While on vacation on The Disney Cruise, I, along with my family took a tour by boat to a small resort island. As we approached, I was awestruck by its beauty. I knew this was going to be fun, but had no idea that this place would be forever etched in my mind.
Two natives dressed in brightly colored tropical shirts, white pants and shoes greeted us at the dock. They were also wearing smiles just as bright. They escorted us to an open-air type restaurant with a thatched roof that was actually attached to the pier at which we docked The restaurant had a casual atmosphere that made us feel very comfortable. The food was served buffet style, with an elegant array of Bahamian and American cuisine.
The entertainment during and after the buffet was delightful. A ten minute introduction to the Bahamian culture was followed by an intriguing native dance, performed by a man dressed in an authentic looking costume consisting of only a rawhide g-string with a short apron front. His sandals had leather cords winding halfway up his legs. This dance depicted a story of a hunter and his prey. A woman who was also in costume narrated it. Brightly dressed Bahamian men were beating drums and banging sticks providing the sound effects for the story. This was truly a great beginning to a wonderful afternoon.
Behind the restaurant was a private beach area, accessible by walking trails only. We walked one of these trails, observing the brightly colored tropical plants and trees that flourished on this well maintained terrain. A beautiful lagoon added to the splendor, and when we reached the end, a lookout provided a panoramic view of the entire bay. What a breathtaking sight! There was a bar here, and after a cool drink we decided to head back. We took a different trail back that brought us right to the sands. In front of us, about 150 feet was the beach. It was 90 degrees and the Bahamian sun made the sand hot under our feet. However, a gentle breeze kept us comfortable otherwise.
On the beach we rented a cabana, which is little more than a thatched umbrella, table and beach chairs, and a hammock. There, we sat and enjoyed one of those big tropical drinks that have fruit on the edge of the glass and a small umbrella of its own. Staring out into the bay from my hammock, was possibly the most serene feeling I have had in all my life. There were many people around and they were making plenty of noise, but my mind was absorbed with the natural beauty of this place. It was like none that I had ever seen before. Looking across the bay towards the mainland, with all its hustle and bustle, I felt as if I had found paradise. I had been to the ocean before, but only in the U.S., and never to a bay. Bay waters are much calmer, and therefore much clearer-so clear, in fact, that at a depth of six feet I was able to see a penny. The color of the water is also amazingly different from ocean water. The intensity of the blue color is almost fluorescent.
After we rested, we decided it was time to get wet, so we donned our snorkeling gear and entered the warm water. I had never snorkeled before, but it wasn’t long before I felt comfortable. Most of our experience was in very shallow water and I don’t think it was ever necessary to go down more than ten feet. The fish didn’t seem to be bothered by our presence, and although I don’t know what kind they were, I touched two of them, and there reaction was only to flip their tail. About forty feet out from the beach it was still only about seven or eight feet deep, and that’s where the coral appeared. This is something that no television or video could do justice to. The vivid colors of the coral alone were enough to make this whole trip worth while. There were many different types of fish, most of them with vibrant colors, varying in size from a silver dollar, to a foot or more in length. The saltwater fish in pet stores, are the same vibrant colors that I am talking about. Being in the water with these creatures of beauty that welcome your presence is something that needs to be experienced to appreciate. Wading back towards shore, I have to say I was sorry that this part of the day was over.
Back on the beach, a horn signaled the need to prepare for the trip across the bay. Fortunately, the boat that came to pick us up was not the same as the boat that dropped us off. This one had a glass bottom that enabled the passengers to observe everything beneath the boat. There was an experienced diver who was a part of the entertainment. He dived under the boat, and as we watched in awe, he grabbed the tail of a seven foot shark, pulling himself close enough to the shark?s head to be bitten, and he then began to pet the shark as if it were only a puppy.
Once on shore we headed back to our ship just in time to see yet another splendor, a Bahamian sunset! We made our way to the top deck of the ship, so that we could get a panoramic view. The rainbow of colors in the sky were more than you could see in any painting, no matter who the artist. There were hues of peach to deep orange, pale pink to deep fuchsia and purple. Gold was entwined throughout, and the sun itself was like a ball of fire. The colors kept changing, as if an artist was continually trying to improve on its beauty. The sunset lasted about twenty minutes, but the colorful streaks in the sky remained vivid for another half-hour. I have never seen a magnificent sunset like this ever before.
I have seen many beautiful places, but none have made as profound an impression on me as that little island in the Bahamas. If it were possible I would go on vacation here every chance I got. But I will definitely come here with my own family in the years to come.