I’ve been meaning to start this blog for a long time, but I wasn’t sure what I would write about. Well here goes – I will write whatever I fancy. It’s not meant to be too serious, just a fun way to share my experiences and highlight some cool stuff about island living.

That’s me

I’m an islander, I was born on a small island in a country made up of a bunch of small islands. I have travelled the world and lived in big cities and some exotic island countries as well, but many years ago I made the choice to return to the home of my birth and live the life that many people only dream about. Yes, I live in paradise, where palms trees do sway and you can hang out on the beach all day.

My home, Long Island, is part of the #archipelago called the #Bahamas. Some of the islands are more developed than others, specifically New Providence (Nassau) and Grand Bahama (Freeport) being the headliners. Long Island, like the majority of other islands, falls in the Family Island Group and is located in the central part of the country. We’re a bit more off the beaten path and not so citified. So if it’s malls and casinos and fancy shops you’re looking for, you’ll not find them here.

That may sound like nirvana to some, but there’s a lot more to island living than drinking rum punches and dozing away the day in your hammock. I am always amused when people ask, “so what do you do on the island”? And as much I would like to say otherwise, the reality is that, life on a tropical island is pretty much the same as anywhere else, with a few outstanding differences of course.

There are several kinds of islanders.  First, there are the natives, people who were born and raised, who never left, and have no desire to be anywhere else. Then there’s the segment of persons who left, but then returned (like me) for whatever reason, but primarily by choice. Then there are those who came to visit, found their place in the universe and stayed. They are known as second homeowners, snowbirds, winter residents and can be found everywhere on the islands. Many of them have chosen to live among the locals and have become totally integrated into the island way of life while others live in select communities spread out over the island.

I’m an island woman who has travelled the world and found my way back home. I do all the ordinary things people do that makes life go on. But I also make time to enjoy my special rock and believe me I always find lots of interesting things to do, places to go. So I’d like to share with you some of the things that I enjoy…

Beaching – a new beach each day will definitely enhance your stay. There is no shortage of beaches, perfect for walking, swimming, sitting on, lying on, beach combing, shelling. From the many coves and pink sand of the blue Atlantic Nor Side, where the limestone cliffs drop dramatically into the Ocean to the pristine, soft sand and turquoise water of the Caribbean  Sou Side, there is always an endless supply of beach.

Lowe's Beach
Lowe’s Beach (Bon Accord)
Long Island, Bahamas
photo by @bahamajack1

Fishing – on an island it is second nature. Everyone does it, in some form, from the fishermen who make a living from the sea to those who do it for pleasure. Long Island is one of a few islands where commercial fishing is the main source of income but for the visitor, they can choose between deep sea fishing or fly/ bonefishing. Both provide an incredible experience. Then there is perhaps the most pleasurable of all, fishing off the rocks, a past-time most islanders indulge in.

Diving – there is diving. Scuba, deep sea, shark feeding, diving off the dock, diving conchs and the mother of all, Free Diving. Over the last 10 years or so Long Island, specifically Deans Blue Hole has become a Mecca for Free Divers from across the globe as they come to pay homage to the Deeper Blue side of our island by staging Free Diving competitions and Training Sessions. There’s always something going on at Dean’s Blue Hole. There’s a perfect swimming beach along the edge of the hole where natives and visitors mingle and enjoy this amazing place.

#Sailing is very popular in Long Island. We have a long, proud legacy of producing some of the best sailors in the country. The art of sailing is showcased across the Bahamas at different times of the year but every Labor Day Holiday in the Bahamas Long Island takes pride of place at the Annual Long Island Regatta which is tagged in beautiful Salt Pond Harbor. But wait, they don’t just sail the boats, they build them! The Bahamian Sloop, as these handcrafted beautiful treasures are known, are built by hand from local wood. The sails are usually handmade from heavy sail cloth (canvas). This is an exciting topic so I plan to talk more about this very special aspect of island life in a follow-up post.

Sightseeing – as the island’s name implies, it is long. So go, up south or down north. Check out the many quaint little towns or settlements, as we call them, along the way. Oh, and don’t miss out on the tasty offerings of the local restaurants and takeaways that are central points of interest. The people are always friendly and the food is simply the best!

Events – there’s always something going on. Get out and find a #cookout, souse out, grill out, #Farmers Market, #regatta,  mini regatta, #cultural event. Ours is a small community that thrives on these social outings and this is the perfect way to spend a morning, afternoon or evening.

Gardening – subsistence farming is an integral part of island life. We eat what we grow, and even the newbie can grow a tomato! Most island folk have something growing year round, so gardening can take up a good chunk of any day.

Crafting – there’s so much variety in nature on a tropical island and combined with the abundance of sea things that can be collected, making souvenirs and selling them is another way to pass the time. Crafting for some island people is a way of earning a living.

Well, I hope you enjoyed this little sojourn into island life and please stay tuned for more to come…soon! As we say in island speak, catch ya later!

Ramona Ritchie-Taylor