[ Acklins ] • Baaruco or Yahaka?
Truthfully, while traversing the island I felt as if I was in Eleuthera or Long Island. It is a long island much like both Eleuthera and Long Island. So, driving in between settlements took some time. In addition to this, the island is very hilly… Also, like Eleuthera and Long Island. Its highest point stands a towering, for The Bahamas at least, 141 feet above sea level in the settlement of Hard Hill. The similarities between the three islands don’t end there, though. Acklins Island is very narrow, only spanning 4 miles at its widest point.
It is believed that the original Lucayan name of Acklins was either Baaruco or Yahaka. Whatever the Lucayan name may be, Acklins Islands is one of the islands in The Bahamas that is relatively untouched. The island actually didn’t have electricity installed until 1998… Just twenty years ago.
Acklins Island is home to one of the largest Lucayan sites found in The Bahamas to date. Remains of the Lucayan village sits along present-day Pompey Bay Beach. After the removal of the Lucayan Indians at the hands of the Europeans in the 1500’s, the island sat quiet, devoid of human life, for more than 200 years until American Loyalists settled on the island towards the end of the 18th Century in 1783.
Since then, the island has still managed to remain in its pristine state. The island is home to flocks of flamingos, like most of the islands in The Southern Bahamas. Along with neighbouring Crooked Island, Long Cay and Castle Island, Acklins encloses about a 1,000sq foot body of water called the Bight of Acklins. This water feature of The Bahamas is home to some of the best snorkelling spots and bonefishing flats because most of it is just a few feet deep and to me, the most beautiful waters in The Bahamas that I’ve seen so far.