Ecology

The Exumas are coral islands topped with tropical shrubs, hardwoods, and palm trees. They are surrounded by shallow reefs in which water clarity often exceeds 100 feet. Each island sits atop a “lens” of fresh water, but this is not sufficient to meet local demands. Therefore all fresh water for drinking and bathing is rainwater or converted ocean water which has been collected and stored in cisterns.

The underwater scenery is nothing short of spectacular. Most of the reefs are pristine and teeming with tropical fish, rays, and spiny lobster. Grouper, snapper, and queen triggerfish (turbot) are the local eating fish. Conch cover the grass beds and form a large part of the protein in the Bahamian diet. Bonefish are numerous in the shallows, whereas kingfish, mackerel, amberjack, tuna, and dolphin may be caught in the Sound.

The Darbys are a bird sanctuary. Hummingbirds often join us for breakfast and many species of wading and shore birds found nowhere else in the world are seen year round. Native orchids and bromeliads (air plants) cover the island. Red and black mangroves are numerous, as are silver buttonwood, native seven year apple, anon (sugar apple), and gumbo limbo (sunburn) trees.