A Group Tour
04 January 2012 | Great Harbour Cay Marina, Berry Islands
Arline is a great organizer and it’s wonderful to be here with her. Today she arranged a bus for the twelve of us who’ve been hanging out together so we could explore the island. We ended up in two vans. Here we are at the first stop, Shell Beach at the mouth of Shark Creek. At low tide (it was just starting to come back in as we got there) there is a huge area of sand and shallow water to walk. Shark Creek isn’t really a creek, it’s a narrow band of salt water linking the east and west sides of the island. There isn’t enough land area, and there isn’t enough impervious land for there to be any fresh water creeks in the Bahamas, except on Andros Island (where we’ve never been).
After Shark Creek we went to the other end of the island to Cave Beach. Our guide, Circle, (that’s really his name) took pictures of the group in the cave. I took a picture of him taking pictures. I also got pictures of his driver (who drove the second van) Rasmus (I think I’ve got that name right). He’s a very colorful character. He said he visited Great Harbour from Nassau twice. The second time was ten years ago and he never went home. He has cousins here, and his grandmother, at 103, is the oldest person on the island.
Circle gave us the history of the island during the drive. He said the population was 712, counting us. He told us all about the golf course. He also told us they used to have a swing bridge across the cut to get from the marina to town. One of the cruiser’s father used to come to the Berry Islands to fish in the ‘60’s. She said he and his friends almost always went to Chubb Cay because they didn’t want to hassle with the swing bridge. It didn’t have an attendant, so you had to make a reservation to have it opened to get into the marina. I don’t think that bridge was taken down until the ‘80’s or ‘90’s. Then the present causeway was built as an alternate route to town.
Circle drove us into town and pointed out the church where his wife is the minister, the two grocery stores (where we stopped to shop), the school, the cemetery, the restaurant and the post office and government clinic, which are in the same building.
The whole tour, which took about three hours total, was $5 each. Definitely worth the money and a lot of fun. Along with the other pictures I took of the tour, I took a picture of Circle’s van, because on the door is painted “Island Bus Service, Call VHF 16”. That’s so typically Bahamian, to call the local tour bus on marine radio.