3.18.2011

Marsh Harbor/Junkanoo

It was a bittersweet moment as I watched the cab in Nassau drive away with Jessica and Lilly in the back seat to deliver them to the airport after 3 brief weeks in the Bahamas to start their voyage home. They were with us for a total of 2 months which felt like only a few short weeks. It was a blessing having this opportunity to share my dream with my daughter and granddaughter but one thing I learned during their visit is children grow up and there comes a time I guess that we must let them go to find themselves and their own way in this life. Not an easy lesson but one long past due for me. This was my time to let go, step back and allow my children to live their lives as they choose. So as Jessica and Lilly fade out of my life for the current time, the Captain and I grow ever closer as we move forward in our journey. Next stop, the Abacos. This will be our first trip north to visit the islands of Abacos so the feelings of apprehension due to the unfamiliar set in along with the stimulation in our souls as we once again head out into the unknown. The sail was a long overnighter which allowed me the time I needed to think and process my feelings as well as do a little fishing. The sail was peaceful and calm as the stars guided our way north. We reached the Abacos early morning and dropped anchor at Sandy Cay to rest before we continued our journey north to Marsh Harbor where we had heard there was to be a Junkanoo that evening!! The Captain and I have wanted to attend this event for the past couple of years and unfortunately the powers to be decided it wasn’t the right time for us to experience the brilliance of this festival until now, ohhhh yes it was the perfect time, with me being in a funk and both of us missing Lilly’s free spirit and miles of smiles, well yes it is the perfect time and we would be attending!

We arrived in Marsh Harbor with just enough time to drop anchor, tidy up, clean ourselves up and find the government dock. There is great holding in the harbor so anchoring was a breeze. I scurried around with butterflies in my belly as I prepared for this next adventure, Junkanoo.
The word "Junkanoo” is said to be derived from an African slave master and trader named "John Canoe" in the 17th century. These slaves were not allowed much freedom and would hide in the bushes when they had the chance. While in the bushes, they would dance and make music while covered in costumes that they made from various paints that they made and leaves that they found. This festival represented the slave's freedom from slavery.
We arrived early and found first-rate seats on the bleachers that were set up alongside the narrow road; little did we know that there would be little time for sitting. You could feel the excitement building in the air. There were no drunken fights or negative attitudes just a crowd of people full of electricity waiting for this thrilling festival to begin. In the distance you could hear the first group warming up, bugles, trumpets, drums made of goat skins all preparing for their chance to show off their talents for us to enjoy.
At last it was time, I looked down the road and all I could see was a sea of many colors so dazzling and brilliant that it was overwhelming to the eyes. The people dressed in vibrant


multicolored costumes, joyous celebration, the music, the dance, it was more than I could have ever expected. Some of the costumes weighed in at over 100 pound and all were homemade with sparkles, magnificent colors of paint, beads! It was a mix of Mardi gar and a high school pep club. There was so much energy in the air. This is a celebration I highly recommend attending if the opportunity presents itself! (Lots more fotos will be posted on our dreams followed site as soon as we have adequate internet service.)
We really enjoyed our time at Marsh Harbor. We spent a few days at Mangos Marina where we showered, caught up on our laundry, and spent some internet time. Ray is the dock master and is very helpful. We highly recommend Mangos, it is reasonably priced, in a convenient location, easy in and out, the internet is iffy but the bathrooms are clean and if you are lucky you may find yourself serenaded by the beautiful Haitian songbird that ensures the facilities are clean! Marsh Harbor is a great place for provisioning, cheaper than Nassau with a much better selection. There is a regular grocery store as well as a bulk warehouse if you are in need of large quantities.
Unfortunately there was a forest fire on the island that lasted for days. Smoke became bothersome for many people whenever the winds would shift and carry the smoke over the harbor waters. I saw my first explosion when the fire reached a propane tank. Fortunately no one was hurt and the fire was put out a week later after an enormous amount of man power hours. Thanks to all the volunteers that worked on keeping the island safe!
Thanks to all the happy birthday wishes that were sent to the Captain. We had a absolutely great day. We attended the “pig roast” at Nipper’s which we do not recommend attending. There was no pig roast only roast pork which was dry, the rest of the food not so good either and the price... way too much. Our recommendation is to skip the pig roast, save the money and go snorkling!!

Aim above morality. Be not simply good, be good for something.
Henry David Thoreau

Peace and Love,
Capt Don and Admiral Nelson

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