Andros is the largest island in the Bahamas and is divided into three parts: North Andros, Mangrove Cay and South Andros. These are separated by the “Bights” which are waterways running from the deep Tongue of the Ocean on the east side to the shallow Great Bahama Bank on the west. Navigating these shallow waterways is exciting with sea turtles, sharks, bonefish, wading birds and an increasing number of flamingos. The entire west coast of Andros is uninhabited except for one small fishing camp “Flamingo Cay” owned by a friend. Guests arrive by helicopter or seaplane, that’s how remote it is and yes, he has his own flock of wild flamingos!
My first trip to Andros in 1979 took me to International Field Studies, also known as Forfar, on north Andros. I knew a dive master there who suggested we scuba one of the many blue holes. We started by hiking through the bush with all our gear, tiring at best, then entered a circular hole of clear surface water which expanded into a huge room underwater. The water was crystal clear and fresh until we reached 60 feet where an oozy yellow layer signaled the denser saltwater interface. A challenge to penetrate the layer was taken and at 80 feet it was pitch black under the layer of yellow hydrogen sulfide with caves running off into more blackness, which I wanted nothing to do with. Years later National Geographic featured Bahamian blue holes on the cover, speaking of the extensive caves and scientific discoveries since a couple thousand years ago they were dry caves when sea level was lower.
Considering Andros is so large, there are relatively few places to stay. Kamalame Cay is a small, high-end island off North Andros not far from AUTEC, Atlantic Undersea Testing and Evaluation Center, where the U.S. Navy tests their submarines in the Tongue of the Ocean. I frequent Kamalame Cay and we sometimes keep our boat on Andros, it’s as interesting as it is remote – if you’re up for an adventure. There are several nice bonefish camps for avid fishermen and a new resort on distant South Andros featured on reality TV show “Renovation Island”. I wish the family restoring that resort the best of luck, Andros needs places like that to showcase the 100 miles of deserted beaches that exist there.
To learn more about Andros, check out our History of The Bahamas Through Maps historical book or our custom map of the islands! Give us a call at 239-963-3497 if you have any questions! Check back for weekly snippets of history throughout the U.S., Caribbean and all over the world!