Surrounded by the gentle, translucent waters of the Bahamas chain lies the secluded island of CocoCay®, an eco-certified private destination. Reserved exclusively for cruise ship guests, this 140-acre tropical paradise was awarded a Gold-Level Eco-Certification by Sustainable Travel International™ for its environmentally friendly activities and tours. With its white-sand beaches and spectacular surroundings, CocoCay is a wonderland of adventures. Explore new aquatic facilities, nature trails and a ton of great places to just sit back, relax and enjoy a tropical drink.
I spotted this iguana upon arrival!
So many choices ... so little time!
Plenty of white sand and beach chairs!
Look who I found in the sand ... given Baltimore is famous for its crabs (and the Orioles color is orange), I brought him home with me.
I was surprised to see chickens on the islands ...
These flowers, in the shape of a heart, remind me of my beloved Hawaii.
I signed up for the Nature Tour to learn more about the island. My guide noted that Royal Caribbean populated the isolated island with iguanas and chickens to entertain the tourists. I am confident the flora, fauna, and gorgeous blue water is entertainment enough!
My guide pointed out the half flower ...
... and shared the story of Naupaka from Hawaiian legend. I kid you not. From Aloha Hawaii (link),
In ancient times, there was a beautiful Hawaiian princess known as Naupaka. One day, the villagers noticed that Naupaka looked very sad. They told her parents, who approached Naupaka and asked her what was troubling her.
“I have fallen in love with a man named Kaui,” replied the princess. “But Kaui is not of noble birth—he is a commoner.” According to Hawaiian tradition, it was strictly forbidden for members of royalty to marry people from the common ranks.
Distressed, Naupaka and Kaui traveled long and far, seeking a solution to their dilemma. They climbed up a mountain to see a kahuna who was staying at a heiau (temple). Alas, he had no clear answer for the young lovers. “There is nothing I can do,” he told them, “but you should pray. Pray at this heiau.”
So they did. And as they prayed, rain began to fall. Their hearts torn by sorrow, Naupaka and Kaui embraced for a final time. Then Naupaka took a flower from her ear and tore it in half, giving one half to Kaui. “The gods won’t allow us to be together,” she said. “You go live down by the water, while I will stay up here in the mountains.”
As the two lovers separated, the naupaka plants that grew nearby saw how sad they were. The very next day, they began to bloom in only half flowers.
The sea grapes, coccoloba uvifera, produce jam ...
... its stem produces a salve for teething children and the leaves, when fully grown, produce eco friendly "paper" plates for a beach picnic!
We found an abandoned structure, probably built by the British Navy in the early 1800s, to protect the Bahamas from the French, Spanish, and even the Americans.
We ended the tour on a deserted beach far from the water activities.
Stay tuned for more pictures from Coco Kay. Back to my orange crab friend, what shall I name him? One randomly selected commenter from this week's posts wins a book choice from my convention stash. Comments are open through Saturday, November 7, 10 pm in Baltimore. I'll post the winner on Sunday, November 8, at SOS Aloha.
Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City