Last updated: 03:00 AM ET, Tue May 19 2015

Opinion Home | Far-Sighted Field Notes

  • Rosalind Cummings-Yeates | May 19, 2015 3:00 AM ET

    Eleuthera's Queen's Baths are Worth the Journey

    Eleuthera's Queen's Baths are Worth the Journey

    Whenever a destination offers thermal pools or special swimming holes, I'm immediately interested. Baths are my favorite method of relaxation, sitting in warm water always soothes away stress and fatigue. Climbing through the craggy hills and coves to reach the Bahamian out island of Eleuthera's Queen's Baths, I felt both, without so much soothing.

    The Queen’s Baths are small, natural tidal pools surrounded by miles of uneven coral and oolitic limestone. Yes, I had an informal geology lesson while scaling the formations. Oolitic limestone is composed of calcium carbonate "oolites," which are small spheres formed by the precipitation of calcium carbonate on sand grains or shell fragments. In other words, deep grooves covered the formations.

    In order to make it to the Baths, you need steady feet, good balance and sturdy-soled shoes. Of course, I had none of these. I don't know how many people bring along a good pair of shoes when preparing for a dip, but this is one place where it's highly recommended. It's actually a short hike from the sand to the cliffs and rocky bluffs that surround the Baths, which partially hide them from view. Fortunately, I made it by walking slowly and carefully.

    I wasn't about to climb down the curvy rocks that lead into the pools in my sandals, but the water rippled enticingly. The pools are only about two feet deep and are replenished by water from the Atlantic which is warmed by the sun to about 85 degrees.

    A large cavern cut by centuries of waves washing over it, sits behind the Baths. Once you plunge into the Baths, the swirling water feels like a natural whirlpool and make you forget the dodgy path down to them. The Queen’s Baths deliver otherworldly views and the surrounding limestone formations expand in a glorious stretch for hundreds of feet. Just don't expect the kind of tame relaxation that you get from your usual bath.

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Rosalind Cummings-Yeates Far-Sighted Field Notes

Rosalind Cummings-Yeates Rosalind Cummings-Yeates is a journalist, author and blogger who specializes in travel and culture topics. She loves guiding readers through the richness of various cultures and discovering the essence of a destination. Her travel and culture blog, Farsighted Fly Girl, offers travel insights through the music, food, art and history of various countries and cultures. Join her on the journey at www.Rosalindcummingsyeates.
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