Click to Enlarge All Pictures
And as is our policy, all unsightly
overhead wiring has been removed


Debbie - Marsh Harbour arrival


Sanddollar Dreams


Treasure Cay banana woman


Just as it says


Florence and her cinnamon buns


Abaco Ceramics


Karen McIntosh of Abaco Ceramics


Junkanoo


Bob AKA the Penguin, Jash and Andy


Deb & Sandy at Coco Beach Bar TC


Conch Salad at Bahama Beach Club


Sidney Hart Taxi #2 TC


Evon at Pineapples GT


New Plymouth Inn garden


New Plymouth Inn Bar


Brendals Dive Picnic


Mike and Ed (Dive folks)


Brendal


Albert Lowe Museum GTC


Alton Lowe Gallery Grounds


Just as it says.


Lighthouse Marina


Rainbow over Hope Town


Judy's Garden HT by Mary Sarver


View from our Cottage at the Lodge


Our Cottage


Hope Town Home


Where it all Began


Troy at Grabbers - Guana


Grabbers Pool


Another Nippers Beach Picture


Johnny Nipper, Debbie & Sandy


Old Friends, Tiny & Larry


New Friends, Dale & Margaret


What a tee shirt !


Stairs to nowhere - Guana


Seashore Villas


Brigitte & Donny's Home - Tilloo


Living room


Brigitte's Studio


Donny & Brigitte at Cracker P's - Lubbers


Deb & Sandy at Cracker P's - Lubbers


Silbert Mills


Ira Key

- S C R U B S -

Scrubs-Ken Jenkins, Debbie, Garry


Edge Bartender Shane with Crew


Shooting in the ocean


HTHL Mgr Tom, Pool Staff & Actors

- SCRUBS UPDATE -

- - - - - Ø - - - - -


Larry & Tiny at Jacks


Lofty Fig - Marsh Harbour


Our Last Evening HTHL


Our Last Evening HTHL


Flight Home


"By the Beautiful Sea"


Matt Lowe Cay


- a flower -

Kalik's new Competition

 

For Quick Access to the most recent update, just remember - AbacoUpdate.com


Sandy Estabrook's Abaco Guide Update No. 4

A supplement to Sandy Estabrook's Abaco Guide
(AbacoEscape.com)

Peas & Carrots, Peas & Carrots
and
Seaweed, Lightning & Lionfish.

The Big Happening


View from Sanddollar Dreams


Bahama Beach Club - Treasure Cay


As part of ths update, all new material has also been updated in the home pages of our Abaco Guide and its related links with at least eight new faces on our Bartenders page.
- - - - - Ø - - - - -

Our Trip

As usual we booked our Abaco trip in early January. And since American Eagle was once again serving Sarasota, we booked SRQ-MIA-MHH and return.

We had just moved into our new home in early May. The cartons were unpacked, the pictures were hung, and one day our conversation led to our next major event - our Abaco trip. I fixed myself a Mount Gay & Pepsi and said to Deb, "what do you say we leave earlier? Let's see if we can tack on 3-4 days to the front end of our originally scheduled 13 day trip."

Since we were using FF miles for this trip, AA was amicable in letting us move up our departure. Fact was, all dates were open prior to our scheduled flight - unusual.. Was there nobody going to Abaco?

So now what to do with the extra time. "Hey Lets go to Treasure Cay". We popped in T.C. as part of a day trip last year, but in all my 35 plus years in going to Abaco, I confess I've never stayed at any of it's resorts.

Our first stop: Monday June 9th we arrived in Marsh Harbour greeted by the smiling face of Sidney Hart the caretaker of our rental property. He is Taxi no #2 based at T.C. (242-475-0572) but because AA doesn't fly into T.C., he met us at Marsh. (For you repeat visitors, some trivia: All even numbers taxis are based in T.C., Odd number in Marsh Harbour.)

We arrived at Treasure Cay and our lovely rental property Sanddollar Dreams. It is the front most condo of a group of eight, right on Treasure Cays spectacular beach. The owner, Pam Hathaway had arranged for a golf cart from "Cash Carts"; (242 365-8771) as part of the package.

The resort area of Treasure Cay has no hotel. It is a collection of homes pretty much clustered by style. There are villas, townhouses, condos and single family houses scattered about. All focus on the Treasure Cay Resort and Marina which act as booking agent for many of the aforementioned. As part of the resort there is Spinnakers Restaurant where we dinned on a delicious 9 oz lobster tail the first night. And the conch chowder, first class. Ask for seat 6, 7 or 8 in Bar area. Just outside Spinnakers is the Tipsy Bar where most night time activity takes place. There is also a beachside bar and restaurant, Coco Beach Bar & Grill which is open a couple nights a week.

Prior to our arrival, saw the conclusion of the BBC (Bahamian Billfish Championship) with a 904 lb marlin caught. Presently the resorts own tournament was taking place. Their tournament is geared to families where by day the guys do their thing on the water and the moms avail themselves of the goings on scheduled for the kids. At this point we should mention that an all woman sportfishinng seminar was taking place at the same time as the tournament. For the ladies who might be interested check out LadiesLetsGoFishing.com.

One evening, the resort arranged for a Junkanoo performed by the T.C. grammar schools kids which we thoroughly enjoyed especially the synchronized rhythm of the 8 to 10 year old girls. And as one might expect during a fishing tournament there were lots of jolly fisherman especially on Karaoke night. The contest got into a tie breaker between a group of women and the "Island Girl", crew Josh with topless dancers Andy and Bob AKA the Penguin - lots of laughs. Then to top things off, a gentlemen celebrating his 58th anniversary, bought "mudslides" for everybody for the whole evening! The blenders never stopped and I have to say, we paid the price next morning.

Another night we dined at the Coco Beach bar, bond fire and all, later stopping by at the Tipsy Bar to listen to Chris "the Burner"; Russell, one of the best bands we've heard in the Abacos. And he is not just limited to "Island Music". His country repertoire was great along with his Tom Jones impressions.

As mentioned the Resort & Marina at T.C. is the booking office for many of the homes but many homeowners choose to represent themselves directly through advertising or on the internet, as is the case where we stayed. Some of those are listed on our Accommodations and Services page. Aside from the resort, there is the Bahama Beach Club at Treasure Cay. It has a lovely beach and pool area, all beautifully manicured. The Poolside is available for lunch and special occasions. The "Club" is not open to the public unless you are renting one of their villas or a member. We were admitted as a guest of our condo owner. In two words we were "very impressed".

Regarding the resort area in general, there are shops including a grocery and liquor store, and the must stop shop on everybody's itinerary is, Florence's Bakery. Every morning I headed over to have a cup of coffee and indulge in one of her cinnamon rolls and listen to the local discussions. Of course I brought a couple home for Debbie.

We planned to meet up with Karen McIntosh at her shop - Abaco Ceramics, just outside the gate to the resort area. Her story is quite fascinating. She came to the Abacos in ‘71 because of the calling of her father an Anglican Minister. She studied pottery and and at her dad's urging, when the opportunity came about, she bought the old pottery shop. She is its third owner and has been there for the last 25 years. Her designs reflect her unique artistic talent all with a tropical flair. Her dyes, she told us, are limited to those that contain no lead, so you will see nothing red in her collection. Karen spoke of the 700 molds she lost in hurricane Floyd and today's difficulty in finding replacements. She has clients all over the world. On the day we were there she was kind enough to give us a brief tour.

Karen lives on Green Turtle Cay so you could say she is an Abaco commuter having to take the ferry every day and a 10 minute car ride back and forth to the ferry dock. (Sure beats the Long Island Expressway). She eventually met and married her husband Luke, and has three children. Be sure to stop when in the area. Karen is also featured in our AbacoArtists.com page.

Although we spent little time in the Treasure Cay Resort area last year, we did explore the areas offerings such as blue holes and the wild Abaco Barbs, all of which can be found on our Abaco Update No.3. And although we had no need to avail ourselves of either, folks should be made aware of Treasure Divers, one of Abaco's premiere dive shops right at the T.C. marina and also of the "Prozac" Ferry which leaves from the marina to Guana Cay / Nippers and places elsewhere. (242-365-8749)

Finally, I accidentally bumped into Barbara Furnan who ran Abacos original Message board. whose regulating policy, I more than sometimes disagree. Anyway despite that fact, it was a pleasant encounter, all be it brief. later years saw the ABM's demise.

New Plymouth Bay Front

Day 4, Second Stop: Sidney arrived on schedule to take us to the Green Turtle Ferry dock. The first thing we noticed was sadly, Gullys, the little Restaurant and Bar (pictured in our Update #2) has been vandalized and is closed, although we cant be sure in which order.

We checked into the Green Turtle Club, picked up our golf cart at D&P Cart Rentals right behind the club. We then headed for the Tipsy Bar for our complementary Tipsy Turtle with Bartender Debbie before checking into our pool side room. I would suggest if you choose pool side, choose rooms 3, 4, or 5 as they command a better view of White Sound.

We have written so much about Green Turtle Cay on our main page and previous updates that there is little more to add. One day we headed over to the beach which was awash with seaweed as were just about all the ocean side beaches. There was with hardly a place to lay your blanket. (More on that in the Hope Town part of our trip).

We caught up on some places over looked the previous year like Harvey's Island Grill (242-365-4389) and looked forward to our much anticipated dinner at the once again reopened New Plymouth Inn. And finally trying the new restaurant addition to Miss Emily Blue Bee Bar and seeing Violet. We tried for Alton Lowe's Gallery and the Albert Lowe Museum, another place we haven't been in a decade, Both were closed.

As far as the N.P.I. is concerned, We were so happy to see it open again. And yes it is as charming as ever - the romance is still there. We chatted with Wally the Inn's owner who seems to be giving it another go, joined by his long time cook, Vernal. He attributes his past problems to the many rental homes now on Green Turtle Cay. I for one attribute it to the fact that it is in town with no beach and a couple block walk to a dock. But if it is charm you are looking for, of if you want to immerse yourself into island living (not as a tourist), it is a wonderful place to stay. The dinning room ambiance and quality of food will more than make up for any of it's short comings.

And what can you say about Miss Emily's Blue Bee Bar that hasn't already been said - Home of the Goombay Smash etc. etc... As mentioned, we had lunch there in Violet's new attractively decorated and air conditioned dinning room. Unfortunately time didn't afford us dinner there but reports are more than favorable including her opening Thanksgiving Day turkey dinner with all the trimmings.

And finally as for Harvey's Island Grill, (242-365-4389) all we can say, what a surprise! We knew Harvey's serves no liquor (BYO is OK) so we stopped at Sundowners for a quickie en route. Harvey's is located on the harbour side of the settlement, but it was the menu that really surprised us. Not your usual snapper or grouper every-which-way, but lots of unusual fare like duck, lamb, great steaks and even conch parmesan. Freddie and Alton Lowe's niece Trena run the restaurants and do a fine job.

Sunday is generally not a day to go exploring in New Plymouth but for the record (as of 6/08) if you find your self looking for a place to eat on Sunday, the only places open are Pineapples and McIntosh's with the latter being open for breakfast.

During our visit we made the rounds, hit the usual haunts like Pineapples, Sundowners, Wrecking Tree and went on a dive picnic with Brendal. And for the first time in years, missed the Gully Roosters playing at the G.T.C. on Wed. We've concluded the you get more bang for your buck at Pineapples with their smash,"Two be enough".

The dive with Brendal hit home in a special way. As usual, one often meets congenial folks on one of his picnic dives and on this occasion. This years annual event was no exception.

Ed and his close friend, Mike and a few close friends were on our dive/picnic. Their real reason for this visit for being on Green Turtle at this time was, to scatter his wife's ashes at Gillam Bay.  Both Ed and his wife Vickie (from Jacksonville) visited last October between her chemo treatments - she just wanted one more time to hear the Gully Roosters, wade in the water off Gillam Bay, go to Miss Emily's and relax in the swing on the screened in porch at "Harbourview" on Black Sound and watch the hummingbirds and all the comings and goings in the harbour.   She was granted her wish and three weeks later - she passed on.

Not unsympathetically I mentioned to them my Dad's ashes are in Abaco also. Fact is, at this very spot where Brendal has his picnics - maybe you'll see him in the shadows. I chose that spot so he would have company now and then. (That story has been documented here My solo trip to Abaco by boat). Obviously we had something in common and hit of off right away. They both mentioned having come across my Abaco pages on the web and were surprised to meet myself and Debbie.

When asked where their group was staying, Mike told me they were staying a home was right on the entrance of the harbour and have a birds eye view of all the comings and goings which they rented through Green Turtle Rentals. The same agency can provide Golf Cart Rentals too.

On the way home from the picnic, Brendal spotted some folks he suspect poaching lobster as it was off season. His boat made an abrupt change in course and headed straight for them. All but one of 6 or 7 was in the water and all had kept hands under water and seemed to be clinging to something. He confronted them. They denied his accusation but never lifted their hands from the water. However one fellow accidentally raised his hands showing his gloved hands. Brendal stared them down for a few minutes, turned the boat and left. You be the judge.

When I first met Brendal back in the early 80's, in addition to being bartender at the G.T.Club. he also sang and played Guitar. Eventually his dive business took him away from that. On this trip, I noticed he let two assistants assist the divers and with the picnic. Maybe he is slowing down just a tad while at the same time picking up his old guitar and playing at the G.T.Club. on Monday and Pineapples on Thursdays often accompanied by Kevin McIntosh of the Gully Roosters.

And finally another coincidence not unlike last year, (Update #3) while at the G.T.Club bar, we got to talking to a Mr. Bob Morris , and his wife Debbie. Bob is an author who writes, for lack of a better term a series of "Tropical Adventures" which takes place on Harbour Island and other islands in the Bahamas. A seventh is due next year. I had mentioned to him that when I pack for the Abacos , I always include a couple of Carl Hiaasen books, my favorite light read for such trips. They informed us that Carl is a dear friend and would pass along my sentiments.

Another Hope Town Light House Picture

Day 8, Third Stop: We awoke early under no pressure to catch a plane, only the ferry and again, on the mainland side, the friendly face of Sidney Hart . He was there by prearrangement to take us to Marsh Harbour to meet up with our old friends the Thompsons who would be spending a few days at the Lodge with us. They had an early flight on Vintage and were meeting us at Rainbow Boat Rentals at 10:00. Rainbow had to sadly report that my boat hadn't returned and had to upgrade us to a new 22' Twin Vee Cat with 150 hp four strokers. Imagine our excitement only to have it dashed when they told us they'd swap it out for the mono hull I rented the next morning. Oh well, at least we'd have it for a half a day and we didn't have to run back to Marsh for the exchange.

We all arrived at the Hope Town Harbour Lodge dock with a newly painted lighthouse overseeing harbour activities. We once stayed at their Butterfly House when my sister and husband joined us but usually a pool side cabana was our choice. This year we each had our own cottage. The moment you walk into a cottage, you know you've made the right decision. If you are in one of the three oceanside units, you can lay in bed and look out at the ocean. They are architecturally attractive and functional as well. They all are cool yet cozy for its Bahamian environment. It comes with a mini kitchen - no stove just a microwave.

As on prior trips to the Abacos, a lot of what we do is repeat business. Hop on your boat, head to Nippers on Guana Cay and it's mesmerizing view. Only this year we made a pit stop to say hi to Troy at Grabbers. We checked in at Pete's Pub at Little Harbour and Cracker P's on Lubbers, where we tried their coconut marinated conch grilled and served in a pouch. All I will say is, "interesting".

Our first night was spent at the Harbour's Edge where we bumped into Hope Town's equivalent to Al Capp's Marryin' Sam. Most will know him to be Preacher Vernon who married Debbie and I on a previous years trip (Update #3) He did of course remember us and we joked about his 1 year guarantee. I asked if extended warrantees were available.

One morning I headed off by myself to the offices of H.G. Christie to see an old bartender friend Robbie Bethel, His picture is on my Bartender Page. Well, he has moved on, and is now in the real estate business. I just wanted to stop by and complement on he and Kathleen Albury on their new website I Hope Town (ILoveHopeTown.com) which he has set up as a guide for prospective Elbow Cay home buyers. All sorts of info is included.

Back at the Lodge Pool Bar we often meet interesting folks.  On this occasion we met Don and Eddie Ruth, long-time friends of the Thompson's who decided to hook up with us this year. Don is retired but as a hobby a bee keeper - a serious bee keeper with lots of interesting stories to relate on the subject. For instance, the problem plaguing not only him but other bee keepers as well. That is, for reasons unknown, the honey bees are dying and aren't returning to their hive. There is lots of speculation on this but I wont get into that here. There is lots on the internet. Anytime we bumped into Don & Eddie he was always eating Conch Fritters - no joke. So I asked him to pass along his fritter rating. His top three are listed here. I would never have guessed: #1 - Candies Snack Place - Abaco International Airport (also the best priced). #2 - Capt'n Jacks. #3 - Hope Town Harbor Lodge Pool Bar.

Another night the four of us had dinner at Captain Jacks. It was Trivia Pursuit night and, like a couple years prior we wound up tied for 1st place. Unfortunately none of us knew "who followed Janet Jackson's controversial antics"; at the subsequent super bowl. That happened to be Paul McCartney which none of us could remember. We lost to a table of Hoosiers. By the way, when they are on the menu, try Jack's homemade potato chips and their grilled chicken club sandwich.

I should interject here, that one of us usually wore my new pocketed and "Embroidered"; tee shirts with logo on front and back. Because of this, surprisingly throughout our trip, quite a few folks introduced themselves and as having been to my webpages. One I'll mention because he was staying at the most conspicuous house in Hope Town, "The Jib", and that would be none other than Dan, AKA Gummy67 and of course is wife Celina and kids.

At this time, there is on thing I have to ask. What's with the lady who runs or at least services the Hope Town Liquor store? I must have been there over a dozen times over the years, and will buy a six pack of Kalik for first person who can make her smile.

Every so often I turn on my VHF (marine)
radio to listen to the island chat. Well this afternoon I heard of a lightning strike at the Conch Inn and specifically one of the Mooring's carter catamarans. Dale and Margaret, a couple we had befriended at the lodge left that day. Here is Dale's account:

Sandy;
...............  When we were leaving, we had ~ 2 hour window to get the boat back. (from Hope Town) That Friday morning all looked clear for a nice ride to Marsh.  As we got closer a storm was brewing, I pushed the boat around the bend into the harbor and hope I didn't upset anyone by pushing it a bit fast in the harbor to stay dry and get to safety. 
 
When we got to the dock I told Margaret that we should first get our luggage to a dry place before it rains and did just that.  When I was back on the boat talking to the people at Blue Wave (rental company) all of sudden a bolt of lightning hit so hard that my feet came ~ 4" off the deck of the boat. We both hi-tailed it inside - it turned out that it hit the restaurant Curly Tails & bounced off the kitchen and hit a ~ 40' Moorings Cat on the next dock - take a look at the pic attached. 
 
Margaret, being the better person than me, wouldn't let me take a picture until we were sure no one was on board or hurt.  So the flames actually hit about twice as high as this picture that was taken about 1/2 hour after it was originally hit.  The mast went down in about 30 seconds.  They had to bring a fire-boat from Hope Town Harbor to put it out, of all places.  They couldn't reach it with a fire truck @ Marsh (Not too well equipped).
 
Hope to meet up with both of you in the future in the Abacos.
 
Regards,
Dale & Margaret

PS I have been trying to convince Margaret to embrace a future Blue Water sailing adventure - this lightning strike pretty much put an end to that.


1st pict by Dale, 2 & 3 by Larry Thompson

While we are on the subject of docks, I noticed that many of the Marsh Harbour marinas now charge you to tie up even for a quick shopping trip. The price is usually around $25 - $30. However the charge can be voided by spending that amount at the marina or their restaurant. In our case it is another reason we choose Rainbow Boat Rentals. Their dock is close to everything and you can refuel there too. OH, they even rent snorkel gear and fishing rods. A great way to eliminate another bag and awkward rod holder when traveling.

Again back to our VHF, we heard numerous reports on the Cruisers Net
of the Pacific Lionfish being spotted. This non-indigenous, yet beautiful fish with poisonous spines now seems to be a permanent resident of the Bahamas. Fact is, a recent article in the Abaconian, suggests a way to rid Bahamian waters of this fish, and that is to eat them! Of course extreme care must be used when filleting the fish and disposing of the dorsal spines. The article mentions the fish is quite tasty and already being served in restaurants in Nassau.

Prior to departing for the Abacos, we had been in contact with Brigitte Bower Carey a resident artist who is featured on our AbacoArtists.com page. During one correspondence she invited us to her lovely home on Tilloo Cay where she has lived since ‘91, The first of seven who lived there without electricity or communications of any sort except for radio. Water of course is by cistern and "a lot of rain dances". Bridget and her Bahamian husband Donny gave us a tour of her home, detached studio up the hill, and grounds over to the ocean side. Truly an idilic location. Tilloo Cay is pretty much private so few get to stop except for its popular sandbar at its southern end which is noted for shell collecting. I must point out, that ot was Donny who set me straight on the pronunciation of Cay. It is Key! At least that is how the Bahamians pronounce it and they should know.

As a scheduled guest at the H.T.H.L. we received the following e-mailed notice prior to our departure:

In anticipation of your arrival we wish to inform you of an exciting event scheduled to take Place here at the Lodge during your stay. We certainly hope you share in the excitement! The crew of the popular T.V. Sit Com, "Scrubs", will be filming here at the Lodge on June 25 or 26. However, we must also mention that there may be minor inconveniences During that time. Unfortunately, we must close the pool area to everyone but the film crew During breakfast and lunch on one or both of those days.

Upon arrival we asked if the shooting was on schedule and how many would be arriving. We were told they were on schedule which would mean we'd be there for two of three days of shooting, but our friends would sadly miss the whole event. As for the number that would be arriving (cast & crew) - 93. Yikes!

The weekend prior 21 -22 the advance party started trickling in. Saturday night we headed down to Sea Spray Resort for dinner and to listen to the Band. Big mistake. Generally we don't travel to Abaco this late in the season - when schools are closed. Well the Sea Spray was overrun by kids, kids and more kids out numbering adults 2 to one. Hey we love kids as much as anyone, but in the compact deck area, seating was jammed and service slower than "Bahamian Time". Then the power went out, temporarily stopping all blenders and holding up the band. And on top of that they ran out of water or maybe is was the water maker that malfunctioned. Under the circumstances the staff were patient and genuinely polite despite a few contraryians.

Our bill was paid the old fashion way, (remember the slider) as credit card machines didn't work. Anyway we managed to weather the storm and headed back to town. To be fair on the south end of Elbow Cay there are many new homes and the first place one comes to when heading north is the Sea Spray Resort. And at that time of year with school out things get a little hectic. Dining on their deck is a lovely experience and shouldn't be missed. Just choose your time wisely.

Sunday, wires were being laid to power the filming equipment. The crew brought their own generator as I would suspect one of their spot lights would blow the fuse for the whole island. - Good thing. We got to meet the assistant director Richard, assistant producer, Randall, Exec Producer Bill Lawrence who's dad owns a home on the island. Could that be why Scrubs was shot in Hope Town? The Lodge guests and passerby's got mingle and chat along with the cast and crew on a regular basis as there were frequent breaks. They were most generous in allowing photography even when when they were shooting (unless your camera clicked).

Some Scrubs Trivia: I was told that they still shoot film - 16 mm of a special type for video transfer. Whatcha know about that? And another tidbit of interest, at Captain Jacks we got to talking to a couple adjacent to us. We mentioned the Scrubs filming to which she replied that she was part of the group, the legal part, and represented union interests because they were shooting in a foreign country. - Whatcha know about that? More trivia: Touchstone, an ABC / Disney company produced Scrubs and sold it to NBC, This year the show will be switching to ABC but they still owe four shows to NBC due to the writers strike. So the episode date for the shoot in Hope Town is still up in the air - Whatcha know about that? I got to talking to a camera man who had worked on CSI Miami. I asked him what he thought of David Caruso. "Not much", temperamental and limited to 3-4 poses with a total script vocabulary of about 35 words - Whatcha know about that? Finally There will be about a half dozen locals featured in the episode, Gary, Bartender of the H.T.H.L. Pool Bar. Shane, bartender at Harbour's Edge and Ira Key, long time H.T. resident and fisherman.- AND YES it Looks like Debbie and I are going to be in the show. We will be sitting at the Bar at the Harbour's Edge along with Kemp and Eric, two other extras. We were instructed to engage in conversation and pronounce PEAS & CARROTS, PEAS & CARROTS, but silently. I know these things can wind up on the cutting room floor but they gave me another shirt to wear (no MOTUITI/AbacoEscape.com logo allowed on my Tee Shirt - nuts! No NY Jets hat). They took three takes. So maybe we have a chance. All of us had assorted drinks of pretty colors in different type glasses. Mine was appropriately enough, in a scotch on the rocks low-ball glass. But there was young fellow (18-20) who didn't look old enough to have a martini glass in front of him, so the props person switched it to a coke - Said "ABC wouldn't like a young fellow drinking a martini!" The big question is, will we make the cut?


Cast & Crew - break time

A lot of the shooting was done on the beach in front of the Lodge. and seaweed doesn't make for a pretty beach. As it was on Green Turtle Cay the seaweed problem persisted here also. So what to do? Hire some Haitians to rake up the beach. This was accomplished by digging a ditch and burying the seaweed under the sand. Only problem the seaweed was back a couple hours later. Somehow they shot their scenes and over came this difficulty. How all the bits and pieces that we saw shot will fit together is a mystery to me.

In addition to cast and crew hanging out at the Lodges Pool Bar, we got to meet lots of locals of note who stopped by for the occasion. To name a few; Silbert Mills who owns the Abaco's FM radio station, legendary fisherman Ira Key and frequent visitor Walter Chronkite.


Day 17, we departed. Sadly we missed the wedding - the Scrubs Wedding. Oh well we'll just have to wait till fall. Just the same it turned out to be a good day to leave after all, as we were told Thursday was an election day and no alcohol was allowed to be served (at least till the polls closed). Gota remember that next year.

In conclusion. Talking to island folks they registered concern about the downturn of the US economy, oil prices etc. Regular gas in the Abacos was about $6.15 no doubt hurting boating interests. Not unsympathetically, Prime minister Ingraham has lowered the duty on oil and other highly tariffed commodities. And on a recent visit to Abaco he mentioned all the new projects on the books for Abaco - from Walkers Cay to Sandy Point - some controversial yes but this writer suspects it will be a while before things get started. We'll see what happens.

We felt that Spinnakers restaurant at Treasure cay was as good as that of the Hope Town Harbour Lodge restaurant which is still the place to beat for dinner in Hope Town thanks to their great chef Pherol. Oh, in addition to their main dinning room, The Lodge now also serve dinner poolside on Thursday & Friday. Breakfast is also now served pool side (only).

Our friends the Thompsons left prior to the Scrubs shooting. Because of their early flight they spent a night in Marsh Harbour at the Lofty Fig which is in walking distance to about anyplace in town. Larry reports:

"All in all we were very happy with our room.  We had the right-front unit (#4) shown in the pic below.  It was right on the street so the traffic noise was quite bad...didn't bother me when we went to sleep, but Tiny wasn't too happy.  A unit in the back would be better.  The room was large, a nice sitting area with a couch, two chairs and coffee table. It had a nice clean bathroom and a queen size bed. There was a full kitchen with a dinette area.  It also had satellite TV.  The front porch was covered, which was nice in case it was raining. They have a pool, but we didn't use it.  The best part was the rate...$176 (total, incl. taxes, etc.)...that's better than the $300+ at the HTHL.  Of course, it's not right on the water, but it's directly across from Mangoes, Curly Tails and next door to Wally's.  I don't know if they had dock privileges in case you rented a boat."

As a by product of the Scrubs filming, the gate that separates vehicular traffic of North Elbow Cay from South Elbow Cay was left open allowing us to jump in our cart and explore the north end of Elbow for the first time. The north end seems more lush with indigenous tropical growth all punctuated with lovely homes and secret marinas.

Miscellaneous Tidbits: Troy at Grabbers told us of the opening of 5 new condo/apartments on their property and we hear the Bluff House on Green Turtle Cay is for sale as is Turtle Hill Resort & Villas in Hope Town.

When returning our boat, we stuck its nose into the entry canal at the new 50+ acre development at
Matt Lowe's Cay.
It's off the "Eastern Shore's" tip of Abaco's mainland at Marsh Harbour in the Sea of Abaco. The whole island was purchased around 2005. We cruised in and took a look around. It's isolated yet pretty and would probably have potential in any other market. Few homes were built and as of 2014 the island is once again for sale.

For years now, we have always split our Abaco time between the cays (pronounced keys). Last year we included the big island of Abaco and covered it from top to bottom. This year we included for the first time a stay at Treasure Cay. Next year we've already decided to stay put and we already have a pretty good handle on where that will be. Stay tuned.

Finally regarding the scrubs shooting, our confession: We never ever watched the show. With Grey's Anatomy, ER, House plus another MD shows, how many doctor. shows can one take. So frankly we knew none of the actors or actresses. We did recognize two that we had seen on other shows, namely Ken Jenkins (Dr. Bob Kelso) and John McGinley (Dr. Perry Cox). Just the same watching the shooting and interaction of cast and crew, you more or less could figure out who the "players"; were. The filming at the lodge with their company of 92 electrified the atmosphere especially for those who haven't experienced such an event. The cast and crew were friendly and generous with their time. All in all a great experience.

Lastly a sat note: The Downturn of the US economy that began at the Bush / Obama transfer of power led to the following note received by a Treasure Cay Business man.

"The biggest problem right now (summer 2014) are the air carriers and cost to fly over. This past Memorial Day Weekend showed just how bad it is. TC saw not one fly over for the long weekend! In the past many Floridians would fly over, but with air fare up from $ 225 RT to $750, no families will fly over for a weekend trip at that costs. Butter to keep the airfare and go to Disney. And that's what most of my repeat home rental customers did also. Until the air fares change, Abaco is in Trouble. And as for Treasure Cay, well, it's going down faster than before. No new young buyers, just great folks that bought int he 70's & 80's and are now all over 80 years old, and are trying to sell. More than 65% of TC big homes on Ocean blvd are for sale. As as for TC, until they sell and change the present management, it will not get better. Present manager is no help to second home owners, prefers to party, and thinks it's his place to do so. Hoping to return one day. At present time, we are in Victoria, BC, great country, and looking to do something here. Prices are high, tourism is great, but again, seasonal."


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