Nov 7, 2009

A Bahamian Love Affair

Josie Martin receiving her first kiss

My in-laws have owned a villa in Treasure Cay, on the island of Abaco in the Bahamas for over 30 years.  They had five children, so you can imagine the family memories from three decades of annual vacations.  Thirty years later, between those five children and their spouses, there are now twenty kids ranging from one-month to 20 years!  Imagine those new memories! 

Treasure Cay is not anything like Freeport or Nassau.  In fact it is the opposite.  A hurricane several years ago destroyed a resort that was a destination for "spring vacationers" and cruise ships.  Now all that is left are world class beaches, awesome fishing (bonefish on the flats and snapper and grouper in the deeper water), great Bahamian food (conch fritters, cracked lobster, johnny bread, macaroni and cheese, Cuban cigars , Goombay Smashes and Kalik beer.  But no shopping!  

Since it's been over almost two years since my family has visited (we hope to get there in 2010), the following are two blog posts I made immediately after we returned in 2008.  I think they capture the beauty and simple wonders of Treasure Cay.  

Blog Post # 1 - January 2008

Back to work after two weeks in Abaco. We did a little of everything; birding, grilling, fishing, snorkeling, swimming, shelling, eating, drinking, laughing and several more “ings." We caught a wide variety of fish, drifting between Green Turtle and Whale Cay. Hog snapper, mutton snapper, strawberry grouper, Nausau grouper, yellow tail, black jack, and about 30 other varieties. The picture below is the hog snapper my brother-in-law caught. We had our kids on the boat when he landed this monster- you can imagine the looks on their faces when this fish was gaffed and landed . An incredible looking fish…and maybe the best eating.

Blog Post # 2 - January 2008

My last musings about Treasure Cay in the Bahama’s. What a beautiful place. Not for shopping, but the fishing, beaches and relaxation was spectacular. I also had an opportunity to spend a half day birding with some great folks. We saw over 40 species including two different types of hummingbirds, a bull finch, and several warblers. we also accomplished this without getting bit by fire ants or rubbing up against poison wood.

It is an unusual place too. My daughter swam in a blue hole. A “bottomless” pit of fresh water in the island that is impacted by the tides. Thank God I was not there when my father-in-law took my daughter and my nieces to the blue hole. The idea of swimming in a bottomless pit of dark blue water is the stuff of nightmares for me. My daughter and her cousins thought it was cool.

During our birding excursion I visited the pine forests and a plantation that was recently shut down, leaving hundreds (thousands??) of workers, mostly Haitians, without work. Near the plantation, we drove through Haitian towns where the poverty was very sad. Apparently many of these individuals are considered squatters and are faced with deportation. I don’t know the whole story, but it certainly makes you appreciate your own blessings.

About the author:

John Rumery is an entrepreneur and champion barbecuer living in Allegan , Michigan. Visit his BBQ website Photographs by Jesse Challa, John's sister-in-law.

Treasure Cay yellow storm windows

Bahamian comfort food: johnny cakes, rice, mac and cheese & cracked conch
Santa makes it down South
Steve Challa with a Hog Snapper


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Fishing is one of the most relaxing and enjoyable activities...

ketchikanalaskafishing said...

Fishing is fun and exciting. Thanks for sharing! and I really enjoy reading your post.

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