Blair Howard, «Adventure Guide to the Bahamas», 3rd Edition
Hunter Publishing| ISBN 1-58843318-8 | 2003 Year | 393 Pages | PDF | 3.8 MB
It’s been many years since I began writing travel books. Over those years I’ve visited numerous exotic destinations: magnificent beaches, wild and remote mountain retreats, painted deserts, and bustling, historic cities, but of all those incredible places the islands of the Bahamas are my favorite. Time and again I return to Nassau, Freeport, Abaco, Eleuthera and Harbour Island, and I continue to be inspired by their beauty. There truly is no other place I’d rather spend a vacation. The Bahamas have everything, from bustling international cities – not too big, not too small – to tiny islets where it seems no human foot has ever stepped. The weather is sometimes wild, but not for long. The gentle sea breezes, the hot sun, and those great
stretches of shallow, emerald water bounded by blinding white strips of sand are irresistible.
The Bahamas, some 700 islands and 2,000 islets, lie scattered like a broken string of pearls across the northern Caribbean and offer literally thousands of opportunities for adventure. In fact, they have provided a dozen or more generations of seafarers and travelers with more adventure than many of them might ever have imagined – or wanted.
In the earliest times, Spanish explorers headed west from Cadiz in search of riches and excitement. They found both – often to their detriment. The Spanish were followed by the Portuguese, then by the English, the French, the Dutch and then by anyone else who could find a craft seaworthy enough to endure the hazardous crossing. In later years, the explorers were followed by adventurers of a different sort. Pirates, corsairs, brigands, ne’r-do-wells and privateers – all drawn by the promise of easy pickings and quick riches – flocked to the Bahamas in the thousands. Men such as the notorious Edward Teach (Blackbeard), “Calico” Jack Rakham, Henry Morgan, Major Bonnet, and nefarious women buccaneers such as Anne Bonney (Calico Jack’s mistress), and Mary Reed scoured the seas in search of vulnerable merchant ships carrying gold, silver and jewels. Only slightly better were the so-called privateers, such as Francis Drake and John Hawkins, who pillaged and plundered in the name of whatever sovereign happened to be on the throne at the time.