Now that you have seen lots of pretty pictures of the beautiful Bahamas, you won't be too, too upset to see some not so pretty ones. I have waited a while to post these, as they may upset those who hate change and want the islands to remain untouched.
Wax Cay (off Norman's Cay) has been developed beautifully with a lovely collection of houses, balconies, walk-ways, and a protected, small-craft marina hewn out of the coral rock. Copper sculptures of Herons, Komodo Dragons and Fish adorn porches. Each cottage has its own beach with gazebo and stone jetty. Problem is, it is not yet completed or operational. A little bird told me one can call Mr. Smith to ask for tie-up permission inside the marina. (If you really want to know, contact me for the phone numbers.)
Norman's Cay has a new, up-dated bar and grill at MacDuff's. The government has asked for $150 million performance bond before they will allow any new development to take place. End of story there.
Royal Island in Eleuthra area was purchased for $160 million last year. Developers came in and immediatedly cleared the east end of the island for an 18 hole golf course. They put up a club house and four cottages. When the government wanted a cachement constructed to drain the fertilizers from the golf course to protect the amazing Egg Reef just to the north, the money dried up. That isn't the end of the story either. Here is the gossip: buisnessmen in Spanish Wells had made their own investments based on the contracts they had received with these developers. One buisness purchased the where-with-all to provide local cement. The materials and equipment sit, still wrapped in plastic, on their loading docks, unusable, a very expensive write-off. Many local individuals and companies were left holding the bag, when the developers just up and vanished in the night.
Today alone, Nassau's daily newspaper, The Tribune, has three pages notifying of buisnesses going into receivership and/or closing completely . The latest recession is not abating in this part of the world and things seem to be going from bad to worse as the economy gets tighter and tighter. Nassau's usual number of home break-ins this time last year was 20 a week. Now it is running at 60. Crime is definitely on the rise, as young people can find no work and are left with nothing to do and nowhere to go.
From our first-hand experience at the Department of Agriculture yesterday, we can tell of government inefficiency. We could hardly beleive our eyes. 5 people in one office: a receptionist who answers the phone (most usually taking personal calls), a person to type up simple one-page forms, a different person to stamp the forms once typed, a veterinarian (dressed in scrubs no less) who initials said forms, and one on-looker with nothing to do. This in one small room of a three story building. hummmmmmm.
Enough bad news for one day. The weather is hot and sunny, there is no snow to shovel and no frost bite to speak of. Making new friends on the docks, many from Canada, snow birds like us.