Musings of a land-locked cruiser who spent 10 years in the Caribbean on her sailboat. A sailor never forgets the sea, the islands - exploring the beaches, hiking trails and tropical rain forests. Busy island towns with local markets, filled with reggae music, rastas and island ladies selling their fruits and vegetables. Ocean passages with starry nights and flying fish, dolphins, no land in sight - I miss them all.
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
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.