A true little Bahamas village/town
31 March 2009 | Little Farmer’s Cay 23*57.250 W76*19.013
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
"Sometimes I wake up grumpy; other times I let him sleep in."
After coffee and peanut butter and jelly and pears (yah, yah - I know - some breakfast...) we put the dinghy down and went over to the government dock on Little Farmers to find out whom we pay for the mooring and to explore the island. We tied up and chatted with two men on the dock who told us to check out the grocery store and stop by later at the bar for a free drink for the "sailor". From there we went to the Ocean Club and chatted with Terry Bain (owner of the establishment) and determined that we had his mooring (it was either his or little Jeffs). He's a well-traveled guy and speaks several different languages (even some Chinese). When you walk into the place the first thing you notice is all the flags hanging from the ceiling. Various countries and club pendants hang from the rafters. I should have gotten a picture but didn't think of it. We made ordered conch for dinner at 6pm and then went walking the island. It runs a little over 1-¾ miles one way and ¾ of a mile across so we decided to walk around it and explore.
We found JR's house - a wood carver - and stopped to chat with him and play with his puppy. I bought a little Peal Owl (the live in holes in the ground) carved out of tamarind wood. He's been doing his wood carving for 44 years, bless his soul. So anyone wanting to put in a special order can call him or hail him on Channel 16 and he'll do a special order that you can stop back by on your way back to pick up. He was working on a bonefish when we stopped by to chat.
Further up the road we found the All Grade School and stopped and chatted with the two teachers and the kids. There's a primary teacher and a secondary teacher and they have about 20 kids (8 secondary with 2 seniors). We got to tour the school and I was amazed by how focused the students were. It was impressive. All the students are expected to go to college after graduating. Because they're out islanders, the government pays for their tuition but they must have a C average (A or B is better). I was thinking how sad it is though because after they go off to college, most don't come back. There's no job market here. If you look around, it's older people, kids and fishermen. This island has a population of 55 people and they're descendents of 3 - 5 families. It's sad to think that there's nothing for them here but other than fishing, the main livelihood on this island are the people that come to visit - the cruisers and tourists.
After talking about life on the island here and the students we followed the road around to the airstrip at the other side of the island and stopped at the marina (it has 4 slips for boats) for a cold drink. It's a pretty little marina on the inside - nice bar and restaurant area and from there continued on our loop over a small foot bridge back to a road that led us back to our starting spot at the dock.
We returned to the boat and got some soap/shampoo then went swimming and cleaned up for dinner, then read some and napped. I drifted off to the sound of birds singing. I've missed the sound of birds. They have wild parakeets and parrots here.
"How Sweet It Is to do Nothing All Day Long And After Having Done So, To Rest."
After our rest we dinghied back to the Ocean Club for our beers, conch dinner, and ice cream and to settle up our bill for our moorings. The Ocean Club is a nice establishment and Terry Bain, et al wonderful people to chat with.
It's a wonderful little island that has the 2nd smallest isolated community in the Bahamas and has an unspoiled Bahamian flavor. Enchanting. Once again - like Oriental, N.C. "we like it for what it's not"...