Unexplored Hogsty Reef Atoll
Unexplored Hogsty Reef Atoll
One of the most remote locations in the Bahamas is Hogsty Reef in the southern part of the country. It is a place more at home in the Pacific, not the Atlantic, because Hogsty Reef is an atoll that is three miles wide by five miles long. The waters around Hogsty Reef are 600 feet deep or more and the reef rises up to within a foot or two from the surface and surround a somewhat circular lagoon with depths in the 15-20 foot range.
Hogsty Reef lies roughly halfway between Acklins Island and Great Inagua Island. In my opinion the best way to get there is to stage off Castle Island on the southern tip of Acklins Island. Get up in the morning and make the 35-40 mile journey approaching Hogsty Reef from the west. I do not recommend going with wind over 15 knots and under 10 knots is best due to the lack of protection.
Once you have arrived you can enter the lagoon through a ¾ mile wide break in the reef on the west side. The only island here is called Northwest Cay and is more of a sandbar at roughly 1500 x 200 feet. On the island you will find scrub brush, a stone day marker, an automated light tower, and lots of sand. In the lagoon you will find a sandy bottom with lots of coral heads around to snorkel, but please make sure you have good sunlight to help navigate.
As great as the little island and snorkeling the coral heads are, it was the ship wrecks that really interested me. There have been over 600 wrecks on this reef, but most of them have surrendered themselves to the depths surrounding the atoll. With that said, there are two still sitting atop the reef. The first one is in the northeast point of the atoll and has been here since 1963, which shows given how it has rusted and is collapsing onto itself. It was a Liberty class ship built in North Carolina during World War 2. Originally it was named the Richard P Hobson and used for trans-Atlantic shipments during the war. After the war it was a cargo ship that traded hand several times before being renamed Trebisnjica under a Yugoslavia flag in 1961.
The second shipwreck is much more recent and is an inter-island transport named the Lady Eagle. Unfortunately, I have not been able to gather more information about this wreck than that, but the crew was able to drive this wreck into the reef so hard that it is firmly in the middle of the top of the reef and no part of the wreck hangs off the reef. Getting aboard is quite easy because the loading ramp is down and on deck you will even find a forklift that has been abandoned.
Hogsty Reef was the number one thing I wanted to see in the Bahamas, because of its uniqueness and how remote it is. Very few people ever venture to this atoll. In fact, I just had a friend tell me he wanted to go so he looked it up on the internet and my photos and blogs are some of the first to show up…..and I was there seven years ago!
Visit www.svGuidingLight.com to read more from Captain Shane about the Bahamas, Caribbean, life aboard, world traveling, and more. You might also want to check out his travel video series.
One of the most remote locations in the Bahamas is Hogsty Reef in the southern part of the country. It is a place more at home in the Pacific, not the Atlantic, because Hogsty Reef is an atoll that is three miles wide by five miles long. The waters around Hogsty Reef are 600 feet …
Shane McClellanALL AT SEACaribbean & South Florida Boating Sailing Fishing and CharterSailing | Maritime