Harbor View Vacation Rental in Exuma

Rare Animals in Exuma

Iguanas

We have seven species of Bahamian Rock Iguanas in The Bahamas. In the Exuma chain of islands we have one species that is protected and endangered with around only 5000 animals remaining.

These brown bodied creatures grow to between 2.5 to 3 feet long. They are plant eaters and their diet includes the manchineel plant which is toxic to humans. They get their moisture from the plants they eat and it is believed they do not need water to survive.

The female lays between three and a dozen eggs at around 6 years old, which she buries in the sand. After 3 months the babies hatch and dig their way to the surface. They have a ridge along their spine which is used to dissipate excess heat.

If attacked they can disconnect their tale, which will regrow.  Iguanas have a life span of around 40 years.

These friendly creatures can be seen if you take the all day excursion known as the swimming pigs trip.

Exceptional Place and Hosts !

disaster!

Harbor View is a magical place and as nice and peaceful as its owners.
The balcony view is GRANDIOSE, probably one of the most beautiful on the island.
And when we add to that the perfect location of the house … (in the southern part of the island which appeared to us wilder and calmer than the northern part … even if the whole island is very calm in general)
I thank again Gail & Don for their warm welcome, their very good advice to make our stay perfect… and help received after the puncture of my car tire the day of my arrival!
Thank you for everything and don’t hesitate to go to Harbor View … It’s Paradise!

Exploring the Ocean around Exuma

Launching the sub into the Tongue of the Ocean

This is the third in a series of articles about Exploring the Ocean around Exuma:-

Attaching a modified speargun to the front of the Nadir and travelling down to 800 meters (2624 feet), the scientists hoped to tag a Bahamian sixgill in the safest, most humane way possible.

Although their efforts were unsuccessful, they came close. “The shark came right in front of the sub, but it was just a little too high up,” Talwar said. “Just putting in the legwork was great. It’s never been done on a sub before at those depths.”

Another key objective during August’s mission was to sample the water at 200-800 meters (656-2,624 feet) to test for environmental DNA (eDNA). “When an animal swims around, it leaves little pieces of DNA behind in the water,” Talwar said. “We are trying to see if environmental DNA can reveal the abundance of certain species.”

The team had specially adapted bottles attached to the front of the sub that collected water. The water was then run through filters in the lab and the results cross-referenced with footage the team took from the site to see if the species caught on camera are the same as those identified from the DNA.

Sharks

“We put a lot of effort into figuring out where to site protected areas, but a lot of that effort goes into shallow-water areas,” Talwar said, adding that he wanted to see more of a focus on deep-water habitats.

“We want to highlight that there is ecological value down there that is not recognized,” he said. “Going down and shining a light on everything that is often forgotten or not considered was really amazing. Now when we go out to dive, I can look into the deep blue water and know exactly what’s down there.”

Cape Eleuthera Institute Research Associate Brendan Talwar inspects the Deep Rover sub

This the third and final part of the story exploring the depths of the Ocean than borders the islands of Exuma.  The story was first published in Mongabay by Catherine Morris

Exuma’s Valued Souvenirs

Sandpiper

In previous stories I told you about “free” souvenirs you can take home as mementos of your vacation in Exuma, such as shells and sand dollars, then I told you about “low cost” souvenirs such as straw goods and shell jewelry. This time we move up on the cost scale to see what memory joggers you can purchase for a larger investment.

Exuma’s quality souvenirs immediately make me think of the Sandpiper store in George Town. This popular store, run by Diane Minns and her daughter Jessica, is very tastefully laid out with a vast selection of items to treasure and remind you of your Exuma vacation.

From quality dresses, tops and swim wear, all for tropical climes, in beautiful colors, to silver and shell jewelry  made by local artisans.  from unusual figurines made from wire and epoxy (doesn’t sound very nice but when you see it I think you will be impressed !).

One department is devoted to pottery made by Jessica, this talented lady has cups and bowls and vases. Another is devoted to book and maps, mostly related to The Bahamas.

My favorite area is partly devoted to ceramic tiles with local Bahamian character cottages and scenes of old. Then I can spend ages browsing through the selection of prints from old photographs of Bahama times gone by.

Do Not leave Exuma without a visit to Sandpiper.

Ceramic tiles in Sandpiper
Ceramic tiles in Sandpiper

Eating Out in Exuma

fish & chips at Blu

One of our favorite spots when eating out in Exuma is at “Blu”.  This small intimate restaurant and bar overlooks Elizabeth Harbour and their marina, so convenient to reach by road or by boat.

Theirs is basic home cooking with a limited menu, which I prefer, it gives you the feeling that each dish will receive their best attention.  I had the fish and chips which that day was fresh grouper and it was delicious.  Gail had the fish burger and a generous helping of their fries.  All washed down with Kaliks and Kalik Radlers.

Last time I had the conch burger and that was excellent, but since reading about the conch being an endangered species my conscience prodded me towards the grouper.

 

The Beer Of The Bahamas

Kalik Beers

Kalik is the most popular beer of The Bahamas. Brewed by Commonwealth Brewery in Nassau and distributed throughout the islands. Originally produced in 1988 from a recipe from Heineken to produce a lager with 5% alcohol.

Kalik is produced as Kalik Lite, Kalik (regular), Kalik Gold (7%) and Kalik Raddler (a lime mix).  The name Kalik is said to represent the sound of cow bells which traditionally is an instrument in the Junkanoo carnival parade.

Kalik far and away out sells all other beers in The Bahamas including imports from Eurpope and the US.

So pick up a 6 pack or a case next time you are in Exuma.  Cheers!

Wine Tasting in Exuma

wine tasting
wine tasting
wine tasting

We are fortunate to have a wide choice of wines in our Exuma stores. Surprisingly, for a small tropical island, the prices are not to different from those in the US. Most wine is sent to Exuma from the Bahamian capital Nassau.

The largest selection is at Bristol Wines, a store located in a mall adjacent to Sandals Resort. Occasionally they have an open evening with wine tasting and that we make a special effort to attend.

Their selection is not just California wines, they have a wide selection from Europe,  from Australia and New Zealand and from South America.  One of our current favorites is Pinot Noire from Chile.

Bristol Wine
Bristol Wine

Out Island Regatta in Exuma

Family Island Regatta

The Family Island  Regatta runs from April 24th to the 30th and during that time sloops from many islands will arrive on freighters at the town dock in Elizabeth Harbour on Exuma.

There are different classes for the different size boats and the results will be cumulative for races over the week. Each race is started with boats anchored and all sails on the deck. As the starters cannon fires the boats will start to up anchor and haul up the mainsail and jib. Then the race follows a triangular course, two laps extending over the length of the large harbour.

The excitement mounts as the skippers have the maximum sail area set and counterbalance the boat by the crew sitting outboard on planks extended over the side. At the turn these crew members scamper back on deck and move to the opposite side as the boat tacks.  The race is closely followed by visiting boats and now the addition of drones flying overhead.

Meanwhile on shore the crowds are either watching the races or samling the many delights at the food and liquor shacks.

For more information on the regatta and Exuma, go over to our website

Wine Tasting in Exuma

Bristol Wine

My favorite type of shopping !  Being invited to a wine tasting. Bristol Wine is by far the most comprehensive wine and liquor store in Exuma. Located opposite Sandals Resort this is the place to get your Bahamian beers, either Kalik or Sands.

Their selection of wines from Europe, Napa, Australia and South America is large, and worth the journey.

Which is my favorite? Well we like the Australian “Criminal” range, especially their Pinot Noir.

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