Compass Cay, Bahamas

The owner Tucker Rolle calls it “the best place on earth to sit back and relax” and with all the photos of a-listers on the wall you would be in good company to do so – just don’t expect anyone to roll out the red carpet here. RELAXED is the motto and the vibe at Compass Cay is strictly Bahamian.  It does, however, take a fair amount of sweat to get to this private island in the Exumas. The marina at Compass Cay is accessible from the Exuma Banks and the Exuma Sound through channels marked with buoys and range markers. Depending on your draft you are going to have to play the tide getting through the s-bend of sandbanks, but it is not impossible to get an 8-foot draft inside. If you get it wrong, there is a current that can pull you sideways in a flash. Once inside it is as secure a haven as can be found. Nurse sharks get fed here and guard their territory from the lemon sharks with vigour. The locals know them all by name and each one has their place in the pecking order. Apart form the nurse sharks there are plenty of bonefish ghosting about. Compass has 13 idyllic beaches – inspoilt and picture perfect. Rachel’s Bubble Bath, a lagoon on the north end, is the island’s loveliest spot. It borders Conch Cut, an inlet from Exuma Sound, and the southern boundary of the Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park. The lagoon is fed by water from the Sound breaking over a notch in the lava rocks, which often causes froth to form on the surface. To follow life at Compass Cay, join Compass Cay in their facebook page.

Click here for an artfish photo essay on the Compass Cay nurse sharks.

To return to the main Travel Gallery, click here.

For an external link to a recipe for conch salad, click here.