The Pieces of 8 Charter tour is a full day excursion leaving from the port in Nassau and travelling to the hot spots for Instagram locations including: swimming with nurse sharks at Compass Cay, swimming with pigs, lunch on the notorious Pablo Escobar’s island Norman’s Cay and feeding the iguanas. The tour guides are extremely knowledgable, fun and happy to answer any questions.
Swimming with Sharks
After an hour and a half speed boat journey from Nassau, we had arrive at the first stop of the Pieces of 8 Charter tour – the swimming with Sharks at Compass Cay Marina. When we pulled into the island we were surrounded by dozens of private yacht and boats who had pitched up to enjoy the quiet island, sharks and beautiful scenery.
Before entering the water to swim with the sharks we were told that swimming with the sharks is at our own risk. The sharks go there specifically because it is a tourist spot where people feed and interact with them. We were also told not to put our hands in the sharks’ mouths and not to wave our hands around the sharks’ head – seems obvious, but some of the things I have seen tourists do on my travels have been stunningly stupid!
The sharks that come to Compass Cay are nurse sharks which have a really calm temperament and enjoy human interaction, responding well to patting and stroking. At first, I was quite hesitant to swim with them, as they are wild animals and the ocean is their domain, but after slowly easing myself into the experience I ended up absolutely loving it, breath-taking and thrilling! One of the coolest things I have ever done – swimming with sharks in the wild – check!
Swimming with the Pigs
Second stop – swimming with the pigs, in my case watching the pigs swim lol. Okay, so being a slight germaphobe (I know… disappointing), I didn’t get off the boat to swim with the pigs. There was a huge pig’s turd at the bottom of the ladder, which we were meant to use to get off the boat. I couldn’t bring myself to go into the water, for fear of a pig’s turd running after me in the water haha. So I sat at the front of the boat, looking at all of the tourists feeding the pigs carrots and apples etc. There were loads of piglets running around on the sand, getting mollycoddled by tourists and swimming in the shallow part of the water. The pigs swam out to the boats to bully us for food and demand pats on the back.
Lunch time! We stopped off at Norman’s Cay to have lunch in a cosy beach bar called MacDuffs, which was really yummy! Norman’s Cay is the island used as a fuel stop between Colombia and the US in Pablo Escobar’s drug operation in the 80s and more recently, Norman’s Cay became popular, as the location for the notorious Fyre Festival (I’m sure you’ve seen the documentary on Netflix. If not, go have a watch), the biggest party that didn’t happen 🙁
The runway which was a detrimental piece of Pablo’s drug operation is a stone’s throw away from the restaurant. You can actually see his private runway. The airport is now being used for private visitations to the islands where small private planes can fly into the Bahamas there. The employees of The Pieces of 8 Charter are very well informed of what is said to be his operations. Being able to explore the island that was responsible for one of the biggest drug cartels in the world’s history, could be said to be pretty cool!
Feeding the Iguanas
Iguana Island was fun, we were given grapes and berries to put onto long sticks to feed these fearsome looking, yet gentle creatures.
Fish fry Nassau
If you want something a tad more cultured visit Fish Fry, a street filled with loads of Bahamian restaurants and bars, which is open late.
Harbour Island is also known as the pink beach island of the Bahamas. If you are staying in Nassau, you will need to organise a ferry to get there, which will take just over 2 and a half hours. I do suggest booking your excursions and trips before going to the Bahamas as the day trips and travelling around Bahamas can get extremely busy especially when the American school holidays are taking place. Harbour Island is beautiful and an extremely amazing day trip. Not only is the pink sand really pink!, it also is a hub for seeing sting-rays, turtles and the Bahamian pastel-coloured houses.
(If you are interested in checking out other pink beaches, check out our article on Amor’s Top 7 Pink Beaches in the World here)
The Cove @ The Atlantis
The Cove is beautiful. The food menus in their numerous restaurants are extensive, rooms are topnotch, entertainment is outstanding, you can’t fault this hotel! With so much stuff to do on this complex – multiple swimming pools, private beach, Dolphin Cay experiences, the theme park plus so much more, it is hard to find a day to actually leave the premises to experience the Bahamas.
Swimming with Dolphins – The Cove @ The Atlantis
Swimming with Dolphins at Dolphin Cay – wow this was amazing! The experience consisted of learning about the dolphins, key facts and how they are looked after. We got to feed and swim with them. There are many experiences to chose from at Dolphin Cay, ensuring there is something there for everyone. All experiences are documented by a professional photographer which you have the opportunity to buy.
If you are staying in Nassau, the island of Inagua maybe a bit far for you to include in your trip to the Bahamas. But if it is a must-see, you will have to organise this trip properly as the flights from Nassau to Inagua are just over an hour flight away and there are only two flights per week going there from the capital. The island is home to over 80,000 flamingos, the national bird of The Bahamas, as well as over 140 species of other birds, making Inagua the Birdwatching Capital of The Bahamas.