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  • Writer's picturePaul Greig Smith

The Exumas & Shark Tagging!

The Exumas are an archipelago of 365 cays and islands, beginning just 35 miles southeast of Nassau. Once called Yumey and Suma (names of Amer-Indian origin), the islands have gone through many changes over the years. Rich in history, they were settled by British Loyalists with their slaves following the American Revolution, and remnants of that storied past remain. The islands are divided into three major areas—Great Exuma, Little Exuma, and The Exuma Cays. Each one offers its own unique experience. Great Exuma and Little Exuma are known for their laidback surroundings, while The Exuma Cays act as a playground for the rich and famous, boasting numerous private homes, luxury resorts and beachside condos. One of the amazing sights in the cays is the "Mile-long Sandbar," a stretch of pure white sand emerging from the blue-green water at low tide.

Great Exuma is all about life on and in the water. It’s the stunning beauty of the Exuma cays and the amazing creatures that call it home. From snorkeling and diving among vibrant coral reefs to championship golf with ocean views and world-class fishing, you’ll enjoy endless opportunities to explore Great Exuma’s unrivaled natural surroundings and local culture.

DIVING The Exuma Cays offer lush coral reefs and exciting animal encounters for all who venture into the depths. The lure of ocean blue holes and shipwrecks offers world-class diving opportunities for experts and beginners alike. The professional dive operators on Exuma offer a range of instruction and options to address the skill level of everyone.


Great Exuma’s fresh water ponds, tidal flats and the Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park are prime spots for birdwatchers.  Keep your eyes peeled for local feathered friends, including the Zenaida Dove, Bahama Woodstar and Greater Antillean Bullfinch.


If you’ve never heard of pet stingrays, you certainly will after a trip to the Chat ‘n’ Chill on nearby Stocking Island, an island eatery famous with locals and yachters alike. Offer the stingrays their favorite treat and these gentle giants will glide right across your hand.


On Compass Cay, you can actually go swimming with friendly nurse sharks and hundreds of colorful Caribbean reef fish that join you off the dock. Any squeamish members of your group can stay on dry land and pet the sharks from the dinghy dock as they surface to meet their new human friends.


Love lizards? You’ll love Exuma, where endangered Northern Bahamian Rock iguanas sun and socialize on Leaf Cay in the Allan’s Cays. See them on an organized boat trip with a commercial operator. Bring a lettuce leaf or two; these charmers love to nibble.


Great Exuma is home to some of the world’s most beautiful coral reefs. Explore dozens of pristine snorkel spots around the island and the surrounding cays or set your sights on the shallow underwater trails accessible from the resort’s white-sand beach. Complimentary snorkeling gear is available for guests.


No visit is complete until you’ve taken a swim with Exuma’s world-famous swimming pigs! An experience you will never forget, the friendly swimming swine will even follow you out to your boat. Don’t be alarmed it they swim too close; they’re just looking for love (and maybe a bite of your lunch).


Begin your adventure as you depart the luxurious Grand Isle Resort, and embark on your search to find Tiger, Reef, Hammerhead, and Nurse sharks. As you board your vessel accompanied by world-renowned marine biologists from the NGO Beneath the Waves, you will see why the waters of Exuma and the Bahamas are worth protecting. As part of the research team, you will search for, catch, tag, and release sharks in the various hotspots of the Exumas.

For a donation of 500USD per person you may join this exciting experience. Scheduled February 19th-26th 2019.

Experience sharks up close from the safety of a boat, under the supervision and expertise of marine biologists. Participate in real-world, hands-on shark research with leading marine biologists. Be as hands-on as you want or just watch and learn, it’s up to you. Help collect scientific data from sharks that will help ongoing conservation projects. From measurements to small tissue samples, all data will contribute to long-term projects aimed to evaluating shark health and behavior in the Bahamas. Tag sharks with satellite tags and tracking devices that will allow us to monitor their movements in real time for up to one year after the experience. Learn why this research is so important, from personal one on one interactions with shark experts.

Your $500 pp. donation helps support this research, and includes snacks and drinks on board.



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