Ambler Isle
V and S
Tue 10 Mar 2009 12:20
24:06N 76:24W

March 9, 2009
The block wall in the harbor says "Welcome to Black Pointe: Get to the
Pointe, Stick to the Pointe."
It is one of our favorite settlements. We arrived just before dark and
dropped our anchor. We were shocked to see some 40 boats already there. I
guess our little secret is out. Valt noticed that SV "Nina" was anchored
nearby and we hopped in the dinghy to say "hi." Ted and Linda were here in
2004 and we explored Hawksbill and Shroud Cays with them. They are from
Connecticut and bring their sail boat down each year. (We'd never seen them
since the first year) He stood with his mouth agape. "We never thought
we'd see you again." he said. Warmly inviting us aboard, we sat and
exchanged stories.
The next day we went into the settlement. The government dock is mainly
used for supply vessels, but one side is devoted to dinghies. It was
The annual school fair and dinner
was under way. First stop: Miss Eunice, the straw lady. Eunice is 80
something and still weaves straw mats, bags, and more. She dropped her
dinner plate to rush over and greet us. Hugging us and expressing joy at
seeing us. We'd gifted her a pair of reading glasses a few years ago, and
it changed her life by allowing her to read her Bible again. She'd gifted
us with some straw goods. We gave her a small bag of chocolates and a
couple light bulbs. Amazing the items unavailable here. She wished us
God's blessings and we continued on to see Bertram and Verneice Brown.
Bertram's mother controlled most of the land in the settlement as generation
land and passed it on to him. He was generous and donated land for a
school, a church, and building lots for his relatives. We think of him as
the patriarch of Black Pointe. (Generation land was given to the former
slaves in the Bahamas by the plantation owner when they left. It was to be
used for the people, but not really owned outright by them: they could not
sell it.) He often sits outside listening to American radio. He, like most
Bahamians, keeps up with the politics in America and is always eager to
discuss them. We presented him with a set of walkie talkies he'd talked
about last time we were here. Verneice greeted us with a squeal and a hug.
Everyone who
passed by greeted the old couple. When 3 teachers walked past, she motioned
them over to meet us, her good friends. Teachers are in short supply here,
and these young people came from Guyana. Bertram walked us back to the
school fair, intent on introducing us to the school principal, and to the
local missionaries, Charles and Sharon. By this time the food was mostly
gone, so we went to Lorraine's Cafe. Lorraine was away, but her
husband Uriah was there. We helped ourselves to drinks at her self serve
bar and sat down to chat with him. The school fair and dinner was in
progress, but by the time we got here the better dinner items were gone.
Lorraine would cook for us today. Uriah proved to be a very educated
worldly wise man, and we had a nice conversation with him. A middle aged
woman, Diana from "Cavu" opened her guitar case and began to sing. Soon
everyone in the cafe was singing along. Another fellow on a boat from
Alaska took the guitar and sang, too. At last Lorraine entered the cafe and
said to us, "Welcome back." Her belly was starting to swell with a new
baby. A surprise baby. She cooked up a grouper snack plate with Peas
and rice, French fries and a small salad. It was delicious. We'd ordered a
loaf of bread from Lorraine's Mom and she came to bring it to us. Sitting
down at our table, she made jokes and chatted about island life. When we
looked at the clock, it was 6:00pm. We were late for our sunset visit with
Ted and Linda. We radioed them our dilemma and hurried back to the "Amber
Isle." Ted and Linda arrived shortly after that and we ate her homemade
California Rolls, and a seafood spread I had. We sat up til 11:30 pm, very
late for us in the Bahamas. In the morning we discovered that it was the
day of the daylight savings switch.