|We left Egg Island at Sunrise|
|We sprayed the gills with tequila|
|Totally not what I expected...|
|We tucked in behind that light blue bank|
|A BIG charter boat came in during the night|
|Clear waters and thousands of baby fish!|
|The water in the Sea of Abaco is Emerald GREEN!|
|Until it changes to blue green, then blue as you near the barrier islands|
|The very narrow entrance to MOW|
|We encountered some traffic coming out as we entered|
|Cement streets wide enough for two golf carts|
|Beautiful green lawns and tropical landscaping|
|Moorings were VERY close together!|
|God Fearing... but also God Blessed - with unmatched beauty|
|Small grocery but well stocked|
It was our lucky day! As we strolled the refrigerated aisle, I began to notice stickers on some items with big marked down prices. A block of Monterey Jack cheese, regularly almost $6 was marked down to $1.99… Shredded mozzarella marked $5.65 was $.99. Cream cheese, yogurt cups… $.99!!! I gathered a couple of each, trying not to be greedy. The items were marked down for quick sale because they were due to expire soon. We aren’t choosey! We’ve been eating things we bought in the US six months ago! We’re used to eating expired food!!!
So with our backpack full of cold stuff and others, we had to hurry back to the boat. The folks on White Pepper returned from a trip to the beach and came over for happy hour.
Our destination is a spot on the island where you can see the Sea of Abaco and the Atlantic on both sides. I have no idea how far it is, I’m thinking about 2.5 miles… we walked. The cement streets ended and were replaced by a sandy track. The path was just wide enough for the golf carts that continued to buzz to and fro. We would step aside to allow them to pass. It would be tragic to be run down by a speeding golf cart at this stage in the game.
The lush landscaping continued to amaze us. It’s as if thousands of unseen gardeners work busily night and day to keep the entire island in tip top shape. We did see one gardener trimming the hedges along the sand street… he had a lot of work ahead of him. Palm trees shaded our way much of the time, which was nice because we had topped the hill and were walking on the lee side of the island where it was completely still… and getting hot.
There are quirky little bungalows all along the way with cute names. Cottages I guess. Some must be rentals but many were homes. Each was unique and well kept. Of all the islands we’ve been to, this is the first where I think it would be really neat to spend a vacation… if I were into vacations, that is… There’s beauty, there’s quiet, it would be like being lost on a deserted island for a while… only better!
|Sea of Abaco to the left, Atlantic Ocean to the right|
Except maybe not. All of this paradise… all of this beauty… seems to hide a dark secret. Forgive me if I’m wrong, but during the short time we’ve been here…we’ve had a feeling that we are not welcome.
It started when we went to the marina to pay for our mooring ball. We were told repeatedly that NOTHING is included in the mooring. Boats on moorings are not allowed to use any of the marina facilities (which are meager at best). Not the pool, not the wi-fi. We CAN pay to leave our trash and we can buy fuel and water at the fuel dock… The dinghy dock is the only thing we can use here. OK so whatever…
Back to those zooming golf carts… not one person smiled or waved at us. We have grown accustomed to the friendly faces and upraised hands offered by complete strangers… the flashing smiles and welcoming, helpful attitudes we’ve experienced everywhere in these islands… except here. And the stunning difference? These people are white. All white. The only black people here are the workers, the grocery store clerk, the men in the boat building shop… the gardeners… (all of which leave at the end of the workday on a small ferry boat) They have been friendly enough, but the white people? Sour faces and almost no eye contact.
It’s like they really don’t want us here but can’t figure out how to stop it… They are building a beautiful paradise. It’s clean, there is no alcohol, no smoking… and if they could get away with it, no riffraff boaters mucking up their private world.
Now understand that I’m not trying to be judgmental or invite anyone to throw tomatoes at me when I say this… but it would seem that the general tone on this island is a bit exclusive. It’s as if the people who live here (we saw one golf cart with the official Chic-fil-A logo painted on the side) are building themselves an insulated bubble in paradise. They seem to want no blacks, no drinkers, no riffraff of any kind on their island. There is no evidence of charity or welcome here. How can there be this much “frost” underneath the warm Bahamian Sun??? It was a little disconcerting! We’re glad we came here to see this unique place, and our lunch on that narrow strip was such a lovely moment for us… but we want to go (and spend our money) where we feel welcome… and Man-O-War Cay could do a little better in the "Welcome to my island" category. But hey... maybe if all this was MINE... I wouldn't want to share it either...!