Fish Hooks Update: Restoration Begins January 2014

It’s official! The restoration of our little house by the ferry starts in less than three months.

Fish Hooks 2013
Fish Hooks 2013

Since there’s so much to be done, we’ve divided the work into several phases. Phase one — constructing a new foundation directly behind the existing structure, raising and moving the house back onto it and adding a small, covered front porch — begins in early January. Winter is a good time for this work, since the weather’s cooler and rain delays are less likely.

Our front porch inspiration: Mrs. Sybil Hodgkins' house next door.
The inspiration for our future front porch:
Mrs. Sybil Hodgkins’ house next door.

Shifting the house back on the property will give us a little more privacy and allow room for a little porch from which to enjoy afternoon drinks and sunrises over Settlement Creek.

More importantly, though, it will provide extra elevation, which will hopefully translate into added protection against flooding.

In October 2012, during Hurricane Sandy, Settlement Creek overflowed its banks. Most of the eastern end of town, including the ferry dock and our street, were submerged. Though Fish Hooks is already a few feet above street level, the creek rose high enough that water seeped through our floor. Since it’s predicted that sea levels will continue to rise in future, we’re eager to achieve as much extra elevation as possible.

Our street, submerged during Hurricane Sandy in October 2012. Fish Hooks is the green house.

I won’t pretend that the idea of picking up and moving my grandmother’s childhood home doesn’t make me a little queasy. But our contractors Oral and Jason Bethel come highly recommended and we’re putting our faith in them.

Still, I’ve warned Tom that I may not have the nerve to watch, and I may leave him to oversee the move while I distract myself with some of the other items on our lengthy project list.

Since we want to keep as much of Fish Hooks’ original furniture as we can, we need to replace the settee cushions and make new covers for them, refinish a few lamps and repair/refinish the old wooden dining table and chairs we found in the cottage.

I also want to spend some time in Marsh Harbour, investigating what’s available locally in terms of furnishings, fixtures, appliances and housewares and figuring out what, if anything, we’ll need to import.

Now that our start date is confirmed, next steps include working with Jason and Oral to finalize plans for the new foundation and porch, and securing the necessary building permits. Fingers crossed, the latter process will be simple and straightforward.

In the meantime,  here are a few “before” photos of Fish Hooks. Some of these images were shot in 2006 during Tom’s first visit to Green Turtle Cay. At that time, the cottage had been vacant for the better part of a decade and was in serious disrepair. Other photos were taken in 2009 and 2013, and they reflect some of the repairs our friends Mark and Caroljean Lowe made while using the cottage for their golf cart rental company, Kool Karts.

Related: We’ve Hooked the Small One, Fish Hooks Update: The Inspection, Attic Archaeology, Fish Hooks Video Diary: A Solid Start, Fish Hooks Video Diary: The Cellar, Fish Hooks Video Diary: Beam It Up, Fish Hooks Video Diary: Ready, Set…, Fish Hooks Video Diary: The Move.


  26 comments for “Fish Hooks Update: Restoration Begins January 2014

  1. October 14, 2013 at 10:27 am

    Can’t wait to watch this happen!

    • October 14, 2013 at 10:30 am

      Will you be around in January? If so, you can see the move happening. We’re figuring on a month to six weeks for Phase One to be complete…

  2. October 14, 2013 at 12:36 pm

    Great I can’t wait to see all this happen 🙂

    • October 15, 2013 at 12:15 pm

      Me either! Will be glad (and will breathe a bit easier) when it’s done.

  3. October 14, 2013 at 12:41 pm

    Amanda, Fabulous!!

  4. October 14, 2013 at 2:58 pm

    Very best of luck with what can only be called “Moving House”. RH

    • October 15, 2013 at 12:12 pm

      Thanks, RH. Yes, this is a move like no other I’ve ever experienced. I’ll be very glad when it’s behind us. 🙂

  5. Phillip Sawyer
    October 14, 2013 at 3:29 pm

    You go Girl…….


  6. October 14, 2013 at 5:40 pm

    Please keep me up to date on the progress and all the best and good success to you. I am starting over with Parliament Square Cultural Center here in Grand Bahama but will reopen in a much small less than 1000 square feet building in the Hunters Settlement next to St, Vincent De Paul Catholic Church under the old “Grum Ma’s” theme.

    • October 15, 2013 at 12:12 pm

      Thank you, and good luck to you as well! Look forward to hearing about your progress with the Parliament Square Cultural Center! Hope all goes well.

  7. Evan
    October 15, 2013 at 4:24 am

    Simply charming!

  8. Nancy Garard
    October 15, 2013 at 3:14 pm

    What an exciting project. You will have so much fun with this. Good Luck!

  9. October 15, 2013 at 11:14 pm

    Amanda, my new best dog friend, this blog is so cool! I can’t wait to see how this turns out. How adventurous. Please let us know when you’re taking reservations (tee hee). I just went crabbing last night and ate a huge Dungeness tonight. I will monitor hurricanes now and hold you, Tom and Wrigley in my thoughts. Lisa

    • October 15, 2013 at 11:26 pm

      Hi, Lisa. Thanks for your comment! Glad you like the blog. We’re nervous and excited at the same time about the house — will be very glad once the move is done. It’ll be a while before we’re taking reservations, but I’ll keep you posted. 🙂 In the meantime, Dungeness crab sounds delightful! That’s one of the things we really miss about Vancouver/the PNW is the amazing, plentiful and relatively inexpensive seafood. Did Willow get a teeny bite?

  10. Abbey Heimensen
    October 16, 2013 at 11:04 am

    So exciting! Can’t wait to see all of your dreams fall into place!

    • October 17, 2013 at 8:27 am

      Thanks, Abbey! Look forward to having you guys over for drinks on the porch when it’s done. 🙂

  11. November 11, 2013 at 2:36 pm

    I think I’ve been to your little island. Will have to go back through the photos. does the house that you are going to image your porch after have little painted mailboxes? The whole area looks quite charming. If I’ve not been there I must do so! 🙂

    • November 11, 2013 at 10:27 pm

      Hi, Karen. Thanks for your note. I don’t know about the painted mailboxes — will have to check when we’re next there. If you haven’t been to Green Turtle or any of the other Abaco Cays, I’d highly recommend them. They’re low-key, with charming little towns, lovely locals, and of course, stunning beaches.

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