Fresh Creek, Andros Town, North Andros
Andros Island is considered by most to be “The Bonefish Capital of The Bahamas” and few would argue that statement. Andros is a series of islands, connected by canals called “bights”. It is the largest island in The Bahamas and attracts divers, fishing, and eco tourism enthusiasts. It is also one of the biggest unexplored tracts of land in the Western Hemisphere. The main villages in North Andros are Fresh Creek, Nicholl’s Town & Red Bays. Easily accessible by boat and plane Andros is a “sleeping giant” with enormous potential as a unique vacation destination.
Andros is largest of the islands in the Bahamas and also the least explored. It sits on the edge of the third longest barrier reef in the world and has become a paradise for divers and fishermen.
The island, mainly made up of thick bush, mangrove edged waterways, pine forest and thousands of creeks and lakes is a paradise for bird watchers and naturalists alike.
Andros has become known as the “Bonefishing Capital of The Bahamas” due to its unending expanse of salt flats. The catch and release policies practiced by the avid bonefishermen have helped make Andros a naturalist’s paradise. As well as its reef and its flats, the island – 104 miles long by 40 miles wide -also has many inland “blue holes”. These are of archaeological interest and also a magnet for specialist divers who plunge into these water-filled caves. Recent dives into such blue holes have unearthed ancient Lucayan canoes as well as other artifacts.
Perhaps it is these dark blue holes that have led to the Androsian people believing in creatures such as the Lusca, a dragon-like sea monster reminiscent of “The Loch Ness Monster”. Another mythical inhabitant is the chickcharnie a mischievous elfin creature with three fingers, three toes, and red eyes said to bring lifelong good luck to anyone who sees one. The Island was called “La Isla del Espiritu Santo” (The Island of the Holy Spirit) by the Spaniards.
Due to its large amount of available fresh water, Andros now supplies New Providence with most of its drinking water. The water is barged daily from Morgan’s Bluff to Arawak Cay.
Another export, for which Andros is known, is Androsia, a kind of batik made in Andros featuring bright colourful prints made by applying dye to fabric treated with wax to make interesting and beautiful designs.
Renting a car for 1 day will cost approximately $85.00.You can drive to the Androsia Factory in Fresh Creek near the Lighthouse Yacht Club & Marina, and see first-hand how these delightful fabrics are dyed into truly Bahamian colors and designs. Next-door is the Androsia Gift Shop. Next you can look for Captain Morgan’s Lost Blue Hole. With a map, it is not all that lost! Don’t miss a “Leap Of Faith” into the dark abyss. Take a drive further north, and take a float in Stafford Creek (make sure the tide is going out). If you get thirsty go across the bridge to the “Love At First Sight” hotel, restaurant and bar. Slightly north of this point you may bump into some “locals”, who might strike you as slightly out of place in The Bahamas, much less in Andros. A mennonite community has settled here and have intergrated themselves into the every day life of the North Androsians. Don’t miss the chance to buy some pastries and fresh honey during your brief stop. Far to the North, about 50-minutes by car and the only settlement on the Western Side of Andros is Red Bays, an old Seminole Indian settlement, whose inhabitants are now mostly fishermen and spongers. Here if you’re lucky you may find “Henry” an acclaimed wood carver whose artful sculptures made of local hard-woods have been showcased in many an exhibit in the U.S.
Being next to the third largest barrier reef, and being surrounded by various blue holes has its advantages. Andros is a mecca for diving enthusiasts and snorkelers alike.
Mostly flat, Andros’ 2.300 square miles are riddled with lakes, flats and creeks, waiting to be explored and teeming with bonefish and tarpon alike.