and allows for a full day/night of activities.

Tripp Tip #4: With eight adults in our crew, a larger Center Console was a must for our excursions. Robbie can provide a decent additional CC for a great price. That is what we did with the 17ft CC and it worked great. Next time we might go for something bigger but not sure since it might limit some of our backwater trips. If you want something bigger and really nice let him know what your expectations are for the additional CC.

Tripp Tip #5: Have one Nipper’s Juice and then move on to your regular drink of choice! That still might not be enough or is it to little…either way, you have been warned. This is very important if you have any chance for political office or if you want to be active the next day.

Tripp Tip #6: This is a random plug. If you have any hardware needs while in Guana get in touch with Jamie Bethel…old college friend. He is 5th generation Bahamian, everyone knows him so he should not be hard to find.

Tripp Tip #7: Make sure you stop to snorkel Pelican Reef. We kept saying we were going to motor up there from our mooring at Lynyard Cay but kept getting distracted. So make sure you stop on the way to Little Harbor because you WILL run out of time and might not be able to on the way back.

Tripp Tip #8: Pete’s Pub is not open Monday’s for dinner! Everyone needs a night off…we guess.

Tripp Tip #9: We hear the far northern area of the Abacos is awesome as well. If you can do a 7 to 9 day trip, start far north and work you way down. Keep in mind though that there is so much to explore in each area and if you do it to quickly you will miss out on the uniqueness of each area.

He is the owner and operator of the Pura Vida Cottages, the catamaran Alpha Cat, and the offshore fishing boat Freelspool, as well as a successful business state side. Pura Vida Cottages is on Lubbers Quarters Cay. The property consists of the main house that Robbie lives in, and 2, two bedroom cottages for the clients. The center of the property is a large Tiki Bar and grilling area with an incredible view. Capt. Scott and Lori spent two nights there the year before and loved the cottages. The place is tight and immaculately maintained!

This trip we stayed primarily on the Alpha Cat, although we did 'socialize' one full moon evening at the Pura Vida Tiki Bar. This was a great evening with the full moon in tow, great conversation, and plenty of humor.

Robbie runs his tournament rigged 36’ Jersey Devil “Freespool” out of the Pura Vida cottages. Robbie is an IGFA certified and Bahamas class A captain. We did not get a chance to get on the Freespool this trip but next time it is the first thing on our list.

Alpha Cat is a Custom 45' Leopard Cruising Catamaran. It has four state rooms with bathrooms, kitchen, indoor dining/lounging area, and an outdoor dining/lounging area. This is a great boat loaded with almost everything you need: grill, snorkeling gear, kayaks, windsurfer, etc. It has plenty of room for eight adults and the state rooms are very private.

Here is Our Experience

The excursion was put together by NSO owners Capt. Scott Tripp and his lovely wife Lori. They were experienced with the trip as they did it the year before with their family. This year was an adults only trip with four couples enjoying five nights, six day cruise up and down the Sea of Abaco. All the guys and one gal were avid fishermen looking to fish or spear anything legal with fins, especially the gray ghost. We have to be honest though; this trip was not just about fishing. This was about clearing the head…recharging the batteries.

We chartered a plane with Treasure Coast Airlines from Ft.Pierce to MarshHarbor as TS Bonnie was making her way through South Florida. It was pleasantly uneventful weather wise; however, on landing we did blow out the front tire. No fault of the airline, stuff happens! The pilot was a retired Navy aviation mechanic living his dream. We were drinking his coolaid and feeling very safe.

Robbie met us at the marina in his custom pilot boat. What a cool little boat he built to get him and his clients around. After some margaritas at the marina we were off to the Alpha Cat. Wow, what a beautiful sight it was approaching our home for the next 5 nights. She was moored at Baker’s rock a hundred yards off Tahiti Beach at Elbow Cay. Now you might think that a 45’ catamaran is tight quarters for 8 adults. Well, so did we, and it could be if your traveling companions are not like minded. In our case, there was room to spare and we tried desperately the last day to add two more nights to the trip. You are very rarely inside the boat except for sleeping and cooking. The rest of the time you are on the stern deck or bow enjoying the sights and sounds of the Abacos or out doing excursions.

After a night of ‘socializing’ at the Pura Vida Tiki Bar, we set our course in motion. Pulling anchor on the Alpha Cat with the Tilloo Cut and the Snake Creek as our destination. With the goal of fly fishing for the Bone’s and spear fishing nearby reefs for dinner. After a great sail down to Tilloo we set out on the little boats. The Alpha Cat comes with a 13ft Boston Whaler for ship-to-shore and excursion boating. Having 8 in our crew we added a 17ft Boston Whaler, this was a must for us to get around the islands when not on the Alpha Cat. With such a large group it made things easier. Don’t get us wrong you can do it in the 13ft CC but multiple trips are required if your group is over 4 or 5.

The Snake River is a great place to fish and explore. It is absolutely beautiful back behind Snake Cay. We did not see another boat or person in the area for the 4hrs we were there. After landing several Bones we headed to a near by reef to spear dinner. Spear fishing is always eventful and full of great exhilarating experiences. Very rarely is there not a Barracuda or the fish that ‘got away into a hole’ story. This time was no different but those stories are for another time. Speared Snapper and Grouper were on the grill by 6pm with lots of good conversation and card playing. Finishing off the evening with some late night fishing off the back of the Alpha Cat, big Jacks will come calling with the correct bait. Jigs with Fishbite Shrimp strips worked great for us.

Bring a heavy rig for night fishing for sharks off the Alpha Cat. Use the carcasses of your caught or speared fish from the day for bait to add some excitement to the evening.

Our next day was to head back North to Guana Cay for some Sunday Nipper’s fun. As some of you know Nipper’s is not for the weak. It takes a strong person to make it through the day and night at Nipper’s. Lucky for us we had lunch at Grabbers prior to making the stroll to Nipper’s... THE NEXT 8hrs HAVE BEEN DELETED TO KEEP IN LINE WITH THE CONFIDENTIALTY AGREEMENTS SIGNED… (however, video is available on request)...

After an early morning gas fill up of the CCs and some aspirin, we are heading south to Little Harbor. What a great sail! If you have not taken this route (Guana to Little Harbor) then you should put it on your list. Inside or Outside the Outer Cays, it is just incredible peering over the bow looking for fish in crystal blue water or just taking in the view of the islands. It makes you wonder if you are truly ‘Living the Life’ at home.

Our last two nights/three days are spent moored up just outside of Little Harbor off a private beach on the East side of Lynyard Cay. We sunbathed, bone fished, spear fished, drank, boated, kayaked, windsurfed, snorkeled, ate, and drank some more for three straight days. This was our favorite place on this trip. Very secluded and very few houses in sight.

Pete’s Pub in Little Harbor is the only other establishment besides Nipper’s and Grabber’s we went to while on our trip. Side Note: 6 day trip and only spent a days worth of time in commercial establishments…J. Pete’s Pub is a great little place for lunch and the history of the Johnston family is pretty incredible. The Foundry is part of the Pete’s Pub experience. You can learn about the Johnston family and purchase art work. There are some pretty incredible pieces and they don’t come cheap!

The area of Little Harbor and the Bight of Old Robinson is very beautiful. You are at the far southern tip of the Abacos and there is not a whole lot around. You still see the houses but not in the abundance you see in the Middle Cays of the Abacos. On the West side of the Robinson Bight you will find some really nice flats to Bone fish. On the East side of Lynyard you will find some incredible reefs to dive/spear fish. Side Note: We had a couple of surfers on the trip and coming off TS Bonnie we identified more than one reef to revisit!

What a bummer it is to wake up on your last day! We had a 12pm charter flight out of MarshHarbor. It is about 3hrs once you pull up anchor from Little Harbor to get to the airport. Still with the ‘last day blues’ in tow, the sail back to Marsh Harbor was incredible. We soaked in the last sail from the bow of the Alpha Cat. Once again peering into the water spotting fish and lobster while taking in the beauty of the Abacos.

We will be back!

Mucho thanks to Capt Robbie! Hope to see you soon.

~ NSO-Living the Life!