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Thursday, May 2, 2013

Welcome! Great Inagua Embrace


Captain Stephen Fawkes, at Angie’s Place.

“Welcome!  Welcome!  Welcome!  You are my new best friends!  Let me tell you all about Great Inagua.…”

Thus began our secular Baptism into the Great Bahamas, courtesty of self-appointed welcome ambassador, Captain Stephen “Stevie” Fawkes, Matthew Town, Great Inagua. 

We were on our way back, walking down dusty Gregory Street after our Customs and Immigration check-in, when “The Captain” pulled over in his big white Ford pickup truck.  

Unprompted, he insisted on sharing his internet access info, showing us around town, introducing us to his lovely wife, Patty, the Community Health Administrator, and to his friends at Angie’s Place, where he arranged for Miriam us to cook us a chicken dinner that eve for our anniversary. He also bought us to our first Bahamian beer.  Not coincidentally, after a few more, he deftly danced a little soft shoe (short video clip forthcoming), and repeated the performance with even more verve when dropped us off at our dinghy.
Angie’s Place, a true local’s bar, is
tucked behind Matthew Town Park,
on Victoria between Prison and Parade
Streets.  We felt right at home.

Later that eve, after we thanked Miriam for a classic 60s-style home-cooked fried chicken meal, Stevie reappeared, bearing a big bouquet of local flowers, exclaiming “Maria told me to pick these for you, for your anniversary!”  What a sweet, nearly overwhelming anniversary send-off! 

While we’ve yet to explore Greater Inagua’s sights and history (look for more on that in a future post or check out The Captain’s website, www.TheInaguas.com), the genuine warmth of Stevie, Angie, Maria and their friends and family already transformed our simple rest stop and customs check-in into a joyful celebration.
Anniversary dinner cooked by Miriam
behind Angie’s Place.  Fried chicken,
salad with fresh sliced tomatoes,
peas and carrots on the side; $12 @.

We realize The Captain’s ulterior motive is to attract interest for the cruiser and diver friendly shoreside Buttonwood Manor inn / restaurant and bar he plans to open in June 2014.  Who are we to discourage free WiFi and a restaurant / bar with easy dinghy access, run by a jovial Marine Superintendant, harbor pilot, and former town mayor and Director of Bahamas Maritime Authority?

The ground may not yet be broken for The Captain’s place, but its foundations are definitely in place.
Miriam, Dana & Wayne, bearing the bountiful anniversary
bouquet “The Captain” picked at Maria’s request.