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Searching for Pirate Gold at Morgan's Bluff, Andros Island, Bahamas

Searching for Pirate Gold at Morgan's Bluff, Andros Island, Bahamas | CosmosMariners.com


If you inquire--even briefly--around the Bahamas, you'll find a place that has ties to pirate lore pretty quickly.

Even Andros, that large but often overlooked island to the west of Nassau, touts a pirate spot or two. The most famous of these places would be Morgan's Bluff (often referred to as Morgan's Cave).

Supposedly, the cruel and infamous buccaneer Henry Morgan (yes, the real Captain Morgan) had a hideout in a cave at the most northwestern portion of Andros Island. Legend has it that he and his crew hid their booty, composed of both gold and rum, in the cave.

The spot was chosen because the bluff under which the cave is located was a notoriously dangerous spot for ships. Since everyone else avoided that area, Morgan thought it was the best place in the world for his treasure.

Searching for Pirate Gold at Morgan's Bluff, Andros Island, Bahamas | CosmosMariners.com


While I was trekking around Andros during a college study abroad trip, both the cave and the bluff were on our agenda. When we arrived, there was a storm just off the coast, and the waves were whipping up on the bluff furiously. It didn't take a great imagination to understand why most sailors avoided this area.
Searching for Pirate Gold at Morgan's Bluff, Andros Island, Bahamas | CosmosMariners.com
Crazy winds do not a good hair day make. But when there might be pirate treasure around, who cares about nice looking hair?!
Since the trip was led by a geology teacher, we discussed the make-up of the rocks and the geological formations of the bluff--but our teacher quickly got to the pirate legends.

Sir Henry Morgan was one of the most successful (if you can say that about someone who steals and terrorizes) pirates of the 17th century. He was actually a member of the British Navy and ransacked Spanish territories on the command of his superiors in the Navy (a long cry from how pirates are portrayed in movies nowadays!). After he was captured following his sack of Panama--an attack that supposedly violated an ongoing treaty between England and Spain--he was knighted and and given a Lt. Governor position. By the end of his career, he was known not for his prior pirating abilities, but for his excessive drinking and weight gain.

I guess we can't all go out on top.

Searching for Pirate Gold at Morgan's Bluff, Andros Island, Bahamas | CosmosMariners.com
Is that the ghost of Captain Morgan? Nope--just one of my classmates with a death wish.


Anyway, after exploring the bluff, we headed into the cave below, which, from the entrance didn't look like much of a cave at all. There are all of these vines growing over the main way in, and, if you weren't sure what you were looking for, you could easily walk right past it.

Searching for Pirate Gold at Morgan's Bluff, Andros Island, Bahamas | CosmosMariners.com


After searching around in the cave for a while, we had to admit defeat and leave without any treasure. Our teacher told us later that, while Henry Morgan definitely used northern Andros as a hideout, there hasn't been any historical evidence that placed Morgan in that very cave.

In other words, Morgan's ties to the cave are all local legend--and, since no treasure has been found--it will likely stay that way for the time being.

Know before you go: 

  • When you're adventuring along the bluff, the rocks are incredibly slippery, so walk with caution.
  • Bring a flashlight to explore the cave. The floor is uneven, and bats call it home.
  • The mouth of the cave is easy to miss! 

If you're interested in searching for Morgan's lost booty (and don't mean what he wore on his feet), you can head north on Queen's Highway until you come to a cross street. Turn left, then immediately run back right onto Main Lumber Road. When the road splits, stay to the right. Follow the road until it ends, and look for signs leading you to the cave and bluff. Happy treasure hunting!