We rented a car for 24 hours to explore Long Island with our friends and spent the first afternoon touring the south so the next morning we headed north. Conveniently, we didn’t have far to go from the boats to a great dinghy dock with its own channel. It appeared to be an abandoned development project and we were amazed to walk under humming power lines hanging shoulder height!
Our main attraction for the day was the famous Columbus Monument at the far northern tip. From Queens Highway we took a 10 min car ride into the thick bush along what some would describe as a goat trail, where we reached a parking area at the base of a hill.
The path to the monument was well marked with fencing and only took a few moments to climb. The monument was erected to commemorate Christopher Columbus landing on Long Island in 1492 and the Lucayan peoples who lived on the island at that time.
White cliffs made a dramatic surrounding for the hills along the edge of Columbus Bay. Views from the hilltop were absolutely spectacular, from waves crashing on a nearby reef to white sandy coves.
Back at the base of the hill, we couldn’t resist a walk along the sandy beach.
John was fascinated by this piece of seagrass stuck in the sand, forming a perfect circle as it blew in the wind. The mangroves seemed really healthy with many fresh shoots sprouting along the beach. There was even a stingray swimming nearby that John was (almost) able to capture on camera.
We headed north a bit further to reach the very tip of Long Island and stumbled across this nifty beach bar at a place called, not surprisingly, Busted Bridge. The bar wasn’t open but a couple friendly locals appeared and told us they offer boat tours in the adjacent bay. As we were chatting, a couple more vehicles pulled-up with kayaks on roof racks. A great way to explore the bay!
With two pilots in our group, our next stop was to check out the local airport at Stella Maris. It offers regular flights from Nassau as well as charter flights to service the Stella Maris Resort. We were impressed with the pyramids lining the road to the airport.
Moments after leaving the airport, I noticed this “Cave” sign alongside the road so we decided to check it out. A substantial concrete path led down a hillside, opening into this incredible cavern. A lone skull graced the entrance and set the stage for the kooky interior, complete with stone tables & benches, fire pits, a stage and of course, a bar. My favourite part was the old pirate at the end of the bar who looked like he’d enjoyed a bit too much rum in his day. Do you think those were real skulls?
We really enjoyed discovering this cave…until I shrieked at full girl-pitch and took-off out of there at top speed. I saw hundreds of bats lurking in the corner! We had disturbed their peaceful perch and they had started to fly around and chirp which had got my attention. John & Kim were brave enough to head back in to take some close up pics.
The morning was quickly disappearing and we had time for one last stop before returning our rental car. We were hoping to find fresh bread at the local baker but unfortunately no one was home. We could even see loaves of fresh bread sitting on the shelf. Such a disappointment! It was a distinctive place to locate since parked out front, was the only cab-over truck on the island.
Back at our dinghy dock, John saw this place and thought it would be a great fixer-up project for him to become harbor master.
Renting a car was a great way to explore both ends of Long Island. We did have a bit of sticker shock at the cost to re-fuel…1/4 tank cost $42. Sharing the cost with our friends was wise, and certainly made the experience all the more fun.