Archives for May 2015

Elbow Reef Lighthouse, Hope Town, Abaco

Standing tall over Hope Town Harbour, the Elbow Reef Lighthouse is an 89 ft tall candy cane colored lighthouse which was not originally welcomed by all…

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You see, this Bahamian lighthouse, built in the 1860’s, was originally opposed by Elbow Cay residents as they felt it could put a damper on their shipwreck and salvage business opportunities. Of course, the desire for safe passage for vessels prevailed, and now the only opposition is to any talk of automating the lighthouse operations.

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The Elbow Reef Lighthouse is a kerosene burning lighthouse and one of only two remaining beacons preserved from automation. The lighthouse keeper must manually wind up the apparatus every two hours so that the beacon can continue to be seen up to 17 miles away.

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Visitors are welcome to visit Elbow Reef Lighthouse and climb the 101 steps to the top.
Admission is free and the lighthouse is open 9-5, 7 days a week.

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Those that make it all the way to the top are treated to a beautiful view of Hope Town and the beautiful pastel homes and shops that line the pretty harbour.

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Have you climbed the 101 steps to the top of the Elbow Reef Lighthouse? Tell us about it!


Find Elbow Reef Lighthouse on our Bahamas Map

To see more posts on the Bahamas and other islands, check out our Island Blog Directory

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Bushwacker Pudding Shots

You can’t beat the taste of a frosty Bushwacker, especially from the top of Paradise Point in St. Thomas, or on beautiful White Bay, Jost Van Dyke at Ivan’s Stress Free Bar, but this little, easy to make delight sure comes close. They may be small, but they still have a pretty high alcohol content, so enjoy your pudding responsibly!

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Bushwacker Pudding Shots

(makes about 12 – 2 oz. servings)

1 small pkg. of Instant Chocolate Pudding
3/4 c. milk
1/4 c. coconut rum
1/4 c. Bailey’s Irish Cream
1/4 c. Kahlua
8 oz. Extra Creamy Cool Whip
canned whipped cream

chocolate syrup
freshly grated nutmeg

Mix pudding and milk in a bowl with an electric mixer until smooth. Beat in liquor. Gently fold in Cool Whip. Spoon into individual shot cups with lids (such as these: Plastic Jello Shot Cups with Lids, 2-Ounce) and keep in the freezer until ready to use. Garnish with a squirt of whipped cream, a drizzle of chocolate syrup and a sprinkle of freshly grated nutmeg before serving.

 

Find more rum recipes here:

Rum Recipe Picture Directory

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Compass Cay, Exuma and its One Full Time Resident

Compass Cay, one of the small cays that make up the extraordinarily beautiful chain of islands called the Exuma Cays, is home to only one full time resident. Well two, if you count the island cat Lilly…

Compass Cay is perhaps best known as the location of friendly swimming sharks, but there are other reasons to spend time on this small and beautiful island with water as clear as a swimming pool – making boats appear to be floating on air, and one of them is to meet and chat with the only full time resident, Tucker Rolle.

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During our recent stay at Embrace Resort on Staniel Cay, we had the chance to visit Compass Cay and meet this soft spoken, friendly man who works hard at making sure his guests are having a nice time. And as the word gets out about this magical place, there are certain to be more and more visitors making their way to Compass Cay.

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Tucker has been the proprietor of Compass Cay since 1992, but has worked on Compass Cay farming it since he was 13 years old. At that time he lived in a small house on Sister Cay directly across from Compass, and would row over everyday to work on the cay.

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Now, the Compass Cay Marina & Resort includes a protected marina with electricity, reverse osmosis water, laundry, shower service and a small store. Tucker say that the marina has accommodated a boat as large as 155 ft in the past, but most boats that dock here are 135 ft or less. Boating guests are told that they need to draw less than 6 ft. to come in at low tide. There is a $10 per person landing fee to come ashore at the marina – which was well worth it in our book. There are also a few homes available to rent on Compass Cay if you’d like to have more time to experience all that this cay has to offer.

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In addition to marveling at the nurse sharks interacting with the many people that visit on day excursions, the island has other interests well worth exploring, such as the absolutely stunning Crescent Beach, just a short walk from the marina.

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And if you have time, you might want to visit Rachel’s Bubble Bath, a natural lagoon fed by water from the sea breaking over an opening in the surrounding rocks, climb the 92 ft high Compass Peak for a great view of the nearby Exuma Land and Sea Park and visit the 12 other beautiful deserted beaches on the cay.

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We also enjoyed checking out the colorful and amusing signs and memorabilia lining some of the trails and pathways through the island.

Before reluctantly leaving, we asked Tucker if there was anything else he would like us to mention in our post about Compass Cay. He said, “We try to keep Compass as natural as possible and do not want to see development on the lovely cay.  That’s why we all say take only pictures and only leave footprints.  We want to share Compass Cay with our guests and make them feel welcome and at home. Like our sign says, Welcome Home to Compass Cay.”

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Have you been to Compass Cay? Tell us about it!

 

Find Compass Cay Marina and Crescent Beach on our Bahamas Map

You might also enjoy:
The Swimming Pigs of the Exuma Cays
Thunderball Grotto


To see more posts on the Bahamas and other islands, check out our Island Blog Directory

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Pictures and other content may not be re-used without written consent from Rum Therapy, LLC

Sunday Serenity: Beach Meditation

Feeling a bit stressed today? Close your eyes for a minute and imagine this…

Warm sunshine on your skin and the only sound is waves gently lapping the shore. Ahhh…better?

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Manjack Cay, The Abacos

Perhaps the reason that the ocean helps us to de-stress and unwind is that there are actual health benefits to spending time in and near the ocean. You weren’t just imagining that your last beach vacation made you feel better!

But did you know that you can still harness some of that relaxing energy when you get back from vacation? Just enjoy a little beach meditation. When needed, just take a moment, close your eyes and imagine yourself on a warm, deserted beach. Even the thought of time spent on a sandy beach in the sunshine can bring our heart rate down.

Do you have a favorite beach that you think of when you have a moment of beach meditation? Where?

Find more Sunday Serenity posts here:
Tropical Tips & More

To see more island posts, check out our Island Blog Directory

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Coco Beach Bar & Grill, Treasure Cay

Close to the center of Treasure Cay Beach, the gorgeous stretch of sugar soft white sand and turquoise water found on North Abaco Island in the Bahamas, you may spot a colorful, but unassuming little beach bar/restaurant called Coco Beach Bar and Grill.

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Coco Beach Bar and Grill is right on beautiful Treasure Cay Beach and in addition to offering some very refreshing Bahamian libations, it also serves up breakfast, lunch and dinner.

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The interior is a casual nautical theme with plenty of comfortable seating, and in addition, there are picnic tables on the deck. We opted for deck seating because, well, look at the view…

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We ordered a wrap for lunch, which came with a ton of crispy fries, along with a Rum Punch and a Goombay Smash. Not quite the same as the Goombay Smash we had just enjoyed at Miss Emily’s Blue Bee Bar on Green Turtle Cay a few days earlier, but everything tastes delicious after a morning of playing on the beach, doesn’t it?

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Once you have finished your meal, you can rent a chair and/or palapa from Coco and spend the rest of the afternoon lazing away on one of the prettiest beaches we’ve seen.

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From there, the bar is just steps away, so you can make sure you stay hydrated, or in our case “rum”drated.

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Have you been to Coco Beach Bar & Grill? Tell us about it!

Find Coco Beach Bar & Grill on our Bahamas Map

You may also be interested in:

Treasure Cay Beach, Abaco

To see more posts on the Bahamas and other islands, check out our Island Blog Directory

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Pictures and other content may not be re-used without written consent from Rum Therapy, LLC

Treasure Cay Beach, Abaco

Frequently listed as one of the top 10 beautiful beaches in the world, Treasure Cay easily places in our top beach list as well. After looking at the following pictures, I think you’ll see why.

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The gated community of Treasure Cay is actually not a “cay” at all. It is a long peninsula connected to the Abaco mainland making the area easily accesible by car or boat. Besides many amenities such as restaurants, shops, a golf course and marina, the area is flanked by a spectacular 3 1/2 mile white sand beach.

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Treasure Cay as seen from above

We rented a car and made the 30 minute drive to Treasure Cay while staying in Marsh Harbour. We loved the beach so much that we ended up driving to Treasure Cay again several days later to experience more of this beautiful beach.

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Our first glimpse of Treasure Cay.

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From a long sandbar on the east side of the beach at low tide,

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To a brightly colored pier on the west end of the beach,

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The entire expanse is a feast for the eyes.

The colors change depending on the day and even the time of day, but one thing is for sure.

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Treasure Cay Beach is a treasure worth finding.

Have you been to Treasure Cay? Tell us about it!

Find Treasure Cay on our Bahamas Map

You may also be interested in:

Coco Beach Bar & Grill, Treasure Cay


To see more posts on the Bahamas and other islands, check out our Island Blog Directory

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Pictures and other content may not be re-used without written consent from Rum Therapy, LLC

Thunderball Grotto, Exuma Cays

Just off the coast of Staniel Cay in the beautiful Exuma Cays, lies an underwater cavern paradise called Thunderball Grotto. It acquired its name because it was one of the filming sites for the 1965 James Bond movie “Thunderball”. Thunderball Grotto has since been used in the filming of several other movies such as Never Say Never Again, Splash and Into the Blue.

By boat, Thunderball Grotto is just a couple of minutes from Staniel Cay and we were so excited to get to explore it during our recent stay at Embrace Resort. The island itself is composed of sharp rocks and a few shrubs – not giving away a clue as to the wonderland underneath.

Grotto-3-(a)--(600)-OA faded sign on the island indicates the location of the grotto and says
“Welcome to Thunderbird Grotto – No Fishing – Take Only Photos”

During low tide, snorkeler’s can enter the cave through a small opening on the west side of the small island.

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Our guide pointed us in the direction of the opening and encouraged us to swim right in.

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Not quite sure just what we would be swimming into and hoping that it would be more spacious than the original opening, we ducked down and made our way in.

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Sure enough, just a few feet in, it began to open up.

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Once inside, we began to get a glimpse of the cavern. The colors of the water and the walls were absolutely amazing and it was soooo much lighter inside than we imagined.

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Underwater, rays of sunshine highlighted the beautiful coral.

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And sergeant majors were abundant.

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But we thought the most amazing feature of Thunderbird Grotto was the grotto’s size and colors once inside. The openings in the ceiling let generous amounts of light in and apparently the adventurous sometimes jump into the cavern through these holes. Yikes.

The current eventually brought us to the other end of the grotto,

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Where we swam out through a much larger opening to our waiting boat.

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Have you been to Thunderball Grotto? Tell us about it!

Find Thunderball Grotto on our Bahamas Map

You might also be interested in the following posts from this area:

The Swimming Pigs of the Exuma Cays


Swimming With Sharks on Compass Cay

 

To see more posts on the Bahamas and other islands, check out our Island Blog Directory

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Pictures and other content may not be re-used without written consent from Rum Therapy, LLC

Tropical Island Iced Tea

Don’t let the pink color fool you. The Tropical Island Iced Tea is a variation of the Long Island Iced Tea and can pack the same punch. Don’t let the pink color fool you. The Tropical Island Iced Tea is a variation of the Long Island Iced Tea and can pack the same punch. Refreshing and not overly sweet, this could become a summer favorite! We found the original recipe on SippitySup.com, but changed it up a bit and added the whole can of Kern’s Guava Nectar to make a slightly less potent and more refreshing drink. Delicious! Bring on summer!

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Tropical Island Iced Tea
(makes two)

1 oz spiced rum (we used Cockspur Spiced Rum)
1 oz vodka
1 oz tequila
1 oz gin
1 oz cointreau
11.5 oz guava nectar (we used Kern’s Guava Nectar)
1 oz fresh lime juice
2 oz club soda
lime wedges for garnish

Pour all ingredients into two tall ice-filled glasses. Gently stir. Garnish with fresh lime wedges.

Find more rum recipes here:

Rum Recipe Picture Directory

Rum Recipes  by Category


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Pictures and other content may not be re-used without written consent from Rum Therapy, LLC

Miss Emily’s Blue Bee Bar, Home of the Goombay Smash

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Miss Emily’s Blue Bee Bar on Green Turtle Cay in The Abacos has been serving drinks to thirsty customers since the 60’s and we planned to visit during our Abacos sail. After all, Miss Emily is said to be the originator of the drink “Goombay Smash” and although we have enjoyed a Goombay Smash or two in the past, we wanted to try the original – the one who’s recipe has not been shared with anyone outside the family.

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Green Turtle Cay is a small island, only 3 miles in length and easy to get around by golf cart. We rented a couple of carts, headed south to the settlement of New Plymouth and found the Blue Bee Bar on Victoria Street.

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Our excitement soon turned to disappointment as we realized Miss Emily’s was closed on Sunday and of course it was Sunday… But, thanks to the generosity of Smitty, the son-in-law of Miss Emily, who was relaxing inside the bar on his day off, we were granted access and got to sample the original Goombay Smash while learning a little Blue Bee history.

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Business cards from all over the world adorn the walls, and flags and well worn tee shirts hang from the ceiling in the small and colorful establishment which now also serves dinner from 5 – 9:30 everyday except Sunday. We hear they serve an excellent broiled grouper and a Goombay Grouper…

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The Goombay Smash is poured from a gallon jug so there was no way to catch a glimpse of the ingredients and although we pried, Smitty wouldn’t divulge any secrets saying that his wife Violet (Miss Emily’s daughter) was in charge of mixing the sweet concoction.

He graciously poured us each a Goombay Smash at the bar with a picture of the lovely Miss Emily (who passed away in 1977) smiling down at us.

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We ordered a second round, chatted with the affable man also known as Sergeant Smith of the Bahamas Police Force, then departed with a jug of Miss Emily’s Goombay Smash to enjoy later on the boat.

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Although you can find the Goombay Smash in many bars in the Bahamas, if you want to try the authentic and original recipe, you’ll have to make your way to Green Turtle Cay and the Blue Bee for a cold Goombay Smash, a pleasant afternoon and some good conversation.

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Be sure to take away a jug for later…

For one version of the Goombay Smash (not the original!), check out the recipe here:
Goombay Smash

Have you enjoyed a Goombay Smash at Miss Emily’s Blue Bee Bar? Tell us about it!

Find Miss Emily’s Blue Bee Bar on our Bahamas Map


To see more posts on the Bahamas and other islands, check out our Island Blog Directory

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Pictures and other content may not be re-used without written consent from Rum Therapy, LLC

Swimming With Sharks on Compass Cay

So, I know sharks play an important part in the oceans ecosystem, but I just am not a fan. Sorry sharks. Nothing personal, it’s just those teeth…

When we were offered a stop at Compass Cay to swim with the sharks during an excursion generously provided by Embrace Resort on Staniel Cay, I thought fine. I’ll just take photos of the experience while John happily interacts with them in the water. Photos, from the dock – or as far away as I needed to be out of tooth range. But then I did a little research on the type of shark that hangs out at Compass Cay. The Compass Cay sharks are nurse sharks and according to National Geographic, adults are commonly about 7.5-9.75 ft long (although they can get as big as 14 ft.) and weigh 200-330 lbs. NG goes on to say, “Nurse sharks are for the most part harmless to humans.”  Apparently they just don’t like to be provoked…(please tell me what ticks off nurse sharks!)

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Upon our arrival at the Compass Cay Marina, we quickly became aware of the sharks presence. There were several people already in the water with (gasp) sharks swimming all around them. No one was panicking and there were even smiles.

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Some were petting the sharks…

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I found myself getting more and more intrigued.

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Tucker, the man who owns Compass Cay Marina relayed the story of the sharks. When he first opened Compass Cay Marina, he brought in several nurse sharks. Over the years, the sharks had little sharks, have become accustomed to human
interaction and are now considered “pets”. There is a continual and abundant supply of fish scraps for the sharks as fish are cleaned at the end of one of the docks. At feeding time, a small hatchet is whacked on the cleaning board and the sharks come swimming in.

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Hmmm. To make a long story short, I not only got in, but I snorkeled with them, pet them and enjoyed every minute. We enjoyed it so much, that we rented a boat from Staniel Cay Rentals and came back several days later to do it again at high tide when they just float right up next to you on the dock.

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When we got back to our hotel, we looked through the pictures we got underwater while swimming.
Even more impressed that I got in.

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So, do I have a greater appreciation for sharks? Well, let’s just say I really did enjoy this adventure and would do it again. With nurse sharks. On Compass Cay. In a heartbeat.


Have you gone swimming with the sharks on Compass Cay? If not, would you? Tell us about it!

Find Compass Cay Marina on our Bahamas Map

You might also enjoy:
The Swimming Pigs of the Exuma Cays


To see more posts on the Bahamas and other islands, check out our Island Blog Directory

 Copyright©Rum Therapy
Pictures and other content may not be re-used without written consent from Rum Therapy, LLC