Tag: Bahamas

A Wish List from Marsh Harbour

One of the greatest challenges facing Abaconians as they recover from Hurricane Dorian is that Abaco’s economic center, Marsh Harbour, was virtually wiped out by the storm.

The destruction in much of Marsh Harbour is extensive

And whereas some regions of Abaco — the cays in particular — are making strides toward rebuilding, greater Marsh Harbour (including Murphy and Dundas Towns) is recovering more slowly. In the past few weeks, several vital businesses have reopened, but Marsh Harbour has a long way to go.

What Abaco Businesses Are Open?

I’ve received numerous reader emails since Hurricane Dorian and by far, the most commonly asked questions are “How can I help Dorian victims?” (which I’ve answered HERE) and “What Abaco businesses are open?”

Sid’s Groceries on Green Turtle Cay has reopened post-Dorian

To keep everyone informed (and to help me keep track, since the list is growing daily!) I’m compiling a master list of open Abaco businesses, which I’ll share over the next few days here on the blog.

Important Progress is Being Made in Marsh Harbour

It was terrific to see a Marsh Harbour update today on The Abaconian’s Facebook page. It’s amazing how much progress has been made in just the three weeks since Tom and I were there!

Marsh Harbour – October 23, 2019

New developments reported by The Abaconian include:

  • City water is once again available to many buildings
  • Bahamas Power and Light is working hard to restore electricity to key structures including the government complex, mini-hospital and Leonard Thompson International Airport

Bahamians Still Need Your Support – Here’s How to Help

Though much of the world’s media has moved on to other stories, our friends and family in the Bahamas are still struggling in the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian.

A building in Marsh Harbour destroyed by Hurricane Dorian

While it’s true that some communities are making progress in their recovery, many areas still have a long, long way to go. Thousands of Bahamians still have no electricity, running water or access to banks and other vital services.

The Treasure Cay Airport, Abaco, Bahamas

The reality is that foreign aid is still very much needed in the northern Bahamas, and will be for years to come.

For those wondering how to best help Bahamians affected by Hurricane Dorian, I’ve recently updated my “How You Can Help” page. Please take a moment to check out the list and contribute if you can toward these worthy organizations.

Hope Town United Featured in Palm Beach Post Article

It was great to see my cousins Vernon, Brian and Wyannie Malone featured in this recent article from the Palm Beach Post about Hope Town United and the recovery efforts in Hope Town.

Located south of Green Turtle Cay, Elbow Cay (on which Hope Town is located) was the first point of landfall for Hurricane Dorian. The damage there has been extensive.

The Strength of the Bahamian Spirit

In the nearly ten weeks since Hurricane Dorian, we’ve talked a lot about the helpers. And rightfully so.

Hundreds of relief workers and volunteers have put their lives on hold to come to the Bahamas to feed storm victims, raise sunken vessels and muck out buildings.

A chef from World Central Kitchen, one of hundreds of relief workers currently on the ground in the Bahamas, watches as supplies are unloaded from the weekly freight boat in Marsh Harbour.

Thousands of kind donors have contributed funds, food, clothing, vehicles, construction materials and more. And the Bahamian people are incredibly grateful for this support. 

 But on Friday night, Tom’s news report – shot while we were in Abaco in late October – was about Bahamians. In this case, the residents of Green Turtle Cay who are working tirelessly to rebuild their homes and lives.

Green Turtle Cay Goes Back to the Drawing Board

Until the 1970s and 80s, few Green Turtle Cay residents had home telephones. Most had to walk to the hilltop telephone station to place calls.

Later, the VHF radio provided a vital communications link for local residents. What it lacked in privacy, I’m told it made up for in entertainment value.

Thankfully, over the past few decades, communications in Abaco have improved significantly. Not only have land lines become common, but the quality of cell service and Internet rivals that in the U.S. and Canada.  

But then came Dorian. And now we’ve gone back – quite literally — to the drawing board.

Green Turtle Cay Message Board — at the ferry dock in town

Bolo III is Back Home

A lot of blog readers have emailed to ask how the Green Turtle Cay Ferries fared during Dorian.

The Green Turtle Cay Ferry fleet, before Hurricane Dorian

Prior to the storm, GTC Ferries had four vessels in operation: Bolo, Bolo II, Bolo III and Bolo IV.

With Dorian churning toward the island, the ferry company hauled Bolo and Bolo IV from the water and secured them on the hard at the boat yard. They tied up Bolo III in Black Sound and moored Bolo II deep in nearby Munjack Creek.  

Marsh Harbour’s Maxwell’s Supermarket Reopens

They said they’d do it, and they did. Congratulations to the entire team at Maxwell’s Supermarket & Home Store in Marsh Harbour on meeting their goal to reopen the store yesterday.

The lines were long at Maxwell’s yesterday, but nobody was complaining. Photo courtesy of Kristen Pearce.

Not surprisingly, after eight weeks without a grocery store, Marsh Harbour residents were eager to get shopping. I understand that parking spaces and shopping carts were nearly impossible to find.  

Thinking of Eric Sawyer, Two Years Later

Today makes two years since we lost Eric Sawyer so unexpectedly. His passing was a shock then and it’s still difficult to accept.

I wanted to take a few minutes to remember him (if I close my eyes, I can still hear his laugh) and to send love to his parents, Brian and Caroline, his sister Michelle and her family, his brothers Ronel, Peter and Richard, and his thousands of friends in the Bahamas and around the world.

Team M/V Adventure Helps Repair GTC’s Basketball Court

On September 15, two weeks after Hurricane Dorian, the 55’ Nordhavn trawler M/V Adventure arrived at Green Turtle Cay to assist with the island’s recovery.

Vessel owners Captain Bradford and Lorraine Carlton, along with a group of friends and volunteers, quickly established a food kitchen, which they called the Adventure Cafe.

For the past six weeks, with the help of local residents, the Adventure Cafe has served two meals a day, feeding people as they work hard to put their town, their homes and their lives back together.

Green Turtle Cay, Two Months Later

When Tom and I arrived on Green Turtle Cay last week, we were prepared for what we would meet. We’d seen the images and heard stories of the destruction Hurricane Dorian had visited upon this little island.  

What I wasn’t expecting was how beautiful New Plymouth still is. Bruised and battered? Definitely. Still in need of help? Absolutely.

Thanks to Tom for this video of the settlement of New Plymouth, shot October 30, 2019

But, as the saying goes, true beauty comes from inside, from the heart. And the heart of Green Turtle Cay is bigger and stronger than ever.

Fundraiser Tonight at Key West’s DJ’s Clam Shack to Benefit Bahamian Hurricane Victims

If you’re in Key West this evening, please come by DJ’s Clam Shack (629 Duval Street) and support their benefit for Bahamian victims of Hurricane Dorian.

Festivities will include t-shirt sales, raffles, giveaways, and DJ’s inaugural Lobster Roll Eating Contest, featuring local celebrity contestants, at 6 p.m. on Duval Street.

Tom’s Report on Marsh Harbour, Two Months Post-Dorian

Late last night, Tom and I arrived back in L.A. after a week in Abaco. Witnessing the destruction wrought by Dorian was heartbreaking. Even having seen it first hand, I have trouble believing it’s real.

Some of you may know that Tom’s a foreign correspondent for Canada’s CTV National News. When he took a week off work so that we could get to Green Turtle Cay and check on Fish Hooks, he planned to shoot some video for me to use here on the blog.

Tom shoots video as the freight boat arrives into the port of Marsh Harbour

In the end, however, the journalist in him took over, and he put together the following news story, which aired nationally in Canada this past Tuesday.

%d bloggers like this: