4 Eleuthera travel tips you need to know before traveling to Eleuthera

beaches, eats, Travel - Bret S. - September 2, 2020

eleuthera travel tips

Would you like to go to the Bahamas, but have never been there before?

Would you consider Eleuthera, one of the Family Islands in the Bahamas, but don’t know enough about the island to choose it as a destination?

Well, I’ve got some Eleuthera travel tips that will help you decide if it’s for you and better prepare for the experience if it is!

There are four things you really need to know before you go.


Are you surprised?

The fact that there are 4 Eleuthera travel tips you need to know in order to start planning your dream vacation to one of the most beautiful beach destinations on this planet pretty much means you don’t have to waste a lot of time fretting over a lot of details. That makes trip planning so much easier!!

Let’s get started.

1. Eleuthera Travel Tip #1: What should you pack?

This may be a turn off for many, but the island has biting insects and you need to know that. No-see-ums or sand flies, which are pervasive whenever there isn’t a breeze, have ruined many a trip and have landed numerous visitors in one of the public clinics seeking relief. Mosquitoes, or wings with teeth as the locals call them, are usually most bothersome at dawn and dusk. Trust me on this one, they sometimes swarm in ferocious packs and can be extremely aggressive. They are especially bad during rainy season (July) and after large rain storms.

There are lots of concoctions that have been offered on how to deal with them. Regimens of antihistamines, such as Benadryl and Pepcid, along with a mix of vitamin B supplemented with organic insect repellents have been recommended by numerous visitors and residents. However, multiple scientific studies have shown that vitamin B has no value whatsoever as an insect repellent. Most of the people who claim otherwise are probably vitamin B salespeople! If you took it and had fewer bites you likely experienced breezy conditions, were exposed to fewer bites or were just plain lucky. Antihistamines taken for several weeks continuously before one’s trip can help if you are hyper-allergic to bug bites and the ensuing itching welts. I have seen firsthand what happens when someone has an allergic reaction and it’s not pretty. Many people claim that they don’t get bites at all. Likely, what is happening is that they don’t get the allergic reaction to the bite that can cause itchy, puss filled welts that can last for weeks on end.

What you want to pack is a bug spray that has DEET along with a good after bite treatment to apply after each bite. Other types of insect repellent can be effective, but sprays with DEET are a sure thing. I personally use a spray called Ben’s with either 80% or 100% DEET to increase the duration of protection. You’ll also want to pack cover-ups such as light pants, socks and a long sleeved shirt to wear in the mornings or evenings to help minimize the amount of exposed skin. Finally, if you are already there and forgot these things, then try to find a breeze when outdoors and use air conditioning when indoors. No-see-ums go dormant in cooler conditions and when there is a breeze they have a much harder time to land and bite.

Here’s another one of my Eleuthera travel tips: Don’t overpack!

Eleuthera, Harbour Island and Spanish Wells are very casual islands. You can dine out at the most elegant restaurant and still be perfectly acceptable in shorts, t-shirt and sandals. During the day you’re not going to be dressed in more than that and most likely you’ll be in a bathing suit most of the time. If you feel you need to pack something dressier then by all means go ahead, but don’t overdo it. A light summer dress for ladies and a button down short sleeved polo with casual shorts for men is perfectly fine. The airlines are going to charge you if you carry more than 50 lbs in your luggage (40 lbs on some of the smaller carriers) and I’ve learned over the years that bringing two or three changes of clothing for a week, along with a couple of bathing suits, is more than enough for how casual every place on the island is. If your luggage weighs more than 30 lbs then you’ve probably packed too much.

Here one more tidbit to consider.

Make sure to bring plenty of suntan lotion. You can find it on the island, but it’s expensive.

To summarize, pack bug spray with Deet, after bite treatment, suntan lotion, a light cover-up, and half as many clothes as you were thinking of bringing!

2. Eleuthera Travel Tip #2: Should you rent a car, a golf cart or get around by taxi?

Eleuthera is 100 miles long and 2 miles wide. The main highway, Queen’s Highway, is long, narrow, mostly unlit, and with very few road markings such as dividing lines. Bahamians tend to drive fast. The highway has only two lanes. Plus, you drive on the left, which is unfamiliar territory to many visitors. The roads have many blind turns. The speed limit is 45 mph on most of the highway and 15 mph in the settlements. If you visit either Harbour Island or Spanish Wells, then a golf cart is the only way that visitors move about on those islands. They can be rented by the day at the government docks and it’s usually best to reserve one in advance. Driving around Eleuthera in a golf cart is not an option for safety reasons.

Since golf carts are out on Eleuthera then what about relying on taxis?

Here’s the thing. Taxis are available, but the taxi drivers work out of the airports. That means if you are staying away from the airport then it’s probably going to take a while for your driver to get to you; not very convenient. It’s not like you can just stand on a corner and hail a cab although hitch hiking is a perfectly acceptable way to get around for many folks on the island. If you are trying to get anywhere on a schedule then you will need to make a reservation. It is also true that since the settlements are rather far apart, the cost of your ride will not be inexpensive. For example, from North Eleuthera Airport (ELH) to Governor’s Harbour Airport (GHB), a trip that totals approximately 25 miles, it will cost you about $120US. A single taxi ride can sometimes cost as much or even more than the cost of renting a car for the whole day! Another consideration is that most of the places you are going to visit, such as the hidden beaches, natural attractions, restaurants, etc. are remote. Because of the cost, inconvenience and length of time to get a ride, I am advising you to not rely on taxis unless you just need transportation to and from the airport.

A car rental is the way to go and I would recommend getting a vehicle that has some type of clearance underneath it so that you can more easily manage the dirt roads and rocky beach paths that lead the way to most of the hidden beaches. A sedan is fine if you are going to stick to the settlements and most of the easily reached beaches, but it’s pretty impractical for the ones that are a bit more challenging to find. Remember, too, that when reserving your vehicle, every type of small SUV is called a jeep by the Bahamians. If you ask for a jeep you are likely not going to get an actual Jeep brand of automobile. Vehicle rental costs range from $60 to $90 per day and there is no additional cost for insurance. Most of the rental vehicle businessmen will want cash or a personal check although they are starting to move towards credit card transactions.

3. Eleuthera Travel Tip #3: How much money should you bring?

You are going to want to budget between $100 to $200 per day per person with my recommended budget being $150. This is excluding your transportation and lodging costs and is really meant as a budget for food, drinks and entertainment. I know there are a lot of variables that go into this question such as how often will you eat in versus out? When you eat out will you be going to higher end restaurants or budget friendly take-aways? Will you be drinking expensive alcohol drinks? Will you be engaging in activities that require equipment rentals such as kayaking, paddle boarding or scuba? Will you be going on any paid excursions or tours? In general, visitors find the price of groceries and dining out to be relatively expensive. So, let me explain my thinking and how I came up with that number.

I’m assuming that most people will be staying at a place where they can have at least half of their meals in, and all or most of their breakfasts. While groceries are generally expensive on any tropical island, you can find things to purchase that won’t break the bank. Let’s budget $150 per person for a week’s worth of groceries or ~$20 a day.

For eating out let’s budget $40 for lunch and $80 for dinner per person. That’s $120 a day, however, we’re only eating out half the time so we’ll cut it <span>Photo by <a href="">Louis Hansel @shotsoflouis</a> on <a href="">Unsplash</a></span>down to an average of $60 per day over the course of a one week trip. This budget also assumes that we do a mix of more expensive meals with some moderate ones.

Let’s do a budget for alcohol. A case of beer is going to run $60 or $2.50 a bottle. A bottle of wine will be an average of $30 or about $5 a glass. A bottle of rum is less than $10 or $0.60 per drink. A mixed drink at a bar is going to be around $15 – $20 and that’s just the way it is. I’ll assume that most visitors will do a mix of all of these choices. Let’s say we budget for 4 adult beverages a day across this mix. If we have 4 drinks out the cost is $80 on the high side. If we have four rum drinks at your rental we spend $2.40. Let’s meet more towards the middle, but stay on the low side because it won’t be often that we have four premium drinks at an expensive restaurant each day. We’ll make our booze budget $20, which is probably still on the high side.

Lastly, let’s take into consideration our activities. Fortunately, most activities on Eleuthera, such as beaching or visiting the attractions, are free! What can be expensive are guided tours and equipment rentals. If we allocate budget for two planned excursions – one a tour and one a rental – we’re looking at a budget of $150 for the tour and $80 for equipment for a total of $230. Over the course of a week that comes out to about a $33 daily average.

Our daily budget = $20 for groceries, $60 for dining out, $20 for drinks and $33 for entertainment, which comes out to $133. If we budget $133 per person it fits nicely in the range of $100 to $200. You can spend a little more or you can spend a little less, but I’m going to round that up to the nearest $50 and use $150 per person per day as a good round number to start with. You should also be aware that credit cards are still not widely accepted on Eleuthera. Cash is still king so plan on bringing it else you must frequent the ATMs, which can only be found in the settlements of Governor’s Harbour and Rock Sound.

4. Eleuthera Travel Tip #4: Is it worth it to go to Lighthouse Beach?

In a word, YES, it is worth it to go visit Lighthouse Beach, but, first, let’s talk about why some folks choose not to go there. (Click Here for a short video tour of Lighthouse Beach.)

It’s far, the road is a mess and there are few, if any, street signs.

Those are the three main objections to not making the trip, and I get it. Who wants to spend 3 to 4 hours of their precious vacation time traveling back and forth to a beach, or getting lost, when you can easily visit any number of beaches within minutes of where you are staying if not right outside your back door? However, Lighthouse Beach is not just any beach. It’s arguably the most dramatically beautiful beach on the island and maybe one of the best beaches in the world. With its striated limestone rock formations, overlook cliffs, sand-filled caves, and a channel where you can swim between two connecting seas, it’s simply magical and breathtakingly gorgeous!

But, how bad is the road, really?

It’s bad, but manageable. The ruts are deep. Some of the holes look like they’re big enough to swallow a Volkswagen. There are loose rocks and oftentimes large pockets of standing water. It’s likely that you’ll have to drive so far to one side of the road that your vehicle is going to get scratched by the branches and vegetation, what we call earning your Eleuthera stripes! If whomever rented you your vehicle doesn’t want you getting their car scratched, then there’s a reason not to go. Otherwise, it’s slow going, but you’ll make it. Even in a sedan. It’s much more comfortable to have a vehicle that has some ground clearance so that you don’t risk bottoming out in places, but if you take your time, keep your tires on the high spots, and when the holes are too deep, keep your tires as far to the edge of the road as possible, you’ll make it.

There has also been talk for some time about it being closed off to tourists as the property has been bought by The Walt Disney Company and they plan to turn it into a cruise ship port. They haven’t started any building. The road is still open. There has been no announcement as to when or if that will change.

Go see Lighthouse Beach while you can. It will make enough of an impression that I bet you’ll remember it and the experience for the rest of your life!!

So there it is. You have now learned 4 things you need to know before traveling to Eleuthera. I hope you all have a better vacation because of this article.



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Eleuthera books and libraries: Freedom to Read, Inc. builds libraries and literacy in Eleuthera

happenings, philanthropy - Bret S. - August 17, 2020

In this blog I want to bring your attention to a very worthwhile organization that is making a difference on Eleuthera and Harbour Island. Please consider donating to this worthy cause so that the people who are doing the hard work have the means to continue bringing education and enrichment to the lives of the people of the Bahamas.


Freedom to Read Inc., is a non-profit organization dedicated to literacy in Eleuthera and Harbour Island. Quite simply, they are changing the lives of the people of the Bahamas so they can reach their fullest potential through the power of free access to literacy. This organization is making a real difference for the Family Islands by being an important mechanism for learning, information access and computer services.

Freedom to Read, Inc. began when librarian Susy Siel recognized a need for free access to literacy on Eleuthera Island, Bahamas. She had been visiting the island for decades with her parents, and had seen first-hand how much life could be improved by introducing quality libraries stocked with current books and new computers. I had a chance to conduct a brief email interview with Susy to learn more about the libraries and how they operate, and to see how we can all get involved to help this meaningful cause.

First, it’s important to know that the library sites are not just for students. They are utilized by everyone in the community.  The majority of patron use is definitely students, however, many people come to the library to access the Internet or to have letters typed and printed.  The libraries also provide document scanning, which is a great need in the Bahamas as the government departments often require physical paperwork for many of their services such as social security, home insurance, passport applications and renewals, auto registrations, driver’s licenses, etc..

As you would expect, the libraries rely on donations to grow and operate. The costs of operating twelve libraries that are quite a distance apart, on an island where costs are high in general, creates a constant challenge. While the local governmental councils are responsible for providing electricity and Internet, they do not service the physical buildings. There is great need to provide and service the AC units in nearly every library. Computer maintenance is nearly constant and the library staff is not well equipped nor trained to provide technical services. Getting necessary funding for facility and computer maintenance is a critical need.

On the bright side, most of the staff are salaried by the Ministry of Education and the Bahamas National Library and Information Services.  However, these are not permanent and pensionable positions and the pay is barely enough to provide basic living expenses. Several of the libraries have Library Supervisors who are not supported by the government at all, and they provide work voluntarily. In two of the northern settlements, Bluff and Lower Bogue, the librarians are paid by a government temporary service bill called the 52 Weeks Program at a nominal $800 a month! The staff are highly trained professional librarians and, unfortunately, they can barely make ends meet. The issue of hiring and paying skilled workers is expected to continue for the foreseeable future.

I asked Susy what her plans were for the future. Would she continue to develop more libraries or did she have other ideas? She said that rather than expand, she would prefer to service the existing libraries more fully. While she has been approached by Deep Creek, Savannah Sound, Bannerman Town and Rock Sound to provide libraries in those settlements, making the current set of libraries more consistent would not only allow them to provide better services, but would also help reduce costs. For example, standardizing the printers at each site would allow donors to provide the same type of ink toner. Right now every library has a different printer so it is very difficult to even coordinate something that simple. There is a plan being developed to provide assistance to the devastated Marsh Harbour Public Library on Abaco, but Susy is unable to free up enough budget to make a meaningful impact.

Susy recounted some of her experiences from interacting with students. She said that it’s always a pleasure to see them arriving after school. Their enthusiasm to return and check out books, use the Internet, and work on their school assignments is infectious. Whenever possible Susy likes to personally jump in and assist. She has worked with kids to establish Google accounts and use Google Drive, which always seems to result in squeals of joy when they see how documents can be shared and edited in real time!  She sometimes gets to play word games and assist with homework, which is just an added bonus of the job and something she really enjoys doing. She also had the privilege to participate in the Summer Book Club established by Librarian Katherine Neely. The youngsters were enthusiastic and full of life, and are genuinely excited about having access to books and computers. She loves seeing how eager and impatient the kids are to get inside.  During construction and cataloging at several of the new sites she often had 6 to 7 kids standing outside begging to come in even before the libraries were open for business.  She said that it’s really heartwarming to know that they simply wanted books in their hands!

I wondered, outside of monetary donations, were there other things that visitors or residents could contribute to the organization? While funding is the greatest need, there is always a constant demand for consumable supplies that are needed to assist with after school homework. This includes: crayons, scissors, glue, #2 and colored pencils, durable pens, printer paper, toner, and cleaning supplies, such as bleach, rags, Pine-Sol, toilet bowl cleaner, toilet paper, hand towels, etc. Folks wishing to donate supplies can contact Susy directly at Additionally, they also require housing and ground transportation while on island. If you can’t donate directly then please consider buying and bringing these items with you when you visit.

I wanted to know what Susy’s greatest challenge was. As you might have guessed, funding went to the top of the list, but not in the way you might think. It turns out that LOGISTICS is probably the biggest issue. She said they are constantly collecting, sorting, shipping, and delivering resources to each of the library sites. From books to computers to consumable supplies, everything comes FROM somewhere and has to be delivered TO somewhere. This is no small feat on a Family Island that is 100 miles long!!!  Over the past 7 years they have provided 48 pallets of books, roughly 150 computers, library furniture, and ongoing training for library staff, and all of that requires logistics. Susy says that the organization’s vehicle and transportation costs could put Freedom to Read, Inc. out of business, which would be absolutely terrible when people are now depending on the services that they provide. As her #1 wish, she said it would be AMAZING if someone would donate a high riding SUV (Jeep type vehicle 10 years old or newer) and have it shipped to Eleuthera, licensed and registered.

If you are still reading this blog, then I’m sure we are in agreement that education is one of the keys to future success in the Bahamas. Being literate is a must and literacy these days means much more than simply reading and writing. In today’s age, literacy means reading, being information and technologically literate and developing all the skills needed to be successful in our modern economy. Many Eleutherans are employed either by being a skilled tradesman or by providing some type of service to the tourism industry. And, while the trade workers in the Bahamas do great work, they often fail financially because they do not have the full set of skills necessary to run a business. I’m sure you would agree that free access to literacy is an absolute necessity to ensure a better trained populace and workforce. The Freedom to Read library sites provide a safe, clean environment to stimulate intellectual curiosity and they are doing so at the location of need. Please give now if you can by clicking the red DONATE button below.



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Eleuthera Navy Base: Haunted or Santeria art collection?

adventures, Travel - Bret S. - August 6, 2020

Is the NAVFAC on Eleuthera haunted?

Exploring the Eleuthera NAVFAC always piques my interest as I love all things macabre. The first few times I ventured through I was merely trying to find the main beach in front of the massive parking lot, but on subsequent visits I became fascinated with the native art that was deemed to be Santeria. Now, I don’t know if it is or isn’t, but it is pretty weird. The fact that most of the art can be found in the building that used to be the chapel also makes the walk through the building just a bit more creepy, as if something will jump out at you (besides one of the goats!) at every turn of a corner. Enjoy a smattering of my photos from my journey through the chapel in 2019. For a brief history of the facility, read on.


The Eleuthera, Bahamas facility was officially commissioned on September 1, 1957. There were 150 officers and enlisted men plus 45 Bahamians. Much of the work detail was related to transportation and communication, and it was said that its main mission was to interecept foreign communications from vessels above and below the ocean that traveled near the Eleutheran shores. Eleuthera made history June 30, 1970 by being the first facility to employ women in oceanographic research. NAVFAC Eleuthera was decommissioned March 31, 1980 after 23 years of service.

For some additional history on the area make sure to check out this interesting read from Project Eleuthera.

Note: As per the first comment from Chuck Miller (thanks Chuck!), I have added some photos of the catchment basin and my car hovering precariously above the last slab of cement.

Be sure to Like and Share our Facebook page by clicking below.

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Papaw Bay Beach, South Palmetto Point #1 Best Video Tour: Eleuthera, Bahamas

adventures, beaches, eats - Bret S. - August 3, 2020

Papaw Bay Beach, South Palmetto Point, Eleuthera, Bahamas

Located in South Palmetto Point, take a scenic video tour of Papaw Bay Beach, Eleuthera, Bahamas. This beach is easily reached from the nearby settlements of Governor’s Harbour, Savannah Sound, South Palmetto Point and North Palmetto Point. This beach is ideal when it’s windy on the west side of the island as this bay and beach are very protected. It’s perfect for a morning visit followed by either take-away from 3J’s jerk pit or a pizza from Mate and Jen’s.

Be sure to check out our guide of South Palmetto Point, too!

All of our videos can be found on the EleutheraDirect YouTube channel.

south palmetto point

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Eleuthera Island Vacation Rental Area Map and Settlements

map, Travel - Bret S. - July 24, 2020

This Eleuthera Island Vacation Rental Area and Settlements map has all of the smaller vacation rental areas that don’t normally show up on a map of just Bahamian settlements. Did you ever wonder where Airport Beach rentals were located, how close Gaulding Cay was to the settlement of Gregory Town or how close close Gregory Town was to Surfer’s Beach? This map provides that information. I’ve included all the settlements, too. The yellow circle icons either represent a settlement or an area where there are vacation rentals.

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Eleuthera, Spanish Wells and Harbour Island Tours and Tour Guides

adventures, Travel - Bret S. - July 17, 2020

eleuthera tours, spanish wells tours, harbour island tours

Eleuthera tours and Spanish Wells tours

have been around for awhile. When I first ventured to Eleuthera in 1999 there were very few options for touring the island. Some land based operators would take you to Preacher’s Cave, the Ocean Hole, The Hatchet Bay Caves and the Hatchet Bay grain silos. There were three scuba guides as I recall. And, that was about it. The rest of the island, and adjacent islands, you needed to explore on your own, which was fun, but time consuming. Well, times have changed and as the island has grown up so has it’s tour business. It is now possible to tour south, central and northern Eleuthera as well as what is referred to as “pig island” just south of Russell Island. Tours encompass cliff and cenote jumping, turtle and pig feeding, snorkeling, scuba diving, deep sea and reef fishing, lobstering, spearfishing, beach picnics, sailing and pretty much anything you can dream up on land, sea, or both. This blogs lists on the tour operators who offer a more immersive experience rather than only fishing or scuba diving. Those operators will be featured in a separate blog. Below is about as comprehensive of a list of the operators that I was able to find online. I’ve included videos where possible as well as contact information, and a general description of what kind of services they offer. There are LOTS of options and I recommend calling them to discuss your particular needs and wishes.

Central Eleuthera


Fishbone Tours – offers adventure and snorkeling tours as well as bone, deep sea and reef fishing. The Adventure Tour, their most popular option, is an enticing combination of snorkeling, conch diving, starfish and turtle encounters, reef fishing complemented by a conch salad lunch and drinks. Captain ‘Bubba’ Julius Rankine is the tour guide. He operates out of Savannah Sound, which is 10 miles south of Governor’s Harbour and 1 mile north of Windermere Island. He and his wife also own and operate the popular Fishbone Beach Bar and Grill. Make sure to take an excursion and enjoy a most pleasant meal afterwards. Contact info:, 242-332-6524

South Eleuthera

Eleuthera Tours – founded and operated by the husband and wife team of Kristel and Donald Anderson are the tour of choice for both visitors staying on Eleuthera and for those cruising through Princess Cays. Their particular focus is on the southern end of the island and their two most popular tours are to Lighthouse Beach and the Schooner Cays. They also offer fishing, sunset and night sky boat tours, and kayak adventures. Their reputation is stellar and their area of operation truly unique.

Contact info: United States: 407-442-629, Office cell/ texts & Whatsapp: 242-557-7381, Kristel:  242-557-7381, Donald: 242-470-2048,  Email:

North Eleuthera

S/V Eventide – is the only sailing vessel on the island that I’m aware of that offers charters. Hailing out of Whale Point, Eleuthera, and Harbour Island you can enjoy a day of sailing, snorkeling, beachcombing, and relaxing on the beautiful waters around the islands. Eventide is a classic CSY 44 sloop. She comfortably accommodates up to 12 passengers and crew. Visit a deserted island, see dolphins and turtles, marvel at colorful reefs and sea life, gather shells and sea glass washed up from the ocean… all on your own private sailing charter! Phone: (305) 432-2331, 242-475-3741

Bahamas Out-Islands Adventures – operates out of Gregory Town and where it differs is that most tours are land based and surfing oriented. You can experience kayaking, surfing, snorkeling, beachcombing, shelling, hiking, exploring, caves, blue holes, flora and fauna, beach activities and games, and even stargazing. Tom Glucksmann is the tour operator and he can be reached at 242-551-9635 or 242-335-0349. The company email is

James Munroe – operates out of Current, Eleuthera. I couldn’t find specific information about the types of tours he offers, but he is highly respected by folks who have reviewed him on various forums. I assume that you can arrange whatever type of northern tour you would prefer. James can be reached at 242-470-0671.

Spanish Wells

Exotic Excursions – allows you to create your dream charter!! Choose from many fun and exciting options!  Swimming with the pigs / Feeding turtles in the wild / Snorkeling beautiful coral reefs and shipwrecks / Visit the beautiful sandbank / Bottom fishing / Deep-Sea Fishing / Lobster Spearing / Dive conchs and make fresh conch salad / Diving starfish and sea glass / Beach picnics / Underwater Caves / Cliff jumping and more. Will also do video for guests on tour for free.

Contact information: Captain Sheldon Pinder:  242-557-7128; or Sasha:  242-470-6123.  Email: . Facebook.



TyMan Fishing Charter and Adventure – they provide fishing, snorkeling and diving excursions. If you are visiting the Bahamas, Harbor Island, Eleuthera or Spanish Wells and would like to see the sites and catch the fish and enjoy a day on our beautiful waters, contact us to get booked. Spanish Wells, Touring, Snorkel and Dive, Fishing, Pigs, Sapphire Hole, Deep Sea Fishing, Lobstering. Contact information is 242-464-0642


Island Charters – offers half day charters starting at 4 hours and full day charters departing daily out of Spanish Wells, Eleuthera and Harbour Island, Spanish Wells. They offer a wide variety of custom charters including: Feed the Turtles, Reef Fishing, Spearfishing, Bottom Fishing, Swim with the Pigs, Beach Picnics, Snorkeling, Dive the Shipwreck, Beaching, Shelling, Island Excursions, Lunch on Spanish Wells, Bridge and Cliff Jumping, Eleuthera Tours, Glass Window Bridge, Sapphire Blue Hole, Preacher’s Cave. Contact info is 242-470-6206,



Uncle Rob’s Great Adventures – where their mission is for people to have adventures and make memories that will last a lifetime. Contact info is 242-557-7655,

-Swim with the Swimming Pigs
-Feed the Wild Sea Turtles
-Shipwreck and Reef Snorkeling
-Visits to the Sapphire Blue Hole
-Awesome Cave Adventures
-Trips to the World famous Sand Dollar Beach
-Cliff and Bridge Diving
-Beach Picnics


True Blue Charters –  they are purveyors of adventure who offer Eleuthera Tours, Snorkeling, Wreck Dives, Beachcombing, cliff jumping, watersports, fishing, feed and swim with the pigs, We provide fishing, snorkeling, wreck dives, beach combing, cliff jumping, and water sport excursions. Captain Todd and Sister Cassandra have a combined 40+ years of experience in adventuring the waters of Spanish Wells. Contact info:, 1 242-470-8241.




Da Salty Pig – historical eleuthera tours, swim with pigs, reef exploration, reef bottom fishing, turtle encounters, beach picnic, deep sea fishing, sand dollar sandbank. Contact info:, 242-422-9348







James Dunnam – reef exploration, snorkeling, scuba, beach getaway, deep sea fishing, reef exploration, scuba diving, swim with pigs, spanish wells and islands, message in a bottle. Contact info: 242.470.1930,




Swimming Pigs with Captain Ryan Neilly – Excursions to see the swimming pigs of Spanish Wells.  Also, deep sea, reef, bottom, bone and spear fishing, and snorkeling. Leaves from Gene’s Bay ferry dock in North Eleuthera.  Cell phone (call or text):  242-359-7894; landline:  242-333-4721; email:;





Captain Kid Tours – Looking for a 1/2 day or day excursion? They’ve got the boat, the gear, and the expertise to help you enjoy the great Bahamian outdoors, and we provide you, your family, and friends with memories that will last a lifetime. Feed the green sea turtles, visit the swimming pigs, let’s go fishing, custom land tours, private land tours, sand dollars and shells, awesome snorkeling. Contact info:, 242-557-7351.







Aqua Bliss Charters – Enjoy half day & full day charters, deep sea fishing and spear fishing with Aqua Bliss Charters. You can explore Preacher’s Cave, Pig Island, a sandbar in the Atlantic Ocean, snorkeling and more! Contact info:, 242-470-8040


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Eleuthera, Bahamas – Eleuthera Island’s 5 Best Ocean Blue Holes plus several others

adventures, Travel - Bret S. - June 24, 2020

Eleuthera island is known for its famous and mostly deserted Eleuthera pink sand beaches of which it has 135. Additionally, it is very different from Atlantis – Paradise Island, Nassau – Bahamas and Exuma – Bahamas in that Eleuthera offers a myriad of beautiful and free natural attractions. This makes it not only unique and affordable, but also exciting and adventurous to explore.

What many travelers aren’t aware of are it’s numerous blue ocean holes. These seemingly bottomless salt-water filled cenotes connect to the ocean at some point and are scattered around the island. The majority of them are located towards the southern end of Eleuthera island. Most people are at least familiar with it’s most notable blue hole, The Ocean Hole, located in Rock Sound, Eleuthera. It was explored by none other than Jacques Cousteau who never found the connection to the ocean. But what about the other ocean blue holes on the island? Watch the video to learn my 5 favorite ocean holes and read the rest of the article to learn about the other Eleuthera island blue holes that I’ve explored on my adventures. This article contains GPS coordinates, descriptions, pictures and a few maps detailing their locations. It’s time to explore the island that Lenny Kravitz calls “Eleutheria”.

  1. The Sapphire Hole in North Eleuthera is fast becoming one of the island’s favorite attractions. Visitors come to this blue hole to experience it’s 10 foot high jump into the crystal clear blue water below. This is also an interesting snorkeling site as the hole is home to Cuban Cave Shrimp. It can also be scuba dived to a depth of about 90′.  GPS: 25° 33.220’N, 76° 42.342’W


2. James Cistern is a settlement on Eleuthera that also has an ocean hole bearing the same name. It was used as a water source when the US Navy had its facility near there in the late 50’s and 60’s. Today it is just an abandoned ocean hole that is too deep to enter and exit safely. It is also littered with debris and had a ‘pond scum’ type film covering much of it when I last visited. GPS: 25° 20.168’N, 76° 22.521’W


3. Ten Bay has it’s own small ocean hole that one of my neighbors nicknamed X10. For what reason? I have no idea! There is a small area to park, however, the hole itself is surrounded by extremely soft sediment. It is easy to sink in above your ankles. While I have not approached this hole closely I have seen divers in wetsuits exiting the water. GPS: 25° 7.034’N, 76° 8.736’W


4. Kemp’s Bay, just south of Ten Bay, has it’s own ocean blue hole, too, but it is extremely difficult to reach. I tried several times to cut my way through the brush, finally succeeding. Unfortunately, the part of the hole that I hoped to explore was on the opposite side from where I was standing and the muddy, silty bottom was almost quicksand-like so I opted not to venture far from shore. Alas, I seem to have misplaced my photos from the adventure. GPS: 25° 6.440’N, 76° 8.662’W



5. The Ocean Hole in Rock Sound is the most well known and visited blue ocean hole on the island. It has many varieties of fish and crustaceans living in it including angelfish, grey snapper, porkfish, blue tangs and blue mussels. It can be swam in and snorkeled. There are two ladders for easy entry and exit. Many visitors come here to feed the fish. Additionally, you can follow the walking paths to circumnavigate the hole and enjoy the native flora and fauna. There are signs in the settlement of Rock Sound on Queen’s Highway pointing the way to the hole and the hole itself is marked with signage and a gazebo making it very easy to find. GPS: 24° 51.839’N, 76° 9.332’W


6. The Boiling Hole in Rock Sound is interesting to look at with its abundance of lush shade trees enveloping the entire circumference of the hole, but it’s not a great place to swim or snorkel. There are a couple of caves on its opposite shoreline, but they are only for viewing rather than exploring. If you follow the path leading past the hole you will find the ladder that you can descend to The Cathedral (aka Spider) Caves. These two attractions are beautiful, very natural and worth visiting for an hour or two. GPS: 24° 51.248’N, 76° 9.376’W



7. The Shrimp Hole earned its nickname due to the abundance of Cuban Cave Shrimp that I found inhabiting the water. The day I found this hole it was pouring rain and I had to cut my way back to it using a cutlass. The vegetation was tall and wet. It took me several tries before I actually found the edge of the hole and by the time I got there I looked like I had just come out of the shower. I must admit that I was a bit unprepared for the excursion. The rocky ironshore around the hole was extremely sharp and I couldn’t find a safe place to enter and exit the water. Additionally, the edge of the hole had a lot of soft sediment that I would have had to stand on in the water. I used my cutlass to sample the consistency and I went straight in up to my arm. Without a spotter I didn’t think it was safe to enter the water on my own so I left the full underwater exploration to a future excursion. Fortunately, I did have my underwater GoPro with me and was able to get a few short videos, which confirmed my belief that this was indeed an ocean hole since the organisms were ocean-like rather than pond-like. On the map below, the Shrimp Hole is the one at the top of the map. GPS: 24° 49.668’N, 76° 9.820’W


8. The Gwoupa Hole was another one that I had to nickname due to it having numerous large fish swimming in it including grouper. It had to be an ocean hole because the fish wouldn’t have survived in a brackish pond. The walls of the hole were 15′ to 20′ high and while there was a way to get to the water, it was not going to be an easy climb. I returned a second time to find out that the hole is on private property and that the fish were being stocked by the owner. Since it was farmland, the family that own it, and their workers, would eat lunch above the hole, feed the fish and sometimes fish for them, too. On the return trip we confirmed that there was a way to get to the water’s edge. It is hoped that in the future, land based tours can be organized to bring visitors to this hole for a swim. On the map below, the Gwoupa Hole is the one at the bottom of the map. GPS: 24° 48.774’N, 76° 10.512’W


9. Our last blue hole is nicknamed the Golf Course Blue Hole as it is found on one of the fairway cutouts of what was to be the “new” full size Cotton Bay golf course. I found it almost by accident as I drove back there one day to see the progress on the course. I hiked a few of the holes and came across the cutout of what was going to be a nice par 3 over a “pond” except it didn’t look like a pond. The water was way too blue and had the crystal clear sheen of the ocean. While I didn’t see any organisms, and couldn’t 100% say for sure whether it truly connected to the ocean, it had all the visual characteristics of an ocean hole. However, it didn’t look like one of those great deep blue ocean holes like most of the others. If not for the clearness of the water and its vibrant color I would have thought otherwise. See for yourself. GPS: 24° 47.270’N, 76° 10.976’W


While I’m sure there must be many more ocean holes on Eleuthera island, I have yet to find them. Eleuthera’s blue ocean holes can also be found in the ocean, too, but the ones I explored were deemed too dangerous due to shark activity so I will not be revealing them in this blog. I highly recommend putting on your adventure cap and taking a few rides into the jungle to experience these unique phenomena. I find them all interesting and hope that you do, too. While you’re enjoying the Eleuthera pink sand make sure to also take some time to enjoy Eleuthera’s blue holes.

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The Point at Half Sound, Eleuthera, Bahamas

adventures, Travel - Bret S. - May 15, 2020

Eleuthera vacation rental properties closest to this part of Eleuthera can be found in nearby Winding Bay, a residential community featuring numerous rental properties, or Tarpum Bay, one of the larger Bahamian settlements on the island. There are a series of beaches that run on the ocean side of Half Sound, a large body of water that resembles a large lake. It has a wide mouth that feeds to the ocean. Beware the current that runs from the ocean to the sound as it is wicked strong and impossible to swim against. There is also an interesting channel at its southern end that offers unique mangrove-like snorkeling. Additionally, there is a man-made channel on its northern end that connects to Winding Bay and it’s beautiful beach. This channel is great for a lazy kayak ride back and forth between the two bodies of protected water. There are several boat launches as well. You must navigate Half Sound by boat with caution, however, as it is very shallow in most areas. Stay to the outside and follow the mouth to take a boat out to the ocean for some fishing!

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There are at least three access points to the beaches on the ocean side and several accesses to smaller bay side beaches, too. The road that leads from Queen’s Highway to the beaches can be very slow going as it is deeply rutted. The 2+ mile trek to The Point at Half Sound can take anywhere from 30 to 45 minutes. A vehicle that has good clearance is recommended as well as one where rubbing up against brush on the sides of the vehicle will not be a problem. Your vehicle will likely earn its ‘Eleuthera stripes’ venturing back this way especially if your adventurous side takes over and you try to get to the bay side beaches. A good way to identify the road to the beaches is to look for the electric lines running across the road just south of the Rock Sound settlement sign as you drive on the long straightaway after Carey’s Hardware store if you are heading south. You can also look for the electric lines when heading north after you pass Hotel CTI or what locals still refer to as the old Rock Sound Club, which was built by Vining Davis back in the ’50’s.

In terms of snorkeling, just in front of the beach at The Point is one of the healthiest and largest reef systems that also has the added benefit of being close to shore. It is featured in The Snorkel Book as the best place on the island for ocean snorkeling due to its size, health and variety of sea life that it attracts. If you are heading south on the island and want some quality beach time, good snorkeling and maybe some boating then look no further than The Point at Half Sound because it checks all the boxes!

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Spanish Wells – Russell Island Bridge Collapse

Uncategorized - Bret S. - May 6, 2020

Spanish Wells bridge collapses, water main to Russell Island impacted

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Protected: The Beaches at Guinea Corn Cay

Uncategorized - Bret S. - May 1, 2020

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