Imagine privately sailing through crystal blue seas of the Caribbean, leisurely stopping at islands and cays without worry about a dock call or crowded beaches. Now imagine doing this for 3 months throughout the Islands of the Bahamas. Well, Abigail originally from __ England and her boyfriend Ben are doing just that. They are taking life by the helm and cruising through the seas of The Caribbean on their Landfall 42 Sailboat. Lucky for us they kick start their journey by sailing into the Bahamas with a memorable stop into Long Island.. To see what made this trip memorable take a read below as Abigail gives us her poetic storytime about her Bahamas Experience.
Silence, utter silence.
Only interrupted by the occasional splash from a nearby fish.
We’re drifting in our skiff through Joe Sound. It’s nearly low tide and the white sands of the sound are exposed. Cutting through them are the turquoise waters on which we float. The tidal current is taking us back out towards the sea and overhead the sun is shining brightly. The vast sky is bright blue only broken up with the occasional fluffy white cloud.
We spot several dark shapes in the shallows and as we edge closer they become clearer, two stingrays and a baby nurse shark. There are a few birds circling above us and in the distance we can see some people stood knee deep in water on the flats bonefishing.
Walking along the edge of the sand banks the clear yet turquoise waters flow beside us, the sand itself is rippled as a result of the waters tidal movements. The water looks inviting, especially in this heat, but the current is made obvious by occasional floating leaves and twigs.
We have a moment when we realise how fortunate we are to be here. Not only in the Bahamas, but right here at Joe Sound specifically. Had this location have been in closer proximity to the tourist trail it would not have the same feel. The raw beauty would still be here, but the experience would be very different.
It’s times like this when we’re off the beaten path we can really absorb our surroundings and appreciate the natural beauty. I guess that’s a major benefit gained from sailing the Bahamas, we really can escape from civilisation if we choose.
We’ve anchored our yacht in Calabash Bay in the north west of Long Island, the beach here stretches for what seems likes miles and it’s the perfect anchorage to explore Joe Sound from. The water below our boat is so clear we can see starfish resting on the seabed 15 feet below. With no strong current here it’s a great place for a refreshing swim.
We’re excited to see what this end of Clarence Town, Long Island has to offer as we’ve done no research prior to arriving here! We first stop off at Flying Fish Marina where we have the warmest of welcomes from the dock master. We’ve come over in the yacht to simply refill with fuel but the dock master makes us feel so welcome, he’s truly a credit to the marina. As a result we briefly stay at the marina to check out their facilities for future reference. Due to its location, the marina mainly caters for sports fishing boats but sailboats are also welcome. I can highly recommend a dip in their freshwater pool overlooking the ocean and their restaurant also serves great food at reasonable prices. Whilst we’re at the marina we meet a lovely couple having a coffee at the marina bar. They’re here on holiday and are staying at a hotel just down the road. They’re intrigued by our adventure so we invite them aboard, show them around our ‘home’ and show them the ropes (literally) as we leave the fuel dock and head back out to the anchorage.
Later in the day Ben and I attempt to visit Dean’s Blue Hole four miles away by dinghy. We’ve heard that it’s the world’s second deepest ocean hole where the water suddenly plummets from ankle deep to 663 feet deep. We fail in our attempt to get there, the ocean swell is just too much and the narrow entrance into the bay in which the blue hole is located is surrounded by rocks.
The next day we meet up with the couple we met at the marina and a solo sailor we also met nearby. We all cram into a compact rental car and head off to Dean’s Blue Hole. A bumpy gravel “road” leads us off the main highway and down to the coast. At first glance the bay looks like many others, clear water lapping against the white sand. But as we walk around to the left we see the water turns from light turquoise to a deep blue. It’s here that the underwater world drastically changes and we can’t resist the opportunity to snorkel this unique location despite the drop off ledge making us feel a little anxious. In the shallow water my stomach skims the sandy bottom as I snorkel but as I edge towards the hole it slopes away before vertically dropping into a dark abyss. Around the edge fish are visible and I watch a small Barracuda dart off at lightning speed in an attempt to catch a smaller fish. As another fish swims over the ledge and down into the hole it totally disappears from sight into the darkness. I have to stop my mind conjuring up images of mythical human-eating sea creatures lurking in the deep water beneath me.
Just as we’re drying off from our snorkel world champion free divers turn up to use the location for training. They have a floating platform located in the middle of the hole where they carry out relaxation and breathing techniques prior to immersing themselves into the deepest darkest depths. The world record for a totally unassisted free dive is a staggering 102 metres, completed by William Trubridge who’s here training today.
A short drive along the road is a stunning bay formed by the oceans deep water squeezing through a small gap in the rocks. Inside the bay the shallow, peaceful, bright blue water is edged by a crescent of soft white sand. It’s secluded and only accessible by walking over sand dunes from another nearby beach, as a result it’s perfectly deserted when we arrive.
From Clarence Town we next make the jump over to ………
(This is a 2 part storytime. So return Next week Monday for part two of Abigial’s Sailing Journey throughout the islands of the Bahamas) If this inspires you to take on your own boat escape or at least just a few days on private yacht.. see the fun with
_Sealyon Private on demand charter.
If you want to discover more about the Abigail & Ben’s Amazing sailing journey take a read on their blog _The Wander’s Notepad