Ever wondered how diving for conch feels? Pause…this post isn't about “diving for conch,” an expression in Bahamian vernacular which means sleeping. Nor is it about literally diving for conch because that's not what I did exactly. It's more like I scoured the beach during low tide to see what I could find and along the way, I found conch - lots of it and other cool keepsakes!
I'm going to quickly insert that while I'm Bahamian, I am the furthest thing from an island girl. I'm a big city, flashing lights kind of woman. The only thing outdoorsy about me is - I drink outside in the summer. I said all of that to say, I've never dived or searched for conch. The closest I've come is watching someone dive for it then make fresh conch salad at Potter's Cay Dock, in Nassau. So, anything having to do with the outdoors is new to me but I will try everything once.
But back on track because it's so easy for me to digress. I visited Cherokee Sound Beach which is in the settlement of Cherokee Sound, a quaint remote town in the south of Marsh Harbour. Cherokee Sound was founded in 1783 by Colonel Thomas Brown along with a group of American Loyalists originally from the Carolinas. The name Cherokee Sound is alleged to have originated from Brown’s ties with the Cherokee Indians. It’s also home to the longest wooden dock in The Bahamas which stretches 770 feet into the sea.
The beach is a gorgeous view any time of the day but nothing beats low tide with a few sandbanks surrounding you. I know most people come to The Bahamas for the beach, but don't allow low tide to dampen your spirits. Not to toot our horns again and again but we have so much to offer even when it's low-tide. Just jump out of your car and start walking as I did.
Choose to start your journey from the dock or not. I began at the dock and looking toward the end, I was exhausted before I got started but admittedly, it does look a bit daunting at first but the beauty embraces you and keeps pulling you to the end of the dock. When you’ve finally arrived at the end, you can choose to sit down and get lost in nature or you can start your journey of exploring. I always choose sitting down at the end of the dock first. A few black carpets (stingrays) visited me before I got into the water. Of course, I waited for them to leave before I jumped in and ran towards low-tide.
Walking the entire stretch of beach, inhaling the beauty around you makes you realize how fortunate you are to be alive and brings into focus the awesomeness of nature. You’re bound to find sand dollars, shells and even conchs of all sizes. But before you take any conchs with you – remember it’s illegal to take a conch whose shell does not possess a well-formed lip. An immature conch shell has a smaller opening and a thinner lip, with bumps on the outer surface which are long and pointy for protection against predators, whereas the shell of a mature conch has a wider opening, with a thick, well-formed, flaring lip, and its bumps are less pointy. If my description confuses you, there’s a sign at the beginning of the dock with a friendly reminder.
Have fun exploring and remember to respect our marine life as we want to have lots to share with you for years to come!