A Cave, Cliff Jumping & The Deepest Blue Hole

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 noonsite.com, 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: gonewiththewynns.com/map

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

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