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staniel

Exuma

For the musician Exuma, see Exuma (musician).

Exuma is a district of the Bahamas, consisting of over 360 islands (or cays). The largest of the cays is Great Exuma, which is 37 mi (60 km) in length. The largest city in the district is George Town (permanent population 1,000), founded 1793 and located on Great Exuma. The Tropic of Cancer runs through the city. The entire island chain is 130 mi (209 km) long and 27 sq. mi (72 km²) in area.

Exuma was settled in or around 1783 by American loyalists fleeing the Revolutionary War. The expatriates brought a cotton plantation economy to the islands. George Town was named in honor of George III, to whom the settlers maintained their loyalty.

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. 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, sailing, diving, and coral reef and cave 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 and Iguana Cay. Thunderball Grotto, located just a few hundred yards off Staniel Cay, is one location where the James Bond film Thunderball 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.

One of the more beautiful Islands is Shroud Cay which has nothing on it other than beautiful beaches and landscape. This Cay is especially enjoyable for those who enjoy boating or jet skiing through the streams that run throughout the island.

The Exumas are the historic home of the Lucayan Indians, who were wholly enslaved in the 1500s, leaving the islands uninhabited until the 1700s. In the intervening period, the Exumas provided many hideouts and stashes for pirates. Elizabeth Harbor was a favorite lair of Captain Kidd.

Transportation

Exuma International Airport serves the city.

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:

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:

References

External links

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