Sunday, February 28, 2010


Yesterday, Hope Town Volunteer Fire and Rescue held their annual fundraising fair. There were demonstrations, hermit crab races (aptly named NASCRAB), a huge bake sale, tee shirt and hat sales, food tent, silent auctions, and raffle ticket sales with great prizes donated by local businesses. All aspects of this benefit were manned by not only the volunteer firefighters, but also by island homeowners and the Harbour Rats. Dave and I worked in the food tent where the menu consisted of hot dogs and chili dogs (over 500 cooked and sold!), and the local favorite chicken souse with johnny cake. Chicken souse is a close relative to chicken soup, only it is a bit spicier and the bones are actually left in it. Johnny cake is similar to a dense cornbread, and was originally named ‘journey’ cake. The local restaurants all have different versions of both of these recipes, and donated huge pots of souse and pans of johnny cake, which we labeled so the customers had their choice of which recipe they wanted to eat.

The HTVFR members have their jobs cut out for them here. Not only do they respond to fires and medical emergencies on this island and in the harbor, but they also assist with emergencies on other islands and are a part of Bahamas Air Sea Rescue Association (BASRA). Below is a picture of their fire and rescue boat, with our dinghy in the foreground.

The fire trucks are smaller than normal here on Elbow Cay because there are so many narrow roads.

The boy wearing the fire fighters helmet wore it all day at the fair.

Another important facet of the fire department comes into play when there is a hurricane. The volunteers keep a website updated before, during and after the storm to keep everyone informed about what is happening. Following a hurricane or tropical storm, the volunteers check out every house on the island and report on the website asap, any damage to homes. This is a huge job but such a help to so many worried seasonal homeowners who would have no clue what was happening without this service. It truly shows what a close knit community this is and we certainly were glad to help out.

Friday, February 26, 2010

It's All Relative

Yesterday I wrote about getting our flight reservations to go home. As the time gets closer to departure, we think more and more about living back on land and not having to worry about the windy weather all the time.

Today I received an email from our friends Karl and Sara in upstate New York. After seeing their picture and comparing our two situations, I would much rather be rocking around here in 30-40mph hour winds than dealing with the late season wet snow they have! Hopefully it will all be melted by the time we head back north.
Where DID I leave my snowmobile boots?

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Where Does The Time Go?

Today is our 32nd wedding anniversary. We have done so much in those years and the time has flown by. We love being diversified with our two separate lives in upstate New York during the summer and boating in the Bahamas during the winter. It takes a special couple to be able to spend almost all our time together, especially in a confined area like a boat. We have had plenty of practice though, since we spent at least 25 years working together at the motorcycle shop.

It’s hard to believe that this season is drawing to a close and we have made our reservations for flying back to the U.S. for the first part of April. It seems like a long way off, but March is a really busy month for sailing club races and events taking place at least a couple of times a week, so once again the time to haul out New Horizon for summer storage will come sooner than we think.

We are however, looking forward to getting back to Glenville and settling into our new home,
seeing our northern friends and getting caught up on the news, getting Pahl’s Classics back up and running for the season, grooming the trails and riding our motorcycles and 4 wheelers.

Eventually we'll head even further north and enjoy kayaking and boating in the lakes of the Adirondack Mountains.

Sometimes I think that looking forward to, planning, and anticipating the next season and phase of our lives makes the time go by even faster. No matter what though, it makes us realize that life is short and we don’t take any of it for granted.

Sunday, February 21, 2010


We have just returned from Marsh Harbour where we watched this year’s Junkanoo Parade. Junkanoo is very similar to Mardi Gras in New Orleans, or Trinidad’s Carnivale. Approximately three thousand people attended this much anticipated annual celebration and it is an amazing event. Six different groups participated and the costumes, music, dancing, horns and drums were phenomenal.

I Googled the history of Junkanoo and this is what I found on a Bahamas Government Website: "Junkanoo, named after the West African John Canoe Festival, originated in the Bahamas around the 17th century as a masquerade. Slaves, their faces hidden under a flour paste, celebrated on Boxing Day, the day after Christmas. Later flour paste was replaced by wire masks held on a stick. Junkanooers blew bugles and horns, and beat on goatskin drums. In the late 20’s when sponging was big business in the Bahamas many Junkanooers covered themselves totally in sea sponges! This 1935 photo shows a Junkanoo in a fabric costume skirted with strips of rags: he danced for ‘coppers’ to fill the money pouch hanging from his wrist."

Times certainly have changed and it is hard to believe that not only were there people under those elaborate costumes, but they were dancing down the street. Here are some pictures of the festivities, and as always you can click on them to make them larger and see the details.

Saturday, February 20, 2010


In my walking tour I showed a picture of the view from the Cholera Cemetery. There are actually 4 different small cemeteries in Hope Town, all of which are close to the beach. My favorite one is at the south end of the settlement and overlooks the ocean.

It is a gorgeous view and I enjoy looking at the head stones, some of which date back to the mid-1800 era.

Many of the gravestones have been damaged by hurricanes, but there is a restoration project in the works.
What a great place to spend eternity...

Friday, February 19, 2010

Hope Town Walking Tour

Pictures are definitely better than words when it comes to telling you about historic Hope Town with its small businesses, government buildings, quaint streets and colorful houses. Click on any of the pictures and you can view them in a larger size.

The Post Office

The Medical Clinic

The Batelco/BTC Phone Company Office

The Hope Town Elementary School

The HTSC Clubhouse

The Freight, Ferry, and Public Dock

The Wyannie Malone Museum

The Hope Town Harbour Lodge

Looking out over the harbor from the Lodge

The Lodge's poolside bar overlooking the ocean

The Firehouse

Our Two Grocery Stores, Vernon's and Harbour View

The Memorial to sailors lost at sea

View from the Cholera Cemetery

There are many tiny side streets like these

One of the oldest houses on the island

Samples of some of the classic traditional houses