Travel

Luxury and adventure in equal measure in the Bahamas

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My muscles strain as I clamber up the wooden pole at the end of the jetty. Reaching the top, I catch a glimpse of the cheering swimmers below. With the rum punch-induced courage quickly fading and the wind picking up, it feels as if this impromptu dive wasnt such a great idea after all.

Im on an uninhabited cay in the Abaco Islands with local skippers and experienced divers Brendal and his son, Kyle.

“Well go on the count of three,” Kyle grins as he scales the other pole. “One, two, three!”

Before I have time to muster up a feeble excuse, hes gone, slicing through the water like a Samurai sword. Miraculously I avoid belly flopping, which as a desk-bound Londoner, astonishes me. And despite what feels like half the ocean rushing up my nostrils, Im buzzing.

“Just like a local,” Kyle laughs, fist-pumping me. “Shall we try another?”

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Situated in the northern Bahamas, the Abacos comprise a 120-mile-long chain of secluded islands, sandy coves and protected harbours.

Instead of the high-rise resorts and cruise ports of the Bahamian capital, Nassau, there are boutique hotels and settlements accessible only by ferry and private boat charter.

My base is Bluff House Beach Resort & Marina, a charming colonial-style hotel on Green Turtle Cay – a small island located 10 minutes by boat from Great Abaco.

General manager Molly McIntosh tells me how best to explore the island. “What you need is a golf cart,” she beams, handing me a set of keys. “Just to warn you, if you crash, itll cost you $8,000!”

With Mollys warning ringing in my ears, I make the short drive to New Plymouth village for dinner at Miss Emilys Blue Bee Bar. Recommend clients sample the cracked conch – a deep-fried sea snail that tastes similar to cod – and the Goombay Smash cocktail, which is said to have been invented here.

The next few days are spent island-hopping. I head to Elbow Cay to see one of the woRead More – Source