Exploring the islands is always fun and a good way to
get some exercise. The history of the Bahamas is etched into the
land. In many places we see old stone walls, rock foundations, ruins of
small houses. We love to think of the folks who lived here and tried to
make a life. Of course, the original Indian settlers did not leave much
behind after Christopher Columbus brought Europeans to the islands. Most
settlements were wiped out as the Indians fell to the European diseases.
The Loyalists came during the Revolutionary War. The were loyal to England
in the dispute and the Crown actually moved many of the to the Bahamas.
What they thought they could do with such poor soil is still a mystery.
Most left, although there are several islands in Abaco and Spanish Wells
with descendants of those hearty few. Pirates also made their homes
here. The years passed and with the Civil War, some plantation owners
moved to the Bahamas rather than give up their slaves. They, too, faced
hardship trying to work a barren land. They returned to the U.S. after the war,
leaving their slaves behind and granting them the land, to be held forever by
their descentants Generation land it was called, and some of it has been
sold anyway to developers who found loopholes in the original grants. Now
the Bahamas are populated mostly by the descendants of those slaves. The
white Loyalist communities are often very inbred. Celebrities and rich
folk from the U.S., Canada, and Europe buy up prime parcels for beach
homes. These homes are protected by house sitter when the owners are
away. This is to prevent squatters from moving in. These part time
residents must provide their own electricity and water. Wind generators,
solar panels and diesel generators run constantly. Most houses have
cisterns to collect rainwater, and also are equipped with desalinators.
Phone service is very poor here, and very expensive. So resident islanders
use the VHF radio to call their pals. The radio waves crackle with their
funny names, Yamacraw, Daylight Chaser, Dock Diva, Termite, and more. Who
knows how they came by them?