A Secret Sandbar in the Abacos

Saturday August 1st, 2015
Finding Tahiti in the Bahamas

Finding Tahiti in the Bahamas

We’re in the Bahamas. So why are we headed for Tahiti?

I was perfectly happy on the beach at my hotel, Abaco Beach Resort, where a sandy sweep just beyond my room’s sliding glass doors beckoned with palapas and lounge chairs and, if I was so inclined, a water trampoline.

With not a single guest in sight (#lowseasonperks) and a brand new book on my Kindle, I was looking forward to a few hours of relaxing and reading, no muscle movement required.

But Brent, the resort’s sales and marketing manager, insisted that this excursion to the Elbow Cay sandbar called Tahiti Beach would be worth the effort. And since the Abacos are the boating capital of the Bahamas, and I can actually see Elbow Cay from my room, it would be churlish to pass.

So I wander over to the marina and clamber down into the waiting speedboat. Brent has promised a picnic, so if all else fails at least we won’t starve, I think, as we begin our voyage over sapphire sea s, a froth of wake unfurling behind us.

I’m enjoying the cool mist of salt spray on my skin and the vigorous breeze through my locks as we skim the surface of the water, its aquamarine striations stretching to the horizon. We pass coconut palm-studded islets and spy the occasional turtle surfacing as we motor to our destination, and with each nautical mile my anticipation builds.

And then I see it in the distance: a sandbar cut and pasted from a Corona commercial, its blinding white a stark contrast to the surrounding sea, crystal clear and impossibly blue.

A handful of other pleasure cruisers have anchored just offshore, and a mere half dozen sunseekers have made landfall, one pair spread-eagle on striped beach towels; two sitting in the shallow water on plastic chairs; the remaining couple strolling hand-in-hand towards the populated part of the island.

"As many times as I’ve been to the Caribbean and to the Bahamas, you’d think I’d be immune to this beauty.”

As we drop anchor, I feel a rush of excitement and I lower myself into the water, which comes only to mid-thigh. My excitement builds as I wade toward the shore, eager to claim my piece of this treasured territory.

Brent and staffers follow behind me with a cooler bearing our lunches (and plenty of Kalik) but I’m hardly aware of them as I let out a whoop of joy.

As many times as I’ve been to the Caribbean and to the Bahamas, you’d think I’d be immune to this beauty, unmoved by the Bahamian Blue that surrounds me. But yet again I’m stunned by the natural wonder of it all, and so very grateful for my good fortune to be here at this moment – for work, at that!

After a few minutes of splashing in the shallows it’s time for lunch, and Brent reveals our hotel-catered spread: a lobster hoagie with tropical fruit on the side and, for dessert, a bar of Cadbury’s Dairy Milk. Perfection!

"This is heaven!”

Sitting cross-legged on the shore, my bottled water planted in the sand beside me, I devour my sandwich and the idyllic scene that surrounds me. And I realize: The question isn’t why are we going to Tahiti Beach.

But rather, why would we ever leave?

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