Eleuthera… It Really Is Not For Everyone

Eleuthera, Bahamas – Before I came here it was hard to fathom the rationale for promoting an island with a negative (“Eleuthera, It’s Not For Everyone”). But after ten days spent roaming its 110-mile length and half-mile breadth up close, the official motto of the long, skinny, desert-dry island the slogan began to make sense.

It is a special place: Hot, dry, swept by strong winds, much of its 220-mile coastline surrounded by calf-deep, psychedelically blue waters, a limestone-and-coral rock at the edge of the 700-island Bahamian archipelago, plunged up from a shallow ocean floor.

Though locals insist that the island’s biggest economy, tourism, is doing okay, I spent many, many hours exploring long stretches of sandy beaches, whether on the Atlantic or Caribbean side, alone.

Remember … it’s not for everyone.

The same could be said for much of the Bahamas, I guess, though plenty of bone-fishermen, tax-evaders (there’s no corporate, income, capitol gains or estate taxes here) and a few renowned drug dealers happily call the place home.

(Regarding the latter, more than a dozen sizable drug trafficking operations have been based in the Bahamas, including Colombian king pin Carlos Lehder whose cigarette boats ran cocaine through the islands for a couple decades. As recently as the 1980s its Prime Minister was alleged to have received more than $57 million in drug hush money.)