Exuma

Exuma

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For the musician Exuma, see Exuma (musician)
Exuma (musician)
Macfarlane Gregory Anthony Mackey, who recorded as Exuma was a Bahamian musician, known for his almost unclassifiable music; a strong mixture of carnival, junkanoo, calypso and ballad. In his early days in New York's Greenwich Village, Tony McKay performed in small clubs and bars...

.

Exuma is a district of the Bahamas, consisting of over 360 islands (or cay
Cay
A cay , also spelled caye or key, is a small, low-elevation, sandy island formed on the surface of coral reefs. Cays occur in tropical environments throughout the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian Oceans , where they provide habitable and agricultural land for hundreds of thousands of people...

s). The largest of the cay
Cay
A cay , also spelled caye or key, is a small, low-elevation, sandy island formed on the surface of coral reefs. Cays occur in tropical environments throughout the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian Oceans , where they provide habitable and agricultural land for hundreds of thousands of people...

s is Great Exuma, which is 37 mi (60 km) in length and joined to another island, Little Exuma by a small bridge. The capital and largest city in the district is George Town (permanent population 1,000), founded 1793 and located on Great Exuma. The Tropic of Cancer
Tropic of Cancer
The Tropic of Cancer, also referred to as the Northern tropic, is the circle of latitude on the Earth that marks the most northerly position at which the Sun may appear directly overhead at its zenith...

 runs across a beach close to the city. The entire island chain is 130 mi (209 km) long and 27 sq. mi (72 km²) in area.

Between 2000 and 2010, the population of Exuma more than doubled, reflecting the construction of large and small resort properties and the related increased direct airlift to Great Exuma from locations as distant as Toronto, Canada.

Exuma was settled in or around 1783 by American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 loyalist
Loyalist (American Revolution)
Loyalists were American colonists who remained loyal to the Kingdom of Great Britain during the American Revolutionary War. At the time they were often called Tories, Royalists, or King's Men. They were opposed by the Patriots, those who supported the revolution...

s fleeing the Revolutionary War. The expatriates brought a cotton
Cotton
Cotton is a soft, fluffy staple fiber that grows in a boll, or protective capsule, around the seeds of cotton plants of the genus Gossypium. The fiber is almost pure cellulose. The botanical purpose of cotton fiber is to aid in seed dispersal....

 plantation
Plantation
A plantation is a long artificially established forest, farm or estate, where crops are grown for sale, often in distant markets rather than for local on-site consumption...

 economy to the islands. George Town was named in honor of George III
George III of the United Kingdom
George III was King of Great Britain and King of Ireland from 25 October 1760 until the union of these two countries on 1 January 1801, after which he was King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland until his death...

, to whom the settlers maintained their loyalty. A few smaller Cays still remain grandfathered as partially or wholly private,(still referred to as part of the Exuma-Bahamas Cays) Located by three digit suffix number (ex. Exuma xxx) Most noted Exuma 642, and 643 which in recent years, receding shorelines have shortened the lifespan of these particular adjoined cays.

Lord John Rolle, a major Loyalist settler of the Exumas, is a major figure in the islands' heritage. Upon his death in 1835, he bestowed all of his significant Exuma land holdings to his slaves
Slavery
Slavery is a system under which people are treated as property to be bought and sold, and are forced to work. Slaves can be held against their will from the time of their capture, purchase or birth, and deprived of the right to leave, to refuse to work, or to demand compensation...

. As a result, a number of towns on Great Exuma have been named after him (such as Rolleville and Rolletown).

The islands are a popular spot for yachting
Yachting
Yachting refers to recreational sailing or boating, the specific act of sailing or using other water vessels for sporting purposes.-Competitive sailing:...

, sailing
Sailing
Sailing is the propulsion of a vehicle and the control of its movement with large foils called sails. By changing the rigging, rudder, and sometimes the keel or centre board, a sailor manages the force of the wind on the sails in order to move the boat relative to its surrounding medium and...

, diving
Diving
Diving is the sport of jumping or falling into water from a platform or springboard, sometimes while performing acrobatics. Diving is an internationally-recognized sport that is part of the Olympic Games. In addition, unstructured and non-competitive diving is a recreational pastime.Diving is one...

, and coral reef
Coral reef
Coral reefs are underwater structures made from calcium carbonate secreted by corals. Coral reefs are colonies of tiny living animals found in marine waters that contain few nutrients. Most coral reefs are built from stony corals, which in turn consist of polyps that cluster in groups. The polyps...

 and cave
Cave
A cave or cavern is a natural underground space large enough for a human to enter. The term applies to natural cavities some part of which is in total darkness. The word cave also includes smaller spaces like rock shelters, sea caves, and grottos.Speleology is the science of exploration and study...

 exploring. Many of the unnamed beaches and coves of the islands, including extensive offshore reef areas, are included in the protected Exuma National Land and Sea Park of the Bahamas National Trust. Some of the islands on which there are permanent residents and resorts include Staniel Cay (home of the Staniel Cay Yacht Club, a fixture in the Exumas), Fowl Cay, Musha Cay
Musha Cay
Musha Cay is a 150 acre , privately owned island in the Exuma Chain, in the southern Bahamas. It is located 85 miles southeast of Nassau. It is owned by illusionist David Copperfield....

 and Iguana Cay. Thunderball Grotto, located just a few hundred yards off Staniel Cay, is one location where the James Bond
James Bond
James Bond, code name 007, is a fictional character created in 1953 by writer Ian Fleming, who featured him in twelve novels and two short story collections. There have been a six other authors who wrote authorised Bond novels or novelizations after Fleming's death in 1964: Kingsley Amis,...

 film Thunderball
Thunderball (film)
Thunderball is the fourth spy film in the James Bond series starring Sean Connery as the fictional MI6 agent James Bond. It is an adaptation of the novel of the same name by Ian Fleming, which in turn was based on an original screenplay by Jack Whittingham...

was filmed. Sandy Cay, just a short boat ride from Little Exuma was the location used for filming the Pirates of the Caribbean beach scenes and one Shell commercial. The novel Wind from the Carolinas was set in Great Exuma.

The Exumas are the historic home of the Lucayan Indians, who were wholly enslaved in the 16th century, leaving the islands uninhabited until the 18th century. In the intervening period, the Exumas provided many hideouts and stashes for pirates
Piracy
Piracy is an act of robbery or criminal violence at sea. The term can include acts committed on land, in the air, or in other major bodies of water or on a shore. It does not normally include crimes committed against persons traveling on the same vessel as the perpetrator...

. Elizabeth Harbor was a favorite lair of Captain Kidd.

Transportation


Exuma International Airport
Exuma International Airport
Exuma International Airport is a public airport serving the island of Great Exuma in the Bahamas. It is located near Moss Town, northwest of George Town. The airport services mainly light aircraft and regional jets from the United States and The Bahamas....

 serves the city of George Town directly from Nassau
Nassau
- Placenames :Germany*Nassau, Germany, a town in Rhineland-Palatinate founded in AD 915, after which all the following are named, directly or indirectly*Nassau Castle, ancestral seat of the House of Nassau...

, Miami, Atlanta and Toronto
Toronto
Toronto is the provincial capital of Ontario and the largest city in Canada. It is located in Southern Ontario on the northwestern shore of Lake Ontario. A relatively modern city, Toronto's history dates back to the late-18th century, when its land was first purchased by the British monarchy from...

. Staniel Cay also has a small airstrip.

Notable residents



The main island has been a haven for celebrities for years. Until recently, the tourist population on the island was extremely minimal, allowing anonymity for anyone escaping the spotlight. Frequent visitors included:
  • Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon
    Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon
    Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon was the younger sister of Queen Elizabeth II and the younger daughter of King George VI....

    , who stayed at Goat Cay (the home of Babbie Holt)
  • Jackie Onassis
  • Jessica Tandy
    Jessica Tandy
    Jessie Alice "Jessica" Tandy was an English-American stage and film actress.She first appeared on the London stage in 1926 at the age of 16, playing, among others, Katherine opposite Laurence Olivier's Henry V, and Cordelia opposite John Gielgud's King Lear. She also worked in British films...

     and Hume Cronyn
    Hume Cronyn
    Hume Blake Cronyn, OC was a Canadian actor of stage and screen, who enjoyed a long career, often appearing professionally alongside his second wife, Jessica Tandy.-Early life:...

    ; the married couple spent a lot of time on the island also at Goat Cay for many years, and Sigourney Weaver
    Sigourney Weaver
    Sigourney Weaver is an American actress. She is best known for her critically acclaimed role of Ellen Ripley in the four Alien films: Alien, Aliens, Alien 3 and Alien Resurrection, for which she has received worldwide recognition .Other notable roles include Dana...

     vacationed there with her family.


In light of the relatively low cost of purchasing islands and the relatively low Bahamian tax regime for non-locals, a number of celebrities own islands in the Exumas. These include:
  • Nicolas Cage
    Nicolas Cage
    Nicolas Cage is an American actor, producer and director, having appeared in over 60 films including Raising Arizona , The Rock , Face/Off , Gone in 60 Seconds , Adaptation , National Treasure , Ghost Rider , Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans , and...

  • David Copperfield
    David Copperfield (illusionist)
    David Copperfield is an Emmy Award-winning American illusionist, and was described by Forbes as the most commercially successful magician in history. Copperfield's network specials have been nominated for 38 Emmy Awards and won a total of 21 Emmys...

  • Ali Daei
    Ali Daei
    Ali Daei is an Iranian retired football player and former national team coach who currently manages a local Iranian team, Rah Ahan. He is a former captain of the Iran national football team, and is the world's all-time leading goalscorer in international matches...

  • Johnny Depp
    Johnny Depp
    John Christopher "Johnny" Depp II is an American actor, producer and musician. He has won the Golden Globe Award and Screen Actors Guild award for Best Actor. Depp rose to prominence on the 1980s television series 21 Jump Street, becoming a teen idol...

  • Faith Hill
    Faith Hill
    Faith Hill is an American country singer. She is known both for her commercial success and her marriage to fellow country star Tim McGraw. Hill has sold more than 40 million records worldwide and accumulated eight number-one singles and three number-one albums on the U.S...

     and Tim McGraw
    Tim McGraw
    Samuel Timothy "Tim" McGraw is an American country singer and actor. Many of McGraw's albums and singles have topped the country music charts with total album sales in excess of 40 million units in the US, making him the eighth best-selling artist, and the third best-selling country singer, in the...

  • Ali Karimi
    Ali Karimi
    Mohammad Ali Karimi Pashaki better known as Ali Karimi, is an Iranian professional footballer who is currently playing for Persepolis in Iran Pro League. He was awarded the Asian Footballer of the Year in 2004....

  • Eddie Murphy
    Eddie Murphy
    Edward Regan "Eddie" Murphy is an American stand-up comedian, actor, writer, singer, director, and musician....


External links