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Conception Island: A Sailor’s Visit


Last Updated on May 1, 2022 by Amy

After the holidays we made a short trip from Georgetown, Exumas, over to Conception Island, a Bahamian national park and remote island. Conception is the pinnacle of remote Bahamas cruising – it’s stunningly beautiful, fairly empty of boats, and devoid of services.

Fifteen miles north east of the northern most tip of Long Island, Conception has exceptionally clear water, a big sandy beach, and plenty of solitude – no buildings, no cell phone service.

We anchored in West Bay for four nights. It’s best to visit on calm days, because the swell really wraps around the north of the island and comes into West Bay – like we were surprised how intense the swell was for one of our days. We definitely could not have beached the dinghy. But, on a calm day, it is VERY calm. So calm that we had some fun with a photo shoot!

We had neighbors every night, including super yachts, but they would come in for one night and leave the next day.

As you can see from the photos, it’s just so stunning. The beach is perfect; wide and sandy. There is a small trail across the north west tip to the next beach over, but I didn’t take it. I was barefoot and tried, but got stickers in my feet. But the main beach is long, with plenty to see along the walk.

Another bummer is the bugs. On a calm day we sat on the beach to watch sunset but were quickly chased away by the biting flies.

Snorkeling sounds so tempting because the water is super clear, but for the most part, the underwater life is disappointing. We snorkeled a fan garden on the southwest side, just before the entrance to the mangrove channel. We also snorkeled a few coral head sand found them to be mostly dead. There are better places to snorkel, like in the Jumentos!

I wish we’d taken the dinghy into the interior of the island, which you can only do around high tide. We will save that for next time!

We did have very friendly locals come visit us – two dolphins. When we were running around in the dinghy they came to play in our bow wake. They often stopped by boats in the anchorage around sunset, and one of them even swum in our underwater lights after dark.

I can see why boats love to come to Conception, and I think we will try to come back next year, just to enjoy the beauty of this place above the waterline and to disconnect.

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