Hurrican Irma Destruction
24 January 2018 | Duncan Town
Today, Sunny, 80 degrees 10-15 E
After spending a couple of days in Long Island, Bahamas we worked our way 10 hours further south to Flamingo Cay. Once we put the sails away and buttoned things up, we went to bed early to be ready for another long day. Early the next morning we pulled up the anchor and began our passage further south. The light winds allowed us to sail close-hauled at 5-6 knots for the next 8 hours. Needless to say, it was a beautiful sail which took us to south bay on Ragged Island. Ragged Island is a small island (9 square miles) and is part of the Jumentos Cays and Ragged Island Chain.
Last year, when we anchored here in the bay, we took the long walk up the hill to Duncan Town, which is the only settlement in the entire Ragged Island chain. Once we got to the top of the hill we found ourselves in Duncan Town. As we walked through the town we enjoyed talking to the town folk, stopping for a cool drink at the local bar, visiting the Administrative Office and speaking to the office manager where we learned more about the town. We also walked past the cute colorful houses, the school, the clinic, the police station, a small gift shop and then we spent time with Maxine at the local grocery store. This small town and their welcoming residents left an impression that we have been sharing with our friends over the past year.
However, this year we returned to a much different island. The people are still warm and welcoming but their lives have been changed forever. Most of you may remember Hurricane Irma that hit the Bahamas and Florida this past September 2017. Duncan Town took a direct hit from this Category 5 hurricane. As we walked around it looked as though they had been hit by a bomb. There was debris everywhere. No home or building was left untouched by the hurricane. Many of the homes had no roof, windows or doors. Other homes were completely destroyed, with only rubble remaining on the foundation. Their school, health clinic, police station and administrative office were completely destroyed. It was heart breaking to see such devastation. The electric company and the phone company have worked to restore power and phone service. They are still working on their water system. Presently, with or without the government's assistance the Ragged Islanders are going to rebuild. They look at the hurricane destructions as an opportunity be rebuild things bigger and better. Many of the home owners are still not back on the island. They are waiting for things to get rebuilt and systems back up and running before they return. If you would like to help the islander get back on their feet, go to www.gofundme.com/raggedislands.
As for us, we have since left Duncan Town and are now slowly working our way back north up the Ragged Island Chain and the Jumentos Cays. We are presently in Hog Cay. Yesterday, we went lobster hunting and snorkeling. Ron was able to get four nice size lobsters. Our friends from Persephone and Blue Jack got 13 more. It was a successful hunt.
It looks like we will be here for a while. We will be sitting out a cold front coming in on Thursday night through the weekend into Monday. The front will bring with it very strong winds of 30 knots sustained with gusts of 40-50 knots. Internet is very weak here in the Jumentos, therefore, you may not here from us for a couple of weeks. We hope all is well with our family and friends as we think of you often.