Coastal cleanups serve the purpose of discarding debris that are around coasts and shore lines. It also serves as a way to collect data on the debris issues that exist near coastlines. This data can help organizations develop ways to prevent litter and educate the public on the effects the debris can have on natural attractions and wildlife.
The more negative effects that people are aware of, the less likely they are to contribute to the problem. Build-up of non-biodegradable litter can pose a threat to marine life and detracts from the appearance of our country’s beaches. Our beautiful beaches and marine life serve as one of our biggest tourism attractions. If we don’t take the initiative to remove litter, we are slowly destroying one of our most precious tourism assets.
On Saturday, September 17th, 2016, New Providence had its International Coastal Clean-up where roughly 20 CHTM students participated in the effort to clean our shores along with over 20 other groups from different schools and other institutions.
It was a day full of fun yet hard work. Not only was it a great bonding experience and a chance to build team work but it was an amazing experience for our students to have a chance to be a part of something bigger that will benefit the overall sustainability of tourism in the Bahamas.
During observation at the clean-up, it was noticed that because of the annual efforts to clean South Beach there was markedly less trash this year. This proves that the cumulative effort, over time, does make a significant difference.
by Erin Burrows and Kammara Jacob (both BSc. Hotel Management, 3rd year)
Tuesday, March 15, 2016 was here and it was a beautiful and exciting day for a few persons in the UWI CHTM family. It was the day we visit the Exuma Cays! With the relief of missing a whole day of classes plus the hopefulness for a fun-filled day, I woke up bright and early and got ready, after just over 2 hours of sleep due to my excitement. By 7:50 am, our small but spirited set of seven, along with our lecturer, Ms. Mackay, were on our way over to Paradise Island to start our adventure.
Upon arriving at the dock, we signed our forms, collected our tickets and managed to snap a few selfies while we waited for our captain and his crew. Shortly after, we boarded and before we knew it, the 1 hour and 20 minutes boat ride was in full effect. The boat ride was nothing short of spectacular as we rode the waves of the beautiful Atlantic Ocean with the wind blowing through our hair and against our skin.
Our first stop was at Allen’s Cay, the home of the iguanas. Our excitement escalated as we approached the island, but that quickly subsided when our captain explained that those of us with nail polish on had to stick our toes down in the sand to ensure the iguanas didn’t confuse our toes with food! Cold feet consumed a few of us, but we swallowed our fears and ventured onto the island ensuring that our toes weren’t visible, since we wanted to keep them. We fed the iguanas a bunch of grapes and soon realized that they were just as afraid of us as we were of them and all that panic was for nothing. Of course, when we weren’t busy feeding the iguanas, we were taking pictures to capture the moments. We all headed back to the boat, fortunately with our 10 toes, to make our way to our next stop.
Next, we arrived at a sandbar, which is a long mass of sand that is formed in the middle of the sea. We relaxed and admired the breath-taking scenery after which we transformed into supermodels with an aim to capture every stunning memory we could. A few persons also discovered sand dollars to take home as souvenirs.
We finally arrived at our last stop, Saddleback Cay. Before disembarking, we learned about and observed the lemon sharks, barracudas and eels which were up close and personal as they came after the chunks of turkey they were being fed. Luckily we came prepared with our mobile chargers as our phones would not have survived with all the pictures we took.
We then made our way off the boat to meet upon a variety of fruits and snacks to open our appetite. Yes! We followed a trail which led to the other side of the island where we got settled and continued basking in the island’s splendour. Soon after, it was time to snorkel. We headed back out, where no sharks were in sight, got in gear and dived into the calm, COLD water. But we quickly forgot how cold the water was as we were busy appreciating the reef’s natural beauty.
After about 30 minutes, we were back on the island. All that exploration had us exhausted and we were pleased to find our lunch waiting for us. We ate and drank to our heart’s content, remembering to leave just enough to feed the sharks. The sharks and other fish gobbled up just about everything we threw at them; everything except cookies. I mean, who doesn’t like cookies?! Nevertheless, we chatted, laughed, danced and even realized that Ms. Mackay could be a marine biologist in another life as she went on about the symbiotic relationship between the remoras and sharks. Then it was time to go. Most of us dozed off on our way back proving how much of an exhilarating experience it was. And although we all returned home fifty shades darker, it was definitely a trip we shall never forget.
For the past two years, life as a Tourism Management student at the UWI Centre for Hotel and Tourism Management (CHTM) has provided us with numerous adventures. As the end draws near, let’s reflect on some of the fun experiences we shared as the Class of 2015.
Our adventures could not have been possible without our amazing lecturers. Very early in the semester we were encouraged to attend the “Shrinking the Global Divide: Synergy, Service and Sustainability Conference”. This was the inaugural College of The Bahamas Culinary and Hospitality Management Institute (CHMI) conference held in September, 2013 at the Atlantis Paradise Island Resort.
At this three day conference, we learnt about the importance of sustainability for small and large properties in the tourism industry and the various opportunities available to capitalise on the various advantages available in this industry. We rubbed shoulders with industry professionals, researchers and academics from the region and the global tourism community.
And of course, as students, we thoroughly enjoyed the coffee breaks, lunches consisting of three courses, and a cocktail party on the final day.
In October 2013, we were given the opportunity to go snorkelling on two amazing coral reefs in the Bahamas. Many of us were afraid to swim amongst the fish in the beginning, for this was the first time snorkelling for most of us. However, within a few minutes of hitting the water we all got comfortable and began to enjoy watching these amazing creatures in their natural habitat. This field trip was a great way to appreciate and understand the ecological and economic importance of coral reefs in our region.
In February 2014, we attended another conference under the theme of “Tourism as a Key Sector for Development in Island States”. This was the annual UN Small Island Developing States (SIDS) conference held at the Melia Nassau Beach Resort, Cable Beach. At this two-day conference, we learned about the issues plaguing our islands such as managing the limited resources, the competiveness of tourism, ways to strengthen the resilience of our tourism product, and the need for partnership between SIDS.
After we returned from our long summer holiday, we were anxiously anticipating our upcoming coral reef snorkel trip of 2014. That year we explored more of the amazing coral reefs of the Bahamas, like the one located off the shore off Clifton Pier on the southwest coast of the island. This trip stands out as we got in the water and snorkelled with about eight Caribbean Reef sharks.
As our journey here at CHTM comes to an end, I’m sure that the memories of these amazing experiences will not be easily forgotten. And I hope that we all achieve success in the next chapter of our lives. Wishing you all much love, much happiness and great success.
I woke up singing, dancing and smiling from ear to ear as my housemate and I got dressed and made our way down East Bay Street. We had booked a trip with The Total Package Watersports Cruise and our adventure was about to begin. Upon arrival we were greeted by the captain and the staff in charge of what turned out to be a great experience. We then went on board the boat where we signed a disclaimer or as I would say “signed our lives away.” The engine started and our adventure began.
First on the agenda was sightseeing. We got a look at some of the most amazing houses on Paradise Island, owned by the famous Oprah Winfrey, Butch Stewart, the late Elvis Presley and Mary Kay.
Fifteen minutes later we arrived at Salt Cay where we snorkeled amidst the colourful splendor of a coral reef teeming with exotic sea creatures.
After feeding the fish we dived into our very own lunch boxes and enjoyed peas and rice, barbeque chicken and corn as we sailed to a private island for our beach stop. As soon as we arrived on Athol Island we made our way off the boat to partake in the various activities.
My first activity was humping and bumping on the three mile course banana boat ride. It was indeed a bumpy ride. I then enjoyed 15 minutes riding the jet ski. With the wind in my hair and water splashing in my face, zooming atop the azure ocean and the mission impossible sound track playing in my head, Tom Cruz had nothing on me.
Then the earth stood still as the moment that I was waiting for all week was finally here. It was time to parasail. My classmate and I got suited in our life jackets and other equipment and listened to the instructor. At this time I was saying every prayer that I knew. Up, up and away we went, screaming, eyes closed, holding on to the rope with everything that we had and wondering what we got ourselves into.
I then realized I was being dramatic and it wasn’t that bad, so I started looking around .The view of Paradise Island from the top was breathtaking and this was by far one of the most amazing experiences I have had. The five minutes air time came to an end and I was begging for more. I did not want it to end.
We boarded the boat where we talked, laughed, danced, drank and created friendships with individuals from the Bahamas, Barbados and Jamaica. They were young in age and at heart and expressed their love for traveling. They also shared their past adventures and what future adventures they will do in places across the world.
As we headed for the dock, the staff on board hosted a limbo contest which was won by my very own classmate. She was fearless.
I have been blessed to make friends with several Bahamians and it has added tremendously to my experience of this beautiful country and my enjoyment as a student here at CHTM. I will miss my school and I will miss my friends and amazingly I will miss this country – two years ago who woulda thought I’ld be saying this now!!!!
by Shanice Thompson (BSc. Tourism Management, 2015)
I first spotted the Exumas on the internet years ago before I even dreamed of setting foot in The Bahamas. What caught my eye was the pristine, aquamarine waters, the white, powdery sand and of course, being an animal lover and the natural wildlife habitats.
It was by God’s will that I would eventually find my way to school here in this stunning archipelagic chain of islands and meet a local friend who would so kindly be able to teach me the culture and history of The Bahamas that can only be learnt through experience.
It was ironic that she was from The Exumas and even more so surreal that she invited me to spend the Easter weekend there with her and her family. I took a flight on Bahamas Air and in 35 minutes I was there, elevated by an unprecedented level of happiness and excitement.
The next morning we took a 40-minute drive to meet the tour guide and the rest of the crew at the docks. Our tour guide, Smiley, was a friendly and pleasant chap who seemed just as happy as we were to be going out on the Windex-coloured waters that day. Our first stop was a ten-minute hike on the cusp of Lee Stocking & William Island, where we got a birds-eye view of both islands from the top of an at least 50-foot mountain.
After leaving there Smiley told us we were en route to Iguana Cay but not before we searched for starfish out in the deep blue sea. Two brave American teenaged girls dived out of the boat and retrieved two starfish that were bigger than our heads from off the ocean floor. After everyone posed for a multitude of pictures with them, they were carefully returned to the sea and we were on our way to see the infamous rock iguanas.
When you step foot on Iguana Cay, the lizard-like inhabitants almost bombard you to beg for food. It was such an unusual sight as in my home country of Trinidad & Tobago they run away from you but here they were literally running towards you! Some people fed them, some ran, some screamed and some were calm.
We were then taken to see natural geysers on an unnamed beach where the water spurting strongly out of the rocks was capable of going more than 15 feet into the air and was accompanied by a loud almost thunderous sound which took a little getting used to.
Then Smiley told us the news we’d been waiting patiently for – we were on our way to see the world-famous swimming pigs! A huge pink pig came trotting slowly out of the bush onto the sand towards us. I was out of the boat before Smiley could even bank properly, camera and pig treats in hand.
Shortly after more pigs emerged, as tame and docile as you can imagine and really surprisingly loving. Just like on Iguana Cay, some ran, some were adventurous (me) and some squealed (ME). I hugged them, I petted them, I swam with them and even got to hold little piglets in my arms surprisingly without the mother pig’s disapproval.
We stayed there for about 45 minutes, feeding them apples and bread while coaxing them into the water with us. It was an absolutely amazing moment to see the swimming pigs in the flesh and witness the beauty and splendour of their simple, preserved and protected lives. Of course I was the last to get on the boat to leave Pig Beach but Smiley didn’t seem to mind, his name is Smiley after all.
Our final two stops were to view a boat that sank in a tragic accident and to snorkel in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. A number of us on the boat that day faced our biggest fears and plunged into the deep (very deep) sea with an open mind accompanied with hearts beating so loudly that we figured they could be heard by others.
Now I can proudly say that I interacted with rock iguanas, swam with pigs and snorkelled for the first time in the pristine and untouched Exuma waters, among other things. I highly recommend you to do the same with the first opportunity you get as it was one of the best experiences of my life!
Like any normal day, I woke up to the sound of my alarm ‘Whining Queen’ by Denise Belfon. Except it was not a normal day. The weeks of anxiety were over and the countdown had finally come to an end. It was March 17th, the scheduled date for our trip to the Exuma cays. Most persons were at school by 8am ready and waiting as good mornings along with ear to ear smiles were exchanged.
We were transported by a bus to the dock where our boat and its captain awaited us. The 1 hour and 20 minutes boat ride was definitely one to talk about as everyone laid back while the wind played in our hair and the sea sprayed us with its saltiness. A little before arriving at our destination, we took a short detour to Allen’s Cay which is inhabited by iguanas. Persons were seen either taking pictures of the iguanas, feeding the iguanas or running from the iguanas. Could the trip get any better than this? But wait, it did!
We had finally arrived at our destination, Saddleback Cay. Pictures were inevitable as we observed the scenery and the lemon sharks below us as we made our way off the boat. We all grabbed a quick snack and in no time we were summoned back to the boat to prepare ourselves for snorkelling. The boat took us closer to the reef and away from the sharks where everyone plunged into the sea without hesitation to observe the marine life below.
We also stopped at a sandbar, which is a landform made up of sand in the middle of the sea, where we relaxed and did some exploring combined with a little learning. Expressions of excitement were displayed as we gained knowledge on the uniqueness of the starfish and sanddollars that were found.
Soon we heard the ‘lunch time’ call and faces lit up as everyone realized that the moment we were awaiting had finally arrived. We then found ourselves back on the island, stuffing our faces and then feeding the sharks with our leftovers, which was not much.
It then hit us that the trip was near its end and in no time we were back on the bus and on our way home. Definitely a trip to remember! Feel free to check out the video and pictures of this memorable experience.
by Shauna-Lee Thompson (BSc. Hotel Management 2015)
Who knew an historic walking tour would be so much fun??? On February 3rd, 2015, my colleagues and I visited some of Bahamas’ most historic sites and it was just that – fun! At first, the field trip sounded quite boring and many, if not all of us, lacked the enthusiasm to attend. However, with our Caribbean Travel and Tourism lecturer every ounce of boredom was erased from this trip and our group, 40 strong, had a great time together.
The idea that each student picked a site and was able to present a brief background history, not only made the trip more interesting but it allowed us, as foreign students, to learn more about the rich history and culture of The Bahamas. It is safe to say that the majority of us would leave this island ignorant of the existence and importance of these sites.
Some of the sites we explored were, Pirates Museum, Pompey Museum, John Bull, Rawson Square, Graycliff, the National Art Gallery of The Bahamas and the Nassau Public Library. We also got a tour of Government House – the official residence of the Governor General – and was edified with the history of the Government and the Royal family.
It would take me hours to share with you all the information and sites we covered today so enjoy some photo highlights that will cover our ADVENTURE FOR THE DAY!