by Vanessa

Sand Waves

August 24, 2015 in ISLAND INSPIRATIONS by Vanessa

Throughout The Bahamas Mother Nature is vividly on display above, below, and in line with the horizon.

Underwater she swims in a kaleidoscope of colour. She’s seen in the fiery lines of a crawfish, the scaled skin of a red snapper, the strong shell of a green sea turtle and the rainbow colours of a parrot fish – a species whose hues marry them all. On land she’s felt in the grain of the pink sand beaches of Harbour Island and mainland Eleuthera. She’s heard in the scurry of the rock iguana and the curly-tailed lizard, an everyday visitor to our back porch. She soars above an ocean interrupted by pockets of land, riding the wings of exotic birds beautifully defined in James Bond’s book Birds of the West Indies

She’s admired at every turn, in all directions, to the far reaching compass points of The Bahamas. Although, if nudged to choose a favourite among her brush stokes, I would say it’s the scene of the sub-sea sand waves. Created by strong sea bottom currents in the shallow waters that kiss the ocean depths of the Exuma Sound – a body of water reported to dramatically drop some 6,000 feet – the sand waves can only be admired when in flight, when a birds-eye view is available from a window seat.

by Vanessa

Bond Girl

August 18, 2015 in PERSONAL POSTS by Vanessa

Long has the Caribbean, particularly The Bahamas, been entangled in a heated love affair with James Bond.

In fact, it was in the 1962 film Dr.No that actress Ursula Andress staged one of the most iconic moments in cinematic and fashion history. Then emerging from the crystal clear blue waters of Jamaica in a white bikini: a bikini that forty years later would sell for a sum appropriate to such a piece of Hollywood history, and one Andress would credit her career to.

The same, however, cannot be said for my cousin. For she wasn’t wearing a bikini, not a one-piece even, when she jumped in to a pool and swam in synchrony with a live slippery seal on the capital of The Bahamas. Posing naked for the opening scene of the 1977 film The Spy Who Loved Me, the underwater sequence would later be considered too risqué and cut by the film studio and director, Lewis Gilbert. Little did they know that in time the Bond series would be celebrated for such promiscuous preludes.

She did, however, keep her clothes on during the first few minutes of the film when Bond’s arch-enemy, Emilio Largo released her in to a pool of three live and one mechanical shark. Unfortunately her role was short lived as she was “devoured” by the latter. Thankfully though she is still with us today.

Happy birthday fearless Frances.

by Vanessa

Silent Silos

August 10, 2015 in ELEUTHERA by Vanessa

It appears the root of my devotion to beautiful, yet impractical things doesn’t stem from naivety, but has long traveled through the veins of my family tree.

It’s said that along this road my great-great-grandfather subscribed to the idea of “glamping” long before it was a thing. It’s a story that my great-grandmother, Maud, recounted for the book Eleuthera, the island called Freedom with a hint of humor in her eyes and exasperation escaping her lips: 

“During the pineapple season, when barges were loaded and brought to Governor’s Harbour to fill the waiting schooner, it was found more expedient to have some sort of residence close to the fields that were being stripped, and the whole family would migrate to their property near Hatch Bay, where they must have camped in luxury, as Maud can remember her mother being angry with her father for insisting upon taking the best linen sheets with him.” (Young, Everild, pp.118)

It’s also along this long winding road, which weaves its way from Hatchet Bay to Gregory Town, that these pillars of history dramatically jut out against a blue sky. Representative of a time gone by, 1927 to be exact, the silos were a part of Austin Levy’s 2400-acre ’Hatchet Bay Plantations’: a thriving dairy and poultry farm that supplied Nassau with much of its milk and eggs. Then the lonely silos stored feed for livestock. Now they stand silent, abandoned, and unused, and serve as a constant reminder of the disappointment mirrored by many hoteliers, developers and visionaries, all of whom are bound to Eleuthera by broken dreams.

All of whom have inspired me to continue to recognize the potential of the 110 mile island.