Exploring Long Island Bahamas

A Cave, Cliff Jumping & The Deepest Blue Hole

I am just going to come out and say it, Long Island is my favorite people place in the Bahamas.  Take the people away and it’s just another lovely shrub covered rock surrounded by a kaleidoscope of liquid blue.

As we sailed south down the Exuma chain of islands we heard it over and over “Long Island is the nicest island in the Bahamas.”  We never did get a straight answer as to what that meant but now that we’ve been here, we understand what they were talking about.

thompson bay long island bahamas

I once heard a song “people are like stew, it’s variety that makes it fun to chew”.  That perfectly describes how we feel about Long Island.  It’s the combination of cruisers, locals and expats that create the unique vibe here.

So, add the melting pot of awesome people to a road trip that includes cliff jumping into one of the deepest blue holes in the world, a cave tour by an eight-year-old native and it totals up to our favorite Bahamian island.

We packed a lot of experiences into our time here and really struggled to dwindle it all down into 20 minutes of video.  There were sundowners with our floating neighbors, visits to farmers homes and meetups at Tiny’s Hurricane Hole that all go digitally undocumented but are sealed in our memory banks.

Sometimes I wish we could manage to share it all, because it’s the little moments in between that seem to round out this crazy unsedentary lifestyle we love. There is a camera in our hands 80% of the time but some occasions are meant to be enjoyed in the moment and not looking through a lens.  I guess what I am struggling to say is that sometimes it’s good to put away all the distractions, digital devices and just be in the moment.

What’s The Cruisers Net

There seems to be a local cruisers net for just about every little cruising hub.  The net is a radio channel that we tune into at a specific time to hear all sorts of information that is helpful to us cruisers. It’s everything from new arrivals (we say our boat name and hello to everyone), weather, general announcements, goods/services to trade or needed items, maintenance questions/issues, departures (people heading out).  Not only does it help give us the scoop on the area, it’s a way to instantly connect with the community around us.  We usually find out if an area has a cruisers net by looking up our anchorage on, checking the cruisers guide or simply dinghy over and ask our closest neighbor.

long island bahamas

Deans Blue Hole

We could have spent all day here!  According to Wikipedia, this is the second deepest blue hole in the world. The only downside to our visit was the water was stirred up from the 25+ knots of wind we had during the previous 3 days.  If you can have a solid 12-24 hours of 15 knots or less before going, I think the water would be very clear and you could see much more of the dark cavern that opens up at about 40ft.  Freediving, scuba, however you get down, it’s an incredible experience.

Exploring Long Island Bahamas

freediving deans blue hole

Hamilton’s Cave Bahamas

Mr. Cartwright would have been a great tour guide I am sure but, having little Austin totally made our experience.  Only on a small island would people be so trusting to let you take off with their grandchild.

largest cave in the bahamas

Hamilton's Cave Bahamas

Hamilton's Cave Bahamas

largest cave in the bahamas

Churches of Long Island

Man, there are a ton of churches here.  We counted at least ten and I know we didn’t hit them all.  The story of Father Jerome Hawes and his religious flip flop is interesting.  Halfway through the construction of his Catholic church on the hill, he switched religions and began to build an Anglican church on the adjacent hill.  Of all the churches we stopped at, it was the oldest church on the island that was our fave. St. Mary’s Church was built in the 1700’s by the Spanish and considering how many hurricanes have ripped through here since then, it’s impressive its still standing.

oldest church long island bahamas

Another favorite, Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church.

old church bahamas

Sips & Bites

The Long Island Farmers Market can’t be beat!  The vendors take pride in their stock.  Fresh eggs, jams, veggies, fruit (you gotta try the dilly’s), fish and gifts.  We hit the farmers market at 8am on the dot each Saturday.   For anything we couldn’t pick up at the farmers market, Hillside Market just down the street is pretty well stocked and the owner was kind and welcoming.

best farmers market bahamas

Max’s Conch Bar is excellent if you are going to be out exploring by car…or waiting on a flight out.  Fun fact, the owners name is not Max.

Since we had so much fresh veg we rarely wanted to eat out…but there’s one must do:  Tiny’s Hurricane Hole on Sunday’s is one of the only places open for business on the island.  It’s in Thompson Bay and dinghy friendly so getting there is super easy from the boat.  They do a mean sour orange cocktail and the tastiest “steamed lobster”.  When they say steamed, it’s not the traditional cooked-over-boiling-water method.  On the contrary it’s a slow cooked tomatoey reduction of explosive flavor.   Sunday is also happy hour all day and the place gets packed with cruisers and locals!  So, if you feel like getting social, Tiny’s is the place to go (and the best spot to do laundry or get wifi).

Sailing Report

To see our full map with interactive pins, click here:

sailing map

Dates: March 15 – April 2, 2017
Nautical Miles Sailed: 38 from George Town to Thompson Bay
Anchorage: Thompson Bay is a huge, shallow bay with great protection that makes for a perfect anchorage.
Cell & WiFi: Our cell phone signal/data worked well here.  Tiny’s is a short dinghy ride with decent wifi as well. If you have a WiFi Booster, Like our WiFi Ranger, you can pick up a few networks at the anchorage.

sailing the bahamas

double rainbow sailing

Gear Used In This Video

Cameras Used to Capture This Video

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Hello there! I honestly don’t know what to say, so I am going to tell you a bunch of random facts instead. I'm a fish eating vegetarian who hates spiders and loves snakes. I almost never took vacations growing up. I wanted to be Pippi Longstocking (still do). I misspell about every other word I write and still struggle with grammar. I love splurging on a good high tea (which is really hard to find these days). And whatever you do, don’t tell me I can’t do something, because then I'll HAVE to do it!

Comments (25)

  • cindy

    I wanna go!!!!

  • Deborah Kerr

    That was fun – thanks for taking us along! 🙂

  • Aubrey

    Hi you two! This video was very cute and fun! Thank you for sharing it with us all!

  • Christine Jones Estep

    We are addicted to your videos. We love you. Question-Do you go through your check lists every time you sail now that you have been sailing for a year?

  • Dr. Mike

    Great job as always. Be safe. If you ever need a medical ear, I would be happy to help.

  • Andrea Clerkin

    Another great video! This one had me laughing a lot, very funny moments, especially with the 8 yr old tour guide! Nikki I love that top you are wearing in the last few mins of the video, where is it from? Hope the maintenance is going well for you and that it isn’t being too hard on the pocket! ??

  • Jim Tatum

    Hey guys,
    We will be picking up our new Leopard 40 in Diana Beach June 7th. Maybe we will meet up some time. Love the blog.

  • Marie

    I’ve been following your blog for years, and this video is my absolute favorite!! I laughed so hard and loved the energy. The Bahamas could use this for a tourism piece, cause I’m ready to go. Thanks for sharing!

  • bahamamam penny

    YEAH!!!!! Thank you so much for this! I shared it on our island page on FB so many have seen it!
    BTW- our house is PINK not orange!! (was supposed to be ICED CORAL!) and you typed in your blog about Farmers Market was on SUNDAY- nope it is Saturday! just saying!!!
    THIS is sooooo awesome….have waited to see this.
    Where are you now? MISS YOU BOTH!!

      • bahamamam penny

        Oh I hope you didn’t think I was being critical !!!!! You 2 do everything so professional and classy!!!
        THANK YOU once again for this! I am enjoying all the responses I am getting from friends….was hoping they would comment here too!! LOVE to you both!

  • Denise Fonseca

    I can easily see why you stayed a bit longer at this island! Perhaps the “Long” does not mean the length of the island but rather the amount of time you stay! Lady Penny of Fair Haven is such a sweet person…she’s a gem that helps make the island such a draw! A real people person! Jason…I think the word you were looking for on the hole dive was “deceiving”! You are so brave! Austin has a future as a tour guide. I was thinking his ???? was “…and warming them up, both”. But in any case, you could really tell he was speaking his Grandpa’s words when his voice changed and the facts of the cave came easily! So cute! Loved that grandma’s follow-up on his whereabouts! Poor Grandpa must have had a talking to when he returned to the house! I loved the doorknob tour…so glad you thought of that! Next visit, try the Superman and Snickerlicious ice-cream for me…they sound interesting! So thankful you went to this beautiful and friendly island. I am enjoying seeing the maintenance part of boating…how long and how often do you need to scrape the hull? I’d love to know if you have a schedule for boat care, and if you do, perhaps you would show us on a later video. Also, how did you fix the guide that broke on the mast? (I am assuming that wasn’t a spare part you had lying around.) Thanks for everything…this was one of my favorite videos!! Hugs!

  • Hey Guys, another one of your fantastic videos! They are addictive… Jason, your photography is absolutely amazing! How do you get the colors to pop like that…? All the best.

  • Sam Walker

    Great vid, as usual. The spinach looked like oak tree leaves.

    Cliff hanger. Who shot JR? I hope that we don’t have to wait the whole off season to find out what happened next.

  • Alex Todd

    I’ll tell you what – when it’s done right, peach ice cream is the absolute BEST!

  • Tracy H

    I so look forward to the weekends when your new video are up. So beautiful, a class act.

  • Nancy Fernandez

    Another great video. Your tour guide was so cute and shy. Keep well and enjoy!

  • Sandra & the 2 Spaniels

    Wow-do you guys have fun! Austin was adorbs, and how terrific to be his first tour guests. Those salads looked so good and fresh! Have you noticed, that since you started sailing, your taste for fresh fish is more? When you are on a boat, it just seems to bring out the fresh seafood taste buds! I took a cruise to Alaska, and usually I like chicken a lot; but on the cruise, I couldn’t get enough of fish. Salt air maybe? I can’t wait to hear how Nikki fixes the sail!

  • Owen Roberts

    Hi Nikki and Jason – love your blog and the videos thank you! We are a little behind you with our Leopard 48 splashing this week in Cape Town before being shipped over to Ft Lauderdale. I have searched your site but cannot find any links to the fishing rod and reel you use…can you point me in the right direction please. We are building the “buy” list and your gear page is awesome for that thank you!!

  • Christopher Mahoney

    Really enjoy your vids. I’ve lived in the Caribbean for 20 year’s and love it. If you happen to stop by St Maarten let me know and I’ll show you some of the great spots on the Island and how i live on 8$ a day.


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