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DROWNING IN TREASURE CAY
ABACO TOURIST OFFICE UPDATE
FROM CAPE TOWN TO THE KALAHARI DESERT
BAHAMAS BILLFISH TOURNAMENT
JULY FISHING TOURNAMENTS
TROPICAL FRUIT & GARDEN SOCIETY OF ABACO
LOCAL GOVERNMENT IN ACTION
ROYAL PALM FRONDS
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On Whit Monday holiday a sightseeing trip to Treasure Cay turned into tragedy as Albert Damien Brown, visiting from Nassau, drowned off the Villa foreshore shortly after midday.
Mr Brown and two companions had walked out on a sandspit about 800 feet from shore and were overtaken by the incoming tide. Despite efforts by his companions to assist him Mr Brown, reportedly not a good swimmer, was dead on being brought to shore. Several people administered CPR but it was too late. The Medical Officer for North Abaco pronounced Mr Brown dead before the body was removed from the beach. Sgt Wilchcombe of the Treasure Cay Police Department was on the scene and praised all the members of the public who were on hand and tried to assist in reviving Mr Brown.
Mr Brown, 23, a Bahamian on vacation from college in the States, was in a party of ten Baptist young people visiting Grace Baptist Church in Dundas Town. On the previous day Mr Brown had helped lead the morning and evening services. He and his party were guests at the home of Bishop and Mrs Clifford Henfield of Grace Baptist Church.The schedule was that Mr Brown, a musician, and his party would visit schools on the island to entertain and talk to students about their faith.
by Kendy Anderson & Wynsome Ferguson
An Agency Task Force Meeting was held in Abaco April 20 - 22. The meetings took place at the Great Abaco Beach Resort. Participants for this event had an opportunity to visit Hope Town, Treasure Cay and Green Turtle Cay.
Mr. Ambrose Morris of BTO Toronto led a group of 1O travel agents and a BTO representative to Abaco on Tuesday April 22 on a familiarization trip. The group had an opportunity to visit hotels such as Great Abaco Beach, Abaco Towns, Conch Inn Resort, Lofty Fig Villas, lsland Breezes and Pelican Beach Villas.
A meeting was held in Green Turtle Cay on Thursday April 17 to discuss plans for an Abaco work boat regatta in September of this year. The Abaco Tourist Office personnel were unable to attend this meeting as we were attending the Travel Agency Advisory Board Meeting. According to reports there seems to be great interest in getting this event off the ground. A meeting is scheduled for the first week in May for further discussions.
On Friday May 2, Bahamasair had its inaugural flight into Treasure Cay and Marsh Harbour Abaco out of Freeport, Grand Bahama. This flight brought a total of 37 people which consisted of some 20 travel agents. Also on this flight were the Minister of Tourism the Honourable CA Smith; Mr Anthony Miller, Chairman of Bahamasair; Mr. Frank Carter, President of Bahamasair Union; and Mr Mike Sands, Area General Manager/Marketing.
A reception was held at the Spinnaker Restaurant, Treasure Cay, where remarks were given by the Honourable Minister, Chairman of Bahamasair and President of Bahamasair Union.
The travel agents did site inspections of hotels in Treasure Cay and Green Turtle Cay.
It was very disappointing that such an event took place like this in Abaco with the Minister of Tourism taking part in this event and the Abaco Tourist office was not notified. To take it a bit further, there were 20 travel agents visiting Abaco which we knew nothing about. We hope that nothing of this nature occurs in the future.
The name of the Great Abaco Beach Resort and Boat Harbour Marina has been changed to the Abaco Beach Resort and Boat Harbour. They have recently hired a new management team, which is as follows:
Mr David Brewer - General Manager;
Mr Les Christoffel - Resident Manager;
Mr Roland Stocker - Executive Chef;
Mr Leroy Curry - Food & Beverage Manager.
Air Sunshine, a commuter and charter airline, is beginning service connecting Ft Lauderdale and Sarasota with Marsh Harbour and Treasure Cay. This service was expected to begin on May 16.
The Treasure Cay Hotel is presently undergoing extensive renovations. One block is being renovated at a time. There is a total of four blocks to be renovated. A portion of a block was ready to host the 1997 Billfish Tournament.
The Scenic Committee of Abaco recently held a fund raising dinner, which was very successful. They were able to raise over $2,200 which will be used to beautify the road from the Airport Roundabout to Western Auto.
The Bertram Hatteras Shootout was a great success. There were 70 boats that participated which attracted some 500 people to Marsh Harbour. While the boats were out fishing their guest had an opportunity to visit Hope Town, Man-O-War, Green Turtle and Treasure Cay. The island of Abaco was very pleased to welcome these visitors as they all benefitted . The Abaco Beach Resort and Boat Harbour hired an additional 58 people in order to host them at their resort. At the Awards Banquet on Saturday evening, General Manager Out Island Marketing gave remarks on behalf of the Minister and Ministry of Tourism. All of the anglers are already looking forward to next year, but most of all the following year which will be their 20th Anniversary.
The Bahamas Billfish Championship 3rd leg was held in Treasure Cay May 11 - 16. A total of 58 boats participated which attracted some 250 people to Abaco. The largest fish caught weighed 789 pounds.
On May 16 - 18, Bahamas Fly In part two took place in Marsh Harbour. This Fly In brought in 14 planes which welcomed 28 persons to our shores. The members of the group were hosted to a cocktail reception at Sapodilly's Restaurant on Friday night and at Abaco Beach Resort on Saturday night. They also had an opportunity to explore and visit some of the cays and settlements of Abaco.
Let's do a little arithmetic. The last Turkey Day was in December. The next Turkey Day is in November. June is the halfway point. How about some turkey in June, just to keep our taste buds in.
4 Goat peppers or 10 Bird peppers, minced
3/4 Cup Peanut oil
4 cloves Garlic, minced
1/2 Onion, minced
2 Tbsp Orange zest
2 tsp chopped fresh Ginger
Black pepper, to taste
One 10-12lb Turkey
Gas grills are popular but are neither barbecues nor smokers. They are ideal for making Peppered Turkey, however. Buy a 10lb - 12lb turkey and have your butcher cut it in half. Half a turkey will serve four, a whole turkey will serve eight.
Heat the oil in a skillet to shimmer point and add the garlic, onion, orange zest and fresh ginger. Stir and cook for two minutes, then add the black pepper. Puree in a blender. Brush the sauce onto the de-frosted turkey and marinate for as long as possible.
Place a pan and rack on the gas grill set at low and half fill the pan with water. Put the turkey cut side down on the rack. You may also place on the grill a metal dish containing wood chips to give smoke.
Baste the turkey with the sauce every half an hour until done, about four hours. Add water to the pan when it gets low and add wood chips when they burn down.
The water in the pan keeps the turkey moist and the pepper sauce adds piquancy to an otherwise bland bird. The oil in the sauce helps absorb the smoke flavour.
by Betsy Bracey
We left Cape Town early and headed north. The air was cool on that African October spring morning, that wonderful season when nature is busy renewing herself. As we travelled north, keeping the Atlantic Ocean on our left, the scenery changed from tall trees and lush greenery to scrub growth with less colour. We planned to reach the Orange River, which traces the northern border of South Africa along the southern border of Namibia, before nightfall. We were given very sketchy directions on where to find a small border town and thence to find an even smaller river camp on the Namibian bank. Finding the town was the first miracle but after driving several miles down a rough dirt track we were quite pleased to spot the camp nestled at the bottom of a high bluff. Miracle number two and enough for one day. Our bird watching group of friends had gathered, spread tarps and sleeping bags on the grassy slopes and were enjoying a sunset libation which we gratefully shared after a rather hot and dusty trip.
Our venture was to last for four days and nights and to be spent in an inflatable kayak built for two which we were expected to navigate over shallows, around boulders, through rapids and all this effort was in order to spot bird species not found in the Cape Town area. After establishing our sleeping spots we gathered to hear the river guides explain how all of this was to be accomplished. The prospects of success seemed mighty dim to me but... nothing ventured, nothing gained. After devouring an ample and delicious camp dinner we all promptly fell asleep.
In the morning while still munching breakfast we were presented with our kayak, two double ended paddles and three large, waterproof duffels which were meant to share our tiny boat and to hold all of our gear. This task completed and without further ceremony we shoved off into the fast moving water which immediately swirled us in circles and, coupled with a canyon wind howling down our throats, spent the first 10 minutes going full astern. Not an auspicious beginning to be sure, but we were a determined lot and after 30 minutes spent sorting ourselves out we began to make slow headway so long as we never stopped paddling. We soon learned that there is an art to kayaking and had absolutely no time for bird watching. When our leader banked his kayak at 11:30 we gratefully followed suit to help fix our first river bank lunch set out on a sand spit. The afternoon proved a bit easier as we turned a sharp bend in the river and eliminated the head wind. In fact we thought we were getting quite good at it and even spotted a bird or two when, without enough warning, we were in the midst of our first rapids. IÕll let your imagination explore this and assure you that you canÕt manufacture anything to compare with how 12 kayaks look when they are mishandled by 24 neophytes in an Orange River rapid. It defies description. Suffice it to say, I was never so grateful for anything in my life as I was for 4:30 to roll around to end this days 'fun'.
I mustnÕt move on, however, until I share with you the absolute soul-satisfying pleasure of watching a stunning wilderness sunset followed by all the stars imaginable beginning to sparkle in a blue-black sky and be able to crawl into a very welcome sleeping bag with nothing between you and that endless star show.
We completed the four day challenge of rapids, rocks, sandbars and floating reed beds which all contrived to impede our progress. We even found our fair share of exotic African birds which are a wonder of colour, shape and size. Even though we over-ate, we all lost a pound or two and gained much needed muscle tone. In fact, I have to say that it was great fun.
All too soon it was time to say goodbye to our Cape Town friends and strike out on our own, north toward Namibia, headed for the famous game park, Etosha. As we progressed north through South Africa we drove through Springbok we wande amazed to see acres and acres of wild flowers in a glorious rainbow of colours. Spring in Namaqua land is a sight to remember.
The word Etosha means 'huge, white area' and is one of the largest game reserves in all of Africa covering an area of 22,270 kilometres in this northern part of Namibia. October, on this continent, marks the end of the dry winter and is a fine time to view game as they are more likely to gather at the water holes. Etosha is famous for its 'pans' which are the remnants of inland seas. When flooded they contain waters the salinity of which is twice that of sea water. There are three camps in Etosha: Okaukuejo, Halali and Namutoni. Although each has a character of its own, they all make very worthwhile game viewing for the 114 species of mammals and 340 bird species. There are over 1500 elephant, an amazing 300 black rhino, 2000 giraffe and 6000 Burchell zebra and 700 of the mountain variety. Blue wildebeest, gemsbok, kudu, eland, red hartebeest, black-faced impala, over 300 lion, as well as leopard, cheetah and an incredible 20,000 springbok which are absolutely beautiful, small antelope. Everywhere we drove we saw a panoply of wildlife including a large yellow cobra sunning itself in the middle of our roadway.
As for the trip's objective, the bird life was astonishing in its variety. Although many species are difficult to spot, my husband is expert at it and we were able to find more than our fair share. The most amazing nests IÕve ever seen are made by the sociable weavers who, true to their name, live in vast colonies which create one tremendous nest that virtually fills the selected tree. In fact, we saw trees that were split in half by the very weight of one nest. And true to predator form, many nests had their resident pygmy falcon, smallest of the birds of prey. Etosha lays claim to 35 raptor species and many varieties of vulture. The Hornbills are an amazement to the uninitiated and this park offers three varieties In addition to the pans, vegetation varies from sweet-grass veld and dune velds to vast grasslands and the mopane tree veld. Mixed bushveld and tamboti forest combine with sandveld and shrub-mopane veld to create a landscape for every creature's needs.
The rest camps offer a variety of accommodations and travellers must be safely inside their fenced perimeters before nightfall. A stiff fine is imposed for the careless motorist. Okaukuejo offers very nice accommodation and marvellous water hole viewing where we witnessed a mother and baby black rhino drinking when the large male appeared. The baby immediately galloped to his side whereupon the male lay down allowing the youngster to rub his face along his gigantic 6 foot long head, all the while gingerly tucking his massive horns into the ground which appeared to be an effort to keep the young one from injury. I donÕt wish to ascribe human emotion to the scene but it was difficult not to. While staying in Halali we set up our small tent which was an experience. I spent the night with one eye open for the creepy varieties and listening for slithery sounds. Although each camp is worth a visit, my favourite was Namutoni where we were able to stay in a very picturesque military fort and capture marvellous photographs of elephant and giraffe at the water hole, framed against the backdrop of a sunset.
Well into our three week adventure we left Etosha and headed south and west, through the town of Keetmanshoop, to the borders of Botswana and the Kalahari-Gemsbok Park famed for its vast number of gemsbok, one of the largest and most beautiful of the antelope species. These magnificent animals have been known to kill a lion with their long, sharp horns and are dependent for their survival in the desert on being able to migrate freely in search of grazing and water.
The Kalahari is flung away on the edge of the South AfricaÕs desert province, the Northern Cape. This is a desert land located in the largest area of sand found on our planet, an amazing 1,630,000 square kilometres stretching from north of the equator to the banks of the Orange River in the south. The southern reaches of this area contain the Kalahari where the desert is covered by natural deposits of ferric oxide. Because rainfall is very limited the vivid colours have not been leached and shades of white, ochre, pink and russet form the lasting impression of this region. Remarkably, where the white sands abut the russet coloured sands they do not mix. IÕm sure there is a logical reason for this but it escapes me and it was so astounding that I gathered some of each to share with my grandchildren. The dunes themselves are striking in their height and the shapes into which they are moulded by wind. At some places the top ridges curve so far that one canÕt understand why the edges donÕt crumble but there they stay for days on end.
Kalahari-Gemsbok Park is located in the land where the Khoisan or Bushman, among the oldest peoples of our earth, created their hunter-gatherer culture based on resources they found in their midst. Within this area there are no border fences to divide the neighbouring countries which allows the animals free grazing. The park covers a total of 36,000 square kilometres. The Bushman reached this area some 40,000 years ago. Their uncanny ability to survive in this harsh, desert climate is the stuff of fascinating histories and story books. Laurens Van der Post has written some of the more famous, The Kalahari Bushman, A Story Like The Wind and its sequel, A Far Off Place. Bushman history is a sad tale because their peaceful nature did not prepare them for the onslaughts of other tribes nor for the coming of white men who hunted them because they regarded them as cattle thieves and poachers. This zone became a lawless one for adventurers and the San peoples suffered. The last surviving Bushman clans retreated into the remotest parts of this region and continued to live their hunter-gatherer existence into the 1930Õs . Although one sees frequent evidence of their genetic heritage in the faces of people in South Africa and Namibia, only a few thousand full blooded San are known to exist in two main settlements on the outskirts of the Kalahari-Gemsbok Park and on the Kagga Kamma farm in the Western Cape. Although they live in conditions of extreme poverty they are said to be friendly, talkative and willing to share their history and knowledge of the desert with visitors who can speak Afrikaans. There are several museums in South Africa which house excellent exhibits of these people and their artifacts. One of the continuing studies is of the flora of the region which Bushman effectively used for medicinal purposes.
This Park has three overnight camps, Twee Rivieren, Nossob and Mata Mata which include family chalets of varying sizes as well as camping and caravanning facilities. We stayed in all three and found them to be comfortable. A trip through any of these parks is not possible to do in a luxurious manner yet it is entirely possible to make advance reservations for accommodations that are adequate and, for the most part, offer air conditioning. Certainly one should drive in an air conditioned vehicle for the climate is hot and I would not suggest doing it in the African summer months of December, January or February. The food in the camp restaurants is forgettable and we were glad to have brought our own supply of fresh fruits, vegetables and tender cuts of meat. Everywhere one goes BraiiÕs (barbecues) are provided and the parks have many conveniently located ablution centres.
Western Africa is not as widely known for its game parks as the eastern sector and, though they are a bit more primitive, they offer a tremendous variety of game and bird viewing opportunities as well as a totally different landscape from anything one can see on the eastern coast. Also, they are far less crowded even in the high seasons and school vacation times. It was a wonderful and memorable trip and we look forward to our next venture planned to take us through the Kruger National Park, Swaziland, the Natal Game Parks and ending with a cruise up the Mozambique Channel to find pelagic species of sea and bird life. Stay tuned!
by Jack Hardy
Any vegetables we grow during the summer months should be tropical varieties. These can help make our vegetable growing season longer but rarely produce to satisfaction in our hot day, warm night and high humidity conditions.
Try to keep your winter-started sweet pepper and eggplants going as long as possible. They should, with care, get you through the summer albeit with smaller fruits. Cherry tomatoes, especially the large-fruited ones, are good value and you will get some returns with medium-sized tropical varieties such as Summertaste. Your favourite winter tomatoes will not fruit in summer.
Last summer I had some success with patio cucumbers. They only vine about two or three feet but produce normal size fruits. Perhaps some of the energy conserved by short vining helps them overcome the summer heat. Hot peppers of all types should survive summer and give their hottest fruits of the year, but they still need constant attention. Insect activity is far greater in summer than it is in winter. Watch for aphids and whitefly in particular.
Now that grass is growing fast, fill in patches you may have on your property by putting down an inch of soil (two inches over rock areas) for your grass to grow into. If you have dips to fill, don't use sand - use soil. Add about two inches at a time and wait a month before adding the next two inches, and so on.
This is a great time to take cuttings and propagate new plants. Take your cuttings from last year's growth that has mature bark, not a soft or green exterior. Cuttings should be no longer than 10 inches and the lower cut should be made just below a growth node. That node which produced leaves before will produce roots once it is under ground. I recommend putting your cuttings where you want them to grow instead of potting them and then transplanting. Don't water your cutting too much. Root growth is encouraged under slight stress.
Except for taking cuttings, avoid pruning your flowering shrubs. Even a little clipping can deprive you of months of bloom. Wait until the end of a plant's blooming season. For those plants that flower year round like hibiscus, only prune from necessity such as clearing from a pathway or entrance.
Phil and his wife Jean purchased their first property in Treasure Cay in 1969. From that time on he was one of the most civically active members of the Treasure Cay community. Two of Phil's many accomplishments were the development of Mariner's Cove and, more recently, the Corbett Medical Centre where he played a major role in planning and fund raising.
Discussion is already under way for the creation of a bicycle path at Treasure Cay which will be honoured with his name. Phil English is survived by his wide Jean, eight children, eighteen grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
Funeral services for Calvin 'Slim' Walker, 72, were held at Mount Zion Baptist Church, Sandy Point, on Saturday 10th March. Rev Napoleon Roberts officiated, assisted by Rev Carrington Pinder. Interment was in the Sandy Point Cemetery.
Mr Walker was survived by his wife, Luceal; three sons, Billy, Matthew and Dwight; two daughters, Dorothy Walker and Stephanie Chisholm; seven grandchildren and a host of other relatives and friends.
Calvin Walker was a devoted husband and father who served his church, his lodge and his community with unselfish zeal. He let others make plans then worked hard to ensure their success. Calvin could be found from the earliest to the latest hours manning his appointed post for the betterment of his community. He will be sorely missed.
Funeral services for Kathy Anderson, 37, of Dundas Town were held at St Francis de Sales Church, Marsh Harbour, on Saturday 17th May. Officiating was Fr Stan Kolasa and interment was in Dundas Town Public Cemetery.
Kathy was survived by her son, Jersmyne; daughter, Charlene Lewis; adopted daughter, Shantel Brown; mother, Idamae Adderley; father, Audley Farrington; adoptive parents, Mr & Mrs Nehemiah Hepburn; two brothers, Gary Saunders and Pitago Newbold; four sisters, Corine Cash, Cherise Adderley, Stacey Oliver and Tameka Newbold, and a host of other relatives and friends.
It's a sure sign that summer is coming when Crepe Myrtle bursts into puffy panicles of flower. The flowers can vary from almost white to almost red with lavender undertones.
A few words about the name. It's called crepe, of course, because the crinkly flowers resemble crepe paper. But why is the common name 'myrtle', which the plant does not resemble? This Indian shrub was named Lagerstroemia indica after a German lady called Myrtle von Lagerstroem who thus contributed to both the scientific and the popular identification.
Crepe Myrtle can grow to 25 feet but is usually seen as a shrub up to 15 feet. It blooms throughout the summer and its fallen flowers form a carpet around the tree.
Propagated from cuttings, Crepe Myrtle is an easy tree to maintain as long as the soil is conditioned to be not too alkaline. It likes full sun and pruning at the end of the flowering season will increase next year's blooms.
I know it's only a temporary situation but my food shopping in Marsh Harbour takes a lot longer these days than before. I used to know where to look for things.
The two largest food store in town, Golden Harvest and Abaco Market, had different layouts but remained essentially the same for years. When Golden Harvest expanded earlier this year the store was able to present a far larger range of frozen and chilled goods.
The basic aisle structure remains the same. By doing a quick circuit around the perimeter you encountered fresh fruits and vegetables, meats, dairy section and bread - most of the items the in and out shopper might require.
The bread being at the end of the last aisle is a good move. It used to be the first item put into the trolley. Then canned goods, sodas, washing powders and packages of meat were added and the bread often ended up thoroughly squashed.
A couple more aisles have been added to the store and it is here the confusion sets in. All paper products used to be in one aisle. Now they are in different aisles. One particular product I looked for the other didn't seem to be available. I carefully checked out every aisle - twice. I then went to one of the helpful floor managers who told me: "We keep them in the pharmacy section now." Ah, that would explain things. But after years and years of finding them in the aisles I was somewhat confused for a while.
The other day I was asked to buy some marshmallow cream. Now that's something I've never bought in my life. I tackled the project logically. The marshmallow cream was required for cooking purposes, so off I went the baking needs section. No luck. I then located marshmallows, but no marshmallow cream. I searched every aisle several times. Every aisle, that is, except the pasta and bread aisle. Then I admitted defeat and sought out a floor manager. "Marshmallow cream? Beside the pasta." Of course! Why didn't I think of that!
During the course of my peregrinations through the store I met customers by the dozen working against the flow. It used to be that shoppers came and cruised up and down the aisles in sequence then headed to the checkouts. Now there are lots of people back-tracking to find articles they missed first time around.
We'll all soon have the new layout memorised and be able to go directly to the goods we want. It'll probably take me longer than most people. I still go to post letters next door to Barclays Bank.
by Jack Hardy
The Bertram/Hatteras Shootout is one of the world's top fishing tournaments. Seventy-two boats took part in Shootout XVIII at Boat Harbour Marina, Marsh Harbour, Abaco, from 8th-10th May, the third successive year that Great Abaco Beach & Resort and Boat Harbour Marina had hosted this prestigious event.
The Shootout started off as a friendly rivalry between yacht brokers Jim Schaefer of Richard Bertram Inc and Hutch Hutchengs of Hatteras of Lauderdale back in 1980. The invited contestants represent either the Bertram or Hatteras boat concerns and up to Shootout XVIII Bertram was leading 11-6. But, Jim Schaefer told me, that was only part of the story. The biggest fish of the tournament was probably the most memorable statistic so a real 'victory' was team points plus big catch.
The introduction to the Shootout programme advises: "We can't guarantee the fishing or the weather - but we can guarantee a helluva good time!" As it turned out, the weather was perfect with clear skies and calm waters. Everybody did have a helluva good time. That left only the fish.
The bragging rights of every tournament are divided between team and individual. In the Shootout, that means total poundage of eligible fish for either Bertram or Hatteras plus the biggest fish caught. All billfish were eligible for the tournament but had to meet an 88" length from the tip of its lower jaw to the fork of its tail requirement to count. Under that length incurred a 200 point penalty for the team.
Every tournament hopes for a 'grander', a billfish over 1,000 lbs. Last year in the third leg of the Bahamas Billfish Championships held at Treasure Cay, Rick Smith of Titusville brought in a 1,030 lb blue marlin that was the largest ever caught in Abaco waters and the second largest ever in The Bahamas. All the competitors who streamed out of Boat Harbour in their Bertrams and Hatterases were dreaming of a grander.
There weren't any on the first day. Chip Streeter aboard Driving Force out of Hilton Head SC brought in a 360 lb blue marlin that set the pace. The Shootout is ranked as one of the top five fishing tournaments in the world and, because of its prestige, many consider it numero uno. A day leader of 360 lbs did not make anyone happy.
Things warmed up on day two. The Lori G of Vero Beach brought in a 435 pounder caught by Gary Gitto. Now that's respectable. Cheers resounded around the weighing area as Hutch gave out the official weight. But there was drama in the air. Gary Whitman on Shameless out of Myrtle Beach SC had hooked a fish at 1.30 pm and as weigh-in time approached the fish had still not been landed. The blue marlin had wrapped the line around its tail and become dead weight, needing careful rod and boat manipulation to bring it in. A tail-wrapped marlin is a sport fisherman's nightmare as the line could snap at the slightest flurry by the fish or lack of patience by the angler.
Shameless reversed in to the dock just under the wire and, because of its late arrival, most of its competitors were there to see the weigh in. The fish looked big but weighed disappointingly low - 425 lbs.
I spoke to Powell Fisher, the owner of Shameless shortly after they weighed in. He confirmed the 1.30 hook-up time but, beyond saying he'd 'gone south' refused to elaborate. "As far as Hole in the Wall?" I asked. His eyes glazed over. "This tournament isn't over," he said. "Ask me tomorrow." I didn't. I know he would have told me he expected to be back next year and the secret would have to be kept.
The fishermen in tournaments out of Central Abaco have to choose whether to head straight out to deep ocean or spend over an hour heading south to the funnel mouth of the North-East Providence Channel close to Hole in the Wall. Weed patches and general traffic of big billfish are more likely to be encountered there.
The team competition was just about tied and the final day would decide the outcome of the tournament. There was a shorter fishing day on the Saturday so expectations were not high. But word came from the tournament boat and helicopter - Big one coming in!
There were few competitors around when Atlast out of Lighthouse Point docked. The blue marlin was strapped to the transom and had certainly not suffered from dehydration. It didn't look too prepossessing but Jim Schaefer whispered to me - "There's a 16" transom on that Bertram. If they couldn't get it in, it's big."
It was big. The problem was, having been strapped behind the boat, it was shaped like a banana. That made it easier to hook up to the weighing gear. The marlin was not only long, it looked as though it was on steroids. The further away from the boat it came, the larger it looked. As it was raised, the crew of Atlast let out a cheer after scrutinizing the digital read-out. "602!" they shouted. Hutch took longer over his assessment and after all was still intoned "603 lbs!"
Party time! A big one, worthy of any tournament. Spontaneous applause broke out from all around and, instead of sipping a glass or two of champagne Dic Gordon, the angler of note, and his crew shook up bottles of Moet et Chandon and doused each other. They were the champs and they knew it.
Two boats were still out, however. One was coming in to ice the tournament for Hatteras and the other could be the last-second winner for Bertram.
"Here's Wynsong !" went out the cry. Most of the fishermen and their crews had docked, showered and changed and were out to see the final boats tip the fine balance. Wynsong out of Destin FL reversed up to the dock in junkanoo style, drums banging and whistles piping. The 335 lb blue marlin was far from the biggest but put icing on the Hatteras cake.
One boat, Voodoo, had hooked up and was still fighting. If it was a big one, the whole tournament could swing on it. As the five o' clock deadline approached, Jim and Hutch conferred. "There are fourteen deciders," Hutch had told me earlier. "No way we can get a draw." Apparently one of the rules was that the boat should be in sight when five o' clock came. Jim and Hutch scanned the horizon together, saw no incoming boat, then shook hands. As it turned out, Voodoo did bring in the biggest fish of the tournament but it was a blue-fin tuna, not a billfish. Hatteras took the team prize; Bertram took the big fish prize. To an innocent onlooker, it looked like a draw.
Actually, it was a win for everyone. The Bertram/Hatteras Shootout is a private party and is closed to the public. The whole Great Abaco Beach Hotel & Resort is reserved for the occasion as are most of the berthings of Boat Harbour Marina, the largest in The Bahamas.
The last three tournaments have been held in Marsh Harbour after fifteen years in Walkers Cay. Hostess Penny Turtle of Great Abaco Beach has, for seventeen years, been the First Lady of Abaco tourism. Later in May she will oversee her very own tournament and dreams of a grander being landed then. "The most important thing," she told me, "is that people come here to enjoy themselves and enjoy Abaco."
Penny is more English than the royal family and rejoices in assuring Americans that, yes indeed, The Bahamas is a country steeped in British lore and tradition. Penny has had some major hip surgery recently but refuses to allow such thing to interfere with her lifestyle. For the long treks she has a mini-golf cart in which she zooms up and down the docks of Boat Harbour at will. "A photograph, please, Penny," I asked. "Of course!" she said. "Let me sit in my chariot and wave a drink in my hand." As an experienced hostess, Penny has long learned the art of accepting every drink given her and watering nearby plants.
Terry Curry of Great Abaco Beach Resort, Capt Leonard Thompson's daughter, was everywhere making sure everything flowed naturally. When over 400 people have a private party there's a lot to look after! As soon as the Shootout is over Terry will be going to visit her mother and taking the best wishes of everybody who knows Mary.
During the first two years of the Shootout there was a little resentment from some townspeople. They were unused to a part of Abaco being cordoned off to them. But private is private. A party is being held. Invited guests only. The party was big enough to provide its own crowds.
What does the Shootout put back into the community? Plenty. I talked with several local people about employment during the tournament and it appears there is a reserve of experienced hospitality workers who can be called upon. When the Resort is full, there are many people with daytime jobs who can take over hotel duties with skill and efficiency.
In addition, prestidigitator Dan Dygert of Indianapolis entertained the students of Abaco Central Secondary School with tricks that left them astounded. Seeing a pack of cards pouring from the dealer's mouth, finding a long-lost dollar in a cigar and making a toilet roll disappear into thin air are all things the children had seen on TV - but not live. The students really enjoyed the show. Dan laughed, the school laughed. Dan amazed, the schoolchildren cheered.
After the show a student, Lloyd Rolle of Hope Town, showed Dan a trick of his own. "Hey, man!" Dan told him. "That was one of the first tricks I ever learned. Are you into this? Give me your address - I'll send you stuff." I hope Dan knows what he's into. Lloyd's father, same name, used to be a policeman and entertained my family with card tricks like a pro back in those days. Send some stuff, Dan. You'll be sowing seeds on fertile ground.
Although most fishermen rarely ventured out of the Great Abaco Beach compound, their wives did - and they carried the credit cards. A luncheon trip to Green Turtle Cay spread the ripples further than Central Abaco. And there were some ladies doing some serious shopping in Marsh Harbour too.
Certainly the participants in the Shootout enjoyed themselves. Jim Schaefer and Hutch were always in evidence and acted as perfect hosts to humble reporters and CEO's alike. Did they really care who won? "Oh yes," said Jim. "Very much. We have the best crew members from all over the world - and the anglers aren't bad either. We've got crews from South Africa, Ivory Coast, Canary Islands, Australia. The anglers are politicians, heads of major corporations like IBM. Most of them own their own businesses. Don Shula is here. They like to come over here because they can have fun and are not pestered by people."
The 3rd leg of the Bahamas Billfish Tournament was held at Treasure Cay May 11th - 16th. From the standpoint of fishing, accommodations and service Treasure Cay deserves a gold star. One angler, absent from this leg of the tournament for seven years, said he couldn't believe the difference. "This just is not the same place," he said. "It's good to see Treasure Cay so alive and well. The Marina staff and management should be commended for an superior job. The food was also excellent to say nothing of the parties at the Typsy."
Rob Fronrath on the #1 Deal caught the biggest blue marlin on the first day, a whopping 789 lbs. Robin Hood logged in the most points, accumulating 1068. A record number of 58 boats fished the tournament. It is interesting to note that out of 61 hookups and 39 billfish caught only 10 were brought in for weighing. The rest were tagged and released.
Weary or not, there will be no rest for many of the fishermen or the hard working Treasure Cay staff. The 14th Annual Treasure Cay International Billfish Tournament started on May 18th with 40 boats in the running for first prize.
by Suzanne Young
Since this reporter is among the spring homebound, this article covers less time and fewer people. However, there will be a temporary boost in the head count at Mariner's Cove when eleven of our kids, including two granddaughters and spouses and our first great-grandchild will pile in in a period of three days. Ray and I will spend some time with them before we give up our space and head home to get our golden out of the kennel.
The Frank Kays are going to host an open house to satisfy all their Mariner's Cove neighbours who can't wait to see their new house. Patty promises another party next year after she has given it a touch of her own special flair.
The Larders and the cold weather up north are responsible for the visits of lots of interesting, charming Canadians. The most recent family are Glenn, Donna and Candice LeGrand from Paspebiac, Quebec. Fishing is his game and livelihood as he and Donna run a salmon fishing club. Taking a busman's holiday, Glenn is planning to return with some friends in January to try their skills at bonefishing. Candice racked up a few miles on her bike, a pastime the pretty little 4th Grader can't indulge at this time of year in Paspebiac.
A recent visit by Matthew and Amy Kohrman brough back memories of Matt's parents Marge and Lee, who used to be our favourite neighbours. They have been involved in international Jewish refugee relief organisations and find less time to come here. Matt, who admits to being a perpetual student, is finishing up his requirements for a PhD in Social Anthropology. Amy is a Home Banking Product Manager with Bay Bank Systems in Waltham, Massachusetts. They vow they will be back.
Some spirited tennis and a trip to the reef gave us opportunities to become more familiar with Tony and Gina Isaac, their guests Struan and Gabrielle from Scotland and Dick and Carol Actis-Grande, Americans in Paris. Tony wasn't able to join in the sports events as he is recovering from hip surgery, but he was seen walking all around the area with the help of his sticks. That's English for canes. The reef excursion was extra special because we went in Dick's gorgeous new Boston Whaler Bogie II.
The nice long month that Dick and Minna Passman were able to take this year wasn't much of a vacation for Dick. He had just assumed the position of Mariner's Cove president and says he's not sure he knew what he was getting into. Ray Young tried to assure him that it won't be so bad next year - he accomplished so much this year.
So goodbye until next fall. We leave The Bahamas in body but not in spirit. We won't forget our best wishes and prayers for Alan Caldwell and his wife Carol, and especially for Jean English.
The following fishing tournaments will be held on Abaco during the month of June:
3rd-7th June - 16th Annual Green Turtle Yacht Club Fishing Tournament at Green Turtle Club.
8th-13th June - Bahamas Billfish Championship at Great Abaco Beach Resort.
19th-21st June - Cabo Boat Rendezvous Fishing Tournament, Treasure Cay Resort.
By Jim Kaighin
The Marsh Harbour Sailing Club held its seventh annual Homer Lowe Memorial Regatta on 25th & 26th April. Participating were seven boats from Nassau and five from Marsh Harbour in the six race series. The competitors sailed their sunfish near The Mermaids on Pelican Shores. In attendance were three-time world champion Donnie Martinborough, and Jimmy Lowe who placed fourth in the 1995 Sunfish Worlds here in Abaco.
Rough conditions were experienced throughout the two day event. Jimmy Lowe won two of the three races on Friday while Donnie Martinborough won two of the three races on Sunday. The racing was very close despite winds of 15-20 miles an hour and choppy seas. Jimmy Lowe, the son of Homer Lowe, won the Regatta for the third time followed by Donnie Martinborough. The top sailor from Marsh Harbour was Jim Kaighin who was third with three second place finishes.
1. Jimmy Lowe/Nassau/7.25
2. Donnie Martinborough/Nassau/8.25
3. Jim Kaighin/Marsh Harbour/13
4. George Damianos/Nassau/19
5. Gavin McKinney/Nassau/21
6. Richard Farrington/Nassau/25
7. Van Stratton/Marsh Harbour/35
8. Lori Lowe/Nassau/38
9. Victor Patterson/Marsh Harbour/43
10. Liann Key Kaighin/Marsh Harbour/47
11. Charles Cooke/Marsh Harbour/50
12. Nu Nu Whitehead/Nassau/54
The final meeting of the 1996-7 season of the Tropical Fruit and Garden Society of Abaco was held at Great Abaco Beach Hotel on 17th April. The speaker was Gene Joyner, Urban Horticulturalist for Palm Beach County, Florida.
Gene is also the creator and owner of Unbeliebable Acres, a tract of land on North Military Trail with a great variety of rare tropical plants. A slide presentation showed how Unbelievable Acres developed from cleared land to tropical rain forest in a quarter of a century.
It was so nice to see members from Treasure Cay able to make the journey. We hope to have more weekend activities next season that will allow members from all points of the island to participate.
An application by Roger Hale for the dredging of a channel and boat basin on the west coast of Lubber's Quarters which had previously been denied by the Hope Town Town Committee was passed 5-4 by the Central Abaco Council. Chief Councillor Mike Malone cast the deciding vote. Mr Hale had supported his application with an environmental study carried out by a Nassau company which indicated that the project would not be harmful to the environment and, in fact, might be beneficial.
The Hope Town Committee did not object to the dredging per se but to its location. An application to dredge on the south end of the cay would have been approved by the Town Committee, said Councillor Suzanne Bethel.
The final decision on the project will be taken in Nassau. All the recommendations and reservations from Abaco will be reviewed there by the Harbour Authority.
The hurricane season officially begins on 1st June. There's an old verse that contains traditional wisdom about the likelihood of a hurricane striking any particular location in The Bahamas:
June - too soon;
July - stand by;
August - come it must;
September - remember;
October - all over.
Some of the most destructive hurricanes in Bahamian history struck in November. The Bahamas is usually affected by late season rather than early season hurricanes.
by Betsy Bracey
Early April in Treasure Cay was the windiest one I can remember. We were blown about on land as well as sea and had many cooler than normal days. But this unseasonable weather did an about face toward the end of the month and, once again, boaters took to the waters and bathers to the beaches.
Royal Palm owners seen around and about were Bud and Nan Camferdam, who did marvellously well at the bridge tables, and Joyce Turpin who entertained guests from England and Florida, Mac and Molly McSorely. Nan and George Gregory, who continue to navigate the high seas in Vindharp , also entertained English guests who are doing an around the United States tour. Kathleen and Bill Draper are still in town and give us a reason to keep our tennis courts up to snuff. And speaking of tennis, owners will find new keyed locks have been installed with keys available at the Royal Palm office.
Bill and Jean Glasgow returned after a short time in the Carolinas and residents Isik and Erica Erim are often seen heading off or returning from a day on the IF. Denny and Nora Parker are in residence along with Caryl and Dick Actis-Grande who are the owners of a lovely new boat along with a glass-bottomed dinghy which looks like great fun. Congratulations, Dick. You have just joined the race for the 'Most Toys' trophy! Virginia and Harry Peterson ventured down from western Pennsylvania for a few weeks and Angelica Smith came in from New York state for a nice stay. Douglas and Virginia Stimpson arrived from the unsettled weather in Maryland and found rather pleasant days here on the island. They spent most of their time, however, in a fix-it-up mode. Maybe their next visit will afford some play time.
Michael Winblad was spotted briefly and Anne and Jack Tupper popped across the 'pond' for a Treasure Cay idyll. Jack, however, seems unable to be idle and spent his time in fixing up as well. England must have been empty this month as we also had the pleasure of seeing Jacqueline and Roger Hedge. James and Kathy McAllister remained here for most of the month and the Arnolds, Lynn and Pat, spent some time in residence. Sharon and Paul Robert flew down from the Canadian north but only stayed for a short visit. Bill Jacobsen's son has taken up residence in Royal Palm while Bill and Barbara spend lots of time in their home on the point.
We were pleased to see Ed Pearlstine here for a short visit and wish to extend to him, from all of us, our sympathy in regard to Barbara's untimely demise. We are all so sorry, Ed, and urge you to come down for a long stay. You have many concerned and caring friends at Royal Palm and all over Treasure Cay and we do miss our 'Bud Man'!
One important note is the enforcement of existing fishing rules and regulations. A notice has been distributed which explains some, but not all, of the existing rules and regulations. This notice, plus other information, will be included with your June copy of the RPCA Newsletter. Directors urge you to read it carefully so you can be in compliance.
Many folks will be arriving for the May fishing tournaments and when you do, please let us know you're here and how you fare so we can inform all of your far away friends. Happy fishing and good luck!
by Neal Doten
CAPITAL LETTERS...Don't commit a "capital crime!"
When we covered sentence structure, I suggested you avoid always starting your sentence with a subject. That made me think about the one thing that you should always use to start your sentences... a CAPITAL letter.
The capital letter - the first letter of any word that starts a sentence - is familiar to everyone. It was often carried to the extreme in history when each chapter in a book started with a huge, scrolled, first letter for the first word. This practice my have indicated a new chapter whether numbers were used or not.
Starting a sentence with a capital letter emphasizes this is a 'new' sentence. This practice probably got its start when handwritten documents or books weren't easily read. The punctuation was hard to see (by candle or firelight?) or not there at all.
Capital letters are also used to indicate importance. Important 'somethings' are known as 'proper' nouns. A proper noun is a person's name (George), the name of a city (Nassau), a month of the year (January), or a company (Abacom) - any specific name of a person, place or thing.
Be careful that you don't fall into the trap of capitalizing something that is not a proper noun. Referring to 'the company' or 'the government' in a sentence does not warrant capitalizing either one. This changes if you make it very specific and write 'Abaco Glass Company' or Government of The Bahamas.'
Capital letters are also used for emphasis. If you read the warning labels on products, you will find capital letters tell you to do this... or don't do that. KEEP AWAY FROM CHILDREN is found on medicines. USE ONLY IN A WELL-VENTILATED SPACE can be seen on paints and chemicals. These capital letters are effective in catching your attention and emphasizing a message.
Capital letters are great and you should use them to your advantage. BUT...don't commit a 'capital crime!' Using capital letters too often for emphasis will have the opposite effect. Instead of catching attention and enforcing the importance of your writing, too many capital letters will reduce the impact.
Why? Well, there are two reasons. First, your eyes have an easier time reading when there is a minimum of capital letters. A series of words written in all capital letters makes your eyes work harder - the end result is you get tired of reading!
The second reason is one of perception. If you put everything in capital letters, your reader assumes you weren't careful in selecting (and emphasizing) the most important ideas. In a short time, the reader doesn't agree that everything you capitalized is important... then loses interest and skips over that part of your writing.
Here are two examples. Which one uses capital letters more effectively?
DO NOT ENTER THIS AREA! HAZARDOUS MATERIALS HAVE BEEN RELEASED AND MAY STILL CONTAMINATE THE SOIL AND THE AIR. IF ENTRY IS REQUIRED, WEAR PROTECTIVE CLOTHING AND A BREATHING DEVICE. UPON EXIT, PERFORM DECONTAMINATION PROCEDURES.
DO NOT ENTER THIS AREA! Hazardous materials have been released and may still contaminate the soil and the air. If entry is required, WEAR PROTECTIVE CLOTHING AND A BREATHING DEVICE. Upon exit, perform decontamination procedures.
You're right! The second example is easier to read and does a better job of emphasizing important information.
Capital letter perform a number of functions from the most basic (starting the first word of a sentence) to the most important (emphasizing a key point). Remember to use capital letters to start the specific names of things such as Martha, Miami, and Motorola - all proper nouns. There's one thing to remember - What do capital letters and Bahama Mamas have in common? Too many of either one will give you a headache!
While we're on the subject of capital letters, here are some newspaper headlines that have more than one meaning.
(From Richard Lederer's More Anguished English)
LOCAL HIGH SCHOOL DROPOUTS CUT IN HALF
BRITISH UNIONS FIND DWARFS IN SHORT SUPPLY
MAN FOUND BEATEN, ROBBED BY POLICE
by Churton Toote
Abaco Karate Academy will be holding several events in Marsh Harbour leading up to our Second Annual International Karate Tournament:
Sunday 1st June - Sunday Tea/Fashion Show
To be held at the Parish Hall at 3pm, this is THE function to attend. There will be soloists, skits, lots of sweets and door prizes!
Saturday 7th June - Flea Market
This will be held in the parking lot of Lawrence Engineering starting at 10am.
Saturday 14th June - Family Night
Held in the Parish Hall starting at 8pm, we hope to have a substantial raffle with a great first prize, demos, good food, entertainment and door prizes.
Saturday 21st June - The Second Annual International Karate Tournament
This will be held at the Pavilion, Great Abaco Beach Hotel, and promises to be bigger and better.
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