Which beach is the best in Exuma? I suggest that Pretty Molly Bay is top of the long list.
Pretty Molly Bay is located on the northern shore of Little Exuma, just before Forbes Hill when motoring East. It has long been one of our favorite beaches. Its charm is the fact that it is a curved soft sand pristine beach with rocky outcrops at the sides. So its shape provides protection from the Ocean and the water remains a calm blue color even when the wind is strong.
Years ago there was a plan to build three cottages on land by the bay. Construction started but never finished and over time the half finished cottages deteriorated and building debris littered the approach to the beach.
Well now for the good news ! The ground from the Queens Highway to Pretty Molly Beach has now been cleared. Now there is a designated parking area, and a footpath that leads directly to this picturesque location.
I can guarantee that as you walk down the short path and Pretty Molly Bay’s beach comes into view, it will get a “Wow” and have you reaching for the camera.
Be aware that all beaches in Exuma are open to the public from the Ocean to the high water mark. Private property starts above the high water mark. So explore the many beaches that Exuma has to offer and see if you agree that Pretty Molly Bay is the best.
Nelson Alexander Ranger, the owner of IMAGES by Alexander, Exuma’s best known photographer, is also a strong voice and advocate of positive actions that effect the Out Islands of The Bahamas and Exuma in particular. His Facebook page is avidly followed with great interest by over 5,000 viewers, many of whom live on our island paradise.
Born in Hatchett Bay Eleuthera, he moved with his parents to Exuma as a youngster and grew up in The Ferry settlement on Little Exuma.
After leaving school he started as an interior designer in Nassau, while spending as much time as possible on the golf course perfecting his new interest in golf. By the age of 19 he won his first tournament as an amateur and set his sights on a golf career.
With the help of a scholarship from the Lyford Foundation and The Bahamas Golf Federation, Nelson studied at the Golf Academy and got a job at the prestigious Butch Harman Golf Academy with locations in Las Vegas and Freeport . Like all newbies, he started at the bottom rung, hand washing 1000s of golf balls each morning ready for the future stars to work on their game.
Nelson’s career, and his game, flourished, and took him to many prestigious clubs, like the Commonwealth Club in Virginia where he was Director of Instructions for 5 golf courses, the Ocean Club in Nassau, The Maddison Club in Palm Springs, Gozzer Ranch in Idaho, Yellow Stone Club in Montana and the Country Hills Club in Chicago where he worked in a total of 5 different states as a Golf Professional/ Director of Golf Operations. Eventually he returned to his Bahama roots and settled at The Four Seasons course here in Exuma as the Golf Director.
To give back for receiving so much, Nelson created the Nelson A. Ranger Scholarship Fund in Memory of Andrew and Kerry Bowe who introduced him to golf. This fund has assisted 11 Exumian high school graduates to college over the last 10 years that they have been functioning. He runs bi-weekly Golf and Tennis camps for kids 7-17, offers academic awards to encourage more educational excellence, host an annual Golf, Tennis, Reading, Music and Music camp as well as sponsor the annual Spelling Bee.
Throughout his golfing career Nelson had developed an interest in landscape photography, specializing in golf course landscapes.
The event that spurred his current career as professional photographer was the birth of his daughter Denell. He wanted a photographic record of her life, an interest that still inspires him today some 30 years later. Before long he was getting requests from family and friends to record their children, their daily events, their weddings. And so it grew to where he is today. Flitting from Exuma to other Bahamian islands, to the US, to photograph some of his old golfing buddies, to receiving bookings for celebs, sometimes not even knowing who it is till he arrives. For example the time he was hired to film the wedding of the drummer for the band Queen.
Another time he set up his equipment and all he knew was it was a wedding. A famous celeb walks in in golf togs, introduces himself (which was hardly necessary as everybody recognized him), returns minutes later in full wedding attire, snap, snap, snap, and the groom is back onto the golf course after a quick change.
So, if you have a special occasion coming up, be it a wedding, an anniversary, or just a souvenir of your vacation. I suggest you contact “IMAGES by Alexander“.
The results will be hanging on your wall for years to come.
Congratulations Nelson, you are an inspiration to the younger generation.
A lot has been happening in Exuma this summer, especially at the Peace and Plenty Hotel. Peace and Plenty Hotel is the oldest hotel in Exuma. Originally it was a customs house, then it was converted to a home for the Minns family. Then the Minns sold to Stan Benjamin who with the help of his sons, converted the property into the hotel so many have come to enjoy.
It was about two years ago that the hotel changed hands. The new owners updated the property and have built a great reputation for hospitality and cuisine.
Then this summer we heard that Peace and Plenty had taken over the luxury resort on Stocking Island known as Lumina Point. Currently closed for hurricane season and therefore receiving a new coat of paint and some modification ready for another busy season.
But it doesn’t stop there ! Now P&P have taken over the eco friendly resort of Higgins Landing, again on Stocking Island. While the cottages are being renovated, the new P&P Beach Bar has been constructed. With a fully stocked bar in the capable hands of Wizard, and the BBQ ably controlled by Jerome, and the whole enterprise managed by Greg. So great burgers and generous drinks at reasonable prices, What more could you want? How about the softest, safest white sand beach you could imagine with sunbeds and umbrellas and rental paddleboards to explore. All this in the protected calm waters of Elizabeth Harbour.
Take the water taxi or rent a boat from Minns Water Sports and have a fun day out, Sun, Sand, Music ( a little on the load side for my tastes, but I’m an old fart!).
So welcome to the Peace and Plenty Beach Bar, keep the Kaliks cold, the burgers hot and the beach pristine. Good Luck Guys! May you prosper and grow like Dora-Lee from years ago
How can a restaurant pull in more clients? One way a beachside restaurant can increase its clientele is to provide some attraction other than the quality of their food.
In the case of a beachside restaurant on a tropical island one easy way is to dump the food scraps into the ocean at the same time each day and watch as a group of sharks (what is the collective name for a group of sharks?) have a feeding frenzy. Then spread the word that you can watch a shark frenzy here.
This idea works, as Exuma has experienced on at least two ongoing restaurants.
When Gail and I bought a parcel of land in the Hartswell area we thought we had gone to heaven without dying ! We had amazing views over what was a deserted island which was to become a National Park. We could swim and sail our Hobie Cat in calm waters.
Then a nearby restaurant, the Bonefish Lodge which as the name suggests, was a popular haunt of the fishing fraternity, decided that they needed to increase their restaurant trade. after some deliberation they decided to add shark feeding to their menu. For only a matter of days they chummed the Ocean waters adjacent to their verandah before the nocturnal visitors would arrive for their evening meal.
It worked ! Their customer numbers increased and they enjoyed a good meal and an entertaining half hour watching the terrors of the seas bare their teeth.
What was good news for the restaurant was scary news for us local residents. We feared that the sharks would associate humans with food. That they would use that association to chomp down on a swimmer.
Eventually the restaurant changed owners and the feeding was discontinued.
Many years later, one of Exuma’s most popular beachside eateries was faced with the problem of what to do with their increasing volume of food waste, when we only get one bin collection per week. Since its biodegradable, it could be dumped into the ocean. Plus if it is done daily towards the end of their opening hours, it would pull in more clients. Problem solved ! No more smelly waste sitting in a bin in the direct sun, attracting flies, wild dogs and other undesirables. And increasing their profits. Win Win.
The good news is that the restaurant have rethought this practice, and shark feeding has stopped.
After 20 years of living on this beautiful island, swimming frequently and not expiring a problem, I believe that sharks get a bum rap.
I acknowledge that there are (and always will be) cases of sharks attacking people but considering the number of people swimming on a daily basis, and the number of sharks there are in the ocean, the risk of being attacked is infinitesimal.I suggest that coastal sharks see swimmers frequently but do not attack. Ask yourself why would an intelligent creature attack a larger creature when they have the option of feeding on smaller prey that cannot defend themselves.
Just about every shark attack you hear of, involves the shark biting a limb then releasing their grip. Unfortunately that can often cause severe blood loss. Often the victim is a surfer with an arm or leg dangling in the water, or someone spear fishing with a speared fish struggling and attracting the shark.
So, take precautions such as:don’t wear shiny jewelry, if you are spear fishing and see a shark dump anything you may have caught, if you see a shark get out of the water but do not panic, exit in a calm and smooth manner. Enjoy your time at the beach.
So what weather can you expect on your July vacation in Exuma?
As the calendar moves from June to July we are into the height of summer and also statistically, we are in hurricane season. In the 20 plus years we have lived in Exuma I do not recall experiencing a hurricane in July, that problem is usually threatening in September.
So back to the weather. Our temperature statistically shows highs of 87 degrees F ( 30 C) during the day and 78 degrees F (26 C) at night. But, as a believer in global warming, and someone who has just experienced one of the hottest Junes on record, I suggest that you can add a couple of degrees to have us hovering around 90 F.
While June is statistically one of our wettest months, July offers us up to one inch of rain for the month.
Humidity has by now soared into the high nineties with a 13 knot breeze providing a little cooling effect.
Now to the good news ! The Ocean has really warmed and is now a toasty 84 F (29 C) degrees, Yippee ! So no excuses for missing that dip.
So July is on our doorstep, it’s going to be hot and humid, so keep hydrated, loads of water, loads of sunscreen.
So why not picnic on a soft sand Exuma beach, choose one with shade and exposure to the East to get that cooling breeze, and spend your day in and out of the Ocean till you become all wrinkly !…. Enjoy
Ilya Tolstoy was the grandson of the famous Russian playwright. Ilya was a naturalist and he visited and fell in love with the islands of The Bahamas back in the 1950s.
He became very concerned that irreparable damage could be done to the ecology and natural beauty of the islands by developers. So Ilya got together a group of conservationists including The Audoban Society, the US parks service, and Miami University. The group produced a report which was presented to The Bahamian Government.
The year was 1959 and after much debate the government decided to establish the first Land and Sea Park in the World.
This is the 60th year that the Bahamas National Trust has managed this, and other younger parks, including The Moriah Harbour Cay National Park which we see daily and visit often from our home in Hartswell to appreciate the natural unspoiled beauty of this pristine setting.
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.
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!