Each year since we began restoring Fish Hooks in 2014, Tom and I have spent more time on Green Turtle Cay. And the longer we stay, the more we make peace with some of the challenges inherent in island living.
Here are a few of the things we’ve learned from our time on a rock:
Low tide at Gillam Bay – Green Turtle Cay
Thanks to everyone who has sent in photographs for LHBTF’s Reader Photo Friday. It’s fascinating to see Abaco through the eyes of others.
I’m just working on scheduling daily photos for the coming months, and am almost out of reader photos.
If you’re lucky enough to be spending some or all of the holiday season on Green Turtle Cay, you’ve got lots to look forward to!
Saturday, November 25th at 5:00 pm
Heritage Park (Settlement Point)
One of the highlights of Green Turtle Cay’s holiday season is the Festival of Lights – when the settlement of New Plymouth is awash in Christmas colours.
This year’s festival kicks off tonight, with a Community Family Fun Night at Heritage Park (Settlement Point) during which the town will be officially lit up for the holidays. Dinner, drinks and sweets will be available for purchase, and there’ll be games and activities for kids of all ages. Plus, you’ll enjoy the terrific classic jazz of Sax Man, Rashad Reckley.
Lighthouse view – Hope Town, Elbow Cay, Bahamas.
This photo is from the Albert Lowe Museum archives. Do you recognize any of these faces?
It’s Reader Photo Friday!
Thank you to Abaco’s own Dillon Roberts for another spectacular photograph!
Got photos of Abaco you’d like to share? Send them to amanda(at)littlehousebytheferry(dot)com, and be sure to put “Reader Photo” in the subject line.
I know. Thanksgiving is not a traditional Bahamian celebration. But in recent years, due to simple proximity as well as the influence of American visitors, many Bahamians have adopted the holiday. (An opportunity to stop and give thanks, plus a turkey dinner? Who wouldn’t want to partake?!)
If you’re on Green Turtle Cay today, you’ve got several Thanksgiving dining options…
In New Plymouth, Harvey’s Island Grill will be serving a traditional Thanksgiving turkey dinner, complete with homemade pumpkin pie. Reservations aren’t required, but they are recommended. Call Harvey’s at 365-4389 or on VHF Channel 16.
At Leeward Yacht Club, the Lizard Bar & Grill is serving a smoked turkey meal with gravy, stuffing, green beans, Bahamian macaroni and cheese and of course, pumpkin or pecan pie.
Ballyhoo restaurant at the Bluff House Beach Resort, is not only serving a traditional Thanksgiving turkey dinner, but they’re giving you the chance to burn off that extra piece of pie dancing to the New Entry Band, who’ll play from 8:30-11:30pm.
Happy Thanksgiving to all!
During the planning for the first Island Roots Festival, Key West historian Betty Bruce – whose ancestors were among those Abaco families who settled Key West – began gathering the names of other Floridians whose roots stretched across the Gulf Stream to the Bahama islands.
She posted a sign-up sheet in the Monroe County Public Library in Key West and put the word out.
Within just a few months, she had gathered several hundred names on a scroll, which now resides in the archives of the Albert Lowe Museum.
Reading through the scroll, you recognize many common Bahamian surnames, such as Pinder, Knowles, Kemp, Symonette and Moss, from the various Bahamian islands including Eleuthera, Spanish Wells, Harbour Island, Long Island, Nassau and Grand Bahama.
A peaceful sunset over the Sea of Abaco – Green Turtle Cay, Abaco, Bahamas.
The John Lowe House – Green Turtle Cay, Abaco, Bahamas.
My grandmother and her sisters did it. My Mom and her siblings, too. And my cousins Renee and Marie and I tried – though my great-grandmother, afraid we’d injure ourselves, refused to give us hooks.
Fishing from the dock is a Bahamian tradition, particularly in the out islands. My Dad, especially, loved to fish from Green Turtle Cay’s freight dock in the evenings.
The year he turned 70, we celebrated his birthday on the cay. One weekend during that trip, my cousin Ghandi and her family were visiting from Nassau and we put together an impromptu family fishing tournament.
Ghandi’s son, Harry — an avid fisherman — and I worked out the rules. Each competitor would kick in $5, and the pot would be split between two winners: the person who caught the most fish, and the person who caught the biggest fish.
Sand pattern at low tide – Gillam Bay, Green Turtle Cay, Abaco, Bahamas.
Is it just me, or has this year simply vanished into thin air? I cannot believe the holidays are already here again, but I guess there’s no arguing with the calendar.
Since the next few weeks will no doubt fly by as well, I thought I’d better give you a heads up.
If you’re interested in ordering my book Those Who Stayed, or the 2018 Green Turtle Cay Wall Calendar as Christmas gifts, please note that Monday, December 11 is the last day to order these items for guaranteed delivery in time for Christmas.
To purchase Those Who Stayed in-store, click HERE for a list of shops in Abaco and Nassau that carry the book.
In the Bahamas, the 2018 GTC Calendars are available exclusively through Green Turtle Cay’s Treasure Chest Gift Shop.
Elsewhere in the Bahamas, contact Lisa Farrington at the Treasure Chest (242-577-2616) — I’m sure she’ll work with you to get a calendar to you.
Thanks everyone, and an early Merry Christmas to all!
Purple bougainvillea, Green Turtle Cay, Abaco, Bahamas.
For as long as Abaco has been inhabited, Abaconians have relied on the sea for their livelihoods. From sponging and sharking to shipping and transport, the work was often arduous and dangerous, and navigation aids and devices were rudimentary compared with what we have today.
On the morning of September 23, 1941, the 115-ft, 210-ton British ship M/V Arawak, departed Jacksonville, Florida, bound for the Bahamas. She carried an assortment of freight, including a saw mill destined for Abaco.