On Saturday March 15th we left George Town and had an incredible sail to Cat Island. Winds were on the beam blowing 12 to 18 knots. At one point we were making 8.9 knots over the ground. Due to the wind direction we decided to anchor off Old Bight, a few miles south of New Bight where we anchored last year. In that location, there would be less wind and wave action.
The mega yacht “air”. A 265’8″ Feadship with two 32′ tenders, a 102″ pop-up outdoor TV, and an 8 meter swimming pool. You and your 13 best friends could charter her for a mere $1,166,115.00 per WEEK!
Ginnie thinks our next boat should be a power boat, this one looks good and it comes with a helicopter! Do you think they would trade even?
The next morning we rented a car with Lee from Alesto 2 and Cordell Thompson, a Bahamian historian from Exuma, who was sailing with Lee. Renting a car to tour the island by ourselves would have been OK but being given a tour by Lee and Cordell was amazing. Lee has spent a great deal of time on Cat Island and Cordell’s knowledge of the Bahamian island history was fascinating.
One stop we made was to visit Nick Cripps a friend of Cordell who is developing a subdivision on a hill top at the north end of the island. Nick is completely off the grid for power. He has solar panels that provide all the electrical needs for the two homes he has built. Water is provided by wells and by roof collection and stored in large cisterns. The remaining lots are for sale but must meet association standards.
Cordell and Nick, what a view. 360 degrees.
Further north, at the end of a very long road/driveway, we visited Pamela Portier, a friend of Lee and Cordell. Pamela is Sidney Portier’s daughter. Both Nick and Pamela have incredible views from their hill top homes. If you know who Sidney Portier is then consider yourself old. When we told Sarah, Ginnie’s daughter, we visited Sidney Portier’s daughter she had no clue who he was. With age comes a vast amount of knowledge, but we still need Sarah to fix our phones and computer.
At Old Bight we beached our dinghies at a new resort being built by Mr. Rolle. He has named it Rollezzz Resort because it is a great place to sleep. The buildings are well designed and built and the interiors are first class. A little more site work, landscaping and the installation of a wi-fi system and the doors will open for business. Mr. Rolle, like all Cat Islanders we met, was very friendly and helpful. When we asked if we could land the dinghies on his beach he not only said “Of course” but then proceeded to give us a tour of the resort. Needing more palm fronds for baskets, he told us where to find the silver top palms and even told us where his wife’s favorite shelling spot was.
Building a covered patio.
Roderick “Rasta Man” the rock sculpture artist.
The next morning we travelled by car to the south end of the island stopping at Port Howe and Devils Point. Cordell pointed out that the vegetation at this end of the island was much more lush and dense. It was obvious that there is more rain here than in any other part of the island.
On Wednesday afternoon, we moved the boat up to New Bight. We learned that Pompey Johnson and his group “Bo-Hog & Da-Rooters” would be performing Rake & Scrape music at one of the beach conch shacks. It is said that Rake & Scrape music started here on Cat Island. The instruments are a concertina, a goat skin goombay drum and a carpenters saw.
Pompey Johnson (middle) and Bo-Hog & Da-Rooters.
To watch a video of Bo-Hog & Da-Rooters copy and paste the link below:
Before the music Ginnie was learning to play Double 6 Mexican Train dominoes.
Any excuse for a party.
Can anyone spot the ring leader of this party?
Crystal, the happiest waitress in the Bahamas.
Pompey has performed in Paris, on the Today Show with Kathy Lee & Hoda, and at the Apollo Theater.
While there we ran into Roderick “Rasta Man” Smith who we had met earlier working with Mr. Rolle at his new resort. We learned that he was an artist that creates sculptures from brain coral. Rasta Man was the manager at the now closed marina in Rum Cay. While there he learned the art from a master sculpture. Rasta’s company is Rasta Soup, you can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rasta Man and his art.
Our candle holders.
We also met Mark Knowles, a multi champion sailor and boat builder from Long Island. He was in Cat Island working a construction job building a sea wall along the roads adjacent to the beaches. Mark builds and very successfully races Bahamian A, B and C class sailboats.
Mark with Rasta Man getting into the act.