Ragged Island

A haven for avid fishermen!

Ragged Island is quiet and serene, sought out mainly for its great fishing. The string of colorful miniature islands within the chain, with provocative names like Raccoon Cay, Hog Cay and Double-Breasted Cay, are also a lure for boaters wishing to discover their many hidden treasures.

The District of Ragged Island stretches over 110 miles in a croissant-shaped chain of islands, islets, cays and rocks, including Great and Little Ragged Island, Raccoon Cay, Hog Cay, Nurse Cay, and Flamingo Cay. The mainland of Ragged Island, five miles long and one-and-a-half miles wide, sits on the southeastern edge of the Great Bahama Bank, southwest of Long Island and 60 miles from Cuba. It is one of the smallest inhabited islands in The Bahamas archipelago and the main island in the Jumento Cays.

Duncan Town, the capital, sits on a breezy hill overlooking a land-locked shallow harbour on the Great island. The town is just over one mile long, with three main streets running north and south, the whole length of the town, with many cross streets connecting them. It was named for Mr. Duncan Taylor who, together with his brother Major Taylor, developed salt ponds for the salt industry in the 19th Century. Narrow, winding shallow channels, together with the summer droughts, made ideal conditions for the production of salt.

In 1943, Ragged Island had 477 residents including descendants of the original settlers: the Curling, Lockhart, Maycock, Moxey, Munroe, Wallace, and Wilson families. Today, the population numbers only 72 persons, a hardy, seafaring people whose lives are closely linked to the sea, through boat-building and fishing. Their love of the sea is also evident in the fact that from nearly every home there is a breathtaking view of the ocean.

No one has ever lived on Little Ragged Island, however a few of its nearby cays were once inhabited: Hog Cay, Raccoon Cay, Bonavista Cay, Nurse Cay, and Flamingo Cay. Ragged Islanders have traditionally used the Raccoon, Nurse and Hog Cays as farmland since the mainland is rocky and barren with small shrubs. It has also been the standard, well into the 20th Century, that the women and children of Ragged Island harvested salt and plaited native straw to make items such as floor mats, whilst the men traded with Haiti and Cuba for fruits for the Nassau Market, and traded salt in the other Bahamian islands.

Today, there is more of a focus on Tourism, and Ragged Islanders have embraced it by welcoming bone-fishing enthusiasts and yachtsmen.