Tropical Paradise in the Exumas
In the Exumas, you can swim with sharks.
Meet our pet sharks! A sign beckoned us as we tossed shrimp off the marina and into the sea.
Enter at your own risk! Another sign warned as I descended the ladder and entered the water.
I was, of course, somewhat conflicted in my emotions as I slowly swam near the circling sharks, munching on the treats we had brought for them. I waded in the pristine, aqua water, clenching my entire body with nervous energy.
ALL ABOUT THE EXUMAS
On the plane ride from Miami to Nassau, Bahamas I meditated and prepped for some much-needed beach time. My boyfriend and I were bringing in the New Year in paradise.
Just an hour plane ride from Miami, the Bahamas 365 island chain, known as the Exumas, is truly the embodiment of comfort and relaxation. White sand beaches devoid of footprints make you feel as if you are discovering new lands and the warm waters lull you into paradise.
We were on the waters instantly after landing, chartering a small yacht, Motor Yacht Moksha from Fleet Miami. With no set destination in mind, we tapped into our sense of adventure as we cruised in luxury. The yacht was cozy enough for two but large enough to feel like home (provided home is decked out in sexy reds and transports you from magical island to magical island!)
We basked on deck as we feasted on hamburgers, french fries, and a blueberry and sunflower green salad (so we could pretend to be healthy), and admired the island scenery. Sunset fell over the islands as soon as we docked at Highbourne Cay. I grabbed my Osho book, let the breeze blow through my hair and breathed in island living. After the sun went down and darkness and stars overtook the sky, we cozied up to a fitting movie — Pirates of the Caribbean.
The next morning we were off to Staniel Cay, where we ate fresh conch, a local delicacy. I had never eaten conch, but the texture and flavor reminded me a little of calamari. While traveling, I’m always up for any and all food. I believe the easiest and quickest way to truly experience a new culture is through their taste buds!
After lunch, we took the tender to the beach where we were greeted by a crew of swimming of pigs! We happily jumped off the boat with potatoes and apples in hand. All speckled and multicolored and huge, the pigs vocally welcomed us with oinks and grunts all around. We ran down the beach, carrying our food as the pigs chased us, one adorable little baby tentatively joining the pack with curiosity. Pigs don’t usually come to mind when beaches and oceans are on the agenda, but I’m so glad they surprised us!
The majority of the trip was as chill as can be… until the sharks surrounded me.
For the first and last time during our trip, jitters replaced the inherit calmness of the islands. I threw more shrimp treats into the water and plunged into my fears.
Compass Cay is the best place to swim with nurse sharks. Nurse sharks, overall, are harmless to humans and nowhere near as huge as some better known Jaws-type species. Still, that doesn’t mean the idea of them circling you through the clear water doesn’t evoke some scary thoughts! However, after a few short minutes of adjustment time, I was diving and playing and swimming around and under them. Thirty minutes flew by, engaging with these 18 incredible sharks. I couldn’t get enough of them.
The next morning we even woke up early to see the nurse sharks resting on the dock during high tide. To see these awesome creatures in such a low energy state, tanning on the dock, was equally unique and riveting. Everything and everyone has multiple facets to their lives. Even though we usually only focus on one aspect, the whole picture is always breathtaking.
First stops next trip — Stocking Island to swim with the sting rays, and David Copperfield’s private island to snorkel to the sunken piano and mermaid statue at the bottom of the sea!
Video soon to come so stay tuned!!