Video courtesy of Tiamo Resort, South Andros
Idyllic South Andros
South Andros is the second largest island in the archipelago of Andros, which contains hundreds of islands, islets, and cays. All together, the land mass of this archipelago amounts to 5,957 km2 (2,300 mi.2). This constitutes slightly more than half of the entire land territory of The Bahamas, while containing only about 2% of the population.
Comparing Andros with Barbados, it is fourteen times larger than this neighbor to the south, with only 1/40th of the population. Wonderfully pristine, Andros represents a tropical paradise and its royal nature preserve, West Side National Park, encompasses over 6,000 km2 (1.5 million acres) of land and sea. The original bounty of flora and fauna are thriving and untainted. Seen from space, the entire region is either jungle-green or Caribbean blue, without any trace of human development.
Andros Barrier Reef
South Andros is famous world-wide as the Mecca of bonefish “big game safari” fishing. These fish, which can weigh as much as sixteen pounds, constitute a major prize for fishing aficionados because of their strength, stealthy ways, and habitat. Together, these qualities create the science and the art of the bonefish hunt, not to mention a bonefish sub-culture.
Pound-for-pound, the bonefish has earned a reputation for having the most energy and pull of any known fish species. Its shiny, silvery hue reflects the ambient light in the water. Combined with turquoise coloration on its dorsal surface, the bonefish merges perfectly with its environment. It sometimes uses its prominent snout to dig and eat in the sand, raising its posterior end out of the water. Called “tailing”, this visual cue creates an opportunity for the expert eye of the experienced angler.
This skittish piscine quarry frequents tidal shallows, which prohibits motorboat engines, music, or loud conversations. The sportsman must pole through the water, Venice-style, or wade. The moon’s position and the tidal schedule determine water depth and thus the most likely “lucky spot.”
Tiamo Resort, South Andros, The Bahamas
Andros barrier reef
The Barrier Reef of Andros, approximately 306 km (190 miles) long, is among the largest reefs in the world and thus one of the planet’s largest living organisms. This reef rests upon the western rim of an oceanic trench known as the Tongue of the Ocean, which stretches north-south for hundreds of miles and divides New Providence (Nassau) to the east and Andros to the west. Over 2,000 meters (1.25 miles) deep in places, the Tongue is surrounded by islands and cays, providing the necessary calm conditions for this delicate living museum that is the reef. Indeed, because of the slow growth of coral, the Andros Barrier Reef was alive and thriving hundreds of years before Columbus first discovered the New World (at the Bahamian island of San Salvador.)