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Blue Holes | North Andros Tour | Androsia Factory | Fresh Creek



Blue Holes

So what is a Blue Hole anyway? Well Blue Holes are basically water filled spaces which can be either inland or ocean. Formed as a result of hundreds of years of erosion within the limestone, they get the name 'Blue' as a result of the deep blue color seen on these holes from the air.

Much research has gone into the documentation, mapping and scientific exploration of Andros Blue Holes and visitors can experience those on North Andros either on land or in the Ocean. The Blue Holes are recognised by the Bahamas National Trust (BNT) and the Andros Nature Conservancy and Trust (ANCAT) as national treasures, and as such, they are protected, studied and made accessible to the general populace.

Inland Blue Holes

There are so many of these on North Andros, most have been mapped and explored by world-reknowned cave diving expert, Brian Kakuk and many others. For the average layperson though, there are three which are easily accessible and fun to visit.

Captn' Bill's Blue Hole, located in Love Hill is the largest and closest to reach. Most properties provide bicycles for guests - not a short trip by any means by this method, but a great way to spend a blustery day and within reasonable distance from Kettlestone, SummerWind or other Fresh Creek properties. Take a picnic and enjoy the immense peace and quiet of this scenic spot. Alternatively, and certainly for Cocoanut Villa property guests, local tour guide Reverend Hamilton, has been taking visitors to this very spot for many years and is as knowledgable as they come.

Cousteau's Blue Hole, is lesser known but as it's namesake would suggest, was explored by the legendary Jaques Couteau. Located close to the settlement of Staniard Creek, it's about 20 mins. north from Fresh Creek, and easily acessible to guests of Cocoanut Villa. The ANCAT team have recently made access to this Blue Hole easier for guests as part of it's ongoing Blue Holes and National Forest restoration and preservation program.

Uncle Charlie's Blue Hole is located North of San Andros Airport and is accessible via your own vehicle or local tour guide. This is a smaller sized Blue Hole, but it does have a mapped cave system underneath it's glassy surface, explored by Brian Kakuk and many others, there are stories to tell on this one!

Ocean Blue Holes

There are two in this region most commonly visited.

King Kong's Kaverns as it is known as by locals, or simply the Ocean Blue Hole, is regularly visted by Small Hope Bay Lodge divers. It can be dived as an open water experience, or for the cave divers and specialty divers out there, can be penetrated with 100's of feet of lines mapped into the cave itself.

Conch Sound - although this one is indeed, an ocean blue hole, it is accessible via land, from a small beach in Conch Sound, North Andros. An easy water entry, most visitors snorkel this blue hole and are never disappointed by it's abundance of fish life feeding in it's rich waters. It also has a cave system and experienced cave divers have penetrated deep within.

To learn more about Blue Hole exploration and Science, check out Brian's website. Let Brian put together a once in a lifetime trip to include both Abaco and Andros for Blue Hole cave diving. The images below are all of Bahamas Blue holes and courtesy of Brian Kakuk.

Blue Hole Blue Hole Blue Hole Blue Hole

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North Andros Tour

This tour is best saved for a full day trip, again, use your own vehicle or hire a local guide. Generally here, you want to explore the regions north of San Andros Airport. All areas can be accessed from the main Queen's Highway and you will get to experience a little bit of everything Andros has to offer.

Red Bays:

This is the oldest settlement on Andros and it's people are thought to be direct descendents of the Florida Black Seminoles who landed here seeking refuge back in 18211.

The present day community is a thriving center for all things cultural. Here you will find the sponge farmers, basket weavers and wood carvers that make Red Bays so famous.

Henry Wallace is perhaps the most renowned wood carver on Andros. Henry has been written about in articles2, mentioned in blogs3, and even has a book written about his lifestory4. He revels in teaching his craft and is currently handing down his skills to the next generation of carvers - his children.

Ms Marshall, sadly now passed, leaves behind a legacy of extraordinary talented basketweaving. Her family now continue in her footsteps and the Marshall co-operative continues to come together to sell their products and keep the tradition alive.

For a great insight into the Red Bays community, check out this article written by some visiting students. Pictures of Red Bays courtesy of this article.

Uncle Charlie's Blue Hole:

Located just past the Red Bays road along the eastern side of Queens Highway. See the Blue Holes section above.

Morgan's Bluff:

The bluffs are the highest point on Andros and Capt'n Morgan's cave, named after the famed pirate, has given us a wealth of historical information. Artifacts and remains of the ancient Lucayan Indians, indigenous to the Bahamas at the time of European discovery, have been found here.5

Nicholls Town & Conch Sound:

Nicholls Town is a central community for most activity in the north. There is an arts and crafts festival held on it's community park every year and the community also benefits from a substantial ex-pat community, mainly European, to add to the cultural mix. It has a beautiful sand beach and a collection of Bahamian stalls selling authentic dishes, most famous of which is Sly Fox, offering reputedly the best conch salad on the island!

Just around the corner from Nicholls Town is Conch Sound, famous for it's ocean Blue Hole. This Blue Hole can be accessed right from the small beach and provides a great snorkel opportunity when touring North Andros.

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Fresh Creek:

The Fresh Creek area really covers several settlements including Fresh Creek itself. There is the Lighthouse and Yacht Club to 'people watch' along the Marina, the old Lighthouse and cannons at the mouth of Fresh Creek, Hanks Place to sit and have a sundowner and the new plaza which houses the Bahamas Tourist Office and ANCAT headquarters.

Founded in 1999, ANCAT has a mission "To protect, preserve, enhance, and restore the natural resources of Andros Island". It does this by teaching and involving the local communities and bringing conservation to the forefront. They produce regular newsletters, both on-line and in print distributed freely around the town and work hand-in-hand with the Bahamas National Trust and alongside it's Nassau counterpart, BREEF (Bahamas Reef Environment Educational Foundation).

The Androsia Factory:

Located on the south side of the bridge, just before the Lighthouse club is another Andros legend. The Androsia factory was founded in 1973 as a small cottage industry by the Small Hope Bay Lodge family and today still thrives and welcomes visitors to it's factory to witness the age-old batik process in action.

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1.The "Wild Indians" of Andros Island, Roselyn Howard

2. The Gainsville Sun, Florida

3. The Sleeping Giant, Jeremiah Wilson

4. Call Me Henry, Susan Johnson

5. Wikipedia