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Andros Field Trip / Islands / Diving / Sharks / → All Tags
I was standing on the edge of a pontoon boat as a dozen Caribbean reef sharks circled below, watching, waiting, ready to feast. I popped my regulator into my mouth, adjusted my mask and lept fin first into the killer fish-infested waters.
It was the sixth day of my week-long Andros Island vacation when I realized that I had yet to set even one (bare) foot outside the 100 yard beach radius surrounding Small Hope Bay Lodge. Between all the amazing scuba diving trips, an abundance of hammocks and a self-serve beach bar, there wasn't a whole lot of incentive to leave . But considering there were miles of uninhabited and virtually untouched wilderness just beyond the lodge's borders, I figured a little DIY exploration was in order.
The Loch Ness Monster, Big Foot, The Abominable Snowman. Until a recent trip to the Bahamas, I thought I had all my legendary monster bases pretty much covered. That was before I landed on Andros and started hearing the names Chickcharney and Lusca thrown around in casual conversation. Apparently there were a few mythical creatures my school teachers neglected to mention.
With a little time to kill in the Nassau airport before we hopped a puddle jumper to Andros Island, my travel buddy Mark and I had decided a little "Welcome to the Bahamas" drink was in order. So we pulled up a few bar stools at Marshall's--it's in the domestic terminal--and ordered our first of many island rums. It was Marshall, the delightfully friendly owner, himself who poured our drinks before asking us to fill out his NFL fantasy football card. Since Iím pretty much a college-ball only gal (Go Seminoles!), I can only hope I didnít lose too much money for poor Marshall that day. But I digress!
Iíve hurled myself out of a plane in Switzerland, repelled down rock walls in Ecuador and conquered three bungee jumps in a row in New Zealand. But those were mere childís play compared to my most adrenaline-inducing endeavor: Diving to a staggering 185 feet below sea level in the Bahamas!
Andros Field Trip / Islands / Batik / Shopping / → All Tags
Youíve seen them used as beach blankets. Youíve watched women tie them around their bikini-clad waists. Perhaps your college roommate even used one as a wall hanging. Give up? The answer is batik.
Iím slightly embarrassed to admit this, but if youíd asked me what batik was before my recent visit to Andros Island in the Bahamas, my top three guesses probably would have been:
1) Exotic hard wood used to make furniture. Boring!
2) Stiff sugarcane rum. Much better!
3) An indigenous plant with hallucinogenic properties. Um... no comment!
Before you (scuba) dive headfirst into the third longest reef system in the world (and second largest in the Atlantic Ocean), youíre gonna want to call in the professionals. So thatís exactly what I did on my recent getaway to the Small Hope Bay Lodge on Andros.
Check out my video interview with my two favorite dive masters, Amanda Lee and Loren Kearney, for an insider's take on diving the 142-mile long Andros Barrier Reef and all the bad-ass sites that make Small Hope a scuba diverís paradise!
· Bahamas Travel coverage [Jaunted]
Every time I see one of those Corona commercials with the bare feet and beer bottles chilliní out on a stretch of palm-fringed, powdery white sand, I always think "If I could be anywhere in the whole world right now, itíd be there." Sitting by the ocean, a frosty cocktail in hand, completely sans shoes... Ahh! As luck would have it, I discovered just such a place during an impromptu vacation to Andros Island.
Desperate to escape the chill and gloom that had settled over Manhattan, I accepted a spontaneous invite from my friend Mark for a week of beach bumming, bungalow-side boozing and world-class scuba diving in the Bahamas. In less than a New York minute, Iíd stuffed my passport, PADI card and a few bikinis in a bag and was ready to head south in pursuit of the much hotter sun. Although it's the largest island in the Bahamas, Andros is far less inhabited and touristy than its Nassau neighbor yet just 15 minutes by plane from the US, making it an ideal destination for a quick trip.