Long Island Happy Times

May 31, 2023

As I mentioned when we last gathered, there are lots of reasons to spend time on Long Island, Bahamas

North Part of the Island

If you drive the main road all the way up to the northernmost point of the island, you'll get to a monument that recognizes both Christopher Columbus, for landing there first, and the indigenous people who would soon be extinct, due in no small part to European genocide. That's not the fun part, although the views are fantastic.

Right beside there, there's a really nice spot for a swim, and you can probably have it all to yourself.

This alone would be worth the trip.

Beach on North Point of Long Island

On your way back in, there's a real resort. It's not a must-see destination, but if it would be nice after your swim to sit at a table and be served rum punch, it's there for you.

The abandoned resort is kind of cool too. There's a boardwalk through a rocky shore that's a nice, nice walk. The abandoned bar will tease you though if you work up a thirst for another rum punch.

Cold Beer Lane

While driving down a dirt/sand/gravel spur, there was a sign pointing down an even lesser used road that read, "Cold Beer Lane". We're explorers, so of course we took the detour. It lead to a small little restaurant. We walked up, but it was locked up.

But as we turned to leave, someone opened the door and insisted that we come in. Music turned on, cold beer was served, and we drank beer and traded stories with a couple of locals. The guy serving us was a songwriter, and he set me up with a way to download his music, which is still on my phone. The other guy had a girlfriend in Louisiana who ignored our text messages. If the kids hadn't been bored out of their minds, we might have stayed until nightfall.

Down Cold Beer Lane

My Man Earnest

Two of my Long Island experiences were so wonderful and unique that I don't have any hope of replicating them. First was a trip to this beach.

Beach on South Point of Long Island

It's all the way down south, where the road comes to an end. And it was just us, and a little building with a bar.

The bartender's name was Earnest. He apparently grew up right there, and he definitely worked on island time. A super nice guy, but it took at least 15 minutes to get a beer, a rum punch, and two cokes. He kept track of our drinks with a pencil and spiral notebook, and his glacial pace made it easy for us to do the math to figure out whether our cash would hold out or not.

Eventually, a couple of other locals came in for a drink, and he was just as slow for them.

Here's the kicker: a cruise ship was scheduled to stop on Long Island for the first time a few days later. Earnest had been told to expect around 500 guests.

Mrs. theskinnyonbenny tried to coach him up: have 100 gallons of rum punch made and ready. Have all of the beers cold and easy to get to. Cash only. Cash, drinks, next. Cash, drinks, next.

If we didn't have to leave the next day to meet friends in Georgetown (and it turns out, we didn't), we would have stuck around and worked the bar for Earnest.

But the highlight, of course, is that beach. I haven't seen one prettier, and I might never.

Dean's Blue Hole

I've saved the best experience for last.

Dean's Blue Hole is this spot right off the beach where the shallow turquoise water drops straight down, so there's this deep circle of dark blue right in the middle. When we visited, there were teams of free divers practicing.

Terrible picture of Dean's Blue Hole

I wish I had better pictures of this, but this was the stop where the water camera decided to take on moisture and fog up from the inside, rendering it useless. But let me tell you about what we can all only envision.

I swam over to the edge of the hole to watch the divers. One dive in particular. The diver took a deep breath and started swimming straight down, kicking with huge flippers on her feet. I watched her get smaller and smaller against the field of dark blue. At some depth, she started to look like CGI. After she was about the size of a grain of rice to my eye, she disappeared into the deep altogether.

I waited. And waited. And waited. And no diver.

I looked up at her teammates, resting on a floating platform above it all. They looked totally disinterested.

I looked back down, and nothing. More nothing. Still nothing.

I looked up again. It had been minutes. Many minutes, it seemed. Aren't they worried? I didn't come to see someone die down here.

After another eternity, she appeared as a speck, pushing herself toward the surface with those flippers.

It's probably the most amazing thing I've ever seen a human being do in person.

One more just to show that there were also people on this trip.

You've seen this link before, but more pics here.