Stocking Island in Exuma
Stocking Island is the largest of the string of islands that line the northern shore of Elizabeth Harbour. It is partly because of these islands that Elizabeth Harbour is so well protected making the Harbour safe and minimizing flood risks for the islands capital George Town.
Stocking Island extends for just four miles running North West to South East. At its western end lies Conch Cut, the entrance from the Ocean into the Harbour. The western half of the island is unspoiled woodland with beautiful unspoiled beaches on both the oceanside and the harbourside.
Midway along the southern shore is a dock where you land if you wish to climb the steep hill to reach the monument. This monolith was built back in the 1700s to indicate to passing ships that there was a safe Harbour and access to bulk sea salt. The salt was needed to preserve the meat and fish onboard, making salt a valuable commodity. There is also a pathway to the Oceanside where lobsters can be found amongst the coral reefs.
As you travel East you come to the areas that have been more developed. Partly because of the beautiful soft sand beaches and partly because of the “hurricane holes”. These natural phenomenon are two areas where a narrow entrance leads to landlocked “ponds” perfect for hiding many boats when a hurricane approaches. These hurricane holes are also useful for snow birds who leave their boats, in the care of locals, during the summer months.
This is the area where the water taxis take visitors from the mainland to either St Frances Resort or Chat & Chill Bar & Grill. Here you find a line small boats and dinghies anchored in the shallows while their owners enjoy the camaraderie and food. One speciality is conch salad. Made with chopped fresh conch meat with onions tomatoes and squeezed orange and lemon juice.. delicious ! Because of this popular dish the shoreline is also the home to a group of sting rays, as tame as tame can be. Put a small piece of conch meat in your palm and hold still just below the water and they will take it from you. These graceful creatures have skin like velvet. They are black on the top and white underneath. An experience not to be missed.
Next stop on our journey eastward is to Peace & Plenty Beach Bar. The P&P, as its fondly known is the original hotel in Exuma, located in George Town. The beach bar is their get-a-way where they ferry their guests, and anyone else who want to explore, for a day on a soft sand beach, with a full bar and barbecue.
Then we come to the last property on Stocking Island. Kahari Resort. This is a high end hotel resort with a restaurant open to non residents. The accommodation is in thatched huts. Kahari has both an indoor restaurant and an outdoor one. Again the water taxi can provide access.
From there on eastwards the island is as God made it, natural palms, mangroves and spotless beaches. So when you make your Exuma trip don’t miss a day over on Stocking Islands, a day not to be missed. Stay at Harbour View for more information