Ilya Tolstoy was the grandson of the famous Russian playwright. Ilya was a naturalist and he visited and fell in love with the islands of The Bahamas back in the 1950s.
He became very concerned that irreparable damage could be done to the ecology and natural beauty of the islands by developers. So Ilya got together a group of conservationists including The Audoban Society, the US parks service, and Miami University. The group produced a report which was presented to The Bahamian Government.
The year was 1959 and after much debate the government decided to establish the first Land and Sea Park in the World.
This is the 60th year that the Bahamas National Trust has managed this, and other younger parks, including The Moriah Harbour Cay National Park which we see daily and visit often from our home in Hartswell to appreciate the natural unspoiled beauty of this pristine setting.
As June looms on the horizon it is time to look at the average weather statistics for the month of June.
The daily temperature is usually around 86 degrees during the daylight hours and dropping to 77 degrees at night.
June statistically is one of our wetter months with as much as 2 inches. But, when you check the weather forecasts during June you may see forecast saying “70% chance of rain”. Before you reach for the umbrella be aware that what this means in reality is that there is a 70% chance that it will rain somewhere in the islands. If you have experienced tropical weather you will know that we often get rain in very local patches. Rain in George Town, not a drop in Hartswell.
The humidity has been climbing throughout the year and now it is approaching 90%. So its not surprising that if you exercise we recommend you get an early start before the sun gets too high.
That humidity we just mentioned will be to some extent offset by breezes from the East at 13 miles per hour. Enough to provide a cooling effect, but not enough to make swimming or kayaking difficult.
Now we come to the best news ! The Ocean temperature has reached 83 degrees !!
So now we see the adults cooling off with a gin and tonic or a beer as they sit in the shallows and work on their tan.
So come and join us for the Month of June in Exuma. Check our website for availability
One of the pleasures of a vacation is to visit the local bars and sample cocktails.
Cocktails of The Bahamas are many and varied but tend to revolve around tropical produce like coconuts, pineapples and rum. So join me as we explore five of the best known cocktails of The Bahamas.
It is believed that the name derives from a Caribbean dancer and performer in the 1930s who also went by the stage name “Bahama Mama.”
To make the drink pour 1 ounce coconut rum, 1/2 ounce each dark rum, coffee liqueur, and grenadine, and 2 ounces each pineapple and orange juice into a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake well and strain into a hurricane glass filled with cracked ice.
The name comes from the fact that you need a coconut to make the cocktail and they grow on very tall trees, hence Sky Juice.
Sometimes called “Gully Wash”. This cocktail varies from sweet to very sweet.
To make Sky Juice, gin is mixed with coconut water and condensed milk, served over ice and garnished with freshly grated nutmeg. It’s creamy without being too thick, sweet without being too sweet.
Named after the wife of a bar owner in Abaco, Miss Emily. Although Miss Emily never touched a drop of liquor, she brewed the first Goombay smash. She made it in gallon batches from where she served it to the bar clients. Now it can be found throughout The Bahamas.
To make a Goombay Smash start with a large glass of ice cubes. Add six tablespoons of pineapple juice. Quarter cup orange juice. Quarter cup of coconut rum. Two tablespoons white rum. 2 tablespoons good rum. Two tablespoons dark rum. Shake well and garnish with pineapple wedges.
This Cocktail of The Bahamas was named after the song “Yellow Bird”, made famous by Harry Belafonte.
The recipe says take the juice of half a lime, add one and a quarter ounces of orange juice or pineapple juice. Add one ounce light rum. Add one ounce dark rum. quarter ounce Galliano liqueur or grenadine. Garnish with pineapple chunks.
Pineapple Upside Down Martini
This one is the easiest: Pour the pineapple juice, vodka and grenadine into a shaker full of ice. Shake, then strain into two martini glasses. Garnish with a piece of pineapple and a cherry on a skewer.
So there you have it. Five Cocktails of The Bahamas. Try them and decide which is your favorite. But be warned, they have a kick so drink responsibly… Enjoy
If you go to our website you will find a comprehensive list of the bars and restaurants where you can try these local specialities
We often see him from our balcony at Harbour View, as he poles his 16 foot Dolphin boat through the shallows of the southern side of Moriah Cay. Both he and his anxious bonefish client scouring the calm waters with their polaroid sunglasses, searching for that elusive bonefish.
We watch closely as Drexel points some 30 yards away, the fisherman nods and starts the rhythmic motion with his fly rod, back and forth, back and forth, each time feeding more line in an arc, then he casts.
Silence reigns as the line descends into the water. Then suddenly there is a major disturbance as the fish bites, realizes he has a problem and shoots off at maximum speed. The sound you hear is the reel as it feeds out the line, the fisherman tightens the clutch on the reel just slightly, and the battle begins.
For the next 45 minutes the guide advises the client as the fish continually changes directions, hoping to get into the mangroves, to double back and get some slack, then another run. All the time the guest is working to keep tension on the line, to keep his catch away from the rocks.
Eventually the fish tires and is drawn to the boat where Drexel uses his net to bring the beautiful victim aboard. A quick high five, a photo shoot, remove the lure and gently lower the fish back into its habitat.
Well that’s the result today but how did this guide know where to take his guest? How did the guide know when to take his guest to that location and how did he see that fish when most of us miss them?
Well twenty plus years ago Drexel Rolle, born and bred in Exuma, had just left school and had his first job working at the Peace and Plenty Bonefish Lodge. The lodge, now a private home, was the hotel on the Northern shore of Exuma across from Moriah Harbour Cay. If fly fishing was your thing, then this was one of the best World class locations. Aficionados from around the world made their way to Exuma and the bonefish lodge.
The enthusiasm of the fishermen and the enthusiasm of the guides quickly set Drexel on a course that was to serve him for the rest of his days. The stories he heard and the excitement they expressed made him decide that he was going to be a renown bonefish guide.
So years of training, how to cast, where the bonefish will be at different states of the tide, how and where they will be at different stages of their lives, what lures get the best results. Safety training, CPR, boat safety, captains license. All the things he needed to master before he could have certification and therefore promote confidence in his clients
Move forward to the present day and Drexel Rolle is one of the leading experts and guides in the bonefish industry in Exuma. Nowadays everybody need a license to fish and bone fishing is a catch and release sport. You can fish for bonefish without a guide, (you still need to get a license ) but you stand a good chance of a long tiring day with little results.
The guides know where, they know when, and they know how. That’s why you pay them the big bucks !
Bonefish can live for 15 years and as juveniles they tend to stay in shoals, mainly on the flats on the southside of Exuma where they vary between pound and a half up to seven pounds.
As they mature they become more solitary and the larger specimens can be found off Crab Cay, or between Hartswell and Moriah Harbour Cay where they can weigh up to 16 pounds and will give you an arm wrenching two hour battle.
If you want to try this exciting sport give Drexel Rolle a call at 1 242 345 5025 or on his mobile at 357 0243, or better still e mail him.
Drexel is also available for a fishing trip for a day, so go search for that Wahoo or Mahi Mahi. Let an expert help you provide the meal of a lifetime.
“What an amazing trip!! Everything we’ve ever dreamed of, perfect setting with perfect hosts. We explored Exuma and its beaches but we always ended up at Moriah Cay. What a special place. Everything that you described was so accurate and stunning.
Kayaking, swimming, exploring, sunbathing, places to eat.
Special thanks for such easy and pleasurable arrangements. Look forward future stays.
As we glide into May in Exuma, let me tell you what we expect from the weather gods this month. May is one of our favorite months with comfortable temperatures and warm Oceans.
The temperature is hovering around 85 degrees F so don’t forget the sunscreen, especially when you are on the beach. At night it will drop down to the mid seventies for a peaceful nights sleep.
May is one of the months when we can experience a total of an inch and a half of rain, but this seems to be less each year. When it does rain it is usually a short sharp downpour, with the sun returning minutes later.
May is not a favorite month for the windsurfing fans as our winds normally hover around 13 miles per hour, be aware that this refreshing breeze may deceive you into not applying the sun screen.
Perhaps the best news of all is that the Ocean temperature will be into the eighties, so you can just relax in the blue water and appreciate Exuma’s amazing beaches.
We have seven species of Bahamian Rock Iguanas in The Bahamas. In the Exuma chain of islands we have one species that is protected and endangered with around only 5000 animals remaining.
These brown bodied creatures grow to between 2.5 to 3 feet long. They are plant eaters and their diet includes the manchineel plant which is toxic to humans. They get their moisture from the plants they eat and it is believed they do not need water to survive.
The female lays between three and a dozen eggs at around 6 years old, which she buries in the sand. After 3 months the babies hatch and dig their way to the surface. They have a ridge along their spine which is used to dissipate excess heat.
If attacked they can disconnect their tale, which will regrow. Iguanas have a life span of around 40 years.
These friendly creatures can be seen if you take the all day excursion known as the swimming pigs trip.
So the largest, most important, sailing regatta has started in Elizabeth Harbour in Exuma. Formally named the Out Island Sailing Regatta, this is the 66th annual event.
Originally intended to preserve the boat building skills of the Bahamas boat building industry. Now it is a vital part of the tourism attractions.
Held annually in the last week of April and broken down to classes determined by boat size. The boats have 60 ft masts, way longer than one would expect from such relatively small sailboats, thus providing the opportunity to fly enormous sails.
The celebrations continue on shore where shacks have been prepared to provide local foods and drinks.
Harbor View is a magical place and as nice and peaceful as its owners.
The balcony view is GRANDIOSE, probably one of the most beautiful on the island.
And when we add to that the perfect location of the house … (in the southern part of the island which appeared to us wilder and calmer than the northern part … even if the whole island is very calm in general)
I thank again Gail & Don for their warm welcome, their very good advice to make our stay perfect… and help received after the puncture of my car tire the day of my arrival!
Thank you for everything and don’t hesitate to go to Harbor View … It’s Paradise!