Thursday is by far the busiest day of the week on Green Turtle Cay. Not only is it the one day the bank opens (for four whole hours!), but representatives from the electric and telephone companies (sometimes) arrive on the island to enable locals to pay bills and conduct business.
And the mailboat comes.
Look around next time you’re on the island. Anything that didn’t grow here – groceries, dry goods, furniture, building supplies, fuel, vehicles and yes, mail — likely arrived on our current mailboat, the Legacy, or one of her many predecessors.
For centuries, mailboats have provided a vital link between Green Turtle Cay and the outside world. Prior to the launch of the Green Turtle Ferry in the mid-20th century, the mailboat was the only form of public transport to and from the island.
Depending on weather and tides, the Legacy arrives mid-morning each Thursday. Trucks, cars, golf carts and forklifts jockey for position as incoming freight is offloaded and outgoing freight is carried aboard. Within an hour, her business complete, our trusty mailboat is on her way back to Nassau.
I was ridiculously excited the first time I received a shipment on the Legacy — a large roll of upholstery foam for our settee that I had ordered from Nassau. I rushed down to the dock and there it was, sitting in the sunshine, addressed to me. Something about receiving freight on the mailboat made me feel like I was officially part of the community.
If you’d like to learn more about the history of mailboats in the Bahamas, there’s no better source than Eric Wiberg’s blog, appropriately entitled Mailboats Bahamas.