Cave Graffiti Exposed, Cleanup Proposed

Ambler Isle
V and S
Wed 6 May 2009 12:08
May 1, 2009
Walking the trails along Sand Dollar Beach, we saw a cave with names and symbols freshly painted by boaters in the harbour. We were
surprised, because we have never seen graffiti on a natural formation anywhere else in the Bahamas. When we
mentioned our discovery to our friends Paul and Melanie, who own a house on
a nearby island, he was outraged. He reported the vandalism to
the cruising community on the VHF radio the next morning. The boaters were
also angry. Soon the guilty parties 'fessed up. They'd hosted a beach
bonfire for all the kids on about 15 boats. The planned art activity was
"aboriginal" cave paintings. Trouble is it was not their property, or even
their country. The painting was
unsightly, but the bigger worry was that others would add their own art
work. In no time it would be totally defaced. Also, the property owner,
generously allows the cruisers to walk the trails and enjoy beach parties there
might decide to put up "No Trespassing" signs for next season.
After several days of VHS communications, it was agree by all they should
remove the paintings and
restore the cave to its natural state. A retired building cleaner
volunteered to advise the crew how to do it without damaging the limestone
cave walls. He suggested power washing. But how to get a heavy power washer
ashore? It would need a generator. And a water supply. Could it use salt water? Would it damage
the power washer?
Someone looked up the Bahamian statute, and found defacing property in the
Bahamas could lead to up to a 10 year prison sentence. A letter of apology
was written to the Exuma administrator. ( I am sure he did not even know
about the incident.)
Five days later the cleanup was still in the works. But then, we are in the Bahamas, Mon.