Six nights and seven days sailing in the turquoise and azure blue waters of the Bahamas.
Eleuthera, one of the Bahamas “Out Islands”, is 110 miles long, north to south, and from one to just a few miles wide. The island faces the Atlantic Ocean on its east side, and the Great Bahama Bank on it west side. The name “Eleuthera” comes from the Greek word for “free.”
Eleuthera started as a coral reef, but unlike many of the islands, and even Florida, it’s terrain is quite hilly, with some hills as high as 100 feet. The shoreline varies from pink sand beaches to large coral outcroppings extending into aquamarine and azure waters. Eleuthera’s many beaches are considered among the best in the Bahamas.
The original inhabitants of Eleuthera were the Arawaks, who came from the mainland coasts of Florida and the Yucatan Peninsula. They were a peaceful people, and were essentially overcome by the Spaniards who came to the island in the late 15th century. The Spaniards exported the natives as slaves, and killed most of the rest. For the next 200 years Eleuthera, and the Bahamas overall, were desolate with little human habitation.
Today, Eleuthera is like an island in time, much less developed than Nassau, Freeport or the Abacos. Life moves at a slower pace here, with only 8,000 inhabitants, and a focus on vacationing. The temperature is 3 to 4 degrees cooler than Florida, with constant sea breezes. Sea birds abound. Away from towns, all there is to hear are the sounds of the ocean and birds.
Abaco Islands, Bahamas
The Abaco Islands, a 120-mile-long chain, lie in the northern Bahamas, east of Grand Bahama Island, and include the main islands of Great Abaco and Little Abaco, plus a number of lesser islands. At the time of Columbus' voyages to the New World, the Abaco Islands were inhabited by Arawak indians. The first European settlers arrived in 1783, Loyalists fleeing the American Revolution. These settlers made a modest living by basic farming, boat building, and by salvaging wrecks.
Today the Abacos are considered one of the western hemisphere's best boating and sailing destinations. The quaint colonial towns, colorful lighthouse, golf courses, miles of beautiful beaches, fantastic fishing and wonderful diving make the Abacos an incredibly complete vacation destination.
Diving and snorkeling is excellent throughout the Abacos, with protected underwater areas including Fowl Cay National Reserve and Pelican Cays National Park, large reefs with underwater caves, colorful tropical fish, even Caribbean reef sharks. Sport fishing is big in the islands, with excellent bonefishing in shallower water, and game fishing for marlin, and tuna offshore.
Berry Islands, Bahamas
Great diving in the Berries!
Try the Sea Gardens - It starts in at 15 feet, then drops off to 40 feet before rising and dropping again to 90 feet before sloping off to the wall. Many pelagic fish such as Eagle Rays and Kingfish. Many eels including Spotted Morays.
Or... the Throne of Wo - A shallow grid line reef in 35 feet of water. See Pillar coral, a large variety of fish, and an occasional shark.
Andros Islands, Bahamas
Four great dive sites here:
Bethel Channel: A labyrinth of corals in 50'. One diving group discovered an unusual cleaning station here. At a large Star Coral three different fish, two juvenile Spanish Hogfish, two Bluehead Wrasse and a small pack of Neon Gobies were cleaning a clutch of Creole Wrasse that were standing straight up on their heads.
Potomac - A wreck of a cargo steamer in a reef at 20 feet. The variety of life on this shallow reef is amazing. Everyone comes up talking about something different. A species list of one dive group included octopus, lobster, a Nurse Shark, Rainbow Parrotfish, Doctorfish, hermit crabs, Arrowcrabs, Soldierfish, Reef Squid and several spotted morays.
Lady Moore - A wreck in 80 feet of water. It has attracted a substantial fish population.
Apples - A wall starting at 50 feet. It features a profusion of Black Corals starting at 60 feet that really get thick as the wall drops vertically at 90 feet.