Memories of visiting the Bahamas — now the target of strongest Atlantic hurricane Dorian

The eye of #Dorian has made a second landfall at 2 pm EDT (1800 UTC) on Great Abaco Island near Marsh Harbour. Maximum sustained winds were 185 mph at the time. This is tied for the strongest Atlantic hurricane landfall on record with the 1935 Labor Day hurricane. — National Hurricane Center

It’s sad to see this unfold.

Before our son was born, my wife and I had another one of our “excellent adventures” on Great Abaco Island in the Bahamas. We flew from Fort Lauderdale to Marsh Harbor on a USAir puddle jumper plane. The hotels were all booked, so we stayed on a yacht that was docked in the harbor. We explored the area on the boat — and by foot. We swam in the Sea of Abaco and ate fresh seafood, including conch.

The Abacos are a beautiful spot. “Johnny Depp purchased a small cay in Abaco that he can call his own; where he can treat into freedom. And Mr. Depp is not alone. The Abacos are not Nassau: They offer seclusion for the rich and famous, whether in the gated community of The Abacos Club where the uber-rich play or in stand-alone homes that serve as the ultimate private resorts,” as one post explains.

Baker’s Bay has hosted celebrities including Lance Armstrong, Ben Affleck, Martha Stewart and Sean Connery.

Now websites promoting the area have a “Hurricane Doria” pop-up window.

Bimini is another island in the hurricane’s path that I’ve enjoyed visiting.

I went scuba diving there when I lived in Florida in the ’80s. It was one of our deepest dives ever — to about 100 feet. I had to tap my tank to get the attention of my friend “dive buddy” Mike because he kept going too deep.

Ernest Hemingway was a regular on Bimini. His fishing expeditions there inspired him to write The Old Man and The Sea. We had our own adventure — taking off and landing in the water on a Chalk’s sea plane from Miami. It was a lifelong memory.



Author: jeffpelline

Jeff Pelline is a veteran editor and award-winning journalist - in print and online. He is publisher of Sierra FoodWineArt magazine and its website Jeff covered business and technology for The San Francisco Chronicle for 12 years, and he was a founding editor and Editor of CNET News for eight years, among other positions. Jeff has a bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley and a master's from Northwestern University. His hobbies include sailing, swimming, and trout fishing in the Sierra.

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