Gallivanting around the Bahamas: A treasure odyssey

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The Bahamas is comprised of 700 islands that stretch from the coast of Florida on the north-west as far as Haiti on the southeast.  It was Christopher Columbus who first stumbled upon the country’s stellar landscapes in 1492, at awe at what he called “baja mar” or shallow sea.  This feature, along with its close proximity to shipping ports, made it attractive to privateers, traders, and pirates, such as the infamous Blackbeard, Anne Bonney, and Calico Jack, who ruled the region’s clear waters from the 1600s to the 1700s.

The age of piracy might have ended but the islands are still littered with the wreckage of this notorious age.  It is believed that hulks of Spanish treasure ships carrying riches from the New World between 1500 to 1820 are buried in the Bahamas.  Sir Henry Morgan, an affluent privateer, is presumed to have buried his loot throughout the islands while British pirate William Catt is thought to have hidden his riches in the waters off Catt island.

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To date, travelers armed with metal detectors flock the islands for a chance to unearth treasures such as gold, coins, jewelry, and other valuable artifacts.  Some items were accidentally found by fishermen, divers, and professional hunters but most wrecks are often discovered after a long and thorough period of search.

For travelers who aren’t into treasure hunting, it’s good to know that each island has something unique to offer for every gallivanting adventurer.  The Bahamas are scattered like dabs of ecological oases designed to satisfy every sea-and-sand-based compulsion.  From cruising around the cacophonous vibe of Nassau, diving deep into the blue holes of the Andros, to a sailing escapade on the serene waters of Abacos,  each island is indeed a precious gem to trail.

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