The Long Island Regatta starts next week, and we’ll be heading over there to sail and spectate! As people begin gathering on Long Island and might want something different to do, I thought I’d post about the Cave Tour we took during a previous visit. We loved it!
Mr. Leonard Cartwright is the local historian who will take you into a large cave on his family’s property in Hamilton. I’m not sure how many generations of Cartwrights have lived here since their arrival from England, but the name itself is everywhere, and we learned that they married colonial settlers from the Carolinas.
Leonard, a grandfather himself, told us that his great-uncle and the “other old guys” decided to split the land up among the family. Leonard ended up with the land that includes the cave. He uses the rest of it to farm. The family has used the cave as a shelter from hurricanes…he specifically mentioned Hurricane Francis, and I’m sure that it would also include Hurricane Joaquin now, too. (I called him a few months after Joaquin to make sure he was still there and giving his tours. He is.)
There is some old graffiti (dated 1865) from previous explorers or family members. An apparent group of old time visitors from Rum Cay also tagged their presence…in cursive handwriting! If you are into Bahamian history, these should be reasons enough to visit the cave and talk to Leonard. But if you are into natural history, you should DEFINITELY check this cave out.
It houses 5 species of bats (they are very shy and basically hide in the ceiling…no bat-in-your-hair moments). There are really incredible mineral formations and stalactites, and some pioneering trees. And there is Leonard’s collection of fossils and artifacts that he has found within the cave or just outside of it.
I think this is a great tour if you can break away from the miles of beaches on Long Island!