The Mail, The Mail, The Mail
"Oh the mail goin' today, And leavin' me behind, Oh the mail, the mail, the mail."
- traditional calypso tune

These words are just a sample of many such sentiments that refer familiarly to an inherent part of our Bahamian culture - the mailboat system. Mailboats have been making regular many of our grandparents were born and are still traversing the emerald water of our archipelago. The mailboat system, of course, got its name from the fact that these boats were responsible for carrying the mail to the many islands. Over the years, this system has developed into a major shipping industry that transports tons of goods from the city of Nassau to the family island on a weekly basis.

Designated mailboats still carry the government mail as well as any other government cargo. The system is of such importance that I captures a spot on the morning news, which is referred to as the 'Shipping Report'. The names of the vessels are as colorful as the boats to which they belong, "The Lady Matilda, The Eleuthera Express, The Sea Queen and The Daybreak", are examples of this. Such boats create a setting that can only be found in The Bahamas.

Harbour Island and North Eleuthera have seen many mailboats come and go, but one of the most sophisticated mailboas to serve the area to date is the New Eleuthera Express. This boat is equipped with all the necessities and amenities needed to please the sea-faring traveler. The passenger lounge has air-conditioning, television and spacious seating accommodations. There are two private rooms available which are equipped with five bunk beds each. A light snack is also served on board during the trip. The "Express" is owned by five Spanish Wells businessmen and captained by Charles W. Pinder. Captain Pinder has over twenty years experience in this field and is ably assisted by first mate Willie Pinder. The "Express" is constantly on the go with weekly runs to Central, South as well as North Eleuthera. This new boat has a greater lift capacity than the its predecessor, one-third more cargo space, a forty thousand pound container and a twenty thousand pound cooler, which converts when necessary to a freezer. There is ample safety equipment on board, which include inflatable rafts, lifeboats and life jackets.

The Bahamas Daybreak is another one of our mailboats which makes weekly runs to Eleuthera, servicing the North and Central Eleuthera area and providing a comfortable passenger ride with ample cargo space. Jack Stuart captains this vessel. Both the Eleuthera Express and The Bahamas Daybreak take freight on Mondays for Central and South Eleuthera and on Wednesdays for North Eleuthera. The Express takes much of its seafood cargo along with passengers to Nassau on Sundays.

The Bahamas Fast Ferry is the latest entry for daily scheduled transportation between Nassau and Eleuthera, and can be contacted online at for information on routes, schedules and special charters to islands throughout the Bahamas.

Mailboat Contact Information:
Eleuthera Express
T: (242)333.4677, F: (242)333.4674
Current Pride
T: (242)335.3220
Bahamas Daybreak
T: (242)335.1163
Bahamas Fast Ferries
T (242)323.2166 or
Briland Ferry managers Leon Johnson and Shaquita Major welcome the captain of the popular Fast Ferry back to Harbour Island's Government Dock.