Crooked Island is one of the four islands forming an atoll which hugs the beautiful shallow waters of the Bight of Acklins. Bordered by the nearly uninhabited Castle Island and Long Cay, it hasn’t much changed since Columbus sailed down the leeward side of the islands through the narrow Crooked Island Passage.
The deliciously sweet scent of native herbs and flowers inspired Columbus to call this quite paradise “one of the fragrant islands.” He christened the island “Isabella” after his queen and it was called “Samoete” by the Arawaks, but somehow, the more descriptive name of Crooked Island is what it is known by today.
Although quiet and remote, Crooked Island’s natural beauty is enough to stir the soul and inspire exploration both above and below sea level. An abundance of bird life thrives on the cliffs and reefs around the island and magnificent limestone caves hide secrets from the past. Coral gardens, shelves and reefs are a treat for divers, and the deep creeks, tidal flats, and pools filled with game fish make it a sportsman’s delight.
There are miles of undisturbed sandy beaches, coral gardens, limestone caves and cliffs, remnants of slave and cotton plantations, ancient churches, fortifications, wetlands, mangrove-lined creeks and waterways.
You can also visit the remains of a British fort that was constructed to protect the Crooked Island Passage from the many pirates and buccaneers who used the island as a convenient base for their frequent attacks on ships passing through these shallow waters. The cannons, buildings with historic drawings and other artifacts remain as reminders of the early occupants of this site.
The Inhabitants of Crooked Island
There are only a couple of hundred residents on Crooked Island, maybe the friendliest, most generous people you will ever meet. Most of them make a life for themselves by tending to small patches of farmland or harvesting what nature has provided in the waters surrounding the island.