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Tuesday, May 4, 2010

RUNNING RAGGED .................



Anchoring off is sometimes miles from the shore.
You do this big 60 mile zig-zag when you leave George Town in the Exumas, then bounce off Long Island,..... Avoid all the shallows, and then you come to the RAGGED ISLAND CHAIN,... no kidding,.... They are called the RAGGED ISLANDS........ Hundreds of bits and pieces sticking out of the water, some with fancy names like FLAMINGO CAY, RACOON CAY, HOG CAY, WATER CAY and all of them waterless, uninhabited or unihabitable, and barren.......... This is really remote........At least until we came to BUENA VISTA CAY, where we discovered a very remarkable man living alone on his island........... A man with inspiration, vision and determination....... Mr. Edward Avery Lockhart, third generation owner of the island, and a man with a dream...........The remains of his grandfather's house are below and to the right is the present dwelling under construction by his father........ Acres have been cleared and coconut palms have been planted....... Together we walked the beach and took chisel to stone to produce blocks, that will go to make a new hurricane proof building to resurrect the former dwelling........ And we arrived not a day too soon, for Edward was totally out of water and so we refilled his container from our watermaker supplies............Water is normally delivered by the mailboat on which he is due to depart for Nassau, to get supplies...... We asked him how long he would be gone.... and his answer was........ "THREE MAILBOATS"...



One of the remarkable things we found was this embedded rectagular brick/stone in the tilted marine bedrock from which all the islands are made. This sedimentary layer of former ocean floor is very hard and this brick may well date to the Chinese who came through here in about 1421 AD.....or perhaps a civilization even earlier, for it is embedded and not a fake insert................ The strata extends all the way up the beach and into deeper water.........



By hammering away at the rock, we created the new blocks to make a model wall in no time at all, and with the addition of cement a palace could be built........ there is no shortage of sand to mix the mortar and plenty of salt water......... And Edward has a whole new idea to work with....... Oh, and he also needs an electric fence for his goats...............We talked about solar power, so for those going to the RAGGED ISLANDS and have a spare solar panel.....



Well drop it off at the home of the future BUENA VISTA YACHT CLUB.......... There was a trail on the island and it was clearly marked with flip-flops, of which hundreds are washed up on the windward side of the island..............And on the next uninhabited island in the chain we found this TV sitting on a post at the beach to give us "HOPE"............ We almost added a sign that said "INTERNET CAFE"................. The sense of remoteness is overwhelming despite the fact that there are other cruising yachts around............ Beauty in an isolated Paradise even allowed us to tie the dinghy line to a conch shell on the beach, while we raked the sands nearby with our fingers looking for "Sand dollars"...............



And then after 200 miles, we made it to the last Ragged Island and the settlement of 'DUNCAN TOWN'.......... And to get to it you anchor near the previous island and dinghy in for about four miles.............. The town has 70 residents, mostly fishermen and administrative workers and a cell-phone tower that dispenses internet that has allowed us to post this blog over the last four hours..............


That straight man-made canal is how cargo (and us) arrives in townby small boats, The salt flats that surround the town are communially owned and the stone walls define the boundaries. The income from the salt that is harvested from each area is thus shared.



Laurie took some great photos snorkelling on a nearby reef................



But we left the best till last.............. This is Ms Gibson, from the Administrative Office in Nassau, who flew in this morning on a government charter plane to do the 2010 Bahamas Census............ She spotted us walking as she arrived at the school and asked us if we were here yesterday........... and so we became the very first "residents" to be counted in this year's Census for the Ragged Island's Duncan Town statistics................. your mode of transport..... dinghy..... how many rooms in your house......?...How much space in your yard.......?.... You have a well for water...?......What appliances do you have in your kitchen......?......

TONIGHT WE WILL FINALLY LEAVE THE BAHAMAS...... WHAT A BEAUTIFUL EXPERIENCE..
THANK YOU........To The people of the BAHAMAS....

7 comments:

SIR TOMMMY said...

GREAT PICTURE OF THAT BEAUTI WALKING THROUGH THE DUNES. WOW WHAT A SHOT. ALSO VERY INTERESTING STORIES AND I AM GLAD YOU PARTICIPATED IN THE CENSES. I HAVE BEEN BUSY BUT HAVE KEPT UP WITH YOUR BLOG. SORRY I WILL TRY TO KEEP UP. HAVE A GREAT TIME ON THE BIG ISLAND.

rem said...

send the brickie my way - in the middle of a reno :)

sir tommy said...

It has now been six days and no word on the fate of the s/v Arita. It is presummed that the oil spilling from the gulf may have confused our sailing friends. the site of black gold on the water may be more than a miner could resist. Mermaids voices calling to a soul eager for the hunt, hungry for wealth and power that only grease can supply. well maybe Greece is the wrong example, their broke.
But, more than likely no internet connection.

Anonymous said...

the search has been expanded but still no sign that arita and crew are within us waters. rob stay on the path there may be gorillas or gerrillas just stay on the path. that in the news.......in amoment the rest of the story.
no internet

sir tommy said...

where are you...................wher the heck are you..............I can't take much more of this. "little things i should have said and done i just didn't take the time , you were always on my mind you were always on my mind.
come on mate lets bury the hachet. write

tagskie said...

hi.. just dropping by here... have a nice day! http://kantahanan.blogspot.com/

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