Do you have periods of time in your life that you remember happily and languidly, where your memory is a gorgeous dream state, moments surrounded by shiny light, like sunshine reflecting off turquoise water? The days we spent in Lucaya were like that. Amazing walks on gorgeous white sand beaches, swims in crystal clear water, and a bit of snorkeling around reefs just offshore, accessible by dinghy...
The best beaches on Grand Bahama Island (according to me) are on the long, gorgeous strip of beach between the Bell Channel and the next channel west. This strip of long, low angle beach includes Lucaya Beach and Coral Beach. (Check out the video of Coral beach on FB or IG.)
The next best beach is the small part of Taino beach that’s just east of the Bell Channel. It also has lovely white sand and beautifully clear water, along with interesting coral and tidal pools at one end.
Where we were staying in Lucaya wasn’t a great place to invite friends to join us…and so we didn’t. The marina we were staying at, the Grand Bahama Yacht Club, was absolutely lovely and we highly recommend coming there if arriving by boat. But from there, the beach was a dinghy ride away (or not-real-nice walk). There was one of the nicer restaurants on the island accessible easily by dinghy, and we did get to have a couple of nice meals with wonderful humans we had met the last time we were in Lucaya... there wasn’t much to do, otherwise.
We did rent a car to explore the island a bit this last time. Interestingly, the car was set to provide directions in Japanese, and the map insisted we were in Tokyo.
We went to the national park to see a couple of blue holes and to Gold Rock Beach. (Tourist literature claimed this as the most beautiful beach on the island. I disagree (see above). :)
Grand Bahama Island has weathered several hurricanes in the last decade, and was devastated by Dorian in 2019. Dorian arrived as a category 5 and spent hours on the island. The people and the ecology are slowly recovering. There are stripped trees in more places on the island than not, even as the underbrush regrows and the people rebuild.
Shortly after Dorian, Covid kept the tourists away. About half the people on the island are employed by tourism. Whew. There are empty hotels…empty beaches… closed restaurants, closed stores. But there are also a few lovely spots that are open, where the service and food are good, and the people are wonderfully friendly. We visited Bishop's on the way out to East End, and it was a lovely visit and beach.
We spent just shy of two weeks in Lucaya. It was difficult to say goodbye to those beaches and that gorgeous water—saying goodbye to beautiful places, beings, and ideas is hard. We’ll have more updates on our next steps soon, but if you’re following pictures on Facebook or Instagram you know we’ve headed back up north instead of going to explore more islands…
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