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


  1. I HAVE TO take one if these trips with you!! HAVE. TO.

  2. Sandra Fisher says:

    Tucker….what a good deed you have done for your little Cay….many would love to have your paradise to ruin and exploit for the almighty dollar….your dedication and life style is admired immensely by me. Keep up your mission and you will always be a great man with a plan. I commend and congratulate you as you are very rare….Enjoy the rest of your life forever!