Tag Archives: Marsh Harbour

The Islander: Volume 6.5

25 Apr

Call me Drake…without the singing, the pale complexion, and questionable tattoos because I just went Back to Back.  Two blogs in two days.

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Wait but seriously though.  Sooooo…we aren’t going to talk about the fact that he has   a flower and a bee tattooed on his arm?  I mean if y’all good I’m good…I just thought we should have addressed it…we’re getting off topic aren’t we?

About two weeks ago was the Easter Holiday.  With one of my best friends, God Son, and adopted family in tow, we headed up to Crown Haven which is the northern most point on the island.

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There.  I included a map because I know some of you guys still don’t know where Abaco is much less a tiny settlement on the Northern tip of the island.  Away we went.  The drive itself is quite long…for being on an island anyways.  With stops along the way, we set off to explore the unknown.

First stop was Treasure Cay.  For those of you that follow me on social media, you would have seen me post this beach a few times.  The backdrop is simply breathtaking.  Neon blue waters, powdery white sand and cloudless skies are a reoccurring theme here.  It’s no wonder that this area is ripe with second home owners.

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Yeah, I know.  My words are inadequate.  After a few minutes of relaxing and people watching, we continued our trek northward.  The drive itself isn’t the most inspiring as you continually pass millions of pine forest on either side of the road.  What is amazing though are the settlements that spring up almost out of nowhere.

These settlements have the bare necessities and it is this that most out-islands (or family islands commonly referred to by Bahamians) are known for.  For the most part, the settlements shared similar amenities.  Each one had a small convenience store selling sundry items, a few local mom and pop gas stations, a church, and that was about it outside of homes.  The homes themselves were very modest and quaint…but you could tell that each settlement had it’s own unique character. For them, life is relatively simple.  It wasn’t uncommon to see most people outside talking with each other, and most were kind and waved.  The settlements are relatively small so everyone knows when you’re the new person in town so to speak.

As we drifted further North, here is where the real fun began.  Imagine this.  Myself as the only male (outside of my two year old Godson) and three females in my car.  We are finally approaching the northern most tip of the island when in the middle of the road there are about five men and one person whom I believe to be a lady.  We still aren’t sure about her (him) but that’s not important to this story.  One of the guys has an empty bottle of rum in his hand and waves it menacingly towards another gentleman that has a rock (that looks like it’s straight from Bedrock that Fred Flintstone lent to him) in his hand to defend himself while another gentleman (who is armed with nothing) is trying to stop the impending doom that is about to occur.  It quickly becomes abundantly clear that all of these men probably are just a tad bit inebriated.  The lady? is screaming at the top of his/her lungs that they shouldn’t fight while the other two gentlemen across the road suddenly begin jawing at one another.  One picks the other up and looks like he’s about to practice the latest wrestling move he saw on WWF when he decides to let him go.  I was torn between turning around (which would have sucked because we just drove for two years) and driving through (because I didn’t want Jhene (my car) anyone to get injured).  Alas, we strolled through and made it all the way north.

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This far north, there is actually a ferry service that runs between Abaco and Grand Bahama.  The town itself appears to be a fishing community which allows those living in the area to be able to provide for their families.  As much as I say that Marsh Harbour is slow, these areas are even slower but in a weird way, it was enjoyable to see this side of the island.  People were friendly and engaging.  Kids were outside playing and socializing and not on iPads.  Weird.

The next day I got a chance to head south and go to Pete’s Pub to watch the sunset.  For the uninitiated, Pete’s Pub is a restaurant and bar overlooking a bay that offers iconic views.   While off the beaten path, the views that we were afforded were amazing.  Learning from my earlier mistake of trying to set the scene with my words, I’ll let the photos do the talking.

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With the weekend coming to a close, it was nice to spend a nice afternoon with whom I consider to be extended family and watch the sunset.  Abaco certainly has a charm to it and whether you like it or not, it grows on you.

Life’s a beach.  Enjoy the waves.

P.S.  There may be a video to follow in the coming days. 🙂

The Islander: Volume 6

24 Apr

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So… I missed a week.  Don’t get mad.  Look, I even put a pretty scenic picture up to make up for it.  It’s been a rather hectic two weeks for me and while I’ve been meaning to write, I just hadn’t found the time.  But fear not, I have lots to share so let’s start with my most recent weekend and I will work my way backwards in the next post later on this week.

With one of my best friends turning 30 and celebrating by throwing a party that I was invited to told I would die if I didn’t attend, I took the opportunity to head home for the weekend and to catch up with friends and family that I hadn’t seen in awhile.  Cause, you know, more life and what not.

As soon I touched down into Nassau on Friday afternoon, I hadn’t realized how much I had missed home.  Obviously you miss family and friends and the ability to do certain things sometimes, but in some way I guess I had blocked it all out since I had moved. While I’ve been in Marsh Harbour, there are certain people I feel like I know because I see them everywhere.  But this was different…Nassau was so busy!   I almost felt like I was in New York City.  There was traffic…people I hadn’t seen before…it was magical.  There was even more than one street light that I had to stop to.  I hadn’t realized how acclimatized I had gotten to the slowness in Abaco.  Everyone here seemed to be in a rush.

For those of you that don’t know, it’s also election time in the Bahamas which means….

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Sidewalks!!!!!!  You get a sidewalk!  She gets a sidewalk!  Everyone gets a Sidewalk!!!!!

Oh.  Also signs.  Sidewalks, signs, and stripes (road striping).  Not like we wanted to hear about how the parties are going to rid the country of social ills, bring jobs to the economy or anything like that.  We just want some where to run safely clearly.  I digress.  I was happy to be home.  I also caught up with a few strangers during my trip home.

 

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Exhibit A

I hadn’t seen my mom since February due to conflicting travel schedules so I was happy to see her and to spend some time with her.  It was also good to know that she would still make breakfast and do my laundry occasionally.  I was getting concerned that she’d forget or even worse…just not want to do it anymore.  The horror of that thought.  I’m kidding…sort of?  It was nice having a familiar voice around.  She even found time to do that Mom thing where they tell you that you should do something a certain way, you disagree, and then they keep reminding you to do it in random conversation until you give in and just do it.  An Example from yesteryear:

Mom: “Hey I had dinner at this amazing restaurant last night.”

Me: “What’s it called?”

Mom: “Luciano’s.  They had this band playing called Clean your room and wash the car…really cool guys.”

You get the gist.  The rest of the weekend felt like a blur as I caught up with friends and family that I hadn’t seen in awhile.  It was a great feeling just to be able to relax among familiar faces where you aren’t the stranger.  I was also happy that I decided to extend my stay in Nassau an extra day.  With the weather slated to be bad in Nassau and Marsh Harbour, I was in no rush to drown while trying to enplane/deplane.

All too quickly, I was back in the airport heading back to Marsh Harbour.  As much as I enjoy living here, it definitely has made me appreciate home.  As much as I appreciate home however, I’ve taken the stance that home is where my suitcase is and for the time being, that’s here in Abaco.

P.S.  My food processor arrived.  I’ll take a picture in the next post and introduce you guys.  I’m also trying to come up with a name for her so I’d appreciate any opinions.  I have used it and decided to make Jerk Chicken the other day.  I surprised myself.  It was really good…like I would have paid for it.  If this whole aviation thing doesn’t work out…nah…who am I kidding?

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Life’s a beach.  Enjoy the wave.

 

 

The Islander

12 Mar
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On my way!

The last time I was here (and actually left the airport), I was a goofy eleven year old here on a sixth grade class trip to Camp Abaco.  I vaguely remember the trip but funnily enough, while I was packing to move here 18 years later, I found those very photos.  To show you how long ago it was, I remember using one of those disposable Kodak cameras that you had to wind up.  Be that as it may, it’s funny how life has a way of coming full circle.  To know where you’re going, you have to know where you’ve been right?  For those of you that don’t know, I took up a great opportunity to assist with a project here at the airport in Marsh Harbour, Abaco.

I’ve been anticipating this move for the last few months for a a variety of different reasons (outside of the obvious ones such as family, friends etc.) but mainly because life in Marsh Harbour occurs at a much slower pace when compared to Nassau.   Now I’m sure some of you from the more developed countries are saying something along the lines of, ‘it’s an island…they’re all slow’.  And to some degree, you’d be right, but let me be the first to assure you, they are two completely different animals.

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Sunrise from my Hotel

Take for instance, the population of the two islands.  Nassau, even though only 21 miles long and 7 miles wide houses just about 70% of the entire population of the Bahamas.  Despite being much larger than Nassau, Abaco’s population is just over 17,000, with about 6,283 of those persons residing in Marsh Harbour.  Well, 6,284.  With such a small population, it helps to explain why the island only has one operable traffic light.  See what I meant about it being much slower?  Who says you don’t learn things from my posts?

Be that as it may, since I’ve been here, everyone has been extremely welcoming.  With any small town, people notice when someone new is in town.  On several occasions, people have come up to me and started a conversation.  Even the police have noticed.  Unbeknownst to me, my rental car didn’t have a front license plate.  Unfortunately, the police noticed this before I did.  Luckily, I didn’t get a ticket and needless to say, I promptly went back and got another rental.  Not exactly my best first impression.  Speaking of first impressions, on my second day here, I also realized that while I had decided to move here, my deodorant decided that it liked the setup in Nassau more.  Apparently Murphy and his laws decided to join me on my trip. Thank God for the hotel gift shop.

Despite those minor setbacks, things have been enjoyable in my first six days.  Marsh Harbour has a true old island feel with a fair amount of city amenities giving the best of both worlds.  The local cuisine has been amazing and because of their locations on the island, the views have been to die for as well.  With an area of just under 650 miles and tons of adjoining cays (Elbow Cay, Guana Cay, Green Turtle Cay, Noname Cay (where you can feed the pigs from piggyville)…just to name a few) there’s lots of exploring for one to do on the weekends and I intend to do just that.

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In Marsh Harbour, your food comes with a view!

So for the next 902 days (give or take…yes I calculated it) while I’ll be residing here, I’ll be working, exploring and blogging.  My intent is to provide you guys with at least weekly content (and I’ll do my best to hold myself accountable) so that you can see how well (or not well) I’m adjusting to island life.  Maybe by the end of it, the Nassuvian may very well become an Abaconian.  Time will tell.

Until then, life’s a beach.  Enjoy the waves.