Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Lifeblood of the Bahamas

This morning we woke to total calm and quiet, except for the slight drone of an engine on shore. At first I just figured that the power was off again in the settlement and I was hearing the standby generators. When I looked outside I was surprised to see that it was actually the fuel tanker at Lighthouse Marina's dock.
The tanker fills up in Nassau and then delivers to the out islands as needed. It even delivers fuel to Marsh Harbour to run the gigantic generators that provide the electricity to all of the Abacos.

It took them several hours to pump diesel fuel and gasoline into the huge storage tanks behind the marina. This fuel is the lifeblood of the islands since it is used for all the vehicles, boats, and generators. No wonder the 150 ft. tanker is painted red!In addition to the diesel and gas, the tanker also carries propane in the two big tanks on deck.

Next time we go to buy fuel it will be interesting to see if the price has gone up or down. Unlike the U.S., the marinas in the Bahamas only change the price when they get their next shipment of fuel, and adjustments are made according to the price that they have to pay. The price of gas was about $5.00 per gallon, the last time we filled up our dinghy tank. No matter what the cost though, at least we know they will be stocked up and ready for the Christmas rush. I took this rare picture below of the empty moorings in the harbor this morning. Since then the charter boats have started to arrive, and soon it will get so packed with boats in the harbor that it will be hard to maneuver. Rental houses in Hope Town are filling up also. I saw way more people roaming the streets this afternoon, than I have the whole time we have been here. It looks to be a very busy holiday week, which will be good for the local economy. I certainly am glad that we enjoyed the peace and quiet this morning though!

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