Thursday, September 24, 2009

Needle Nose At Barbary Beach, Grand Bahama Island

I finally was able to find the photos of the needle nose schools that were spotted in large schools in between the rock pools at Barbary Beach.

Gold Rock Beach

Framed Coral Reef Print, Get It Here

Gold Rock Beach Postcards, Get Them Here

Gold Rock Beach Pin, Get Them Here

Gold Rock Beach, Grand Bahama Island...Bridge Repaired!

Last year when we took a day to check out Lucayan Nation Park, the bridge to Gold Rock Beach was out of service. Left with no other option, we took the very long trek through the mangroves in order to get to the beach.

The hike is not for the weary though, because it is one hell of a long hike, however the hike through the mangroves is beautiful. If you have the energy definitely take the right path to Gold Rock Beach.

The bridge during our 2009 visit though was back in order, and the newly repaired bridge to the beach is beautiful.

You still get to see the Mangroves, but you won't be as up close and personal had you taken the long hike through them. Along the way you will run into some tropical friends, such as this lovely spider.
Don't be afraid of them, they are not harmful to humans at all. They may get big, may look scary, but they are harmless.

Gold Rock Beach has 2 paths to get to it. Go to the right for the jungle like trek, and head straight for a faster hike to the beach.

Before coming up the small hike through the path in the woods, I wondered if Gold Rock Beach stood just as stunning as she was last year. To my shock, my jaw once again dropped. The beach never fails to stun. As soon as we came up through the woody path, our eyes lit up like a kid on Christmas morning. The beach was still pristine, still decadent, still perfect, still the definition of pure paradise.

If you have been following my blog, than you likely already know that Gold Rock Beach was a location where Pirates of the Caribbean filmed. It's no wonder why, the beach is one of the best beaches I have ever seen in my life.

The sands are pure white, the colors of the water fade into dark blues, greens, turquoise and emerald, a sight that will take you breath away.

On the beach the large driftwood trees still remain. They however add to the breathtaking scenery.

At low tide the sea leaves behind traces of its own natural art.

If you are on Grand Bahama Island, even for a short period of time, you cannot miss Gold Rock Beach. Be sure however to check your tides, you want to hit Gold Rock Beach at low tide in order to embrace it in all its glory.

Snorkeling at Gold Rock is not that fantastic however, the beach itself is pretty lifeless, and you may only come across schools of small fish, crabs, and sting rays. The water here is very open though, which means that sharks can quickly come in, take a bite, and pass back out to sea in seconds. The best snorkeling is out in the distance at the 'Gold Rock'. You do not want to go alone though, because the water is very open and you are quite a ways away from help for if anything bad were to happen.

The Gold Rock features a nice formation of corals, and lots of fish can be found here. The swim is far though, so make sure you are up for it, if you do decide to do it.

Snorkeling though will not impress you as much as the beach itself will as a whole. It is the definition of beautiful, paradise, and tropical wonders.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Bahamas EcoVentures - A Must Do Nature Tour

I wanted to mention one of the wonderful tours we took while on the island. Bahamas EcoVentures is a tour that runs on Grand Bahama Island.

We took tour # 1 which is an airboat tour, which consists of a 4 hour nature tour through the mangroves. For $79 per person the tour begins with complimentary pick up at your hotel. While still in the tour bus you are given a waiver to sign in case you are hurt. Next you are taken to Hawksbill Creek where the tour begins. Before taking off on the airboat you are given life jackets and are told safety procedures.

On the airboat you are then handed a pair of ear plugs because the boat is very loud. The boat itself is roomy, comfortable, and the tour guide was not only full of bubbly personality, but she was also very knowledgeable in the plant life, animal life (land and sea), the mangrove, and the history of the area and the island.

The airboat first glides calmly over some large blue holes which plunge at depths of up to 80 feet. These blue holes were spectacular to look into from the boat as the waters are crystal clear. Inside the blue holes numerous fish swim about, and you are able to take photos.

After looking in at the blue holes, the airboat then quickly races off through the mangroves, which are areas that no normal boats could reach due to how shallow the waters are.

While flying at top speeds through the mangroves, the boat would slow up whenever we came across small sharks.

We spotted many different small sharks, and hammerheads were in an abundance in some areas. We also spotted plenty of stone fish, needle nose fish, baby barracuda, reef sharks, black tip sharks and more.

The hammerhead sharks were amongst some of my favorite sharks to spot, and they swam out in the open. The smaller reef sharks stuck to where small trees grew from the sea. We were told they do this to feast on baby birds that happen to fall into the shallow waters.

Can You Spot The Baby Reef Sharks Fin In This Photograph?

About an hour into riding through the area on the airboat we stopped to do some snorkeling in a collection of blue holes. The waters were extremely murky and hard to walk in. The water got no deeper than 3 feet, however while snorkeling around the blue holes you could swim down to deeper levels if you felt up to it. Some of the blue holes plunged down to very deep depths, while others you could easily tough the bottom.

Snorkeling around was an experience to say the least, and was a lot of fun.

After snorkeling, we then switched up on who got to sit next to the guide. The captains chair allows you to see more of the area as it's seated higher up above anyone else. The seating was fantastic and memorable.

Before setting up on Mangrove Cay a small deserted island, the tour guide ran the boat at full speed and showed us what it was capable of doing. Mind blowing turns, twists, and it was able to reach through areas one would not imagine.

A Small Cay In The Distance. There Are Many Of These Small Islands Here

After the fun speed ride around the area we walked off of the boat onto the deserted Mangrove Cay, where picture taking took place. Mangrove Cay was spectacular with tons of tiny sea shells, and scenery that could take your breath away. One really neat picture opportunity was the deadwood bush that stuck up out of the sea.

Homemade lunch and beverages were served on the beach, and the authentic Bahamian cuisine was fantastic.

After lunch we packed up due to an oncoming storm in the distance.

Overall EcoVentures was worth every penny, and an adventure worth writing home about. If in Grand Bahama Island, definitely be sure to check them out, the tour is well worth it. Click for more information.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Review: Barbary Beach- Grand Bahama Island

I just got back from Grand Bahama Island for my 2009 vacation. I visited places that I had not been able to last year, and one beach I wanted to mention to everyone is Barbary Beach.

On many forums, websites, etc, etc, it is said to be one of the top beaches on the entire island. While I would say the beach was quite beautiful, it still does not come close to being quite as stunning as Gold Rock Beach.

While the beach is quite secluded, and the pictures are worth a million words, the beach on our arrival was pretty riddled with trash.

We were able to look past all of the litter and enjoy the day on the very secluded beach. Not a single person was seen during our entire day, and we enjoyed snorkeling in the shallow pools to the right side of the beach where rocks, and corals piled up out of the sea. Here was where I took many pictures of needle nose schools. I will have to upload them at a later date, as they are buried in numerous photos I have yet to go through.

Out in the distance you will notice a small island poking up from the sea as well. This island is known as Peterson Cay, and if you want you could book kayak excursions or boat excursions out to the island. The kayak tours usually meet at Barbary Beach early in the morning. If you get to the beach early enough you will have the opportunity to watch them all paddle away, or you could join them by booking in advance.

The kayak tours claim it will take around 30 minutes to get to Peterson Cay, and I have to agree. It is quite far away, and if you are not good at kayaking, look for tours that run boats to the secluded private island.

One excursion for those of you whom enjoy kayaking, you can book a tour with Grand Bahama Nature Tours. Click to be taken to the site.

Anyhow, with that aside, Barbary Beach is beautiful, there is no denying it; however if you have to chose between Gold Rock Beach, and Barbary, hands down Gold Rock Beach wins by a landslide.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Reef Fish, and Coral Slide Show

I just wanted to share with everyone a slideshow of mine that I posted on Associated Content. The slideshow features some corals, and some of the fish that I captured on camera, that I have not yet posted here on my blog.

So check them out. Click here

Monday, July 20, 2009

Review: Newly Designed, Zeagle Teleoz EZ Travel Fins

Seeing that many of you whom have landed on my blog to get to know Grand Bahama Island more, may also be interested in particular items and snorkel/dive products.

I bought the Zeagle Teleoz EZ Travel Fins a few months ago, and warm weather finally permitted me to putting them to use!

Now for those of you whom may of heard about the fins being horrible, do note that the ones I am reviewing are the newly designed fins, with improvements!

The fins are unique, and unlike any other, as they have a soft sandal like bootie bolted down to the thin blade of the fin. The open toe design protects you from less cramping in the water. The thin design and lack of side rail should not deter you from purchasing them, because they really provide a ton of speed in the water.

They do float, and I would primarily recommend them for snorkeling, due to this fact. Some may feel a little bit of a pull at their legs while diving deep water, however for me, I did not feel any pull, and they worked like a charm for what I needed them for, which is surface snorkeling. While in the water I was also able to push myself down into further depths without a problem.

The straps are superb, and allowed me to easily adjust them as I wanted.

I have a size 8.5 shoe, and bought the medium sized fins. They easily adjusted to my foot, and were very very comfortable. My boyfriend who is in a size 11, was also able to adjust the straps and wear the fins as well, so the medium size in my opinion is very universal as far as sizing goes.

The lightweight thin size allows me to tote them along with ease, and frankly I couldn't be happier with them.

For casual snorkeling, I recommend the Zeagle Teleoz EZ Travel Fins for sure.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

A List Of Wonderful Grand Bahama Island Activites, Tours, and Excursions.

I am busily preparing all sorts of excursions for my second upcoming trip to Grand Bahama Island.

Last year (2008) we were prepared, but we did not get to do as many excursions as we would have liked to.

When I get back this year in September, I will review every and all excursion we had the time to participate in.

For those of you who are new to the island though, I found quite a few tours, and excursions that may peak your interest.

The first is ExoticAdventures (click to be taken to site)

What is so neat about this site is the fact that you can schedule for one of the example tours, or you can create your own.

I personally want to visit surrounding cays, and will likely be making arrangements with this company as the vacation draws nearer.

Visit the site for more information!

Grand Bahama Nature Tours is another tour company that has quite a few interesting tours that you will want to possibly book. They include kayak tours to Peterson Cay, Bike Riding Tours, Bird Watching, Jeep Safari, Snorkeling, and much much more!!!

Click to be Taken to their site.

Superior Watersports features numerous tours on land, or on the sea. There is sure to be something that will tickle your traveling fancy!

They feature party cruises, island tours, and a very cool semi submarine tour! Click to be taken to their site, to read more about available tours, and contact information.

Fantasia Tours is another site you will definitely want to check out. They feature all sorts of excursions. Click to be taken to site.

Xanadu Undersea Adventures is a site you will want to check out for some superb diving excursions! Click to be taken to their site to learn more.

Smiling Pat's is another site you should check out. They offer unique excursions. A particular pleaser is a tour to Sandy Cay, which is known as Gilligan's Island. There are many other excursions that run daily, so check it out. Click here to be taken to their site.

Unexso is a site you should check out as well. They've got open ocean dolphin dives, private dolphin encounters, dolphin swims, and other diving opportunities. How about diving with some sharks! Click to see their list of activities, and prices.

Pinetree Stables offers horseback riding through dreamlike trails, and flawless turquoise waters. Click to learn more.

H. Forbes Charter Service offers a ton of guided tours that you should look into. Click to view their site, and tours.

EcoVentures will take you on an awesome air boat ride through Grand Bahama Island. Click to view their many different air boat tours.

When I get back, I will have reviews on a few of the places, and how the tours were.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Grand Bahama Island, Here We Come! Round 2!!!

I told my entire family about Grand Bahama Island, and they seemed very interested in taking a trip as well.

When ran their $200 special on Grand Bahama Island vacation packages, we took advantage of the opportunity.

We will be headed back this September 2009 again. Stay tuned, I will have photos from Sandy Cay, which is known as Gilligan's Island, and many, many other excursions we did not get to take the first time we were there. I'll be sure to mention it all. The excursions, the new beaches we visit, and of course, photos galore!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

You Gotta See Grand Bahama Islands Port Lucaya Marketplace

We weren't going to visit the Port Lucaya Marketplace at first, but seeing that we had time to kill before our cab ride back to Viva Wyndham Fortuna Beach, we figured we would first go to the ATM at the nearby resort and spend a little bit of our money in the Port Lucaya Marketplace.

It's basically an area that I would compare to Main Street. There are lots of local shops to visit which sell unique you could get yourself a Cuban Cigar!!!

The place is a bit intimidating at first due to the flea market like atmosphere that occurs down one stretch off the street. In this area though you can find locals attempting to sell all sorts of good ranging from handmade t-shirts, conch plates, and mugs, shell jewlwey and other beautiful memorbilia to remember your trip by.

I will be uploading a photo of the handmade conch mug we bought for $15.00 later today. They are beautiful, and can be found in the Port Lucaya Marketplace on Grand Bahama Island! If we had more room in our bags we would have also gotten the larger handmade conch bowl, which was just stunning!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Brain Coral Is Gorgeous!!!

One thing you defineltly will not miss while snorkeling around thewaters on Grand Bahama Island are brain coral!!!

We came across so many wondeful formations in sizes extra small to extra extra large...and someof them grew into odder this one! Tee-hee! I dont have to tell you what this one looks like do I?

Here is another beatuful brain coral located amongst other corals and sea weed.

This formation is one of my all time brain coral shots

This was a beautiful medium sized brain coral that I shot at Viva Wyndham Fortuna Beach!

This larger brain coral made for a good hiding spot for some of the fish

A big one!!!

What a Weird Colored Lionfish!!!! Grand Bahama Island Photos

I wish this photo came out a little clearer, however even with its graininess you can clearly see that this Lionfish does not look like the lionfish in other photos I posted in older posts of Lionfish!

This fella is clearly blue in color.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Only 1 Left On Amazon, Satava Art Glass Moon Jellyfish Paperweight Sculpture

I should have bought one of these beautiful paperweights when they were more affordable. I remember back a few years ago first hearing about the Satava Art Glass Moon Jellyfish Paperweight Sculpture on Trendhunters, and wanted one sooo badly. I was too cheap to spend the $70.00 or so they first went for when I found them on ebay, and now they are in the $400.00-$3,500 range!

Man they are beautiful though! They just remind me of the Bahamas, Imagine a light being placed underneath!!! Stunning!!!

Here is another noteworthy Jellyfish lamp!

And you absolutely must check out this website, for even more of these lamps in other colors.

Watch For This Beauty As Well

The Cone snail is usually found in Australia, but the Sharptail Eel is normally found in Panama, and we still spotted one.

I wanted to fill you in on this species because if you do happen to stumble upon it, leave it be. The pretty colors are a tempting shell to want to keep, but best leave it be.

Please read the following article on Wikipedia.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Sea of Warning! Do Not Step On The Coral, Do Not Touch Certain Fish, and Watch Where You Put Your Feet!!!

Although it is highly unlikely you will come across any dangers while swimming the lush sea of Grand Bahama Island, there is always a factor at hand.
One being you are out of your element, and two being that you don't know what to avoid in these foreign seas.

Now you don't have to go paddling around like a scardey cat, but there are a few species of fish and coral I wanted to mention to you before you just flop into the water.

While we stood at the resort on Viva Wyndham we saw a lot of stupid careless acts going on by some of the other guests.

The first thing was that some bad swimmers would drop their bare feet onto the corals for a rest!

Not only is this inconsiderate of the LIVE corals, but it is also very, very stupid and could potentially land you a nice long visit to the hospital, and in some rare cases death (depending on what you step on).

There are a few highly poisonous fish and some corals that could cause a sting to the skin that could last up to two weeks if brushed against!

The first of course is fire coral.

The second fish to watch out for is the lion fish. See photo. They won't come out to attack you or anything, but if you brush up against them they could cause sever swelling. Their venom does not usually cause death, but should be avoided.

Can you see the deadly fish in this photo below?! This is the guy to truly watch out for, because he will camouflage to match his surrounding so well that you may even miss him when looking down at the sea floor through your mask.
The Stone fish is deadly, and could cause death depending on how deep it's barbs penetrate into your skin!

See how he just matches his surroundings? Almost invisible!

Next we have of course the Barracuda which generally looks motionless in water. I spotted this beauty, took some photos and backed off. Although attacks are rare, its still best to keep a close eye on one if you stumble upon it. They can lunge straight at you like a bullet and tear flesh. In some countries it is more feared than sharks.

This is why I truly recommend just keeping your feet afloat while in the waters. Don't stop for a rest on any corals, stones, and if you find a sandy patch to rest on, truly check it out before just stomping down.

I really wanted address people with small children who swam in shallow areas of the waters. I saw many swimmers with no masks on stepping in the shallow waters without knowing what was below them! Yikes! The stone fish I caught on camera was only 4 feet out, so perhaps you should think before you sink! The swimmers happily went about stomping on the sea bed, meanwhile Mr. Stone Fish was no more than a few feet away from them. Thankfully I kept nearby and warned them of the fish. Unfortunately when cultures collide, people took my warnings with a grain of salt and were rude when I tried advising them. ((Shrugs))

So... those of you who actually WANT to educate yourselves before jumping in! Kudos to you-Safety first! You'd be shocked by how many idiots you will encounter whom step nonchalantly on the sea bed, not even aware of the potential dangers a few steps away!

Anyhow, I thought this statue was simply adorable, so had to share with you

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Many Thanks

To for linking my blog to their incredible site, it's an honor. The song you hear playing is dedicated to them, and all of the wonderful locals who made my trip to their gorgeous island so memorable. I'll see you again this September.

Some Memorabilia To Remember Your Bahamas Trip By

After getting home, we wished we bought more things while on the island. Although we did walk away with many magical memories, and beautiful photos, we wished we had gotten more than just keychains. After getting home I became obsessed with adding a marine like charm to our bathroom. Here is a few items you may want to consider...

Things To Consider Before Taking Your Trip To The Bahamas

Before we actually landed on Grand Bahama Island there were quite a few things we looked at before actually getting there. Here is a compilation of some of the books and videos we personally looked at before getting to Paradise!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Some Beautiful Beach Photos I Took While On Grand Bahama Island

-Beautiful shot of Paradise Cove, taken from the waters

-We stumbled upon these neat sand formations on our walk to a fry shack from Viva Wyndham. As mentioned earlier in a post, you can walk, or swim to this crab/fry shack from the resort. It's quite a ways away, but if you are snorkeling down from the resort to the left, you will eventually come across the adorable eating spot for some Conch or Bahamian lobster.

-Although I added this picture already, I wanted to add it again, because someone pointed out a water spout in the distance! Shot taken at Gold Rock Beach

-A nice sunny day at Viva Wyndham. My fella buying something from one of the local beach vendors who walk through the beach at random times.

-Just before the sun set, Viva Wyndham

-Another balcony view from our room at Viva Wyndham

-Paradise Cove, to the right of the beach

-Another shot at Paradise Cove. The storm was passed by then.

-The water at Paradise Cove was like a pool

-I snapped this shot at Gold Rock Beach, the place was vacant, all except for these land birds

-A gorgeous arial shot I took just as the storm died down

-A storm passed through on our second day! It looks scary, but like I said, the storms here pass through so quickly and are over in close to 40 minutes-if that.

-This photo was taken early morning at Viva Wyndham Fortuna Beach, out in the distance you can see my fella snorkeling the reefs.

-A shot of our morning landing spot. A lounge chair, some shells, and white powdery sands.

-This is a photo I took while at Paradise Cove/AKA Deadman's Reef. A quick storm passed through as you can see the darker clouds. Rain passes through quickly so don't even worry about it. The rain is warm here, and if you are in the water you won't even notice it.

Dolphins at Unexo, Grand Bahama Island, Flipping Video!

Dolphin Moonwalking at Unexo, Grand Bahama Island Video

Stingray Right Off Shore at Viva Wyndham Fortuna Beach; Video

Puffer Fish That Lives In The Larger Reef At Viva Wyndham Fortuna Beach

Beautiful Video Of Fish At Reef on Grand Bahamas Island