Long Island, The Bahamas "The Most Scenic Island in The Bahamas."
Franko's Long Island Mini-Map and Fish Card Side 1: From the small image to the left you can see that Long Island is about 80 miles long, but is less than four miles wide. The Tropic of Cancer runs right through the north third of Long Island. An ancient, petrified coral reef common to the entire Bahamas archipelago gives the island two very different coasts: The windward side is where the cliffs and caves of the east Long Island coast are exposed to the crashing Atlantic; The leeward side is where soft, sandy beaches slope into the turquoise Bahamas Bank. Long Island is thus one of the most picturesque islands in all of the The Bahamas. You can image from looking at this tiny map that this is a just a small island, but in reality it would take you hours to drive its length. It covers 173 square miles! When you do drive the length of Long Island you find rhe terrain ranges widely throughout the island, including white flat expanses from which salt is extracted, to swamplands and marshes, to lovely beaches. The beaches are steeply sloping in the north and low and flat in the south. You will only encounter small villages in your Long Island journey, as the entire island population is less than 4,000. It is interesting to know that Long Island's original inhabitants come from 14 slave plantations, from "Roses" in the South to "Burnt Ground" in the North. Descendants of African slaves and freed slaves were brought to the island by British ships following the abolition of slavery. Along your Long Island journey you will see farms. Farming was once the mainstay of the Long Island economy, however, a number of hurricanes in the late 1920s and early 1930s, together with the Great Depression, devastated the area and most of the islanders fled to the United States to find a new life. These days farming is once again a mainstay living at Long Island and it is the leading livestock-rearing island in The Bahamas for sheep, goats and pigs. You will also see farmers raising corn, peas, bananas, pineapples and other crops through pothole farming - utilizing the fertile topsoil that gathers within holes in the ancient coral limestone.
Water Activities: Some visitors to Long Island will enjoy the scenery, and a few come to explore the island from end to end, but most come for the water activities, such as scuba diving, snorkeling and fishing. Long Island's pelagic fishes attract divers and fishermen, and the island is known for its world-class fishing - especially bonefishing. However, this mini-map was inspired by Long Island's famous and fabulous diving. Some of Long Islands most famous dive sites are located on the map with a dive flag. These include The Comberbach, Flamingo Tongue Reef, Three Sisters, Dean's Blue Hole, Big Green. Of these, Dean's Blue hole is famous for being the deepest and most intriguing blue hole in all of the Bahamas. It is 600+ feet deep - so deep that sunlight just barely penetrates to its bottom! Dean's Blue Hole, which is located at Clarence Town, has been named one of the world's coolest places to swim or snorkel. As in other Bahamian Islands, you can go shark diving, or hang out amongst vast schools of fish around towering coral "bommies". Divers also love to visit the spectacular wall over at nearby Conception Island, a National Park. Serious scuba diving enthusiasts enjoy seeing numerous pelagic species, but of course the fishermen enjoy the pelagics in a totally different way. Divers and snorkelers are urged to obtain a 3-ring dive log booklet and keep a collection of Franko Fish Cards in it. They are good little map references to check where you've been, plus an excellent fish identification guide, to name the fish you've seen. Divers who keep dive log booklets can put this card into their log book to keep track of where they've been, plus what species of fish they've seen, so why not buy a dive log book even if you are just snorkeling (that makes about 90% of us fish watchers).
Long Island has stunning beaches and views all around. Cape Santa Maria Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Long Island is also home to Columbus Point at the island's northern tip, where there is a memorial to Christopher Columbus set high on a hill. Up here the Long Island offers outstanding ocean views.
Long Island Geography Long Island is particularly noted for its caves, which have played a major role in the island's history. Dean's Blue Hole, located west of Clarence Town, is the world's deepest underwater sinkhole, dropping to a depth of over 600 feet, or nearly 200 meters, making it more than double the depth of most other large holes. Long Island is surrounded by smaller bays and inlets, including the large New Found Harbor west of Deadman's Cay, at approximately the midsection of the island. There are also many beautiful small islands off shore, such as Sandy Cay.
Long Island History The island originally was called by the Arawak name "Yuma," then it was called "Fernandina" by Christopher Columbus in1492. It thought that Long Island is was Columbus' third stop, following San Salvador and Rum Cay to the east. Archaeological evidence shows that the Lucayan Taino tribe settled on Long Island, and may have live in caves. After the demise of the Lucayans, who were carried off as slaves to Hispaniola and Cuba by the Spaniards, there was no large settlement until the arrival of the English Loyalists. The original Loyalists were mainly from New England and New Jersey and arrived on Long Island after fleeing the American Revolution. These families farms raising cattle and sheep. In the 1790s settlers came to Long Island the Carolinas to set up cotton plantations. The plantations flourished for only a few years and, by the time of the abolition of slavery in 1834, most had been abandoned. There are many ruins from this era today, the majority of which are overgrown by bush. There are also remains of some of the houses built after slavery, which are usually small and built of stone. Originally, they had thatched roofs; today, most are shingled. The descendants of these families continue to be widespread on the island.
Long Island Settlements
Clarence Town, at south-central portion of Long Island, has a population of 350.
Deadman's Cay is the major settlement at the center of the island and is home to Deadman's Cay Airport, which offers several flights each week to Nassau and is the island's largest and busiest airport.
Mangrove Beach is the home of the island's boat-building trade.
Hamilton's is noted for its extensive cave system that is partially open for tours.
Salt Pond is home of the Long Island Regatta, an annual event that draws tourists from around the world.
Stella Maris, at the northern part of the island, is the center of the island's tourism industry and features several resorts.
Buckley's is home to Nelson Granville MacFarlane Major High School, which is amongst the best public schools in theBahamas.
Other settlements include Scrub Hill, Simms, and Burnt Ground.
Most of the island's settlements are named after the families that first settled them. As a result, many (but not all) are named in the possessive form: The settlement of the Gray family, for example, is known as Gray's.
One main road, originally designed for carriages, runs from Cape Santa Maria, at the northern tip of Long Island, to the southern tip at Gordon's. Transport on Long Island is generally road-based, with limited taxi service available, particularly from Stella Maris to Deadman's Cay and Clarence Town.
Economy & Tourism Part of the economy is based on tourism and farming, but fishing dominates. The inhabitants grow peas, corn, bananas, and pineapples, and they raise small livestock such as pigs, chickens, goats, and sheep, plus cattle are raised for export. Due to the generally inhospitable soil of the Bahamas, much of the farming done on Long Island is in the pot-hole style, which involves planting in fertile holes in the limestone where good top soil collects. This method of farming contributes to the success of Long Island farmers, who are usually able to generate enough excess produce to sell their fruits and vegetables throughout the Bahamas. Tourists opportunities include sailing, fishing, scuba diving, freediving, snorkeling and relaxing on beaches. Cape Santa Maria Beach, located at Stella Maris, is frequently ranked as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. In recent years, competitive freedivers have sought out Dean's Blue Hole as a unique dive site, hosting both world records (most notably by New Zealander William Trubridge) and one world championship (in 2009). Most tourists charter an airplane or take a commercial flight from Exuma International Airport at George Town, Exuma or Nassau. International flights offered by Locair are planned and will mark the first return of regular international flights in over ten years.
Side 2 of Franko's Long Island Mini-Map and Fish Card is the fish side. Well over 100 species of fish are arrayed on this 5.5" x 8.5" card in an underwater, coral reef setting. Note that the card is sized just right for 3-ring binder-type dive logs. Divers who keep dive log booklets can put this card into their log book to keep track of where they've been, plus what species of fish they've seen. The extensive list of fish and other coral reef creatures found on this card is as follows:
Reef Butterflyfish, Blue Angelfish, Juvenile Blue Angelfish, Rock Beauty, Gray Angelfish, Juvenile Gray Angelfish, Queen Angelfish, Juvenile Queen Angelfish, French Angelfish, Juvenile French Angelfish, Yellowfin Damselfish, Porupinefish, Jawfish, Horse-Eye Jack, Sea Anemone, Tomtate, Spotted Scorpionfish, Spiny Lobster, Sand Tilefish, Cushion Sea Star, Elkhorn Coral, Creole Wrasse, Brown Tube Sponge, Basket Sponge, Sea Rod, Sea Horse, Cleaning Goby, Bi-color Damselfish, Blue Tang, Juvenile Blue Tang, Spotted Goatfish, Longspine Squirrelfish, Smooth Trunkfish, Garden Eel, Cero, Bar Jack, Striped Burrfish, Tobacco Fish, White Grunt, Blue Chromis, Tarpon, Bermuda Chub, Coney, Tiger Grouper, Sargassum Triggerfish, Black Durgon, Ocean Triggerfish, Queen Triggerfish, Banded Butterflyfish, Spotfin Butterflyfish, Puddingwife, Beaugregory, Spanish Lobster, Midnight Parrotfish, Balloonfish, Highhat, Yellowstriped Goatfish, Smooth Star Coral, Mountainous Star Coral, Arrow Crab, Brain Coral, Branching Vase Sponge, Sea Cucumber, Sand Diver, Redlip Blenny, Green Razorfish, White-Spotted Filefish, Squirrelfish, Trumpetfish, Fairy Basslet, Queen Parrotfish, Rainbow Parrotfish, Blue Parrotfish, French Grunt, Yellowtail Snapper, Glasseye Snapper, Sergeant Major, Orange-spotted Filefish, Barred Hamlet, Bluestriped Grunt, Spotted Trunkfish, Honeycomb Cowfish, Spotted Drum, Juvenile Spotted Drum, Foureye Butterflyfish, Scrawled Filefish, Grey Snapper, Stoplight Parrotfish, Princess Parrotfish, Nassau Grouper, Spanish Hogfish, Great Barracuda, Graysby, Hogfish, Clown Wrasse, Yellowhead Wrasse, Bluehead Wrasse, Red Hind, Black Grouper, Schoolmaster, Mahogany Snapper, Palometa, Brown Chromis, Staghorn Coral, Long-spined Sea Urchin, Peacock Flounder, Glassy Sweepers, Yellow Tube Sponge, Octopus, Sheet Coral, Yellow Stingray, Fire Coral, Sea Fan, Green Moray Eel, Spotted Moray Eel, Orange Sponge, Coral Crab, Giant Brain Coral, Gorgonian Fan, Orange Tube Sponge.