There is always something to do here! We have yet to experience a day of boredom, not even just a little bit. In a seven-day period, we experienced three very varied events, each benefiting worthy causes.
Art for the Parks, sponsored by the Bahamian National Trust was held on January 24th-26th in Marsh Harbor on Great Abaco Island. It is an event that showcases Bahamian artists to benefit the preservation of Abaco’s six national parks and wildlife sanctuaries which includes Walker’s Cay National Park, Black Sound Cay National Reserve, Tilloo Cay Reserve, Pelican Cays Land & Sea Park, Abaco National Park and Fowl Cays National Park.
Froggies, the local dive shop here, provided a free ferry for anyone from Elbow Cay who wanted to attend the Friday evening opening “gala.” Along with about 50 people from Hope Town we made the trip on Froggies’ ferry over to Boat Harbor on the western side.
Art for the Parks was held at the Abaco Beach Resort & Inn, a very grand marina and a nice setting. Admission included free champagne and appetizers during the opening gala. We enjoyed seeing all the local arts and crafts, especially artists we knew from Hope Town.
One of our favorites is Kim Rody, a “fishartista,” who paints “Ocean and Mountain Art” in bold and bright colors. Her mountain paintings are from summers in Asheville, North Carolina. Her ocean paintings are from her winters here in the Abacos and southern Florida. She and her husband, Mark Kopp, live in Hope Town and sail on Spirit.
I have a small print of Kim’s “Blue Striped Grunts” hanging in the boat now and will be bringing home at least one of her dishes, if I can ever make up my mind which one!
Another Hope Town artist at the show was Bruce & Gail, who design sea glass jewelry. During the winter, they live on their trawler, Orient Express, and in summers are back in …guess where? Niantic, CT. After the show I met with Bruce and Gail on Orient Express and together we selected four of my sea glass pieces for a necklace. I couldn’t think of a better memento of our travels than to have our own sea glass in a necklace designed by people we now know here.
Last week, the Princeton co-ed acapella singing group, Shere Khan, came to Hope Town to perform at the St James Methodist Church. The concert was a benefit for the church’s youth group and for a children’s home in Nassau. We love acapella, especially college acapella groups, ever since we became fans of the Vineyard Sound in the early 90’s. A few years later, my son Ryan and his wife, Kerri, both sang in the Marist College acapella groups, Time Check and The Sirens. The Shere Khan concert was a great evening and everyone (standing room only) enjoyed it very much. These 11 young people are very talented and quite personable. But I will confess that I just didn’t get their name at all. Google to the rescue once again – Shere Khan is the fictional tiger in Rudyard Kipling’s Jungle Book. Shere = tiger and Khan = king. OK, I know what it means now, but I still don’t really see the connection between Shere Khan and an acapella group – but they were still fantastic!
For those of you who would like to hear as well as see this singing group, here is a short clip of them performing “In Your Eyes” —
On a Friday morning, there was a tag/rummage sale to benefit the Friends of Abaco Animals. Friends of Abaco Animals is an organization that exists to ease the plight of abandoned and needy animals in the community. The increasing population of stray animals has been reduced due to the organization’s efforts in providing spay/neuter and adoption programs. This is accomplished through dedicated volunteers, donations and events such as the tag/rummage sale. Remember when we joined the SOTS? All of the membership fee is donated to Friends of Abaco Animals. Since the founding in 1982, Friends of Abaco Animals has grown beyond Hope Town to include the entire region of Abaco. The rummage sale was for a worthy cause and another chance to visit with everyone.
During the rummage sale I heard and saw the word “potcake” on t-shirts that were for sale. Curious, as usual, I needed to find out more about potcakes and potcats. The potcake dog is a mixed-breed dog type inhabiting the Bahamas. Its name comes from the leftover rice and pea mixture that would cake in the bottom of the cooking pot and was fed to the outdoor roaming dogs. In general, potcake dogs have smooth coats, cocked ears, and long faces, although that can vary. Three types of dogs may have contributed to the genetics of the potcake: dogs the Arawak Indians of Central and South America brought with them to the Bahamas; terriers that protected supplies from rodents on ships that arrived; and dogs from North Carolina that arrived with the Loyalists during the American Revolutionary War. Potcakes are intelligent with a laid back and easy-going temperament, very Bahamian. I assume that “potcats” is the name given to stray and abandoned cats ?
In addition to these organized events, Al and I decided it was time to host a happy hour on our boat and invite some of our new cruiser friends over. We managed to fit eleven folks in our cockpit for an evening of delicious foods, cruisers are creative cooks – guacamole, conch salad, corn and black bean salsa, chicken sausage with apples, brie and crackers, and toasted pumpkin seeds. I think we even covered the major food groups and no one had dinner later.
Al just complained that I am not in the picture above. Here is another photo of our little party, with me, but minus Dan, the photographer. Wish I could photoshop us all into one picture!
Have I mentioned that we are having a wonderful time here in the Abacos, and here in Hope Town? 🙂 Tomorrow we will be heading to Marsh Harbor to pick up our friends from Connecticut, Gil and Judy, who will be spending a week with us. We can’t wait to show them Hope Town and the Abacos.