Family Island Regatta Week

Ambler Isle
V and S
Thu 23 Apr 2009 19:58
April 23, 2009
The annual Family Island Regatta week is here and off to a flying start. Each of the out island settlements builds sailing skiffs, and brings them to Georgetown for the regatta finals. They have competed through the island chain all year.
On Regatta Point, a food court of brightly colored shacks rises up to serve Bahamian specialties: conch fritters, cracked conch, fish, BBQ, chicken souse, peas 'no rice, baked macaroni and cheese, and of course beer and rum punch. The music blares full blast and hundreds of people dance in the streets. The Royal Bahamian Defense Force sends its marching band from Nassau. A Junkanoo Rush Out is planned where people dress in elaborate costumes with huge masks and parade. Bahamian "Rake and Scrape" music is performed. It is a week long party.
During the day, cruisers anchor their dinghies by the turning buoys of the race course to watch the action close up. And hope the racers make the turns. Many people come from Nassau as well as the Family Islands to participate. The harbour is filled with Bahamian fishing boats. Some come on the Fast Ferry, or on commercial boats that have sleeping berths. Others fly in and stay with friends or relatives. It also serves as a big reunion between the local folks and those who have moved away to Nassau.