When Did You First Come to Abaco, and How Did You Hear About It?
In February of 2005, my pal AbacoPeach asked this question of the Abaco Message Board. Here are some of the many responses, unedited, just as they appeared on the Board. My personal story, A Bahamian Bedtime Story, appears elsewhere on this site.
It was around 1987. My husband works in publishing and he did a brochure for a friend in the travel business that advertised Schooner's Landing on Man O'War Cay. His payment was a trip for the two of us to Schooner's Landing. We did a diving trip with Skeet LaChance out of Marsh Harbor, rented a boat for some diving at Fowl Cay and caught some crayfish right off the beach behind Schooner's for supper one night. The sail making shop was there then. We bought the most delicious coconut pie (must have been good if I remember it 18 years later!) from someone who sold them from their house. At that time I don't remember any golf carts. Everyone drove little mopeds with milk crate baskets on the back. Ladies would leave their purses in the moped basket right out on the street - no worries of crime. We got a similar deal from the friend a year later when we visited the Treasure Cay all-inclusive resort, then didn't go back again (on our own) until 2000 with a trip to Green Turtle Cay.
Sometime back in the 90’s, I saw an IMAX film called “Dolphins”. Part of it was set in HT and I instantly wanted to go. However, the military life put that on hold. A few years later I was perusing the clearance bin at a video store when I came across the DVD of “Dolphins”. Again, I put off going because I was single at the time and it seemed a great trip to go on with someone. Fast-forward to 2001 when I met my girlie, Heidi. We dated, fell in love and made plans to get married. Since we both loved beaches, islands, sun and sand, we made plans for a Caribbean vacation. As an idea, I pulled out the “Dolphins” DVD and before you know it, we were making reservations on-line with HT Hideaways, Island Marine, and Continental! We arrived in the Abacos for the first time on Valentines Day, Feb 2002. I made arrangements for us to climb to the top of the HT lighthouse after-hours and it was there on a beautiful dusky evening, I proposed to Heidi. We stayed a week and vowed to return! We were married last June 2004 on a Windjammer cruise through the Bahamas. After the cruise we honeymooned in the Abacos on Mark Gonsalves’ boat the “Lokadune”. We also got to meet Pat & Sydney under the fig tree.
In 1985 we were planning to take a cruise, our first. We attended the Cruise Show at the Charlotte Convention Center one Saturday, collecting brochures from dozens of cruiselines. The next day we planned to spread them all out and decide which one we wanted to take, but in the Sunday Travel section of the Charlotte Observer there was an article about a wonderful little cottage the writer had found in a classified ad in a sailing magazine. It was on a tiny out-island called Man-O-War Cay, accessible by ferry from someplace called Marsh Harbour on Great Abaco Island. The article described a wonderfully laid-back little getaway place with white sand beaches that you have all to yourself and beautiful waters surrounding a quaint boatbuilding community. It sounded like exactly what we were looking for, so we chucked the cruise stuff and booked a week there with our 11-year-old daughter. We loved the place immediately, even though we didn't get to any other islands that trip. We snorkeled, sunned on the beach, walked through the settlement and bought bags from the Sail Shop that we still use today. It took us 10 years to get back again, but since then we go every year, if possible, and now we spend two weeks at a time. We've gotten to know some of the locals and a number of board members, who we get together with every year.
My first time to the Abaco's was in 1975. I was a young teen working for the Palm Beaches Yacht and Sailing Club out of West Palm Beach, FL. Frank and Gini Bostwick were the owners. I had the chance to go over on a Morgan OI 46. When we pulled into West End and knew I was going to like this place. When we pulled into Man O War Cay, I knew I was going to love it. Even though it has been about three years since I have last visited, over the previous years I have come by sailboats and flying over. When I come with my family (brothers, sister-in-laws) we usually rented a house out of Hope Town.
Jerry’s first trip to Abaco (Great Guana Cay) was in 1979. He will have to tell you his story. Jerry introduced me to Abaco in 1988. We had invited another couple and an employee of Jerry’s at the time kind of invited himself and his wife along after hearing him talk about the upcoming trip. You have to realize that Guana was a bit different in 1988 than it is now. No golf carts rentals, no boat rentals, no Nipper’s, no Fig Tree Liquors, etc. The only place to eat was Guana Beach Resort and a little “fast” food place, if my memory serves me, called “The Lemon Tree” (great conch burgers!). Guana Harbour Grocery had just opened. In preparation for this new adventure, we (of course, I was relying on Jerry since I had never been before) informed them that it was not a fancy “resort” place. A beautiful place but no frills, no A/C – beautiful but rustic! Well, you know how some people that no matter how many times you tell them someone something, they just don’t hear it? The couple that had pretty much invited themselves turned out to be the COUPLE FROM HELL! “The bugs are eating me alive!” (whine); “I thought we would at least have A/C!” (whine); “I thought there would more restaurants!” (whine) – And, here’s the kicker, guys – The wife informed us while we were there that… [drum roll] “She couldn’t stand to get sand on her skin”!!! We were there for eight days and she went to the beach ONE time and I believe that was our last day there! My friend and I went to the beach everyday. At that time, the beach was loaded with shells! We laid out in the sun, swam and shelled. All in all, we had some great adventures and a good time but I can’t say I fell in love with Abaco in 1988. We didn’t go back until 1998. That’s when the “love affair” began and we have been going back every year since. For the past couple of years, we have been going bi-annually with two weeks in May/June (normally)…
October 1993...I remember it well! My friend, Maggie, had been coming to MOW since the 80's with a group of ladies she worked with at AT&T. She bugged me and bugged me to go sometime. I was into the Big Red Boat cruises and wanted nothing to do with flying to the Abaco's. I had been to Port Lacaya and Nassau and I felt like I had been to the Bahamas so I had seen it all! Well my husband got tired of Maggie nagging me to go iwth her so he said to go with her so she would shut up! I said ok and we went on a long week-end to MOW. Well, I started oohhing and ahhhing as soon as I saw the water turn into that beautiful clear blue. We got to the ferry dock in MH for our trip over to MOW and while we waited for the ferry to arrive, we walked across to Crossing Beach and on that day I can remember saying, "This is the most beautiful beach I have ever seen!" Well it was! Got to MOW and some of Maggie's friends arranged a trip to Baker's Bay the next day. We cooked steaks on a grill that was placed on top of some conch shells, cooked the veggies in a can and I was in heaven. At that time, the dolphins were still in the pens at Baker's. I was so upset that they had been left like that and wanted to let them out! Then I found out that the same company that I had cruised with for so long, the Big Red Boat, was the party responsible for abandoning those beautiful dolphins. To make a long story short, I have 12 years of stories. I could write a book! I have stayed on MOW, in MH, and eventually started staying on Great Guana Cay....thanks to Ken Parrot!! I lost my husband in 1995, I was a Flying Nun (another story) and am now "de-frocked" because I got married. I married a local here on Guana Cay, Sidney Weatherford, in January 2004 and I am living in the Abaco's that I fell in love with in 1993.
In 1995 I met the man that I didn't realize I would marry....he said he lived on this great little place called Guana Cay... I was doing travel nursing in SE Fl, took off a week and it was immediate wow.. Instant love with the man and the island and it's people. I worked 12 hour , 7 day a week shifts and flew over for a week, back to work for a week, back and forth..and I remember one crazy time that I flew over for one night....happiness is worth the price. We were married five years ago at our best friends in Hopetown, by Vernon Malone.. What a stunning way to go...I lived 3 full years on Guana...and loved each and every day. We have since sold our two homes and live in the Fl Keys....And we miss our very , very best friend.. Johnny.
My first trip was in 80 when my Cousin, Buddy Pinder "Bonefish Guide extraordinaire" Married his first wife. I was only three but can remember a lot about the trip. My uncle, Papa Lou Taxi 19, decided that I had to stay so everyone went home but Grandma, and me. It is strange how much I can remember, from the Curly Tails, and Soldier crabs, to the then completely shaded walkways in Cherokee. I have been back a dozen or so times since, and even had the privilege to live there for almost three years, and almost married a native. I never tire of the sunrise, or sunset, the smell of the ocean, and the sound of the wind blowing through the palm trees on the beach. I came back to Kansas to go to college, but you can bet as soon as I get chance I’ll find myself sitting in the boat on my way out to dive a few Conch. Hopefully someday soon I will be the one posting 10 days and counting….
My family has my parents to thank for bringing us to the Abacos in 2001. Dad, newly retired, & Mom decided to sail their boat down the ICW from Long Island, across the Stream, to the Abacos. Before they embarked, we grown kids & spouses planned to spend a week there with them. After much research, we settled on The Big House on Lubbers. What a blast the ten of us had we had exploring, snorkeling, feeding the nurse sharks and rays at the end of the dock, feasting on meals we all took turns preparing. It was during that trip my sister & her husband announced to us all they were expecting their first baby and our parents brought us on a field trip to MOW where they showed us the house they had bought on the island they fell in love with. Surprise! We haven't all been down together since but my sister & her family and mine plan our annual trips together. My niece was first introduced to the ocean there in a tidal pool and was lulled to sleep in her lifejacket by the Albury 23's outboard. We've made the best memories on MOW and in the Abacos! My niece, now 3, recently called Grampy on her play phone to make sure he still had a tidal pool for her baby sister to play in.....19 days and a wake up! (Thanks Dad & Mom!!!! Can't wait to see you!)
We first heard of the Abacos from friends who had been several times. When they first asked us to go to the Bahamas, my first thought was Nassua and I said no thanks. It was 1999, we ended up with 4 couples in one house, near Tahati Beach, and one boat. Thats alot of people in one place, all day every day. Our funniest story of that trip was the day we went to Guana. We "lost" one of our friends to the Guana Grabbers. Once we loaded her passed out body onto the boat, and were half way home to Elbow, her sister realized she had forgotten her wallet on the bar (full of $ and credit cards) ! Of course when we got back it was still there untouched. But one couple decided they were not getting back into the boat with a bunch of drunks and got a room. Our drunk friend came to at about 3 a.m. and asked her husband was everyone ok? He responded, "Well, we lost a pair of sunglasses, a flip flop and one couple." It took the other couple a ferry ride and bike rentals to get home( by the time we got back there to look for them they had already begun their long journey home.) Luckily, everyone was able to laugh about it. We've been back three times since, and will be there in 86 days!!! I'm not sure we will ever go anywhere else!
Mine is a love story as well, both with a man and the islands. In the late summer 2000 I was a newly single women, treading lightly in the dating world. I meet this wonderful man, and on our first date we exchanged all sort of information, including the fact that his parents had a second home in abaco ... many conversations, photos and stories later i was determined to go with him to this magical place. I was invited to share christmas with his parents and him at their home, so off i trek, a 14 hour journey from the west coast of canada, all alone (he went with his parents). Well the love was instant, both with the island, the man and the family I could not imagine a more perfect place on earth!!!! We were married here 1 year later (christmas 2001), with our feet in the sand We have have returned every year since, including this year (i am here right now) with our 10 month old son. I can't wait to show our son all the wonderful things that abaco has to offer, and i know that the times he spends here will forever enrich his live as much as mine. If i can only find a way to spend more time here.
I was born in Nassau in 1957, Bahamian parents, Moms parents (both Malone) from Hope Town all the way back to Wyannie Malone who arrived in 1785. I was too young to remember my first trip to Abaco. My earliest memorys are from about age three. We spent about two weeks here every summer first on Hope Town then on Lubbers Quarters. Talk about remote! We traveled back and forth in a Winer Malone 14' dingy powered by a "putt putt" inboard motor. I well remember Dad cussing the motor for being hard to start, also remember being sprayed with salt water alot! Mid sixtys we got a 18' fiberglass boat with 40 hp Evinrude I also remember the old man cussing that motor for being hard to start. Lots of memories exploring in that boat (named 'Explorer') around Angel Cays Little Harbour & of course we visited Man O War & Guana Cay etc etc. Dad hated the 'city' so he moved with wife & 5 kids to Lubbers Quarters in August 1968. WOW what an experience living and growing up on LQ. Can you say REMOTE! Went to the public school in HT by boat of course 13' Whaler & no fun on those windy winter days. At age 17 & out of school there was'nt much happening around HT so I moved back to Nassau stayed mostly with grandparents Malone, learned to fix outboard motors (wonder what propmted that!). After three years I had enough of the 'city' life and happly moved back to Hope Town. Three days later I had the first date with my ex classmate & future wife (who was born in Hope Town). I have traveled enough to really appreciate all the good things we have here in Abaco I don't think I would be any happier any where else on this planet. What a beautiful place this is!! If anyone wants to talk about the 'good old days' DON'T e mail me just meet me at Capn Jacks for happy hour & I will gladly share my experiences with you. Keep on comming back folks Tourism is our #1 industry.
My first visit to the Abaco was April 1998. One of my best friends was turning 40, and a group of us wanted to meet somewhere to celebrate the BIG EVENT. We settled on Abaco after an online search, and decided to stay at Green Banannas on Lubbers. This was before phones and electricity had been run to the island, and we saw this as part of the charm! 5 of us signed on for the trip, two from California, three from NC. Bert, the birthday boy rented the house for two weeks, I think, so we all arrived at different days and times for stays of various lengths. I arrived midway thru Bert's holiday, took a taxi to sea spray's dock, and went in search of my party. Found Bert, Tommy, and Kim at the Abaco Beach Resort pool bar. Bert grabbed my gear, stowed it in the boat, and led me back to the bar. Bert insisted I try a Goobay Smash, while he had another. Now, Bert's a pretty big guy, but we all know what a few smashes will do to you! Near the end of his drink Bert asks, "so, do ya think you could drive that boat?" I said 'Sure!", thinking sometime during the week I would get some lessons. We settled our tab, climbed in the boat, untied, and shoved off. Bert manuvered out of the marina, called me over, told me to keep the compass pointing "here", and sat down and closed his eyes. As we approached Lubbers, Tommy and Kim directed me the rest of the way. Bert perked up enough to help dock and unload. We had a great time that week, exploring Hopetown, Man O War, snorkeling, visiting Tahiti beach and much much more. We were in bed every nite soon after sun downand a few rum cocktails, and started each day with rum laced coffee listening to what muat have been the Cruiser's Net and Radio Abaco. I came home with so many beautiful pictures and fun stories, my boyfriend (now my husband) was eager to plan another trip. Christmas the next year we were back on Lubbers.(just after Floyd) Made many more wonderful memories. Best Christmas we ever had. This October we will be back to celebrate my husband Ken's 40th birthday. I hope we never go this long again between visits!
We first visited the Abaco's in about 1985, before we were married. We spent a week on Man o' War at Schooner's Landing, which had just opened. I remember taking the ferry from Marsh and 1/2 way over, we were transferred into a smaller boat owned by an Albury. Not sure why, but we were enthralled at all the legs of the trip before we finally arrived. At the time we lived in NYC. We fell in love right away. We rented a little Whaler for a few days, and being the naive boaters among other things at that time, I remember we pulled the whaler up on the beach right near our place, and had a few cocktails. A few hours later we saw our boat headed out to sea as the high tide took it, and we managed to swim out and get it before it was lost for good! We also took a deep sea fishing trip out of Man 'o War, caught a huge barracuda, had no clue about ciguatuera or the likes, the guys cleaned it for us, we ate it, and we are still here to tell the tale! We've been going back ever since, and have stayed on just about every island at least once.
Back in 1990, my husband and I found ourselves vacationing in Eleuthera. There we met, and bonded instantly with, an older Canadian couple. They were well-traveled (they have so much more vacation that us poor Americans!), and were spending the week in Eleuthera recovering from a week's sailing in the Abacos (can you say "Crew from Hell"?). It was the first I ever heard of the islands, but the names rang magically in my ears: Marsh Harbour, Green Turtle Cay, Goombay Smashes....We didn't get around to trying the Abacos ourselves until 1997. Once we made our decision and our choices, I put my travel agent (remember those?) right on it. He kept asking: are you sure this is where you want to go? By now, he knew us to take off-the-beaten-path trips, but it never stopped him from double and triple-checking. We stayed at the Sea Spray on Elbow Cay and absolutely fell in love. The following year, we dragged my parents along, and others since, and are planning to introduce another couple to these islands in November.
Dad and Mom had been lifelong sailors in Chicago and winters were spent cruising the island chains all the way to South America. In the mid 1950's they visited friends in Nassau who told them of their recent purchase of island property at Man O' War Cay and soon Dad was flying off to see this paradise for himself. He returned having bought property on Dickies Cay and in 1959 began to build a small house of his design and Eddie Albury's fine craftmanship. Uncle Will determined the site, holding a stick upright, wearing his traditional khaki with pith helmut and pronounced it protected from prevailing storms (including hurricanes as was born out recently). Most furniture in the house was hand built from Abaco pine and rich, dark Madeira wood. There were no phones or electricity; only gas lamps, a range and even a gas refrigerator. There were limited food supplies available hence the habit of bringing your food with you, often prefrozen and thawing by the time you arrived. Hot showers were under the thatched hut house where water was warmed in a black tank. Water in the house was pumped to a tank in the attic. Uncle Norman made sails and surely taught Lois well in the crafting of a fine MOW bag, Captain Eddy sailed up and down the harbour and always reminded me to take along a "hoar" in my boat. Marcel captained the "Junonia", Teenie did crossword puzzles below deck. The children weren't supposed to like mom and dad's hideaway; no action for a bunch of teenagers, however the lure of boats, beaches,friends and unimited freedom proved them wrong. Forty five years later we're still enjoying the pleasures and magic of a place unequalled in the world. Now the second and third generation raises a toast to dad each visit while enjoying another magnificent sunset.
I have been to the Abacos twice, first time was in 1985 and we stayed at Senator Harkens's place on the North End of Elbow and at that time there was one two vehicles on the entire island. I went back in 2003 for my honeymoon and stayed next door to Harkens's place at the Blest Nest. Alot had changed since that 1985 trip! Some good, some bad..I remember back in 85' we had to walk to the center of Town where we would pick up a VW van that had wooden benches to take us to the Abaco Inn for dinner (on july 4th) where along the way, we picked up the cook, and all of the waitresses...Elbow was so very simple back then it was amazing.
First time was on my uncle's Piver Tri(crazy uncle, everyone has one) and it was, I believe about 1970 or '71. Abaco was quite different a long haul from West End to the next fuel at Fox Town. It was an intoxicating experience. Next time was on my own boat a 22' sailboat, three trips on that and realized that it was way too small. A 30 foot boat for four more trips and my wife was hooked. She still doesn't do crossings but flys over to meet me at the airport. Now have a 41 foot Morgan and we enjoy the trip more than ever. She still doesn't do crossings but flys over and my 17 year old is crew. We stay at MOW marina and have friends from all over come to visit. As soon as they see the Abacos it is love at first sight. We are on our 36th trip and each one holds special memories. A lot more can be said about the trips but no matter what Abaco holds very special memories.
We made our first trip to Elbow Cay in 1994 for our 25th anniversary. I discovered the Abacos while reading a travel magazine. I called several hotels on different cays, with the same question. "Will I have my own hammock at your hotel?" Someone from a hotel on Green Turtle Cay said yes they had a hammock. "Will my husband need to wear a jacket for dinner?" I asked. The man with the slightly British accent replied, "If he does we'll throw him in the pool!" I knew then that Abaco was the place for us. We stayed at Abaco Inn because I could have my own hammock just outside the door of my room and I didn't need to take fancy clothes. The first thing I did upon arriving was to head straight for the hammock overlooking the Atlantic. I hopped on the hammock and immediately flipped over face down in the sand. That night at dinner we sat with a couple who also rode over on the ferry from MH to the Inn. The husband soon told my husband how his wife didn't even unpack before she hurried to the hammock outside their room, she flipped over and landed in the sand. Since that first trip we have made many trips to Hope Town with our 3 daughters, my sisters and their husbands, and these days we have young grandsons who have also gone to Abaco with us. And on June 1st this year our youngest daughter will be married on the beach near the Methodist Church and a reception at Hope Town Harbour Lodge. Last summer when our 4 year old grandson visited for the first time he said he didn't want to return home, "Abaco," he informed us, "is my new home." We've created another young "Abaco addict."
We'd always done women's beach trips to Pawleys Island SC, but in December, 1992, decided we needed a "blue water" winter vacation for mental health reasons. American Airlines used to do lots of air/land packages, & we chose the cheapest- Bluff House, on Green Turtle Cay, as it was in the "old days". We had a single room on their private beach which was called "the bad room", still don't know why, because it was perfect for us. We boated w/Lincoln Jones, using Bluff House's complimentary snorkel equipment, which leaked, in combination w/Linc's method of instruction, which is "slap it on & jump in". We were so thrilled w/the reef & lobstering & fishing. We immediately rented bikes from Brendal & went to New Plymouth Hardware for our own snorkel gear. The shop was closed, but word got out that we wanted to buy, so it was opened for us. We mentioned in passing that 1 of the bikes' chain kept falling off, & the shop owner radioed Mary at the dive shop. She threw another bike into a boat & came to town to exchange bikes w/us! We had a dinner at Bluff House; happy hour w/appetizers, a fab several course meal w/complimentary wine, dessert, & the chef, Walter, visited each table & spoke w/each guest. All this on our 1st day!
First time was December, 1965. My father in law had a Hatteras SF; captain Bill Curry was born on GTC. Tho the boat was based on the Gulf near Houston Curry wanted to take it to Abaco for fishing. I flew my light twin from NC to MIA to pick up my father in law, and then on to TCB. His flight was late and enroute I knew we would be arriving after dark. Sure enough, we arrived at the old airstrip w no lights, but with a full moon the coral gravel alongside the runway was better than lights. We were met at the airport by "Uncle Charlie" Lowe, the taxi driver, who personally did our entry since customs/immigration was closed. (His son, Hartley Lowe was the customs offficer at that time). Then on to the airport dock, which went straight out into the Sea of Abaco, completely unsheltered from the weather (the dredged harbor we now use had not been built at that time). Jumped into a pitching outboard boat for a wet trip across to GTC, and the Other Shore Club dock on Black Sound. No restaurants at all open in New Plymouth then, but the Blue Bee bar was, consisting only of the tiny room that currently houses the bar itself. Fishing was great and remained so for the next ten years or so. We came again in '69 for a family vacation; bought some land on White Sound, built a house and have been turtles since.
My friend spent the winter of 2000 helping rebuild Hopetown after the hurricane. He met his future wife in Hopetown that winter. That fall I helped him sail his 52 morgan from Virginia to Hopetown. I spent about 10 days in Hopetown and did not want to leave. I have been back to visit every year since. I brought my girlfriend to Hopetown for vacation and proposed to her there. This past fall (after all the hurricanes) we were married on the beach by Reverend Vernon Malone. Hopetown will always be a magical place for us.
Our first trip was in 1956 to visit my Mass. parents at Man-o-War. They had found the island by sailing out of Sarasota FL to Green Turtle where they spent their first winter. They moved on to MOW where they bought a strip of land from the bay to the ocean from Uncle Will Albury for $800.00. Mr Lewis Albury, father of Sam, Jeff, Joe etc. built their house and guest cottage in 1953 or 1954. We flew in via Nassau in a Grumman Goose piloted by a guy named "Tubby" who landed in the harbour. On our second trip in 1958, we were flown in by Colin Reese and landed outside the harbour. We boated in with two children, our luggage, groceries etc, by Scott Weatherford who was then about 15.There was no electricity nor any sophisticated plumbing. We bought our bread from Ms.Mispah who had a stone oven in her yard which Lewis stoked up each a.m. The big excitement was when the Tropical Trader would come in each week with fresh milk. Percy Archer's (Marsh Hbr.)father was the captain.
Traveling by small 23' boat to Abaco in 1963 was an unforgetable adventure. As a child I was unsure of exactly where we were, but the beautiful blue water was like a giant magnet. I can remember bats in caves, ice cream in a paddlewheel boat on land (I'm still not sure where it was), and seeing Burl Ives. We spent some time at a small dock at the Elbow Key Club near Sea Spray maybe. We also spent the night with the caretaker in a small house on Powells Cay. A big resort was planned. I guess it never got off the ground. What a beach they have there. We probably spent at least 6 hours in the water each day. Sometimes yoou just stayed salty as there wasnt much fresh water to wash in. Much time was also spent looking for Glass Balls on the beach. The ones with nets were the most sought after prizes. I have continued to return to Abaco now for over 40 years and never tire of looking at it in pictures and in person. I have given this love to my husband and my children and they look forward to being there as much as I do. I was a simpler and quiter time, but most of the best of Abaco is still there today.
That paddlewheel boat that you remember was the Robert Fulton at Snake Cay. It was owned by Owens Illinois, who first used it at Grand Bahama when they were cutting timber there. They subsequently towed it to Snake Cay when they were cutting timber on Abaco. I first arrived on Abaco in 1964. Grocery outlets were very limited at that time, with the exception of Bunyan Key's bakery in Marsh Harbour, and we used to make the trek down to Snake Cay every now and then to buy groceries at the commissary - quite an adventure over rough logging roads. The Owens Illinois commissary was located at road level on the Robert Fulton, and the upper decks were used as staff quarters. The vessel was substantially damaged by hurricane Betsy in 1965, and was subsequently deemed a hazard and razed to ground level. Very few photos survive, but attached is one from about 1964. Do any board members remember Ray Jenks, who lived on a houseboat in Hopetown Harbour at that time and had property at Tilloo Pond ?.....how about Doris Tasker at Tavern Cay.....the old Fin & Tonic at White Sound ?
My first visit to Abaco was in March 1984, just after completing medical school. One of my professors had a place at Mariner's Cove and a group of eight came down for 3 weeks. We were completely blown away by the beauty of the Treasure Cay beach and outlying cays. We rented a 14 ft Boston whaler from a gentleman in Marsh Harbor named Victor Russell. The EIGHT of us went everywhere in that little boat. Probably not very safe! I have a wonderful memory of Vicki who worked in the Mariner's Cove office for years. It was just great to run into her again at the Blue Water Grill this past summer. I now vacation in Treasure Cay every July with my wife (we were married in Abaco in 1997) and two sons. We rent Jerry Melzer's place at Bahama Beach Club. We have many wonderful friends in Treasure Cay and I really can't imagine another place that we would love this much.
I was burned out after almost 8 years slaving away doing psychiatric evaluations in Spokane Washington. After an aborted sail to Hawaii we decided to do our research (which at that time meant reading books and magazines) looking for something tropical, somewhat remote but accessable, friendly country and unresticted cruising availability. Saw an articl eby now deceased author from the sailboat Snorkey, a morgan outisland 41, with a picture from the top of the mast showing the beautiful waters. The rest is history. Quit my job after they refused me a leave of absense. Flew to Florida and found our little "Wings", a pearson 26, after living in a chevy chevette for 2 weeks traveling the state with my boat trader in hand. Singlehanded the okeechoobee water waterway and down to Ft Lauderdale. Wife joined me for spring break down to miami, then 2 friends with no sailing experience joined me for the trip to the Abacos. It was a magical time seeing those waters for the first time. When school let out my wife and son flew to Marsh Harbor where I greeted them with flower leis. Sailed the rest of that summer and the next six more summers before taking a break from the Abacos so that we could cruise closer to home, in British Columbia. Returned in 2000 through 2004, enjoying 5 more summers of those beautiful waters, aboard Voyager. Sadly, we had to bring her back to the NW after damage from Francis. We''ll go back to cruising the NW when restoration is complete, but our first love is the Islands of the Abacos.
My husband and I made our first trip to Abaco in June of 2002 so we are still newbies!! What a wonderful place. We have been to several other islands (Aruba, Cayman, Jamaica) but Abaco is now our favorite. When we decided to start our vacation planning earlier that year, we researched the internet. I found a site for the Green Turtle Club. It looked great but also very different from our other island trips. After more research, we decided on a more centrally located cay and stayed at the Abaco Beach Resort for a week. We used the ferries and also rented a boat for three days. The board provided tons of information in preparation of our trip so we were not only able to daydream but also make arrangements for our boat rental and help plan our days. I have to admit we were a little nervous because "Abaco is not for sissies" but it turn out to be perfect for us. Reasons we love it so? When I literally had my breath taken by the view of the ocean after docking at Hopetown, walking through, and standing on the rocks; the days of cruising the Sea of Abaco in our rental boat, the site of the starfish dotting the ocean floor at Tillo Bank, the staghorn coral at Sandy Cay, the hammerhead shark we saw while cruising just above Sandy Cay, the funny parrot fish at Mermaid reef who stole my beaded anklet, the BBQ at the Jib Room, But perhaps the best reason.....the potcake I brought home! I made arrangements in advance. I was able to pick her our from photos of the litter e-mailed to me by Kim and Molly. Kim had all the paperwork ready for us when it was time to go home. Now, every night when the lights go out Coconut wiggles in between me and my husband (Yes, she is spoiled but I prefer to call her "much loved"!). She reminds me of our great experience and I drift off to sleep with images of Abaco filling my dreams! We did make a trip to Green Turtle the next year, which was awesome, and we hope to return again this summer!
Being raised in Lauderdale, fishing in Abaco came as natural as learning to swim. The very first time I set foot on the white beach of Powell Cay and listened to the songs and stories whispered by the casurinas I was enthralled. That overwhelming feeling has never diminished over these 40 some odd years. Every time I come to Abaco I make it a point to spend the majority of my time wandering the beaches, awestruck and smiling, so glad to be alive and wandering about on "The Queen of the Abacos". All of the Islands and beaches have their allure, and the people that live there, for the most part, seem to share that calmness that the place imparts. I have been visiting since 1961 and have not regretted a single moment.(even hangovers from too much Haitian rum); Guana Grabbers on the other hand, well that's another story. Everyone with the ability to do so should visit Powell Cay...But please...Take only memories and leave only footprints.
My Father had just discovered sailing on an earlier vacation and started subscribing to "Sailing" magazine. In the magazine he found an advertisement for Abacos Bahamas Charters in Hope Town. in the spring of 1971 he somehow convinced ABC to charter a 29' boat to my parents and 3 teenagers (17 (me), 15 and 13). However, the owners (I believe that it was the Wilhoites) were sane enough to insist on us having a captain to teach us how to really sail the boat. That is how we met Geof Malone and his father.We spent several days sailing out of Hope Town until Geof felt we were ready to do it on our own. As I recall on the last day Geof's father came out to pick him up from the boat and he agreed to have a drink w/ us. There was some discussion about what he wanted to drink and what was available. Somehow the older Mr. Malone thought he was getting a rum and coke. Unfortunately, my sister poured him about three fingers of straight dark rum. When he tossed off what he thought was a rum and coke the results were spectacular and enlightening, especially to the teenagers! We returned the next year and then I was off to school to become a merchant marine officer. I sailed for the academy sailing team and then worked at sea aboard freighters and tankers for 10 years, all based on what I originally learned in the Abacos. I never had another opportunity to return to Abaco until a honeymoon in 1995. My wife calls this "Newlywed Boot Camp". Our son was born 9 months later and a daughter exactly four years later. My wife was not interested in sailing with very small children, but this year she agreed that the children were old enough to go sailing. So, we returned to the Abacos in February 2005 with my father to make three generations of our family sailing in the Abacos. All of us had a wonderful time and will be back again, only this time sooner than 10 or more years.
My 1st time was about the year 1998 or 1999...a longtime Abaco fan named Curt Smith (Hitide was his board handle) brought myself and a couple of other business associates to his friend's island, Garden Cay, off of Man O War. I was there a total of 3 times I believe, and proceeded to get married to my wife at the Bluff House on GTC in 2000. Garden Cay was a miniature paradise and I will never forget it. Hitide has since died and his friend has since sold Garden Cay. I hope to get back to the Abacos again soon, however I will never set foot on Garden Cay again.....very sad....hopefully the new owners are taking good care of it.
first trip was 9 years ago. My mother-in-law used to be an assistant to Dr. Storr on Elbow, she did field research during her post graduate and doctorate portions of her education and introduced me to the experience the year before her daughter and I were married. We have come back every year since, except for two years in which both of our children were too young for the trip. When my wife finished her Master's degree she informed me that she wanted a a trip to Elbow, she wanted to come back pregnant, and she wanted a Jeep in which to carry our growing family around in. I am happy to say that all three objectives were successfully completed and we are now bringing our little guys back down in April.
In 2003, my boss offered us a week of her timeshare time. We had a small window of opportunity, so I called the exchange place up and asked what was available on the east coast. "Abaco" they said. "Where?", I asked. Time was short, so I asked them to hold it for us. I checked out the website for the Regattas and it looked great. I called and spoke to someone there and they were very nice and helpful. The only tiny concern was the lack of tv, but since our girls (3 and 7 at the time) don't get to watch much tv anyway, we figured it'd be fine. I called up the hubby, told him what I knew (not much) and he said "why not?" I happened upon this board and quickly realized that this was looking like a good thing. So we dragged my sister with us and off we went. As we approached Marsh Harbour, we got sucked in....the changing water colors, the marls, the boats zigging and zagging, the crashed planes in the water and on the land, the Marsh Harbour Airport....this was our kind of place. We got to the Regattas and somehow landed a beachfront unit. After our youngest had pretty much dropped her clothing at the door, she spied the gaping hole in the entertainment center where the tv should have been. She looked at us a little sideways, said "where's the TB", and padded off in her bare feet checking each room. She promptly came back and said "I can't find the TB", and that was the last we heard of it. We woke up for the sunrise each morning, ate breakfast on the beach or on the dock, and oozed into our day. We rented a boat and visited Man-O-War and Hopetown. The windy days kept us from going out more. At Mermaid Reef we all had a huge laugh when Dad fed the fish while snorkeling and we could hear his screams of glee (or was it fear?) as the fish swarmed him, swimming through his legs and up his shorts. It's still a topic of great humor. Our daughter snorkeled for the first time like a pro, with no fear and lots of awe. We survived on english muffins and peanut butter since nobody ever seemed to want to stop what they were doing - snorkeling, hiking, swimming, reading, resting, napping - long enough to cook or even to go out. The girls would crash about an hour after the night turned black, and we'd be right behind them - that glorious tiredness that came from just doing anything or nothing. Last year we returned to the Regattas, and the highlight of our vacation was our trip up to Treasure Cay. It was a beautiful blue-sky day, and the tide was just right, with all that multi-hued blue water and a seemingly endless sandbar. We danced our own version of Kenny Chesney's 'When the Sun Goes Down' in 6 inches of crystal clear water 50 yards from shore, and it was one of those wonderful and rare moments as a parent when everybody is smiling and happy, and you just want to bottle that feeling. The pictures help, but oh to do it again.
Our first trip was the summer after hurricane Floyd. Anyway it was me, my wife, our daughter, and our daughters best friend. We spent a week at a rental house on the White Sound of Green Turtle Cay. This property was a boat in and out of only place. I was kind of a nervous wreck of sorts cause I really didn't have any boating experience but it all worked out fine and we didn't have any real problems. Some of the special places we went to that come to mind were Manjack. My wife and I left the kids alone on the sea side and took a walk to the ocean side. Truly breathtaking. You know once in a great while whether in your own back yard or half way around the world you see or hear or smell something and all you can seem to want do at that time is look "up" and say...thank you God. Well... this was one of those places for me. Another place was the flats on the south side of GTC. Honestly, looking out towards No Name and Pelican Cays with the rainbow that was crossing the sky that day was something. I know this is getting a little long winded but I have to mention one more aspect of our journey. And that would be the locals of the area. People talk about how nice the local people are down in Abaco. It is with good reason as we found out firsthand. My wife has a seizure disorder and allthough I think she's only had 3 or 4 in her life...one took place while in GTC. I had witnessed one when shortly after she had just had our daughter years earlier and it is scary to say the least. Anyway when she went down the kids started to freak so I tryed to keep cool and I waved a couple people down for help that were working in the area. We scooped her up and this lady said to bring her inside her house. Straight back to these peoples bedroom we went. The air conditioning was put on and a doctor was called. Before long the doc showed up and she started to come around. For some reason I was scared to death she wasn't going to have any memory of who we were or where we were at. And the doc asked her who I was and she looked at him kinda funny and said thats my husband Jayme. Well I dont want to sound like a wussy boy to the guys that might be reading this, but tears ran down my face that day cause I was happy to have her back. Thanks again to the doc that day and to none other than Janet and Ronnie Sawyer for opening there house and hearts that day.
About ten years back a cute Bahamian girl came to Michigan and stole our son's heart. They were married soon after and moved from the shore of Lake Superior first to Bimini and finally settling in Treasure Cay. They're both teachers in Cooperstown and have two of the cutest and smartest kids on Abaco (Grampa's not even a little prejudiced). In the late "90s my wife and I started visiting there a couple times a year and will be returning in June for Kindergarten graduation. Like so many others have said we've fallen in love with the water - we sail, dive and kayak - the people, the culture, the food, everything. I've recently retired and my wife will in a couple years - we've just got to decide whether to take our boat down, find a boat there, or build/buy a place near the grandkids (oh, and our son and daughter-in-law).
In April of 2000, it was time to "Meet the Parents" my girlfriend who would become my wife decided it was time to introduce me to her family. Joe and Connie, Mary's brother and sis-in-law, are long time cruisers and at that time were in the Sea of Abaco. I had never really been on many sailboats and the thought of spending 10 days on one with a couple I had the feeling were going to be watching everything I did to see if I was OK for their 'lil sister was a little nerve wracking. Needless to say Mary's kin are great people, and the time spent on their boat pretty much changed my life. I fell in love with everything to do with sailboats. The sailing, time spent on the water, especially the people involved with the lifestyle. We bought our first sailbaot two years ago. The weather on our trip wasn't the greatest. Lots of wind, rain, and not that warm. It was still a great trip. About the only downer happened when we went out to Nippers for the roast on Sun. Mary and I ended up staying around for some drinking and dancing. Having a great time, somehow ended up on top of the bar dancing, me with one of the barmaids and Mary with John (I think the manager). Next thing I know someone tugged on my pants and pointed out that Mary was sitting down on the ground. Seems that she had fallen and hurt her knee, turned out to be a torn ACL. There's lot's more to the story and if I run into anyone of you when we're down from the 28th of April to May 10 and you want to hear the rest, you'll probably get a good laugh out of it. I know we do. Joe and Connie are somewhere in the Sea of Abaco now. They're on a 43' C&C called the Argunauta. If you happen to run across them say hi for Mary and Dave. Tell them we'll see them on the 28th.
We have been to the Abacos 3 times, and we will be there again in July. I was scouring the internet 3 1/2 years ago and was looking to go somewhere in the Bahamas because we have a friend who has gone "houseboating" around many of the southern Bahamas islands. I fell across Abaco, and when I began to read about the Abacos and look at the pix, I knew my family had to get there. We love adventure and are not big fans of "touristy" destinations- we prefer quiet and solitude. We have stayed on Lubbers Quarters on every trip, and we just purchased property on Tilloo Cay for a future home. I love that the outer cays use solar power and cisterns- there is something comforting in that. My two daughters do not miss the tv and prefer instead to look for crabs and birdwatch or snorkel- what a treasure! I am a freelance travel writer and recently wrote about the Abacos- I just hope not too many people find out how great this place really is.
We just got back from our first trip to Abaco and had a wonderful time. I had never heard of Abaco until I started looking for a spring break destination for our family that would have good birding, not be too far from the US, warm weather, snorkeling, nice beaches. I went to our bookshelf and started paging through the Guide to Birding in the Bahamas, published by the American Birding Association. Abaco was listed as one of the the best islands in the Bahamas for birding, and that was all it took to start planning! Thanks to this board and other internet and print resources we had a lovely vacation, pleasing 1 avid birder, 2 teenage girls (one who likes to do as little as possible, and one who loves to snorkel), and a mom that wants everyone to be happy and enjoys photography, birding and snorkeling too. A perfect trip!
S/V Toucan Dream
We had an environmental consulting company in Jacksonville and in 1998 we took two months off to cruise to the Abacos on Toucan Dream. As soon as we got back, we initiated the sale of our company and closed a month later. We have been back every year since then (except for last, we're building a new house in Hobe Sound) but do intend to make a short trip before the end of the season this year and keep going back. I affectionately say that "The Abacos ruined my working career." We have since cruised throughout most of the Bahamas, but the Abacos are our favorite populated cruising grounds.
Our first time in Hopetown was in 1990, and we stayed in the Butterfly House. The previous year we'd been in Nassau and had become friendly with the curator of the zoo there. We'd done a little conservation work with the Bahama Parrot and wanted to go and see them in the wild. We'd been warned that "there's nothing to do there", but forged ahead anyway. WOW. That was such a magical week, we kept going back. It's become our standard of great vacation places. Nothing else has measured up yet to it. Due to circumstances haven't been able to return for a few years, but hold Hopetown in our hearts. I miss it. Hopefully this year we can return for a visit. And in the meantime, I'll just sit and look longingly at all the great pictures others post and dream a little dream.
I had a chance along with my brother and his wife to sail over with old friends, Don & Patty on SV "Bahama Rogue" who were heading to Abaco for their annual summer cruise. We hailed the Big Red Boat as we passed Bakers Bay and were invited aboard. Turns out the cruise director was a former student teacher of Don! Six years later, I got the bug to get a "big" sailboat and decided to put it in the Florida Yacht Charters fleet. When it came to decide which charter base I wanted to keep the boat at (Miami Beach, Key West, or Marsh Harbour), it was a no-brainer. I've been coming over to sail our boat every few months since then. Even after the first boat sank in Hurricane Floyd and damage to the second one in F & J, I can think of no other place I'd rather be.
It was April 1980 and my husband and I got to visit the new /old home my parents had just purchased called Fry's Mangrove. What an incredible place. The view, the beaches, the people made this the dream vacation of two very hard working teachers who had not had a vacation since their honeymoon in 1976. Well you can imagine what happened next. Katie was born and the rest is history. For all of you that enjoy Katie's Cottage you now know that it was a result of our very precious vacation that late April of 1980. Thanks Mom and Dad!
My wife has family that lives on Man-O-War Cay. Before we got married, she took me over there for our first vacation together. It was Sept. 8th 2001. I met her Uncle and Aunt and cousins. They're all very nice people. I felt right at home very quickly. All the people in the Abacos are very friendly and amiable. I instantly fell in love with the islands. We island hopped all over the place. Guana Cay, Fowlers Cay, Elbow Cay, Lubbers Quarters and lots of other little islands too. We did some conching, some fishing, some snorkeling, ate a bunch of cheesburgers and drank a lot of Kalik! There's just something in the air and in the water that makes the Abacos such a wonderful, beautiful and spectacular place! It's addicting! Plus, I found out very quickly who's the number one musician in the Abacos......Barefoot Man! He rocks!! Needless to say we now have a little house we own on Man-O-War and we go back every year. Our honeymoon was spent on a boat, just cruising around the Sea of Abaco. And this year, we're bringing some friends of ours from Phoenix, AZ with us!! We can't wait!!
It must have been 1979 or so. The father of a friend of ours had discovered the Abaco's from the air many years before. He built several houses on Elbow Cay at Lucayos over the the years and one day they invited us to visit. We packed up food in banana boxes, crates and coolers, bought some snorkle gear and flew down to Miami. There we boarded a six passenger single prop plane. While sitting on the airport in Miami, sweltering, we asked the pilot if he could turn on the AC. He asked us to wait until he took off. Once in the air he opened the windows!!! We flew thru the clouds to Marsh Harbor and felt like we were on our way to Oz! We gathered a few groceries in MH and took the water taxi to the Lucayos Dock and found ourselves in Paradise. We never knew what a cistern was before that day. The electric power at that time was spotty at best, we read by kerosene lantern light at night. NO PHONE - NO TV - NO AIR CONDITIONING. We loved it. The boats, the radios, Vernon's pies, riding golf carts to town, Tahiti Beach, Tilloo Bank, Capt. Jacks for conch fritters and dancing, the list was endless. After another visit with our friends we decided to strike off on our own and started renting a house for ourselves. After my two girls were born we returned to Elbow Cay every two to three years or so. The rest of our family was enthralled by our stories of this unspoiled paradise which we considered the perfect place to take kids on a vacation and some started tagging along. The last time we came down there was 24 of us and we rented five house in the north end. Our rule is still NO PHONES and NO TV - but we've relented on the AC now that power is reliable. The Cays have changed a lot in 25 years but they are still paradise to us.
September 1951, in time for the birth of my first cousin, Rudy Pinder, son of my mother's brother Lewis "Papa Lou" and his wife Paronell. My mother, Nina, was born at Cherokee Sound on October 13, in the midst of the great 1926 hurricane. She married my father in Kansas City, Kansas in 1949, and I was born in 1950 at Sparta, Wisconsin where Dad was stationed at Camp (now Fort) McCoy. He had orders to ship out to Korea, but they let him stay until I came, otherwise I would have been born "home" to Cherokee and then I would have been full instead of...
HALF-A-HAMIAN, Returned every other summer while growing up, and spent a year in school at Marsh Harbour 1963-64. After graduation in 1968 I was back and worked for Owens Illinois' sugar cane operation as a machinery operator, driver, mechanic and gopher. I then helped with the constrution and painting of the company housing at Casuarina Point, did commercial fishing and crawfishing and other jobs until the change in government would no longer let me work without a permit, so I've spent the last 34 years trying to get back "home" with a job that would support a family. Now I'm retired from the railroad with a pension that should allow us to go soon and live comfortable, God willing!
My first trip seven years ago was sort of a sad time, but I've been back a few times post. My ex-wife and I had been in Tahiti the year before for vacation, while some friends of ours were in Abaco at the same time, so when we got back, we compared notes and their's sounded nicer (remote that is), so I scheduled Abaco the following year. Long story short, and for various reasons that preceeded our trip....other than the 2 Board Meetings (sponsored and organized by AbacoWilly btw), we were fighting and miserable, b/c she really didn't want to be there with me. We made one more trip (with kids that time) the following year (coordinated with Abacowilly and his family this time), but divorced not too long afterwards. Not too worry though....I exorcized the ghosts 2 years ago with a wonderful woman (and our combined 3 kids) who became my wife 6 months later, and we're planning a return visit (with kids) to Hopetown next year at this time. I haven't been around the board much lately, but it's sure nice to see old familiar names again.
WOW - the first trip was in 1966 or 67 with my parents and sister in a 30ft sloop from our home here in Florida through the Abacos to ManO war. It would take four days from the crossing, staying at Allans Pensacola and Powell Cay on the way. We went back at least once or twice a year by boat, flew over for short stays again and again through the 70's. We eventually owned a boat built by "Uncle WIll" and I'm proud to have known him and have hung around his boat shed. We always pulled our boats at ManOWar and learned much from the craftsmen there. I was young but remember well the old tools and shop. We attended wonderful "fairs" to raise money for lights and benches at the ballfield - homemade mango ice cream and cocanut pie to die for!! I am returning in a couple weeks for my honeymoon, staying at Lubbers - anxious to see the changes and hopefully the old homes that still stand. I want to hear hymns on a Sunday morning, smell the bread and taste the salt air! (I live in south Florida in a 65 year old cottage with my conch shell horn on my kitchen window sill so even after a 30 year lapse it's not like I've ever been far away!)
Just after our first child was born (twenty years ago), my wife wanted a getaway where I could not use the phone- and she found it! We stayed at the Bluff House and were greeted by none other than Louie Louie. (we soon realized the legend of Louie was all true) The old VW bus had no doors and was so rusted out we offered to walk. As he bumped along the gutted coral road to our cottage, we wondered, did we make a mistake? No, it turns out that we made a wonderful discovery! Like a lot of other folks on this board. The first night Martin explained the honor bar system, just tick beside your name and we'll settle up when you leave! We must have been really honest since Martin told us we were the first people whose bar bill exceeded their room and meals. We have almost grown out of this habit of excess. Needless to say we kept coming back for more and fell in love with the greatest collage of people who basically became family. Each night the main house would come alive when all the guests returned from their adventures with Brendall, Lincoln, Ronnie etc. The Bluff House of old would make a great sitcom! Martin, Molly, Louie, Jerry and a fabulous supporting cast. Along with the wacky collection of guests and devotees. The mantra was how many times have you been here? We lost count! And Walter- AIR WALTER as we called him. The king of the kitchen and the wildman in the wee hours. This era was BC (before carts) so it was boat or walk and you did not walk far from the Bluff House. Louie led miraculous missions to town after dinner in a quest to see how many people could he fit into his Mako- One hand on the wheel the other on a HUGE Niagra U mug that never seemed to run dry. The first stop was Uncle Berts for a cold one and a little pool and gossip and then to the Roosters Rest for much dancing and socializing into the early morning hours. If you missed Louies return later that evening it really turned into an adventure. I will never forget coming home rather late with Walter in his whaler when he stood up to light a cigarette while wizzing into White Sound. At top speed of course! You get the picture. We graduated to renting houses and eventually buying one. We feel so blessed, privileged and proud to be part of the Green Turtle Community. It is true- it's paradise, but its the people who make the place magical. As Kevin (my favorite Rock Star) McIntosh so aptly calls himself " The Island Spice". One last story before I go finish packing my bags to come home tomorrow. Many years ago my wife and I got caught in a set of rouge waves and found ourselves swamped, in the trough, boat full of water and the engine dead. Yep we thought it was our time. Well you guessed it- it wasn't. The engine started, I spun the boat and gunned it and we surfed over 1/2 mile with a wave behind us that was cresting at what felt like 10 feet higher than our stern. Everything washed out of the boat except my wife and we sat in the calm of Coco Bay and shook like wet dogs for a good long while and then idled back to Bluff house. Maybe that was the trip when our bar bill exceeded the room and board! Anyway 20 years later its nice to report that the recipe is still perfection. Island Spice in Paradise. Great thread Peach- I've been meaning to post to it for a while! I scanned this old photo of Susan and I with Lincoln. Susan still looks great, but Lincoln and I -well- we've aged more like a fine scotch!
First time to TC was mid 1960's with my grandparents to visit my great aunt and uncle...for those who know Sinclair..his father was a riot also!!! We brought just about everything over in our plane..Uncle Sinclair saved limes from the TC golf club drinks and used again, and again at the little yellow house on Ocean Blvd. Dr, Frasier his dear wife, earlly days of Ossie Parker and the Delltones (Dulltones, as we used to kid) New Years at the Crows Nest, sea turtle pens at the marina, sea turtle soup at the hotel buffet, my friend Rory, missile pieces on the beach from the Cape, the old airport with wrecks along the runway, gum 2cents a piece (early inflation!) George the taxi driver, Orthnel (sp) and bonefishing..my honeymoon there in 1988..and of course "HASTE YE BACK". Been a while since I've been down..need to recharge!
It was 1977. My dad's old college roommate had built a cabin on Sugarloaf Cay (east of Marsh Harbor) and my parents went down to visit in/around '74 or so. They bought a lot next to him and built a 4-wall plywood cabin, then added a "master-bedroom". Finally in 1977, all was ready and Mom and Dad drove all of us 5 kids down to Fl. in a rented motor home, then a few days at disney, followed by a flight out of Ft. Lauderdale into Marsh Harbor. I was the youngest at 9, followed by three sisters and a brother who at 16 was not too happy to visit the "jungle".Our place was just that too. A jungle. we had to spend several days cutting trees/brush, etc. to create some air-ways through the island for fresh air and also to alleviate the bug problem. It was interesting adventure for me. We would have to take a cab to the North shore ferry dock (the old ferry dock, which was still running in those days), where my dad would have to hike up the road to a friends place to retrieve our 12' aluminum boat. We would them load it up and make a couple trips over to the island, with bags and people. During the week, we would rent a boat from the Conch Inn, so we could have access to Man-O-War, Elbow and Great Guana cays, Our favorite was Tahiti Beach over on Tilloo Cut, at the South end of Elbow Cay. It was sort of tough on me as I got older as I was very allergic to Poison Oak and our island was full of it. Dad used to line us kids up in the kitchen back in NY and give us all shots of Depomedrol (sp), to help ward off any problems. As I got older, it was my job to fetch water, which meant driving the small tin boat to the new marina and loading the several 5-gal water jugs.Each year thereafter, we would go down and the number of family would dwindle until the last time as a family in '86. The property was sold in '87 and I believe the new owner tore down the cabin, so he could build anew with his family.I look forward to going back. I plan to stay on Lubbers Quarters for a week or so and spend most of my days visiting the various islands I remember as a kid.