by Vanessa

Do Not Disturb

July 3, 2015 in LONG ISLAND by Vanessa


“Mummy, what are they doing?”

I can hear the words spoken now. I can feel the slightly nervous chuckle escape my lips.

And we don’t even have children yet.

Like most I anticipate that talk with our child. Yes, the one about sex. There’s a very probable chance it will take place in the month of June. A time when male nurse sharks can been spotted swimming in synchrony throughout the shallow waters of The Bahamas. The docile shark anxiously awaiting to be engaged in aggressive courtship on the sand flats before retreating with the female to darker water.

And while this photograph captures the seasonal mating in the Exumas, it’s a scientific observation also witnessed in Long Island. It was upon our departure from scattered caves and arrival to the sand spits snug between Galliot and Hog Cay when Captain Gelbert mentioned that the breeding occurs here every year. Much like then, and now, I think how I’ll navigate explaining the difference between human and fish interaction, and explaining how daddy didn’t drag mummy to deeper water by her pectoral fin before we conceived him or her.

by Vanessa

Hog Island Light

June 30, 2015 in NEW PROVIDENCE by Vanessa

There’s something about a lighthouse that’s alluring, romantic even. Ever more so when it’s the oldest surviving light in the West Indies. Located on the western tip of Paradise Island, formerly known as Hog Island, the lighthouse was built in 1817; sixteen years before the British Imperial Lighthouse Service began building the first of 11 lights in The Bahamas, an enthusiastic undertaking that would span 55-years.

Crossing Nassau’s natural harbour, by boat, we navigate a labyrinth of vessels ranging in height. We pass the salty sea dog balancing a modest bow weighed heavily with fresh conch shells, mailboats busy unloading goods from neighbouring out-islands, and cruise liners nearing the height of Atlantis’ Royal East Tower, New Providence’s tallest sky-scraper.

Arriving to the northwest entrance to the harbour we trade our sea legs for sandaled feet that carefully find hold in sharp honeycomb rock. Up and down our bodies move, crossing an uneven terrain that eventually leads to a series of steps. Climbing the spiral staircase, we change altitude. Finally, at 69 feet above the aquatic horizon we stop. Our eyes sweep over a body of water snug between a bustling capital outpost and Paradise Island, once a private island, now a tourist-trodden trap. Looking out we consider how much the landscape has changed in the almost 200 years since the lonely pillar was erected. The boats having advanced from sail, to steam, to motor. The flashing light the only constant, flashing white every 5 seconds, red if the seas are kicking in tune with the tantrum of a small child.

by Vanessa

DIY: Wine Bottle Candles

June 24, 2015 in DIY by Vanessa

When I first mentioned to Chris the idea of hand-cutting more than 200 plus clear wine bottles in time for our wedding I expected to hear “n-o.” The most avid supporter of all creative endeavors, Chris rather begrudgingly agreed. However, with the caveat that in the months thereafter they wouldn’t crowd the floor of our rather modest sized apartment, or sit unused. Our friends and family thought us mad. But knowing I was at the root of the decision they quite cleverly chose to stay mum.

Complimentary to our “shipwrecked romance” theme, the do-it-yourself candles would command the center of eight long captain tables, and be placed alongside a single, empty, uncut bottle that would host that table’s name. Alternatively the uncut bottles would be used for guests to drop messages of love in to, which we’d later compile in a single bottle and toss with a note out to sea. But I digress, other than paying homeage to our theme, the candle holders would reflect our love for upcycling and hush the concerns of our wedding stylist who forever fears a naked, exposed flame.

Needles to say, in the end, the lone bottle was never tossed in to the ocean, for we didn’t want to litter an already overwhelmed sea. And those boxes of bottles I mentioned, still crowd the floor.

Marriage comes with comprise, no?

Step One:
In a basin filled with room temperature water place 5 – 10 tablespoons of baking soda. Facing the labels downward soak the bottles for 30 minutes. We noted that the cheaper the bottle of wine the easier the label peeled off.

Step Two:
Using a g2 bottle cutter we followed this video using the scoring, hot and cold water method. We skipped the sanding.


Step Three:
Finding the score was too perfect and didn’t allow the flame to breathe we used adhesive felt to make feet. We strategically placed the cut felt in a triangle along the lip of the cut edge.

Step Four:
Place over clear cup tea light candles and light.