Posts Tagged ‘water view’
March 2006 –
That was quite the trip! We had to overnight in Nassau to fly to Long Island to meet up with Phil & Jane on their boat. Flying down, Bill realized he goofed up the hotel reservations so we land in Nassau late that night with nowhere to stay. With typical friendliness and helpfulness, the Bahamians pulled a rabbit out of a hat and found us a place (a chap at the Sandals desk, after he told us Sandals was full (March break – we’ve got to keep track of these things) said his sister had just built a guest house and we could stay there – place was brand new and lovely. Taxi driver picked us up the next morning as well to catch our flight. We are forever grateful for that wonderful experience).
We rent a car and look at Long Island. We’ve all been there before at one time or another, but this time we’re looking at real estate. There’s an L-shaped lot at Doctors Bay – tiny little creek but enough to dock The Pearl – $300,000. That’s way beyond our budget for a lot.
We drive North through Stella Maris, an old subdivision that looks like it’s seen better days. A few million dollar homes on the ocean but the interior has only a few homes and the roads are not well maintained. There’s an old resort that anchors the place and an airstrip. But the airstrip lacks maintenance and recently the airlines stopped flying there. The next closest airport is at Deadman’s Cay about 40 miles South (the island is 80 miles long and about 4 miles wide).
Then one night we’re eating dinner at Thomson’s and I strike up a conversation with an older couple. Turns out the gentleman, Jerry, has a house for sale. He came here in the 60s, loved it, and built a cottage. It’s a couple miles down the road. Not right on the water but a decent water view. We arrange to go see it. Nice layout: L-shaped with a breezeway between the living rooms and bedrooms. But old – would need a full gut, new baths and kitchen. Still, the price is closer to our budget. I sketch the layout so I don’t forget. Lot is pool size with some mature fruit trees – banana, oranges There’s a diving business down in front on the water. Makes us think of our diving friends Mark and Jamie back in Canada. We think it has possibilities but we’ve only just begun our search.
We sail on.
We spend one day at Conception Island – a Bahamian national park with good anchorage. Lovely day walking the beach and climbing the cliffs on the Atlantic side. Next day we sail to Crooked Island.
Crooked Island: we anchor at French Wells. Really is a well there. I found it (just off a beautiful beach) and bucketed water from it to do some laundry. Spread it on the bushes to dry, while I built an inuksuk with sea fan wings.
Very long dinghy ride to Cabbage Hill Settlement. All four of us walk the 2 miles into town from the dinghy dock and hit the local bar. Bill and I decide to walk to Colonel Hill, not knowing it’s a long way to walk. On the dinghy ride back to the boat we almost run out of gas. Again the Bahamians to the rescue in the form a bunch of guys on their fishing boat. They take Jane and me to the boat so Bill and Phil can plane in the dinghy, which uses lass gas. Next day we cross the Bight of Acklins all the way down to Binnacle Hill Settlement. We walk around a bit. Then sail on to Delectable Bay. These are very small settlements. Picturesque cottages and a few businesses. We have cold beers at a restaurant and fish and chips. Meet a local guy who shows us his house and his shell collection. The house is near a small grocery store so we buy some bread and thyme. Back to the boat. Next day we sail up to Lovely Bay. Again, very picturesque settlement. But we’re looking for a little more infrastructure: hardware stores, lumber yards, stuff like that. Of course, it takes more than a week to fully discover an island. We sail back to Crooked Island and Landrail Point Settlement. This is bigger than most we’ve seen and again, very picturesque. About 3 restaurants (2 are open), grocery store (I buy guava jam for Jody).
We walk around the Settlement. There’s a beach road that takes you along the back of some very sweet beachfront cottages. Not fancy but picturesque. Further down there’s a private airstrip (we know from the sailing charts and info). Apparently some Canadian retired pilots discovered Landrail, built their cottages and a private landing strip. The beachfront cottages sell for 500 to 600 thousand. A lot sells for about 300. At one of the restaurants, we’re having breakfast and ask the server where we could rent a car. Of course, she knows someone, and makes all the arrangements. We rent the car to see more of the island and to get Bill and me to the airport to fly home. We leave from Colonel Hill Airport on the Saturday, and, again, need to overnight in Nassau to catch the direct flight back to Toronto. This time Bill’s reservations were good. We had a nice evening in town, next morning left early for the airport. Thank heavens we did. The last Sunday of March break – line up for the airline check-in desks already out the door and down the sidewalk with people arriving in a constant stream. 2 hours to check in and another hour and a half in the security line. We were lucky to make our flight. Note to self – never travel during March Break.
Dec 2006 – Bill’s 50th. First time to Eleuthera. Stayed at Orchid Cottage with Ruben & Jody (his parents). Drive the island – at first dismiss Rainbow Bay (like Stella Maris?), but we like the Governors Harbour area. On our last day there, we buy a souvenier book called “Rainbow Rising” by Matt Hoops, who lives there. It’s the story of the subdivision: 1300 lots platted in the late 60′s and sold for $4200 bucks (which back then was really quite a bit – more than now anyways), and the early ‘pioneers’. We read it back in Canada, and decide to take another look at Rainbow Bay.
May 2007 – Eleuthera again. Looking at lots from listings we downloaded from the internet, and with Johnathon Morris (Damianos/Sotheby’s – he’s a straight up guy - parents Canadian but he was born in the Bahamas – and only Bahamians can be real estate agents). We look at some houses too – to get a sense of what they’re worth – mostly central and north island.
July 2007 – 2nd look with focus on Rainbow Bay. There’s an up/down duplex on the Atlantic side and the surfers cottage (cute but needs work). Then we ask about lot 17. Jon says that would be a good lot. We go see it – it’s a cliff lot overlooking the inside. We like it immediately. We make an offer.
Dec 2007 – close the deal at the High Commissioners Office in Ottawa. Drive home in a snowstorm. We own a lot in the Bahamas!