by Vanessa

Preacher’s Cave

September 1, 2015 in ELEUTHERA by Vanessa

There will come a day, sooner rather than later my mum hopes, when the pitter patter of little feet is heard scurrying across wooden floor-boards, and the speed at which we navigate the islands will suddenly need to slow. Lately it’s a change we’ve thought about more often than not, especially now that we call the island of Eleuthera our second home. At 110 miles long, a stretch in comparison to our 21 mile capital outpost, I wonder, how ever will we get our child to sit still for so long and what bribe will need to be cleverly bartered?

 In those first, formative years, I look forward to nurturing our child’s curiosity. With that in mind, comparing Hatchet Bay Cave and Preacher’s Cave, the drive to the latter is a longer one, but the landmark destination is more suited for a child’s feet that have yet to find a confident hold. That, and Preacher’s Cave is an open-top cave, whereas Hatchet Bay is a deep, dark, underground cavern. Regardless, both possess an equal abundance of history deserving of being told.

I imagine upon our arrival to Preacher’s Cave I would speak of Captain William Sayle’s quest for religious freedom, and his ship which had felt its way south from Bermuda to the Bahamas with a small six ton shallop fastened by a rope to its stern. In a theatrical tone I would talk of once calm weather that suddenly kicked up in tune with the tantrum of a small child, of sideways rain and bouncing seas that resulted in the ship wrecking on the jagged teeth of the Devil’s Backbone, a reef not far from shore. With the detailed sweep of a brush I’d paint the picture of the crews exhausted crawl to shore. I would carefully explain that they were not met by natives, as two centuries before Sayle’s arrival Columbus had stripped the islands of the original people. I would also leave out the bit about the Lucayan Indian body that had recently been discovered, beheaded and buried face down. Inside, I would point to a rope that when climbed leads to a blue hole at the rear, and the placard that reads “William Sayle shipwrecked at Devil Backbone found refuge here. Sermons held 100 years”. Crooking our necks we would look up to the holes which allow light to pool through, and let our imaginations run wild with thoughts of them being used as shower heads on rainy days. Finally, we would climb the carved stone steps to what was rumored to be a pulpit and grooves that once held a bible.

Afterwards we’d retreat to the nearby pink-sand Tay Bay Beach to fulfill the promise of once frozen popsicles.

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.