The Bahamas is made up of hundreds of islands, one of which is Ragged Island. It is actually part of a chain of islands, cays, islets, and rocks called the Ragged Islands. Located southwest of Long Island Bahamas and about 60 miles from Cuba, this beautiful little island is just about 9 square miles and inhabited by only a handful of people (around 80) – a truly small slice of Caribbean paradise.
History of Ragged Island Bahamas
Not much is known about the history of this island in the Bahamas including its early settlers. Some believe that Christopher Columbus may have landed on this chain of Bahamas out islands on October 26, 1942 on his first journey to the New World. They were most likely Loyalists and only their surnames are known: Curling, Lockhart, Maycock, Moxey, Munroe, Wallace, and Wilson. It is also believed that pirates may have used this Bahamas out island as one of their lairs. Blackbeard’s Bay and Blackbeard’s Well, located on the western coast of Ragged Island, indicate that the infamous pirate may have also established his own lair on the island quite near the well. The Spanish are also believed to have made use of the island as a fortress due to the discovery of cannons seen at Gun Point and Salt Cay, enabling them to guard the harbor’s main entrances.
In the 19th century, two brothers, Duncan Taylor and Major Taylor, settled on Ragged Island to develop salt ponds. The island’s summer droughts and narrow, shallow channels made it an ideal place to produce salt. This allowed the island to have an active role in the salt industry. The island’s only settlement, Duncan Town, was named after one of the Taylor brothers. Ragged Island’s economy prospered for several years and was more populated than it is today. Unfortunately, salt production came to a standstill when Fidel Castro came into power. In 1943, the residents of this Bahamas island numbered 477 which included families that descended directly from the original settlers. However, due to the downturn in their economy, the island now only has around 80 people who call it home. Their livelihoods are all permanently linked to the sea, either engaged in boat-building or fishing.
A Bahamas Vacation on Ragged Island
Because Ragged Island is relatively unpopulated, it is still quite unspoiled and really peaceful. A Bahamas vacation here is sure to be relaxing. Most of its beaches are yet to be explored and perfect for beach combing or a bit of picnicking. The Drain Bay Beach, for one, has a secluded cove on each end that you can explore. Its soft white sand is perfect for sunbathing while the crystal clear waters are great for swimming and snorkeling. Most of the tourists who decide to have their Bahamas vacation here are fishing and boating enthusiasts. The waters surrounding the island are full of a variety of fish including permit, lady fish, snappers, tuna, groupers, mackerel, barracudas, and jacks. The flats are overflowing with bonefish that will amaze well-travelled fishermen. Ragged Island is also a popular stop among boaters because of the numerous spots that allow them to drop anchor and relax.
Tourists can also spend their time doing some Bahamas diving to explore the wonderful marine life in the area. Though there is no actual diving operation on the island, there are fishing guides who are able to help experienced divers find the best spots. The nearby cays are excellent for exploring the beauty of nature as well. Aside from natural attractions, this unspoiled Bahamas island also has several attractions on land. Tourists can visit the old jailhouse, the lighthouse, the salt ponds, Blackbeard’s Well, and the Man-O-War Tower. Local dining is a treat, full of traditional Bahamian dishes that feature fresh seafood. And while there are no shopping centers for tourists to enjoy, there are handmade Bahamian crafts and perfumes that are perfect for souvenirs.
There are a great many other things to see and do during a Bahamas vacation in the Ragged Island. Tourists who are fortunate enough to stop by will be in for a memorable treat.