There is just no other way to describe her, the Destiny II is a beautiful boat. With her 60' mast rising off a spacious main deck and turned into the wind at anchor, she literally gleams in the sun. Below deck, she is as pretty as topside. Solid and stable under sail, she is as perfect a platform for adventure fly fishing as can be imagined.
With a checklist of remote Bahamian anchorages in mind, Angling Destinations has added this beautiful catamaran to our inventory of out-of-the-box destinations. We will use this sailboat as a headquarters from which to explore remote fisheries not readily accessible from existing bonefish lodges. We are excited about the opportunities the Destiny II provides for two reasons:
First, Angling Destinations has always sought to provide anglers with an opportunity to fish remote, lightly pressured areas. We will run Destiny II adventures in the spirit of Destination X... the "don't ask, don't tell" of the fishing world. If you are not familiar with Destination X, DX is our attempt to keep secret places a secret. We will not reveal, publicize or advertise the exact location of any DX trip. This is an attempt to preserve the fishery and keep its whereabouts out of the hands of the mass marketers and glitzy catalogers. We feel DX fisheries are fragile and need to be protected under a cloak of secrecy. As such, inquiring anglers will not be told specifically where we are fishing and they will be asked to conceal where they have been. We ask that no articles or reports be written... good or bad! On DX trips, anglers will be asked to leave their GPS units behind and do everything they can to help keep these spots off the radar. (For more info on Destination X, please go to our website.)
The second reason we are so excited about this mothership is the price. Angling Destinations is committed to offering some less expensive alternatives for anglers. We have always tried to offer students, adventuresome couples, experienced independent-minded "old salts" and anyone else with perhaps more skill than money an opportunity to travel and fish! By eliminating the expense of guides, we can offer a very economical trip and a tremendous bang-for-the-buck. Not only can you fish the best tides and remote areas, but you'll be living on the ocean. Destiny II trips may offer the least expensive saltwater trip in the world and yet one of the best!
For the 2012 season, trips aboard the Destiny II will include numerous islands in the Bahamas. Two options will be in Ragged Island and the Exumas areas. All trips aboard the Destiny II will be self-guided. The captain and his first mate will be on board to point anglers in the right direction, but these trips are designed for more experienced anglers who can see fish well and don't need the services of a guide. For the angler who likes adventure, rarely fished flats, and has the necessary skills, this is your bell ringing!
Destiny II Captain Dave Calvert is an accomplished star in the sailing world. He holds many cross-ocean sailing speed records and also owns Calvert Sails. A personable guy with years of experience in the tropics, his knowledge base and obvious abilities puts any visiting angler at ease. He knows the Bahamas like the back of his hand and the Destiny II is the perfect tool for a guy like Dave.
This beautiful catamaran is much more stable with less rocking and pitching common to a traditional mono hull. Spacious and sleek, she has a sizable aft deck that includes bench cushions and a dining table. The interior cabin adjacent to the galley contains a large table with seating for eight. There are fantail steps at the end of each pontoon, one with a ladder for swimmers. The dinghy is hoisted to hang off the stern between the hulls. When positioned for quick use, the dinghy is tied off to a deck cleat for quick access.
Each hull contains three berths (see schematic). The berths range from an aft berth with a queen size bed to two mid-berths with a double bed, to the forward crew berth, which is smaller with a plus size single. The berths are very comfortable, all have portholes and air scoops (which captures the wind and moves it through your cabin), as well as fans. Destiny II is not air-conditioned, and in our experience, does not need it. There are two heads on Destiny II, both of which contain toilets, sinks and a shower, but many anglers prefer to shower with the hose on the fantail under a tropical sky.
Each day aboard the Destiny II is a new adventure. Most anglers awaken at first light and soon enjoy coffee, muffins and fruit for breakfast. Some days, traditional egg breakfasts will be served, but this will depend on the tide and whether it is appropriate to fish in the early morning or move the boat to a new anchorage. If fishing, anglers pile into the dingy after breakfast to make their way to one of the many creeks and lagoons they will visit during their stay. Depending on the tidal profile for that day, you might fish this morning rush and then return to the sailboat for lunch. On other tide profiles, you might travel in the morning and then fish the best tides in the afternoon, in which case a lunch cooler will be packed to take with you.
Lunches generally consist of fruit, sandwiches and chips, and sometimes pasta salad. When not fishing or when the tide is slack, anglers are free to snorkel the coral heads along the beach. Angelfish, snappers, Nassau grouper, barracuda, blacktip sharks and jacks frequent the coral heads next to shore. It is important to remember that in order to visit the various fishing spots on the island, we will need to move the boat on the proper tide. This means we will be fishing the best tides and there will be tide profiles where we need to move the boat during the day either in the morning or the afternoon.
After the day is done, there is time for a shower before enjoying the sunset and a cocktail before dinner. Dinners include creative main courses that include fish, Cornish game hens, pork tenderloin, pasta w/sausages, chicken and turkey. Sides include classic rice and beans, salads, potatoes, vegetable dishes and rolls. After a great meal washed down by the libation of your choice, most anglers soon retire to their berths to be gently rocked to sleep by the ocean.
Each day you'll fish a new spot if you so desire. You may not want to leave an area, but the Bahamas offers many flats and creeks to fish and many anglers will want to press on! On most islands in the Bahamas, you'll see both smaller fish in schools and larger fish as singles and doubles. Both Acklins Island and the Exumas offers good numbers of bonefishing opportunities. This is why we have chosen these islands for this year's trips. On these beautiful islands, bonefish fin nervously over dazzling white sand or tail quietly at the creek edges following the ancient cycle induced by the ebb and flow of the tide.
The Destiny II offers great opportunities to visit rarely fished flats. We will follow appropriate safety protocols while still aggressively exploring pristine areas. As such, when you are fishing, one person in your group will always have a radio in order to contact the boat. When you are ready to move or return to the mothership, just call the captain and he will transport you back to Destiny II or to a new flat.
We don't feel that this experience is for everyone. This is after all a sailboat. Quarters are close... room is limited... the food is good, but not gourmet... but for the adventuresome angler, for the person who has done the traditional trip, does not need the services of a guide, sees fish well, is in good wading shape and seeks solitude and unfished flats, this might just be your cup of tea!