Matthewtown (Bahamas)

20° 57 N 073° 40 W

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16 February 2001 - 19 February 2001

I look over the side of the boat at the crystal clear waters of Matthewtown. A smile slowly creeps onto my face filled with glee, yes, finally I was in the Bahamas!

The place I had been longing to see for over a year. We launched the dinghy into the water, Dad and I climbed aboard with the red file. And slowly buzzed off to the hidden harbour entrance. There was a yacht tied up to a tug from Port of Spain, Trinidad, called Telemachus. We walked the mile to the Customs building. The man there greeted us with a warming smile and sense of humour,

Great Inagua is famous for its towering salt pans. Over 1 1/2 million tons of salt is exported per year. Great Inagua is also home to more than 60 thousand West Indian Flamingoes, the largest colony in the Western Hemisphere. The sea bed is scattered with Pansy Shells and on a moonlit night, you can clearly see Parrot, Trunk and other fish swimming on the reef below.

Man of War Bay-

We launched the anchor into the crystal clear water of Man of War Bay. The sand bottom quickly swallowed the anchor and a few meters of chain. The dinghy slid swiftly into the water. Mom, Jack and I putted to the beach. We were about to beach the dinghy when two sharks swam past. Jack was so excited he tried to launch himself into the water forgetting I was still holding his tail. Well, I was flung across the dinghy and he was half in the water. I lost no time in hauling him back onto the boat. Walking along the top part of the beach, there is dried Sargassum, planks of wood, shells, the occasional shoe and Sea Biscuit, the size of a thimble. Along the scattered coral heads in the bay, fish coral and crustaceans are plentiful. Swimming through these reefs is the occasional turtle.

We left Man of War Bay at 14h00 on Thursday 22 February.