“I’ve been going to the Bahamas since I was 12-years-old,” says Carl Allen (founder of Allen Exploration and owner of Walker’s Cay in the Bahamas) over drinks on board his 164-foot-long yacht Gigi on a steamy day in Ft. Lauderdale.
“We came across the Gulf Stream on an old trawler and I still remember the how colors of the Bahama banks hit me like a wave. I’ve been hooked ever since.”
In fact, “hooked” may be the perfect description of this curious Texan who’s spent a good chunk of the last three years on board his impressive fleet of yachts in his beloved Bahamas. Gigi is the Westport he bought for his wife Gigi as soon as he sold his rather valuable company several years ago. But Gigi isn’t even the largest yacht in his fleet.
His 183-foot-long Damen Support VesselAxis is there to shadow Gigi, but more importantly, Axis there tofeed Allen’s passion for treasure hunting. It carries everything from a Triton submarine and Icon A5 seaplane to a state-of-the-art dive center so he can explore the many shipwrecks in the shallow waters of in the Bahamas in comfort.
And that’s not the only large yacht he uses on a regular basis. His 68-foot-long Viking sportfish Frigate feeds his love of fishing. And his flats boats, tenders, jet skis, and other water toys can turn any anchorage into a virtual ocean playground.
Allen has not only made sure he and his wife have comfortable yachts in the Bahamas. He also bought an island—Walker’s Cay, the northernmost island in the Bahamas—to serve a “home base” for his fleet and to help it to return to its past glory as a world-class fishing destination. It was the first
place he saw in the Bahamas on that trip when he was 12. And his team were in the process of rebuilding the marina and infrastructure at the storied Bahamas destination when the category 5 hurricane Dorian hit.
But that massive hurricane didn’t stop progress at Walker’s Cay. In fact, Allen and his fleet of yachts (and the money and materials he and others have donated) have played an important rebuilding role on all of the islands in the area.
And now that his fleet is currently tied up in the Walker’s newly opened marina (one of the only marinas in the northern Bahamas that can accommodate superyachts), he and his team were finally ready to welcome visitors and guests back to Walker’s after it was abandoned for over a decade…until…the Bahamas was forced to lock down due to the Covid19 pandemic.
But, he and his team know the lockdown won’t last forever. In fact, they plan be able to host everything from large fishing tournaments that Walker’s Cay had always been known for to weddings and romantic getaways as they develop the island further. And oh yeah, Allen won’t tell me much about any of the treasures he and his team have found around Walker’s. But he did say they may be on to something “big.”
Watch this space!