Bahamasair inFlight Magazine - 'The Boating Issue' Apr-Jun 2022

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Boating ISSUE

Sloop Sailing ‘A Bahamian Ting’


Camagüey, Cuba Bahamasair’s Newest Destination Exploring The Golden Age Of Piracy The Abacos

Edgey Photographer André Musgrove | Model Ariadna Hafez


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n 2022, the Davis administration is laser-focused on moving The Bahamas beyond recovery into a period of robust, broad-based economic growth. This means building an economy that widens the circle of opportunity and lifts all Bahamians— not just a few.

Our goal is to ensure that every Bahamian feels the recovery.

In the first 100 days of the Davis administration, we have already made significant progress toward these goals. We have made good on our promise to provide pension payments, we have paid salary arrears, and repaired our schools to ensure they are ready to provide students with a safe and quality environment to learn. And we have re-opened our economy – resulting in hotel occupancy rates returning to near pre-pandemic levels and enabling Bahamians to get back to work. Our goal is to ensure that every Bahamian feels the recovery. But recovering from a public health crisis and an economic crisis—one that saw record levels of unemployment and the most significant shrinkage of GDP and

government revenue in recent history—will not happen overnight. There is more work to do. That is why the Davis administration has committed to making long-term investments in our people and institutions that will benefit all our citizens. Our investments will revolutionize our education system—the great equalizer—to ensure our children have the opportunity to be competitive on the global stage. They will enable us to harness our people’s full economic potential and resources by modernizing our blue economy, accelerating the expansion of our green economy, and spurring innovation in our orange economy. We will make investments to support our entrepreneurs, usher in an e-Bahamas revolution, and build a modern, digital economy that will provide a foundation for future economic growth. And we will strengthen our social safety net so that all Bahamians can hold their heads up high, with dignity, despite the challenges we have experienced. These investments will ensure our economy works for all Bahamians.

But to unlock this potential for our country, we need to restore our fiscal health and stabilize our public finances. This is why the Prime Minister has announced a commitment to achieve a revenue-to-GDP target ratio of 25% by the end of our first five-year term in office and re-established the Revenue Enhancement Unit with the goal of increasing tax revenue collection by $200 million in 24 months.

anything, it’s that we are all in this together. We are a nation of artisans and entrepreneurs, business leaders and laborers – but we rise and fall together as a society. And when we all do our part, we benefit one another and our country. So, if we want to invest in

eliminating tax evasion and fraud in The Bahamas. The REU has been fully resourced and has begun addressing non-compliant taxpayers, including concentrating on nearly 50 percent of real property taxes that are not consistently paid.

building an economy that creates an opportunity for all Bahamians, we all must do our part.

I encourage anyone who owes taxes or customs duties to come forward. The Government will continue to work with those who would like to comply but are unable to due to financial hardship. But for those who can pay what they owe and simply refuse to honor their responsibility, the REU will identify you and take the appropriate action.

Our focus is not raising taxes—in fact,

we have already decreased taxes on all Bahamians by reducing the standard VAT rate from 12% to 10% across the board. Instead, our focus is on ensuring everyone pays their fair share. No longer will we allow a few honest Bahamians to responsibly pay their taxes while others refuse to do the same. If the global pandemic has taught us

Everyone in The Bahamas should know that if you avoid paying your taxes, you fail to uphold your responsibility to your fellow citizens, and we can no longer tolerate this. That is why we have re-established the Revenue Enhancement Unit (REU)– to focus on

A critical part of ensuring that every-

one pays their fair share is ensuring that real property tax assessments reflect the property’s actual value. Yet despite how critical this is to a fair and equitable tax system, a complete re-assessment of all properties in New Providence had never been done. For years, this meant people who built new homes but did not register them paid no taxes. And in many cases, people in high-value properties were paying far less than their fair share of taxes while others were compliant. This unfairness is now over. When taxpayers in New Providence receive their 2022 real property tax bill, it will reflect an accurate assessment of their property value – the result of a multiyear re-assessment. This effort was led by the Department of Inland Revenue, which made a significant investment

to ensure accuracy—re-assessments were conducted by experts and based on thousands of field inspections and data analysis and leveraged the latest technology and global best practices. This has long been a priority for the Government across multiple administrations. We promised to get this done for the people of The Bahamas – and we have now delivered on that promise. By fixing the unfairness that has long been in the real property tax system, we have potentially unlocked nearly $450 million in additional revenue over five years from real property taxpayers whose properties were either not registered or under-valued. And we have done all of this while not increasing real property taxes for nearly 70% of owner-occupied properties.

In fact, the Government is taking the unprecedented step of giving all owner-occupied properties a rebate of up to $312.50 on their 2022 real property tax bill. While property tax bills will now reflect a fair and accurate assessment of property value, we recognize that because re-assessments have never been done before, taxpayers whose properties were either not registered or were under-valued would have experienced this correction all at once. This rebate will help mitigate the effects of this correction and provide relief to taxpayers. These steps, and the ones that will follow, will ensure that we can put our country on the path to transformational growth. This effort will enable us to invest in our children, our country, and the future of all our people. By working together and doing our fair share, we will rebuild a nation where all things are possible for all people. -Hon. Michael Halkitis Minister of Economic Affairs



You’ll thrill to breath-taking images from The Bahamas’ undersea wonderland

—Honourable I. Chester Cooper, M.P. Welcome to paradise. Welcome to The Islands of The Bahamas. We are delighted that you have decided to visit The Bahamas, whether it’s vacation or business that brings you here. There are so many options of air connection to our destination; we are equally delighted that you chose to fly on Bahamasair, our country’s national flag carrier, which connects our islands to the outside world and inter-connects the many islands of our far-flung archipelago. The Bahamas is a chain of 700 islands located just 50 miles southeast of Florida. Comprised of 16 unique island destinations, The Bahamas is home to a population of upwards to 390,000—a people whose legendary hospitality is the cornerstone of the world-class tourism destination that The Bahamas has built over the past six decades. Bahamasair takes pleasure in getting you to and from The Bahamas, and is pleased to offer you Up and Away, our in-flight magazine, to introduce you to the wide range of experiences to be savoured on a visit to our destination. For advice on shopping, eco-adventures, historical sights, beaches, entertainment, culture and much more, Up and Away is your trusted guide to the full array of what to see, do and experience in The Bahamas. This edition of Up and Away introduces you to the beautiful pristine waters of The Bahamas, above and beneath. You’ll learn about our sailing history and the time-honoured tradition of boat building throughout The Honourable I. Chester Cooper, Deputy Prime Minister our islands. You’ll thrill to breath-taking images from The Bahamas’ of The Bahamas and Minister of Tourism, Investments & Aviation undersea wonderland, and share in on the secret of our hidden diving gems. Feature articles on Abaco, Eleuthera, Exuma and Long Island showcase the unique offerings of four of our 16 island gems. Whether you’ve come for an exciting, active getaway or a retreat to simply relax and rejuvenate, you can vacation in The Bahamas with peace of mind. All the standard international protocols are enforced for your safety and well­being. In the islands of The Bahamas, you are genuinely welcome. Enjoy your stay with us, and come back soon to see more of our beautiful country.

The Honourable I. Chester Cooper, Deputy Prime Minister of The Bahamas and Minister of Tourism, Investments & Aviation


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There is no more thrilling journey than the one that leads you to paradise. Whether it’s a quick trip or a leisurely island-hop across crystal clear seas, consider our 16 unique island destinations your launch pad to countless adventures.


BAHAMASAIR CHAIRMAN Photo Courtesy of Mario Nixon Photography

Did you know that the name “Bahamas” comes from the Spanish term “bajamar” which means shallow sea?

—Chairman Anthony Kikivarakis Sr. Sit back, relax and enjoy! It is our pleasure to have you flying with us. With great enthusiasm, I am honoured to welcome you to The Islands of The Bahamas. To both our tourists and our residents, alike, I thank you for choosing our national flag carrier, Bahamasair, for your trip. This quarter’s Up and Away magazine focuses on our rich maritime history and culture, some of which I truly hope you will have the opportunity to experience and enjoy. Did you know that the name “Bahamas” comes from the Spanish term “bajamar” which means shallow sea? Our gorgeous turquoise shallow waters can be seen in satellite imagery from outer space. The Bahamas has a rich boating history as our many islands traffic by way of boats, whether for fishing or commercial purposes, and the transport of mail and cargo. In addition, our history is steeped in boat building, primarily in our Family Islands such as the Abacos, Andros, the Exumas, Long Island and others. The craft of boat building for fishing has morphed over the years into the building of many racing sloops for regattas hosted by associations in Nassau as well as other islands. This chairman Chairman Anthony Kikivarakis Sr. can proudly boast that three of his uncles from the Abacos were boat builders. While as visitors you may not be involved in sloop racing, you can leisurely sail between our islands, reefs and cays. I hope you have a chance to go cruising and enjoy our clear waters with its myriad fish, sharks, and rays playing and darting around. Or, perhaps, you can take a snorkelling trip and admire the sea grass and fan corals swaying with the currents. Another fun fact—Did you know that stretching more than 190 miles in length, the “Andros Barrier Reef” in The Bahamas is one of the biggest barrier reefs in the world and the third largest living organism on the planet? We are excited that you are here and, whatever you choose to do in The Bahamas, we are sure you’ll have a wonderful time! I wish to extend a warm welcome home to our residents and an equally warm welcome for our tourists! Keep in touch with us on our website and our social media pages for the latest news, updates and tips for this and upcoming trips! All the very best, Anthony Kikivarakis Sr., Chairman of Bahamasair


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Imagine yourself relaxing in the bluest of oceans.

Capt. L. Roscoe Dames


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—Capt. L. Roscoe Dames II, JP, Publisher

We thank you for opening the pages of The Boating Issue of Up and Away—the in-flight magazine of Bahamasair. In this issue, we traverse through the most beautiful, crystal clear waters in the world. This issue is very personal for me because the ocean is a love of mine. I immerse myself into everything that mimics the ocean—whether it’s in it, on top of it or under it—especially the crystal clear waters of The Bahamas. My love for the high seas is so strong that I became a licenced boat captain and certified scuba diver. For me, that means living the sweetest dream all day. In this issue, come along with the team on this nautical journey to visit some of Bahamasair’s most picturesque destinations. In The Bahamas, we’ll show you our love of the water and how sailing is alive and well. Learn how Bahamians are making international waves in the sport of junior sailing. At the same time, we’ll school you on a Bahamian ‘Ting’ called sloop sailing. On the island of New Providence, we’ll travel back in time to the Golden Age of Piracy; learn about our mailboat history, and the power of breath. In Grand Bahama, we’ll take you to a unique food find and go off the beaten path in West End. From there, we’ll immerse ourselves into the maritime culture on the island of Abaco. In Exuma, we’ll share with you where Bahamians vacation and drop off some flip-flops to do our part in saving the planet. Hop on over to the Turks & Caicos Islands where we’ll visit the Grand Turk Lighthouse and shine a spotlight on Kimchi Village. Come on over to the newest destination on Bahamasair’s itinerary, Camagüey, Cuba, for a live canvas that leads to adventure. On behalf of the team at Ivory Global Management Ltd., publisher, writers, photographers and creatives, it is our pleasure to take this opportunity to present you with another issue of Up and Away magazine. We invite you to sit back, cross your legs and imagine yourself relaxing in the bluest of oceans at the perfect temperature with this, The Boating Issue. Do enjoy and take it with you as a souvenir to share with family and friends.







Sloops At Full Sail Cover Artwork Shot In Morgan’s Bluff Andros, Bahamas Photographer L. Roscoe Dames II

13 Sloop Sailing ‘A Bahamian Ting’ 16 Saving the Planet with Flip-Flops and a Paintbrush 19 Exploring The Golden Age Of Piracy 24 Off The Beaten Path – West End, Grand Bahama



27 The Abacos’ Maritime Culture 29 Wellness with Bahayogi: ‘The Power of Breath’ 31 The Grand Turk Lighthouse Story: “From Incident to Iconic” 34 Where Bahamians Vacation - “Exuma Is Something Special”


37 The New Generation of Bahamian Sailors 42 Crystal Clear Waters with André Musgrove 46 Camagüey: A Live Canvas That Leads To Adventure 49 Black Sails Tours - The Exumas on the Water 51 Bahamian Dreamers - A Unique Food Find 53 Off the Beaten Path – Kimcha Village 55 Performing Artist - Sammi Starr 57 Sailing Legends of Long Island 62 Mailboats: The Lifeblood Of Inter-Island Communication 65 Visual Artist – Preston Hanna 11

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‘A Bahamian Ting’ By Shavaughn Moss Photographs courtesy of Philip ‘Doc’ Figdore


loop sailing is a well-known tradition in The Bahamas, but it’s more than just tradition, it’s a culture and, dare I say, a feeling—one that sloop sailors say is hard to explain, as it is in their blood. Stefan Knowles, son of the legendary Laurin L. Knowles from Long Island, describes sailing sloops in regattas that are arguably a national pastime, as an adrenaline rush. “It’s a feeling that’s hard to explain,” said Stefan. “No matter how tired you may be, or how discouraged— weather or whatever—whenever you get on the starting line, it’s just you and the boat and the race.” What they are racing is the Bahamian wooden sailing vessel, created by a man’s hands, from the material nature has provided, and that is powered by the wind. The sloop sailing culture has evolved from pure working sail to out-and-out racing thoroughbreds. And regatta brings boat builders from around the country to pit their vessels against one another for the ultimate test of the ability to build a winner. Literally anyone can engage in sloop sailing, which covers a wide spectrum of ages. Once you can swim and move around at sea, you can participate. Many sloop sailors like Stefan were on sloops very


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David and Don Knowles and Crew early in life and began competitive sailing before they were even preteens. It is this passion that was nurtured early in life, which fuels that of sloop sailors. So, err on the side of caution when attending a regatta, because sloop sailors and boat builders take pride in

their vessels. There are several topics that you never want to get into a “debate” with a Bahamian about and one of them is sloop sailing with a sloop sailing enthusiast. Everyone has their favourite boat and skipper, and you will hear about it.

Cat Island Boat Going At It

And this is definitely a sport that is all about the love and bragging rights, because sloop sailors definitely do not compete for lucrative purses. The money they win in no way adds up to what they spend to get competition-ready. The community is like a brotherhood, but the rivalry is alive and well among sloop sailing enthusiasts around the islands. Trash-talking is a normal thing. When the horn blast signals the start, it’s all about the business of winning. “If you’re in a sport and don’t have the mind to win, you lose from before you start,” said Stefan. No matter how much sloop sailing enthusiasts complain about what it costs to get a boat ready to compete in the country’s unofficial pastime, regatta, when a race is called, you will always find them at the starting line. And they more than likely trash-talked the entire time leading up to the race, jockeying to position themselves for the blast of the start horn. A boat owner could have lost races all year, but, in his mind, he and his vessel are always still the one to beat. History reflects that the first organized regatta was held in 1954, but that Bahamians had been friendly racing in their wooden sloops long before, when they would go out fishing or crabbing. And for many of them, for the most part, it was their sole mode of transportation, so a little friendly competition wasn’t out of the question. It was a group of Bahamian and American yachtsmen that was said to have conceived the idea of a Bahamian working sailing craft competition, for Bahamian sailors to have some sport, and a chance for cruising yachtsmen to witness one of the

last working sailing fleets in action—and, at the same time, introduce them to cruising grounds in The Bahamas. Nearly 70 Bahamian sloops, schooners and dinghies reportedly gathered in Elizabeth Harbour, Exuma, in April that year for three days of racing. The Out Island (also known as Family Islands) Squadron that was formed made up of interested Bahamian and American yachtsmen, took on the responsibility of sponsoring what was to become an annual event in George Town, Exuma. And from 1954 to 1967 developed the regatta from its birth to its place as one of the most outstanding annual events in Bahamian affairs. That initial successful event spawned the regatta circuit as it is known today. In 1973, as part of Bahamian Independence celebrations, the annual regatta was held in Nassau. And to reorganize the race, a National Regatta Committee was formed. The committee has continued to take on the responsibility for staging the regatta every year in George Town. The contestants in the early regattas were working vessels, and, except for three days of regatta, the boats were fishing for market, and freighting goods. In true Bahamian fashion, it was not long before the seeds of rivalry were sown, leading to the building of new boats for speed, to win races. Sloops must be Bahamian designed, built, owned and sailed. And they try to keep the racing boats as closely related to their working forebears, the sailing smack, but that hasn’t always been the case. “Back in the day, sailing was for the poor man. Nowadays, if it isn’t top notch, you won’t win. I guess

Laurin Knowles and Crew

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Sweet Island Gal In The Lead


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it’s the evolution of the sport. It would have been nicer if it hadn’t got that far.” While regattas have not been contested in the era of COVID-19, the islands that have hosted regattas in the past include Acklins, Andros, Bimini, Cat Island, Eleuthera (Harbour Island), Exuma, Grand Bahama, Long Island, Mayaguana and New Providence. Even though sloop sailing is competitive, it’s not just about the competition, or a time to party. Regattas are a cultural expression the natives in the islands rely on for economic boost. Whenever regattas return to the schedule, sloop sailing enthusiasts will be ready. The Knowles clan, especially, will be ready to roll…or, should I say, sail. “In life, you are only here for a time, so enjoy yourself. I hardly ever missed the major regattas before the pandemic. After the pandemic, it’s on,” said Stefan. And I’m certain that’s how every sloop sailing enthusiast in the country feels, because like Stefan said, it’s not just a culture, it’s in their blood. UA


THE PLANET with Flip-Flops and a Paintbrush


By Keesha Claudia Bethell Photographs courtesy of Naima Nixon

t’s been nearly seven years since a 10-year-old Naima Nixon decided to transform discarded flip-flops found along the beaches of her native island of Exuma into an art form to campaign against plastic pollution. What started off as a hobby and solo project, blossomed into a profitable business of her own: ‘The Exuma Flip Flop Recycling Project’. “I live on one of the most beautiful islands in The Bahamas,” Naima explained. “When I was younger, I would go to the beach all the time and it was clean. As years went on, I noticed a lot of garbage—especially plastic and flip-flops. “I decided to try helping the environment and it became Exuma Flip Flop. I spread the message about plastic pollution and touched the hearts of a lot of people.” Naima has a special formula for her flip-flop creations. Hand-wash, air-dry, paint a base, then her imagination and hands do the rest.

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SAVING THE PLANET WITH FLIP-FLOPS AND A PAINTBRUSH Although Naima has lost count of how many paintings she has completed over the years, she knows it numbers over 100. Visitors from the USA, Canada and even Colombia have purchased her art and donated flip-flops. Her pieces are sold in stores around the island. Her art depicts everything Exuma and Bahamian. She has painted everything from the infamous Exuma Pigs, other local wildlife like flamingos and turtles and, of course, seascapes where she captures the natural beauty of her home island. Naima is grateful for the support and many windows opened because of her success. One of those windows is a partnership with Fishing for Plastic, a non-profit based out of Canada and Florida “committed to cleaning up the coastlines of the world”. The organization has agreed to ship flip-flops directly to Naima’s doorstep. In June, Naima becomes a high school graduate and will begin her studies in pediatrics. But Exuma Flip Flop isn’t going anywhere. She’ll paint every chance she gets to keep her environmental message alive. “I feel like it’s a part of me. It’s not just something from 10-16. It’s going to be from 10 to 100 and I’m going to live to see 100. Exuma Flip Flop— it’s forever.” Naima encourages her generation to do their part to preserve the planet, too, as Exuma Flip Flop is only one initiative to keep the environment clean and pristine. We are the next best thing,” she said. “It takes us to change things. If we all come together, we can change this planet for the better.” UA

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EXPLORING THE GOLDEN AGE OF PIRACY By Kendea Smith Illustrations by Allan P. Wallace


washbuckling pirates have always played a major role in the allure of the islands of The Bahamas. One could not write the story of The Bahamas without mentioning these infamous rebels, who, in many ways, shaped the culture of the country. Pirates, known as thieves of the seas, shaped the criminal element of The Bahamas. According to the Pirates of Nassau museum’s website, the Golden Age of Piracy began in the late 1690s and lasted until 1720. “It began around 1696, when privateer Henry Every brought his ship, the Fancy, loaded with loot from plundering Indian Empire trade ships into Nassau Harbour,” the website read. “Every bribed the Governor of The Bahamas Nicholas Trott with gold, silver and the Fancy, itself, which was still loaded with 50 tons of elephant tusks and 100 barrels of gunpowder.” This undermined the laws of the day and birthed the pirate revolution. The lack of structure in the government also played a major role in a thriving piracy era. The structure of the law had completely broken down by 1704 and New Providence—the epicentre of piracy at the time—had little to no officers to defend the island. The islands of The Bahamas have long been a breath-taking paradise. Pirates, however, saw their location as a main attraction, as they were positioned near busy shipping lanes, which gave the pirates an ample supply of victims. Additionally, the surrounding waters were far too shallow for man o’ war ships used by the US Navy, but perfect for the shallow draft vessels favoured by pirates. Even more attractive to pirates were the small islands, shallow water and coves, which were perfect hiding places. Most pirates used Nassau as their base. Some of the most famous locations during the Golden Age of Piracy were Hog Island, now known as Paradise Island, Potter’s Cay and Old Fort Nassau, which is now home to the British Colonial Hotel. Pirates also loved a good party. There were lots of good food, rum and fresh water on some of the islands.

Mary Read



One of most notorious pirates of The Bahamas was Edward Teach also known as Blackbeard. In fact, Blackbeard is known to be the most famous pirate in the world. According to Daniel Defoe, author of A General History of Pyrates (1724), Blackbeard was born in England under the name Edward Thatch and served as a privateer during the War of Spanish Succession. In 1716, he began an illustrious pirating career in the Caribbean Sea and off the coasts of South Carolina and Virginia in his ship, the Queen’s Revenge. Blackbeard was as fearsome as he was large in stature. To make himself look even more terrifying, he would light fuses in his hats and enormous black beard, which made him look like the “devil incarnate” (Defoe, 1724). Despite having the reputation of being ferocious, there are no records of Blackbeard killing anyone. He prevailed on fear alone. Even centuries after his death, Blackbeard remains a legendary character having been portrayed in films and on numerous television shows as the greatest pirate of all time.

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Calico Jack

Calico Jack John Rackham, better known as Calico Jack, was a Caribbean buccaneer known for his relationship with fellow pirate Anne Bonny. He’s also famous for his association with the design of the Jolly Roger Flag—a white skull above two crossed swords on a black background. Rackham’s story is somewhat of a romantic one. While he captured many bounties, he soon found his way to Nassau and received pardon from Governor Woodes Rodgers. It was in Nassau, where he met Bonny, who was the wife of a sailor who worked for Rodgers. Rackham escaped with Bonny and the pair stole a sloop, essentially nullifying Rackham’s pardon. For two months, the couple terrorized the seas, capturing fleets, and travelled to Cuba for Bonny to give birth to Rackham’s baby. It was there where they met Mary Read—the second woman to join Rackham’s crew. Rackham was eventually captured in Jamaica in 1720 and was hung in a very public location now known as Rackham’s Cave.

Anne Bonny History calls Anne Bonny the most famous female pirate of all time. When she joined Rackham on his ship, she disguised herself as a man, as women were considered bad luck on a ship. After Rackham was captured and tried, so was Bonny. However, her pregnancy granted her a stay of execution. While Read died in prison the next year, Bonny was eventually released. She returned to Charles Towne, South Carolina, remarried, had children and lived out the remainder of her days. Today, The Bahamas continues to intrigue pirate lovers around the world. Manager of Pirates of Nassau Samantha Allen said there is little wonder why. “We have a lot of people who enjoy history and love to learn more about the culture of the place where they are visiting,” she said. “There are also people who have watched the various pirate shows and movies like the Pirates of the Caribbean or the Black Sails and that has intrigued them and make them want to learn more.” Owner of Blackbeard’s Revenge Pirate Tour Tony Knowles has similar sentiments. “People are fascinated with pirates just like children are fascinated with Santa Claus. It’s the allure of adventure. People follow pirates all over the world. The Bahamas is so rich in its pirate culture because of that time where there were so many rebels. It was a new way of life and freedom, and many tourists want to learn more about it,” he said. UA

Anne Bonny

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OFF THE BEATEN PATH WEST END, GRAND BAHAMA “Sundays are better in West End” By Yolanda Hanna Photography courtesy of Matthew Wildgoose


hen sunshine, a blue sky, fluffy white clouds and turquoise waters are in search of a place to relax and unwind, Mother Nature comes to hide away in beautiful West End, Grand Bahama.

Birds In Flight In West End

West End is the best end… The small, oceanside fishing village of West End, Grand Bahama— where the beers are ice cold, conch fritters are conchy, the fish and lobster are freshly caught, and the panny cakes are deep-fried to golden perfection. The ambiance of West End will warm your heart and lighten your spirit. Void of high-rise buildings, bustling traffic and the standard tourist activities, the lure of this historically rich settlement is immersed in the atmosphere, the residents and the food. West End is an ode to the quintessential nostalgic elements of island life that Bahamians can appreciate and visitors to Grand Bahama never forget.

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Colourful history, strong community... Once the thriving capital city of Grand Bahama, history documents that West End was a bootleg haven during the Roaring Twenties, with an historical connection to notorious rumrunners and bootleggers including the infamous Al Capone. The settlement is filled with historical landmarks and information that the residents proudly share as a reminder of the pivotal role West End played in the development of Grand Bahama Island. Climate change has taken a toll on West End over the years. Past hurricanes have damaged homes, businesses and the economy, and galvanized residents to swiftly rebuild their lives and the community. And although the West End that exists today is very different than the settlement that existed in a bygone era, the characteristics that attracted the ‘rich and famous’ in the past are very present today and can be found in the hospitality of the people. Birds Resting In The Water Tanya Russell Conch Salad Preparation

Tanya Russell Conch Salad Ingredients

Sundays are made for the West… West End is the place where residents from settlements across Grand Bahama flock to on Sunday afternoons to relax, regroup and enjoy some of the best food Grand Bahama has to offer. As a proud island girl, and lover of all things West Grand Bahama, the idea of heading to the west on a Sunday is never met with any opposition on my behalf. My decision to take a ride to the west was further prompted by a wonderful report that had reached my ears. I was informed that my favourite fish fryer and female conch salad maker, Tanya Russell, had recently relocated her business, T&T Restaurant, from her food truck into a newly built space. Today seemed like the perfect day to invite my friend Matt to join me in the west, to check out Tanya’s new digs and have something good to eat.


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T&T Restaurant History, Family and Home As we drove along Bay Shore Road in West End, my eyes marvelled from the passenger seat at the welcoming sight of anchored fishing boats swaying back and forth on turquoise waters. Something about this picturesque scene fuelled my anticipation and my appetite. It was a perfect day. A mild breeze was blowing. On the left and right-hand sides of the street were food vendors and bars serving customers with their unique brand of hospitality and flair. I saw small crowds of people basking outdoors under large umbrellas, and on the sea wall, while enjoying food and conversation. When we arrived at T&T, we met Tanya at home in her new location, wielding a knife in one hand, and a fresh conch in the other, while serving customers with her trademark smile. Born and raised in West End, Tanya has been self-employed in the food industry for more than 21 years. She credits her love for the industry to her mother, Sandra, who taught her everything she knows. Thus, when Sandra decided to retire from the business, Tanya stepped in to continue the legacy. Today, Tanya and her daughter operate T&T, which is in a two-storey building across from the

Coffees On The Bay ocean next to ‘Coffees on The Bay’, operated by her brother Tye. Great food, great customer service and Tanya’s magnetic, larger-than-life personality keep customers coming back to T&T again and again. Her sense of humour is accented by a delicious menu that is filled with West End ‘must-haves’ like conch salad, tropical conch salad, scorched conch, lobster and conch salad, conch fritters, cracked conch, fish

and panny cakes, and lobster and panny cakes…. and burgers! We placed our orders and chatted with Tanya as she prepared our salads. Then, we retreated to the sea wall across the street, to sit and marvel at the birds, while we enjoyed our food. I watched the birds fly across the water as I finished my conch salad and I thought to myself, even the birds head to the west on Sundays. UA

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THE ABACOS’ MARITIME CULTURE By Khashan Poitier Photographs courtesy of The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, Investments & Aviation


s you island-hop throughout The Bahamas, you’ll discover that each island has its own personality and culture, and the Abacos are no different. It’s an archipelago within an archipelago. With the mainland and a cluster of islands only minutes away, it’s an explorer’s playground. The main mode of transportation is by boat. No wonder Abaco is considered the boating capital of The Bahamas! Without a water vessel, it’s nearly impossible to live here. And, if you don’t explore the treasures of the Abacos, you haven’t lived! Boasting colonial-style architecture, and a vibrant art community, Abaco has disputedly the best, freshly baked Bahamian desserts and bread. Although a dying art, Abaconians are among the few boat builders in the country. So, it comes as no surprise that the shorelines are traced with sailboats, yachts, fishing boats, and the like. It’s a view that even Picasso couldn’t replicate. With 120 miles of an island cluster as your playground, there is so much to get into, but the adventure begins in the ocean. Rent a private boat or hop on board a ferry to enjoy a sea safari, fish in the open water, or dive the shallow shipwreck of the Catacombs. The emerald green, crystal waters will draw you in from any harbour.

Abaco Diving


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Hope Town Candy Stripe Lighthouse

Transportation in Abaco

The ocean is the road that connects you to the neighbouring cays. The journey from Marsh Harbour to Elbow Cay is about 30 minutes in a one-engine vessel, 20 minutes from Man-O-War Cay, and a mere five minutes from Green Turtle Cay. Hope Town in Elbow Cay has one of the most recognizable landmarks—the candy-striped lighthouse which is still lit by kerosene oil. With a 360-degree view of the islands and the harbour, to get to the lighthouse is just a short trek. With 100 miles of colourful reefs to explore, Abaco boasts of the third largest barrier reef in the world. It’s a snorkeler’s delight to dive around an historic Civil War gunboat wreckage near Man-O-War Cay. Diving near Green Turtle Cay, Manjack Cay, and No Name Cay may get you a glimpse of stingrays, turtles, or nurse sharks, or swimming with the world-famous Swimming Pigs on the shores. If sailing is on your itinerary, be sure to glide over to Sandy Point, known for its shallow, turquoise waters. The golden sand traces the long stretch of shoreline. Sandy Point is a settlement on a narrow peninsula in southeast Great Abaco, which is about 50 miles away from Marsh Harbour. Dive for conch shells or enjoy some bird watching overhead, or sail to the seven-mile-long narrow island of Great Guana Cay for a cocktail and a day of swimming, snorkelling and diving. Abaco’s personality fits the adventurer that has the constant urge for the open road. The ocean air is like oxygen and feels more like home than the inland. Why drive state to state, when you can sail from island to island? UA

Abaco Fishing

Abaco Cottages

Abaco Marinas

april 2022


WELLNESS WITH BAHAYOGI ‘The Power of Breath’ 29

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Breathing is one of those things we do naturally. It just happens, and we move through life without really thinking about it. So much so, that we don’t realize we aren’t using our lungs to their total capacity. And, even more so, the severe effects this can have on our lives. We live in such high-stress environments that limit the depth of our breath and thus become shallow breathers—inhaling through our mouth, holding our breath, and taking in less air. Shallow breathing induces a stress response— partly, because of a lack of healthy, periodic flow of oxygen in the body—that increases tension and affects our immune system and mental health in the long term. In yoga, breath is essential. It is the building block of the journey to uniting our mind and body. If you are breathing, you are already on this journey—no headstands required. When we breathe, we draw in energy. This energy is called prana. Prana, a Sanskrit word, is a vital life force and the original creative power of all energy working at every level of our being. When we circulate prana throughout our body’s depths, we transform our consciousness and gain mastery over the body. This mastery aids in our ability to truly feel, experience, and be a presence in the now. Outside of the world of yoga, deep and mindful breathing facilitates complete oxygen exchange, which helps stabilize blood pressure and reduce heart rate. Mastering your breath can also help you stay grounded in stressful situations and make better decisions. So, take a moment to tap into your breath and invite in more prana today—your health depends on it. UA

By Alexandra ‘Bahayogi’ Kaufmann Photographs courtesy of L. Roscoe Dames II


ause. Take a deep breath in, and feel your belly expand and chest rise, as you inhale air through your nose and into your lungs. Softly hold it for a count of 3. Then, open your mouth and release, feeling your belly contract. How does that feel? We may often feel a bit lightheaded or tingly or a feeling of release and renewal afterward. But there’s always that moment when we finally get to take a full deep breath in and out and feel a sense of euphoria that brings us back to centre, back to the present. It accompanies with it a sense of gratitude for life. This is what we need more of.

april 2022



Grand Turk Lightouse Before Restoration

By David Newlands Photographs courtesy of Shutterstock


Turks and Caicos Islands are one of the many destinations serviced by Bahamasair. Visit to book your next flight.

he shores of Grand Turk have always been treacherous for mariners throughout history—whether it was from ships meeting their untimely end, when colliding with the shallow reefs on the northern shores, or through predatory salvaging operations that deliberately misused guiding lights to lure ships to their demise just to plunder their wares; sailors knew to give the island a wide berth on voyages in the area. There was one tragedy, however, that resulted in the construction of a now-iconic Turks and Caicos historical building—the Grand Turk Lighthouse.


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While the amassing shipwrecks were not going unnoticed, as shipping companies began complaining, it was not until the R.M.S. Medina—a massive Royal Mail steamboat, which measured at an impressive 247 feet in length and some 1,800 tons in weight—struck the reef in 1842, that the issue was finally addressed. This was the first Royal Mail Vessel to be lost at sea and was only the second voyage made by the ship. As such, the dangers of the shore could be ignored no longer. At the time, Grand Turk had acted as a gateway for Royal Mail service to the entire Bahamas, giving the island an extremely high value. However, after the incident, this terminus was moved to St. Thomas, of the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Grand Turk Lighthouse was commissioned by Captain Henry Alexander Forth, who secured the funding for the project. Designed by Alexander Gordon, the lighthouse is an early example of cast iron prefabrication, as the structure was built in pieces in England, and then shipped to Grand Turk for assembly. Initially constructed to use whale oil, with a large argand reflector lamp built by the Chance Brothers Lighthouse Engineers, the light was said to reach up to 15 miles out to sea, with the hopes of preventing further incidents. The lighthouse became operational in 1852, and quickly became a monumental structure in Grand Turk. Standing at 60 feet tall, the alabaster column was just as brilliant in the day as its warning light was at night. Built on a bluff on the northern shore, the lighthouse’s zenith was 108 feet, making it clearly visible to most ships. While the early years of the lighthouse were mired with trouble, as it was initially not as effective as was hoped – along with increasingly piratical actions by salvagers luring ships with an imitation of the lighthouse lights on the shores of North Caicos to trick sailors into miscalculating their position and crash into the nearby reefs—there was still an alarming number of shipwrecks. In 1884, the local government commissioned Trinity Imperial Lighthouse Service to improve the functionality and effectiveness of Grand Turk Lighthouse—a job that proved to be quite successful. In 1948, the whale oil and argand reflectors were replaced with a kerosene beam and Fresnel lenses, which bolstered the light’s reach, giving its beam the ability to shine in a 20-mile radius. Finally, in 1971, the lighthouse became fully electric, and remains that way today.

Grand Turk Lightouse After Restoration

While the lighthouse is no longer needed to warn ships of the reefs, thanks to modern technology, it has become an iconic symbol for the Turks and Caicos Islands, and can be seen on postcards, T-shirts and even on logos like the Turks and Caicos Banking Company (T.C.B.C). Now, as an historical site, it is managed by the Turks and Caicos National Trust, and people are still able to visit and see the lighthouse for themselves. Visitors can also see the original Fresnel lens at the Turks and Caicos Museum on Grand Turk, as well as watch an informative video about the history of the lighthouse at the exhibit. If you, too, would like to check out one of the most noteworthy historical buildings in Turks and Caicos, take the time to go to Grand Turk and visit the lighthouse. UA

april 2022


7 Great locations to serve you.



and nothing but the Whopper


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East St. South Saunders Beach Frederick St., North Tonique Williams-Darling Hwy. Carmichael Rd. Prince Charles Dr. Bernard Rd. Nassau


By Nikia Wells Photographs courtesy of Black Sails Tour and Nikia Wells

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“Exuma Is Something Special”

There is no shortage of natural beauty around The Bahamas’ 700 islands and 2,000 cays. Pick an island, any island, and there is an abundance of unsullied natural wonder to behold. But, even in a country that is often described as ‘paradise’, Exuma still stands out as something special.

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The vibrant aquamarine, cerulean, and turquoise hues of Exuma’s shores are so objectively stunning, that they have become famous the world over. Almost majestic in their natural beauty, they are a treasure trove of Bahamian culture, exceptional food, wildlife, music, and a rich history. While the swimming pigs have become a worldwide sensation, they are but a minute component of what makes the Exuma Cays unique. There are approximately 365 cays, and thousands of visitors who travel both domestically from throughout The Bahamas, and from around the world, to experience the natural wonder, gentle nurse sharks, hard-shelled turtles swimming free in the wild, iguanas, unblemished powder-fine sand, and shallow sandbanks that allow persons to literally walk in the middle of the ocean. If Exuma is still on your “must visit” list, here are three ways that the cays can be explored for a quick domestic getaway or long-haul trip from the farthest corners of the planet:


For a truly authentic taste of Bahamian food and culture while in Exuma, travel into the ‘mainland’ and rent a car. Bahamasair heads into the Great Exuma Airport from Lynden Pindling International Airport each morning and evening, and Bahamian family island roads tend to be much quieter than their bustling capital city counterpart in New Providence. Navigating the island is an easy way to pop into local bakeries, spot small takeaway eateries, and explore from one point to the next.


A day trip is a great way to experience Exuma if you are short on time, want a quick getaway, or plan to island hop around the other Bahamian islands. Companies like Black Sails depart from New Providence early in the morning. Their guests get a full day of crisp ocean spray and the gem-like waters that surround Exuma.

Black Sails’ full-day tour includes the usual stops like iguana spotting at Allen’s Cay, swimming with peaceful nurse sharks at Compass Cay, the ever-popular swimming pigs at Big Major Cay, and the sandbank. Black Sails also treats Exuma day trippers to a Bahamian food spread. Options usually include classics like thyme-infused peas and rice, gooey baked macaroni and cheese, tangy coleslaw, fresh caught fish, conch salad that is made with conch that was caught minutes before preparation, as well as a few other meat options and salads.


The Exuma Cays are all easily accessible by water. If you are lucky enough to own a boat, or can arrange a private day on the sea, then the cays can be explored from the mainland or several surrounding Bahamian islands. The added benefit of traveling via a private boating trip is that Exuma has many restaurants that can be accessed oceanside. Chat N Chill, Peace and Plenty, and the Beacon Restaurant at the Kahari Resort (which boasts Asian fusion cuisine, fresh seafood, and diverse ingredients) can all be accessed via boat. Exuma may appear stunning in photos and videos, but this is one island that needs to be experienced to truly be appreciated. UA

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THE NEW GENERATION OF BAHAMIAN SAILORS By Keesha Claudia Bethell Photographs courtesy of Robert Dunkley and Matias Capizzano


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Optimist North American Championship 2019 held in Montagu Bay, Nassau Photo Courtesy of Matias Capizzano

Laser Nationals 2021

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Ellianne Higgs The current top female Laser sailor in The Bahamas Photo courtesy of Robert Dunkley


he beautiful turquoise waters of The Bahamas—it’s the perfect backdrop for any outdoor sport. But in the islands, the water is the “home court” for a sport that is a pastime for locals, but revered the world over. We’re talking about sailing. In The Bahamas, Sloop Sailing is defined simply as sailboat racing. It’s regarded by many as the “National Sport of The Bahamas”. Major regattas are held annually in a circuit format, throughout the archipelago, giving boat builders and skippers from each Bahamian island the opportunity to showcase their skills and talents, in different parts of the country where sailing conditions are naturally different. It’s a tradition that has transcended generations. In the midst of Sloop Sailing, Junior Sailing developed in The Bahamas. It’s an international sport that has been a part of the Bahamian storybooks for more than 60 years. Its first international convoy represented the country in 1960. That page of history was made possible under Bahamas Sailing Association (BSA)—its governing authority operating under the guidance of World Sailing (the world governing body for the sport of sailing, officially recognised by the International Olympic Committee). BSA was established in 1952 and serves as a “Member National Authority of World Sailing, as well as, the Bahamas Olympic Association (BOA) and Pan American Sailing Federation (PASF)”. As the years went by, seasoned competitive sailors like Jimmie Lowe and Robert Dunkley, who started off as junior sailors, realized that the number of youngsters interested in the sport was on a sharp decline. Lowe and Dunkley said a major factor of the sport’s decline was that it was elitist. The major task to recharge Junior Sailing was to crush the stigma and create a bridge to the next generation and raise awareness. While representing The Bahamas at the 2003 Pan Am Games in the Dominican Republic, Lowe and his teammate Peter-Bruce Wassitsch engineered a plan to revitalize Junior Sailing in The Bahamas. Upon their return home, they shared their plan with Dunkley, John Lawrence and other seasoned Bahamian sailors. A blueprint was created and the rest is history. By 2004, the Bahamas National Sailing School (BNSS) was established by Lowe, Lawrence and Wassitsch under the guidance of the BSA. The purpose for BNSS is the further development of Junior Sailing with offerings for school children, ages 8 to 18 including: a Year Round Program— for youngsters in all communities; School Sports Program—for mainly public schools; Summer Sailing Camp—for youngsters everywhere as an introduction to sailing and International Race Team Program—for advanced, race-oriented sailors. Students are trained in the operation of fleets in primarily the Optimist Category but, also, the Laser, Sunfish as well. By 2005, the first Junior Sailing class was in session with 30 students from four Bahamian public high schools. In their dedication to bringing the sport to more young Bahamians, they succeeded at four things: i) preservation of sailing; ii) making it accessible to


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all social classes; iii) using the sport to expose youngsters to the world and iv) making a positive impact on their lives. Dunkley has been sailing for 67 years and currently serves as director of BNSS and as a coach. While he is proud of the school’s progress, he said it wasn’t easy to get the sport to where it is now. Using his financial background and business acumen, he became intimately involved with BNSS to make it more viable from a business standpoint and build credibility to get the financial support needed to keep the program going and growing. “What’s so important for any organization is to build that credibility where you don’t have to knock on doors,” he said. “Now, corporate sponsorship comes to us to offer backing because they see the success of the program and its structure. We have also gotten parents involved to organize annual fundraising activities. The culmination of it all has helped the school in so many ways.” As of March 2022, Lowe, the present BNSS director of operations, estimates that 5,000 students were engaged in the sport through the BNSS program. Additionally, the school has expanded beyond its home base on the island of New Providence where classes were held between the Nassau Yacht Club and the Royal Nassau Sailing Club (RNSC). Zane Munro Crossing ahead of Craig Ferguson KPMG Annual Championship 2022 Photo courtesy of Robert Dunkley

Under its umbrella, BNSS has five Bahamian Family Islands: Abaco, Eleuthera, Exuma, Grand Bahama and Long Island. Keir Clarke is a member of the BNSS network as the sailing coach at the Lyford Cay Club and Lyford Cay International School on the island of New Providence. Clarke grew up in Ireland and has gained sailing and maritime experience over the years in countries stretching across the globe from the United Kingdom to Abu Dhabi, Sri Lanka and Vietnam. From his perspective, The Bahamas stands out the most as a “sailing country in its own right with diversity and community support”. “When you look at all the Bahamian sailing champions, they come from working-class families,” said Clarke. “I’ve never seen that before and I think that’s amazing. Plus, parent support is through the roof—it really is a family affair.” He said another unique characteristic of the sport is the Bahamian climate. “In other countries, you can only hit the seas during certain seasons of the year. Here, the waters are a great incentive and the weather allows you to go out 365 days of the year.” Lowe explains that passing through the BNSS program has opened doors of opportunity for students and taught them life skills. Those include: grit, confidence, sportsmanship, learning to lose, patience, responsibility, managing emotions and discipline.

Joshua Higgins on his way to winning The Bahamas Jr. Laser National Championships 2021 Photo courtesy of Robert Dunkley

Joshua Higgins, Spencer Cartwright, Joshua Welch, Paul de Souza, Craig Ferguson, Finley McKinney-Lambert and Zane Munro are among those who have excelled in the program and have been able to get amazing exposure and opportunities. Higgins, an Eleuthera native, is focused on positioning himself to represent the country at the 2024 Olympics. Like Higgins, de Souza also aspires to qualify for the Olympics. Spencer, a four-time winner in the Optimist National Championship, is currently team captain at Roger Williams University—one of the top sailing institutions in the U.S.A. Welch has followed in Spencer’s footsteps, as the reigning four-time winner of the Optimist National Championship. In the Optimist Class, Ferguson, McKinney-Lambert and Munro are the top sailors. Males aren’t the only ones making waves in Bahamian Junior Sailing. Females make up 26 percent of that community and their accomplishments are also making waves. Ellianne Higgs became the top female Laser Sailor in The Bahamas after placing first in the 2021 Bahamas Laser Nationals. She is a junior sailor out of the RNSC and is currently training to represent The Bahamas at this year’s Youth Sailing World Championship—the premier event for Junior Sailing in the world. Then, there’s Ivanna Seymour. She went from being a student of the BNSS program to becoming the fifth-highest ranking bridge officer on Royal Caribbean International’s Navigator of the Seas. At the time of this writing, Seymour was pursuing her Master Mariner licence. Once she accomplishes that goal, she will make history as the first Bahamian female to captain a cruise ship of that magnitude, with responsibility for 1,200 to 2,500 other crew members and up to 6,800 passengers.

Joshua Welch Winning His 4th Optimist Nationals Championship in 2021 Photo courtesy of Robert Dunkley

Considering the success of Bahamian Junior Sailing from its reboot a mere 17 years ago to present day, Clarke describes it as nothing short of amazing. He adds that the ability of a tiny country like The Bahamas to spark the interest of international sailing associations is the proof in the pudding. “We hosted the North American Optimists Champions for the Optimist Class in 2019,’’ said Clarke. “There were 167 boats from 20 countries.” According to Dunkley, that particular event was the largest sailing event that The Bahamas has hosted and garnered much international spotlight on the country. The success of those championships has led to an invitation for The Bahamas to host it again a second time in November 2022. It is anticipated that 185 boats from more than 20 countries will participate. As a whole, Lowe describes sailing as the “best fraternity worldwide”. “You can go anywhere in the world and say you are a sailor and be accepted just like that, no questions asked, because we all have a respect for each other,” he said. The BNSS director of operations said respect is a fundamental lesson taught to all Junior Sailing students. One of the ways that lesson is embedded in students is a constant reminder in the form of a big and bold sign nailed to the boathouse at the Nassau Yacht Club. On the sign is a quote by Paul Elvstrom, a Danish sailor, referred by many as “sailing’s greatest” and “a model of sportsmanship”.

Finley McKinney Lambert Racing At The Optimist World Championships 2021 in Italy Photo courtesy of Robert Dunkley

It reads: “If in the process of winning, you have lost the respect of your competitors, you have won nothing.” In March, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge requested to see the Junior Sailing teams in action during their Caribbean tour in celebration of the Platinum Jubilee of The Bahamas’ sovereign—Queen Elizabeth II. Sailing is said to be a sport that The Royals wish to expose their children to and, eventually, get them involved in. “We are just going to go from strength to strength,” said Lowe. “There is no use stopping it. I think we hit on the right key at the right time and it’s been successful so far. It’s about self-satisfaction to see the kids evolve—how we can change their lives in a meaningful way.” Dunkley echoes Lowe’s sentiments and shares a popular quote among renowned international sailors. “When God goes sailing, he goes sailing in Montagu Bay and that’s here on the island of New Providence – right here in The Bahamas,” said the BNSS director. “There’s an amazing pride that comes with hearing that come out of the mouths of sailors who have traveled around the world.” Both Dunkley and Lowe agree that the work put into the revitalization of Junior Sailing has paid off. They have the comfort of knowing that the very sport that groomed them into who they are today, is secure in the hands of this generation and those to come. UA

april 2022


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Territory:- BAHAMAS  USA  CANADA HQ: Mt. Royal Avenue • P O Box SS 19668 • Nassau, Bahamas USA: Miami Gardens, Florida • Canada: Toronto, Ontario

Tel: 242 328 7077 / 242 328 7078 Email:


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CRYSTAL CLEAR WATERS With André Musgrove By L. Roscoe Dames II Photographs courtesy of André Musgrove

AfroPlane Photographer André Musgrove Model Alannah Vellacott

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Middle Sea Photographer André Musgrove Model Stephanie Schuldt


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or this April-June 2022 issue of Up and Away, our Publisher had an opportunity to spend some time with this young dynamic professional of the underwater world. All underwater photographs are courtesy of André Musgrove throughout the publication. Sit back, relax, journey above the clouds and enjoy their one-on-one exchange while they dive into the crystal clear waters of The Bahamas.

André Musgrove

Share with us some of your experiences growing up in The Bahamas. Where were you born and raised and at what stage were you drawn to the water? I found my passion for underwater photography & filmmaking when I was very young. Growing up in the Bahamas I frequented the ocean and going spear fishing with my father. Every summer vacation from school my family and I would visit different Family Islands and explore what each island had that was unique. Most of my friends at that age did not have easy access as I did to the ocean so picking up a camera for me was my way of bringing the ocean to them. How did your love for the water develop and most importantly talk about becoming a professional in this discipline? Before I became an underwater photographer, I actually wasn’t doing anything professionally; it was my first profession and the one I stuck with. I always enjoyed being under the water and also taking photos and videos so I combined both of my passions. I did not take any formal education to become an underwater photographer. I began working at a dive shop right after graduating high school and joined the underwater photography department. Working at the dive shop was my training ground for underwater photography, taking photos and videos everyday with quick turnaround times and demanding situations. Becoming a professional in the discipline took a lot of in water time, trial and error and research. Learning how to network with people, understanding how to use media to your advantage and putting in the hours of practice produce a great result. What have been some of the high points in your journey into this world? Some of the high points in my career have been meeting persons whose work have inspired me as I was honing my craft. I’ve had the opportunity to meet a number of them in person, spend time with them and happy to now call some of them my good friends. What gives you the greatest satisfaction with your discipline? The thing that gives me the greatest satisfaction with my discipline is the success in being able to show persons things that we have under the ocean that they may not know much about and through my work influencing them to fall in love with the ocean as I have. Share one of your favorite or most exhilarating experiences to date?

Wet Rose Photographer André Musgrove Model Alannah Vellacott

It’s really hard to say which underwater shoot or assignment has been my most favorite because every shoot is so different. The photo shoots underwater I do for my personal work I really enjoy because of the challenge they present and I getWet toRose work with persons I consider to be my friends who are usually the free Photographer MusgroveOn the other hand, film shoots that I do like Natural diving models inAndre the photos. Modelare Alannah History also Vellacott enjoyable because I get to spend such a long period of time underwater filming marine wildlife doing their thing.

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CRYSTAL CLEAR WATERS One Way 2 Photographer André Musgrove Model Alice Modolo

about the steps in his journey to making himself a Swiss Army knife in his field and even be successful in things outside of his field. Bruce Lee, the kung fu legend I’d love the opportunity to have met and learn from his stories and experiences in regards to self-discipline and expanding talents into different areas. Tell us more about what are some of the services you offer? The services I provide other than underwater photography and underwater cinematography includes fine art prints, private dive guide services for private vessels or charters looking to do scuba diving, free diving or spear fishing, on-camera TV presenter work for networks such as Discovery Channel Shark Week and underwater stunt performer work. What’s next for André Musgrove? My future plans are to continue to create interesting underwater conceptual photographs and also film underwater short films of free diver’s in the underwater environment. The short films will either include personal growth or conservation messages hidden in the visuals and music. Continually searching for more opportunities to shoot in unique underwater locations and spread the message of what being underwater is truly like to help encourage people to care more about the things beneath the surface they don’t usually see. UA

Have you done any work in other oceans around the world? If so, where, how did that happen and tell us about the experience? I’ve done work in the Pacific and Indian Ocean before in Komodo National Park of Indonesia. It was a film shoot for a dive on a live-a-board boat. I was assisting a friend who was unable to film underwater for the trip. The diving was some of the best diving I’ve ever done in my life and I’d love to go back. The marine wildlife and coral of Indonesia looks like something straight out of a Disney animated movie and with the different animals in the ocean and coming from The Bahamas, I was able to see a lot of new things. What do you enjoy most about the crystal clear waters of The Bahamas? What I enjoy most about the crystal clear waters of The Bahamas is that it allows easier access to great underwater photos or video content. The clarity of the water is something that we photographers can’t really control and having a place where the water is so clear that sometimes you can’t see if you’re even underwater is a dream come true for any person who loves being in the ocean. If you could invite a few people to your table—living or dead—for dinner, for some great food and for stimulating conversation with you and your family, who would they be and why? The three persons I would invite would be James Cameron, Will Smith and Bruce Lee. James Cameron being the director of many iconic movies including Avatar, I’d love to learn more about his process in creating and conceptualizing an amazing film. Will Smith, I believe everyone knows of and would love to hear


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Sun Dancer Photographer André Musgrove Model Ariadna Hafez

Camagüey City


A LIVE CANVAS THAT LEADS TO ADVENTURE By Myrurgia Hernandez | Photographs courtesy of Havanatur S.A.


Camagüey, Cuba is one of the many destinations serviced by Bahamasair. Visit to book your next flight.

eady for a new destination? I present to you Camagüey, the third largest city of Cuba, and one of the seven cities founded by Spaniards in The Pearl of The Caribbean, located in eastern Cuba, 540 km from Havana. In just 50 minutes, Bahamasair will get you to this live canvas that will lead you to an unforgettable adventure! Let’s explore the city of Camagüey! Have you ever witnessed a scene that seems like it was taken from a canvas? The beautiful city of Camagüey is like a pastel colonial oleo painting. Lovely galleries, hidden plazas, baroque churches, welcoming bars, and restaurants describe this well-preserved historical city. Known as Camagüey by the natives, the city was named “Santa María del Puerto del Príncipe” when founded in 1514 by Spaniards. Throughout time, Camagüey’s architecture remained still, almost as if time didn’t pass by. In 2008, UNESCO listed Camagüey as the 9th World Heritage Site, and, in 2014, the Camagüeyanos celebrated their city’s quincentennial. After celebrating their 500th anniversary, it should be fair to say that history is really their expertise. To explore this wonderful city, I decided to interview the specialists in Cuban tourism: Havanatur. Luis Armando Perez Cobas, Director of Havanatur Bahamas Ltd., known to us as ‘Armandito’, gave me a visual tour, so descriptive, that, immediately, I realized that choosing Camagüey as my next destination means that I must have a boating experience after viewing the patrimonial city.


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Iglesia Del Carmen

Plaza Del Carmen with Water Man

According to Armandito, “Camagüey has a rich ballet tradition, an incredible Haitian heritage choir, unforgettable beach sites and excellent folklore groups like Rumbatá.” Camagüey is also known as Cuba’s Ceramic Capital, something like a Big Clay Potter’s Villa. The Tinajón is the symbol of Camagüey. It is the most deeply rooted local representation since colonial times, that is why Camagüey is known as the “city of the Tinajones”. This name is rooted in cultural tradition because Camagüey residents collected rainwater and drinking water in huge clay jars, which eventually became the symbol of the city. Culture and art lovers would be thrilled to visit the birthplace of Nicolás Cristóbal Guillén Batista (July 10, 1902 – July 17, 1989), Cuban poet, journalist, political activist, and writer, remembered as the National Poet of Cuba. During the interview, Armandito recommended places like Estudio-Galería Jover, the studio of Cuban artist Joel Jover, with exhibits in New York, Vienna, and Italy. He also shared that Museo Casa Natal de Ignacio Agramonte is the birthplace of independence hero Ignacio Agramonte (1841–1873), a rancher who led Camagüey’s revolt against Spain. I can’t wait to visit to see the hero’s gun, one of the few personal possessions displayed. You may also request a day tour to visit Plaza del Carmen, San Juan de Dios Plaza, Plaza San Juan de Dios, Marta Jimenez’s Studio, Ignacio Agramonte Park, Coco Beach, Rancho King Touristic Park, Workers (Los Trabajadores) Plaza. For water sports lovers, Camagüey has it all. If you love diving, you will be thrilled to immerse yourself in the shallow waters of the city’s beaches. Love nautical activities? Camagüey offers fishing or catamaran boating across the coral reef of Santa Lucia Beach. Also known as Playa Santa María, this is one of the finest diving destinations in Cuba, with about 35 dive sites where 19th and 20th century shipwrecks can be found, as well as numerous marine species.

Not far from Camagüey, you may choose to hop to a very popular destination cay in the Province of Ciego De Ávila: Cayo Coco. You may access the cay by train via Ferrocarriles de Cuba (2.5 hrs.), by bus via Viazul (3 hrs.), by taxi (2.5-3 hrs.) or, most definitely, by boat: my favourite. The Glass Bottom Boat tours are an excellent choice for nature lovers. Also known as the “Cuban keys”, the tiny islands of Jardines del Rey (“the King’s Gardens”) can be seen just off Cuba’s Atlantic coast. Los Jardines del Rey, immortalized by Ernest Hemingway’s novel, “Islands in the Stream”, are home to mangroves and wetlands, and to birds such as the white ibis, pink flamingos, and roseate spoonbills birds. In a nutshell, this sun-bleached sand, and clear turquoise waters spot, can be considered your new secret paradise retreat. After an exhausting, yet delightful, weekend escapade to Camagüey, enjoying its unique culture and cuisine, visiting nearby attractions, and returning home with such wonderful memories are nothing but the perfect excuses to discover all the destinations that Bahamasair has to offer. Oh, yes! The next destination awaits! UA

Plaza Del Carmen

april 2022


Black Sails Tours The Exumas on the Water By Yolanda Hanna Photographs courtesy of Black Sails Tours The Bahamas, an archipelago of 700 islands, rocks and cays with a unique cultural experience waiting to be discovered on each one. A step above the usual sun, sand and sea activities visitors encounter on vacation in the Caribbean, are exquisite, one-of-a-kind attractions created by companies like Black Sails Tours. Black Sails Tours has a mission to show visitors to Nassau the “real” Bahamas by offering guests the opportunity to experience and explore neighbouring islands on one of their customized day-trip excursions. A vacation to Nassau can lead to a pathway of adventure to the islands of Eleuthera or Exuma, courtesy of Black Sails Tours. Guests only need to select a location and be prepared to experience a “vacation within a vacation” getaway, all inclusive of activities, food, drinks and quality time in the sun on the world’s most beautiful beaches. From the moment guests arrive at the marina at Margaritaville on Paradise Island, they are warmly greeted by the friendly and capable captain and crew, who will escort them aboard the

comfortable 43-foot powerboat wrapped like a pirate ship. They can be assured that their day away in the sun will be safe and filled with breath-taking landscapes set against a turquoise blue backdrop, which are perfect for selfies! A day trip to the mystical island of Eleuthera—the home of the pink sand beaches, bordered by the Caribbean Sea on one side and the Atlantic Ocean on the other—is an unforgettable day-away trip for visitors.


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The Black Sails powerboat transports guests to Meeks Patch,

Eleuthera, where they will enjoy the best that Mother Nature has to offer—a one-on-one encounter with swimming pigs and majestic turtles, clear blue waters, relaxing on a quiet beach enjoying delicious food, and the pleasure of uninterrupted tranquillity. Next, take a trip to Exuma! Astronauts onboard the International Space Station once photographed the mesmerizing islands of Exuma, calling them one of the most recognizable points on the planet. Tour guests can experience in person what the astronauts have known for years, that Exuma is one of the most beautiful places on Earth. Black Sails Tours gives guests the ultimate Exuma Day excursion which includes feeding rock iguanas on Allen’s Cay, swimming with nurse sharks in Compass Cay and, of course, swimming with the world-famous Swimming Pigs at Big Major Cay a.k.a. “Pig Beach”. A delicious full-Bahamian buffet lunch is served at Lorraine’s Café, along with drinks, and guests even have time to lounge on a sand bar and soak up the sun before returning to Nassau.


The owners and operators of Black Sails Tours seized the opportunity to create memorable experiences for visitors to The Bahamas. Their goal is to ensure that every guest is comfortably immersed in the history, culture and beauty of the islands. Black Sails Tours entered the tourism market and began offering day excursions in December 2020. The company, which is owned and operated by a group of young Bahamian entrepreneurs, offers commercial day excursions to the islands of Exuma and Eleuthera, and private charter tours are available upon request. UA

april 2022




It all started with a dream…

hef Harold and his wife Sade Pinder had a simple but passionate vision. They wanted to share big, bold, decadent, and delicious flavors with Grand Bahama food lovers. Their dream was to take the humble, yet beloved, hamburger and transform it into something unique, something special, something unforgettable that ignited diners’ senses and piqued their imagination. As a culinary professional, Chef Harold was used to fast-paced restaurant kitchens. He has been treating the palates of Grand Bahama diners to robust flavors for many years, while honing his craft to be able to rework simple ingredients into palate-delighting works of food art. While he loved working with his culinary colleagues, like all creative minds, he wanted to craft something that was truly his vision. After a great deal of thought, planning, and the nudge of ingenuity that 2020 gave many creative minds, Bunappétit was born. Bunappétit (which is a play on the pillowy soft buns that the restaurant serves and the French term ‘bon appétit’ which means “enjoy your meal”) was initially launched as a home based business. While Sade oversees much of the restaurant’s backend and marketing efforts, Chef Harold creates the signature burgers. The duo’s hard work has proven to be so popular, that Bunappétit quickly went from a home based word-of-mouth hidden gem to a brick-and-mortar location at the Ruby Golf Course.


By Nikia Wells Photographs courtesy of Bunappétit

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Their menu, since day one, has included options like their juicy Black Out Burger, which features a flaky panko fried snapper filet, tender shrimp, and a creamy homemade dill and caper lemon sauce, all nestled between a pillowy soft, freshly baked, black charcoal bun. Other menu items include their Korean Chicken Burger which infuses the flavors and techniques reminiscent of South Black Out Burger with Panko Fried Snapper and Shrimp

Korea to create a memorable fried chicken sandwich that is a little sweet, a tiny bit spicy, and topped with a gochujang aioli and nappa apple slaw. Not only are the flavor profiles and presentation of each Bunappétit burger unique, but each component is handmade with the utmost care and passion that can only be birthed from a dream woven into reality. Fresh and juicy pineapples are grilled for their Frugal Gourmet burger. Their tangy pickled onions are made from scratch. The bacon is house cured. Their bacon-jam is all their own. Their buns are made fresh. Their fries and wedges are handmade. And each of their patties, aiolis, sauces, and burger components are meticulously crafted in the Bunappétit kitchen.

Bunappetit Signature Burger With Onion Rings and A Fried Egg

Burbon Bacon Jam Burger

The world influences of the Bunappétit menu can be attributed to Chef Harold and Sade’s world travels, the mentorship of other exceptional chefs, and the couple’s passion and love for exceptional foods. They each wanted to share with others the flavors that they often craved. “We found inspiration in our love for food, specifically for a good ole burger. My wife and I are the ultimate foodies,” Chef Harold noted. “...Everyone loves the flare and class of a gourmet meal, but nothing beats the nostalgic feeling you get from a homemade burger, like momma used to make on weekends. So, we decided to combine class and nostalgia, thus Bunappétit was created.” When Bunappétit launched, Chef Harold and Sade were committed to creating their entire menu from scratch, providing quality, fresh ingredients and consistency. They also went for big, bold flavours and menu items that perhaps had not been seen on Grand Bahama menus before. “Everything about Bunappétit is unique! Our buns are freshly made, daily, and we have a unique variety, [including our] activated charcoal bun, and our seeded whole wheat buns. We salt brine our fries for additional crunch and flavor, our pickles are made in-house, and all of our sauces are homemade…. All of our meals are made to order, nothing is precooked, which improves food quality.” Chef Harold also notes that his goal was to create burgers that were so “rich” but balanced, that there would be no need for additional condiments. To see the dream-turned-reality of Chef Harold and Sade, you can visit them Tuesday-Sunday at the Ruby Golf Course. The complete Bunappétit menu can be viewed on the restaurant’s Instagram page:étit _burgers UA The Signature Bunappetit Charcoal Bun

april 2022




By David Newlands Photographs courtesy of David Newlands

Turks and Caicos Islands are one of the many destinations serviced by Bahamasair. Visit to book your next flight.


Kimcha Village Birds


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magine this: You find yourself on a trail—to your left, the vibrant blues and greens of the wetlands stretch as far as your eye can see; to your right, dunes of white sand and clusters of trees offer their shade. Just beyond the trees, you can see an undisturbed beach, and the view of beautiful turquoise sea. Welcome to Kimcha Village, where nature is calling. Will you answer? Located on Providenciales, you would be forgiven for not realizing that you were on the most developed island in the Turks and Caicos. Sheltered in the farthest western reaches of the North Shore, it is unspoiled by the chaos of most of the island, as it is miles from the bustle of Grace Bay. Where the main road ends, visitors will venture onto a coastal dirt road that guides you towards your final destination. After a few minutes of driving, you realize that the Providenciales you knew ended where the tarmac stopped. The homes and storefronts have been replaced by Casuarina and Sea Grape trees, and where you would have seen people, you instead see birds of every shape and colour. The sound of traffic and car horns has been replaced with the sound of crashing waves on the shore. You are greeted by a gate with a hand-painted sign, which reads “Welcome to Kimcha Village”. You finally made it. Built in the wetlands of Wheeland, Kimcha Village is dotted with several large ponds, and offers winding trails, a beautiful shoreline, and privacy and seclusion unlike anything that can be found elsewhere on the island. Kimcha Village was not always a beautiful nature preserve. Originally, the site was an undeveloped plot of Crown land that was used for dumping and a quarry for sand. But as fate would have it, the owners of Kimcha Village, Charmaine and Kimmit, stumbled across the site when looking for a place to picnic. They

Unspoiled Beach

Unspoiled Beach Area

were horrified by the state of the location, and, yet, at the same time, enamoured by the potential it offered. While the site was riddled with garbage, including burned out cars and appliances, it was clear that, if they took the time to clean the property, they would be able to restore the wetlands and coastline to their former glory—and that was what they did. Charmaine and Kimmit cleared the cars and debris, which were polluting the wetlands, and, over time, the original wildlife started to return. Kimcha Village was soon home to ospreys, flamingos, ducks, herons, pelicans and many other birds. Along with the birds, the property had several brackish ponds that were formed by the tides filling in the old quarry pits. These ponds became their own ecosystems, and, with the help of Charmaine and Kimmit’s stewardship, it is now home to a variety of marine life. A major focus of Kimcha Village is to be not only a wildlife sanctuary, but also a place of education, where its visitors can learn more about the natural elements of Turks and Caicos, including the indigenous plants that grow in the country, such as Lunch On A Shaded Beach the sisal. Along with this, there is a salina on the property, which has an intrinsic link to the history of Turks and Caicos. The hope is to teach people the value of the natural resources that can be found within the country, as well as educate them on the heritage of the islands. Today, Kimcha Village is an ideal paradise for those who want to escape society—given its seclusion and off-grid lifestyle; it is easy to forget where you are. Simply book a time to visit the park, and you will be given access to the amenities which include private tents, a beachside lounge with sunbathing chairs and various park benches. There is no scheduled tour, or agenda—you choose how you want to spend your time; be it bird watching, exploring the trails, or simply lying on the beach. Guests are also treated to a healthy meal, where simplicity is key, giving visitors a taste of the simple, yet delicious offerings of Turks and Caicos. If you find yourself in Turks and Caicos and feel the fatigue of conventional tourism weighing upon you, be sure to visit Kimcha Village, where you can witness the island’s natural beauty with privacy and independence. You can book a reservation by contacting Charmaine at UA

april 2022



Sammie ‘Sammi Starr’ Poitier


By Caprice Spencer-Dames | Photographs courtesy of Terrance Colebrooke of TCFILMZ or this April-June 2022 issue of Up and Away, Caprice Spencer-Dames caught up with Sammie ‘Sammi Starr’ Poitier for an in-depth conversation about balancing family life, entertaining, recording and socializing. Sit back, relax and enjoy her one-on-one conversation with him.

Let’s start from the beginning and tell us a little bit about you. Where were you born and raised? I was born in Nassau, Bahamas but raised since the age of five on the island of Andros, North Andros to be exact. Most of my family is from the island of Andros. I attended primary school and high school there. When did you begin singing, learning music and performing? I began my music journey at about age four. My dad is a musician, songwriter, recording artist and performer, so there was always music and instruments around. He would let us play around with all of them and I found that I was pretty good at drums and, later, piano. I began singing after listening to my older sister Shema and my mother sing all the time. As an entertainer, you are dynamic on stage, but you seem somewhat quiet and reserved off stage. Do you transform into an alter ego on stage? I most definitely do transform completely! I love the suspense around my persona. It’s a natural thing for me, though. The stage gives me life and energy. When I’m off stage, I prefer to be in an almost Zen mode, calm and free-spirited, to preserve my mental health and prepare myself for the explosion of energy on stage.


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You have incorporated a number of musical styles, from rake-n-scrape to R&B and a few in between. What musical style hits to the core of Sammie? For me, it’s hard to identify a single musical style because I love them all! I am, however, focused on creating a formula for Bahamian-styled music, rake-n-scrape and Junkanoo, to finally break into that world market and stay there. I’m a singer, so I love beautiful voices and harmony, so R&B is very appealing to me but I can’t get enough of the rake-n-scrape and storytelling vibes of our music.

The entertainment industry is unforgiving, especially when you have to balance family life, work life, on-stage life, studio work and just everyday life. How do you keep everything balanced and stay centred? Honestly, I don’t even know. I know that, every day, I have a goal and that is to provide for my family and keep myself going and focused on my musical passion. Because of my love for my family, I just find myself working out every situation necessary to keep them happy and my passion for music never lets me down—it gives me inspiration and life energy every day! Let me get personal (smile). Working in this industry requires long hours, so how does this impact your family life and what advice would you give other artists and professionals in this industry on how to balance it all? If I said it was easy and cool, I’d definitely be lying—it’s very hard. The best advice I’d give is to accept your reality; that is, if you have a responsibility, acknowledge it and be realistic about how you will handle that responsibility and follow your dreams. Mine is my family. Even though I want to be successful as an entertainer, I want to be just as successful as a father and husband. The long hours mean less time for other responsibilities, but you must use your head and your heart in tandem with each other to make them all work together. If you could invite a few people to your table—living or dead—for dinner, for some great food and for stimulating conversation with you and your family, who would they be and why? Living - Elton John, Kanye West, Jay-Z, Marc Cuban, Beyonce, Jeff Besos, Curtis ‘50 cent’ Jackson No longer Living - Ronnie Butler, Sir Sidney Poitier, Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Jerry Buss, Prince, Aaliyah All of these people are very special in their own way and, of course, super successful at entertainment and business. I can imagine the conversation with all of these people and my family, at the same table, would send our minds racing and inspire us all in a way that we could build the confidence and knowledge to take over the world! What’s next for ‘Sammi Starr’? I’m working on several projects, actually. I’m working on a mini-documentary series that tells the story of top Bahamian entertainers, both living and non-living, as a contribution to cultural history. I’m also working on expanding my marketing management and design company - St. Po Company. Finally, I’m super excited that I’m working on a few music projects - The Bridge, R&B Island, Rap Island - these will all be super amazing music pieces that I can’t wait for the world to hear! UA

april 2022


SAILING LEGENDS OF LONG ISLAND T By Bianca Major Photographs courtesy of Philip ‘Doc’ Figdore and Bianca Major

he age-old art of sailing – the adventure and thrill of gliding across the open waters; breathing in the crispy, fresh, salty air; inhaling Mother Nature in all her magnificent wonder; appreciating the solitude; “unplugging” from the noise of the world. Bahamian handcrafted wooden sloops, masterpieces of art on water, brings to mind Van Gogh, evolving within its own universe. In the more laid-back Family Islands of The Bahamas, sailing has long since been used as a sport form, and not just a means of transportation, fishing, defence or pure leisurely fun. Long Island is home to the popular sport and pastime of sloop racing. The most anticipated sailing extravaganza of the summer, the annual Long Island Regatta, takes place on the shores of the settlement of Salt Pond, which is the second largest regatta held in The Bahamas, next to George Town, Exuma’s National Family Island Regatta (NFIR).


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The essence of regatta was birthed out of the love of boat building and friendly boat racing. For the car racing enthusiasts out there, it’s comparable to the NASCAR Cup and the guys who build cars. You can also call it the “Super Bowl” of sailing. Either way, a sloop is going to tack around the buoy to cross the finish line and collect a whole load of prizes, and then some! When speaking of regatta and Long Island, you cannot forget about Exuma— the one and only George Town. The NFIR, which is held annually at Elizabeth Harbour, is where all the excitement happens. Exuma birthed the first known regatta in The Bahamas, with a competitive sailing spirit resonating between the two neighbouring islands; the future anchored in the art of “boat building” and “sport sailing” over the decades and years to come. Traditional handcrafted Bahamian sloops, built by the most talented boat artisans, converge on these islands’ harbours for a few days of fierce competitive sailing.

Catch da Cat (Cat Island) and King (Class C)

Laurin Knowles and New Chase Some of his winning masterpiece sloops, which may ring a bell to the regatta fans, are: “TidaWave”, “Stormy Weather”, “Running Tide”, “Jiffy”, “Lady Natalie”, “Lady Muriel”, “Ocean Wave”, “East- em Wave”, “Angie M” and “Margaret L”, which was the fastest boat Rupert built and is now berthed in New York, USA. “Lady Muriel” is now owned by Capt. Kenneth Rolle of Staniel Cay, Exuma, and “Running Wave” is now owned by Cassius Moss. Picture it: overlooking the crystal-clear Tiffany blue waters, these majestic sloops, line up in formation and await the sound of the canon, to head off into a breath-taking show of battle on the seas. The spirit of regatta time blows across the bow. If you wanted to win a regatta, you had to beat the “ol boy” from Mangrove Bush! Aspiring to outrun one of Rupert’s sloops meant you had to test your skills on the sea and on the boat builder’s block. The bragging rights, cash prizes, trophies, including the love of sailing and boat building, combined with the spirit of camaraderie makes for good action on the seas. There would be no sports sailing of sloops if there were not some legendary names involved. Skippers bearing the “Knowles” name, brought forth by Long Island, are known across the islands of The Bahamas and are held in high esteem when it comes to sailing. The “Mangrove Bush Boys” and the “Salt Pond Boys” are the crème de la crème. Honourable mention would include Earl Knowles, Rupert Knowles, Earlen Knowles, Laurin Knowles, Mack Knowles, Mark Knowles, Don Knowles, David Knowles, Stephan Knowles, Evvy Knowles, Colin Cartwright, Harry Harding, Roy Harding and Harry Harding—the legendary men, who brought to life the regattas held in the “bluetiful” harbours of Thompson Bay and Salt Pond and, not to mention, the unforgettable Elizabeth Harbour. The skippers and boat builders were sometimes one in the same, these “seaworthy” men “beat the water bad”, then beat it some more. This is the home of “The Legend” and that is literally and figuratively. Hailing from the quaint seaside village of Mangrove Bush came Rupert Knowles. A master boat builder and carpenter, he tested his craftsmanship fiercely against his peers during regattas or just for fun.

Sloop Building in Long Island

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Sacrifice (Class C)

As noted, from the NFIR, “Rupert Knowles always knew precisely where he stood because, each year, as he worked his craft on the sea, he watched every move, every turn with extreme care, making mental notes. “Those who remember him reflect on how, more than his woodworking skills and his seafaring prowess, the success of Rupert Knowles consisted in his dedication to the particular task at hand, and his lifetime resolution that whatever he did, or whatever his legacy was to become, it would be an exhibition and demonstration of Long Island, and especially his beloved Mangrove Bush. “That resolution has apparently been richly vindicated today, as Long Islanders from as far north as Seymour’s and as far south as Gordons, exult in the knowledge and bask in the evidence that he belonged to them, and that his legacy continues as a source of pride for Long Island.” Rupert Knowles’ memory lives on today through boats christened in his honour, “The Legend”, “Rupert’s Legend”, and through his children and descendants, who still live the tradition. The Legend was built by Rupert’s children; his sons and grandsons. Earlen Knowles, Rupert’s son, along with some family members, commissioned the building of “Rupert’s Legend” around 1987. Friends and spectators would pride fully flock to the boat building yard to observe this honourary tribute being handcrafted and chiselled to perfection, to embody the legacy of Rupert, who passed away in 1988. Rupert’s sons, Earlen and Bert, decided to build a sail/smack boat, “Lady Muriel”, named after Rupert’s wife and their beloved mother. After, came “Made line M”, “Eastern Wave” and “Tida Wave”. Now, back then, with Earlen at the tiller of the A Class title boat, “Rupert’s Legend”, she was the boat to beat at all regattas across The Bahamas. Laurin Knowles, the eldest of ten children born to Corabell and Earl Knowles of Mangrove Bush, Long Island, and Rupert’s sons, are carrying the torch of boatbuilding and sailing today. Passing some time under the Cork Tree in Mangrove Bush, Long Island, with a congregation of boat builders, skippers, sailors, neighbours, family and friends, exchanging the latest island news, and weather, and, most of all, sharing in the excitement of sailing, is where you would find all the legends, like Laurin,—the boat lovers.


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These days, he has long since retired from his boat building days and occasionally sits under the tree with his wife Sue (Lilith Sue Knowles), enjoying the cool island breeze. Laurin showed off his trophy collection from all his winning sails over the decades and spoke of his days sailing between the islands and throughout the Caribbean.

New Legend in Action (Class A)

When asked about his love of sailing, Sue chimed in with, “He loved building boats.” Sue, a die-hard sloop racing fan, showed off her red commemorative “LADY NATALIE” regatta T-shirt. Under the apprenticeship of his father, Earl, Laurin sailed his first race at the 1955 NFIR in Exuma and those thereafter. “He was introduced to sloop building when he helped his father with the construction of the “Susan Chase I”, according to Laurin. Since its introduction to regattas in 1963, “Susan Chase I” has won nine championships in the Class B division up until 1992, then, thereafter, replaced in 1993 by “New Susan Chase”, which was awarded best overall captain in the Class B division during the 47th NFIR in 2000. Since the building of “Susan Chase I”, Laurin has constructed many other boats including “Susan Chase III”, now known as “Sea Star”, “New Susan Chase”, “Humming Bird”, which is arguably the best handcrafted sloop of its time, and “Baby Chase”, which is the latest that he has built, as told by his son, Stefan J. Knowles. The Knowles, by this time, have since become the fabric of the intricate art of sailing regattas and boat craftsmanship. Laurin made sure the culture of traditional sloop sailing and design was kept alive by introducing his six sons to the craft and sport. Mark (the eldest), Ian, David, Don, Neil and Stefan Knowles (the youngest). They have all mastered the craft of traditional sloop building and the thrill of sloop racing. All becoming a force to reckon with at regattas across the nation of The Bahamas. The earliest record of a “regatta”, sailing for fun, or how Long Islanders say it, “regatterin”, was held back in 1898. This would have been the first “organized” race, at the time, as sailing was surely a way to a pleasant pastime for locals. Captain Colin Cartwright, owner of the sloop, “Sacrifice”, carries on the tradition of sailing and boat building with his family as well. Husband to Crystal Cartwright and father of four children, Colin has been sailing from the age of about 10 years old. He came up under the tutelage of his father and uncles. In speaking with Colin, he reminisced on his younger days of sailing, in a little boat they had built, made from the Gum elemi tree, which locals pronounce as “Kamalame”.

Colin crafted “Sacrifice” in the year 2000, with the help of family and friends, namely, Mack, Ryan Edsel and Kendrick Knowles. Building a sloop takes time and patience, usually about three to six months. “Sacrifice” was built in a matter of weeks, with the urgency to have her competition-ready for an upcoming regatta at the time. The COVID-19 pandemic has put a damper on the regatta festivities, but sailing enthusiasts are hoping to be back on the waters competing in 2023. Colin spoke about the positive financial injection regatta makes to the local economy. The “regatta fever” bug has hit the sailing communities hard, across the entire Bahamas, leaving fans, spectators and skippers all longing for the quick return of their favourite island pastime.

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SAILING LEGENDS OF LONG ISLAND The combination of participants and organizers of regattas across The Bahamas led to the formation of organizations such as The Long Islanders’ Association, Long Island Sailing Club, NFIR Committee, The Mack Knowles Junior Sailing Club, The Exuma Sailing Club, The Bahamas Sailing Association and the Best of The Best Regatta. This adventurous sport of sailing couldn’t happen without the skippers and crew, who make it all look so effortless. Just to name a few: Adrian Cartwright, Colin Cartwright, Roger Cartwright, Roger Fox, Scott Harding, Emile Knowles, Garret Knowles, Ian Knowles, Jason Knowles, Kendrick Knowles, Ronald Knowles, Stefan Knowles, Tremaine Knowles, Wade Knowles, Pat Smith, Ceasar Turnquest, Darrel Weir and Christopher Wells. We can’t forget some of the legendary skippers out of Exuma, Leslie “Buzzy” Rolle and Lundy Robinson, and so many more across the island nation, that deserve recognition. Popular sloops such as, Running Tide, Whitty K, Lady Dian, Sweet Island Gal, Ruff Justice, It Ain’t Right (Abaco), Lady Sonia (Exuma), Lonesome Dove (Abaco), Bul Reg (Exuma) and many more have all left an impression on the races. The annual Long Island Regatta has been around for more than 50 years, and Long Islanders are sure to keep their beloved boat building and sailing tradition alive. Regattas take place throughout the many islands of The Bahamas, with each island’s regatta occurring consecutively. Spectators, locals and visitors gear up all year long for these unique sailing competition festivals. Travelers from all over the globe book their accommodations, practically a year in advance, not to miss their favourite regatta. “Long Island Regatta” next year! If you are a boater, yourself, then, cruise on in and drop anchor. You can have your own seat on the bow and witness a show of sailing like none other on this side of the hemisphere. UA Susan Chase


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(Sources: The Long Islanders’ Association; The Long Island Runner News; The National Family Island Regatta:




By Shavaughn Moss Photographs courtesy of L. Roscoe Dames II

an you even wrap your head around the idea of not being able to enjoy ice cream on a regular basis? For people living on Family Islands, sometimes called the out islands, around the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, this can be reality. The simple enjoyment of an ice cream cone, which many people take for granted, is a luxury that Family Islanders may not have the means in which to indulge, if, by chance, the cooling system on the mailboat (cargo freighters) that transports supplies to their island is not working up to par on any given week. This simple statement speaks to the importance of the country’s domestic shipping network. Mailboats are an integral part of the archipelagic Bahamian society—dare I say an inherent part of Bahamian culture. From the northern-most island of Grand Bahama, home to the second-largest city in the country—Freeport; to the most southern island—Inagua, a paradise for bird watchers and ecotourists; and all inhabited islands in between—New Providence, on which sits the capital city of Nassau, to Eleuthera, Cat Island, Rum Cay, Long Island, San Salvador, Ragged Island, Acklins, Crooked Island, Exuma, Berry Islands, Mayaguana, Bimini, and the Abacos—the mailboats have been a lifeblood for generations. The mailboat is a government-subsidized vessel contracted from private agencies to communicate with the Family Islands on a regular weekly basis. The vehicle that you’re driving while on the Family Island was ferried there by mailboat. Groceries to prepare the food and drink that you consume while on the island came in on the mailboat. Furniture and appliances in your hotel or Airbnb came in on the mailboat. Building supplies to construct the abode in which you are staying came in on the mailboat. Every vehicle, building material and 99 percent of all foods are shipped to the Family Islands on mailboats— including the government mail, for which they receive a stipend.

Mailboat Cargo

april 2022


MAILBOATS: THE LIFEBLOOD OF INTER-ISLAND COMMUNICATION For decades, the mailboat vessels were the link between the capital city and the Family Islands for natives. Today, the major shipping industry remains responsible for transporting goods between the two. Frederick Rodgers, assistant port controller in the Port Department, said the mailboat system has always been and remains important to the country, even in the digitized 21st century. “As an archipelagic nation, we have these islands, particularly far-flung ones, that need the mailboats which initially were vessels carrying freight and the government mail. That was the only communication. They did not have telephones or telegraphs, other than the letters, so they carried government-official information and letters for people. While physical letters have for the most part become a thing of the past, with the advent of social media and email, the mailboats are still needed to supply food to the Family Islands as well as essential supplies,” said Rodgers. “Mail today is limited— we don’t have that many letters going as they used to with social media and email, but we can’t leave them out in the cold. The mailboat is significant. We just can’t get away from them.”

“We have no choice,” he said. Reliance on the mailboat is a way of life for the Family Islands. Living there means learning to accept certain things—that goods have to be shipped in, and learning to work around things—if the weather is bad and equipment like the vessel’s refrigeration malfunctions and items that need to be kept cool don’t make it onto the island on any given week. If there’s no produce on the island for two to three weeks, residents work around it. A transplant from the capital, Goffe said he adapted right away to what it entails to live the Family Island life. “I understood how things worked,” he said. Ordinarily, Family Islanders try to order every week and store items, all the while, praying the mailboat sails into port the next week with stock. “I shudder to think if something significant would hinder or hamper the mailboats sailing.” During the Christmas season, the mailboats usually break from sailing for a two-and-a-half-week period, through to the New Year. It’s a period that is usually hard on Family Islanders, but one that they work around.

Dockmaster’s Building

Daybreak Vessel Some vessels that still take the government mail to islands, receive a stipend. Visit the Potter’s Cay Dock where the mailboats dock to intake goods, Monday through Wednesday of any given week, before sailing out to the island(s) they service and you would be amazed to see the items being shipped out—including live animals. It’s not a one-way affair by any stretch of the imagination. This is definitely a two-way operation. Mailboats sail to the islands filled with supplies for residents. They return to the capital laden with crops grown in the Family Islands and shipped to relatives living in the city. “The mailboat is significant,” said Rodgers. “We just can’t get away from them.” To be honest, the mailboats are practically the “lifeblood” for Family Island residents. Michael Goffe, who manages Russell’s Island Distributors, one of the main grocery stores in San Salvador in the southern Bahamas, said 99 percent of the product they retail is brought into the island via mailboat.


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Captain Moxey Vessel

At the store Goffe runs, like most Family Island stores, they try to order extra stock in advance to tide them over the break until the mailboats resume sailing. But once the natives know the vessels are arriving to their island with stock, stores find themselves stormed as people stock up on perishables, produce and fresh fruit. Sometimes, the day after the mailboat comes; Family Island stores can find themselves raided of all produce. Antonio Eyma, operations manager for the two M/V Bahamas Daybreak, which services Eleuthera ports—in the central, south and northern parts of the island—agrees that mailboats are an integral part of Family Island society, as they are a way to get things done. “Everything you can think of that can fit onto a vessel, we try to accommodate,” said Eyma. “You go to the boat to wait for your meal to come. If you send someone

Lady Rosalind Vessel

something on the boat, they’re at the boat waiting for that box. Don’t let them not find that box, that’s a different story.” With all goods shipped to the islands through the mailboats, Eyma said no matter what anyone has, no one is better than anyone else on the island, as they all have to wait for the mailboat. When it comes to service, everyone on the Family Islands knows just about everyone who works on the vessels, because sometimes they have to utilize the sailors to take messages to relatives on other islands, even in a day of emails and WhatsApp messages. “If you live here, when the telephone goes down, there is little means of communication, so we’re separated from the world. So, the mailboats are used to communicate as well as offer a mode of transportation making them essential still.” While mailboats typically carry cargo, they can be an inexpensive way, for the adventurous and those who aren’t faint of heart, to get out of the capital. A limited number of passengers can be transported by the mailboat; they can only carry the number of passengers they are registered to. The main objective is to take supplies to the islands. So, comfort and a snail’s pace are a definite reality. It’s an 18-hour journey from the capital to San Salvador; and the M/V Lady Francis, the main mailboat that services the island, takes a circuitous route to get to the island, visiting other ports before its final destination. And it’s going to take you that length of time to get back. Some of the mailboats, because of the proximity of some islands like Eleuthera, can make two trips per week, while others servicing far-flung islands like Inagua do once-per-week runs. Sailings can also fluctuate due to weather, and the distance the boats have to sail as there may be good weather in the capital, but the weather may not be good in the south. And when they arrive at their destinations, there can be interference with landing freight. So, while mailboats try to stick to a schedule with sailings to ensure residents in the Family Islands get their supplies, things can happen to hinder the consistency of their travel. With the roll-with-the-punches lifestyle that is Family Island living, the Port Department provides a weekly sailing schedule, which is available via email. And today, ZNS, the national broadcasting station, still broadcasts sailing schedules via the radio. UA

april 2022



By Yolanda Hanna Photographs courtesy of Scharad Lightbourne Photography and June Collins of Sixty2sixty Gallery


feeling that stirs at the core of your soul and encroaches upon each one of the senses until you are completely immersed in the world of Preston Hanna – a world of history, expressive thoughts, vibrant colours and beautiful melodies that are all entwined in a single space. Prestonism represents the mind, body and soul of visual artist Preston Hanna. This innovative artist uses his environment and vivid imagination as a palette for his canvas. He has developed quite a following over the years and his unique sense of expression transforms his canvas into a kaleidoscope wrought with African heritage, Caribbean culture and paint strokes of sensual, unfettered emotions. I was privileged to speak with this brilliant and busy artist, who is also an art teacher and head of the art department at a high school in New Providence, about his work, his inspiration and his students, and was fascinated by the information he shared with me during our interesting conversation. When did you discover your love for art?

Harmony 2021


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I wasn’t an art student in high school, but I was always sketching something in a sketch book. When I was in the 11th grade, the art teacher saw one of my drawings and she asked me which art class I was attending. She was shocked to learn that I didn’t have any training. As a matter of fact, I wasn’t interested in art at all. My plan was to go to college and study architecture (laughs). But she convinced me to come to her art classes in the afternoon, and that’s where my love for art began. She taught me about art, and I attended afternoon art classes until I graduated from high school. After graduation, I wanted to learn everything about art. So, I went to college, and I obtained a bachelor’s degree in art education. Today, I teach at my former high school, the school where I discovered my love for art and where I graduated from.

Are you inspired by your students I am inspired by my students. They are a great inspiration to me. I see the creativity and fire in their eyes and that inspires me to open the box and reveal to them what art can do. Have you ever come across a student who possesses that raw talent similar to the talent you had in high school? Once in every blue moon, you find a gem like that, and I’ve been fortunate to encounter several students who possess amazing talent. Those students were able to go off to university to continue their studies in art and they are all doing very well. Some of them communicate with me often and I’m very proud I played a part in where they are today. When I look at your paintings, I can see influences from our African heritage and Caribbean culture. I see it and I can feel it, too. Your work invokes a feeling of pride and independence; I can almost hear music when I study your paintings (laughs) It’s interesting that you would say that. I don’t know if you know this, but I am also a dancer. I believe that rhythm and feeling open up your mind. Everything plays a role in my artwork. I used to perform a live art and music show at one of the hotels here in Nassau. I would begin the show with a blank canvas. Throughout the show, I’d paint and dance.

HogPlum 2021

Tranquility 2021 At the end of every show, I would auction off the painting and donate 100% of the proceeds to a local charity. Wow! That’s amazing and different. Are you working on anything new for 2022? You know, I’ve always been different. I knew I was different since I was a child. Now that I’m older, I see myself as a vessel and I let the spirit flow through me to do the work that I do. I come from a hard-working family. My parents always worked hard, and they instilled that work ethic in me. I am planning a show this year. I debuted four art shows last year, so a 2022 show is definitely in the works. I also plan to launch a permanent collection artwork, which is to be displayed fulltime here in Nassau at a selected location. I’m looking forward to announcing that partnership this year. Prestonism. UA


Sweet Guava 2021

april 2022




PUBLISHER Capt. L. Roscoe Dames ADMINISTRATOR Caprice Spencer-Dames COPY EDITOR Nasia R. Colebrooke

MRS. CAPRICE SPENCER-DAMES, an administrative professional, has spent the majority of her career in the airline, retail and hospitality industries at various management levels. Her career and personal life has afforded her the opportunity to spend a significant amount of time living and traveling throughout our Family Islands, the Caribbean and the Americas. With a keen interest in culture, cuisine and people, she brings her experience to the various features and production of the publication.

MS. YOLANDA HANNA is a Radio Personality, Publicist, Writer and Social Media Content Creator living in the beautiful Bahamas. A ferocious advocate for the promotion of Bahamian Music, Art and Culture, she is a “Grand Bahama Baby” who is passionate about telling the stories of the Bahamian people. “I don’t just fly here, I live here.”

ART DIRECTOR Lourdes Guerra BAHAMAS | USA SALES Ivory Global Management Ltd TURKS AND CAICOS SALES David Newlands BAHAMASAIR Tracy Cooper inFlight Magazine is published quarterly by IVORY GLOBAL MANAGEMENT LTD., for BAHAMASAIR, the National Flag Carrier of The Bahamas. All rights are reserved and reproduction in part or in whole is prohibited without the express written consent of IVORY GLOBAL MANAGEMENT LTD. All opinions expressed in UP and AWAY are solely those of the contributors. Every reasonable care has been taken neither UP and AWAY or its agents accept liability for loss or damage to photographs and material submitted to this magazine. Copyright 2022 by IVORY GLOBAL MANAGEMENT LTD. Follow Us On Social Media @upandaway242 MRS. SHAVAUGHN MOSS is the lifestyles editor at The Nassau Guardian 1844 Ltd., The Bahamas’ oldest newspaper, and has three-plus decades of experience. She currently writes on a wide range of topics. She is known as the country’s premiere “foodie” and has traveled extensively in her culinary quest for the best bites (and some interesting ones as well). Shavaughn studied Mass Communication in the United States, and has done advanced courses in the United Kingdom as well.


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MS. KENDEA SMITH is a Communications Expert, who specializes in travel articles. She holds an Associate’s Degree in Journalism and Mass Communications, a Bachelors of Arts Degree in Writing and a Masters Degree in Strategic Communications, which includes Marketing, Public Relations and Social Media. She is married and the proud mother of two daughters.

PROF. MYRURGIA HERNANDEZ, a Doctorate Candidate at Universidad de Baja California, Mexico, is an alumnus of University of Havana, Faculty of Foreign Languages (FLEX according to Spanish Acronyms) Class of 1998. She became an approved Lecturer by the Board of The College of The Bahamas (COB), now University of The Bahamas (UB), in December of 1999. In 2000 (January), Myrurgia joined the Faculty of The School of Communication and Creative Arts as a Spanish Part-Time Lecturer.

CONTRIBUTORS MS. BIANCA MAJOR is the editor of The Long Island Runner News and is an avid promoter of The “real” Bahamas, its culture and all things Bahamian. Her diversity spans across professional fields such as Publishing, Marketing & Graphics, Social Media Content Creation & Management, Photography, and Marketing. Bianca the “artist”, “foodie” and radio personality has more than two decades of experience and has a passion for writing. Raised between The United States and The Bahamas she has a unique concept of our culture.

MR. GUILDEN GILBERT has had a fascination with photography for most of his life but it was at the age of 14 that the photography bug really hit him, after which he was rarely seen without a camera. Born and raised in Bermuda, Guilden is self-taught, having never taken any formal lessons—the 8 to 10 rolls of film a week were his lessons. Principally a Landscape/Seascape photographer, today Guilden is also known as a Sports Photographer. The Bermuda Government selected a series of Guilden’s work to be hung in the boardroom of the Ministry of Finance.

NASIA R. COLEBOOKE is a copy editor, playwright and writer, who loves to tell the stories of those who often go unheard. She has a blog where she writes film, TV, music and book reviews, and personal pieces. She is also well-versed in public relations and holds a B.A. in English (minor in History) from University of The Bahamas, and is currently pursuing a master’s in journalism.

ALEXANDRA ‘BAHAYOGI’ KAUFMANN is a lover of all things yoga, wellness, and life. Along her yoga journey, she has practiced and studied Power, Baptiste, Hot, Restorative, Rocket, and Vinyasa Flow Yoga. She has completed over 500 hours of yoga teacher training with world-renowned instructors. Her passion for teaching has attracted celebrity clients like Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon, and Jennifer Lawrence.

MS. NIKIA WELLS is an avid traveler with a passion for seeing the world, learning about new cultures, trying unique dishes and raising awareness about the freedoms of solo travel. In 2014, this Grand Bahama native created the PinkSands242 website, which is devoted to spreading her passion for travel, food and new experiences from a Bahamian perspective, while demystifying various elements of world travel. Her writings have been featured on and several other local publications.

MS. KHASHAN POITIER is enticed by the art of storytelling. She wanted to be a screenwriter when she grew up, but after a high school internship with a local newspaper, she became a journalist instead. Some 20 years later, Poitier has written for TV, online and print in Texas and the Caribbean. Her experience in media relations has afforded her a diverse repertoire, which can be viewed at When she’s not storytelling, she’s reading or watching them, including movies, with her family.

KEESHA CLAUDIA BETHELL is a new-age writer, creative and award-winning Journalist who has her finger on the pulse in many areas of interest including mainstream news reporting and production, television/internet program production and travel, Spanish, leisure and culinary writing—not to mention social media.

MR. DAVID NEWLANDS is a native of the Turks and Caicos Islands with an extensive background in media and publication. Currently working in the field of business administration he has never left his passion for writing. With a keen interest in travelling and culture, he reveals the hidden cultural gems of his country to those who share a similar passion.

april 2022


Atlantis Marina, Paradise Island Photo courtesy of Guilden Gilbert

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Articles inside

Mailboats: The Lifeblood Of Inter-Island Communication

pages 63-65

Visual Artist – Preston Hanna

pages 66-72

Performing Artist - Sammi Starr

pages 56-57

Sailing Legends of Long Island

pages 58-62

Off the Beaten Path – Kimcha Village

pages 54-55

Bahamian Dreamers - A Unique Food Find

pages 52-53

Black Sails Tours - The Exumas on the Water

pages 50-51

Camagüey: A Live Canvas That Leads To Adventure

pages 47-49

The Abacos’ Maritime Culture

pages 28-29

Wellness with Bahayogi: ‘The Power of Breath’

pages 30-31

The New Generation of Bahamian Sailors

pages 38-42

Sloop Sailing ‘A Bahamian Ting’

pages 14-16

The Grand Turk Lighthouse Story: “From Incident to Iconic”

pages 32-34

Crystal Clear Waters with André Musgrove

pages 43-46

Off The Beaten Path – West End, Grand Bahama

pages 25-27

Exploring The Golden Age Of Piracy

pages 20-24
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