Tag: Hurricane Relief

What Hope Looks Like

Several times over the years, I’ve written about the importance of Junkanoo to Bahamian culture.

Young Junkanoo Performer, oil painting by Alton Lowe

For well over a century, Green Turtle Cay residents have gathered on New Year’s Day to welcome in the coming year by donning colourful costumes and marching through town accompanied by a cacophony of cowbells, whistles and the infectious rhythm of goat-skin drums.

Masked Junkanoo Performer, oil painting by Alton Lowe

But when Hurricane Dorian devastated Green Turtle Cay this past September, the storm not only destroyed the island’s Junkanoo shack where residents gathered to make costumes and to practice, but it also ruined many existing costumes and instruments.

With so many locals left without homes and jobs, and with so much rebuilding to do, it seemed unlikely they’d want (or be able) to stage a 2020 New Year’s Junkanoo rush. 

Last Call for Donations to Abaco Toy Drive

A reminder that contributions toward Abaco Freight‘s Abaco Toy Drive must be received by this Saturday, December 14. Unwrapped gifts are still needed, especially for boys (aged 10-18).

Donations can be dropped off at or shipped to:

Abaco Toy Drive c/o Abaco Freight
10130 North Lake Blvd.
Suite 214–192
West Palm Beach, Florida
33412

If you need gift ideas, check out the toy drive’s Amazon wish list. And if you’d rather donate funds to buy toys, drop me a note and I’ll put you in touch with Kimber Mazzeo of Abaco Freight.

Thanks in advance for helping to give children throughout Abaco a wonderful Christmas.

Donations Needed for Abaco Christmas Toy Drive

The kind folks at Abaco Freight in West Palm Beach have been gathering toys to be delivered to children throughout Abaco, Bahamas the week before Christmas.

Volunteers wrap donated gifts at Abaco Freight toy drive.

A November 30 toy drive held at Wellington Mall in West Palm was quite successful, but they’re still in need of 150 or so more toys.

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.

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.  

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.

What Hope Looks Like

Denise McIntosh of Green Turtle Cay’s McIntosh’s Restaurant & Bakery reports there was much excitement and energy on the cay yesterday.

Photo courtesy of Denise McIntosh

Thursday night, a barge bearing power poles pulled up to the freight dock. And first thing Friday morning, crews began the task of transporting and installing them throughout town.

It’s Finally Time: A Fish Hooks Update

Over the past six weeks, Tom and I have received so many kind calls, emails, texts, Facebook and Whatsapp messages and more, inquiring about our little house by the ferry and how it fared during Hurricane Dorian. Until now, however, I just didn’t feel ready to talk about it.  

Fish Hooks Cottage – April 2019

Early on Sunday, September 1, as Dorian barreled northwest along the coast of Abaco toward Green Turtle Cay, we began hearing how severely Hope Town and Marsh Harbour had been hit. At that point, Tom and I made peace with the fact that Fish Hooks would likely be destroyed.

On-the-Ground Photos of Guana Cay (Post-Dorian)

Once again, I’m incredibly grateful to Bruce Pinder of Da Salty Pig Adventures in Spanish Wells for permitting me to share these photos with you.

Like the other Abaco Cays, Guana Cay was devastated by Hurricane Dorian. To help our Guana friends recover and rebuild, please consider:

  • Contributing to the Guana Fire and Rescue GoFundMe page. Funds raised through this effort will be allocated by Guana Fire and Rescue to the people of Guana Cay.
  • Contributing to the Guana Cay GoFundMe page set up by Katie Hoog, girlfriend of Guana Cay’s Ricky Sands. Funds are being used to purchase survival supplies, evacuation helicopters and boats, temporary housing, medical supplies and building materials.

Photos of Hope Town Waterfront (Post-Dorian)

Thank you again to Bruce Pinder of Da Salty Pig Adventures in Spanish Wells for allowing me to share these photos he took of the homes along the edge of Hope Town Harbour on Elbow Cay.

As you can see, our Hope Town friends were also hard-hit by Hurricane Dorian. Here’s how you can help them:

  • Contribute to the GoFundMe page of Hope Town second-homeowner Matt Winslow, who’s working with the Hope Town Volunteer Fire and Rescue folks to raise funds and bring in aid.

More On-The-Ground Green Turtle Cay Photos (Post-Dorian)

Many thanks to Trina Sasine (she and her husband Robert own Sandpiper, on Gillam Bay) for allowing me to share these photos, taken in the days following Hurricane Dorian.

Did you know that 70,000 Bahamians — that’s more than one in six! — have lost their homes and/or businesses? Here’s how you can help them rebuild their lives.

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