The Bahamas is an island nation few in citizens but numerous in islands and cay's. It is spread out over a huge area roughly filling the oblique angle formed by Cuba and Florida. Many large banks (shoal areas) rise steeply from the deep Atlantic but the islands rarely rise more than 100 feet above the surface. Very flat, dry and spread out over a huge area not far from the US, the islands of the Bahamas are sparsely populated and surrounded by very clear water. Miles and miles of very low islands over very shallow, very sandy seas with occasional drop offs to the deep blue sea. The seas stand up on the banks and there are bigger tides than in the Eastern Caribbean (4' or so) and occasional fierce currents in some of the cuts. Great fishing and snorkeling. Too many islands to get to know in a short visit (which ours was). The weather seems more intense than in the Eastern Caribbean and, on the banks, the seas are much more shallow and reef strewn. We did not get much opportunity to sail and this seems consistent with the experiences of old Bahama hands.
The Bahamas have a much different atmosphere than down island. They are very close to Florida and are a sort of holy ground for sport fisherman who can buzz over in no time. There are lots of fine building sites for the mega rich (you can easily buy an island if you like) and the Bahamian natives seem a little less proud and independent than their down island brethren. Some excellent singing, good food and a general sense of first world organization provides a big tourist draw. Pink sand beaches, good roads and the US just around the corner pleases many. Miles of sandy solitude and crystal clear waters please others. It is probably just our Berkeley sense of PC that made us cringe at the consistent greeting "G'morning, suh"
Spanish Wells, St. George's Cay
Pink Sand Beach, Harbor Island, Eleuthera
Beach Chair on Harbor Island
Sunrise on Spanish Wells, St. George's Cay
Smoke from the Lake Ochechobee Fire