The Bahamas #7: Down Island

Charlie Sinnott (’21) and Zach Davis (’20) share their experience traveling Down Island on Eleuthera, visiting an ocean hole, the Bethel farm, and Navy Base Beach.

Part I by Charlie Sinnott

We began the day with a sleep in, which gave us much needed rest for our full day trip to Northern Eleuthera. Our first stop was at a large ocean hole, where we got to see schools of fish and even a sea turtle. The species were put there in order to spark tourism in the area, but we learned that the sea turtle was definitely not supposed to be there, as they needed to feed on sea grass around coral, which was impossible to find in the enclosed swimming hole. After we finished cliff jumping and snorkeling along the edge of the hole, we loaded up to head to our next stop. Out of nowhere, our trip leaders from the Island School came running with the turtle in their hands. Colin, one of the trip leaders, had caught the turtle in the swimming hole, and we quickly drove to the nearest beach and set the turtle free into the ocean where it belonged.

 

After that heroic turn of events, we drove to an island farm run by the family of Sim Bethel ’20. Upon arrival, we met Sim’s father, Clyde, and he showed us the various fruits and vegetables that were being grown on the farm. We got to taste fresh bananas and pomegranates, which were a very nice touch to the tour of the farm. After our tour, we were treated to lots of pizza, cinnamon rolls, and fresh coconuts taken from the farm. The pizza and the fresh food on the farm, along with the fantastic tour, was a very nice gesture by the Bethel family and it set a very good tone for the rest of our day.

 

 

Part II by Zach Davis

Following our trip to the ocean hole and to the Bethel’s farm, our journey led us to the ol’ Navy Base Beach. Along with our hearty crew, our dear friend Sim joined us to the beach for the afternoon. At the beach, we spent the majority of our time body surfing

Zach Davis (’20)

the tasty waves and soaking in the sun. Along with time spent on the beach, a few of us participated in an incredibly competitive game of spikeball, featuring the best of the best gameplay and a gorgeous setting. A friendly oceanic neighbor joined our squad in the water as we glided through the crisp waves. His name was Chip and he was a dolphin. Taken by surprise, a shocked Francis yelled at the top of his lungs, “Oh my gosh! It’s a shark! SHARK!” We were all taken by surprise by Chip the dolphin as he swam around us enjoying the oligotrophic waves. When it was time to say goodbye to Chip and the beach, the gang took off towards the caves of Rock Sound after dropping Sim off at his house. These caves were hollowed out limestone caverns that held the habitat for bats and other nocturnal creatures. This concluded our down island trip. When we returned to campus, dinner was served. A nice evening was spent sitting next to the beach on picnic tables, as the sun set over the Caribbean. The team concluded our day with a night presentation on Lighthouse Beach, by the founder of the Island School, Chris. We felt as if it was very informative, especially because we are headed to Lighthouse Beach tomorrow for our end of the week beach day. Excitement can be smelt throughout the Island School Campus as we get ready to experience one of the greatest beaches that the Bahamas has to offer.

 

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