Consider this the compass which will guide The 700 Experience. A compilation of notes – once scribbled on maps, scraps of old paper and receipts – that has inspired the creation of The Experience List. A list I’ll be sure to add to with each inspiring conversation, in the wake of island hopping tales being told, experience recommendations still fresh in my mind. You can even consider it the list of an Island Gal, a plain old to do list, or life list if you will. Whatever you deem it to be, for those of you that are Experiencers be sure to leave a recommended experience in the comments. After all, you should consider this your experience as well.
- See the green flash.
- Write a book.
- √ Get an article published in an in-flight magazine.
- Find a conch pearl while cleaning a Queen Conch.
- Learn to scuba dive.
- Try my hand at fly-fishing.
- Catch a bonefish.
- Stand up on a surf board.
- Stay up on a surf board.
- Learn to spear-fish.
- Spear my first crawfish.
- Spear my first grouper – why a grouper you ask? They’re known to be rather quick and good at hiding.
- Learn to sail.
- Create a 700 Experience inspired product.
- See sea-turtle eggs hatch in the wild.
- Get a photo in National Geographic.
- Master peeling a conch with my teeth.
- Perform a rake ‘n’ scrape song – as recommended by Abaco Beach Resort at Boat Harbour.
- √ Eat a conch’s thistle.
Visit all 11 lighthouses in The Bahamas built by the British Imperial Lighthouse Service:
– Listed in chronological order of their construction –
1. Hole in the wall (Great Abaco)
2. Gun Cay Lighthouse (Bimini)
3. Elbow Cay Lighthouse (Cay Sal)
4. Great Isaac Lighthouse (Located 18 miles north of Bimini on the western edge of the Great Bahama Bank)
5. Cay Lobos Lighthouse (Located on the eastern end of the Old Bahama Channel on the southern edge of the Great Bahama Bank)
6. Great Stirrup Lighthouse (Stirrup’s Cay, Berry Islands)
Elbow Reef Lighthouse (Elbow Cay, Abaco)**
8. Castle Island Lighthouse (Located on the southern tip of Acklins Island on the southeastern edge of the Crooked Island Passage)
9. Inagua Light Station (Great Inagua)**
10. Bird Rock Lighthouse (Crooked Island Passage)
11. San Salvador Lighthouse (Dixon Hill, South West Point, San Salvador)**
**These lighthouses remain hand-operated and are the last hand-wound, kerosene-lit lighthouses in the world.
- √ Climb the 101 steps to the top of the historic Elbow Reef Lighthouse (Hope Town).
- Sip on a goombay splash at Miss Emily’s, the supposed birthplace of the tropical beverage. (Green Turtle Cay)
- Attend the Sunday afternoon pig roast at Nippers. (Great Guana Cay)
- Stand up paddle board (SUP) and explore winding mangrove creeks with Abaco Paddle Board.
- Stand up paddle board (SUP) and snorkel the back creeks with Abaco Paddle Board.
- √ Purchase a Coastal Covet worthy bag from Albury’s Sail Shop. (Man-O-War Cay)
- √ Follow the lighthouses in the Wyannie Malone Museum. (Elbow Cay)
- Trek through the bush to find an abandoned home made out of Abaco Pine.
- Enjoy one of Vernon’s famous key lime pies. (Elbow Cay)
- Climb the steps of Hole in the wall (Abaco light station) – located on the southern tip of Great Abaco island.
- Discover Coastal Covet worthy items at Gone Conchin’ boutique. (Great Guana Cay)
- Discover more Coastal Covet worthy items at The Boutique at Firefly Sunset Resort. (Elbow Cay)
- As inspired by this article walk the iconic long dock in Cherokee Sound.
- Again inspired by this article, swim in the tide pools on Road 50 Beach. Some are rumored to be as big as three Olympic sized swimming pools.
- Dive ‘The Landing Strip’ – a new wreck dive site sunk by Small Hope Bay Lodge.
- Dive the third largest barrier reef in the world, located right on the tongue of ocean.
- Snorkel Conch Sound blue hole.
- Find paradise at Kamalame Cay.
- Swim in Captain Bill’s blue hole.
- Discover the hidden passages of Henry Morgan’s Cave and Morgan’s Bluff Cave located in the north.
- Visit the Andros Lighthouse that marks the southern entrance to the Fresh Creek channel.
- Rod and reel in hand fish what is often referred to as “The Fish Bowl of the Bahamas”.
- Take a dip in the blue hole in Hoffman Cay.
- Visit the Great Stirrup Lighthouse – located on the northern most Berry Island.
- Find paradise at Carriearl Boutique Hotel. (Great Harbour Cay) -NEW-
- As inspired by Uncommon Caribbean – feel my pulse quicken and dare to experience the said to be haunted Great Isaac Lighthouse at night – located 18 miles north on the western edge of the Great Bahama Bank.
- Dive the Stones of Atlantis also known as Bimini Road.
- Visit the Gun Cay Lighthouse – located on the southern end of Gun Cay.
- As inspired by Uncommon Caribbean – snorkel the SS Sapona and sum up the courage to jump off the sunken vessel at 30+ fleet. After snorkeling it during the light hours of the day sum up the courage to join Neal Watson’s Bimini Scuba Center the night before Hallow’s Eve and snorkel The Bahamas’ first ever haunted house.
- Face one of my greatest fears – swim in the ocean alongside the Bull sharks of The Bahamas at the Bimini Bull Run.
- √ Walk the ruins of Henry Armbrister’s Plantation.
- Discover the ruins of an 18th-century plantation at Deveaux House mansion. (Port Howe)
- Feel my pulse quicken while visiting Griffin Bat Cave.
- Visit the childhood home of Academy Award winner, Sir Sidney Poitier. (South Bight)
- Holy Redeemer Church in New Bight.
- St. Francis of Assisi in Old Bight – don’t forget to call on Mrs. Burrow’s, a local woman in the house across the street, as she will let you in.
- Our Lady of Zion in Port Howe.
- √ The Hermitage.
- Inspired by the Bahamas National Trust – walk the well preserved ruins of Marine Farm and Great Hope House, two loyalist compounds located on the west coast of the island, a mile northeast of Landrail Point. These two Loyalist compounds include an artillery battery and plantation house with kitchen.
- Visit the Bird Rock Lighthouse – located on the northeast corner of Crooked Island on the edge of the Crooked Island Passage.
- √ Snorkel in Thunderball cave.
- Inspired by Experiencer Marsa Cardinale – see below comments – find paradise at Leaf Cay Resort. The only Private Island Resort in the Exumas. -NEW-
- Discover the adventurer in me while on a guided kayak tour with Out Island Explorers.
- √ Dive among mermaids with Exuma Water Sports 007.
- √ Find paradise at Grand Isle Resort. (Great Exuma)
- √ Feed the wild pigs on Big Major Cay.
- √ Feed the wild Iguanas.
- √ Snorkel the wreck of Carlos Lehder’s drug running plane that crashed in the channel between Norman’s and Way cay.
- Climb aboard the high speed Powerboat Adventures.
- √ Experience Turquoise Cay, a new-to-the-island boutique hotel. EXPERIENCED FEBRUARY 2014. (Great Exuma)
- A dining experience at Frangipani Italian Restaurant & Lounge is high on my list, especially after learning there were no tables available when I was last on the island. (Great Exuma) -NEW-
- Find paradise at Sidney Torres’ The Cove, Eleuthera. The recently reopened 40 acre oceanfront property featuring cottages and suites steps from two secluded beaches. Not to mention an alfresco dining experience like I’ve never seen. –NEW-
- Redefine sea-horse and horseback ride on the beach with Oceanview Farm. -NEW-
- √ At low-tide climb down jagged rock and take a swim in the Queen’s Bath.
- √ See how the light plays through the openings of Preacher’s Cave, a cave the Captain William Sayle reportedly discovered and found refuge in the 1600s. (North Eleuthera)
- Inspired by ProjectEleuthera.org – at midday, with flashlight in hand, explore the “most extensive cave system”, Hatchet Bay Cave. (Valley of Silos) -NEW-
- √ Find paradise at vacation rental home, Buccaneer Hill. (Governor’s Harbour)
- Enjoy the taste and sounds of the Eleuthera All That Jazz Festival in aid of the historic Haynes Library. (March 26 – 30, 2014)
- √ Visit the Bannerman Lighthouse near Lighthouse Beach. (South Eleuthera)
- √ Pack a beach picnic with fresh locally grown produce from the Island Farm
- Attend the 2014 Fishermen’s Fest. (Spanish Wells) -NEW-
- Walk through the Blue Window at Whiteland Beach -NEW-
- Enjoy the taste and atmosphere of the recently opened Shipyard restaurant & bar. (Spanish Wells) -NEW-
- √ Indulge in the culinary creations of Bahamian Chef Tim Tibbitts at Fly Fishing Modern Seafood.
- Redefine sea-horse and horseback ride on the beach with Pine Tree Stables.
- Visit Pinder’s Point Lighthouse.
- Visit St. Peter and Paul Church in Clarence Town.
- Find the courage to take the leap in to Dean’s blue hole, the world’s deepest inland blue hole.
- Discover the large cave where islander Charlie Beede says Lucayan Indians once lived over 500 years ago.
- Attend the annual Vertical Blue Competition.
- Inspired by William + Britta Trubridge and their Long Island Guide, include the following on my Island Itinerary:
- – Walk Galloway’s Beach near Clarence Town
- – Dine at Chez Pierre
- – Stroll Lover’s Beach
- – Explore Hamilton’s Cave
- – Discover the cave behind the church ruin in Gray’s Settlement as it has a lake inside that contains pink shrimp and blind cave fish, a species found only in the Bahamas.
- – Search for the mysterious blue holes close to Salt Pond Harbour.
- – At sunset sip on cocktails at Winter Haven and Beach Bungalows in Deals, the view is said to be magnificent.
- Sit in the pews of the St. Augustine Monastery and the St. Martin Monastery built under the direction of Father Jerome.
- Inspired by the Bahamas National Trust discover the Primeval Forest National Park.
- √ Visit Hog Island Light, the oldest in The Bahamas and the oldest surviving lighthouse in the West Indies.
- Inspired by the Bahamas National Trust – drift among the mangroves of Conception Island National Park.
- See the world’s largest breeding colony (approx. 50,000) of West Indian Flamingos.
- See the wonder of the winter light as described by Lynn Gape, Deputy Executive Director and Director of Education of The Bahamas National Trust.
- Visit the Inagua Light Station – located on the southwest coast of Great Inagua near Matthew Town.