Position: N 23 50.685 W 075 07.316
“Just when you thought it couldn’t get any prettier….”
We’re standing on a bluff looking out over the Atlantic Ocean with our friends Bob and Francie from Barefootin’. It’s mid afternoon and the sun is still fairly high in the west. The sky is a crystal clear blue and is dotted with puffy white clouds. Long tailed brilliantly white tropic birds soar above us on the light easterly breeze. This is the first visit to Conception Island for all of us and we are in awe at the beauty that surrounds us.
Our day started this morning with the 6:30 weather forecast. It’s only about 20 miles from Calabash Bay on Long Island (where we anchored last night) to Conception Island, but Conception has no all-weather anchorages. Several days of settled weather is pretty much a requisite. We were unable to make the trip last year as the weather was not favorable for a visit, but today’s forecast sounded good, so we hauled anchor at 8:00 am.
Winds were light, but just forward of the beam, and Rachel moved along nicely on her favorite point of sail. We dropped the fishing line over and relaxed into the lovely rhythm of an easy sail on mild seas.
About 3 miles out of Conception we caught a nice 32” mahi-mahi. Yippee!! Fresh fish tonight! We furled the head sail to slow down, and by the time we landed the fish, filleted it, and cleaned up our mess, it was time to start the engine, drop the main, and pick our way through the coral heads to our anchorage.
Yet another exquisite white sand beach greeted us. The water is as clear or, if possible, even clearer than any we’ve seen so far in the Bahamas. We anchored in 16’ and can still see the bottom in great detail. It’s almost like we’re floating in air.
After we got all settled in we dinghied in and met the Barefootin’s on the beach for one of our favorite activities – a walking exploration of a new island.
Conception Island is a National Trust island. There has been no development here, and fishing, shelling, picking the flowers, etc., are all prohibited. “Take only pictures and leave only footprints.” This island is truly the crown jewel in the Bahamian national park system.
We watch and listen to the birds, smell the ocean air, feel the breeze on our skin, and are grateful for the opportunity to share this incredibly beautiful place with each other. We walk back down the trail, across the beach, get in our dinghies, and return to our boats. Rachel’s crew still has work to do – we’ve invited friends over for fresh grilled mahi-mahi tonight.
After dinner there’s a lull in the conversation as we watch the sun slowly sink into the sea in the west. After a minute or two, Bob says “If this ain’t God’s country, then it must be about 20 yards over that way”.