Bahamasair inFlight Magazine - 'The Fashion, Food and Fun' Issue Oct-Dec 2023

Page 1

The The Fashion, Food and Fun Fashion, Food and Fun

Site: Clifton Heritage Park

Photographer: Robyn Damianos

Jewellery: Ashli Bethune-Smith of ArtSaeBae

Makeup: Nestaea Sealy of Nestase Beauty

Models: Marlena Leonard and Daniella Beauchamp

Dresses: Cole’s Of Nassau




…favourite Bahamian comfort foods, headlined by hearty fare such as crab ‘n’ rice, peas ‘n’ grits, stew conch, souse and more.

Welcome to paradise.

Welcome to The Islands of The Bahamas.

The Islands of The Bahamas is a tourist destination in high demand. Visitors travelling to our islands have a myriad of options of air carriers. We are simply delighted that you chose to fly with us. At Bahamasair, we take our role as the national flag carrier of The Bahamas seriously. For over fifty years, we have had the honour of connecting The Bahamas to the outside world and interconnecting the many island destinations within our extensive archipelago.

You happen to be visiting us at an incredibly special time in the life of our nation. On July 10th of this year, we commemorated our 50th year of independence as a sovereign nation. We continue in celebration mode throughout 2023, with festivities across our 16 inhabited islands. We invite you to join us in the fun and excitement of celebrating our Golden Jubilee.

Whether this is your first or a return visit to The Bahamas, you will find in the pages of Bahamasair’s inflight magazine, Up and Away, everything you need to enjoy the best of the destination and to delve a little deeper into the rich culture and unique offerings of our distinct islands.

This issue of Up and Away brings you a satisfying roundup of favourite Bahamian comfort foods, headlined by hearty fare such as crab ‘n’ rice, peas ‘n’ grits, stew conch, souse and more. Lean in closely for a beneath-the-surface appreciation of the innovative work of a cross section of Bahamian creatives, from fashion and jewellery designers to culinary artists, performing artists and mixologists. For the adventurous, there is a bucket list of fun activities off the beaten path. And for all you nature lovers, prepare to be intrigued by the highly engaging feature on wildlife in The Bahamas.

Many of you are already thinking about the upcoming holiday season. Up and Away ushers in the festive season with heartwarming stories of holiday cooking in The Bahamas and a great selection of Bahamian-made products that will make the perfect holiday gift.

I welcome you to The Islands of The Bahamas and take this opportunity to wish you an enjoyable holiday season and all the best for the new year.

The Honourable I. Chester Cooper, Deputy Prime Minister of The Bahamas and Minister of Tourism, Investments & Aviation
—Honourable I. Chester Cooper, M.P.
Photograph Courtesy of Bahamas Information Services (BIS)
up and away 5
The Honourable I. Chester Cooper, Deputy Prime Minister of The Bahamas and Minister of Tourism, Investments & Aviation


Meet the artists behind the quintessentially Bahamian Androsia batik, the chef whose modern riffs on classic dishes are fueling a culinary revolution, and the guide who will introduce you to a group of stingrays he’s known for years. In The Bahamas, pushing boundaries—in food, fashion and island-hopping fun—is a timehonoured tradition.

more at


Our beloved archipelago is more than a collection of beautiful islands; it is a vibrant tapestry woven with rich history, culture, and the unique charm of our people.

I am honoured to greet you as the first female chairman of Bahamasair, an appointment that holds profound meaning for me, and for all of us who believe in the power of progress, diversity, and equality. It is a significant milestone in our nation’s history, a testament to the unshakeable spirit of the Bahamian people, and a step forward in breaking the glass ceiling for many aspiring female leaders.

In a rapidly changing world, the essence of our business remains timeless: people, service, and experiences. As we navigate the skies, we remain deeply committed to your safety, comfort, and enjoyment. Your safety is our utmost priority, and our team works tirelessly to ensure that Bahamasair adheres to both local and global aviation safety standards.

To our first-time visitors, returning visitors, and returning residents, thank you for making Bahamasair your airline of choice. You are not only choosing a mode of travel; you are selecting an experience but also an introduction to the warmth and hospitality for which The Bahamas is renowned. We consider our role as not merely transporting you from one location to another but providing you with an experience that is as delightful and memorable as The Bahamas itself.

Our beloved archipelago is more than a collection of beautiful islands; it is a vibrant tapestry woven with rich history, culture, and the unique charm of our people. From our pristine beaches to our vibrant cities, each island offers a unique story, an adventure awaiting your discovery. As you journey with us, we aim to introduce you to the authentic Bahamian experience, making your travel as enriching as your stay. We understand that The Bahamas is more than a destination, it is a feeling – an experience that begins with Bahamasair and continues throughout your stay.

On behalf of our board of directors, executive management, and staff, I want to express our collective gratitude to you. Your trust and loyalty inspire us to elevate our services, innovate our offerings, and enhance our operations to create a unique flying experience. This endeavour is not of an individual, it is a collaborative effort of the entire Bahamasair family, united in our commitment to make your journey enjoyable and memorable.

We welcome you aboard, are eager to show you The Bahamas through our eyes and remain committed to making your journey a pleasurable one. Whether you are flying with us for the first time, or you have chosen us before, we are dedicated to serving you with Bahamian hospitality and ensuring that your flying experience reflects the beauty and spirit of our islands.

Thank you once again for choosing Bahamasair, for making the Bahamas your destination of choice, and for being part of our shared journey. We promise to always strive to be worthy of your choice, and to continue working tirelessly to make every flight a celebration of the Bahamian spirit.


—Chairman Tanya A. Pratt Photograph Courtesy of Bahamasair
up and away 7
Chairman Ms. Tanya A. Pratt


The year 2023 has been a whirlwind of excitement for The Bahamas.”

Welcome to our Fashion, Food and Fun Issue.

In this issue, expect the unexpected. We will unlock joys to be discovered, share gifted hands, learn how bold and fashion-forward Bahamians are, and eat and drink Bahamian talent in the culinary arts of food and mixology. We will take you to a rum distillery located on an elegant hilltop estate. Come walk with us on Bahamian sand with ArtSeaBae collecting shells and stones to create waist beads and body jewels. You also get up close and personal with some of the crew at the national flag carrier, Bahamasair.

Experience Bahamian music - the heartbeat of all things Bahamian, through a Bahamian singer who is known to be the ultimate storyteller. Then there is a new-age Bahamian band that takes everything to a higher level. When it comes to Bahamian music, Junkanoo is described by many as the ultimate Bahamian cultural expression. For that we will give you a visual glance of the cultural pride through the perspective of a book with spectacular photos spanning back more than 50 years.

For the holidays, consider us as your personal guide for shopping and cooking. You will gain a greater appreciation for the fashion, food, and fun of our neighbors to the south - Turks and Caicos Islands and Cuba, as well as our neighbors to the north - Florida and North Carolina.

The year 2023 has been a whirlwind of excitement for The Bahamas. Our country celebrated 50 years of independence - a milestone for a small nation like ours. Through the glossy pages of each 2023 issue, our magazine strategically shared captivating visuals and high-quality stories that captured what it means to be Bahamian. At the same time, we sprinkled stories about other Bahamasair destinations. But at the core, it was all about the heart and soul of our team.

In 2024, we will continue to connect you with all things Bahamian, which of course includes every destination where Bahamasair flies. Know that each time you take off from a destination in one of our aircraft, we will literally be travelling up and away with you - right in the pocket of the seat in front of you, every air mile along the way.

Cheers to the new year. We will see you in 2024.

“ up and away 9
Capt. L. Roscoe Dames II




15 Fashion Forward: Bahamian Designers Fashionably Moving Forward, Upward, Onward Together

19 The True Flavour of The Bahamas is its Down-Home Cuisine

25 Bahamian Artistry: Holiday Gift Ideas

27 Where to Find Fun, Food and Fashion In Delray Beach, Florida

31 Higher Level Band

33 Escape to Paradise at Long Island’s Tiny’s Bahamas

35 Discovering St. Augustine, Florida

38 The Lifestyle of Unique & Sustainable Fashion

39 Meet Bahamasair’s Crew

43 Unlocking Joy: 13 Secrets to a Fun-Filled Yoga Journey

48 Long Island: Gifted Hands

52 Through the Creative Lens of Robyn Damianos

55 Junkanoo: Portraits of the Soul

57 Local Boutiques and Designers in South Florida Where You Can Embrace Your Inner Fashionista

59 Think Straw: From Humble Origins to Lofty Heights

61 Dive into George Town, Exuma

63 A Cocktail Artist Who Thinks Outside the Box

64 The Secret Ingredient – A Happy Heart

65 Raleigh’s BBQ Joints Offer a Taste of the South

67 Off The Beaten Path - Middle Caicos: Ecological, Historical and Magical

69 Creating a Bahamian Holiday Feast

70 Discover Contemporary Havana

72 The Return of Phil Stubbs

73 Raleigh Shopping Guide

75 October – December 2023 Up and Away Cover Photoshoot

77 Insects: Seeing the Beauty in Six-legged Beasts

up and away 11
15 39 55 61 65 70 72 27 75



PHONE: 242.427.9871



PUBLISHER Capt. L. Roscoe Dames


COPY EDITOR Nasia R. Colebrooke

ART DIRECTOR Lourdes Guerra

BAHAMAS | USA SALES Ivory Global Management Ltd



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 2023 by IVORY GLOBAL MANAGEMENT LTD.

Follow Us On Social Media @upandaway242

october 2023 12

Fashion Forward Fashion Forward

There is no doubt about it – Bahamian fashion has evolved by leaps and bounds. Bahamian fashion designers have managed to keep on trend with international designers producing innovative designs that exude Bahamian flair. At the recent National Independence Fashion Show held at Baha Mar, many Bahamian fashion designs were on full display. Up and Away spoke to some of the event’s designers who shared about the way forward for Bahamian fashion.

If there is one word that describes Sabrina Frances’ work, it is “timeless.” For more than 40 years, Frances – under her company She’B – has pioneered many unique designs for occasions such as proms, pageants, banquets, galas, and weddings. And because her work mostly features special occasions, she can design with lots of fabrics that have dynamic textures and keep many of her garment’s everlasting.

Frances has been featured in publications such as Ebony and Atlanta Weddings and participated in the UNESCO Designer Fashion showcase in 2012.

She said she is pleased with the direction of Bahamian fashion.

“Bahamian fashion is really evolving. I can say that because from I started, to now, we are seeing so much new up-and-coming talent and they are taking it to another level. And it is really getting to a point where we are on the international stage and we are really giving [international designers] a run for their money,” Frances said.

“I am very practical in my designs. I am not overly dramatic, although I could get that way. But for most of my clients, I try to be more classic. With my designs, it is something that you can wear 10 to 20 years from now. Most of the time, it is for the occasion and something that you are going to wear for that time. Bahamian ladies do not like to wear the same thing twice and that is the kind of design that I can do.”

Frances said she is delighted to see more young people enter the fashion scene.

up and away 15
Photographs Courtesy Of Fenton D. Ferguson for Fenton Photography Sabrina Frances Sabrina Frances Design Theodore Elyett Design Navardo Dawkins Design Sabrina Frances Design Sabrina Frances – The Designer

“It is such an interesting journey,” she said. “Any young person getting in this should stay the course. Your name is always out there. People respect you and always look out for what you are going to do next, and it is a great journey for an up-and-coming designer. It is an interesting and lucrative journey.”

Navardo Dawkins

As a newcomer to the Bahamian fashion scene, Dawkins started his career a mere eight years ago. But in that short time, he has made a name for himself locally and is looking to take his line Navashion internationally.

Dawkins started in the culinary industry after taking the subject in high school. However, he found that he had a passion for fashion and wanted to take Bahamian clothing to the next level. “I found that many people just always looked the same,” he said. “I got annoyed with it and so I got a second-hand sewing machine, and I went to the fabric store, made an outfit for myself and I never stopped after that. I was my first muse and then I started on my mother and my sister, and I have been creating clothes ever since.”

Dawkins gained the opportunity to travel to China, London, Vietnam, multiple states across the U.S., Curaçao, Panama, and Canada.

He has held two local independent runway shows, a relief benefit show, served as the lead designer of the 50th National Independence Runway Show 2023, and was the headliner of Mercedes-Benz South Texas International Fashion Week 2018. He has also been featured in publications such as Harper’s Bazaar and Black Bride 1998.

In 2021, he received the top 48 millennial award for fashion, business, and education by Project Bahamas.

Dawkins’ specialty is haute couture and bridal. Those masterpieces can cost anywhere between

$1,100 to $3,000. “It really depends on what the client wants. If they want rhinestones, lace, or something special, it may cost a little more,” he said. “Some people like a lot of texture and volume and I just work with what the client wants and what would make them look and feel special.”

However, he is looking to design more ready-to-wear pieces.

“I like to create couture gowns and that’s what I’m known for,” he said. “However, I want to see more Bahamians wearing Bahamian-made fashion and I think ready-to-wear is a great place to start.”

Dawkins sees Bahamian fashion as one that has many tiers but is hardly appreciated.

“The girls today do not mind if they get a $5.00 dress from SheIn because if they can go out and make a statement, they do not mind. Bahamians do not really appreciate their own. They would spend money on a known name brand but will not spend the same money on a locally made Bahamian-designed shirt

october 2023 16
Sabrina Frances Design Navardo Dawkins Design Navardo Dawkins – The Designer Navardo Dawkins Design NavardoDawkinsDesign

because they do not see the value in it. Bahamian fashion is very pop culture influenced,” he said.

“This is something that I want to change because Bahamians get the concept of fashion shows so mixed up. I am trying to switch that narrative and let people have better access to my clothing. I am going to make my ready-to-wear in different sizes and patterns and that is the way that I am going to move my brand. I want Bahamians to be able to go on my website, order my clothes, and have it shipped to their house.”

Dawkins said he is excited about the launch of his website, which was scheduled to go live by July 10th (Independence Day).

He also intends to host his own fashion show in October.

“I am also reaching out to international fashion influencers, so that they can post them. I realize that you do not have to be other places to make a statement because of social media,” he said. “So, now, I am targeting people who are in my clientele that I would want, so that they can be ambassadors for my brand. I studied a little bit of marketing, and I am using that to promote my brand.”

Dawkins also had a message for young people who want to get into fashion.

“I would say start now; why wait? You must start, and you might fail. But failing is actual a beautiful part of the process because you can get back up and start again. Just start. However, the journey goes, it is just a part of your story.”

Theodore Elyett

For years, Theodore Elyett has pushed the envelope in Bahamian fashion. For 25 years, Elyett grew up in an era where there were at least three fashion shows a year.

“At that time, I was a 13-year-old designer making my way into the fashion scene and I was showcasing alongside major designers like Shane Rolle, Percy Wallis, Terrence Major, Sabrina Frances, Patrice Lockhart and these were some of the big names in fashion 25 years ago,” he told Up and Away.

“After some of them passed away, it felt like the fashion scene fell off and so I was very refreshed and happy that the Independence Secretariat thought it fitting that they recognized the orange economy and to remember those whose shoulders we stand on and to give current designers the platform to show people why we love what we do. It was an explosive, exciting and enjoyable experience for me.”

Elyett is world-renowned for his craft. He has been to People’s Republic of China for their 25th anniversary of diplomatic relations with The Bahamas; Buckingham Palace; Los Angeles with Ebony Fashion Fair; Jamaica; Philippines and Miss Universe just to name a few.

However, while Elyett is inspired by The Bahamas, he does not think that people identify his designs as strictly Bahamian.

“I think for me, you do not look at my piece and say, ‘Oh, he’s a Bahamian designer.’ You can look at my pieces and say, ‘Oh, they are very exotic. It must be an island nation designer.’ But the beauty of an island nation designer is that often, you will find the beauty in our pieces. And so, for me, as a Bahamian designer and a designer of the Caribbean region, you can see the influences of the beautiful hues of the waters that surround The Bahamas. Oftentimes, I design with shades of blue and the flora often makes it in my designs. I like to play with colour and texture and so the designs that I use are 100 percent Bahamian. I often use Bahama Handprints because I love their textiles because it speaks to The Bahamas and the beauty of the Caribbean,” he said.

“I think that when my pieces do walk down an African runway, a European or North American runway, they are able to see that this is an exotic designer. I want to be a designer that is inspired by The Bahamas and the beauty of what makes The Bahamas the gem of the Caribbean. That adds to the mystery of it. When people see my designs, they know that it is not European, but they must look closely to see where it is from. That is the role a Bahamian designer plays.”

He said he is hoping that in the future, more Bahamians buy Bahamian clothing.

“A lot of times, you will see us have a lot of major events, but you do not see Bahamians, buying Bahamian – not very often. I cannot put my finger on how Bahamian fashion will look in the future, but it is up to Bahamians to buy from Bahamian designers. There was once a slogan that said ‘believe in Bahamians’ and I think the only way to do that is if Bahamians buy more Bahamian brands. That is what I want to see for the future of Bahamian fashion.”

Elyett also gave a message for young creatives.

“They must realize there is talent and there is work. Talent is the gift, and every creative has it. But work is the choice you make every day when you wake up as to whether you are going to operate in that gifting,” he said. “The work takes that talent to the next level. The work is what puts the talent in rooms where it is supposed to be. You cannot wake up and say I do not have the resources or not the skill set to do this. But if you wake up with a positive mindset, you can get yourself into the rooms you are supposed to be in. The beauty about the struggle is putting in the work. Every day I decide to put in the work is one step closer to pushing the brand.” UA

up and away 17
Theodore Elyett – The Designer Theodore Elyett Design
Theodore Elyett Design
october 2023 18 #cliftonheritage TOURCLIFTONHERITAGE.COM Call us at 804.8574 / 362.9312 / 477.0978 Or see your hotel tour representative COME TO CLIFTON & SEE... BEACHES • RUINS • WETLANDS • FOREST

The True Flavour of The Bahamas is its Down-Home Cuisine

Photographs Courtesy of Shavaughn Moss and L.

Bahamians are born with the ability to “flavour” food. It is in our DNA, but even that innate ability had to be honed. And in most instances, that training began early under the guidance of great-grandmothers, grandmothers, mothers, and “aunties” talking us through how to make a dish with a dash of this and sprinkle of that, and absolutely no measurements. It is cooking with heart, to produce food that is hearty and will make the taste buds sing. So, when looking for a true-true (in the Bahamian vernacular) down-home experience, you will have to travel throughout the archipelago to seek out these culinary delights and Bahamians who have these cooking techniques down pat.

Before the advent of the “grocery store,” the Bahamian eating existence was a “from the field to the pot” diet. Food was harvested straight out of the field, in what has become popularized today as backyard farming, put in a pot and cooked over an outdoor fire. Making use of collected rainwater to cook tough cuts of meat like mutton and lamb, dried peas, beans, and lentils, to aid in the breaking down process was not unheard of.

Today, while the true flavour that is Bahamian cooking and cuisine remains, the essence that is our ancestors’ contribution to Bahamian cuisine has changed for any number of reasons, whether it be lack of exposure to the old ways, or a more modern take on preparation.

At the same token, a movement has been afoot by many Bahamians eager to return to, retain, and reintroduce the essence of the true-true down-home Bahamian cooking. Truth be told, some people swear by the outdoor kitchen method of cooking, including university culinary professor, chef Addiemae Farrington.

“I go to the old people who have outdoor kitchens and eat from them,” she said, even though she is a classically trained culinarian.

So, if you happen upon a Bahamian with access to an outdoor kitchen, which you will more than likely find in the Family Islands, finagle an invitation to that meal, because the memory of the food you will eat is one that will linger for a long time.

So much so that even in the capital of New Providence, you will find one or two outdoor ovens constructed from which, time to time, you can find a culinary exhibition taking place to introduce younger generations to the ways of old, during festivals.

Bahamian food is an amazing display of resourcefulness and a display of the country’s diverse food culture. It speaks to the soul and flavour of the Bahamian islands.

The true flavours of The Bahamas are complex, yet simple, unpretentious, and no-nonsense, yet hearty and filling. We are talking about the foods that you are going to have to follow a native to their favourite hole in the wall to have or be invited into someone’s home to enjoy. Chatting up a local about these down-home one-of-a-kind amazing eating experiences is the best way to go, to dine on true Bahamian cuisine.

To understand Bahamian food, one must first have at least an understanding of the layers to the cuisine, and the fact that it is an amalgamation and mash-up of heritages – with strong influences from the African slave diaspora, English colonization, proximity to the United States and the Caribbean – coming together.

up and away 19
Boil Fish Crab ‘n’ Rice Baked Fish Peas ‘n’ Rice Baked Crab

When looking for your taste of true-true Bahamian cuisine, you are going to want to snag soups, stews and souses – peas soup and dumplings, conch chowder, okra soup, hull bean (a wild white bean soup which is popular on Andros and to which they add pig parts like ears and the tail with salt beef and coconut milk, according to the chef); stews – stew fish and stew conch; souses run the gamut of proteins – chicken, sheep tongue, ribs, conch, pig’s feet … you name the protein and you can probably find it prepared souse style.

If you want to venture outside of soups, stews, and souses, you have just as many other options since we are surrounded by water, which means Bahamians have perfected the art of seafood. And you will have to at least once enjoy a fried snapper seasoned simply with goat pepper, salt, and lime, served alongside a mound of savoury peas ‘n’ grits. It is a must-have true Bahamian meal.

While many places find land crabs to be absolute nuisances, ever-resourceful Bahamians sought to turn the crustaceans into delectable meals. A meal of Caribbean land crab is a must in its many preparations. Whether it be sweet land crab meat tossed with seasonings and breadcrumbs, stuffed into crab shells, and baked to golden perfection or a savoury crab ‘n’ rice or peas ‘n’ grits preparation as opposed to peas ‘n’ rice or peas ‘n’ grits, the options are limitless – conch ‘n’ rice, conch ‘n’ grits.

Boiled land crab ‘n’ dough, which is not a fancy dish by any stretch of the imagination, is a down-home seasonal dish that you are going to have to source out from someone’s house or their favourite down-home hole in the wall, because you would not find boiled crab ‘n’ dough on many, if any, restaurant menus. No self-respecting Bahamian would be caught dead eating boiled crab ‘n’ dough in a “fancy” restaurant because it is one of those dishes that you want to be able to enjoy at your leisure with the least disturbance, because when you sit down to eat crab ‘n’ dough – table etiquette is set aside. (And of course, you must let a Bahamian show you the intricacies of enjoying boiled crab ‘n’ dough.)

The fact that crabs are a seasonal delicacy is also what makes them so special. (Land crabs “walk” or appear and are harvested in late May early June through the first and second week in November.)

The food of the gods for most Bahamians is the almighty crawfish (spiny lobster) which can be had many ways – roasted or steamed whole, minced (“steamed” in Bahamian vernacular), and it must be served alongside sides of rice, coleslaw, and plantain. This dish features the sweet, luscious meat of the crustacean sautéed with herbs and tomato paste, which makes for an unbelievably delicious savoury meal.

Unlike boiled crab ‘n’ dough, this is one of those native dishes that you can walk into just about any local restaurant and find on the menu. At the height of crawfish season (March 31 through August 1), and with fresh crawfish to be found everywhere, this is a meal to be enjoyed now.

Back on land, Long Island is known for its mutton, so, of course, tender, flavourful, and aromatic curry mutton is to be found everywhere, paired with rice of choice and a side of coleslaw.

Conch, whether served simply with herbs and vegetables in a citrus base, can be stewed, steamed, or cracked (battered and fried).

And while the world over produces macaroni ‘n’ cheese in some form, the Bahamian version of baked macaroni ‘n’ cheese is not to be missed.

Then, there is boiled fish made with grouper and served with grits or Johnny cake – the list of true Bahamian food is never-ending experiences to be enjoyed.

Of course, dessert cannot be forgotten. Ask any Bahamian for a sweet ending and they will direct you to the “king” of desserts, the guava duff – boiled dough chockful of guava and topped with a hard sauce, with a little rum whipped in for added pleasure. In years gone by, making guava duff was an all-day family affair. Tree-ripened guavas were picked off the tree in the yard, peeled, cut in half and the flesh separated from the meat. The guava meat was chopped, the seeds boiled, and the duff (dough) kneaded and boiled in a white pillowcase that is never used for anything other than the boiled guava duff.

While the duff bubbles away merrily stovetop, the sauce, comprised of butter, sugar, vanilla flavour and a little (tongue-in-cheek) rum of choice, is made. This is another one of those foods that when family and friends hear is being made, they are knocking at your door with their bowl.

A delightfully savoury yet sweet coconut tart as well as pineapple tart is not to be missed, at all, with the tarts made by people who grew pineapples on Eleuthera being touted as the best to be had nationwide. But reaching into the annals of ancestry, even Bahamians of today are being reintroduced to – and some have never had the pleasure of enjoying a coconut Jimmy which is essentially sweetened dough with coconut. So, while traveling through the islands, seek out this sinfully unpretentious dessert – it just may become an all-time favourite.

Taking the time to indulge in Bahamian cuisine offers a great way to gain an understanding of The Bahamas and being open to trying local cuisine can also be a fun and enjoyable way to explore. Food is an integral part of the travel experience and trying new and exciting dishes can add an extra layer of excitement. It is also a great way to make even better memories. As well as enhancing your overall travel experience, it can open you up to new opportunities to connect with people and explore. UA

october 2023 20
Sheep Tongue Souse with Johnny Cake Peas ‘n’ Grits Conch Chowder Two Varieties Stew Conch Stuffed Crawfish
up and away 21 ( 2 4 2 ) 8 1 7 - 4 6 3 1 i z e n g a b a h a m a s @ o u t l o o k . c o m i z e n g a b a h a m a s . c o m

John Watling’s “Rum of The Bahamas”

John Watling’s Distillery in Downtown Nassau offers an exceptional experience for rum enthusiasts and history buffs. Renowned as the “Rum of The Bahamas”, JOHN WATLING’S rum is crafted with care in small batches, showcasing timeless craftsmanship in each bottle. Visitors are invited to explore the historic Buena Vista Estate where the rum is meticulously handcrafted, and to indulge in the captivating flavours and stories that make this distillery a must-see.

Dating back to 1789, the Buena Vista Estate is nestled on a hill overlooking a picturesque harbour. Stepping onto the estate, visitors are transported through time, immersing themselves in the rich history of The Bahamas. The restoration of the estate, including the purpose-built barrel aging and production facility, took a year to be completed and was dedicated to preserving its authenticity and paying homage to its storied past.

The Buena Vista Estate spans over two acres of tropical gardens adorned with majestic black olive trees that have withstood the test of time. Since its inception, the estate has played an integral role in Nassau’s history and The Bahamas in general. It has also welcomed illustrious guests such as Robert Mitchum, Bobby Kennedy, Ed Sullivan, and Joan Crawford. Adding to its allure, the estate gained cinematic recognition when it appeared in the James Bond film “Casino Royale”, further enhancing its legendary status.

Today, the Buena Vista Estate serves as a captivating gateway to the world of John Watling’s Distillery. Visitors can immerse themselves in the experience, surrounded by antique furnishings, interactive exhibits, and a retail store that transports them back in time. Additionally, a charming tavern awaits, offering signature Bahamian cocktails and local culinary delights like conch fritters, providing the perfect setting to savour the authentic flavours of the islands.

A highlight of the visit is the complimentary guided tour which unveils the secrets behind JOHN WATLING’S rum. The journey begins in the lobby of the Buena Vista house where centuries-old antiques and prints adorn the walls, evoking a sense of nostalgia. Descendants of the estate’s past residents, themselves, including royal governors, chief justices, and knights of the British Empire, weave a captivating chapter of Bahamian history.

The tour delves into the heart of the distillery where the magic unfolds. Witness the meticulous process of bottling JOHN WATLING’S rums carried out by skilled local hands in the traditional way. The air is infused with the alluring aroma of the white oak barrels where the rum ages to perfection. Further exploration reveals a remarkable find – a 200-year-old water well carved out of solid limestone. This silent testament to the past serves as a reminder of the labour and resilience of those who built the estate.

JOHN WATLING’S rums are the result of over 175 years of rum-making expertise, carefully revived to capture the essence of The Bahamas. From the smooth and delicate Pale and Amber rums to the distinctive Buena Vista, Paradise, Single Barrel and Bullion rums, each sip transports you to the sun-soaked shores and vibrant culture of the islands. In addition to the rums, the distillery proudly offers Red Turtle vodka, which undergoes meticulous filtration through pink sand, adding a touch of uniqueness to their exceptional lineup. However, the experience at John Watling’s Distillery extends beyond observation. Visitors have the rare opportunity to actively engage in the art form of rum production through the self-bottling and self-waxing experience. Under the guidance of knowledgeable staff, guests can personally fill their bottles with the exquisite JOHN WATLING’S rum, creating a truly personalized and memorable keepsake of their visit. Moreover, the tasting experience at the distillery is a sensory delight, allowing guests to savour the distinct profiles of the rums and discover their preferred expressions of The Bahamas. Each sip deepens their connection to the history and culture of the islands, leaving an indelible impression of the spirit embodied by John Watling’s Distillery.

For those seeking an unforgettable experience, John Watling’s Distillery is a destination not to be missed. Located within walking distance from the Nassau Cruise Port, the distillery opens its doors daily to the public from 10am to 6pm with no reservations needed. It invites visitors to embark on a multisensory journey through history, architecture, natural beauty, and the opportunity to take home a bottle of JOHN WATLING’S rum – the true taste of The Bahamas. UA

october 2023 22
Photographs Courtesy Of John Watling’s Distillery Photographer Robyn Damianos The 1789 Buena Vista Estate, home to John Watling’s Distillery. Bottles are sealed with wax in the custom bottling experience. Try our JOHN WATLING’S rum flight with a self-guided tasting menu.

Bahamas’ National Aviation Strategic Plan

“Aviation chief files flight plan for the aviation sector”


e are pleased to introduce the first ever Bahamas National Aviation Strategic Plan (NASP).

It will serve as our “Flight Plan” to revolutionize and chart the way forward for the aviation sector over the next three years (2023 – 2026). Through a systematic and pragmatic process of execution, it is aligned with the government’s priorities for aviation and will position The Bahamas to meet and exceed global standards as a leader in aviation excellence. It comes because of the collective contributions, commitment, focus, drive, and synergy among the key stakeholders within our aviation ecosystem, and is supported by eight broad strategic themes:

Improve airport infrastructure and development.

Airlines, passengers, and cargo need safe, efficient, and affordable airport infrastructure to sustain their operations. Through strategic collaboration, partnerships, and development projects, we seek to transform the aviation industry by ensuring adequate best-in-class infrastructure for air transportation users.

We have developed a vision to design, build, finance, operate and maintain “Airports of the Future” across our archipelago, based on new technology, cultural authenticity, and a commitment to sustainability and resilience.

Enhance strategic partnerships and engagement.

A strong partnership with global and local aviation stakeholders, such as airlines, regulatory agencies, airport users and surrounding community members, is particularly important for the success of the National Aviation Strategic Plan. There is a shared commitment around policy execution and continuous engagement around deliverables.

Increase airlift and improve air connectivity.

Increasing airlift and improving air connectivity are critical components in sustaining the country’s economic vitality which is largely driven by airline stopover arrivals. Partnerships with airlines and aviation stakeholders, including international and domestic carriers, hotels, accommodations, tourism, and promotion board partners is therefore particularly important. We will diversify our airlift to promote The Islands of The Bahamas as a unique multi-island destination experience which is easily assessable by traditional commercial airlines, as well as by amphibious seaplanes and vertical helicopter airlift.

Enhance human capital development.

To increase competitiveness, minimize risk and optimize human capabilities, we will ensure the optimization of developing human capital. We will focus on attracting new talent, building the capabilities of existing industry personnel through effective training, and developing programmes to efficiently manage

strategic foresight and industry transformation. We are excited to launch the first ever Bahamas Aeronautical Training Institute to support our national objectives.

Financial resilience and operational efficiency.

The aviation industry must focus on improving operational efficiencies and implementing policies that drive cost reduction through leaner operations, new ways to leverage ancillary revenue, and adaptation to fluctuating airports traffic. A medium-term financial planning model has been developed to support agility and drive accountability and transparency.

Strengthen safety and security systems.

Passenger confidence in aviation safety and security is indispensable to the continued growth of the aviation industry. The Bahamas is required to implement and conform to a safety oversight system to promote aviation safety. This is achieved by observing and assessing the compliance of aircraft operators/service providers with the applicable regulations, procedures, and recommended practices. This mandate is further supported through safety and security audits to evaluate areas such as surveillance and compliance, risk assessments, and safety management.

Sustainable air transport services.

The aviation industry globally is being transformed by increased attention to prioritizing sustainability goals. The Bahamas is committed to becoming the regional leader in aviation sustainability initiatives, renewable energy discussions, greener aerospace technologies and actions to advance net zero and carbon neutrality.

Improve innovation and technology.

Aviation in The Bahamas is ever-changing. We must constantly pivot in a post-pandemic era to advance cutting-edge technology to meet the demands of the new normal. Through ongoing collaboration, the sector will explore innovative systems and solutions to assist in operational efficiency and effectiveness.

Aviation Agencies include Aircraft Accident Investigation Authority, Airport Authority, Bahamas Air Navigational Services Authority, Bahamasair, Civil Aviation Authority Bahamas, Freeport Airport Development Company, Nassau Airport Development Company, and Nassau Flight Services.

For more information on The Bahamas’ National Aviation Strategic Plan, visit or scan our QR code. UA

up and away 23
Dr. Kenneth Romer Bahamas Director of Aviation and Deputy Director General of Tourism

Traditional Bahamian arts and crafts are vibrant and captivating. There are also many local artisans who have drawn inspiration from the techniques passed down from generation to generation to create their own unique pieces, resulting in one-of-a-kind items that can make the perfect gift this holiday season. While straw work (which is made by meticulously weaving together pieces of dried palm leaves) and hand carved wooden figures are the most well-known locally crafted gifts that can easily be found at straw markets and holiday pop-up events around the country, many Bahamian artisans have elevated their offerings in recent years to include impressive and fashion forward jewellery, handbags, clothing, shoes as well as teas, beauty products, food items and more.

Haus of Assembly’s Aidan Barrow started her company with colourful and eye-catching espadrilles that were perfect for work, brunch, or a casual day on the town, but her brand quickly snowballed to be one of the most sought-after handbag lines in the country. Her new collections are known to sell out quickly, and she also recently opened a brand-new boutique at the Nassau Harbour.

Barrow notes that her brand was created in her search for fashionable items that drew from Bahamian culture but were not simply designed for the tourist demographic. Barrow adds that she spends a great deal of time developing her concepts, designs, and prototypes before she eventually unveils them.

“All of our items have a predominantly neutral/wearable colour palette,” Barrow explained. “We are inspired by the flora, fauna, and culture of The Bahamas. Our most iconic print, to date, is our black hibiscus and emerald-green banana leaf print. All of our prints are illustrated in house through a meticulous design process. After which, prototypes are made, resulting in a six-month process before our products are created.”

D’Lethea Nairn, designer of Pursenal ParaDiyse clutches, noted, “The world should experience Bahamian art and creativity.” Despite the beauty of her colourful handmade and hand painted pieces, Nairn noted that she never considered herself an artist, but she was “always in awe of how creative and talented Bahamians are as a people”. She added that the ingenuity and the local culture has allowed her to infuse her pieces with her own unique vision.

Bahamian Artistry Uniquely Bahamian Holiday Gift Ideas

up and away 25
Haus Of Assembly – Aidan Barrow Photographs Courtesy Of Aidan Barrow, Craft Cottage, Pursenal ParaDiyse, and Nikia Wells Haus Of Assembly Handbag D’Lethea Nairn of Pursenal ParaDiyse The Current Baha Mar

There have also been several stores that have become dedicated to showcasing Bahamian brands and Bahamian designers, including Down Home Bahamas (Bay Street), The Current (Baha Mar) and the whimsical Craft Cottage (Village Road).

Located on the grounds of the Doongalik Studios & Art Gallery on the northern end of Village Road, the Craft Cottage is a bright and colourful store that features locally made home décor, straw work, jewellery, clothing, soaps, artwork, and glassware.

“Craft Cottage was birthed through the desire of a group of crafters to have a permanent place to display their creations,” noted Sosefina Christie and Nadine Ramphal, the duo behind the curated collections.

“We only sell local crafts and products, so each item purchased directly impacts an artisan, right here in The Bahamas. There is a deep connection

between us and our vendors and every creation have a story. At first glance, it’s just a beautiful item but it takes on a new importance when you hear the story.”

Christie and Ramphal also noted that in a post-COVID Bahamas, they saw the creativity of local artists and designers flourish – both out of necessity and as an outlet to express themselves. The duo also aims to make the Craft Cottage as inviting and welcoming as possible for both shoppers and the creatives that they showcase.

“We sit under a guinep tree on the Doongalik Art Gallery property. We are a colourful island clapboard cottage with a painted wood floor and electrified oil lamps for lighting. We search for items in our environment to create or be inspired by. We aim to provide our customers with an experience when they visit us. The charming garden setting really starts to prepare you for what is in store.” UA

october 2023 26
The Current – Baha Mar Farmer’s Market Pop Up at Doongalik Studios and Craft Cottage Craft Cottage Duo

Where to Find Fun, Food and Fashion In Delray Beach, Florida

Looking for fun in southeast Florida? Look no further than Delray Beach! With accolades like “Most Fun Small Town in the USA” and one of “America’s Happiest Seaside Towns”, Delray Beach is a small town that gives you a big-city experience. In the late 1800’s, Delray Beach was a haven for shipwreck victims. Today it is a haven for visitors looking for a vibrant South Florida experience. This walkable city starts at the sparkling, azure waters of the Atlantic Ocean and ends six miles inland at the fresh water Wakodahatchee Wetlands. In between, there are restaurants, shops and attractions that delight visitors and draw them back year after year.


Start by staying at the most fun place in Delray Beach, Crane’s Beach House

This luxury tropical oasis has beautifully renovated rooms, suites, and villas, surrounded by verdant gardens, all with indulgent amenities and full kitchens. There are two swimming pools surrounded by lush foliage, and intimate conversation areas and colourful accents that invoke a Key West feel to the property.

Each room is equipped with thick beach towels and backpack beach chairs allowing you to enjoy the beautiful beach that is only one block to the east. Lively Atlantic Avenue, with its multiple art galleries, upscale boutiques, and vast array of restaurants, awaits you one block to the north. Crane’s Beach House is a relaxing sanctuary in the “Most Fun Small Town in the USA”.


Choices on where to eat in Delray Beach can be overwhelming. Breakfast fans will enjoy the oceanfront Caffe Luna Rosa, or the covered patio at Over the Bridge Cafe. For the light breakfast eater, head to Amar Bakery for a luscious Mediterranean sweet and a cup of freshly brewed coffee. Late risers can get brunch at both Caffe Luna Rosa and Over the Bridge Cafe, daily, and at Deck 89 on the weekends. There are many choices for lunch in Downtown Delray Beach. A couple of favourites are El Camino, Lemongrass Asian Bistro and Papa’s Tapas. Stop in at Gelato & Go for a sweet pick-me-up in the afternoon or as a sugary nightcap.

The deliciousness continues in the evening. For dinner, try the eclectic DaDa located in one of the oldest historic houses in Delray Beach. They have an interesting menu that changes seasonally. Don’t miss the perennial DaDa Dates, an outstanding take on bacon wrapped dates, accented with chorizo, Manchego salsa and Marcona almonds. Fish lovers’ must-have is the fresh catch which is sourced weekly from local fisherman.

up and away 27
Crane’s Beach House Gelato & Co DaDa Dates At DaDa Lionfish

Lionfish and Chips at Lionfish

Another excellent choice for dinner is Lionfish on Atlanta Avenue. This is a sea-to-table restaurant with some tasty land options, too. Named for an invasive species of fish, Lionfish is doing its part to help save the ocean’s ecosystem by featuring its namesake on its menu. Lionfish are ravaging the ocean, particularly the Caribbean, by devouring fellow sea life and damaging coral reefs. The rare, delicious white flaky fish is available as fish and chips and a citrus-infused ceviche on the Lionfish menu. Every lionfish you enjoy from the ocean, you help preserve future generations of other types of fish.



In the evening, Downtown Delray Beach comes alive with music, street performers, and a festive atmosphere. The streets are lined with open air cafes and restaurants. Shops stay open later to catch the post-beach crowds. It is not unusual to see couples dancing on the sidewalks, either!

Saltwater Brewery is Delray Beach’s first local production microbrewery. Created by Floridians with passions such as surfing, fishing, boating, and the ocean, in general, they perfect each batch of the beer, using only natural ingredients. Each style of handcrafted beer is given a name inspired by the ocean to reflect the lifestyle and passion of the founders.

From the beginning, their goal was to help maintain the world’s greatest wonder by giving to ocean-based charities such as Coastal Conservation Association, Surfrider, and Ocean Foundation. Saltwater Brewery is the first brewery to package and sell beer with the Eco Six Pack Rings. This eco-friendly six pack ring is made from by-product waste and other compostable materials. It was developed to replace plastic rings, which are truly damaging to the ocean and the animals who live in it.

The brewery is in an historic building that was once a feedstore. The atmosphere is lively and kid friendly. Grab a beer or canned cocktail and have a bite from their rotating food trucks. If Chicago Me Up is there, don’t miss their Italian beef sandwich. Enjoy this deliciousness while watching a sporting event on the big screen or playing a game of indoor shuffleboard.

Throw Social is a playful, open air, happy hour, evening, or late-night venue that combines backyard-style games with music, entertainment, delicious bites, and cocktails. Throw Social offers 11,000 square feet of a non-traditional bar scene. Live music starts at noon on weekends and at 7:00pm during the week, with a late-night DJ until 2:00am on weekends. There are light up ping pong tables, corn hole, a giant chess game as well as traditional size board games, all designed for adult fun. Honey and Tin Roof also offer live music, late-night DJs, and dancing. All are located near the corner of Atlantic Avenue and Second Street in Downtown Delray Beach.


Historically, Delray Beach is steeped in the arts. In the 1920’s, it became a seasonal artist’s and writer’s colony. The Arcade Tap Room was the gathering place for these creative minds. This distinct red building still stands on Atlantic Avenue. Delray Beach continued to be popular as a winter retreat for creative minds through the 1930’s and 1940’s. By strolling around town, you will see outdoor art installations, galleries, theatres, and wall murals all illustrating the community embracing their artist roots. You can pick up a map of galleries and art installations at the Visitor Center on

the corner of Atlantic Avenue and A1A. If you are visiting during the first week of the month, don’t miss their First Friday Self-Guided Art Walk.

Old School Square is a hidden gem that is often overlooked by visitors. Located at the corner of Atlantic Avenue and Swinton Avenue, this campus was built in the early 1900’s as the Delray Elementary and Delray High Schools. Today, the building has been readapted into an arts centre, housing the Cornell Art Museum, the Crest Theatre, an amphitheatre, a vintage gym, and a Live Oak shaded park. The restored early 20th century school buildings are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Live music performances and community events are frequently held in these spaces. Art lovers will also want to visit Arts Warehouse located on Artist Alley in the Pineapple Grove District, Arts Warehouse is a creative breeding ground for studio artists. There are gallery exhibitions, visual art workshops, professional development opportunities and special events.

No trip to Delray Beach is complete without spending some time shopping along Atlantic Avenue. This trendy, pedestrian-friendly street is shaded with mature palm trees and lined with shops, restaurants, and art galleries. Atlantic Avenue is walkable, which is perfect if you want to take your time window shopping and people watching. There are multiple upscale tropical boutiques for men and women as well as art galleries and surf shops. Don’t miss Blue Gallery, which encompasses an entire city block, Andrea Dupree for gently used and new designer handbags, Headache Trading Company for collectable sneakers and urban wear, the Delray Kollective for locally designed and crafted jewellery, apparel and home décor and A Blast from the Past for vintage clothing, accessories, and home décor.


Delray Beach Historical Society was founded in 1964 with a mission to “collect, preserve and share materials from Delray Beach’s past, so that present and future generations can comprehend more fully their predecessors, their communities and themselves”. Through themed programs, events, and exhibits, they showcase Delray’s colourful history. Their lush, one-acre campus houses the city archive, three historic cottages, and a Florida-native heritage garden.

The cottages are home to several permanent exhibits, illustrating Delray Beach history from the first inhabitants to modern times. There is a new exhibit that explores Delray Beach history from the 1950’s to the 1970’s, covering post-war optimism, tourism and development, the civil rights movement, the transformational 60’s, the Haitian migration, politics, and counterculture themes. Call ahead to check for hours or to schedule a docent-led tour. For specific information on the history of people of African descent in Palm Beach County, visit Spady Cultural Heritage Museum. For specific information on the history of people of Japanese descent in Palm Beach County, visit Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens.


Delray Beach and Atlantic Dunes Beach are named as some of the top beaches in the southeastern U.S. by Travel Holiday Magazine. Delray Municipal Beach is popular with people of all ages. You will see families enjoying a day in the waves, young people playing volleyball, and everyone basking in the warm sun. Visitors can rent chairs and umbrellas at Oceanside Beach Rental right on the sand at Atlantic Avenue and A1A. To rent skim, body, paddle, and surfboards, head to Island Water Sports, a half a block from the beach on Atlantic Avenue.

october 2023 28
Saltwater Brewery Delray Beach Historical Society

Silver Ball Arcade and Pub is a large museum featuring more than 150 video games and pinball machines dating as far back as the 1930s. Their goal is to “bring a bit of nostalgia to visitors, evoking childhood memories for adults while creating new memories for younger generations”. You can play classic video games such as Pac-Man on their two floors that contain pinball machines, arcade games and even the original Skee-Ball alleys from New York’s Coney Island, Eldorado Arcade. The best part about it is that all the games are free to play with your admission ticket. There is a casual dining restaurant that serves soft drinks and adult beverages on site.

To explore South Florida’s freshwater wetlands, head to Green Cay or Wakodahatchee Wetlands Parks. They offer over 100 acres of wetlands, accessible by elevated boardwalks. These verdant, tranquil parks offer opportunities to observe Florida’s wildlife in their natural habitat. At Green Cay Nature Center, you will find exhibits focused on the area’s natural ecosystem, live animals, a theatre, and a gift shop. In both parks, you will walk on a boardwalk system through Cypress swamps, Cabbage Palm wetlands and hardwood environments. The birdwatching and wildlife photography opportunities are outstanding. There is no charge to explore these treasures.

Visit Sandoway Discovery Center for a fun experience for the whole family. Found in an historic house directly on the Atlantic Ocean, this hands-on natural history museum offers educational programs, guided tours, and unique exhibits. On the lush grounds, you will find a butterfly garden and pollinator habitats. There are nurse shark feedings daily and sting rays to pet on the covered back patios. Inside, there are several intriguing displays, including a large collection of tropical shells, awaiting you on the upper floors. Sandoway Discovery Center endeavours to educate and enlighten visitors on the importance of conservation and protecting our environment. This is a fun activity for a rainy day or if you need a break from the beach.

Whether you are looking for fun, food or fashion; exploring the outdoors from a boardwalk; petting a stingray or playing 1980’s Pac-Man, Delray Beach offers something for all ages.

Atlantic Avenue will keep fashionistas and foodies busy for days. Music, arts, and history await you throughout the city. It is easy to see why they call Delray Beach “The Most Fun Small Town in the USA”. UA

up and away 29
Wakodahatchee Wetlands Parks Delray Beach Delray Beach Municipal Building Silver Ball Museum Pineapple Grove Art District
Green Cay Nature Center


Higher Level Band

Ahigher level of entertainment, showmanship, business, professionalism, musicality, and presentation is the master plan behind the Higher Level Band.

Doing the bare minimum and giving Bahamian audiences “the status quo” is never an option for this group of talented performers. Everything about this band is strategic – from the moment the show begins, from the first note to the last, and every dance move in between, this stellar band does it all at a higher level.

The Higher Level Band is made up of co-leaders Samuel Murphy (drums/audio), JD Stewart (keys/vocals), highly skilled musicians, and technicians who all contribute to the band’s edge in the music industry. Other band members include the lovely, energetic Anja Bowe (lead vocalist), Jamaine Johnson (bass guitar), Javon Taylor (keys/arranger), and the music veteran Colyn McDonald (lead guitar/vocalist). Behind the scenes assisting the team are Rashad McPhee (sound engineer) and Mannix Evans (Stage Technician).

Make no mistake, there is something different about the Higher Level Band.

Their music is undeniable. The vibe is electric. Once you experience it, you cannot help but participate in the excitement brewed by this one-of-a-kind group. They “wow” audiences wherever they play and have quickly risen to the top of the Bahamian entertainment industry as the “go-to” entity for quality music and exhilarating live shows.

Since its origin in the early 2000s, the band has made its way through several iterations and components to find a resting place in the beloved collective we

know today. The members have united from various corners of the Bahamian music scene, cultivating their skills in the churches and numerous live bands like Page 99, Xtra Band, All 4 One, Jukebox Live, The Falcons, Visage, and the musical force known as Ira Storr & The Spank Band.

It is through the Spank Band that this family of musicians came together to develop their sound and eventually transition to the Higher Level Band with the common goal of raising the bar of musicianship, effecting positive change in the entertainment business, and revolutionizing the Bahamian entertainment landscape to take a superior cultural product to the world.

During its rise to prominence, the Higher Level Band has served as a backing band for many recording artists that presently make up the Bahamian music scene including Geno D, Phil Stubbs, D-Mac, Lady E, Ira Storr, Avvy, Funky D, Blaudy, Veronica Bishop, Sweet Emily, KB, Stileet, Simeon Outten, Nishie L.S., Alia Coley, Rik Carey, Dyson Knight and Wendi, just to name a few. The list of international recording artists that the band has worked with individually and collectively includes Ricardo Dru, Kim Burrell, Bebe Winans, Denise Belfon, Tarrus Riley, Bunji Garlin, and Phylissia Ross.

The Higher Level Band covers many genres; however, it specializes in the indigenous sounds of The Bahamas – namely rake ‘n’ scrape and Junkanoo music. The band has graced the stages at numerous national celebrations, major events, and cultural festivals in The Bahamas, and has also performed internationally.

Future projects are on the horizon. However, should you have an opportunity to see this band perform, rest assured that they will deliver an awesomely energetic, engaging, entertaining, and professional show at a “higher level”. UA

up and away 31

At Cancer Treatment Centers of America® (CTCA), Comprehensive Cancer Care Network we understand that cancer is a complex disease, requiring you to navigate insurance coverage, travel arrangements, medical records and other unanticipated needs. Our international team is committed to helping you handle these logistics so you can focus on what’s important to you—your health.


“I enjoyed being around the doctors at Cancer Treatment Centers of America because, not only do they educate you, but they give you a sense of hope. They focus on mind, body

If you or someone you love has cancer, please call toll-free 242-601-0006 to speak with an International Oncology Information Specialist, available 24 hours per day, or visit for more information.

When you choose one of our five U.S.-based hospitals, we guide you and your family every step of the way, starting with a 3-5 day initial evaluation to develop your personalized cancer treatment plan. A team of clinicians will work together to provide treatments combined with evidence-informed supportive cancer care therapies designed to help manage side effects, boost your energy and keep you strong during treatment. Your plan may include treatments like chemotherapy, surgery and radiation with supportive therapies like pain management, physical therapy, nutritional counseling, naturopathic and spiritual support.

and spirit.”
Pamela R. Breast Cancer Patient
© 2019 IPB

at Long Island’s Tiny’s Bahamas

Escape to Paradise Paradise never tasted so good!


Instagram: @TinysBeachBar

Facebook: Tinysbeachbar

Long Island is an oasis in the southern tip of The Bahamas known for the warmth and welcoming nature of its people, the wonders of its untouched coral reefs, stunning flats, blue hole, and its rich fishing and sailing culture. This little piece of paradise is quiet, laid back and showcases elements of Bahamian culture and traditions that have been preserved for generations. The island’s residents and visitors often remark that the area’s tranquillity is unmatched.

When Jason Whitaker and Michelle Rickman first visited Long Island, they were entranced by the island’s authentic charm, which eventually led them to create Tiny’s Bahamas. “We fell in love with the people of Long Island,” noted Rickman. “It was the perfect spot for both seeking adventure and simplicity. There is an authentic island charm and character – the gin, blue water and miles of white sand beaches take our breath away, everyday…”

The duo also noted that they view Long Island as a piece of paradise and wanted to share their “dream lifestyle” and their love for the island with other

visitors by creating a moderately priced boutique-style property for those wishing to experience a laid-back escape.

Tiny’s Bahamas is centrally located near Salt Pond Harbour on Indian Point Road and was always intended to be a peaceful haven for those wanting to fully embrace the true beauty of Long Island while escaping the trappings of busy highways, congested cities, and hectic days. The property offers three seaside beach cottages. The 500-square-foot Pink Palms Cottage has one bedroom, a full kitchen and is surrounded by the shade of mature coconut palms and a stunning elevated view of the blue waters that The Bahamas is known for. While the Seagrape and Key Lime Cottages are both 400 square feet beachfront efficiencies with front porches that are perfect for enjoying the crisp, gentle Long Island breeze.

Tiny’s Beach Bar, which is also located on the property and managed by Michael Turnquest, offers visitors and residents alike a relaxing dining experience, complete with thatched roof patio-style décor, internationally inspired dishes, and a cheerful vibe.

up and away 33
Long Island, The Bahamas Call or WhatsApp: (242) 828-9324
Red Snapper Fish Bites with Fesh Veggies and Herbs Coated with Breadcrumbs and Fried Golden Brown

Turnquest is no stranger to the hospitality field and manages two other restaurants on New Providence. But Long Island has long had a special place in his heart. Both of his parents are from the island, and it was always his dream to return there. Prior to taking over operations at the Beach Bar, he was also the very first guest at Tiny’s Bahamas during the 2016 Long Island Regatta, so it was a full-circle experience for him to both join the Tiny’s team and return to the island that he loves so dearly.

Tiny’s Beach Bar’s menu is a mix of Bahamian, Caribbean and international dishes that incorporate as much fresh and locally sourced ingredients as possible. “Our kitchen and our staff really take the extra step to serve fresh food and original dishes,” added Rickman. She notes that it can sometimes be challenging to source fresh ingredients on a small Family Island, but Tiny’s is dedicated to supporting Bahamian fisherman and farmers.

Turnquest credits his team of local culinary talent, which includes cook Angel Hudson, and manager Patchara McPhee, as well as Nassau-based chef Jonathan Rolle for training the on-the-ground team and creating the stellar dishes on the menu. Tiny’s often features weekly specials, and Turnquest notes that he loves everything that the culinary team creates, but that his favourite dish is the rack of lamb and the Caesar salad.

Rickman also noted that her current favourite dish is the vegetable burger which includes a handmade patty. She also highly recommends the chicken burger, and their seasonal lobster, which she describes as a showstopper.

A visit to the Beach Bar would also not be complete without a Tiny’s Tonic prepared by their charismatic bartender, Percy “PJ” Taylor. This specialty drink includes dark rum, tonic, a dash of fresh sweet orange juice and their “secret weapon” – native Long Island sour oranges. Turnquest also noted that guests “love” PJ’s signature rum punch.

Tiny’s Bahamas and Tiny’s Beach Bar, telephone 242-828-9324 for the Beach Bar and 242-472-8104 for Cottage Rentals. UA

october 2023 34
T-Bone Steak Grilled to Perfection, Juicy Grilled Corn with Fresh Garden Salad Ceasar Salad Fresh Grilled Crawfish, Juicy Grilled Corn and Sweet Potatoes

Discovering St. FloridaAugustine,

America’s Oldest City Offers Historic Treasures and Modern Delights

Founded in 1565 by Spanish settlers, St. Augustine boasts the title of America’s first continuously occupied city. This historical gem lies in the northeastern corner of Florida, perched along the Atlantic Ocean. Much of its ancient charm remains, with narrow brick-lined streets, Spanish colonial houses, and, of course, the mighty Castillo de San Marcos. Today, millions of visitors are drawn every year by award-winning restaurants, boutiques, and interactive attractions. Stunning architecture and nearby sandy beaches make St. Augustine a prime tourist destination. Here are just a few of the highlights of one of Florida’s must-see cities:


Think history lessons are only contained in dusty, old schoolbooks? Think again. St. Augustine has so many interactive ways to learn about the past, from climbing 219 steps of the St. Augustine Lighthouse to keep watch over the harbour, to feeling the weight of a bar of gold in the Pirate & Treasure Museum

At the Fountain of Youth, there is more to experience than sipping from the springs. Roam the grounds of this archaeological park to see replicas of native Timucuan canoes and huts and learn how blacksmiths shaped colonial nails from glowing hot steel. Adding up the time to see all the exhibits and feed the peacocks, you could easily spend several hours here.

The centrepiece of St. Augustine is the Castillo de San Marcos built by the Spanish in 1695 to defend the city and coastline from pirates and attacks by the British. It is the biggest and best-preserved masonry fort in the U.S. and the views over the city and surrounding waterways are spectacular. Costumed historians give various demonstrations, from canon firing to native American weaving. During my visit, a fascinating talk on the tools and herbs that were used to treat wounded soldiers made me thankful for modern medicine.


Whether you are a chocolate lover, craft cocktail fan, or history buff, taking a tour is one of the best ways to experience St. Augustine. At Whetstone Chocolates, you will learn how chocolate is made, from cocoa pod to finished product. And, yes, there are plenty of samples along the way. Did you know this artisan chocolatier created melt-resistant chocolate for the U.S. military during Desert Storm? Try one of their best-selling seashell-shaped chocolates which come in a variety of flavours.

Just around the corner, you will find the St. Augustine Distillery, the most visited craft distillery in the U.S. Even a teetotaller like me enjoyed the free, self-guided tour, located in a restored ice plant. You will learn how Florida sugar cane is transformed into vodka, and how various botanicals like juniper berries and star anise are used to flavour gin. There are samples for those who wish to taste, along with recipes for craft cocktails. Ice Plant Bar is also located in this historic building and a cool drink made with custom-shaped ice is a delicious way to cool off.

Hopping on and off the Old Town Trolley is a convenient way to get around, and the drivers share tales of the city along the way. For a scary good time, consider booking a Ghosts & Gravestones tour to hear about St. Augustine’s haunted past.

One of the most dazzling times to visit is during the Night of Lights (November 18, 2023 – January 31, 2024) when the buildings and streets are illuminated with millions of tiny white lights. Experience the magic from a trolley, carriage ride or on a boat in the harbour. Walk across The Bridge of Lions and look back, soaking in the sight of the twinkling city.


One day is not nearly enough time to experience everything this ancient city has to offer. Plan to stay two or three days and book a room at the St. George Inn This luxury boutique hotel in the heart of the historic district is walking distance to everything. Large, comfortable rooms, views over the city and a peaceful fountain courtyard to enjoy complimentary breakfast are just a few of the reasons to stay. Bin 39 Wine Bar serves an extensive selection of award-winning wines by the glass, and sipping a glass of bubbly in the courtyard is the perfect way to end the day.

up and away 35
St. Augustine Lighthouse Castillo de San Marcos Tour of St. Augustine Distillery Cannon at Castillo de San Marcos Ghost Tour by Trolley

Step out the door to St. George Street, the pedestrian-only thoroughfare that runs through the city. Explore the shops, galleries, restaurants, and historic venues on this picturesque palm-lined street. Sample Florida honey at Stubbees Local Honey & Apothecary and enjoy a cool drink under a shady 300-year-old oak tree at The Colonial Oak Music Park. This welcoming outdoor venue offers free music several nights a week.

Duck down the side alleys and peek into courtyards. This is how I discovered one of my favourite places, Saint Photios Greek Orthodox Shrine. The non-descript white door on busy St. George Street gives no hint of the colourful frescoes, decorative mosaics, and marble altar that lie within this petite memorial to the first Greek settlers in America.


When hunger strikes, you will find everything from casual pizza and tacos to fine dining and elevated cocktails. Early risers can fuel up on caffeine at The Kookaburra, an Aussie-American espresso bar near the cathedral. Try a Hot Aussie (latte with vanilla and cream) and one of their “Brekkie Pies” – savoury pastries with meat, eggs, and

cheese. Ancient City Brunch Bar serves “Bruncharcuterie” – delicious house made empanadas, French toast, and pastries on artfully displayed boards.

For fresh fish, reserve a table in the beautiful garden at Catch 27 where seafood from local waters is showcased in pasta dishes, salads, and entrées. The Floridian is another standout, serving small plates and innovative main dishes like the brisket posole verde.

Craving sweets? Head to Peace Pie on Aviles Street for unique ice cream sandwiches made with layers of pie filling. Family-owned Zeno’s Boardwalk Sweet Shop is the place for saltwater taffy. With more than 100 flavours, you are sure to find your favourite. They make great gifts – if you can resist temptation.


From the 28 stained glass windows in Trinity Parish to the ornate red and timber interior of the Cathedral Basilica, the oldest Catholic Parish in the United States. St. Augustine’s churches are some of the oldest and most beautiful in the country. Many are open to the public and some offer tours on certain days. Be sure to take a look.

Your trip would not be complete without a glimpse into the wonders built by Henry Flagler, oil tycoon and railroad pioneer responsible for building the Ponce de Leon Hotel. Now the home of Flagler College, this iconic property was once an opulent retreat for wealthy northerners. This well-preserved Spanish Renaissance masterpiece contains dozens of Tiffany stained glass windows, a Thomas Edison clock and intricate mosaic tilework.

Across the street, you will find The Lightner Museum, which was once another Flagler-inspired Gilded Age resort called the Hotel Alcazar. The Villa Zorayda completes the trio of eye-catching properties on this corner. A self-guided tour of this Moorish-style property is a delightful surprise.

Whether you are looking for an active family vacation or romantic weekend getaway, this charming ancient city offers something for everyone, making it one of Florida’s star attractions. UA

october 2023 36
Night of a Million Lights St. George Street and Inn Colonial Oak Music Park Fresh Mahi Mahi at Catch 27 Cathedral Bascilica


The Lifestyle of Unique & Sustainable Fashion

Meet Ashli Bethune-Smith of ArtSaeBae

Eleuthera is known for its iconic Pink Sands Beach, super sweet pineapples, and laid-back Bahamian Family Island vibe, but for artist Ashli Bethune-Smith, the island has inspired her passion and creativity to develop her Bae Beads line. The Up and Away team recently caught up with the designer to find out what ignited her desire to create her handmade waist beads and body jewellery.

Up and Away: What inspired you to start ArtSaeBae?

Growing up, I made jewellery and clothing for myself by upcycling used and vintage pieces. This grew into a love for fashion, and I just started making things for others. My now-husband was the one who bought me my first set of beading supplies to really start my business, so a lot of credit goes to him!

Up and Away: What inspires your designs?

A lot of my designs are original, and all my pieces are one of a kind. Living on a small island, I do not like to wear the same thing as everyone else, so I try to create different styles you would not normally see. I try to drape a woman’s body to accentuate her feminine curves and best features. I am all about body positivity and self-love, so my designs tend to centre around sensual femininity. I also use natural stones, shells, and crystals to promote healing and staying one with nature.

Up and Away: How can people purchase the ArtSaeBae designs and where can they find you?

If you are ever in Governor’s Harbor, Eleuthera, we always have a ready-to-wear collection on display at Da Perk Coffee Shop. We are also on Instagram @artseabae where you can order custom beads or choose from available original designs.

Up and Away: What’s next for ArtSaeBae? Do you have new designs or products coming soon?

I am working on opening a boutique in Eleuthera that will not only sell my brand but other local and international handmade arts, crafts, jewellery, and clothing. I am also working on a vintage/thrift aspect to the business where I can upcycle second-hand clothing, jewellery, and accessories. In a world where fast fashion is dominating, vintage shopping is becoming immensely popular because of its green footprint (reduce, reuse, recycle) and because of the exclusive and truly one-of-a-kind pieces you can find. UA

october 2023 38
Photographs Ashli Bethune-Smith ArtSaeBae Designs ArtSaeBae Designs ArtSaeBae Designs

Meet Bahamasair’s Crew

‘Discover the Extraordinary Talents of Bahamasair’s Multifaceted Workforce’

In the azure skies above The Bahamas, a symphony of talent takes flight with Bahamasair. Behind the scenes of this renowned airline lies a hidden treasure trove of multifaceted and gifted employees who soar to new heights both on and off the runway. From pilots with a penchant for fishing, cabin crew members who are skilled artists, to engineers with a passion for music, Bahamasair’s workforce is a melting pot of diverse talents.

Unravel the captivating stories of these extraordinary individuals as they showcase their prowess beyond their airline duties. Join us as we delve into the fascinating world of Bahamasair’s crew, celebrating their creative pursuits and artistic passions. Discover how these talented individuals infuse their remarkable skills and unique artistry into every aspect of their lives, elevating the spirit of Bahamasair and leaving a lasting impression on the passengers they serve.

Buckle up for an awe-inspiring journey as we take you on a behind-the-scenes adventure, unveiling the untold tales of some of the multitalented and dynamic team that makes Bahamasair a truly exceptional airline experience. Get ready to be inspired and delighted by the extraordinary talents of the people who make the skies above The Bahamas come alive with passion, creativity, and boundless ambition.

Meet Captain Michael Pinder

Up and Away: Share with us your function at Bahamasair?

Currently, I am a captain on the ATR fleet, and normally I do “line flying” which is everyday flying on the ATR schedule route, internationally and domestically. I also do ground construction and ground training for pilots, flight attendants and our ops controllers or dispatchers. I am also the acting manager of training, flight operations.

Up and Away: What activities bring you joy and relaxation when you’re not busy at Bahamasair?

As a young boy growing up around the waters of The Bahamas, I spent most of my life not only in the air, but on the sea. I entered the ocean at a very young age. Any aspects of boating, fishing, diving, anything to do with the water, brings me relaxation and joy.

Up and Away: What was your proudest moment during fishing or most achievable moment?

It’s been numerous highlights over the years. Any fisherman will tell you about his biggest fish they caught. I’ve had a fish caught with rod and reel, maybe a 62/63-pound kingfish, which I caught in Freeport, which was fun, and I also spearfish and caught, I would say, probably about a 50/60-pound rockfish.

Up and Away: What else do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

Of course, spending time with family. I enjoy bird hunting – white crown pigeon and ducks.

Up and Away: How do you balance work life, home, social life, and hobbies?

Well, unfortunately, the hobbies during the last few years had to take a back seat. I try to squeeze them in as I can, but work life has taken more of my time as well as family life, so I don’t get to do the recreational activities as much as I use to, but I try to get out as often as I can to try and maintain a healthy balance.

Up and Away: A person sees Captain Michael Pinder in the cockpit, and sees Michael Pinder in the sea or on a boat – what’s the difference?

I look way more relaxed on the boat, for one, probably less focused (with a smile). I tend to try and be as focused as I can in the flight deck to ensure that I am performing at my best, and I am able to provide the safest operation possible. On the boat is not quite as serious, it’s more about the fun. I can be out in the boat and not catch anything and still enjoy myself!

up and away 39
Photographs Courtesy Of Bahamasair, Captain Michael Pinder, Patrice Johnson, and Captain Michael Pinder In The Cockpit Captain Michael Pinder Fresh Catch Captain Michael Pinder Diving Crawfish

Meet Mrs. Patrice Johnson

Up and Away: What do you enjoy doing the most on your days off or during your free time?

During my free time, I enjoy reading my Bible, and listening to motivational speakers and gospel music.

Up and Away: If you could take a dream vacation anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?

My dream vacation is to visit the Holy Land. I want to experience the places I read about in the Bible.

Up and Away: Are there any hobbies or activities you’re passionate about and how do you incorporate them into your busy schedule?

My favourite activity is exercising during my daily medication at 5am Monday through Friday.

Up and Away: Have you ever had any unique or adventurous experiences while traveling and can you share one of your favourite travel stories with us?

A unique adventure was my first boat cruise onboard Carnival Liberty to Half Moon Cay. Experiencing a cay in The Bahamas while enjoying nature, the beautiful beaches and hospitality of Bahamians.

Up and Away: What is your favourite Bahamian dish and where do you go when you want to enjoy it?

My favourite dishes are crab ‘n’ grits, steam grouper and coleslaw. My daughter is an excellent cook. She normally prepares the meal for me. Tropical conch salad as well and I usually purchase it from Arawak Cay.

Meet Mr. Noland Rolle

Up and Away: Tell us, what do you do at Bahamasair?

I am the manager of operations control in the dispatch unit.

Up and Away: Do you have any nicknames?

(with a big smile) My family and folks close to me called me Jay which is my middle name. My work colleagues call me Noland at the office here at Bahamasair. However, my nickname in Junkanoo is “Rev.”

Up and Away: How did you get the nickname Rev?

There was a meeting that the Junkanoo “bellers” of the Shell Saxons Superstars were having and they asked me to pray at the first meeting that I attended with them. And afterwards, one of the “bellers” turned to me and said, “You is a Rev, aye?” I said no and he said that they are calling me “Rev” from now on.

Up and Away: How long ago was that?

This was in 2015.

Up and Away: What activities bring you joy and relaxation when you are not busy with Bahamasair?

I can definitely say that it is Junkanoo because I really enjoy it. As a “beller,” when I am in that section, all thoughts and stress disappear. I just concentrate on ringing the bells and just having fun and enjoying myself. It requires a lot of energy just to keep that going, but other than that, it is just having fun, so it is a good outlet. It is a good way to exercise as you exert a lot of energy. Additionally, I enjoy playing the drums at my church, the New Mount Zion, Blue Hill Road South. I also play for a gospel group, Edison Sumner, and the Voices of Praise.

Up and Away: How do you balance it all from Junkanoo, the church, the gospel group, work, and the family?

Well, I must say a lot of time is spent here at work. But I make it a priority when I get home to spend time with my wife and my son. I make every effort to balance it all and work at it daily. UA

october 2023 40
Patrice Johnson At Work Noland Rolle On The Drums At Church Patrice Johnson At Church

W O R L D A T H L E T I C S R E L A Y S B A H A M A S ‘ 2 4

But wait, the fun doesn’t stop at the finish line. Picture this: the unmistakable rhythms of Junkanoo infusing the air, the pulse of International beats harmonizing with our own The format of the Relays, a tantalizing secret yet to be unveiled, promises a breathtaking fusion of Athletic prowess and artistic ingenuity that will set the world stage ablaze

Get Ready and Get Excited! Because an electrifying spectacle is about to unfold in none other than the breathtaking Bahamas The countdown has begun for the ultimate Athletic Fiesta Mark your calendars for May 4-5, 2024, as the World Athletics Relay Bahamas 24 comes roaring to life.

Brace yourselves for a two-day whirlwind of heartpounding races, intertwined with the irresistible rhythm of Bahamian Culture Remember those unforgettable IAAF World Relays that dazzled the globe in 2014, 2015, and 2017? Well, it’s back again, in The Bahamas and we’re taking it up a notch!

The world’s eyes are fixed on our sun-kissed country, where a vibrant group of approximately 2,000 elite athletes, coaches, and team officials from approximately 200 countries will ignite the tracks But this is no ordinary athletic showdown –it’s a sensory festival, where international flavors mingle with local delights.

And guess what? You’re not just a spectator in this dazzling mixture of Sport and Culture Imagine being right in the heart of the action, in the “Fan Zone” – premium seats that put you at the epicenter of the thrill. This is history in the making, this is the sole qualifying event where 14 of 16 countries will punch their tickets toward Olympic Glory in Paris 2024

Beyond the tracks, the festivities continue to paint the town with vibrant hues Cultural centers transform into hubs of excitement, with massive screens broadcasting the relays, and that’s not all – music festivals are on the horizon too, turning this event into a BAHAMAZING JOURNEY!

up and away 41

T O U R I S T S ’ P A R A D I S E

Savor our country’s delicacies, where each bite tells a story of heritage and flavor You can indulge in delectable cuisine while your senses will be dancing to the rhythm of the Islands. The Bahamas isn’t just a destination, it’s a symphony of experiences

Join us in this fusion of Sports, Culture, and Adventure Because when it comes to unforgettable moments, It Is Indeed Better In The Bahamas.

Attention, explorers and sun-soaked dreamers! The Bahamas is welcoming you to an event that’s not just about sports –it’s an immersion into a world of beauty, adventure, and unparalleled experiences. While you cheer on the champions on the tracks, soak up the golden rays and let the clear blue waves embrace you.

Prepare to be swept away by the allure of Exuma’s Swimming Pigs For the daring souls, Andros beckons with its siren call of deep-sea diving, unveiling the mysteries of the ocean’s depths. Or take a quick boat trip to Eleuthera where its pink sandy beaches will spark breathtaking moments. These captivating landscapes aren’t mere postcards; they’re the back drop to your own adventure.

For more details and to dive into this captivating world, visit us at www worldathletics org, or drop a line at or Instagram, Twitter, Youtube, TikTok @WABahamas24 Your adventure of a lifetime awaits!

october 2023 42

Unlocking Joy: 13 Secrets to a Fun-Filled Yoga Journey

With its ancient roots and profound benefits, yoga has become a beloved practice for millions worldwide. It offers a path to physical strength, mental clarity, and spiritual well-being. However, amidst the discipline and dedication that often accompany a yoga practice, it is important to remember the element of fun. Infusing your yoga practice with joy can transform it from a routine to an experience that nourishes your mind, body, and spirit.

Let us explore 13 creative ways to make your yoga practice a delightful and enjoyable journey. These suggestions go beyond the traditional asanas and delve into the realms of exploration, self-expression, and connection. From playful variations of poses to incorporating music, props, and even laughter, these ideas will help you embrace the light-hearted essence of yoga and fall in love with your practice all over again.

Experiment with different styles and classes: One way to make your yoga practice more enjoyable is to explore various yoga styles and attend different classes. From Hatha to Vinyasa, Kundalini to Yin, and even Power to Ashtanga -- there is a wide range of styles to choose from. By trying different approaches to yoga, you can keep your practice fresh and exciting, preventing it from becoming monotonous. Each type has unique benefits and challenges, allowing you to discover new aspects of your practice and keep your body and mind engaged.

Create a vibrant atmosphere: Transform your yoga space into a lively and inviting environment. Add colourful mats, decorative elements, and soft lighting to uplift your mood and make the practice more visually appealing. Playing soothing music or nature sounds can enhance the ambiance, creating a serene and enjoyable atmosphere. You can also incorporate essential oils or scented candles to stimulate your senses and deepen your relaxation.

Incorporate your favourite music into your practice: Music is another way to infuse fun into your yoga practice. Music powerfully affects our moods and emotions and can help create a vibrant and dynamic atmosphere during your practice. Choose uplifting tunes that inspire you, whether soothing instrumental melodies or energetic beats. Create a playlist that matches the flow and intensity of your yoga sequence, and let the music guide your movements. As you synchronize your breath with the rhythm, you will immerse yourself in a joyful, rhythmic practice that uplifts your spirits.

Set personal challenges and goals: Set achievable goals and challenges to infuse excitement and motivation into your yoga practice. Whether mastering a challenging pose, improving flexibility, or increasing strength, having specific targets can make your practice more engaging. Break down larger goals into smaller milestones and celebrate each accomplishment along the way. Tracking your progress via photos and videos adds a sense of achievement and encourages consistency and dedication. By embracing challenges, you cultivate resilience and a sense of accomplishment, making your yoga practice a thrilling journey of growth and self-discovery.

Practice with a friend or partner: Sharing your yoga journey with a friend or partner can bring a new level of enjoyment to your practice. Invite someone close to join you for a session or attend a yoga class together. Practicing side by side allows you to support and motivate each other, creating a sense of community. You can even explore partner yoga poses and sequences, fostering connection and deepening your relationship while having fun.

Take your yoga outdoors: Step out of the studio and embrace the beauty of nature by practicing yoga outdoors. Find a serene spot in a park, beach,

up and away 43
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

or garden, and let the surroundings inspire your practice. Breathing in the fresh air, feeling the sun’s warmth on your skin, and listening to the sounds of nature can add a whole new dimension to your yoga experience. Connecting with the natural world while flowing through your asanas can rejuvenate and exhilarate.

Embrace laughter and playfulness: Don’t take yourself too seriously during your yoga practice. Allow yourself to let go, be playful, and embrace laughter. It is okay to stumble, wobble, or fall out of a pose. Instead of getting frustrated, see it as an opportunity to find humour in the moment and enjoy the journey. Incorporate laughter in yoga or add playful elements like animal poses or silly challenges to your practice. You will create a joyful and liberating atmosphere on your mat by cultivating a light-hearted approach.

Engage in yoga challenges and events: Participating in yoga challenges or events can inject excitement into your practice. Many online platforms and social media communities organize themed challenges where practitioners worldwide come together to explore specific poses or sequences. Joining such challenges allows you to connect with like-minded individuals, share your progress, and gain inspiration from others. Additionally, look out for yoga workshops, retreats, or festivals in your area to immerse yourself in a vibrant yoga community.

Expand your yoga practice by attending workshops and retreats: These immersive experiences allow you to dive deeper into specific aspects of yoga, learn from experienced teachers, and connect with a like-minded community. Whether it is a weekend workshop focused on inversions, a yoga retreat in a serene location, or a yoga festival with various classes and activities, these events infuse excitement and novelty into your practice. You can explore new techniques, gain fresh insights, and meet inspiring individuals who share your passion for yoga. Workshops and retreats enhance your skills and offer a chance to step away from daily routines and indulge in a fun-filled yoga adventure in a new place.

Practice mindful gratitude: Cultivating gratitude during your yoga practice can transform it into a deeply fulfilling and joyful experience. Before or after each session, take a few moments to reflect on what you are grateful for. It could be something as simple as the ability to move and breathe or the support of loved ones. Practicing gratitude enhances your overall well-being and helps you appreciate the present moment. You create a positive mindset and invite happiness by infusing your yoga practice with gratitude.

Experiment with yoga props and accessories: Introduce yoga props and accessories to your practice to make it more enjoyable and dynamic. Props such as blocks, straps, bolsters, and blankets can provide support, deepen stretches, and assist in achieving proper alignment. They also offer many ways to modify or amplify a yoga pose. Experiment with these props to explore new variations and sensations in familiar postures. Additionally, you can incorporate accessories like colourful yoga mats, inspiring affirmation cards, or aromatic candles to create a visually appealing and uplifting environment. These simple additions can transform your practice space into a sanctuary of joy and self-expression, adding an element of creativity to your yoga routine.

Cultivate a sense of playfulness and self-expression: Remember that yoga is a personal journey of self-discovery and self-expression. Cultivate a sense of playfulness and embrace your individuality on the mat. Let go of any judgments or expectations, and allow yourself to explore poses, transitions, and intuitive and enjoyable sequences. Dance, flow, and express yourself through movement, allowing your practice to reflect your unique personality. Approach each session with a childlike curiosity and a willingness to explore new possibilities. By infusing your yoga practice with playfulness and self-expression, you create a space that encourages joy, creativity, and a deeper connection with yourself.

Embrace your inner fashion guru: The clothes you wear during your practice can significantly impact your mood and mindset. Putting on an outfit that you love or trying out a new yoga ensemble can instantly uplift your spirits and bring a sense of excitement to your practice. Whether it is a brightly coloured tank top, a pair of patterned leggings, or a comfortable and stylish yoga set, the right outfit can make you feel confident, empowered, and ready to move with joy. Not only does wearing your favourite or new outfits add a splash of personality to your practice, but it can also enhance your body awareness and self-care.

Infusing fun into your yoga practice is possible and essential for a well-rounded and joyful experience on the mat. By incorporating these 13 creative ideas into your practice, you can cultivate a sense of playfulness, self-expression, and connection beyond the physical asanas. Embrace the moments of laughter, self-discovery, and growth, as they are the true essence of a fulfilling yoga practice. Let your practice be a celebration of movement, self-care, and connection with yourself and others, and may your mat become a vibrant space where you find solace, inspiration, and abundant joy.

Add these 10 Challenging but Fun Yoga Poses to Your Next Flow:

1 - Crow, Kakasana

1. Bend your knees slightly to bring your palms flat on the floor, about shoulder distance apart.

2. Plant your palms firmly on the mat about a foot in front of your feet. Spread your fingers wide and press into the top joint of each finger.

3. Bend your elbows straight back. Don’t bend them into full Chaturanga arms, head in that direction.

4. Come onto the balls of your feet and open your knees so they line up with your upper arms.

5. Place your knees on the backs of your upper arms.

6. Begin to bring your weight forward into your hands, lifting your head as you go.

7. Come onto your tiptoes, lifting one foot and the other off the floor.

8. Engage the inner thighs for support while keeping the knees on the arms.

9. Hug your feet toward your butt.

10. Focus on the feeling of the body lifting. Avoid sinking into the pose, which can dump weight into the shoulders.

2 - Eagle, Garudasana

1. Begin in Chair Pose (Utkatasna) with both legs bent and your arms by your sides. Alternatively, start by standing with soft knees.

2. Transfer your weight to your left foot.

3. Lift your right foot off the floor..

4. Cross your right thigh over your left thigh as high up the thigh as possible.

october 2023 44
7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12.

5. Hook your right foot around your left calf.

6. Bring both arms out in front of you and parallel to the floor.

7. Bend your arms and cross the left arm over the right, hooking at the elbows. With arms bound, draw your forearms together and wrap your right palm around your left palm, crossing at the wrists. (Whichever leg is on top, the opposite arm should be on top.)

8. Lift the elbows to the height of your shoulders while keeping the shoulders sliding away from your ears.

9. Keep your spine perpendicular to the floor and the crown of the head rising.

10. Hold for 5 to 10 breaths.

3 - Side Plank, Vasisthasana

1. Begin in Downward Facing Dog.

2. Lower your hips and shift your weight forward to come into Plank Pose: palms flat, body extended, with your legs reaching through your heels.

3. Step your feet together and press your weight down through your right hand and forearm. Roll your body to the right, balancing on the outer edge of your right foot.

4. Stack your left foot on top of your right foot and keep your legs straight.

5. Beginners can lower their right knee and shin to the mat, keeping their hips lifted while building strength in the arms and torso.

6. Extend your left arm to the sky, reaching through your fingertips as you lift your hips and firm the triceps of both arms. Feel the muscles across your shoulder blades flex. Firm your thighs, and press through your heels into the floor.

7. Bring your body into one straight line. Gaze at your top thumb. Press down through your bottom index finger.

8. To intensify lift your top leg and wrap your peace fingers around your big toe.

4 - Shoulder Pressing Pose, Bhujapidasana

1. Start in a low squat position with your feet slightly less than shoulder-width apart. Keep your knees wide.

2. Perform a forward fold until your torso is between your inner thighs. Hands will be inside your feet and elbows touching the inside of your knees. Your weight will be forward.

3. Snuggle your shoulders underneath the thighs placing your hands flat on the ground on the outside of your feet. The heels of your hands should align with the heels of the feet.

4. Press your upper left arm and shoulder onto the left thigh above the knee. The left hand should be flat on the floor.

5. Press your upper right arm and shoulder onto the right thigh above the knee. The right hand should be flat on the floor.

6. Engage the upper arms, pressing the shoulders into the upper thighs, upper thighs pressing into the arms and squeeze the knees in towards the shoulders.

7. Place the weight in your hands, lean back, and lift your feet up off the floor. For an extra challenge, cross your ankles.

8. Stay here and breathe deeply for 30 seconds, or as long as comfortable. When you’re ready to return to the starting position, bend your elbows and release your feet back to the floor.

5 - King Dancer, Natarajasana

1. Begin in Mountain Pose (Tadasana) with your weight equally distributed on both feet.

2. Shift your weight onto the right foot. Bend your left knee to lift your left foot off the floor. Keep your left knee hugging toward your midline throughout this pose.

3. Grasp the instep of your left foot with your left hand. Your thumb rests on the sole of your foot and points toward your toes.

4. Lift your right arm straight up to the ceiling.

5. Lift your left leg behind as you bring your torso forward as a counterbalance. Remember that your left knee should not spread out to the side. Your right arm will also move forward.

6. Kick your left foot strongly into your left hand to lift the leg and deepen the backbend. Keep your left toes active.

7. Fix your gaze (Drishti) on something that doesn’t move so you don’t lose balance.

8. Hold 5 to 10 breaths.

9. Keep kicking your left foot into your left hand to rise back up. Lower your left leg back in line with your right. Repeat the pose on the other side.

up and away 45

6 - Lizard, Utthan Pristhasana

1. Start in Downward Facing Dog. Inhale.

2. Exhale as you step your right foot to the outside of your right hand. Ensure your foot comes all the way to the front of your yoga mat so your toes align with your fingers. Bend your right knee at a 90-degree angle and stack it above the ankle. Point your toes out about 45 degrees.

3. Inhale as you bring your elbows to the floor with your forearms flat on your mat. Spread your palms on the floor or use a block underneath the forearms.

4. Keep your head in a neutral, relaxed position.

5. Exhale and press into your left heel to keep your left leg active to prevent your hips from sagging toward the floor.

6. Stay for five deep, full breaths.

7 - Boat, Navasana

1. Begin seated with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor.

2. Lift your feet off the floor. Keep your knees bent at first. Bring your shins parallel to the floor. This is a half boat pose.

3. Your torso will naturally fall back, but do not let the spine round.

4. Straighten your legs to a 45-degree angle if you can do so without losing the integrity of your upper body. You want to keep your torso as upright as possible so that it makes a V shape with the legs.

5. Roll your shoulders back and straighten your arms roughly parallel to the floor with your palms turned up.

6. Do your best to balance on the ‘sit’ bones, but it’s normal if you are resting slightly behind them. Focus on lifting your chest to support the balance.

7. Stay for at least five breaths.

8 - Warrior III, Virabhadrasana III

1. Begin in Warrior I. Bring your hands to your hips.

2. Lean forward to bring your weight into your right (forward) foot. Keep your left (rear) knee bent as you float your left foot away from the floor about a foot.

3. Straighten your right leg and continue to bring your torso toward a parallel position to the floor. Use your torso going forward to counterbalance your left leg, lifting and extending straight back. Eventually, the torso and left leg will come parallel to the floor roughly simultaneously. Keep the neck relaxed, as if it’s the natural extension of the spine. Your gaze stays down towards the floor.

4. Fully extend the left (upper) leg. Keep both hips level and pointing toward the floor.

5. Flex the left (upper) foot and keep the toes pointing down at the floor. Actively engage the muscles of the left leg.

9 - Yogi Squat, Malasana

1. Come to stand with your feet about the mat’s width apart.

2. Bend your knees and lower your butt toward the floor to come into a squat.

3. Put your upper arms inside your knees and bend the elbows to bring the palms into Anjali mudra (prayer position).

4. Allow your thumbs to touch your sternum to help lift the chest. Continue pressing the upper arms into the thighs and thighs into the upper arm to stay engaged.

5. Keep your spine straight, your butt moving toward the floor, and your shoulders relaxed away from your ears.

6. Stay here for five breaths.

10 - Three-Legged Dog, Eka Pada Adho Mukha Svanasana

1. Begin in Downward Facing Dog.

2. On an inhale, raise your right leg off the ground behind you.

3. Keep your hips level with one another as you lift the right leg. The hips should stay square with the floor.

4. Continue releasing the left heel toward the floor. Try to keep an equal amount of weight in both your arms.

5. Keep your spine straight, your butt moving toward the floor, and your shoulders relaxed away from your ears.

6. Extend through the raised right heel and the crown of your head. UA

october 2023 46
6 7 8 9 10

“Love in Action”

Home Construction Project Justice. Compassion. Love.

The Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) Bahamas is the national office of the humanitarian arm of the Seventh-day Adventist Church incorporated and registered in The Bahamas. We deliver relief and development assistance to individuals, regardless of their ethnicity, political affiliation, gender, or religious association. By partnering with local and international communities, we implement developmental projects and activities that foster positive sustainable change.

The Love in Action Project has successfully seen the completion of twenty-five housing structures in less than twelve months throughout Great Abaco and has an aim to continue these efforts to aid in the return of families affected by Hurricane Dorian through the loss of their homes. Over 75,000 persons were impacted, and thousands displaced from Abaco alone. Many persons are still displaced, living either in tents, with families, or on other islands. With the continued threat of a hurricane or other natural disaster, permanent storm-resistant and safe shelters for vulnerable community households are urgently needed. We have a growing list of over 100 families awaiting assistance, so it is our hope to provide a stable shelter environment that meets hurricane standards and mitigates future harm and damage.

When you donate towards this project, YOU, too, become a humanitarian in showing love through your actions – be it with your time, monetary donations or in-kind gifts!

Contact details:



Telephone: 1-242-361-ADRA (2372)

Whatsapp: 1-242-812-ADRA (2372)

up and away 47


ifted Hands” is what three young business owners from Long Island possess. With an extraordinary eye for detail, producing designs of incredible beauty from mesmerizing jewellery pieces, luxury home decor, handcrafted furniture and ideas brought to life.

Nikita Turnquest, artist, and creator of Adon-is Luxury Home Décor is a talented Long Islander with an eye for beauty.

Born into a family of designers, straw artisans, creators, and lovers of everything related to the sea, Turnquest has blossomed into an amazing artist.

Turnquest’s love of art and for the ocean has turned into a love story – the perfect marriage of two passions merged into one.

Beginning just a few short years ago in 2020, Turnquest harnessed her desire to create unique masterpieces and brought to life Adon-is Luxury Home Décor.

“We all want a little bit of beauty in our lives,” Turnquest said, adding that “the world is more receptive right now to independent artists and their uniqueness”.

Influenced by her parents and grandparents, she developed an eye for detail, textures, and colours. Through her father, she inherited his love of the sea, which is brought to life in her designs.

Resin art happens when epoxy resin is mixed with colours and materials to create a unique texture and/or colour blend. Working with resin, natural materials and drawing inspiration from the natural beauty, unique to islands of The Bahamas, is how the magic happens.

Turnquest specializes in home décor and creations like jewellery, cutting boards, coasters, signage, and wall art, bring to life all your unique ideas.

She believes you just need to have “imagination and insight” and explained how art “helps people open up to new ideas” and have a better understanding of life.

LONG ISLAND: Gifted Hands

october 2023 48
Charcuterie board by Adon-is Luxury Home Décor Nikita Turnquest is pictured at a pop-up event, representing her brand Adon-is Luxury Home Décor. Handcrafted jewelled bracelet Luxury home décor-handcrafted wall art Patrick Burrows brings to life the most amazing home furnishing designs at his studio This Is It Woodworks Burrows turned his childhood dreams of woodwork into a reality. Patrick Burrows - Custom-made bedroom furniture

While growing up on Long Island lent to “learning a trade” after completing high school, Burrows relocated to Nassau. Getting work in the big city soon turned into finding more work after his regular schedule.

“It quickly grew to getting calls almost on a daily basis to take on a project,” Burrows said about the growing stages of his work. From a hand-carved mahogany cutting board to furniture or customized hand-built kitchen cabinets, to stone cut walls, everything is original.

He said, “For a first-time customer, I’d say it’s strictly custom handcrafted and they won’t be able to find a purchased piece exactly the same which makes it that much more unique!”

A husband and father of two, Roberts has ten years’ experience in the field of carpentry under his belt and only intends to grow his business in the future.

“By profession, I am a builder, and specifically a finish carpenter,” he said.

He noted how he became “fascinated” with the construction field, shortly after graduating high school, and very soon after got his first local construction job.

“Over the years, I became more and more drawn to the finish carpentry aspect of building, although I do love building from the ground up,” he said.

With a name like “This Is It Woodworks,” I had to ask Burrows how he came up with such an intriguing company name. “I’ve always been told that the business name is quite a unique one and no one really knows how it came about, but it came about like this. When I was a child, at times, I would be around when my father would have persons visit him and I can clearly remember that during the conversation there would be something that he would agree with what the other person was saying, his response would always be, ‘This is it,’” he explained.

“Now that he has since passed away, there were many other things I remembered about him, but that particular response stood out to me as one of the main things I can remember and thought it would be the best way to remember him in everything I do.”

“In recent years, I decided to venture into a small business, building cabinetry and furniture for residential and commercial buildings.”

Passionate about his trade and skills, Roberts encourages all to support small local businesses.

Everything produced at his woodworking studio is handcrafted with real wood, built to each client’s specifications.

As the grandson of businessman, the late Henry Major, of Clarence Town, and his parents Sharon and James Roberts, Roberts was naturally born with a dedication to hard work and hands to build fine wood works. UA

up and away 49
Xavier Roberts of Perfection Builders brings his talent to life at his woodworking studio in Clarence Town, Long Island. Custom built and designed kitchen Custom built bathroom vanity Custom designed kitchen cabinets Custom handcrafted dining table
Xavier Roberts - Handcrafted chairs
october 2023 50 7 Great Locations to serve you. East St. South Saunders Beach Frederick St. North Tonique Williams-Darling Hwy. Carmichael Rd. Prince Charles Dr. Bernard Rd.
up and away 51

Through the Creative Lens of Robyn Damianos

Photographs Courtesy Of Robyn Damianos

Robyn Damianos started her career as a fashion model, appearing in a wide range of international publications before heading behind the lens. She has a unique eye for photography, which has resulted in her becoming a highly sought after and respected figure in her field. The Up and Away team recently caught up with Robyn (the talent behind this month’s stunning cover) to find out a bit more about her impressive and globe-trotting career, and what inspires her to create her captivating images.

Up and Away: How did you get into the fashion and photography industry?

I was discovered when I was 15 years old by Select Model Management. Modelling internationally in VOGUE, advertising campaigns and runway shows for brands such as Prada, Burberry, Vivienne Westwood, etc., was a one-of-a-kind experience. The move from model to photographer came naturally, as I was drawn to the creative side of the fashion industry. Working with fashion photographers such as Steven Meisel, Corinne Day, Mariano Vivanco, etc., developed my keen eye for composition, lighting, and storytelling through images.

Up and Away: What inspired your love for photography?

I have always loved photography. My grandad gave me one of his old film cameras to play with when I was a child. I was hooked. I have almost always carried a camera, capturing memories with friends and breathtaking island scenery on my travels. It wasn’t until I moved back home to The Bahamas that I was truly inspired to frame my own concepts. The beauty of our islands is captivating, and I wanted to combine my fine-art photography with my 12 years of experience in the international fashion world. I love producing and photographing fashion editorials that highlight Bahamian designers and local artists.

Up and Away: How would you describe your photography style?

Memorable, island-inspired lifestyle, portrait, and fashion photography. I find it easy to connect and communicate with my subject, which sets the tone for the entire shoot. I love to experiment with movement and mood to tell the right story for each of my clients.

Up and Away: What has been your favourite photoshoot, to date?

That’s a tough one! I would say it’s a tie between this cover for Up and Away and one of my island-inspired editorials for Harper’s Bazaar. This cover shoot was such fun to bring to life – everything came together effortlessly on the day. The models were fantastic, the makeup was flawless, and the production team was prepared and ready to work together to create. My favourite editorial for Harper’s was memorable in that I was able to include a few Bahamian designer brands into the story alongside international brands such as Burberry, YSL, and Versace. My favourite moment was photographing the model who was wearing a dress by Bahamian designer Ria Smith, and a fantastic handmade Junkanoo headpiece. The weather changed unexpectedly, and the wind picked up right before sunset, which meant that we had to change the shoot plan last minute. I asked the team to position their cars in a semicircle and we used the headlights to illuminate the model just as dusk set in. The resulting images are still some of my favourites, to date.

october 2023 52
Robyn Damianos Photography Robyn Damianos Photography

Up and Away: If you could photograph anyone, anything or anyplace in the world, who/what would it be and why?

My first passion was nature and landscape photography. It would be a dream come true to photograph the beauty of the Northern Lights. Up and Away: What tips would you give for novice photographers, so that they can take the best photo possible?

Practice. Practice. Practice. Experiment with different compositions and lighting

conditions. Learn to work with natural light, as well as artificial lighting when needed. Pay attention to the direction, intensity, and quality of light as it can dramatically affect the mood and atmosphere of your photos. Always be professional and kind to the teams that you work with, no matter how big or small the assignment. Remember, photography is an art form, and there are no strict rules. Embrace your creativity, have fun, and let your unique perspective shine through in your photos. UA

up and away 53
Robyn Damianos Photography Robyn Damianos Photography Robyn Damianos Photography


october 2023 54
OPPORTUNITY SERIOUS ENQUIRIES ONLY CONTACT ON BEHALF OF OWNER PROPERTY FOR SALE BY OWNER Amenable to the development of marina facilities Approximately 260 acres 15 minute drive south of Rock Sound Airport Salina (Salt Pond) in the middle of the property 300 feet of waterfront with beach access 242.427.9871 /
of Brent Turnquest
Photographs courtesy

JUNKANOO: Portraits of the Soul

Brilliantly Captures the Essence, Energy, and Enigma of Junkanoo

“Every picture is a different portrait of the soul.”

Before my well-planned Emancipation Day Weekend in 2023, I found my soul.

Well, it was not really my soul I discovered, but the souls of many exuberant Boxing Day and New Year’s Day Junkanoo revellers – colourfully adorned in fringed crêpe paper, cardboard, and feathered costumes, depicting familiar and otherworldly characters from preconceived themes, and whimsically gyrating to the syncopated and pulsating sounds of the goatskin drum, horns, and whistle.

The multitalented father-son duo of Nicholas and Mike Klonaris captured these “souls” in a unique collection of creative and imaginative portraits of Junkanoo lead costumes, off-the-shoulder dancers, and musicians in a new, beautifully curated photography book titled, “Junkanoo: Portraits of the Soul”, designed and conceived by Italian photographer, Alessandro Sarno. The book’s publisher is Beat Schlagenhauf and the publishing company is Philauthia Publishing.

As I turned the pages of this treasure trove of Junkanoo mayhem, mystery, and magic, I was enthralled by the amazingly artistic, emotionally energized work of these two gifted Bahamian photographers.

Nicholas Klonaris, an “intuitive photographic artist” (this author’s description), began photographing the different Junkanoo groups every year from 1965 when he and his brother, Charles Klonaris, sponsored The Vikings Junkanoo Group, through their family business, Mike’s Shoe Store. The Vikings were the first to introduce three-dimensional costumes to the parades under the art direction of Charles Klonaris. The group later joined with other small Junkanoo groups to form the Shell Saxons Superstars.

Nick, as he is affectionately called by family and friends, has a meticulous “eye” for capturing the “in motion emotion” of his visual subjects, almost as if he could telepathically read their minds, empathically feel their souls, and magically Astro-project their body movements.

up and away 55
Photographs Courtesy of Nicholas Klonaris and Mike N. Klonaris
—Nicholas Klonaris
Junkanoo Artisan Junkanoo Artisan Book Cover - “Junkanoo: Portraits of the Soul”

Nicholas’ son, Mike, also a notable Bahamian photographer, studio-recording engineer, and musician, began collaborating with his father in 1993 by documenting the Junkanoo artistry, ethos, emotions, and energy through their visual imaginations and professional camera lenses, often arriving well ahead of the Boxing Day and New Year’s Day Parades to photograph the celebrants of arguably: “The Greatest Show on Earth”.

“Junkanoo – Portraits of the Soul” is not only an exuberant pictorial journey into the heart, soul, evolution, and enigma of a musical celebration, which first started as a “ritual of bondage and working-class protest” as Percy “Vola” Francis, leader-emeritus of the Shell Saxon Superstars, describes it, but is also an informative and reverential guide into the character, composition, complexity, and camaraderie that define and distinguish Junkanoo from any other cultural ceremony or communal celebration in the world.

Personal testimonies, sociocultural proclamations, and elegant affirmations of the nature, meaning, impact, and importance of Junkanoo by many of its leaders, participants, enthusiasts, critics, and commentators, are juxtaposed amongst brilliantly photographed “Junkanoos” (as they are called colloquially), who seem to come alive spiritually, dance euphorically, and perform musically to rhythms and rhymes of these two parades, which collaboratively are called “a Celebration of Life”.

It is these attestations to the value and cultural viability of Junkanoo that stimulate debate and discussion by Nick Klonaris on the importance of showcasing visual, photographic works in local art galleries – which, in his opinion, has not been consistently and prominently done so in the past – in order to not only inspire more local photographers to preserve this all-embracing art form, but also to educate Bahamians and tourists of the social, economic, and cultural significance of our communities and the many ways in which we create, collaborate, and celebrate.

Mike Klonaris is more concerned with achieving a more equitable and level playing field for amateur and professional artists, whether well-known, well-connected, or not, of all genres (including photography), to have access to and support by local art galleries and visual spaces to introduce, showcase, promote, and even profit from their artistic works, in ways that are more representative of the tenacity and talents of all local artists.

The cultural relevance and social commentary that the book exemplifies gives it a literary and artistic richness and uniqueness from other Junkanoo photography books and memoirs in this visual genre. Arguably, it stands on its own as a masterpiece of unpretentious, “grassroot”, truthful, and revolutionary commentary of Junkanoo as both art form, cultural expression, and human endeavour, excitement, and ecstasy.

“Junkanoo – Portraits of the Soul” elevates the reader’s experience to an imaginary world of music, dance, artistry, and culture that enraptures the mind and soul. It is the culmination of painstaking work that reflects and reveals the passion of a father-son duo who not only organically complement each other’s vision, photographic style, and personal imprint, but who also purposefully supplant the efforts of Junkanoo’s constituents, enthusiasts, appreciates, and gatekeepers.

“Junkanoo – Portraits of the Soul” is indeed a celebration of the lives of a diverse and determined people, culturally motivated to protect, preserve, and promote a festival of souls in a communal dance of colour, artistry, music, and imagination. Most importantly, it is a love letter to The Bahamas, its people, history, culture, social norms, and future, as it celebrates 50 years of independence since 1973.

Arlene Nash-Ferguson, a Junkanoo educator, enthusiast, and one of the contributors to the book, articulated the essence of Junkanoo and, in truth, provided one of the most authentic, culturally important summaries of the book, when she said:

“Junkanoo reaches into the soul of the people of The Bahamas, and to the thunderous beat of goatskin drums and self-made cowbells, displays their untapped genius, and spontaneous ‘joie de vivre’” UA

october 2023 56
Junkanoo Artisan Junkanoo Artisan Junkanoo Artisan Nicholas Klonaris Mike N. Klonaris

Local Boutiques and Designers in South Florida Where You Can Embrace Your Inner Fashionista

Looking for a tropical wardrobe refresh? Look no further than South Florida. From Jupiter to South Miami, there are thousands of shops to indulge in retail therapy. Listed here are local designers and boutiques that offer the unique and the extraordinary, all with a distinctly South Florida flair.


Sea Lustre

Founded by Brooke Hartman, Sea Lustre is perfect for anyone who loves a tropical vibe. Her shop is full of “beachy chic” women’s apparel, home décor and fine pearl jewellery. Inspired by beauty in the natural world, you will find colourful, soft flowing fabrics, and natural elements including leather, wood, and rattan in Hartman’s designs. Not only will you find her designs in her Tequesta boutique, but you will also find them in many of the boutiques listed here. Sea Lustre is located at 140 Bridge Rd, Tequesta, FL 33469.

Lilly Pulitzer

No fashionista’s visit to South Florida is complete without stopping to one of the oldest Florida designers, Lilly Pulitzer. For over 60 years, Lilly has been creating colourful, fun “Florida wear”. What started as a simple dress, designed to hide stains from her juice business, has grown into a vibrant brand that epitomizes the Florida spirit through apparel for men, women, and children. You can find Lilly Pulitzer stores throughout South Florida. A visit to the flagship store at 240 Worth Avenue in Palm Beach is extra special because you can order customized Lilly creations.

Delray Beach Kollective

Kollective is where you can shop multiple artisans and designers all in one place. These co-op-style boutiques offer a wide range of locally created pieces

in three locations throughout South Florida. Whether you are looking for jewellery, apparel, wall art or home décor, you will find something locally created from the heart of Florida artists and designers. There are three Kollectives offering affordable, handcrafted goods: the Delray Beach Kollective at 424 East Atlantic Avenue, the Sistrun Kollective 115 NW 6th Street in Fort Lauderdale’s Art District, and the Wyndwood Kollective 2719 NW 2nd Avenue in Miami’s Wyndwood Arts District.



Wanting to give your swimwear a South Florida upgrade? Visit the creations of Alexandra Grief at Montce. Grief started creating swimwear out of her Fort

up and away 57
Montce Ft. Lauderdale
Delray Beach Kollective Delray Beach Lilly Pulitzer Palm Beach Sea Lustre Tequesta

Lauderdale apartment for family and friends in 2009. It has quickly grown into an international brand that locals and celebrities covet for its exceptional fit. In 2013, Grief opened the first Montce store in Fort Lauderdale. There is also a Montce store in the Miami Design District. Montce remains focused on creating flattering swimwear with exceptional fit and style. Shop at Montce Fort Lauderdale, at 530 NE 13th Street; Montce Miami, 3810 NE 1st Avenue.

Theme Dresser

Are you a hat lover? Theme Dresser specializes in one-of-a-kind hand-painted hats, designed in house. These beauties are created predominately on white, brown, or black hats allowing the designs to take centre stage. The hats are designed in Miami and manufactured in Mexico. In their boutique, you will find a large selection of hats as well as a curated collection of women’s resort wear and special occasion pieces from emerging designers, largely from Mexico. Their boutique is located at 4848 SW 72nd Ave, Miami.

The Wander Shop

The Wander Shop is the brainchild of Marisa Folz, an energetic force in fashion. She started with an airstream trailer converted into a boho chic women’s clothing boutique. Her success was so great that she moved into a brick-and-mortar shop in Oakland Park. She has recently expanded into the neighbouring storefront and added children’s wear and home décor, gifts, and stationery products. Visit her “good vibes only” shop at 3548 NE 12th Avenue Oakland Park, just north of downtown Fort Lauderdale.


Capo Couture brings high-end luxury fashion to Sunny Isles Beach in north Miami Dade County. Partners and sisters-in-laws Rosangela Capobianco and Joanna Amado source luxury contemporary labels from Brazilian designers as well as a few from South American and the United States. Located in an unassuming strip shopping centre, you are wowed by the designs and selection within their stunning boutique. 18200 Collins Ave., Sunny Isles Beach.


Gaucho is a Buenos Aires luxury brand specializing in leather goods and cultivating Argentinian designers. Their offerings include apparel for men and women, accessories, and home goods. They are committed to craftsmanship, integrity, and attention to detail in all their designs. Gaucho designs reflect the spirit and tastes of Argentina. Both its artisan tradition and equestrian culture is woven into the pieces they produce. Look for their first ever jewellery collection by Creative Director Lautaro Garcia de la Peña. It is a mix-and-match approach with minimalist, unisex pieces that can be layered depending on your mood, occasion, and outfit. Gaucho’s U.S. flagship store is in the Miami Design District at 112 NE 41st Street.

Flight Club

Do you consider yourself a sneakerhead (someone who collects rare athletic footwear)? Flight Club carries exclusive, collectable sneakers for men, women, and children. Established in New York City 15 years ago, Flight Club revolutionized sneaker retail by creating a consignment store for rare shoes. Their selection is vast, carrying exclusive editions of Air Jordans, Nike Dunks, Panda Shoes, Bad Bunny x Adidas, Pink Dunks, Jordon Cool Grey Shoes, and Fastest to You Shoes. Flight Club is in the Miami Design District at 3910 NE 1st Avenue. UA

october 2023 58
The Wander Shop Oakland Park Fight Club Miami Theme Dresser Miami Capo Couture Sunny Isles Beach Gaucho Miami

THINK STRAW: From Humble Origins to Lofty Heights

Straw work is a uniquely Bahamian craft that is versatile and durable.

The tradition of straw work or plaiting has been practiced in the Bahama Islands for hundreds of years and dates back to the earliest inhabitants of the islands, the Arawaks, who used the technique to create baskets used for carrying fruit and catching fish, as well as clothing and head coverings.

Today, what was once a basic, crude-structured bag that was used for shopping has been elevated to such lofty heights that it has been gifted to the likes of the late British Monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, and United States Vice President Kamala Harris. American talk show host, television producer, actress, author, and media proprietor Oprah Winfrey is said to own a unique Bahamian straw piece as well as American singer, actress, producer and dancer Vanessa Williams, who gained recognition as the first African American woman to receive the Miss America title – just to name a few.

Bahamian straw products – bags, briefcases, portfolios, map holders, placemats – have arrived … and soared.

Straw work in The Bahamas has come a long way from its humble origins. The art form, which had once been cast aside as not being refined enough, for many, was too much of a reminder of harsh economic times when there were no alternatives to articles made of straw.

However, after seeing straw products in fresh, new light, more Bahamians are coming to accept its true value. A well-constructed straw bag screams sophistication for many people. And Bahamians have begun to show a greater appreciation for this uniquely Bahamian craft. The finished products are beautiful and functional.

It is absolutely amazing what a Bahamian trained in the art form of straw can do with a roll of plait, needle, and thread.

Eldena Cartwright, who grew up on the southern island of Acklins, is one of those people credited with elevating the appreciation for straw products. She “dibbled and dabbled” in the craft when she was a child growing up on the Family Island with no television to watch. Her family also plaited straw, so she made bags for fun. She took the craft seriously twenty-three years ago and can boast that she made a bag and portfolio that was presented to Harris on her visit to The Bahamas.

The versatility, durability, and uniqueness of straw means that it can be worked into so many shapes and forms. For the home and public spaces, they make floor coverings, placemats, condiment holders, serving trays, fanners for cleaning grain, a variety of baskets for carrying and storage, playthings like dolls. And in the fashion industry, there are hats, handbags, portfolios, shoes and even clothing. Decoratively, there are mirror frames, sculptures, and wall hangings.

The possibilities are endless for what can be produced with straw.

Plaiting straw is a tradition that is passed down from generation to generation of mothers and daughters.

The term “straw” refers to narrow strips of the fibrous dried leaves of several varieties of palms and plants that grow wild in The Bahamas. Three of the most important sources of this material are the coconut palm (cocos nucifera), the silver palm (Coccothrinax argentata), which flourishes in the pine yards of Bahamian islands, especially those of the northern subgroups of the archipelago, and the sisal plant (agave sisalana). The straw becomes straw work when it is woven or plaited, using various patterns, to create utilitarian or decorative products.

The straw process is a simple one – someone goes into the Pine Barracks to cut the new leaves from the hearts of the palm, then the sword-like new leaves are hung on a line to dry. The dried leaves are stripped – the spines of the leaves are separated from the softer material which is used for weaving.

“It is unique to us and indigenous. We use straw grown here. You will not find it anywhere else,” said Cartwright who is also an instructor and travels throughout the Family Islands training people in the versatility of straw.

The silver top palm is used a lot because of its strength and durability and the fact that it can be dyed to whatever colour a person wants.

Then, there are interesting names for the close to 200 straw weave patterns – Sour Sop, Hole in the Wall, Take Through, Jacob’s Ladder, Pineapple, Edging Bahama Mama, Peas ‘n’ Rice, Spider Web, Checkers, Fish Pot, and the regular 15-string or 11-string. Cartwright’s absolute favourite is Fish Pot. She said the plait really gives the bag an elegant look when you use it with a plain straw.

Each island also has a unique weaving and plaiting style. And some of the plait designs and basket styles have become a part of the identity of certain island communities, such as the coil basketry of the Red Bays Settlement in Andros where it was brought by Black Seminoles who fled Florida in the early 19th century to escape re-enslavement.

Bahamian coil baskets bear an obvious relationship to those of the Gullah of South Carolina and peoples of West Africa.

up and away 59
Photographs Courtesy Of Shavaughn Moss Straw Shopping Bags On Display. Straw Hats For Children A Selection Of Straw Baskets And Coasters 5- Picnic Basket Eldena Cartwright Is Pictured With Some Of Her Pieces

Patricia Glinton-Meicholas, a Bahamian cultural critic and historian, has spoken about the specialness and potential of Bahamian straw. She has actually given the straw industry high marks and called it “perfect” and a “gift.”

In a Creative Nassau interview, referencing the Orange Economy, Glinton-Meicholas said, “It is traditional. It is creative. And it is sustainable. Bahamian straw craft is a gift from our African ancestors and part of a heritage that links us to our southern United States relatives.”

She said in communities such as Cat Island, Long Island, Eleuthera, and Exuma, families often plaited straw late into the night by lamp, lantern, and firelight, because the plait brought much-needed income.

While plaiting, they told traditional stories and riddles to keep them awake which served to preserve another precious part of the Bahamian heritage – its oral tradition.

The unique straw work of The Bahamas has commanded its place on the world stage, combining beauty and utility.

But before that, history shows that along with other women, in the community of Fox Hill, Eunice Albertha Brown began selling straw and sisal goods to tourists in 1936, forging the highly beneficial link between Bahamas tourism and the Bahamian straw industry.

Ivy Simms of Long Island opened a factory in her home settlement and employed many young women.

Glinton-Meicholas also describes Simms as a pioneer in creating straw work for export.

As early as the 1950s, Cat Island-born Della Wilson and her daughters created an entrepreneurial network, linking New Providence and several other islands in The Bahamas with friends and family members as agents. These agents, such as Wilson’s cousin Alean Smith, encouraged plait production and annually purchased thousands of fathoms of this basic material either with cash or through an exchange of goods.

It was a system that she said created small economies by preserving the weaving tradition and bringing hope to depressed communities which functioned mostly at subsistence levels.

“The 21st century has brought new growth to the straw industry, including enterprises which create employment and take Bahamian creativity to the world,” said Glinton-Meicholas.

Claire Sands, trading as The Plait Lady, embellished the network concept pioneered by the Wilsons, employing many in her manufacturing workshop to create her unique range of products. She opened stores in key Bahamian destinations.

Wendy Kelly helped to set in motion the re-energizing of the Bahamian straw industry.

The late Harl Taylor, a trained fine artist, established Harl Taylor BAG. He created straw couture, demonstrating that straw craft could be elevated to the realm of art.

Barbara Jesubatham, a member of a Long Island family of straw weavers and basket makers, made two other significant contributions to the promotion and sustainability of straw work. She authored a book to teach straw plaiting and basketry. She also launched straw classes to preserve these traditions, especially through young Bahamians.

“People say straw weaving is a dying art, but I think it will live on,” said Cartwright.

“People have been saying it is dying for generations, but it still continues. I think it is going to find its way. People plait who have daughters who can plait.”

It is people like Cartwright and others who are well-versed in the art form who continue to push the envelope in elevating Bahamian straw and showing the beauty of it through their product. UA

october 2023 60
Types Of Straw Weave Patterns Old-fashioned Straw Shopping Bags Straw Dolls

Dive into George Town, Exuma Exploring This Turquoise Gem of The Bahamas

Located just 30 minutes from New Providence via plane, the Exuma Cays are a stunning string of islands known for their turquoise, sapphire, cerulean and sky-blue waters, untouched sandbanks, robust marine life and, most notably, in recent years, its swimming pigs. While a trip to the cluster of cays would not be complete without fully embracing the gem-coloured waters, there is lots more to see and experience on Exuma.

George Town, which is located on Great Exuma (the largest of the cays) is the capital and is a perfect starting point for an unforgettable adventure. Getting around the island is easy via rental car or taxis. In The Bahamas, cars are driven on the left-hand side of the road, but Exuma’s peaceful streets can be navigated with ease.

The centre of George Town is about a 10-15-minute drive from the airport. Here, you can find dining, shopping, dancing, a cocktail or two, or hop over to the surrounding cays. The area is not just a tourist haven – it is a true glimpse into island living and authentic Exuma culture with men and women from the island going about their day.

If you are looking for a bite of authentic Bahamian cuisine, some colourful conversation, and sweet rake ‘n’ scrape music playing in the background, visit the Exuma Fish Fry. The various cluster of stalls offer dishes like tender cracked conch, freshly made conch salad, fresh lobster, fritters, ice-cold Bahamian beers, and other local dishes. For a sit-down lunch by the water, the Exuma Yacht Club’s Choppy Waters Restaurant, which is led by Chef Jaquille Edgecombe, serves up an elevated spin on classic comfort foods like lobster BLTs and sushi. For a relaxed breakfast or coffee, check out The Sandpiper Cafe and their neighbouring sister company, Sandpiper Arts & Crafts Boutique, which offers a small selection of locally made products, artwork, resort wear and boating attire.

The Exuma Straw Market is also a “must visit” spot in George Town. The open-air market offers a selection of handmade straw work that is crafted by local artisans who weave palm leaves into handbags, wallets, totes, and home décor. The art of straw work has been passed down from generation to generation, resulting in a uniquely Bahamian memento. The historic St. Andrew’s Anglican Church, which was founded in 1802, is also a short walk away, and is worth a visit to appreciate its clean architecture and beautiful hilltop views.

A trip to Exuma would also not be complete without experiencing its surrounding waters. Visitors can easily book a day trip from George Town that can be customized to include swimming with wild turtles, stingrays, iguanas, conch salad made fresh at a sandbank, checking out the world-famous swimming pigs or simply taking in the sun while zipping from cay to cay.

Water taxis can be used to easily access surrounding cays, resorts, or nearby restaurants. These boat ferries are roughly $10-$15 each way, only take a few short minutes, and can be accessed via the Government Dock. The Chat ‘n’ Chill Beach Bar and Grill is a popular stop, but world-class fine dining is just a few minutes away.

up and away 61
Photographs Exuma stunning turquoise waters Daily boats for sightseeing or fishing trips St. Andrew’s Anglican Church

Kahari Exuma’s Beacon Restaurant is led by Executive Chef Niran Di Blasio and Chef Valerio Stella. Chef Niran trained throughout Europe under the mentorship of a Michelin Star culinary mastermind and Chef Valerio carefully honed his skills in France and Italy to create flavour-packed, edible works of art. The menu at The Beacon changes frequently to allow the duo the creative freedom to incorporate fresh, seasonal local ingredients into their internationally inspired, modern cuisine.

No matter where an Exuma adventure leads, it is highly recommended for visitors to immerse themselves in the local culture. Start a conversation, dance the rake ‘n’ scrape, learn how to slam some dominoes, let loose, and enjoy the experience. UA

october 2023 62
The Beacon Executive Chef Niran Di Blasio and team member Chef Valerio Stella The Beacon’s ever-rotating menu influenced by local ingredients The Beacon’s ever-rotating menu influenced by local seafood The Exuma Straw Market is located in the heart of George Town The straw pieces at the Exuma Straw Market are made entirely by hand by local artisans

A Cocktail Artist Who Thinks Outside the Box and Colours Outside the Lines

• Photographs Courtesy Of L. Roscoe Dames II

Creativity is key for mixologist Derrick Blackmon. He loves thinking outside the box and venturing outside the lines. It’s this way of thinking that he brings to his artistry, ensuring that every drink he crafts is a visual feast for the eyes first, then the taste buds.

“It is like painting a picture. You have a canvas and colour palate … you start your lines, and if something’s not working, you erase them and start over. When you have your lines just the way you want it, you start putting paint on the canvas,” said Blackmon, a mixologist at The Crew House Bar and Lounge.

Blackmon may sound like an artist, but he failed art as a student.

At the end of the day, cocktail artistry for him is about getting into the environment of colours, coordination, working with peers and other mixologists, travelling the world, taking in everything, being more open and developing a mind to be even more crafty.

A 22-year industry veteran, Blackmon has seen his mindset shift completely from the days he started out as a bartender to one of a true mixologist.

He takes pride in his passion for his craft. And he strives to always put his best foot forward.

“The door of opportunity has opened for me, and the glass ceiling is there for me to break through,” he said. He experiments with everything. “Not just food can be food. You can have it in a cocktail. I am experimenting with culinary.”

Blackmon, a multi-competition-winning mixologist, looks at everything and everyone as a network. And the network he has amassed through his travels have pushed him to be who he is today.

He is continually researching, studying, and practicing. Blackmon realizes he does not know it all and that he always needs to remain abreast of flavour profiles, how a rum is made and whether the profile allows for it to be mixed with fruit or vegetables, or a collaboration, to make a great cocktail.

In celebration of The Bahamas’ 50th Golden Jubilee Anniversary, The Crew House Bar and Lounge, which Blackmon helms, turned the mojito on its head to bring to the public a beverage in Bahamian flag colours good enough to represent the aquamarine, gold and black which respectively symbolize the sea, glorious sunshine and vigour and force of a united people.

The result was the brilliant “Hidden Gem” in aquamarine and gold, a sumptuous twist on the mojito cocktail – white rum, but with the addition of tart-sweet passionfruit and instead of club soda, made extra special with Prosecco or Champagne and offered up beautifully layered in the flag colours, except for the black.

It is an eye-catching cocktail, to say the least, presenting a sumptuous visual that cannot be resisted.

The Crew House of New Providence at Nassau Yacht Haven Marina, on East Bay Street, is where they recreate the Family Island experience for visitors and locals alike to share in the heart of the capital. It is the place where the breeze, drinks, food, and views take you to that slower place. UA

up and away 63 MIXOLOGIST
Mixologist Derrick Blackmon and The Hidden Gem The Hidden Gem Cocktail The Crew House

The Secret Ingredient A Happy Heart

Meet Culinary Entrepreneur Horatio Smith

For culinary entrepreneur Horatio Smith, good food is about more than just the ingredients that you use. His philosophy is that each dish is infused with the passion, love, and kindness of the hands that prepare it. Born into a family of chefs and culinary professionals, Horatio was introduced into the world of food, events, and catering from a young age. And despite initially studying law in college, he found himself on an organic path to cooking and living a peaceful life on Eleuthera. The Up and Away team sat down with Horatio and dove into how he became a personal and private chef, caterer, and owner of Da Perk coffee shop in Governor’s Harbour, Eleuthera.

Up and Away: Tell us a bit about your culinary journey/background. What inspired you to become a chef?

I would say wanting to eat good food and not having money. (Horatio says with a laugh). I have about nine chefs in my family – probably more. I think subliminally or subconsciously, it was just in my DNA. I am not classically trained, but I have been working in food since I was 13. I actually studied law and to pay my way through law school, I worked in events. Food was also a big thing in our family. Christmastime, holidays, and birthdays we always had a big spread.

Horatio also noted that in high school, he met his mentor and friend, the late Claire Sands aka the “Plait Lady,” who taught him the intricate workings of entrepreneurship and business management. Her guidance was also extremely instrumental for when Horatio opened his first restaurant, Nelly’s Deli, which was a collaborative effort with his uncle, chef Edward “Teddy” Johnson. Horatio would then eventually go on to become a private chef for NBA player, John Wall, before eventually moving to Eleuthera.

Up and Away: Describe your cooking style or cooking philosophy. I try to use fresh ingredients. I try to bring a happy heart to the kitchen. It is a blessing to have people who come back over and over again. I try to respect all walks of life and the food is my love letter to the world. God gave me the gift of

creating something out of food and it is a gift to share. Obviously, there are a lot of people who pay a lot of money for it, but there is a lot of people I like to give it to for free because that is how the world works.

Up and Away: What are your favourite dishes to create?

This is probably the most asked question that I get. And the answer is a little underwhelming because I am a very seasonal person, and I really am an energy chef. I really go with the feeling of the moment. In the summertime or on a hot beautiful day, I love oysters or a nice salad – even a sea moss salad. My wife and I also love a good charcuterie board because you can just have so many flavours. But my favourite thing to cook is probably pasta because I could just throw anything in and go from there.

Up and Away: What is a staple that all kitchens should have?

A good knife.

Up and Away: What is one tip that you would give to home cooks?

Get yourself in a comfortable position before you start to cook. A lot of people just look at cooking as a necessity, but there is a lot of fun and value in sitting, eating, and connecting with people. Even something as simple as lighting a candle and turning on music before starting to cook – that’s gonna make you feel better. It is gonna calm you down. Then, you take that good energy and put it into your meal.

Up and Away: What is next for you as a culinary entrepreneur?

What I have been doing for a lot of people now is “sealing the deal with a meal.” We recently [helped to sell a $5 million house] during a dinner party. [The buyer] had been to this house four times and just did not catch the vibe there [but the meal won them over]. They said, “I have been in that house so many times, but it wasn’t until you set it up with the food that I just saw us having a life there.”

We are also opening up another restaurant that will have a heavy focus on seasonal food – an international collaborative menu. I want to tell the story that Bahamian food is diverse [and draws inspiration from around the world]. UA

october 2023 64 CULINARY ARTIST
Chef Horatio Smith Chef Horatio Preparing Conch and Plantain Balls Dinner Is Served Family Style Chef Horatio Frying Conch and Plantain Balls Farm-to-Table Homegrown Tomatoes with Arugula and Spinach 6. Island Bruschetta On Fresh Baked French Bread

Raleigh’s BBQ Joints offer a Taste of the South

You cannot really say you have experienced Raleigh, North Carolina, until you sit down to a plate of barbecue. Every region in the south has its own version, and North Carolina is no exception. The two main variations of this quintessential smoked pork dish are Eastern style and Lexington. Eastern style roasts the whole hog over an oak wood fire and finishes it off with peppery, vinegar-based sauce. Lexington barbecue (also called Western or Piedmont style) uses only the pork shoulder and adds some tomato paste or brown sugar to the sauce for a bit of sweetness.

Pork may be the original meat of choice, but tender smoked beef brisket, crispy fried chicken and juicy ribs are popular options, too. And don’t forget the sides – mac and cheese, fried okra, hushpuppies, and coleslaw to name a few. The sides are a highlight of a good barbecue. If you decide to skip the meat and order a meal of sides, I wouldn’t tell. Just make sure to save room for banana pudding, another southern staple. Here are a few of Raleigh’s revered barbecue restaurants for you to try while you are in town:

Sam Jones Wood-Fired Whole Hog BBQ

This three-generations spot has earned top accolades from National Geographic, the Food Network and even an American president. Pitmaster Sam Jones continues his grandfather’s legacy by smoking whole hogs over Carolina Oak. Order the Jones Family Original BBQ Tray for the classic smoked pork and cornbread that made the family famous. Add a side of collard greens or sweet slaw and call it perfection. 502 W. Lenoir St., Raleigh

The Pit Authentic Barbecue

Slide into a booth at The Pit, a modern upscale restaurant located in a 1930s restored meatpacking warehouse. You will be greeted by southern hospitality, including hushpuppies and a warm, tender biscuit. The menu includes all the BBQ favourites like pulled pork, brisket, and ribs, as well as a few more creative offerings like the BBQ Soul Rolls, and eggrolls filled with chopped meat, collards, and candied carrots. 328 W. Davie St., Raleigh

Longleaf Swine BBQ

What started as a food truck dream and a passion for slow-cooked whole hog turned into a popular spot in the historic Oakwood District. Just because you can smell the smoky meaty goodness from the outside patio doesn’t mean you should leave your vegetarian friends at home. The Collard Green Melt, a briny, cheesy sandwich with collard greens, tobacco onions and fresh apples will make both plant-lovers and carnivores’ swoon. Order a side of pimento mac and cheese and save room for the chocolate chess pie. 300 E. Edenton St, Raleigh

up and away 65
Photographs Courtesy Of Baxter Miller, Remy Thurston, and Kirsten Harrington Sam Jones Smokehouse Plate The Pit Authentic BBQ Longleaf Swine Collard Green Melt

Midwood Smokehouse

Midwood Smokehouse is the new kid in town, building on success from its original Charlotte location. Experience BBQ with a Tex-Mex flair by starting off with Miguel’s queso or bacon wrapped jalapeños and moving on to the Hot Lips tacos – house made flour tortillas with your choice of brisket, chicken, pork, or chorizo spiced up with hot sauce, salsa, and avocado Pico de Gallo. Traditional plates and sides are available, too, for those who want to keep it cool. 409 W. Johnson St., Raleigh

Clyde Cooper’s BBQ

Last but certainly not least is Raleigh’s oldest barbecue restaurant, celebrating 85 years in business. They do things Eastern style, with a distinctive pepper and vinegar flavour. Satisfying and unpretentious brisket, chopped pork, and fried chicken are served up with hushpuppies and crispy pork skins. Order a side of creamy mac and cheese and wash it down with sweet tea for a true North Carolina experience. 327 S. Wilmington St., Raleigh UA

Midwood Smokehouse tacos Clyde Cooper’s Barbeque

OFF THE BEATEN PATH Middle Caicos: Ecological, Historical and Magical

It seems almost suspended over the crystal-clear waters, which once separated the twin islands, but the one-mile-long causeway, which has smartly connected North Caicos to Middle Caicos, is well rooted, having survived hurricanes and providing safe passage for the past sixteen years.

It is a valued gateway into a majestic, magical, historic island where you will be intrigued by coves, cliffs and caves including a delightful spot islanders call the Christmas Room.

The unbridled interest in the Turks and Caicos Islands has led to record tourism activity. The love and intrigue of a luxury Providenciales vacation has opened travellers to the idea of wanting more. That desire has not gone unquenched; in fact, it is taking hundreds of visitors and residents – by ferry – into nearby North and Middle Caicos islands.

Purchase a round trip boat ride to experience the country’s two largest, greenest islands and, in 25 minutes, the historical treasures, fantastically delicious delicacies, amazing vistas and a totally different vibe await and never disappoint.

Once your ferry docks at the brand-new North Caicos port, Bellefield Landing, a rental vehicle can take you on the longest, most adventurous, and picturesque drive through the twin islands.

Middle Caicos is a gentle giant; regal, really, offering an unscripted experience ideal for one or for many. Crowned with coastal mounds so majestic they appeal to the wanderlust of thrill seekers or those looking to hear the world without interruption. These towering figures and their pristine waters below are extremely popular.

Selfie-loving amateurs and the most experienced photographers are often left awestruck by the landscape, ocean views and the opportunities the island continues to deliver, including the possibility to witness the serene passage of humpback whales during the early months of each year.

Once you have taken the lovely but lonely drive into the heart of Middle Caicos, you will park your vehicle in the space reserved for the visitor who makes the decision to venture off the beaten path. You will apply your mosquito repellent because Middle Caicos is larger than North Caicos in many ways, including in its insect population. You will spy the cliff-top restaurant with its resplendent views, but we are betting you will opt for that leisurely climb, mobile phone, or camera in tow, for what will be the experience of a lifetime.

In minutes, you mount what we celebrate as Mudjin Harbour. No need for escalators or elevators, just your grit and a grunt here and there as you trump the turf to the top to behold the beauty. Feel free to sit in solitude, sharing the space with the famous Praying Hands before shuffling back down. The sandy trail takes you to a cave-covered cove, ideal for meditation, relaxation, or a good old-fashioned picnic.

You are going to get into the water, too – after all, who could resist the crashing waves and, on a calm day, the gallant march through the shallows to hang out at the Sleeping Dragon; a rock fixture not too far offshore, which also features a natural hot tub.

Middle Caicos District Commissioner (DC) Ozzie Delancy is beaming with joy at the many treasures being unearthed on his island by people from all over the world.

From one of the country’s loftiest points where you can also find the Mudjin Harbour Bar & Grill, with its exquisite views perfect for star gazing and famous jerk burger, to the series of caves, trails and a boiling hole, which are all well-preserved by the Turks and Caicos National Trust and the good people of Middle; this is a remarkable, indescribable escape.

The Indian Cave and the only active boiling hole in the country are found on the island, which is home to less than 200 people. Explore it!

up and away 67
Photographs Courtesy Of TCI Mounds of Middle Caicos

Wildlife flourishes around the boiling hole, mangroves teeming with life and kayak nature tours to take you on a sunset paddle. According to Delancy, you will need about 45 minutes to enjoy this spectacle.

One of the Caribbean’s longest cave systems is the Conch Bar Cave; it features the Christmas Room which is the darkest area of this mystical three-mile network of stalactites and stalagmites as well as other cave formations. And if you are wondering why this portion of the cave is called the Christmas Room, it is said the acoustics make it ideal for singing, of all things, Christmas carols.

Watch your step and listen intently to your guide and, yes, you will spot bats here and there, and on Middle Caicos, these nocturnal predators are well-behaved, feasting on bugs, cacti, and fruit.

You will want to pre-arrange a tour of this extensive heritage site; the National Trust charges a fee for the escorted experience, which is worth it.

Do not miss your opportunity to dine at Seaview Café – another incredible view, sumptuous cuisine, perfect for beach combing and great shopping. What you buy here will include amazing hand-woven straw craft and native model sailboats, which take to the water every February for the Valentine’s Day Regatta held at Bambarra Beach also in Middle Caicos.

Newly found Fish Curry Pond bears a striking resemblance to Cottage Pond in North Caicos, but it is twice the size according to the DC. This Middle Caicos wonder is also rumoured to be home to mermaids, who will steal you away, according to Ozzie, but remains a terrific spot for more kayaking, which he says he has done many times.

If the mermaid myths scare you off, though, stay on dry ground by taking the Crossing Place Trail; the (minimum) 90-minute hike can be a retrospective trek which can also consume half your day and all your energy.

History explains the trail connected North and Middle Caicos communities when the tide was low enough; hence the name which also proved treacherous in bad weather due to rapidly rising tides.

Middle Caicos has that mysterious lure, especially on Bambarra Beach. Another opportunity to get into the tranquil waters of the Turks and Caicos Islands and wade, the shallow clarity of the ocean here is described as the best of both the “green” islands.

When tide is low, it presents a swashbuckling escapade to Pelican Cay, a tiny island, where legend has it, there is a booty of treasure, which remains undiscovered, hidden away by Pirates in the late 1600s or early 1700s. Can’t find the loot? There is certainly a prize much easier to locate and worth beholding; it is under the water, so get snorkelling!

On the beach, the novelty of the Bambarra Beach Huts is not wearing off; stopping at the huts, built in 2021, is the perfect way for you to support the economy of the small, developing communities of Middle Caicos and easily the best way to dine on savoury native food.

From borrowing a bike to take a refreshing ride, to bird watching where you can find yourself inches away from the long-legged, beautiful, pink Caribbean flamingos who call Middle Caicos home, to numerous new activities, this is postcard perfect.

There is no way to cover the full list of expansive experiences of the twin islands – North Caicos and Middle Caicos – in one single day and the islanders could not be happier about that fact. From a growing list of options in vacation villa rentals, or longstanding hotel properties like the Dragon Cay Resort which offers free Wi-Fi and is pet-friendly, this is at the very least, a two-day jaunt with immeasurable returns. UA

october 2023 68
Praying Hands of Middle Caicos Conch Bar Cave Bambarra Beach Huts Boat building


Tips for Flavour-Packed Bahamian Holiday Cooking

Chef Jamal Small decided to play on Bahamian flavours to create a unique interpretation of a Bahamian holiday meal which includes, Vitamalt braised short ribs, peas ‘n’ rice risotto, vegetable parcel, carrot textures and crispy onions.

The holiday season is a special time throughout the Bahamian islands. While thanksgiving is not an official holiday, many chefs, restaurants, and at-home cooks throughout the country have embraced the sentiment of the day, by showing gratitude, hosting community outreach efforts, and indulging in the culinary elements associated with the day of thanks. The end of November also marks the unofficial start of Christmas around The Bahamas, and supermarkets are filled with dried fruit rinds, nuts, hams, and turkeys – a sign that December 25th is quickly approaching.

For many Bahamians, sharing a meal is showing that they care, and ensuring that those around them are well taken care of. Serving up a plate of food and presenting it to someone else can denote anything from respect, admiration to appreciation and love. So, it is no surprise that during the holiday season, many home cooks go all out to create elaborate feasts. A typical Bahamian Christmas dinner often includes a family style spread of oven roasted turkey, brown sugar and mustard glazed ham, a wide range of fresh caught seafood, peas ‘n’ rice, baked macaroni ‘n’ cheese, coleslaw, potato salad, stuffing, and crab salad - just to name a few of the more popular menu selections. And the meal is often capped with rich and buttery rum cakes as well as dense fruit cakes.

Bahamian cuisine is known for being bold, flavour packed and not overly complicated. Fresh and unassuming ingredients are often meshed to create rich, hearty, and aromatic dishes. Each Bahamian home cook also has a few tricks and culinary secrets, but the basics of the country’s cuisine are surprisingly simple.

Onions, sweet peppers, celery, thyme, bay leaves, limes, peas, tomatoes, and hot peppers build the foundation of the Bahamian pot, adding intensity to kitchen staples like potatoes, rice, grits, plantains, cassava, sweet potatoes, and flour. Other items such as tomato paste, mustard, baking powder, mayonnaise, browning (usually referred to by the brand name “Kitchen Bouquet”), vegetable oil, and canned items such as tuna, mackerel, sardines, corned beef (affectionately called “Fire Engine”), and evaporated milk (simply called cream), usually round out a traditional kitchen throughout the Bahamian islands.

For those who have ever tasted Bahamian food, the warmth and heartiness are evident, and is a reflection of the country’s vibe, energy, and culture. For a bit of inspiration to elevate your Bahamian cooking skills this holiday season, we caught up with Chef Jamal Small, executive chef at Ocean Club, a Four Seasons Resort, to find out what inspires him in the kitchen.

Up and Away: Who inspired you to become a chef?

For me, it’s a “what” inspired me – not “who”. It all started in fourth grade preparing my own lunches for school. A spark just turned into a flame that never went out. Eventually, with the addition of cable television’s Food Network series, these chefs further intrigued me to pursue a culinary career full time. I’ve been going ever since; never once looked at getting into anything else.

Up and Away: How important is food in Bahamian culture?

Food is a huge part of who we are as Bahamians. There is always a story behind each meal. From our grandparents and great-grandparents who paved the way and developed a base, to now the new generation who is trying to take what we call “old school flavours” and techniques and turn them into modern masterpieces.

Up and Away: Describe the flavours of Bahamian cuisine.

Bahamian cuisine is a melting pot of different cultures. So, the flavour profile is very eclectic. Sweet, spicy, acidic, deep, and warm flavours hit your palate.

Up and Away: What dishes should every Bahamian holiday spread include? What is your favourite holiday dish?

For me, it’s all about the side dishes. Flavoured peas ‘n’ rice, baked macaroni ‘n’ cheese, coleslaw, stuffing/dressing flavoured with local seafood, lobster salad, and roasted vegetables. Side dishes make the meal for me. The perfect balance of flavours, textures, and colours for me outshines the main dish proteins that usually take the throne.

Up and Away: Can you share a few tips for Bahamian home cooks?

My tips for home cooks are to always plan meals, give yourself time (good meals can’t be rushed), put a lot of love into the food, and never be afraid to be yourself and show that in your preparation. UA

up and away 69
Bahamian Holiday Meal Before the Sauce Chef Jamal Small Bahamian Holiday Meal Complete Dish


For most travellers, waking up to beautiful aqua blue seawater and vibrant green trees is like a dream come true. Others prefer peace and quiet no matter where they wake up. But then you have “the backpacking travellers” – for them, waking up at the destination of their dream, in a clean room, surrounded by friendly faces is pretty much all they need. Whatever your travel style, whether fancy, mid-range, or low-income, both Bahamasair and the City of Havana have an option for you.

In recent years, while driving around, I recall viewing non-familiar faces carrying a huge backpack, and, on several occasions, I noticed strange late-hour suitcase rollers. The funny thing is that I thought they were going to the washhouse nearby, and, perhaps, they could not find a ride. Well, my self-explained logic was making sense to me, until a backpacker made it all clear.

In case you haven’t heard about backpacking travel, individuals who enjoy this type of travel appreciate this form of lower cost, independent travel, which often includes staying in inexpensive lodgings, while carrying only necessary possessions in a backpack. In the past, it was viewed as a marginal form of travel, which happened to accommodate necessity; however, it has become a very popular way of doing tourism, even for the wealthy.

While backpacking tourism was initially undertaken by young people, during recent years and especially after the world economy was affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, backpacking travel has also been undertaken by a more mature segment of travellers. These individuals travel during career breaks, exploration trips or retirement vacation.

Now that you know about backpacking travel, allow me to introduce you to Up and Away Backpackers Edition with Aurora Tours. During this issue, you will be exposed to a new way of doing tourism in Cuba as you discover contemporary Havana.

Havana has become famous for all-in-one delightfully decorated spaces. You can find fashion, food, entertainment, and art in the same space that a music group may be rehearsing or even performing. It is very common nowadays to see a privately owned clothing store that also has a small gourmet cafeteria (or a café) or even a restaurant inside. Many of these new popular spaces may have entertainment brought by a five-piece or even a large-format performance band. What a treat!

october 2023 70
Photographs Courtesy Of Aurora Tours and Myrurgia Hernandez Innatus Fresko

Aurora Tours recommends visiting a small-format business, now called MIPYMEs or Small and Medium Enterprises (“PYME” in Spanish, or “SME” in English). Some of these new initiatives are worth visiting, especially if you want to interact with local designers, artists and have a real cultural exchange. Spaces such as Innatus, Fresko or Clandestina located on the second level of the old Almacenes de San José, a former department store, in Havana’s Avenida del Puerto, have become the perfect opportunity to visit a venue that allows guests to enjoy more for less, while interacting with authentic pieces, music, food and creative artists.

According to Aurora, our tour guide, Innatus is owned by a group of clothing designers that have created a family legacy. Led by three generations of females, Innatus talents are the creators and designers of astonishing clothing pieces that have positioned the brand as an established fashion icon, with a strong presence in the Cuban domestic market in just three years. Innatus 2023 designs tell the story of an explosive summer collection that has captured the attention of fashionistas who love vibrant colours and soft fabrics.

While in Avenida del Puerto, Aurora recommends visiting Clandestina. Founded by a group of friends that graduated from the Institute of Industrial Design of Cuba, this cool crew is known as “the innovators” behind relaxed outfits created with printed positive phrases. The brand operates out of two physical spaces. Visitors may also enjoy delightful gourmet and creative dishes while waiting for their orders.

Another interesting designer brand that has recently emerged is Fresko, a similar, yet unique, printing concept. This graphic design project produces pieces that depict the decades of the 70’s and 80’s, emphasizing cartoons, cultural items, characters and even shows that are rooted in the Cuban vernacular and culture.

You cannot leave Avenida del Puerto without visiting Paco’s Mar. This restaurant has become a visitor’s must-see and a place where friends and family gather to celebrate. This attraction offers food, fun, style, and a contemporary look that is simply inviting.

Another gourmet recommendation is Elizalde Bar-Restaurante . Their dishes have a mixture of both Cuba and Spain. While the food is delicious, the restaurant is quite famous for its ambiance and modern look. The menu has vegetarian and vegan options, which nowadays have become popular options.

Finally, the ultimate cultural experience. Cuba has many Grammys Award-winning artists; however, while visiting Cuba’s new all-in-one fashion, food, and fun venues, new up-and-coming groups such as Café Namá will enhance your experience. Café Namá, which is Cuban street term for “Just Coffee”, is a young group of Cuban-infused dance music. The group members’ goal is to be ranked amongst the most popular bands in Cuba.

Aurora mentioned that this Café Namá band invites international musicians to perform with them in Cuba. Recently, a saxophone player from Freeport, Bahamas, who was on vacation in Cuba, and had always wanted to interact with a Cuban group, shared the stage with the band for a live performance. Aurora Tours was able to make the Bahamian musician’s dream come true by connecting him to the Café Namá band.

Would you like to have a similar experience in Cuba? Up and Away through The Bahamas Translators will ensure that you learn Spanish, then you can book your tour and ensure that you have fun and stay save! UA

up and away 71
Clandestina Pako’s Mar
Elizalde Bar-Restaurante

This year will be remembered as the year Bahamians living in The Bahamas and throughout the diaspora proudly celebrated the country’s 50th anniversary of independence. A sense of patriotism and national pride ignited a renewed love for all things Bahamian in 2023 – our music, our culture, and those authentic characteristics that identify us as Bahamian people.

And when the spotlight shone on those great Bahamians past and present, who narrated the stories of our heritage through music, the return of singer/songwriter Phil Stubbs will be remembered as one of the most historic events on the “Road to 50”.

He is considered one of the greatest storytellers of Bahamian culture and before his highly anticipated concert at The Farm on New Providence this past March, it had been more than 20 years since Phil Stubbs performed before an audience. Word of his return to the stage spread like wildfire on social media. The voice of Bahamian music, the songwriter who penned classics beloved by generations of Bahamians, the man who had a reputation for being reclusive, elusive, and private, was headlining his first concert since 2002.

Before his concert in March, Stubbs had only ever performed at four shows in his entire career. And although twenty years would pass before he touched the stage again, he never stopped producing music. As a matter of fact, the hits kept coming.

It is undeniable that Phil Stubbs has a gift for making Bahamians appreciate their culture. His catalogue is astounding; he has written over 150 songs and recorded 120. He released his first song, “West End Move” in 1991, followed by his second release, “Beautiful Cat Island”. Both songs became instant radio favourites that remain in rotation today. When he stopped performing, he focused more on songwriting, and over the past twenty years, he has gifted the nation with classics like “Persevere”, “Cry of the Potcake”, “Bonefish Folley”, “Proud to be Bahamian”, “Stress”, “Da Flu”, “The Frogs”, “Down Home”, “Sir Milo Butler”, “Hurricane”, “Gofa”, “Old Talk”, and many more.

Stubbs admits that when it comes to his music, he is a perfectionist and his “toughest” critic. Fully aware that his music represents The Bahamas, it is a responsibility he does not take for granted because it is the inspiration behind his song lyrics.


The mystical mind of Phil Stubbs is rooted in his birthplace, the settlement of Dumfries on Cat Island – the cradle of Bahamian heritage, music, and culture. Raised in a family of gospel singers, music was always around him. Growing up,

The Return of Phil Stubbs

– Phil Stubbs

he taught himself how to play the guitar – a skill he carried with him throughout his career with the Royal Bahamas Police Force as one of the first Bahamian police officers to introduce drug-sniffing dogs to The Bahamas; the Humane Society as a dog trainer; and the Princess Casino in Freeport as a slot machine technician and casino dealer.

During his early years on Grand Bahama, he began developing his music career. Stubbs performed with his drum machine and guitar at small venues around the island on the weekends. During a performance at a tiny bar called Poitier’s Place in West End, he developed a following and created the lyrics to “West End Move.”

The customers at Poitier’s Place enjoyed Stubbs’ singing and playing so much that they sometimes refused to let him take a break. One night, his creative juices began to flow, and he started playing a new rhythm on his drum machine. The sound ignited the crowd and lured a man and woman from West End to the centre of the floor where they demonstrated a magnificent display of “West End” dance moves that inspired Stubbs to pen the lyrics to the song on the spot.

Persons who witnessed the grand performance at Poitier’s encouraged Stubbs to record the song. He worked on the lyrics, recorded it, and “West End Move” became the first song by Phil Stubbs to be played on the radio.


Stubbs is a wordsmith who has perfected the art of painting Bahamian life with his colourful lyrics.

I had the esteemed honour to sit down with Phil Stubbs before his concert in March to talk about his life and his love for the music he embodies.

At the time, the elusive storyteller was completely surprised by the outpouring of support he received from the public excited about his return after a 20-year absence.

“It is humbling to see that so many people are cheering me on after all these years, I am surprised at the reception I have received from young Bahamians. They know my music!”

Stubbs said he wrote many of his songs with children and older Bahamians in mind because he wanted to create music they could relate to and become a familiar voice to generations.

On March 31st, The Farm Entertainment presented “Oh Cat Island” featuring Phil Stubbs before a sold-out audience in Nassau. Bahamians showed up in droves to express their love and appreciation to the man who symbolizes what it means to be “proud to be a Bahamian.” UA

october 2023 72 PERFORMING ARTIST
“I do not want the spirit of our predecessors to die. They did too much to go silently to the grave. Somebody should tell their story; it might as well be me.”
Phil Stubbs’ Guitar Phil Stubbs


Trendy Boutiques and Artisan Markets Offer

Something for Everyone

Whether you want to take home a taste of the South or need to get a jump start on your holiday shopping, Raleigh has the goods. From artisan fair trade chocolate to handcrafted leather goods, there is something for everyone.

Have a food lover on your list? Pick up some Southern Yum Pecan Brittle or a bottle of Bone Suckin’ BBQ Sauce from Ford’s Gourmet Foods. This North Carolina-style sauce has fans all over the world and has even been served in the White House. You will find Ford’s store inside the NC State Farmer’s Market, 75 acres of fresh produce, restaurants, gifts, and specialty shops. Come and enjoy one of the most modern and extensive farmer’s markets in the nation and pick up a few gifts to take home.

Carolina Popcorn Shoppe has over 25 flavours from spicy sriracha caramel to cookies and cream. Tins with fresh-popped seasonal flavours like pumpkin spice make great gifts. And who would not love a box of bonbons or bundle of chocolate bars? Videri Chocolate Factory in the Warehouse District sells bean-to-bar fair trade chocolates in classic and creative flavours. Do not be afraid to sample a few flavours to find your favourite. You may just end up with a box of banana jasmine ganache or carrot coriander caramel chocolates for yourself. Maybe you need something with a bit of style for that holiday gathering? Slip into Raleigh Denim Workshop + Curatory where you will find high-end jeans and designer fashions. Hearing the sewing machine hum in this industrial chic shop is the first clue that something special is going on. The jean smiths are so proud of their work, each pair of denim is signed with a sharpie by its maker. While you are in the Warehouse District, stop by The Flourish Market for a new outfit or some accessories. Products are selected to support companies that drive positive social change. Just around the corner, you will find Designed for Joy where carefully crafted leather goods benefit women in transition. Leather wallets, purses, and accessories in bold colours and buttery textures make great gifts.

Forget tacky souvenirs. DECO Raleigh has an extensive collection of keepsakes to remind you of your visit in style. Ella B. Local candles in heavenly fragrances like coconut, wood and amber, or a coffee mug with the Raleigh skyline are a sure bet. You will find games, dishtowels, bath products, greeting cards, and so much more.

If you are shopping for a little one, you can even buy a Raleigh onesie or baby hat. Black Friday Market houses a collection of over 60 small businesses all under one roof, making it easy to find cool merchandise and shop local. This Black-owned department-style shopping experience showcases everything from artwork and jewellery to clothing and collectibles.

If you are shopping for the young or young at heart, check out the Marbles Kids Museum Play Store . Museum admission is not required to browse the selection of whimsical and educational toys in this hands-on museum named for the one million marbles that surround the museum’s outer walls and light up at night. Who says kids should have all the fun? The Gathering Gallery carries goods that are fun for all ages, from brain games and party pleasers for adults to wooden puzzles and learning cards for kids. Pick up something quirky for your home while you are there or pamper yourself with some bath products. Whatever you purchase, feel good in knowing this downtown shop supports the community by showcasing local makers and employing adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

What are you waiting for? Hit the shops and find your Raleigh treasure! UA

up and away 73
Photographs Courtesy Of Joe Bruno and Kirsten Harrington Flourish Market Owner Sam Ratto Offers Samples at Videri Chocolate Factory DECO Raleigh Raleigh Denim Workshop + Curatory


As we step into a new season, a time that brings such festivities and holiday cheer, we often travel to visit our close relatives and friends. Being home for the holidays gives such a sense of nostalgia and the home cooked meals makes the trip all worth it. Let us not forget the tasty treats!

However, while we are enjoying time with loved ones and indulging in lots of delicious foods, we should also remember to do things in moderation, particularly when it comes to the types of food we eat and beverages we consume. During and shortly after the holiday seasons, persons who suffer from chronic illnesses such as hypertension and diabetes are faced with more challenges of having to manage their ailments. Keeping their levels controlled may be a bit more difficult for them after consuming tons of starchy and sugary meals.

Another issue to consider is the “holiday blues.” Mental and emotional health issues are usually on the rise during this season. This is a time when persons are faced with many stressors such as overspending, lack of money, expensive shopping lists, party planning, and deadlines, to name a few. Anxiety and depression are increased for a variety of reasons – death of a loved one, persons missing loved ones, bad break-ups, or tragic events.

There is also an upsurge in alcoholism and illicit drug use during the holidays which tends to result in more vehicular accidents and physical assaults seen in the emergency room. Remember that these substances have addictive properties and can lead to repetitive substance abuse and addiction.

So, now, as we prepare to bask in the joy of the holidays, let us remember our portion sizes and alcohol consumption. Think of ways to mitigate your stress by planning and sticking to your budget, working on additional income for the holidays, finding time to exercise, and last, but not least, taking it all in stride. Relax and enjoy your holidays!

Pompey Medical is located at #85 Robinson Road, Nassau, Bahamas, open Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

We cater to well and sick visits, COVID-19 Rapid Antigen and RT-PCR testing, IV treatments, minor surgical procedures, and consultations to name a few. We also accept major insurances and National Health Insurance (NHI) to all qualified persons. UA

october 2023 74

October – December 2023

Up and Away Cover Photoshoot

Behind the Scenes

Site Courtesy Of Clifton Heritage Park

Photography Courtesy Of Robyn Damianos

Jewellery Courtesy Of Ashli Bethune-Smith of ArtSaeBae

Makeup Courtesy Of Nestaea Sealy of Nestase Beauty

Models Marlena Leonard and Daniella Beauchamp

Dresses Courtesy Of Cole’s Of Nassau

Catering Courtesy Of Chef Horatio Smith

Behind The Scenes Photographs Courtesy Of L. Roscoe Dames II

Picture this – blue skies, a bright sunny day, acres of lush green vegetation, and the aroma of fresh snappers sizzling on the grill wafting through the atmosphere. In the background, a cooler filled with ice-cold beverages, cameras, fans, and the voices of friends and colleagues feverishly working together to execute the photoshoot for the cover of the October-December 2023 issue of Bahamasair’s inflight magazine Up and Away. Ivory Global Management Ltd. (IGM), the publisher and creative team at the helm of Up and Away, decided to try something new for the last magazine of 2023.

The theme of the October-December 2023 issue is “Fashion, Food and Fun” and IGM’s Managing Director Captain L. Roscoe Dames II wanted the work behind the scenes to reflect the magazine’s theme and The Bahamas.

I spoke with the publisher, too, about the concept of the photoshoot, the choice of location, and what is on the horizon for Up and Away magazine.

Tell us about the vision behind the cover photoshoot for the October-December issue.

“We wanted to embrace our history, honour our heritage, and look toward the future. The Bahamas celebrated its 50th anniversary of independence this year, so we wanted to encapsulate this in the ‘Fashion, Food and Fun’ issue.”

“As a result, the team developed the idea to use models on the cover that represented the diversity of the Bahamian people. This magazine is our eleventh issue and the first time we have used models (or people) on the cover, so it had to be a special occasion!”

“The team selected two lovely young ladies for the cover, Marlena Leonard, and Daniella Beauchamp, one with a beautiful light complexion and one with a beautiful dark complexion, to celebrate our diversity. The Clifton Heritage National Park was selected for the photoshoot because it speaks to our history and heritage.”

“So, on the cover, we have fashion. The models wore beautiful clothing from the Andres Otalora Spring/Summer 2023 Collection courtesy of Coles of Nassau, and the makeup was done flawlessly by Nestase Beauty.”

“Behind the scenes, we had delicious food prepared on location by Chef Horatio Smith, owner of The Perk and Briland Wave in Governor’s Harbour, Eleuthera.”

“And the IGM Team and collaborators working harmoniously onsite at Clifton was fun!”

“We’ve encapsulated the entire theme of the magazine in today’s photoshoot.”

The creative eyes of international model-turned-photographer Robyn Damianos captured the ethereal beauty of the models as they posed for the camera on hallowed grounds. Her ability to connect and communicate with models guided Marlena and Daniella through the steamy outdoor heat, while she simultaneously focused on capturing the backdrop of archaeological ruins.

Inspired by the natural beauty found in The Bahamas, Robyn has photographed stunning images throughout the islands that have appeared in numerous magazines such as Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, and InStyle.

Marlena Leonard Makeup Session Daniella Beauchamp Makeup Session Raven Dames and Tara Gordon Of IGM


The Clifton Heritage National Park was ideal for the Up and Away shoot. The stunning 203-acre property is the bedrock of the history of The Bahamas; it is home to the 18th century ruins of the Whylly Slave Plantation which stands on the land first inhabited by the original native Bahamians 1,000 years ago, the Lucayan Indians. In 2005, the land with its preserved plantation ruins and landscape was purchased to develop the first National Heritage Park of The Bahamas.

The park contains three gorgeous white sand beaches, natural snorkelling areas, crystal clear water, miles of ecologically diverse coastline, scenic wetlands, archaeological/cultural ruins, eco trails, and native flora and fauna.

Dames is proud that the photoshoot took place on the sacred heritage grounds and appreciative of the reception from the Clifton Heritage National Park staff.

Dames adds, “this park is 203 acres of beauty and history that we can all embrace. We photographed in one of the original structures built by our ancestors which was an indescribable feeling. I encourage our Bahamian readers to spend a day at Clifton Heritage National Park and take a walk through our history.”

What is next for the IGM Up and Away Team?

The new year will welcome a new issue of Up and Away. On January 1st, freshly printed copies of the January-March 2024 magazine will be available to readers on all Bahamasair flights. The publisher is pleased about the magazine’s evolution noting that the team of contributing writers now includes, along with The Bahamas, writers from Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos, Cuba, and the United States.

“I am happy about the team that we have assembled. We work so well together! And that is funny because everyone works on their pieces individually but when it all comes together, it is cohesive. That is a beautiful thing (laughs). Our team has accomplished a lot over the past ten, now eleven issues. We are a talented, innovative group with creative ideas. I am looking forward to the future.” UA

october 2023 76
Photoshoot Teams Photographer Robyn Damianos and Model Marlena Leonard Photographer Robyn Damianos, Model Daniella Beauchamp and IGM Team Chef Horatio Smith Catering Models, Photographer, Makeup Artist, and Teams

Insects: Seeing the Beauty in Six-legged Beasts

Insects are truly a remarkable group of organisms. At present, Entomologists (scientists who study insects) have identified over a million insect species. It is estimated that there are over 10 quintillion insects on earth, that is 1018! For millennia, insects have played important roles in humanity, from agricultural pests and vectors of disease to helpful pollinators and even food. People often lump spiders, centipedes, and millipedes, with insects, but these animals do not fit within the definition of insects (creatures with two pairs of antennae, three body segments, one or two pairs of wings, two compound eyes and three pairs of legs). The Bahamas is home to thousands of insects. Here are a few types to know.

Over 1,000 recorded species of butterflies and moths have been found in The Bahamas. Some, like the Bahama Swallowtail Butterfly are large and beautiful,

but can be a problem for citrus plants. They lay their eggs on the leaves of citrus plants and the larvae can wreak havoc on said trees. Their caterpillars look like bird droppings. If you see bird droppings on your citrus plants, look at them very carefully.

The Frangipani Caterpillar Moth also has larvae that can be problematic. The caterpillars of this species feed on Frangipani trees and can grow to 6 inches in length. Their bright coloration indicates that they are poisonous (if ingested).

The Bahamas is home to many species of endemic insects. Insects like the endemic Bahamian Cicada comes out during the warm spring and summer months and advertise their presence with an intense, deafening shrill, a sound they produce by a special organ called a tymbal which lie below each side of their upper abdomen. They are the loudest insects in The Bahamas and are locally referred to as “singers”.

The Bahamas has its own endemic species of stick insect. The Bahamian Stick Insect is found on several Bahamian islands such as Andros, New Providence and Eleuthera.

up and away 77
Photographs Courtesy Of Scott Johnson Of Wild Bahamas Bahama Swallowtail Caterpillar Frangipani Caterpillar Bahama Swallowtail Butterfly Bahamian Stick Insect Female With Two Males

Wasps are one of the most feared groups of insects in The Bahamas and for good reason. Their venomous stings can hurt, A LOT! The Bahamas is home to several species of wasps. Some, like the paper wasps, are social, while others are solitary. Wasps are very beneficial to humans because they are predators that feed on insect pests, especially garden pests like caterpillars, and other harmful arthropods. They also pollinate flowers.

Insects play vital roles in our ecosystems. They decompose animal and plant matter, pollinate flowers, and provide food for thousands of animals. Some people may not like insects because they can bite or sting, or damage crops, but insects are more beneficial than harmful in terms of their value to ecosystems. The use of chemicals like pesticides is not encouraged as they can wipe out large numbers of insects, which in turn can negatively affect other organisms in the ecosystem. Let us aim to keep our ecosystem healthy and thriving by helping to maintain insect diversity. UA

october 2023 78
Bahamian Cicada Mating Mexican Paper Wasp Faithful Beauty Moth

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.


MS. TINA WALSH comes from a family of travel lovers and foodies, she has traveled to 53 countries, 47 states in the United States and 5 continents. Her love of cooking started young, in the kitchens of her grandmothers, one Italian, one German. She will travel for food, wine, yoga, natural beauty, sports, visual and performing arts. Her passion for these things includes the people she shares them with. In 2018, she expanded her on-line presence and started a blog.

is a Writer, Digital Content Creator, Publicist, former Radio Personality, and an advocate for the promotion of Bahamian Music, Art and Culture. She is passionate about Grand Bahama Island and telling stories that highlight the diverse talents of the Bahamian people.


is a three-time Telly Award winning Bahamian/Turks & Caicos journalist who has spent nearly 30 years of her life telling the stories of the people, the places and the plans of the greater Caribbean and beyond.  She is the owner of Magnetic Media—which churns out two TV broadcast productions for regional and international TV audiences, five days a week.  As is her mantra on her TV show, she is living life to the full, she is living in colour.


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.

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.

MS. KIRSTEN HARRINGTON is an Orlando freelance food and travel writer, chronicling adventures in the US and China. Her work has appeared in WhereTraveler, The Seattle Times, Edible Orlando, The Beijinger, GoNOMAD, World Footprints and numerous other publications. When she’s not writing, you can find her scoping out new adventures, hiking or enjoying a meal with her family.

Visit for more information.

up and away 79
up and away 79

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. TYRONE FITZGERALD is a cultural creative writer, adjunct lecturer, music lover, and visual and performing arts enthusiast. He has been a contributing writer to various business, arts, and lifestyle publications including the Atlanta-based Young Black Entrepreneur Magazine (now The Charleston Compass). A Cambridge Commonwealth and Errol Barrow Memorial Trust Scholar, Tyrone has degrees in economics and law, a master’s degree from Cambridge University, and has pursued advanced studies at Harvard Law School and Harvard School of Education.

PROF. MYRURGIA HERNANDEZ, 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), Ms. Hernandez joined the Faculty of The School of Communication and Creative Arts as a Spanish Part-Time Lecturer.

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. NASIA COLEBROOKE 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 completing an MA in magazine journalism.

MR. SCOTT JOHNSON is a Terrestrial Wildlife Biologist and Environmental Scientist. His major fields of interest are Bahamian animals with special focus on reptiles and birds. He studied at the College of The Bahamas before transferring and completing his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Biology at St. Mary’s College of Maryland. He is a Wildlife Educator, Eco-guide Trainer, Researcher, and has over 15 years of active terrestrial fieldwork experience.

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.

Clifton Heritage National Park Southwest Road, New Providence, Bahamas


Kayak the rushing creeks of Columbus Point Landing.


Swim with a pod of wild dolphins in their natural habitat.


Out Here

The Out Islands are filled with unbelievable sights, sounds, and experiences, inviting you to embrace your adventurous side. Shore-to-shore thrills and once-in-a-lifetime moments await— and since residents fly free from Nassau, it’s that much easier to indulge in a little fun in the sun.


Snorkel, then enjoy a beach BBQ with Brendal’s Dive Center.


Take a hike to The Bahamas’ highest point, Como Hill.

ACKLINS Learn about “bush medicine” at Casca Bay Island Company.


Lend a hand in an underwater coral reef restoration.


Jump into a blue hole and experience an unforgettable adventure.


Explore the legendary wonders of the Land & Sea Park.



Glide across crystalclear waters while kitesurfing.

Discover more at
Photo courtesy of The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, Investments & Aviation.

Articles inside

CONTRIBUTORS article cover image


pages 80-83
Insects: Seeing the Beauty in Six-legged Beasts article cover image

Insects: Seeing the Beauty in Six-legged Beasts

pages 78-80
October – December 2023 Up and Away Cover Photoshoot Behind the Scenes article cover image

October – December 2023 Up and Away Cover Photoshoot Behind the Scenes

pages 76-77
HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS! article cover image


page 75
RALEIGH SHOPPING GUIDE article cover image


page 74
The Return of Phil Stubbs article cover image

The Return of Phil Stubbs

page 73


pages 71-73


page 70
OFF THE BEATEN PATH Middle Caicos: Ecological, Historical and Magical article cover image

OFF THE BEATEN PATH Middle Caicos: Ecological, Historical and Magical

pages 68-69
Raleigh’s BBQ Joints offer a Taste of the South article cover image

Raleigh’s BBQ Joints offer a Taste of the South

pages 66-67
The Secret Ingredient A Happy Heart article cover image

The Secret Ingredient A Happy Heart

page 65
A Cocktail Artist Who Thinks Outside the Box and Colours Outside the Lines article cover image

A Cocktail Artist Who Thinks Outside the Box and Colours Outside the Lines

page 64
Dive into George Town, Exuma Exploring This Turquoise Gem of The Bahamas article cover image

Dive into George Town, Exuma Exploring This Turquoise Gem of The Bahamas

pages 62-63
THINK STRAW: From Humble Origins to Lofty Heights article cover image

THINK STRAW: From Humble Origins to Lofty Heights

pages 60-61
Local Boutiques and Designers in South Florida Where You Can Embrace Your Inner Fashionista article cover image

Local Boutiques and Designers in South Florida Where You Can Embrace Your Inner Fashionista

pages 58-59
JUNKANOO: Portraits of the Soul article cover image

JUNKANOO: Portraits of the Soul

pages 56-57
Through the Creative Lens of Robyn Damianos article cover image

Through the Creative Lens of Robyn Damianos

pages 53-54
LONG ISLAND: Gifted Hands article cover image

LONG ISLAND: Gifted Hands

pages 49-52
“G article cover image


page 49
“Love in Action” Home Construction Project Justice. Compassion. Love. article cover image

“Love in Action” Home Construction Project Justice. Compassion. Love.

page 48
Unlocking Joy: 13 Secrets to a Fun-Filled Yoga Journey article cover image

Unlocking Joy: 13 Secrets to a Fun-Filled Yoga Journey

pages 44-47
T O U R I S T S ’ P A R A D I S E article cover image

T O U R I S T S ’ P A R A D I S E

page 43
W O R L D A T H L E T I C S R E L A Y S B A H A M A S ‘ 2 4 article cover image

W O R L D A T H L E T I C S R E L A Y S B A H A M A S ‘ 2 4

page 42
Meet Bahamasair’s Crew ‘Discover the Extraordinary Talents of Bahamasair’s Multifaceted Workforce’ article cover image

Meet Bahamasair’s Crew ‘Discover the Extraordinary Talents of Bahamasair’s Multifaceted Workforce’

pages 40-41
JEWELLERY DESIGNER The Lifestyle of Unique & Sustainable Fashion article cover image

JEWELLERY DESIGNER The Lifestyle of Unique & Sustainable Fashion

page 39
Discovering St. FloridaAugustine, article cover image

Discovering St. FloridaAugustine,

pages 36-38
at Long Island’s Tiny’s Bahamas Escape to Paradise Paradise never tasted so good! article cover image

at Long Island’s Tiny’s Bahamas Escape to Paradise Paradise never tasted so good!

pages 34-35


page 33
PERFORMING ARTISTS Higher Level Band article cover image


pages 32-33
Where to Find Fun, Food and Fashion In Delray Beach, Florida article cover image

Where to Find Fun, Food and Fashion In Delray Beach, Florida

pages 28-31
Bahamian Artistry Uniquely Bahamian Holiday Gift Ideas article cover image

Bahamian Artistry Uniquely Bahamian Holiday Gift Ideas

pages 26-27
W article cover image


pages 24-26
John Watling’s “Rum of The Bahamas” article cover image

John Watling’s “Rum of The Bahamas”

page 23
The True Flavour of The Bahamas is its Down-Home Cuisine article cover image

The True Flavour of The Bahamas is its Down-Home Cuisine

pages 20-22
Theodore Elyett article cover image

Theodore Elyett

pages 18-19
Fashion Forward Fashion Forward article cover image

Fashion Forward Fashion Forward

pages 16-18
MESSAGE FROM THE PUBLISHER article cover image


page 10


pages 8-9
MESSAGE article cover image


page 6
Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.