Hopetown Harbour Abacos Bahamas

The Hope Town Harbour lighthouse is one of the oldest working lighthouses. Built in 1864, it sends out a beam of light that can be seen 20 miles away. If you climb the 180 steps to the top, you are rewarded with an incredible view.

The islanders didn’t want the lighthouse as they made their money off of shipwrecks and there were plenty of shipwrecks back then. When the cry of “Wreckers” went through the town, the townspeople responded by heading out to salvage what they could. According to the Wyannie Malone museum, the wreckers were as much interested in saving people as they were in salvaging goods from the reef bound ships. They were given national recognition when one night they rescued a slave ship headed for Cuba. The captain of the slave ship offered them a great deal of money if they would help him get the slaves to Cuba. They refused and the slaves were set free.

One of the first inhabitants here was a woman named Wyannie Malone (for whom the museum is named). Before he died, her husband told her that if the British lost the Revolutionary War, she should move to the Bahamas. So on her own she left South Carolina and headed for the Abacos. I find that incredibly brave. She brought her four daughters and a future son in law with her, and together they founded the settlement of Hope Town in 1785. There is a long line of her descendants still living on the island. If you ever get to Hope Town be sure to visit the museum and the lighthouse.

Hopetown Harbour, Abacos Bahamas

A beautiful day in Hopetown and I decide it is time for me to get the name on the side of the boat. We have Alegria on the back, but we never had good enough weather or a good spot for me to do it. Today it wasn’t too windy so Tristan and I brought the dingy around to the side of the boat to get started. I was really nervous because I have never done this before and the lettering is very big. If I get it wrong or uneven, it will be very obvious. Tessa is at the front of the boat. It is her job to hold the dingy forward while Tristan and I measure down the side of the boat for the right location.

There are two ways to put the name on. One is to put water on the back of the name and then place the name against the boat. You use a squeegee to get the water out and the name sticks. It is the easier way and the way I put the letters on the back of the boat. This time we do it the harder way, which is measure down from the top of the boat, rip the back off and stick it on. It is very hot and now the wind kicks up. Tessa loses her grip on the front of the dingy while I am standing on it nearly causing me to fall and Tristan drops the name in the water. This is not going well.

After about 20 minutes and a lot of frustration, I realize this wasn’t going to work. I sent Tessa in to get some water to put on the back of the name and we will try the squeegee method. Another round of sweating and yelling and the name is on the side of the boat. Now I just need to squeegee, slowly pull back the outer paper and the name should stick.

Nope. More squeegee. No sticky. More squeegee. More squeegee. More sweaty. Still no sticky. I lay on my back in the dingy cursing myself for doing this.

“Hey” Someone is yelling to me. It’s the guy who looks about 80 years old on the sailboat moored behind us.

“What?” I yell back.

“The guy on the boat down there,” (he points to a sailboat about 50 feet away with a guy sitting on the deck watching me) “He says to tell you the name would look better if it was closer to the front of the boat and higher up.”

My mouth drops open. I can’t believe it. Noticing the look on my face he hooks his thumb in the guy’s direction and says “He said it. Not me.”

I am appalled. The guy on the other sailboat got on the VHF radio and called the old guy on the boat behind me to tell me I am not doing it correctly! I am hot, I am tired and I am in no mood to be messed with. I yell back. “Well you tell him I am not moving it!”

I scowl at my critic across the water. Mike on Dual Dreams yells over to me, “I think it looks great!”

I thank him and go back to my squeegee. Life in a small town harbor.

Hopetown Harbour, Abacos Bahamas

What a small world this is!  We were sitting by the pool at the Hopetown Harbour Lodge when a family from Tristan and Tessa’s old school Childrens Community School in Davidson NC walked in. The Bradleys and the Clarks were in the Abacos on a short vacation and it was pure chance we met up.  The Bradleys keep their yacht at Boat Harbour in Marsh Harbour and had come over to Hopetown on a smaller boat.  The kids got a chance to play in the pool together and we got caught up on all the news from home.  It was so great to see them! We are hoping to get together again with them in June when they come back to the Bahamas.

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