We’ve spent months in the Bahamas. It was the first place, on our first cruise, where we really felt we were cruising. It was where we chartered with good friends, our 2 families exploring the Abacos on a rented catamaran for 10 days as we celebrated one of our 40th birthdays. It was where we took our kids on the second cruise, abandoning suburban life in Charlottesville for 9 months of bliss interspersed with impossibility. It’s where we will head when we finally let go of the dock lines on the next cruise.
It’s a vast island nation, at least vast in the sense of innumerable different islands of varying levels of population. It’s not particularly large geography-wise. The ability of cruisers to be with hundreds of fellow sailors one night, and then the next be completely alone in an anchorage? That’s unique in our experience.
The colors of the water are not photoshopped. Not filtered. The people are friendly and welcoming. Our time in the Bahamas is the stuff of dreams and rose-colored memories that we share with anyone who wants to hear them.
The news out of the Bahamas, in the wake of Dorian, is unbelievably horrendous. An insanely powerful storm lashing a low-lying island nation where many homes are built out of any building materials at hand. The storm doesn’t just hit and move on. It hits, and stays. Parks. Dumps rain and wind and havoc endlessly, like some nightmare version of Groundhog Day.
I’d imagine that anyone there with the radio tuned into the National Weather Service (because often radio transmissions go pretty far - if not the NWS, it’s some local version thereof) - they’re tuning in desperately every 4 or 6 hours, hoping against hope to hear that the coordinates of the storm have changed. Even though their own experience is telling them otherwise.
The Bahamas will rebound. The people will rebound. Maybe the collective memories so many of us have of that incredible place will help fuel the energy needed to do so.
Maybe we can help in more concrete ways. Make sure any non-profit you donate to is vetted and real. That the donations will go to where they can actually help.
I’m looking forward to making more Bahamas memories.