Ragged Island is is a small island (9 square miles) and district in the southern Bahamas and a part of the Jumentos Cays and Ragged Island Chain stretching from the southern tip of Long Island, Bahamas, extending almost to Cuba. The croissant-shaped chain measures over 110 miles in length and includes cays known as Raccoon Cay, Hog Cay and Double-Breasted Cay. The total size of Ragged Island 9.5 square miles,and the highest point of elevation being 116ft. Latitude position is 22.19 degrees north and 75.73 degrees west.
The Jumento Cays are a forgotten group of islands rimming the southern edge of the 330-mile-long Great Bahama Bank in a hundred-mile arc. Only the southernmost island of the chain, Ragged Island, is inhabited (about 72 people live there). From north to south, the islands get progressively bigger, starting as a small set of cays and growing to a square mile or two; they’re separated by stretches of water ranging from a few yards to a few miles at the southern end. Four times a day, the tide run through these “cuts,” either dumping off the Bank or pouring in from the ocean.
Duncan Town is the only settlement in the entire chain and is situated within a bay of shallow water. The island relies on the “mail boat” for transportation to and from the major islands, as well as for freight and commerce. The island contains an air strip, Defense force base and a harbor.
The 1930s saw a prosperous salt industry on the island, trading between Cuba and Haiti. In the 1950s the island fell victim to Hurricane Donna, which caused extensive damage. The 1960s further depleted the island when a halt to the salt industry came once Fidel Castro came into power. The salt ponds were developed in the 19th Century by a Mr. Duncan Taylor, after whom Duncan Town, the only settlement, is named
Today the island is a quiet serene place, not visited often by tourists. The surrounding Ocean provides an incredible haven of fishing which in turn, makes the island a haven for the avid fisherman.
The population of Ragged Island in the 2000 census was just 72.
Fishermen say that the best bone fishing can be found in the Ragged Islands. There are so many bonefish in this part of the Bahamas that they often form schools so large that when they’re feeding on the bottom they kick up enough sand – called “mudding” – that it’s visible from your plane as you fly over. In other fishing destinations you may have just a few chances to cast for fish each day, but in the Ragged Islands, steady action is the norm. That doesn’t mean, however, that they’re easy to catch…
When a smuggler’s DC-3 crashed nose down on the airstrip, a local character named Perseus towed the airplane off the runway with his tractor and put it on the roof of his bar.
Duncan town is the only settlement of the entire chain and is situated within a bay of shallow water. The island relies on the “mail boat” for transportation to and from the major islands and for freight and commerce. The island contains a small air strip and a harbor.
Most of the inhabitants are the direct descendants from the original settlers and they bear their original family names such as Curling, Lockhart, Maycock, Moxey, Munroe, Wallace, and Wilson. The familiar heritage and their remoteness have resulted in the islands being part of the family islands or out islands.
Although the island is remote and sparsely populated, many of its descendants have taken important roles within politics, athletics, entertainment and business.
Most of the inhabitants are the direct descendants of the original settlers and they bear their original family names, such as Curling, Lockhart, Maycock, Moxey, Munroe, Wallace, and Wilson. The familiar heritage and their remoteness have resulted in the islands being part of the “family islands” or “out island”.
At the Silver Tail Lodge you will have internet access and satellite TV. There is a Batelco (Bahamas’s Telephone Company) office located on the island.
Airport – Recent upgrades have been made to the Duncan Town Airport Ragged Island. The landing strip is now 3800 feet.
Golf Carts are the mode of transportation on land. You can rent a cart to tour around the many beaches, salt ponds, and historic sites.