Grand Bahama: Put It On The Bucket List

The ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic has unfortunately made it impossible to travel right now. But that doesn’t mean it’s time to stop dreaming, to stop plotting a big comeback adventure. Although it may feel like a long ways away, eventually coronavirus will be a distant memory, and when that time comes, the latest edition of Travel Courier uncovers why Grand Bahama Island should top the list of where to go next…

Keith Cooper jokingly refers to himself as the pied piper of stingrays, but it’s not far from the truth.

As he steps off the boat at Sandy Cay, a small sandbar off the west end of Grand Bahama surrounded by crystal clear water, a dozen stingrays instinctively swarm around him.

“They’re touching my leg with their sensors because they know who I am, they remember who I am and because of the special bond I have with them, they trust me as much as I trust them,” the founder of West End Ecology Tours says, kneeling barefoot in the water as the rays slither up and down against his body. “They all have personalities just like a puppy or a dog. Their mouth — now this is where it gets really interesting — if it sucks on you, it can leave a big hickey.”

Before launching his company, which offers travellers the chance to get up close and personal with wild stingrays through an educational ecology tour, Cooper stumbled upon the rays by accident during a fishing expedition 12 years ago.

For the full story, check out this week’s digital edition of Travel Courier.