Welcome to Compass Cay, home of the Swimming with Nurse Sharks experience, one of the top attractions to visit in the Bahamas! Swim with these pet Nurse Sharks, that are for the most part harmless to humans, that live here in the Compass Cay Marina.
One of the most popular attractions in the Exuma Cays today is the Bahamas swim with sharks excursion at Compass Cay Marina. Below is all you need to know about the Compass Cay sharks before you go.
Compass Cay is found in the middle of the long chain of islands known as the Exuma Cays. In the vicinity is Staniel Cay — less than ten miles south of Compass Cay, which is sort of the transport hub in the area. It is only 75 miles north of Nassau so definitely within a day trip’s reach.
The sharks at Compass Cay Marina are a special species that go by the scientific name of Ginglymostoma Cirratum — or as most people call, Nurse sharks.
They grow to be over three meters in length at full growth and live up to 20-25 years. An adult nurse shark can even weigh up to 300 pounds — a massive mammal.
They are carnivorous animals but rarely feed like normal sharks. They live on the bottom of the seafloor, feeding off marine life in fairly shallow depths of the ocean.
They move slow and dwell at the bottom and are generally harmless to humans. However, if they feel threatened, they still have the jaw strength to crunch right through their regular diets of coral and shellfish — so, it is advised not to irritate them.
You will see at Compass Cay that the sharks are smooth to the touch as they swim up and rub against your legs. They have a brown tone and usually don’t mind closeness to other sharks and humans.
However, even though their species is abundant in the area, they are becoming further and further endangered every day because of the impacts humans have on the shallow waters of the Atlantic Ocean.
The nurse and reef sharks which were brought to Compass Cay were initially brought as pets, however, after gaining popularity through tourism, the Compass Cay Marina has turned the environment into a sanctuary for dozens of nurse sharks in the area.
You are sure to learn at Compass Cay that Nurse sharks received their common name because of the sucking sound they make while scanning the seafloor for feed. The sound is not so different than the sound a nursing infant would make.
Another possibility is that the name comes from the old English word for a seafloor shark — a “hurse”.
There are plenty of things to do at the Bahamas swim with sharks island other than jump into the shallow waters with the nurse sharks themselves. Around the area, there are handfuls of beaches which have white fluffy sand and a peaceful solitude about them — perfect for a long, quiet beach day on your own island. The turquoise waters are clear around the island and you will see plenty of life under the ocean if you choose to snorkel to pass time. We have added a list of other things to do near Compass Cay if you have access to transportation.
A visit to the Compass Cay Marina website has a more detailed list of things to do in and around Compass Cay.
Most boats can fit into the Compass Cay Marina. It can be accessed via the Exuma Bank or Exuma sound, just note that the marina charges $4 USD per foot of dockage required and there are extra fees for electrical amps. However, know that the marina is accessible to even mega-yachts up to 180-feet in length and this means celebrities often come to Compass Cay for a day break and swimming with nurse sharks.
The Bahamas swim with sharks are only one of so many things to do on a Bahamas day trip to the Exuma Cays. Take a look at other fun excursions for you and the whole family:
There are many more attractions surrounding Bahamas swim with sharks excursions in the Exuma Cays. Fly to the cays today to explore what is on offer!Share this tour