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Green Turtle Cay
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We arrived at Green Turtle and anchored off New Plymouth. Our friends from the Canadian wooden ketch Meriah came aboard and told us that the local Reef Relief environmental group was holding a special meeting that afternoon. The organization was dedicating a "Bush Medicine Garden" to the public. We went ashore with our film gear to record the event.
The Bush Medicine Garden is the creation of local fisherman and amateur botanist Richard "Blue" Jones. He collected numerous plants with medicinal properties and planted them in a garden at the Captain Roland Roberts House Environmental Center. The intention was to preserve the knowledge of the uses of these herbs for the prevention and cure of various maladies and diseases. Many of the plants were brought from Africa by slaves and planted in America. When the Loyalists came to the Bahamas, their slaves brought the plants with them.
We filmed the dedication, and over the following months, interviewed Blue and representatives of the Reef Relief organization. We also went into the bush with Blue and filmed him identifying medicinal herbs and teaching local children about their uses. A brochure was created by the Reef Relief organization to describe the benefits of a number of the plants. A video is available on this Bush Medicine project on our Video Page.
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We anchored in White Sound and began to explore the island again. We were interested in filming the preparations and marching of the island's Junkanoo parade. When we visited the Green Turtle Club, we found that a Junkanoo parade was to be held to celebrate the wedding of the Pruetts who have a home on the island. The drumming and costumes were fantastic and a short video of the procession is available on our Video Page.
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Brendal's Dive Center
One of the jewels of Green Turtle Cay is Brendal of Brendal's Dive Center. He offers dive trips to nearby islands, sailing trips and a weekly excursions to other islands. One day while Mike added a coat of varnish to Raven, Rana joined our friends for a dive trip to nearby Manjack Cay. The underwater scenery of fish and coral was spectacular. On another occasion, we accompanied our Dutch Canadian friend Nicky on a boat trip with Brendal to Guana Cay for a day on the beautiful beach and partying at world famous Nippers saloon.
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While making our way through the Bahamas, our new mast top LED navigation light failed. This was a matter of concern not only because it was a costly item, but it made night passages and anchoring much more dangerous. Raven has deck level navigation lights so she is legal without the mast top lights, but the higher lights are much easier to see when underway. In addition, the unit has an anchor light which automatically turns on at night protecting the boat from boats making night runs through the anchorage. In an act of extreme professionalism, Cameron Murray of TransMarinePro and his family sailed their yacht Serenity to our location and repaired the light for free. Cam's wife Leighia led morning yoga classes on the beach every morning.
While in the Abacos, we made side trips to a number of the islands including the cruisers mecca of Marsh Harbor on Great Abaco. There are several good spots to provision, a few hardware stores for supplies, medical and dental offices and the cruising community is a tightly knit group, but the harbor is very crowded and we would not want to spend much time there. In the Abacos, we love Green Turtle Cay and plan on returning yet again in the future and see our good friends Brendal, Jack and Shaun, Richard and Debbie and Barbara and Al.