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by Alex Roslin
Reprinted with permission
Our toes sink into the cool pink sand as we look for signs of life on the beach on Spanish Wells. Ah yes, no one but us on the entire magnificent two-kilometre stretch. Just like yesterday.
No Sea-Doos or parasailers, no hair braiders or bracelet sellers. It's all ours.
No, this is not our own private island, although it sure feels that way. This is Spanish Wells, in the Bahamas.
It's not that this little island has nothing to attract visitors. This fine morning, we bake under a cloudless cobalt-blue sky, mesmerized by the ocean's brilliant swirl of aquamarine and spring green. We can't imagine a beach more perfect for our two young daughters to play on. The water is so shallow I can walk 15 minutes straight out before it even reaches my knees.
The sandbar stretches two kilometres from Spanish Wells to a distant line of breakers, where the Sargasso Sea crashes into the Devil's Backbone coral reef. Apart from its clouds of groupers, parrotfish, angelfish, and sharks, the reef is also a graveyard of diveable shipwrecks. Its victims include the first European settlers in the Bahamas—the Puritan pilgrims who fled the English Civil War in the 1640s and, after crash-landing here, never left.
So where is everybody? We ponder this question daily as we splash around in the water and decorate sandcastles with beautiful conch shells, while the occasional ray glides past.
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