Tuesday, November 20, 2012


Everyone thinks of Bimini, Freeport or Nassau when you mention the Bahamas.  They’re too civilized and touristy for me.  When we cruised through the Bahamas, I loved the out islands, the southern islands that never get any tourists except by small boats.  Places like Acklin Islands, Mayaguana and Rum Cay, plus uninhabited places like Conception and the Plana Cays.

At one of the islands, instead of ice cream, they had frozen Koolaid in a cup, only $.25 each.  They also had a small souvenir shop called "Everglades Souvenir Store", with knick knacks for sale, all covered with small shells.  It didn’t look like they sold much, since they were pretty well covered in

On Rum Cay, we were walking along the road exploring and an American man in a Jeep stopped to talk to us about living there.  He told there were about 6 couples/families living there, some of them have their own planes.  He got a phone a few years back and power was brought to the island in the past few years.  Before that, everyone had solar panels, and some are still in use on houses.  He said the locals were very accepting of them and very friendly.  Before deciding to build a house there, he had been cruising for 12 years in his sailboat.

On another island, some locals stopped to see if we needed a ride and asked us if we were on the yacht out in the harbor.  We were the only boat out in the harbor.  They see so very few people that they’re overly friendly and helpful.  We found a store on that island and bought some eggs.  The refrigerator at the store smelled funny when we got the eggs out, but I didn't think much of it.  Luckily, I looked at the eggs before I put them in our refrigerator - they had a couple maggots crawling on them.  We ditched the container and washed the eggs off.  Such is life in an island where the mail boat still only shows up once a week.

Mayaguana has an airfield which is no longer in use.  There were a couple airplanes off to the side, hadn’t been used in years.  There are a lot of stories about small planes and drug runners from a few decades ago.  We assume these were from that time, although we don’t know for sure. 

All these islands are sparsely populated and the locals are friendly.  Most of them didn’t have what we would consider a grocery store, but they had the basics.  Sometimes it’s nice to get off the beaten path to find out what a place is really like and what the people are really like.  And how simple life can be.


Island slide shows at http://www.youtube.com/user/IslandFeverCruising/videos?flow=grid&view=1 
Island Fever, the book at http://amzn.com/B009RCO02G



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