2.04.2010

The Garden Of Eden in Black Point Bahamas

The Garden Of Eden in Black Point Bahamas
Have you ever met someone and when you left their presence you felt as if you just received a gift, a blessing? Well… today I met one of those people, his name… Willie Rolle. When we initially arrived at Black Point, Bahamas our first stop was at a bar/restaurant named Scorpion. While there we inquired to what areas in town a traveler may visit to learn more about the local culture. Immediately, the fellow behind the bar responded that we needed to go to see the Garden of Eden. When we questioned as to what exactly the Garden of Eden was, the guy behind the bar replied with a wide toothy grin, “You go see for ya selves”. Naturally that raised the curiosity level up a few notches. So off we headed, up the street and around the corner to find the Garden of Eden in Black Point, Bahamas. Following a little walk we came upon what appeared to be a garden gone wrong. As we stood in front of this site I thought to myself this cannot be the Garden of Eden!! The yard was full of dead pieces of wood that appeared to be scattered haphazardly about. What a tourist trap this is was my next thought! I looked at the Captain with a look of bewilderment! His response….”Ahh come on let’s at least go look around since we have already walked the walk.” Off we went wandering our way through this chaotic pile of rocks and driftwood. Just a few feet into the garden we notice a man standing by the front door of a house. We made steps towards him to ask permission to continue to walk the property. He gives a big excited smile and replies with a broken, slurred English, “Let me give you a tour!” He introduces himself as he puts his hand out, “Hi my name is Willie, Willie Rolle, pleasure to meet you and welcome to my garden!” He had a affectionate welcoming air about him.. practically innocent and childlike. I felt as if I had known him for years. It was a strange presence that I cannot begin to explain in words. Willie took us by every one of his creations and explained each section to us. Every now and then he would let out a hardy chuckle as he explained the works of art. Each piece of driftwood, each rock was picked up and arranged by Willie. Some you had to really stimulate your imagination but through Willie’s eyes we saw the Garden of Eden art exhibit, art sent from nature! With a modest amount of imagination and with the help of Willie we saw ballerinas dancing, penguins, crocodiles, birds, lions and even George Washington. It was amazing! As we approached the end of the exhibited we noticed trees and plants growing out of the center of rocks! The Captain and I couldn’t believe what our eyes were seeing. Before us was a true garden there were fruits and veggies growing as far as you could see. There were bananas, kiwi, tomatoes, mangos, aloe vera, potatoes, corn.. the list goes on and on. Willie reached up into the tree with a grandiose smile and plucked a tamarind from his tree. He thoughtfully handed one to us so we could sample it. It tasted delicious. The most marvelous part was that these trees and plants were not just growing but they were prosperous and thriving!! Growing in small sections of rock with scant amounts of dirt!! Willie told us he had worked on his garden for 30 years. The only thing that he and his family purchase from the store is rice, lard and sugar! He is self sufficient and very happy.

Moral of the story… Don’t ever pass judgments on first impressions only… when you do you risk missing a wonderful blessing and meeting possibly an angel or at least a very special human being!!
Peace and joyous hearts to all ......

PS..VERY SLOW WI FI... WILL POST MORE PICS AND BLOGS WHEN WE ARRIVE @ GEORGETOWN

Warderick Wells Cay to Black Point Bahamas 2-3-10

We were up early this morning to prepare for a travel day as soon as we received the latest weather forecast broadcast on Channel 6 from Highpoint Marina at 0730. Nothing in the forecast that would prevent a short day sail to the settlement of Black Point, 25 nautical miles to the south. The winds were forecast to be light and variable in the southeast Bahamas. We were experiencing northwest winds at our anchorage before we departed so I expected that we would be able to fly our spinnaker and have a good run south to Black Point. We motored out of the Exuma Park and turned south on our planned route to our destination. The winds went to less than 5 mph directly off of the stern. So we did not sail but rather motored all the way to Blank Point. We ran the engine at a nice and easy pace of 1500 RPM’s making way at about 4.8 nautical miles per hour. Cruising speed for the engine is 1800 RPM’s. We set the autopilot and enjoyed the beautiful tropical weather. As soon as we arrived at Black Point we loaded the gas tank on the dinghy and we were off to go exploring ashore before dark. Black Point is a cruisers hot spot and the settlement welcomes the cruising community with open arms. Some of the features that make this a “must do” stop if you cruise this area are; Laundromat, groceries (read ice cream), clinic, restaurants, FREE pure RO water, FREE Wifi, cellular phone service and the much needed FREE garbage disposal. I bet that there will be shower facilities in the future. As soon as we walked off the dinghy dock there were several men that were sitting and talking in a shelter house at the end of the dock. They were welcoming and eager to give us directions to an establishment that could provide a thirsty Captain with an ice cold, cylindrical adult beverage. We stopped by Scorpios and enjoyed a frosty local brew…..Kalik! Then we were off to see some more of the local attractions. Read the Admiral’s post of the Garden of Eden for more details. I have to tell you that Willie Rolle is a bit of a celebrity in this part of the world. The Bahamas cruising guide book even talks about him and his abundant wealth of local knowledge.

Willie explained his creations to me in this way….”you know how you look in da clouds and you see shapes dat remind you of tings? You know dat the magination in a powerful ting? You recognize ting cause you see dem before. Like you and me, we see one a nudder now so we recognize us in da future. Dats how I see dem tings here in da garden. I go to da bush and I us my magination to see da tings. You know everyting haf two? Da man and da women. I find two of everyting. All woman is woman and all man is man. Like you and me is both man but we look different. I some times lay in da bush and look and den it is right der before me. Some time I laugh so hard to see deez tings come to life for me.”

So this is how our tour went with Willie. It was a joy to listen to him and hear his stories. Willie is a true Bahamian bushman. He knows the plants and knows how to use them to survive as well as to treat complaints in the body and soul. When you connect with Willie he looks at you as though he is looking right into your heart. He is a sincere, generous, honest, hard working man with a passion for creating art with found objects. Willie clearly understands the connection of man, art, creation and creator. I was honored that he extended a hug from the heart as we departed.

We will return to shore tomorrow (Thursday) and take care of some chores. The list is pretty short. Haul some water to fill the tanks, do some laundry, eat some more ice cream, visit the clinic and update our blog. It looks like Friday will be another travel day as we try to run ahead of yet another cold front that will send howling winds backing from south to west to north. There are very few anchorages with safe depths on the “bank” side of the Exuma’s, so we may run through a cut to the ocean side and make a run for George Town. There is one other potential option at Leaf Cay just south of Farmers Cay. Weather and wind will make the decision for us.

Be sure to stop at DeShanoms for the very best the island has to offer. They went way out of thier way to help us connect to the internet so we could publish this blog.

Thanks for reading the blog and be sure to leave your comments. We love to hear from you.

Captain Montgomery