Chris and Amy on Imagine This acted as our tour guides in the Abaco as they
have been here several times! We were sad to see them head
back to the
US but we had lots to look forward to yet in the Bahamas!
One of the things we are looking forward to is Derek's arrival!
Ahoy! Our boy!!
Below: Derek walking from the plane just after he arrived!
Leonard M. Thompson International Airport in Marsh Harbour is a small
but efficient airport and only a short taxi ride from our marina.
Examining Abaco's history, we see the name of Captain Leonard Thompson
appear time and time again. A World War II veteran, aviation pioneer and
businessman, Capt. Thompson worked as a commercial pilot, revolutionizing the
aviation industry and starting several airline companies.
Abaco is the 2nd largest island and its capital of Marsh Harbour is the 3rd largest city
in the Bahamas.
Abaco's population is about 23,000 and Marsh Harbour is bustling
with opportunity with a population
of roughly 6500-7000 people.
There is one traffic light in March Harbour and it was on our route to the
supermarket carries quite a large variety of food,
though it is expensive.
Normally they receive their stock
of fresh vegetables
and bread from the states,
one day each week.
If a person goes to the store
before the delivery day,
what is left has
been picked over for a week.
It was nice that the marina had bikes available so Derek could ride
one of the marina's bikes on our trip to the store. The streets are narrow
(the cars drive on the wrong side of the road)
and the sidewalks, where there are any, have lots of pot holes and
are very narrow as well. It all adds to the experience! As a mother, I hoped
Derek would be fine as he hadn't ridden here before. When I saw him taking
pictures with his phone while riding the bike, I knew he was fine! lol
We thought it was interesting that the REALLY ripe bananas
the not so ripe bananas.
Below: The pre-priced containers are priced as $1.00 each on the box
but the Bahamian price is $2.74.
Abaco contributes to the geographical portion of the Northern Bahamas encompassing 120-mile long
of islands and cays (pronounced keys) which span across 650 square miles of breathtaking beauty.
From island to island, The Bahamas is generous in its offering of marine marvels with pristine
by aquamarine waters where submerged under its depths are lively beds
reefs along with mysterious
blue holes and vast pine forests, nature trails,
and wetlands. Abaco seems to have it all.
We snorkeled at Mermaid reef. We were in awe of the beautiful reef with tons of fish,
which the crystal
clear water allowed us to clearly see, as we floated above the reef.
Like every Bahamian Island, there are beautiful views of the crystal clear waters,
beaches and natural wildlife all around the island.
While in the Bahamas, one of the
first things we noticed
is attitude. There is always tomorrow.
There are two kinds of time,
normal 24-hour daytime and island time.
We are on island time now.
said in the Wizard of OZ, "We are not in Kansas anymore, Toto!"
The customs of these island people are vastly different from our own and we must take this
as we deal with people in the Bahamas. We need to just enjoy the quiet peacefulness
of this island paradise.
After all, we came here for the adventure of exploring a new land and people.
One day as we took the water taxi to the other side of the bay, we chatted with the water taxi driver
BTC (Bahamian Telephone Company) which was where we were wanting to go.
The driver said he thought the
business was only open on Tuesdays and this was not a Tuesday!
When we got to the office the 8 x 10 paper on
door stated the hours as 9:00 am - 4:30 pm,
Monday - Friday, but the door was locked. It was about 1:00 pm, thinking that perhaps they were
just closed for the noon hour, we ate lunch next door. When we checked the
BTC after our lunch,
the door was still locked. We decided that the water taxi driver knew what he was talking about.
We've heard of a bank that is open only from 12 noon to 1 PM on Thursday! That is it.
One day, per week, for one hour! How about working that job?
The US dollar is used interchangeably throughout the Bahamas in conjunction with their own dollar.
It is not
uncommon to receive our change in both US and Bahamian currency.
Tourism is a major source of income for many countries including The Bahamas.
Today, approximately six million visitors travel to The Bahamas yearly. Because of Tourism's
on a country's social, cultural, educational and economic sectors, it remains an important industry for
Abaco and The Bahamas. In fact, about 50% of all jobs in the Bahamas are related to Tourism.
They've upgraded the famous
"It's Better in The Bahamas" to "The Islands of The Bahamas...It Just Keeps Getting Better."
Derek enjoyed fishing and we enjoyed an all you could eat Snapper fish fry!
We took our dinghies across the bay and had lunch at Jamie's Place Restaurant & Ice Cream Parlour.
Jamie's serves delicious home-style food in a casual and friendly atmosphere. The small family run
restaurant is a restaurant where the locals eat. The prices here
were normal and the portions were large.
However, they were out of ice-cream!
We don't know what day of the week the ice-cream delivery comes in.
We ordered some Conch Fritters so Derek could taste them. Conch is pronounced Conk.
The traditional Bahamian Conch meat can eaten many different ways; raw in salads,
deep-fried as fritters, in chowders and gumbos and even in burgers. This wonderful
shellfish is delicious but so hard to find out side the Bahamas.
Pictured below is a conch shell after the meat is taken out.
We took the water taxi to Cracker P's and had a cracker of a time,
(like the Canadians would say). We met up with Steve and Debbie on Gypsies Palace here.
Bruce and Derek had a great time playing Score-Four.
All to soon it was time for Derek to fly back to the states.