When Christopher Columbus visited the island in 1492, he called it Gran Bajamar, “Great Shadows” from which the name Grand Bahama was derived. However, the name of the island’s capital city, Freeport/Lucaya, is probably better known to the world today than the name of the island itself.
On Grand Bahama Island, the sea has always been a good provider. The earliest settlers, the Siboney Indians, were a people who lived off conch and fishing, and the shells and jewelry they left behind form the majority of what we know about them. Their remains suggest that they were here as early as 7,000 years ago, but disappeared after they were superceded by another Caribbean group, the Lucayans.
The Lucayans (also called Arawaks) were a broad group of tribes who worked their way up the Caribbean from South
America’s Amazon River between 5 and 7,000 years ago. When Christopher Columbus sighted San Salvador on his first crossing in 1492, there were an estimated 40,000 of them living in The Islands of The Bahamas, with a population of about 4,000 on Grand Bahama Island. Surprisingly little is known about the Lucayans, a fact that comes from their rapid extermination by the Spanish shortly after the arrival of Columbus. It is believed they had an advanced political and social structure and lived in well organized cities.
Great Britain claimed the Islands of The Bahamas in 1670, after British colonists left Bermuda for the island of Eleuthera, where they sought religious independence. More followed, and other ports and colonies gradually developed, bringing in their wake an army of pirates and privateers. Grand Bahama was probably well known to famous pirates like Blackbeard, Captain Kidd, and Henry Morgan, as its reefs would have been perfect for running aground vessels, a common pirate tactic. By 1720, the Crown had successfully established control over the pirates, and the island probably saw a lot less visitors than it had during “the Golden Age of Piracy”. The sleepy colony lay largely undisturbed for another 200 years, when history finally caught up with it again.
Outer island trips can last anywhere from one day to several and will include beach grills, diving, snorkeling, and incredible views of the ocean and marine life. Seeing marine life via a wildlife eco-tour is another great activity for a longer vacation. On your chartered yacht from Taylor’d Yacht Charters , you will be able to see the most interesting wildlife due to the variety of species and the size of the island.