Lee Stocking Island may be our favorite stop that we made in the Bahamas. There is enough to do that we could stay for weeks, which we did! But, we had to pile Smitty up with 30 gallons of extra water in a bladder and as much extra gas as we could, because there are no stores or other means of getting water or fuel on this island.
The Abandoned Institute
In order to pursue his interest in marine research and renewable energy, the 600-acre Lee Stocking Island was purchased for $70,000 by John Perry in 1957. He developed the island as a scientific field station and tried to make it self-supporting by incorporating working models of new technologies.
The Perry Institute for Marine Science included laboratories, housing, an airstrip, a dock, boats, and dive support facilities. Up until SCUBA technology became more advanced, the field station featured shallow-depth submersibles.
From the institute’s website:
“The Perry Institute for Marine Science is dedicated to making a difference by protecting our oceans. We do this through ocean research and education that informs the public and encourages action. We operate a tropical marine laboratory on Lee Stocking Island in the Bahamas. Scientists, students and educational groups visit our facility from around the world to conduct ocean research in this remote, pristine stretch of the Caribbean. In the areas on and around our island, we study things like coral reefs, fisheries, ecosystems and the biodiversity of undersea life.”
After the death of Perry in 2006, research funding dried up and the institute was closed. However, the Institute was not cleaned up; tons of garbage (including hazardous materials), buildings and equipment remain on the island.
Beautiful Beaches and clear water in every shade of blue
Anchorage with spectacular sunset
Farewell & Following Seas
One of the saddest days of of our trip so far was parting ways with Deborah & Keith and their pup, Kai on sv Wrightaway. Thank you so much for the pleasure of your company, sharing the hunting and snorkeling spots with us, showing Jesse how to clean conch, and especially for sharing all of the super yummy fish & conch meals. 🙂
As I suspect that this island (or at least a portion) will be sold and developed into some sort of luxury resort over the next couple of years, I am glad that we had the opportunity to explore this island now, especially in its current state (which, we found to be quite interesting and fun).