Matthew Mannininen says it’s something about the energy of the Exumas that makes people relax and instantly fall in love with the place. Manninen is the captain of the Southern Exuma Yacht-Charter M/Y DENRAE, an 87-foot Oceanfast, custom built-in 2000. Manninen came on board in January and has shown guests the azure waters of the Exuma Cays since then. “We concentrate on the Southern part,” he said.
“The goal every day is to have another best day ever,” he said. And Denrae has all the right equipment to allow everyone to do just that. She can sleep up to ten guests with four cabins onboard. She is also equipped with all the right toys including paddleboards, Yamaha SEABOBs for exploring underwater, and two tenders (one 35 feet and one 25 feet) that Mannininen says go like “rocket ships.’
Jennica Ojander is the chef and chief stew on board and a certified dive instructor. Originally from Sweden, Ojander mixes her culinary heritage with tastes from all around the world. Her Smorgastarta, or “Sandwich Cake,” is quite famous, which is layers of meats and cheeses.
Manninen tries to always have a crew of four onboard DENRAE. Thus, guests can relax knowing every detail is perfect.
It is easy to tell within the first couple of minutes of speaking with Mannininen how much he loves his job and how much he enjoys showing guests a part of the world that has been his home for eight years.
Manninen loves showing guests the pigs at White Bay Cay. “It’s so much prettier,’ said Mannininen, then Staniel Cay. And “the pigs are nicer.” Children’s Bay Cay is also another favorite of his, as is Little Farmer’s Cay, where he says you get to see Leatherbacks and Green Turtles.
Denae has a great, covered aft deck that leads into the main salon. She has a 24-foot beam, offering tons of space and a large window throughout. The pilothouse has banquette seating so all the guests can be comfortable. The master guest room has its own private staircase so plenty of privacy. A forward staircase accesses the other three rooms.
Denrae does pickups primarily in Georgetown but also in Nassau. Rates run between $38,000 and $40,000 plus expenses such as fuel, taxes, and provisions.
Manninen says the Exumas offer a unique charter experience. “It’s not for people to go and party,” he said.
And you can expect one night on the beach. “We always do a bonfire,” he said.
But what makes a cruise on Denrae so unique is her crew and how much they enjoy what they do. “We all help out with everything,” said Mannininen. “Nobody’s above anything,” he continued.
Southern Exuma Yacht-Charter M/Y DENRAE is no longer chartering. Captain Mannininen is now on MISS ELIZABETH.
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