Water is not only featured in the national flag of the Bahamas, but the presence of the soft azure waters of the Caribbean is the life-force of the island-nation, felt everywhere you go. On a trip to Nassau sponsored by the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, I got my first glimpse into this important piece of the Bahamian national identity.
Flying over the island chain to the Nassau airport, I purposely chose a window seat so my first view of the famous waters would be from the air. True to its billing, the surrounding islands and crystal clear waters were stunning, even from a few thousand feet.
My first experience with the water world of the Bahamas came on my first full day in Nassau, thanks to a half day boat tour.
Since the legendary Bahamian waters are a chief draw for visitors, there is no limit in the options for boat charter companies. We used High Seas Bahamas, which was excellent, but there are many others that I am sure are of the same high caliber. Even though it was overcast and rainy, it was still an amazing afternoon.
I grew up inland and while my family certainly took a few vacations to ocean side areas, I didn’t really spend that much time in, on or around the water. But as a young adult, through a serious of fortunate opportunities, I soon came to the realization that I love the water.
Like Bubba from Forrest Gump with his shrimp recipes, I like it all when it comes to water activities: rafting, canoeing, kayaking, swimming, snorkeling, wading, tubing, motor boating – you name it, if it involves water (preferably the ocean) I’m there. For a water rat like myself, the Bahamas was like a trip to the promised land.
It’s not just the clear waters, swaying palms and sandy beaches that draw you in – many other islands in the Caribbean enjoy the same features. But the Bahamas, unlike most other of these small nations, enjoys a shear quantity of islands, grottoes, cays and phenomenal seas that no other place can even come close to matching.
Have you been to the Bahamas? What is your favorite island?