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The Caribbean Island Trail Report

Island Reports Trash, Species and Potpourri
Mission: To document human habitation and the species that encompass the islands we visit – Beta Version
Feedback is greatly appreciated in what you would like, what you don’t like, thanks!

 

St Marten St. Marten Half Dutch/Half French and a most civilized island that is the tourist center of the Leeward’s receiving over 1,000,000 visitors per year. We did not see a whole lot of the island but as far as reasonable prices and a great place to provision/outfit in, this is by far the best of all our stops on the entire trip.

Human Habitation: not sure but very busy traffic around town.
Terrain: Dry and less tropical than the southern Leewards. Similar to BVI’s
Trash Report (0 bag): Standard amount of trash in the cities and civilized areas.
Species Report: No time to look alas, a lot of humans though
SNORKEL REPORT: Isle Fourche; located in between St. marten and St. Barts, a fine dive/snorkel was enjoyed in the one protected bay on the island.

St Barts St. Bart’s French island that can best be compared to a Caribbean Aspen. Very high class and chic with designer stores, lovely villas and exclusive resorts. Did not see a lot of locals and thus a very different feel from all the other islands we visited, but lovely all the same.

Human Habitation: high class movie stars.
Terrain: More dry and arid compared to the other Leewards but dramatic cliffs and vistas.
Trash Report (0 bag): Pretty clean in town, nothing on the one beach we went to
Species Report: Topless humans!
SNORKEL REPORT: no time, quick trip, but lots of sites around the area.

NevisStKitts Nevis and St. Kitts Right next door to one another, St. Kitt’s is bigger and attracts some cruise ship traffic but both had a strong Caribbean culture feel to them. Impressive tropical mountain environment like Guadalupe and Dominica with nice town areas where we felt safe although offered numerous taxi ride invitations. The sidestreet markets in St. Kitts were awesome. Great tennis courts found on Nevis.

Human Habitation: Nevis – 12,000; St. Kitts – 60,000
Terrain: Tropical, high mountain peaks, jungle like, black sand beaches, decent infrastructure.
Trash Report (0 bag): Standard amount of trash in the cities and civilized areas. Species Report: A pig and Banana tree on Nevis
SNORKEL REPORT: No time for snorkeling..go go go :)

stkittsnevis2nevis1

Guadalupe Guadalupe French island with solid infrastructure. The most city0like feel of any of the islands we have visited down here in the capital of Basseterre. Lovely anchorage off of Pigeon Island and the best botanical gardens I have ever seen in Deshaies, a small fishing village.

Human Habitation: total population 330,000
Terrain: Tropical, 3000 foot peaks, junglelike, black sand beaches.
Trash Report (0 bag): Standard amount of trash in the cities and civilized areas. Species Report: No time to check stuff out.
SNORKEL REPORT: Cousteau National Park off Pigeon Island made for a great scuba dive as well as snorkel site.

guadalupe5guadalupe4guadalupe3guadalupe2guadalupe1

Dominica Dominica The southernmost Leeward Island and a true natural gem. Almost all the civilization exists on the outer fringe of the island. Poor but with a new government construction was evident in numerous areas and in comparison to the last time I was here 8 years ago, improvements in sanitation have been made.

Human Habitation: total population around 70,000
Terrain: Tropical, 3000 foot peaks, junglelike, black sand beaches.
Trash Report (0 bag): A fair amount of trash, not overwhelming but not clean either. Species Report: Mallet fish in Indian River, Heron, lots of Banaquit.
SNORKEL REPORT: Water in Prince Rupert Bay somewhat murky but some decent coral heads found

dominica1dominica2

Jost Jost Van Dyke On the Northwest side of Tortola, a neat island that thus far all we have gotten to explore of is Foxy’s, the famous beach side bar. A customs check in location for the BVI’s this island has minimal human habitation. Appears it gets some cruise ship traffic at times. Close by is Sandy Cay, a day anchorage and one of the best beaches we have seen to date.

Human Habitation: minimal
Terrain: Standard island terrain, some beaches on the South side
Trash Report (0 bag): More here than other islands, a little dirtier
Species Report: The Brown Boobie!
SNORKEL REPORT: Sandy Cay: Not bad for seeing a few fish and some coral, not a top site though.

Norman Norman Island Home to the famous Willy T’s, floating bar and restaurant as well as the Caves (excellent snorkeling!) this island has zero civilization but for Willy’s, the Pirates Bights Restaurant on shore and a small gift shop. Every night we get here, there are over 30-60 boats moored and by 10:00 the next day all are gone! The novel Treasure Island by Robert Stevenson was written about this island!
Human Habitation: none
Terrain: A few great trails to hike, hilly, one small beach by dingy dock for restaurant. Trash Report (0 bag): minimal to none
Species Report: wild goats, hermit crabs, normal island birdies
SNORKEL REPORT: The Caves: Extending in 70 feet, and deep water right up to them, a neat place to visit and see moderate to high fish levels.

Peter Peter Island What a beach, what a destination. Having been multiple times to this wonderful spot. A high end resort with multiple beaches to enjoy. Just across the channel from Road Town, “a chill place” and thus far the crowds favorite for beaches, hiking and vistas.
Human Habitation: Some private residences, the resort, a small marina at the resort and dive shop
Terrain: A few roads, spectacular beaches, hilly.
Trash Report (0 bag): none on the beaches and trails we have hiked
Species Report: wild goats, hermit crabs, normal island birdies
SNORKEL REPORT: Dead Chest: Just off of Peter Island, this area had lots of huge deeper coral heads that. High fish concentration…awesome!

 

Culebra Culebra & Culebrita Aka the Spanish Virgin Islands. Situated equidistance between Puerto Rico and St. Thomas, very cool islands! Culebra is a popular spot for camping, a great local town feel with lots of culture. Breathtaking vistas. Culebrita is a national park and thus uninhabited. A popular day usage beach with moorings for overnight anchorage.
Human Habitation: Not real sure of numbers but all Spanish speaking!
Terrain: Narrow, windy roads, steep hills, more lush vegetation .
Trash Report (0 bag): Not enough time for a significant clean up, average levels for the town. The small beach pictured below on Culebrita looked very clean from our anchorage 50 feet away.
Species Report: Turtles!!!

Culebrita2Culebra2 (2)Culebra2culebrita1


South Caicos South Caicos region The easternmost island of the Caico’s island chain. Anchoring at Cockburn Harbor, a smaller town with multiple small stores. Dove Cay was difficult to land on but well worth the short hike up to its summit.
Human Habitation: About 100-200 full time residents. No real tourism here.
Terrain: Good road network, abandoned salt mines everywhere, flat.
Trash Report (1 bag): A quick clean up of the only beach on Dove Cay, mostly cans. Species Report: Lots of wild animals – roosters, ram, dogs, horsey!

Dove Cay 2dove CaySouth Caicos 2southCaicos1

 

Providenciales Provo, Providenciales The largest city on the island, Provo has undergone and continues to undergo significant real estate development. Wonderful beaches, snorkeling and every modern day amenity.
Human Habitation: Around 10,000 year round populations. 34% local/”Belongers”, 66% expat. Terrain: Extensive road system, moderate hills, scrub brush vegetation.
Trash Report (3 bag): Not too bad for high usage areas. Resort areas noticeably more cleaner than non-resort ones. Combed entire beach off of Turtle Cove Marina, mostly private.
Species Report: Multiple fish species, a shark!

provo1 (2)provo1

 

 

Mayaguana Mayaguana Island A large island, the most easternmost point of the Bahamas. Small civilization, little in the way of infrastructure. Extremely hard dinghy dock to get to due to shallowness.
Human Habitation: none, 3 other boats at anchor.
Terrain: no roads, the nicest beach we have seen to date.
Trash Report (1 bag): Minimal. Typical plastic wash up that took the scouring of a good third of the entire beach to fill one bag.
Species Report: Multiple fish species on numerous coral heads. Working on identification.

MayaguanaMayaguana1 (3)P1010075

 

Conception-Rum Conception Island, Rum Cay, San Salvador - A 3 island triad, Conception being part of the Bahamian National Park System, San Salvador (did not get to) the supposed landing spot of Columbus and Rum Cay with population 60 a typical Bahamian society

Conception
Human Habitation: none, 3 other boats at anchor.
Terrain: no roads, the nicest beach we have seen to date.
Trash Report (1 bag): Minimal. Typical plastic wash up that took the scouring of a good third of the entire beach to fill one bag.
Species Report: Multiple fish species on numerous coral heads. Working on identification.

Conception Conception3Conception2

Rum Cay
Human Habitation: 50 -60 permanent residents.
Terrain: Road system, a really well kept marina/restaurant, a huge development lot has be excavated, but building has been put on hold for some unknown to us reason.
Trash Report (1 bag): Cleaned up trash around government dock picnic area and small beach next to it.
Species Report: nothing out of ordinary noticed, but for a little hermit crab about to jump off the dock!!

rumcayhermitcrabrumcay


 

 

Great Exuma Island Great Exuma Island and Surround - Entering Elizabeth Harbour and the port of Georgetown an immense number of boats at anchorage in the area. Estimate 100 plus. Overall trash levels were characteristic to most of the islands seen to date, high in the town of Georgetown, surprisingly low where we anchored. Problem arises: How do you cart the trash out? A limiting factor in this endeavor.

Town of Georgetown
Human Habitation: 1000 year round, many cruisers. All levels of socio-economic status.
Terrain: Extensive road network linking to rest of island, some bigger trees, manicured grass in part rocky soil
Trash Report: Deposited our own trash and trash brought from Galliot Cut. Similar to Black Point settlement in level of trash,not overwhelming, could use an island clean up day.
Species Report: Not enough time, nothing noticed out of ordinary

Keisel Cay
Human Habitation: seemed to be uninhabited.
Terrain: no trails, nice little beach from portion explored.
Trash Report (1 bag): Moderate to low level of trash was able to scour good portion of beach and estimate to get 20% of trash with 1 bag in 10 minutes or so. Moral: It is easy and does not take time to clean up, DO IT!!!
Species Report: nothing out of ordinary noticed

P1010041P1010042

 

 

Great Guana Cay Galliot Cut - Few beaches and minimal trash seen from the reconnaissance journey around Big Galliot Cay and High Cay. 4 other boats at anchor.

Big Galliot Cay
Human Habitation: No habitation
Terrain: Brush covered island typical of recent islands. No trails, 2 small beaches, primarily rock
Trash Report (2 Bags): Combed biggest beach and estimate to have removed 80% of total trash. One large deposit found and removed. Appeared to be deposited by past cruisers.
Species Report: Large hermit Crab and many fish in the coral surrounding island

Galliot 1Galliot 2


Great Guana Cay - A very large cay that we anchored at off of Black Point Settlement, home to 300 natives and transplants, the largest population concentration other than Georgetown in the entire Exumas. Lots of trash found on the roads, at the beachs and the highest concentration by a natural blow hole. Mixed friendly society, no fear or crime but could tell we were perceived at outsiders.
Human Habitation: Approximately 300 permanent residents and 10 boats at anchor.
Terrain: Multiple roads, runway for planes, beaches, small hills, low lying brush,
Trash Report (2 Bag): Quite a bit of trash everywhere, began combing beach 1 and filled bag after less than 10% of beach covered. Small beach by dock was able to be cleaned up semi decently with one bag as well. Primarily trash from the island, not wash up or cruiser based in my option.

Great Guana -Black PointGreat Guana - Black Point 2

 

 

Warderick Wells Cay Warderick Wells - Headquarters to the Exuma Land and Sea Park this larger cay and surrounding islands appear to be in excellent shape with ongoing active volunteer efforts to keep the area in good condition. The entire 176 sq mile park is a wildlife preserve where nothing can be taken out including both alive or dead specimens

Warderick Wells Cay


Human
Habitation: Park staff and Royal Bahamian Defense Force officers live on island. Many moorings, approximately 15 boats for the night and this is their off season.
Terrain: Many sandy beaches, over 4 miles of trails throughout the island, ruins of past settlement.
Trash Report (1 Bag): Combed one moderate size beach and could come up with almost 1 full bag of trash, needed to go deeper into brush to obtain items though. (Beach cleaned shown in picture below)
Species Report: Many birds (“Common Yellowthroat”), many lizards, 3 huttia (endangered) seen scurrying during our run, multiple fish species alongside boat, huge hermit crab. Note: The whale carcass pictured below died in 1995 due to plastic bag/trash ingestion. LESSON: DON’T LITTER and lend a hand to help clean up our earth!

Warderick WellsWarderick Wells LizardWarderick Wells Hermit CrabWarderick Wells Bird 1Warderick Wells Plant 1Warderick Wells WhaleWarderick Wells Plant 2

 

Rader Rock

Human Habitation: None
Terrain: Right across the mooring field
Trash Report: Had a hard time finding any trash on the beach I landed on.
Species Report: Many birds chirping, lizards a plenty

Rader Rock

Allans Cay Harbour
Allan’s Cay region - “Home of the Iguana” – High usage area, 20 plus boats in anchorage, 2 tourist boats laden with 30 plus people stopped by to “terrorize” Iguana’s (disheartening), moderate but not overwhelming trash on ocean floor, primarily aluminum cans we found whilst snorkeling. A stepping stone for the Exumas being the closet point approximately 40 nm from Nassau.
South West Allan’s Cay
Human Habitation: none
Terrain: Couple of small sandy beaches, low lying palm trees, small brush. Small paths to beach on other side of island
Trash Report: Misc debris, signs of past significant refuse, small table built around the clearing.
SW Allans Cay

Allan’s Cay
Human Habitation: none
Terrain: One small beach, difficult to land on island, no trails to speak of, ad hoc one to top where man-made structures are evidenced offering great views.
Trash Report: On beach we got off at small ares of trash that looked like the beach had been picked up and then put in one area vs a trash bag dropped off by cruisers.
allans Cay 1Allans Cay

Leaf Cay

Human Habitation: none
Terrain: Similar to above, easier beach to get off at, the primary stop for tourist vessels to get off and feed/bother. When humans come aland, evolution has now conditioned the iguanas to come out of hiding and look for food from the friendly human. Literally 100’s of them on this island. Can be aggressive and been known to bite hands.
Trash Report: Ruins at top of the island. Little trash evidenced, some wash up on back side most likely due to clean up efforts to keep this island looking pristine for economic motivated reasons.
Species Report:
The Iguana and this small periwinkle that interestingly was found in significant numbers well above water line.
Leaf Periwinkle - Leaf Cay

Hawksbill Cay Hawksbill Cay Region – Encompassed within the Exuma Cay Land and Sea Park (link to it), Hawksbill Cay offered a very quiet mooring/anchorage. The park has created multiple mooring fields, perhaps as many as 20-30 total for the use of visitors. Usage fee is on an envelope honor system, $15 for a boat under 39 feet. Overall clean and tidy islands, 2 other boats besides us for the night stay.

Hawksbill Cay
Human Habitation: none
Terrain: A larger cay with quite breathtaking views atop a hill with cairn at the waters edge. Many beaches, small ponds in the center, low lying brush
Trash Report(1 bag collected): Overall clean. Our first bag of trash collected and left by the sign. Primarily plastics found, 2 sandals, 3 oil containers, misc sytrofoam and small plastics.
Species Report: Small lizard yet to be identified.
Hawksbill 1

Little Hawksbill Cay
Human Habitation: none
Terrain: No easy access found to get ashore.
Trash Report: Looked clean from our limited dingy investigation.
Species Report: none
Little Hawksbill

21 Comments

21 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Use your imagination, nothing happens but first a dream.. // Jan 11, 2008 at 4:44 pm

    [...] 7, read/movie and bed by 10…hit reset button. Note: I encourage all to take a look at the new island report on the right hand side of the navigation links)that I am working on and to please provide feedback as we work to live up to the mission goal of [...]

  • 2 Rodger // Jan 14, 2008 at 8:41 am

    Nice to see the progress with the clean up and ID of the islands. Good job.

  • 3 Jillian R.H. Herrigel // Jan 14, 2008 at 9:35 pm

    Just read the island report – I am impressed you are doing something to help maintain the beautiful island beaches you are exploring! Seems like the information would be very useful to other cruisers. Keep up the good work!

  • 4 Vic Pfeiffer // Jan 14, 2008 at 10:49 pm

    Good for you being involved with cleaning up the islands. Our experience in Abaco is that there is lots of trash that washes up, and lots that gets dumped along back roads. The land fills are overloaded and getting out of hand.

    In Treasure Cay, re-cycling is just getting initiated. My son, Nick, and I walk the beach and always first find a piece of rope, and then proceed to string bottle, cans, etc. on it so that by the end of our walk, Nick is hauling an assortment of trash, which he likes to do.

    I’m enjoying the detail of your reports.

    Vic

  • 5 Speed Exumas… // Jan 16, 2008 at 11:42 am

    [...] Black Point Settlement being a friendly, but non touristy destination.  Despite being a bit dirty (see island report) the overall vibe was strong although we did need to ante $10 for an hour of online time (free [...]

  • 6 Brian M // Jan 16, 2008 at 4:08 pm

    Youv’e inspired me to look into pre-season “spring training” options for MITA monitor skippers in the Bahamas. Island users becoming island stewards – keep up the strong work!

  • 7 Rodger // Jan 16, 2008 at 5:25 pm

    Looking good. Might consider adding Lat. and Long. at good anchorage locations of the island.

  • 8 Jillian R.H. Herrigel // Jan 16, 2008 at 5:43 pm

    I think your island reports are great – could be a folder or something for cruisers – or I guess that info could be accessed thru the web…

  • 9 Keep a firm grasp on both our character and your teaching. Both you and those who hear you will experience salvation” Timothy 4: 15-16 // Jan 19, 2008 at 3:11 pm

    [...] Island Reports – NEW [...]

  • 10 Rodger // Jan 25, 2008 at 6:44 pm

    Team Audax. I want to report Mr. Heater is safely resting in the Nest. Jordi’s ski gear is in my closet on the top shelf, and Ball bag is in the study. I will return the jackets to MITA onMonday I hope. The listing of Islands is very much fun to follow.

  • 11 Heesook, Don & Christopher // Jan 25, 2008 at 10:18 pm

    This is Jordi’s Christmas foster family. An awsum site. Christopher has asked about Jordi often. You guys are on sum mission and stacking up the miles, unlike us who are just going south then sometimes back north if we liked a place. When are you heading back? we may catch you then.

    Don

  • 12 Rodger // Feb 20, 2008 at 9:28 am

    Where are you folks?

  • 13 Cock a Doodle Doo…. // Feb 22, 2008 at 6:15 am

    [...] Island Reports – NEW [...]

  • 14 tughill1 // Feb 22, 2008 at 1:14 pm

    Thanks for sharing the updated island posts :)

    ps….regarding welcomed feedback….
    for ” flower power” people :) ….the native exotic orchids/flowers/plants/trees are most exquisite to0 on some of the BVI’s…..that would be most interesting to share and learn more about as well……if/when possible :)

  • 15 On life’s vast ocean diversely we sail, Reason the card, but passion is the gale” - Alexander Pope // Mar 18, 2008 at 12:41 pm

    [...] Island Reports – NEW [...]

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