Abaco / Bahama Reading
Books of historical content and contemporary life in the Abacos.

From Sandy Estabrook's Guide to the Bahamas



We’ve all seen Island Marine’s rental boats- Yes? Ready About is the story of David Gale along with his wife Phoebe who wound up settling on Parrot Cay just out side Hope Town. The Narrative begins with his youthful sailing days on L.I. Sound through a turn of events that landed him on Parrot Cay. He started with odd jobs, then on to renting cottages and small boats later to become Island Marine. Originally leased at 10 pounds ($28) a year, he eventually he bought the Island from the Queen of England. His book is loaded with pictures. It’s especially enjoyable for repeat visitors or those familiar with Hope Town and its environs.
 

The Fledging by Chester Thompson, is a mix of Huck Finn, and Robinson Crusoe. It’s a charming story of Hope Town where he was born under a seagrape tree at the height of a hurricane as his family tried to escape their badly damaged home. He grew up during the days before electricity, telephone and modern medicine. It’s a story beautifully told of the first fourteen years in the life of a descendent of the legendary loyalist Wyannie Malone and his growing up among a community bound and hardy people with shared hopes, few earthly goods, yet a deep faith in God. It’s a story that is a valuable contribution to the history of the Bahamas as it once was.
 

Retired Prof. Steve Dodge’s, cruising Guide to the Abacos has long been the bible of useful info for today's visitors. He has also made use of his background as history professor in his compressive book titled Abaco -The History of the Out Islands and it’s Cays. It Starts with the Lucayan Indians, Columbus and on to the Early Loyalist settlers. He covers the early industries of lumbering, ship building, lobstering and pineapple plantations. And the politics leading up to Bahamian independence in 1973. It’s indexed thoroughly and has many illustrations. Today the professor still lives south od Hope Town on Elbow Cay.
 

Wind from the Carolinas is a story of the Old Bahamas. A big bold best selling Novel that traces the remarkable saga of one family through war and peace, love and disaster. It is the fabulous story of the Cameron's, the aristocratic Tory clan who fled south in the wake of the American Revolution to rebuild their plantations and recapture their lost fortune in the windswept islands of the Bahamas. Robert Wilder's work is a gripping and powerful story of the Old Bahamas that fuses adventure passion and romance with unforgettable characters. It is a novel that will touch and teach you weather you live in the Bahamas, are a regular visitor or just plan to visit someday.




Homeward Bound - A History of the Bahamas from revolutionary times through the subsequent hundred years. It starts in the 1760's in the turbulent Carolinas as colonial officials tried to squelch the first stirrings of rebellion. American Blacks who escaped oppression and hid behind British Lines joined with the Sons of Liberty - Tarred and Feathered Loyalists heading for the Bahamas, The situation encounter by the refugees upon arrival was more than depressing. The memory od the dense Carolina woodlands became the the reality of the Abaco scrub, the rich soil of rice and indigo plantations, replaced by rock. What are these brave and industrious planters to do? They moved the rocks! Sandra Riley's work is a definitive chronology of all the family names that modern Bahamian visitors have come to know. It's Indexed illustrated with old photos and maps. Sample Content

 

Who hasn't dreamed of Island Hopping your days away? Which Way To The Islands is just such a tale. It’s the true story of one time Green Turtle Cay resident and now frequent Abaco visitor, H. George Nowak, known locally as the Barefoot Man. With guitar in hand guitar he headed out from his home in Germany in search of his island dream. He wound up in Green Turtle Cay where he played for a living by night and fished by day. He eventually married a local girl and accidentally killed a man an a bar room scuffle at the Green Turtle Club. It was suggested he leave the Bahamas which took him all the way to the Islands of the South Pacific. He eventually settled down in Grand Cayman where he lives today. Every spring he returns to the Abacos highlighted by a concert at Nippers on Great Guana Cay. - Read it all in his own words with pictures.
 

Gary Richardson for years has been everybody's friend as bartender at the Hope Town Lodge Pool Bar. Only in recent times he has become actor and naturalist. His personality and talents lead to his MC'ing his own show on Bahamian TV entitled, Gary the Explorer. The show is produced and directed by Matt and Lindsey McCoy of Loggerhead Prod., Hope Town for the Ministry of Education. The show explores the environment of the Bahamas. The DVD's each contain 12 - 15 minute episodes. These Videos come highly recommended for anyone interested this the fragile Bahamian environment and ecosystems including plants, animals both on land and in the water. An introductory video and ordering information can be found HERE, Oh, as of 2010, Gary can still be found bartending in season at the Lodge pool bar.
 

"The Major Hurricanes to Affect The Bahamas" - includes heart-rending personal recollections and experiences of island folks during some of the greatest storms to affect the Bahamas. Also included in the book, are amazing pictures of the hurricane aftermath and the track of each of the major storms including the Hurricanes of 1886, 1926, 1929, Betsy, Donna, David, Andrew, Floyd, Michelle, Frances, Jeanne through Hurricane Wilma. It's all summarized on an island by island basis. From the meteorological perspective, the author, Andros born and 15 year meteorologist Wayne Neely, takes the reader on an introspective look at how hurricanes are formed, their anatomy and what makes them work. Included are other experts in the Field of Meteorology form The Bahamas, The Caribbean and the United States. The Major Hurricanes to Affect The Bahamas is an especially good read for the cruising yachtsman.


The books featured here on The Abacos history will provide you with all the information you'd ever want to know, and then some. Each from a different perspective. Most can be found in Hope Town, New Plymouth and Marsh Harbour gift shops or book stores. Or you can try

White Sound Press - Dave Gale Books - Bahamas Bookstore - Barefoot Man

OR
Bluewater Books - AbacoBooks - Ocean Isle Publishing -