Thursday, June 4, 2015


      The Nirvana Beach Bar on Love Beach is Nassau, Bahamas is a Best-Kept secret for locals and tourists. For plane spotters, it lies directly under the flight path of planes approaching the Lynden Pindling International Airport in Nassau. About three planes land every half hour. The talcum-powdered sand lining the well-kept beach and the gin-colored waters and turquoise reef off the beach add to the relaxing ambience. It is a scene in the "Corey Pearson- CIA Spymaster in the Caribbean" spy series, where a contact is made with one of CBIF's recruited double agents.
     This particular beach bar on Love Beach was chosen as a contact location because it is off the beaten path and offers privacy. Although open to the public, it is often unoccupied during the day. If you're bored of swimming on a crowded beach off a busy hotel in Nassau, the Nirvana Beach Bar on Love Beach is for you.

Nirvana Beach Bar on Love Beach

     The owner is meticulous in keeping the beach clean and safe and often hosts parties where the food is fresh and tasty. True, the food served at Nirvana's is basic but good- hamburgers, awesome cheeseburgers, hot dogs, fries, veggie burgers and veggie pasta, savory whole red snapper with rice and coleslaw (may have been delivered from a nearby restaurant), beers, pina coladas ($10),  daiquiris, and Bahama Mamas. Oh, you must have their homemade and super-delicious pumpkin soup. The prices are reasonable. 
     The snorkeling is good and colorful reef fish hide in the jetties and rocks just offshore. Living coral are just 10 feet offshore and when snorkeling there I identified Stoplight, Princess, Queen and Striped parrotfish along with many damselfish, Yellowtail snapper, Reef Butterflyfish and the poisonous Lionfish. Lounge chairs, beach mats, kayaks, peddle boats, snorkel gear and tubes can be rented. As you enjoy your time on Love Beach, you may be entertained by a band rehearsing inside the building in a courtyard bar.
     On the weekends, the Nirvana Beach Bar is usually packed with locals hanging on the beach, but it remains a lovely, un-touristry setting that is far enough away from the resorts and tourist traps where you can chill-out, get some sun and believe that you're actually on an island in a foreign country.
     When I visited the Nirvana Beach Bar and Love Beach to write an episode in the Corey Pearson Caribbean spy series, I was the only person there for the majority of the day. Well, not quite. There were two potcake resident puppies named Pork Chop and Dragon, who lied in the shade of my lounge chair...and with whom I shared half of my French fries with. There was also Louis, the Haitian grounds caretaker, who works at Nirvana to support his family back in Haiti. It experienced a no frills, relaxed atmosphere that made me think I was on a remote, friendly out-island in the Bahamas, like Abaco, Exuma or Eleuthera.
     From Nassau, you can get there by taking the #10 and #12 jitney buses. The #10 bus will take you most of the way on West Bay Street before it lets you off at a bus bench. Then, bus #12 will bring you the rest of the way. Taking the jitneys (buses) are a delightful experience. When passengers board the bus, everybody says "good morning" or "good afternoon", etc. to each other...a lesson in societal cohesiveness. The trip is worth it, for Love Beach offers a more splendid view and is more serene and peaceful than Cabbage and Cable beaches.  The bartenders Angel and Monique make the visit complete and you can have lots of laughs and good conversation with the local Bahamians.
     Hurricane Sandy took out some of their facilities, but they are rebuilding. One tourist ran out of money (No credit cards, cash only) and didn't have enough to cover the jitney bus fare back to their hotel. The bartender took money out of his gratuity to make sure they were covered.

Robert Morton, M.Ed., Ed.S. authors the "Corey Pearson- CIA Spymaster in the Caribbean" spy series. He writes about locations depicted in the spy novel.