Thursday, Sep 20, 2018
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Crooked Island: paradise found

would like to start this article with sincere apologies to my readers as I have been absent for several weeks, celebrating a birthday for an extended period and recently traveling on vacation to Crooked Island.

Yes — Crooked Island! My dear friend Elburt, a frequent visitor to this elusive isle, piqued my interest, and the next thing I knew, I was booking tickets for myself and my daughter Lauren (who is incidentally my editor for this column).

I must admit I had a little trepidation as I was told the mosquitoes would tear me up and make my life a living hell on the island. Truth be told, during my entire week spent on Crooked Island I did not experience any of those dreaded insects at all. Mind you, the sand flies were a bit of a nuisance early in the morning, but that was a small price to pay for such a wonderful spot to spend our holiday.

Travelling to Crooked Island is not cheap, as the round trip airline cost was around $330. Most Bahamians will relate that cost is comparable to flying to Florida – of course minus the stress of going through U.S. customs and immigration, dealing with car rentals, hotel costs and all other items that would certainly tax your credit card bill so when you return to Nassau you are more stressed out than when you left!

Fortunately my friends Elburt and Angela truly have this expedition to Crooked Island down to a fine art. Two weeks before our departure from Nassau, all the dry goods and libations were packed and delivered to the boat and picked up by a friend who kept it all together until our arrival. I came down a few days later and avoided all the heavy lifting – turns out being the senior man does have some benefits.

All I had to do was to bring the meat, which fit nicely in a cooler placed with my luggage, which I am thankful arrived safely.

The plane ride to Crooked Island was nice and smooth; we enjoyed the beauty of the islands as we flew above our southern archipelago. I only wish that the pilot would have identified the islands below us, as I was able to recognize a few of them, but most of them I could not. I have heard that some pilots do this extra “tour guide” bit, which certainly would be enjoyable for tourists and young children traveling to this part of The Bahamas.

A short hour later we landed at Colonel Hill airport and it seemed like the whole community was out to greet the arriving passengers, which included a group for a homecoming. I might add that Bahamasair only provides service twice a week, on Wednesdays and Saturdays, and this service is shared with sister island Acklins.

There are no international flights besides private aircraft that fly into Colonel Hill. This alongside, the reduced local airlift, is a serious impediment to the economy of both islands, including the mail boat which is an important lifeline to the residents. I will expand on my thoughts on this later on.

Our home for the next few days was Sonsette Villas, one of three lovely green cottages perched on a large lot 75 feet away from a pristine beach, totally absent of any living souls other than the birds flying around the surrounding winding bay. The cottage consisted of two bedrooms and two bathrooms which were well-stocked with all of the modern conveniences of home and, much to our happiness, ice-cold air conditioning units!

Included in our modern conveniences were six cable channels of TV and Internet, which I am told is provided free to the residents of the island. I think it was part of the deal when Cable Bahamas got the contract to provide cable and internet services.

Our landlord, Mrs. Deleveaux, a retired headmistress and teacher, saw to our every need. We were craving homemade bread, and the next morning we had three freshly baked, to-order loaves of bread delivered to our home; it was such good tasting bread – some of the best I have eaten.

There is much more to share and reflect on, but due to limited space, stay tuned, as I resume my thoughts on “Paradise found” in next week’s column.

 

• William Wong is a two-term president of the Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employers’ Confederation and two-term president of the Bahamas Real Estate Association. William Wong is a partner at Darville-Wong Realty. E-mail: williamuwong@gmail.com.

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