Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Coordinates and Sunsets

White Sound Sunset

July 18th, 2018 - A quick update from the island. We woke up and enjoyed our daily coffee this morning and a passing rain shower made its way through. We have noticed that most showers and storms pass through quickly; many dumping heavy rain on some other cay, but not here. We spent lunch time and early afternoon at the Abaco Inn. Lunch was tremendous - we ordered chicken fingers, chicken wings, lobster fritters, and fries. No one said we were going to eat healthy while here. Another afternoon at Hope Town Beach was on the agenda and, as usual, it did not disappoint. My wife and I made our way down that glorious stretch of white, sandy beach to the area you would encounter if you walked the path from Vernon's, pass the basketball court and pool, to the beach. You see, we were married here. June 16th, 2006 - Mr. Vernon Malone officiated. A small shower threatened to ruin the proceedings, but it quickly dissipated and gave way to a rainbow out over the ocean. Ironic and appropriate, that my wife's name is indeed Rainbow. I know those coordinates well. We wear them after all. After some of mom's chicken pot pie, it was back to Abaco Inn for dessert. The drive south is always beautiful late in the day. At one point on the island, you are perched at the top of the sand dunes with the roaring Atlantic to your left and peaceful Sea of Abaco on your right. The sunsets here are worth every penny you spend just to get here. You can't go wrong with the chocolate silk pie or the fried pound cake. Delicious. And with the waves crashing against the ironshore, it makes for an ideal setting for an evening snack. The ride back through the evening cool offers up the opportunity to look up. The Hope Town sky, completed with more stars than you could possibly count, never disappoints. Tomorrow is our last full day on the island. I hesitate to write more - not ready for that yet. 

 Where We Were Married


Video Update:

Do What We Do

Dock at Firefly 
Bar at Firefly

July 17th, 2018 - Our crew made it to Hope Town Beach late in the morning today; high tide greeting us with strong waves and currents. We decided to make our way to HTHL for lunch and a refreshing dip in their pool. The BBQ chicken wings were incredible for this southern boy and Gary always treats us right with rum drinks from the bar. By the way, Gary now refers to my wife as "boss lady" ... he know her well. After leaving HTHL, we decided something sweet was in order so we headed off toward the Sweet Shop in the golf cart. Ice cream and milkshakes hit the spot; as we sat down in the shade outside the store to enjoy our delicious treats. We dropped the oldest and the youngest off at the rental home before heading back to Hope Town Beach for the afternoon. My wife and I enjoyed a wonderful meal at the Firefly Resort to celebrate our wedding anniversary (a month late, but we intentionally wait). Thanks to my parents for watching our children so Rainbow and I could enjoy a night out on the island. 

Hope Town Beach at High Tide

 The Sweet Shop on Elbow Cay

Firefly Resort

Very Specific Directions on the Island

Moore Musings:
We are all creatures of habit. As time continues to move at a brisk pace, we continue to slow down and "settle in" to island time. It's an accomplished feeling; to know you have finally acclimatized to this way of life. Indeed, this always occurs just in time for you to start gearing up for the return trip home. Two more full days remain on the island and for vacation. Two days we will enjoy to the fullest and two more days to do what we do. We settle in to these habits on the island. Wake up. Coffee. Change. Apply Sunscreen. Golf cart. Beach. Sure, we love to explore and have documented this well. But for us, our happy place is indeed North Beach (Hope Town Beach) and more often times than not, you can find us there. We will be sitting in our chairs; perfectly positioned to feel the water rush past our feet as the tide comes in or goes out. After a while, we will get up and walk down the beach and explore for treasures to take back with us to South Carolina. Our onslaught on the local sea glass population has been successful this year. When it gets hot, we head out into the water to cool off. We will dive to the ocean floor in search of more shells, but inevitably we will look around and admire God's creation. We would stand out in the water for hours enjoying the 360 degrees of striking beauty and vivid colors that only Abaco could provide. While floating around, we will reminisce of previous experiences on the island and plan future trips here. Life never stops. We lose. We win. The island will be here long after we leave this earth. I assume others would prefer a more glamorous vacation experience. Not us, however. We do what we do. And love it. 

P.S. Don't forget to order the Chocolate Chip Pie and Banana Split frozen drink and Firefly. Thank me later. 

Video Updates:

The Chimes of St. James Church

Highway to Heaven

Monday, July 16, 2018


Nathan's Bay Beach

North Point on Elbow Cay

This morning, part of our crew woke up early and headed in the golf cart to the post office dock. We parked, and from there, made our way through the settlement to the kissing chairs. The kissing chairs are located in a picturesque location looking out over the entrance to Hope Town Harbour. Near the kissing chairs, a right turn will allow you make the journey to the north tip of Elbow Cay. It's quite the journey and even walking earlier in the morning did little to assist us in evading the Bahamian sun and humidity. The walk north is appealing in that the northern sector of the island is another world. At times, it appears is though it is cut off from everything else. Homes sit in true peace and quiet. If you listen carefully, you can hear the waves of the Atlantic crash at the same time you hear the rumblings of motors from boats passing by on their way to and from the harbour. We located Nathan's Bay Beach, a tiny slither of white sand on the Sea of Abaco side protected by a line of trees. In all, the adventure north is magical and well worth a morning of your time. On our way back, a stop by the Hope Town Coffee House was a must. And after enjoying the air conditioning back at the rental house, we played at Hope Town Beach (North Beach to us) for the afternoon. Under a sunny and clear sky, the translucent water was made warm by the sweltering heat. Just the way we like it. Supper at Cap'n Jacks could only mean one thing: Bingo. Well, Jacks that is. And even though we didn't win, the time spent enjoying friends and family is well worth it. Today, was just another island day. Paradise continues to beckon us to stretch out every moment as though they are all our last. Three full days left. 

A Walk North

Hope Town Coffee House

Hope Town Beach (North Beach)

Jacks at Cap'n Jacks

Moore Musing:
Two years ago, my mother and I began the walk north one late afternoon. We enjoyed the peaceful stroll, but the walk was cut short due to wet, rainy conditions making the path impossible for us to continue. So, obviously my goal was simple this trip. Finish. Even with a two year old in a stroller, we were going to finish. Even with heat and humidity causing me to sweat through my shirt, we were going to finish. As you walk north, you come to many twist and turns in the road that simply give way to more path to walk. And when we arrived at the northern most point we could walk, we took a small path to the beach and simply relished the moment. Another island lesson - finish. I vow that we will finish this vacation, three full days left, with rest, joy and a thankful heart. 

Additional Notes:
We love running into old friends and meeting new ones on the island. It's just part of the special feel you get as you make your way around. 
  • We met Mary Elizabeth at Cap'n Jacks this evening. She and her son, Cade, are on the island for a month (we are jealous). We will always share this common bond; the love of a special place. 
  • We ran into "Buzz" at Abaco Inn earlier this week. Buzz recently moved to the island after retiring and now owns Sheree's Way. We spoke for 20 minutes and he was so kind. He even invited us to his home for drinks. I hope we can take him up on the offer some day soon!
  • Hello to Pam and her daughter Rebecca. We met them on Hope Town Beach this afternoon. They were over from vacationing at Treasure Cay on Great Abaco. Rebecca is headed to Liberty University in the Fall. It was great talking to them and looking for sea glass together. 
  • A gentleman from Virginia Beach, VA spoke to us briefly on our walk north this morning. He was lamenting the end of his vacation, but took the time to speak to us about his experience in his rental home on the north tip of the island. 
There are a hundred connections and conversations just like these. Part of the allure and the charm of such a place. 

Time Lapse Videos Just For Fun:

Saturday, July 14, 2018


Elbow Cay Beach Pano

An Island's Final Resting Place Pano


Garbanzo Beach Pano

Beach at Seaspray Pano

Tahiti Beach Pano

July 14th, 2018 - After a day off from blogging, we are back at it today. After breakfast this morning, we made our way to the Hope Town Harbour Lodge for a drink or two from Gary and some pool time fun. This provided me the opportunity to explore a few more locations including the Hope Town School and one of the island cemeteries located farther up the road from HTHL and the school. The Hope Town school was founded in 1893 and educates students kindergarten through 6th grade. It has survived many storms and hurricanes. In 2012, the Candace Key Media Center was completed. The red and white structure is noticeable from the road as you drive to the post office dock from the south. It will be easily spotted on your right. There is an obvious charm about this location. There are several cemeteries on the island; some in better shape than others. The one I visited today is a five minute walk from Hope Town School and overlooks a beautiful stretch of white sandy beach and the crystal blue waters of the Atlantic. There is a peace and tranquility about this place. As I walked through the site, it was fascinating the read the headstones. One individual buried that perished in the 1935 "Cuba" hurricane. Some very familiar surnames are found there such as Sweeting, Lowe and Malone. I cannot help but inquire as to the stories loved ones might tell of those buried here. The final resting place for those on the island is a reminder to all of us that time is short and life is fleeting. After a short stay at the HTHL, we made our way south to Seaspray Resort and Marina for lunch. Although dinner out is a nice touch on the island, you cannot go wrong with lunch at one of the resorts. I made my way to the Atlantic side at Seaspray to check out there beach there. After lunch, my wife and I traversed even farther south to Tahiti Beach for low tide. As expected, one could count 25 plus boats anchored up to the western sandbar there. We found sea glass, shells, sea urchins and sea biscuits there. The treasure hunting never quite ends while on the island! I put the finishing touches on the afternoon by visiting North Beach for a walk and dip in the very warm waters there. So that's it for today - plenty of sunshine, ideal views, and cherished experiences. Yep, that's Abaco for you.

Hope Town School 

Cemetery on Elbow Cay

Seaspray for Lunch

Tahiti Beach

Golf Cart Ride

Moore Musings:
For me, today was about perspective. We have visited the island many times since 2005 and consider this special place our second home. In reality, we are visitors here and this is someone's home. Looking around the Hope Town School and cemetery close by reminded me of this. Our perspective is that this heavenly piece of land, surrounded by water, is a vacation destination. We save our money for the opportunity to visit a few weeks out of the year. But, how does that perspective differ from those who call Elbow Cay home? It appears as though island life is a difficult one. The people here work hard and have a healthy respect for what tourism means for their way of life. I wonder if some of the children and young adults who call the island home grasp that they are living in a location that countless others work themselves to death in order to visit? Regardless, it's all a matter of perspective. Another valuable lesson learned from the island.

Video Updates:
Hope Town School