I have been back in the USA a week and I wanted to put some final thoughts on my 5 months Bahamas cruise.
Doing something for 5 months does change someone. I do not know what yet - but seeing the USA again with all the people and stuff was culture shock. I do not drink much and do not do drugs. Those types of parties I stayed away from. It was rarely was below 68 degrees and most of the time sunny with a few clouds. Very nice. If it was little warmer and it may have been to warm to sleep well. From what I was told it was a warm winter in the Abaco’s. Of the 5 months I spend 3 of them on a Mooring Ball or in a slip. I found the holding to be poor and very few places to anchor offered protection from all winds. I saw to many boats drag including myself. The water was so nice. That alone made the trip worth it. I am glad that I went. I really think that the Abaco’s is a great place to start cruising, there is so much to learn and it is easy to get to safety if in trouble.
Some of the problems I created – (others say they have not had these)
The Abaconians are a proud people and have been told how to do things so many different ways. I made the mistake of telling them how to do things. I suggest that you do not. They have been told so many times already and if they wanted to change they would have. If you have problems with the way they are doing things then leave. When you offend
someone you may not have a pleasant experience in the next day or 2.
They need money, just like in the USA, and will try to get more out of you, just like in the USA.
The Quality and Caliber of service is less that what I expected. I should have done it myself or left. I was not expecting so many people not knowing much English. I also suggest that one should not go to non-tourist areas.
When I took cash out from a Bank, everybody knew.
I was a bit naïve to believe that there “Was no Crime in the Abaco’s”. This is my observations - the cruisers are the ones who are breaking the law most – speeding in harbors, stealing water and showers, anchoring in mooring ball fields, etc. The tourists are next and then the locals. I see very few non-working/local people jailed except for fighting. (I should note that you can say that you are going to hit someone and in the Bahamas it is the same as hitting them). The jailable crimes that I saw were mostly related to drugs. A few was because people did not have enough money for food. However this number was about 10% of the small Island population per year. The numbers are few.
Summer ’07 and winter ’07 – ’08 season has been slow, not much money coming in. Next winter season may be slower. If so there may be more crime for food and less places open. I do not think it will ever be as bad as what one would expect in the USA but you should take more precautions than in the past.
There is a Bahamas politician who does not want the cruisers there. As a group we probably spend less per person and complain more. However, we also promote to a lot of people. During peak season there is an estimate $ 1,000,000 USD per month spent by the cruisers in the Bahamas. That does not include any of the people who come to the Bahamas through reading or listening to our adventures. The Bahamian Government must come to terms with this. We can spend less money cruising in the USA than in the Bahamas. The holding is better, goods are cheaper, food is better/cleaner, better medical service and we have more rights.
Let me end by saying I am glad that I came and thank the Bahamians who service me and allowed me to be there. One always weighs where one will spend their time. For me it will be in the USA winter ’08 – ’09. I am glad that you enjoyed my pictures.