Visit to Long Island, Bahamas

A few months ago, my beau and I took a trip with friends to Long Island, Bahamas.

Although my beau had been numerous times, and our friends were from there, this visit was a first for me.  Long Island is aptly named – the island is approximately 80 miles in length and only 4 miles at its widest point.  Long Island is south of the islands of the Exumas, where I live (and it’s split by the Tropic of Cancer!), but it is only a short ride in a small plane.

Our friend – with her cat and dog! – in the small plane en route to Long Island.

Long Island boasts several airports.  Due to our pilot’s need for a quick turnaround, we landed at the northernmost airport, Stella Maris.  A friend picked us up, and the long drive south to our destination made for a perfect tour.  They narrated as we drove along – cat, dog and all.  Nearing our intended neck of the woods, we stopped for a cold drink and snack.  This popular bar is literally next to the road in an open air thatched hut.  Perfect atmosphere and delicious fresh conch salad!

Cold drink at the ready, awaiting conch salad.

Squeezing sour into the bowl of conch.

Eventually, we reached our destination, the lovely Winter Haven in Clarence Town, where spring was in full bloom.

Our charming blue room.

Gorgeous view from our room’s patio.

I fell in love with the outdoor bar, overlooking the ocean.  The bar was covered with old pictures.  Because the Bahamas is a relatively small country – roughly 350,000 people in the entire country – many people know each other and the rest have only a small degree of separation.  The result is that my beau ALWAYS knows SOMEONE wherever we go.  Plus, from years of sailing and other connections, Long Island and the island where I live have close relationships, so even I knew quite a few of the people in the photos.

My favorite spot.

I spent hours in the shade of the bar, feeling the cool breeze and listening to the waves crashing below.  One lazy afternoon, the owners and our friends whipped up a batch of conch salad for another great seaside snack and cleaned some fish for later.

Despite all the other wonderful attributes, what I loved best about this spot was the thatch roof on the bar.  Thatch around the Bahamas, made from the dried tops of certain palm fronds, is typically nailed to the wood frame.  This one, however, was individually hand-tied.  The result, as viewed from the underside or ceiling, looked like pure art to me.  Of course, you get what you pay for – this process is far more labor intensive and, therefore, expensive.  I wonder how long it would take me to tie . . .

Beautiful hand-tied thatch.

Close-up.

Over the next several days, we proceeded to relax and explore.  Lots of book-reading, a little pool time, visiting tourist spots, checking out all towns near and far, visiting other friends along the way, bar-hopping, checking out home-building and farms and anything else we came across.

Our first tourist stop was to Dean’s Blue Hole, the deepest blue hole in the WORLD, dropping to a depth of 660 feet.

From the beach, the area right around Dean’s Blue Hole.

I didn’t get in the water, much less go even a foot into the deep hole!  But it was cool to see.

The actual hole is directly behind me, by the platform.

Although not a “tourist attraction,” we also enjoyed visiting our friend’s family farm.

Hogs at our friend’s family farm.

Goats and sheep, too!

Slop!  Suppertime.

In a different area, cows and sheep.

And pigs.

As we drove along the (long) island, exploring over several days, we often stopped at various beaches.  I was impressed that the water was just as multi-hued and clear as the water around my home island, and the sand was a soft white, too.

One of many pretty beaches.

Ocean water as pretty as home – a rarity!

Like our home island, Long Island – and certain of its communities, especially – has a long history of boat-building and sailboat racing.  In fact, the two champion sailboats raced by my beau and others at Regatta, were originally built in Long Island.  Our visit was a few weeks prior to Regatta, so we enjoyed seeing final boat/race preparations by Long Islanders.

Beau checking out one of the A-Class boats, about to be painted.

We enjoyed dinners and night life back at Winter Haven in Rowdy Boys bar and restaurant.  Delicious, delicious, delicious.  And even a little impromptu dancing one night!

Restaurant/Bar, as seen from the ocean side.

Perhaps my favorite part of the whole trip was the unexpected emergence of thousands of land crabs and my experience hunting them down!

Just one of MANY.

We had a delightful trip, and I enjoyed seeing another island and spending a fun time with friends in a beautiful setting.

Farewell, Long Island, until we meet again.

7 Responses to Visit to Long Island, Bahamas

  • Becz1 says:

    I clicked through to the Dean's Blue Hole link on Wikipedia, then watched the video there of a guy diving to the bottom with no tank or gear. I think I may have nightmares about this… Yikes!!!

  • Dawn says:

    LOL, it does kinda look like the stuff of nightmares. But what a supercool video (Underwater base jump). Amazing that the diver and the videographer can hold their breath so long. Anyway, I had not intention of attempting to dive that hole while I was there! Thanks so much for your comment, Becz1. 😉

  • Lois Hughes says:

    As always, I am transported when I see your photos and read your words. How I wish I could be there now, if only for a day! All the best – Lois

  • Dawn says:

    Thank you so much, Lois. I'm glad my experience can be conveyed to you through this blog. All the best to you, too.

  • Theresa Shea says:

    OMG! Just catching up on some blog entries I missed. Love the pigs so much!

  • Dawn says:

    Theresa, thanks so much for taking the time to read and comment. Glad you love the pigs! Maybe our swimming pigs will have piglets again soon and I'll put up pics just for you!

  • Pingback: Hunting Crabs | Choosing The Better Life

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