THE BAHAMAS - THE DELPHI CLUB - UPDATE AND READY FOR 2014/2015 SEASON BOOKINGS NON-FISHERS - HAVE A LOOK AT THE PHOTO!!
Added: Sun 11th May 14
It’s hard to believe it’s that time of year again when bookings are invited for next season. The year has passed in a blur of hectic fishy activity, which will continue through to the end of the current season in late June. But now it’s time to plan your fishing trips from October 2014 to June 2015. You would expect me to warn you that it is likely to be the busiest year ever at the Delphi Club, so you have been warned. The earlier you contact us the less the chance of disappointment.
The good news is that we are again holding our prices at the same level as for the past two seasons and our headline 7-night and 4-night fishing package prices are extremely competitive at $4,995 and $2,995 respectively, based on shared room and boat. Go compare!
In the past twelve months the dollar has weakened against most other major currencies by 10% or more, making it an attractive time for our European friends to make the trip across the pond. As ever, we expect a great mix of nationalities around the dinner table, which contributes so much to the atmosphere of the Club.
But there’s ominous talk of a new value added tax being introduced in the Bahamas at some point in the next year. Full details have yet to be worked out but, if and when it happens, everyone will have to put their prices up. Since the government has said it now won’t happen until October at the earliest, invoices issued before then for visits in the coming season should not be affected. Yet another reason to be quick off the mark this year….
And if you still fancy a last minute trip in the current season, drop us an email Delphi tend to be generous in respect of June reservations, with discounts negotiable.
The special offer of a $1,000 discount per person for a June week at the Club is now also going to be extended to January for next season. Some people fear the advent of cool fronts in January and, of course, they can occur for a few days. But the last two Januarys have been wonderful months with very few unfishable days. You can be pretty sure that the weather here will always be much warmer than where you are and, with a weekly accommodation package price of just $1,995, including all meals, taxes and transfers, it’s a steal.
Inclusive or exclusive?
Unlike some lodges, the Club charges for drinks, except for bottled water in the boats. We believe this a-la-carte policy is fairer to all, so people only pay for what they actually consume and abstainers don’t have to subsidize the heavy drinkers. It allows the Club to offer a wide selection of wines, spirits and other drinks that ranges from the everyday to the exotic, rather than just a lowest-common-denominator basic range.
It also enables us to charge significantly less for our standard bone-fishing and companion packages than many other comparable lodges. For guidance, the average spend by guests on wine and drinks is about $33 per day
It’s been a wonderful spring in Abaco, with mostly fabulous sunny weather and very few days with rain, heavy cloud or unmanageable winds. From January right through to the current week we have only missed four days of fishing. – and there have been fish caught every other day.
Nobody has yet bettered the remarkable catch record set by Bob Maricich with his guide Ishi on January 1st, when they boated an astonishing 58 bonefish. But there have been many days when boats have taken over 20 fish and only last week father and son team Rick & Erik Volp caught 34.
We’ve had some great barracuda, all sorts of snappers and jacks, the occasional shark on fly and five permit off the Club beach, as previously reported in our blog.
And we’ve seen lots of other permit out in the Marls, some very large, but all frustratingly difficult to tempt. To give you a flavour, Sumner Pingree had over 40 accurate casts at a large feeding permit one day last week, but to no avail. As I keep saying, it’s going to happen one day. In the meantime, Ian Davis’s 18-pounder remains the best one boated in the Marls by a Club guest.
There have also been lots of mahi-mahi caught offshore. Club member Ken McMillan even hooked one on fly (pictured) on a day when the boat caught eleven up to forty pounds. These iridescent speedsters put up a mighty fight - and are delicious to eat. But it's tragic how quickly their astonishing colours fade once they're knocked on the head.
Our new lodge manager, Max Woolnough, has slotted in well, having parallel run with Sandy Walker for the month of March. Max is a young English fishing nut and received an early baptism when he and Sandy shared a catch of 20 bonefish on his very first day out. Since then, whenever he’s not working (which is not often) he can be found up to his midriff in some part of the ocean catching a miscellany of species new to him – and sometimes new to us.
Sandy has now departed, with sadness all round, after five years of Trojan work. The staff gave him a lively send-off at Nancy's Bar in Sandy Point (where else?). Jim Pigott, on behalf of the Club members, presented him with an engraved solid silver salver, a beautiful bronze of a resting kingfisher (very appropriate) and a voucher for a complete toolkit to equip him for his new life in north Florida. His many skills, his occasional grumps and his workaholism will be much missed.
The launch of the Delphi Club Guide to the Birds of Abaco has been an extraordinary success. Beautifully written and compiled by Club member Keith Salvesen and lavishly designed and produced by his wife Sally, the book has proved a very popular collector’s item, not least with local Abaconians. The one-off batch of 500 copies for sale looks set to be sold out by Christmas, rather than over the five years originally budgeted due to the high cover price ($145).
A lunchtime launch party in March saw most of the great and the good from the world of Bahamian birding in attendance, along with many of the talented contributors to the book. Copies have now been given out free to all contributors, most local schools and a number of national libraries. Feedback from those who have bought it has been universally adulatory. We should do this more often.
We've had some fascinating guests from around the world, with many great evenings and quite a lot of singing around the piano. The evening with Finbar Furey and Monica Brennan was especially enjoyable, with these traditional Irish music stars entertaining us all in grand style.
Welsh rugby legend Gareth Edwards returned to fish at the Club and had notable catches both out in the Marls and at Cherokee Sound. A most modest man and a fanatical flyfisher.
Other news from the Club includes the recent agreement of our wonderful chef, John Vahey, to return to us next season; he’s a glutton for punishment. Talking of gluttony, guests who have not been to the Club in a while may fail to recognise your correspondent, who has shed some 40lbs since last July and is in all respects a pale shadow of his former self.
Our great guide team – Donnie, Ishi, Robin, Joe, Tony & Dana – will all be back next season. And we are extremely pleased with the in-house service crew - housekeepers Joanne & Domonique, the front of house team of Sherrell, Kentrell, Rochell (known collectively as the “ells”) and Jillian, the kitchen team of Maggi, Opal and Brenee and the outdoor maintenance line-up of Smithy, Dani & Willie. Sadly, we have bid farewell to Princess whose new daughter now takes priority.
So that’s it for now. We all hope to see you again sometime soon for more piscatorial prattle and louche living.
For further information and to book for next seaosn please contact Tarquin Millington-Drake on 0845 299 6212 Ext 1 or at firstname.lastname@example.org