November’s Fresh Pickin’s

Every week Morley Realty likes to play up the pineapple on our social media accounts, a feature we call #PineappleTuesday.

Ananas comosus, the pineapple, is a traditional welcome sign throughout the islands. Posted on gates, resting at front doors and featured as tabletop décor for lazy afternoon lunches or even more formal dinners, this fruit is a sign any visitor will be received with open doors and warm welcomes. That’s just how we like to treat our clients and customers whether they are looking for an island home or a place for business.

This month’s #PineappleTuesday fresh pickin’s are found all over the Bahamas, from Eleuthera and Abaco, to our capital, Nassau. We welcome you to the Bahamas, with our display of pineapples, and hope to show you what our beautiful country as to offer.

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322 Days of Hurricane Season Later

Hurricane season officially ends tomorrow, and we can all let out a sigh of relief.   The dropping evening temperatures and the cooler winter ocean bring welcome relief from the heat of summer and monitoring the storm reports.

June 1 through November end is the official Atlantic hurricane season and the start of the season finds islanders trimming trees, checking  generators, and repairing, replacing, and purchasing hurricane shutters.   This year was no different.  2016 was an unusual hurricane season, starting with the surprise appearance of “Alex” as the first named storm on January 6, thankfully disappearing into the Atlantic with no landfall, and ending with “Otto”, the southernmost land falling hurricane in Central America on record, according to the National Hurricane Center’s website. 

Estimates say this Atlantic hurricane season has been the most active and costly since 2012 and the deadliest since 2005 when Hurricane Stan formed. Between January 6th and November 30th there were 15 named storms, 7 hurricanes and 3 major storms. The 2016 Hurricane season also logged the first time in history two major hurricanes happened in the month of October. 

Though this season is over, recovery efforts from Matthew’s direct hit in the Bahamas continue.   Our strong building codes had less devastation occurring here than other countries hit by this storm and thankfully no loss of life.   Our hearts and help have gone out to other hard hit Caribbean neighbors even as we rebuild and assist throughout our islands. May 2017’s hurricane season be uneventful from start to finish! 

Architectural Insight: Shutters

Seen throughout the islands as a decorative addition to cottages and homes, shutters are a necessary item in the event of hurricanes.   When a hurricane is travelling in an island’s direction, shutters are closed and secured for the protection of windows in the event of flying debris.  This eliminates manually installing and removing shutters and allows islanders to get about the business of securing food, water, fuel and other necessary items in the event of hurricane watches and warnings.   Shown below are three styles of island shutters and more information because June 1 will be here again before you know it.

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Learn more about:

Bahamian Architecture

Hurricane Center

Hurricane Matthew Relief Fund

Photos by: Emily Morley, Infographic by: Stephen Mouzon, A Living Tradition Architecture in The Bahamas

 

 

 

35 Bahamian Tings to Give Thanks For

Here at Morley Realty Ltd. we are grateful for many things, this year we would like highlight unique things about the Bahamas that sometimes go unnoticed.

We are grateful for:

  1. Rich history of the Bahamas such as its architectural buildings, statues and monuments.
  2. The friendly people, great tropical conch salad, beautiful beaches and clear crystal waters to swim in.
  3. The creativeness and talent of our people that has earned us worldwide exposure.
  4. Living in a “vacation destination”
  5. Family, friends and job
  6. Sense of community and the way in which we come together in times of adversity.
  7. Relaxing vacations and get-aways to the Out Islands
  8. Hurricane season to be over and that during Hurricane Matthew there was no lives lost.
  9. Because “no matter where I roam The Bahamas will always be my home”
  10. The sun, sand and sea
  11. Not having to shovel snow and that there are no extremes in our weather.
  12. Rush-hour traffic overlooking the gorgeous blue and turquoise waters of The Bahamas.
  13. Our family islands, each unique but yet so special.
  14. Crab n’ Rice and Conch Chowder
  15. Family beach days at Cabbage Beach and Rose Island
  16. Cool nights and balmy days of our “winter” season.
  17. Ability to island hop.
  18. Eating fresh Wahoo or Grouper after hours of fishing for them
  19. The end of the hurricane season and everything getting back to normal
  20. The most beautiful beaches in the world
  21. Junkanoo!!
  22. Our pace of life to appreciate family and friends island style
  23. Life, health, love and precious memories
  24. Awesome Bahamian seafood at the Poop Deck overlooking the scenic Nassau Harbor
  25. The many visitors who come to enjoy our islands with family and friends
  26. The wonderful community life and living with people who care for you at all times.
  27. The unique island style of the Out Islands- straw, bright colors, pink sand, sun bleached shells
  28. The replenishment of treasures (shells, fish, beaches and plants) of the beautiful Exumas, so that if you got back two day in a row you will find new things.
  29. Our balmy white-sanded Christmas
  30. Beautiful weather all year round, clear blue waters and sandy beaches
  31. Being able to swim year-round in the ocean.
  32. The sun that graces us majority of the year, on both very humid days with little island breeze, and during our brisk wintery days.
  33. Fresh and tasty conch salad at Arawak Cay
  34. The size of our population, so it’s possible that if you don’t know someone, you probably know someone they know.
  35. Smiles from the people at the straw market when you tell them you are local.

 

We hope you and your family have a food, family and love filled Thanksgiving, from our family to yours, gratitudes and giving thanks.

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Enter at Ebb Tide

Floating less than a mile off the west shores of Staniel Cay, Exuma is the Thunderball Grotto.   Mother Nature has painted its weathered limestone with  patches of island plants and a passerby’s casual glance would give no clue to what lies inside for the curious adventurer.

Thunderball Grotto is named after the 1965 James Bond movie, “Thunderball” , a Bond thriller with sexy spies, bombshell beach babes, and beautiful blue water filmed in part in the Bahamas .  Since that Bahamas Bond thriller, other Hollywood films including “Splash”, “Into The Blue”,  “Never Say Never Again”,  “After the Sunset” and “Casino Royale” are just a few that have featured the beauty of the Bahamas

Whether you’re a bold adventurer or a cautious explorer,  it’s easy to enter the grotto.   Take a leap and enter from above through the natural skylight.   It’s only a  twenty foot jump into the water below.   Or check the local tide tables and enter at high tide with scuba gear, or  low tide through one of the many holes that will require only mask and snorkel.     You’ll feel like you’re in a movie swimming through schools of yellowtail snappers, angelfish and sergeant majors to enter the hollow rock.

Once inside you’ll surface into crystal clear water with some of nature’s most fabulous lighting.    Natural perforations in the large rock, whether above or below,  filter sunlight inside illuminating the walls in a soft golden-brown glow.     Bobbing on the surface inside, floating face up, is akin to sitting in a primeval sacred sanctuary, feeling layers and centuries of peace and silence.    How many boaters have completely passed this spot never realizing what lay inside?

Although the Thunderball Grotto does not reside within the The Exuma Park  established in 1958, locals and visitors have respectfully treated it with the reverence of  a “No-Take Zone” and echoed the Exuma Park’s mantra with reference to the Grotto “Take only photographs-Leave only footprints”.   

Thanks are owed to the many visitors and locals who have highlighted and respected this beautiful spot.   And a hats off to a long time Bahama resident, Mr. James Bond himself,  Sean Connery, who is indirectly responsible for the name of this natural treasure.

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Explore miles of Exuma beauty

Other Exuma Must-see’s

How to live a James Bond lifestyle

Stay close to the Grotto

Pictures by Emily Morley circa 2012

 

 

The Queen’s Staircase

One of the most well-known Bahamian historic sites in Nassau is the 66 limestone steps christened the Queen’s Staircase that lead to Fort Fincastle.    Well over 200 years old, this attraction has been visited by travellers from all over the world.  

Carved out of solid limestone rock between 1793 and 1794 by slaves, it was to provide a direct route for men and supplies from Bennet’s Hill, the site of Fort Fincastle, to Nassau City and its harbor.    The staircase was later given its name to honour Queen Victoria, the United Kingdom and Great Britain’s ruler from 1837 to 1901.   

Fort Fincastle, built on top of Bennet’s Hill around 1793, is a short walk up the 102 foot tall staircase.   No longer needed for town or harbor protection, Fort Fincastle still offers great views of Nassau Harbour.  Sit and imagine yourself as a sentinel looking at the distant horizon waiting to identify incoming ships as friend or foe while you enjoy the cool breeze. 

Architectural Insight: The Arch Opening Heads on Doorways

The arched opening below is the front door of Fort Fincastle.   Architects in our archipelago give the most important doors this flare to visually draw the eye to this spot on the building. Seen as a either round or elliptical shape, the arched doorway is sometimes accompanied by a window. Paired with steel bars, this is a hurricane safety precaution making shutters unnecessary. 

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References:

Nassau’s Historic Landmarks by Gail Saunders and Linda M. Huber              

A Living Tradition [Architecture of the Bahamas] by Stephen A. Mouzon

http://www.bahamas.com/vendor/fort-fincastle  https://www.amazon.com/Stephen-A.-Mouzon/e/B001ILKGLS/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0  https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Antiquities-Monuments-Museum-Corporation-AMMC/220205287996644 

Photos/ editing by: Emily Morley

 

 

 

 

November’s Word of the Month

A feature we are posting every month here at The Pineapple Post is “Word of the Month”. This feature will highlight an original Bahamian word, with a little explanation of how we use it and some history behind it!

Potcake. Although it sounds like an island dessert, it’s what we call peas n’ rice that has hardened and crusted on the bottom of the pot.  Originally cooked in cast iron pots, it could often be scraped off in one large swipe and chewed like a savory “pastry”.  If inedible, just a little too burnt or rock hard; it was thrown to the yard dogs, which soon were nicknamed Potcakes.

Our native Potcakes can be found throughout the islands of The Bahamas and even the Turks and Caicos today. Their origin of ancestry is thought to be a mix of early Arawak Indian dogs, seafaring dogs used as ratters and alarms on Bahama bound ships, and herding and hunting dogs brought by Loyalists. Today their gene pool is so mixed, no common ancestor can be found. The only similarities that they have are their long snout, tan-colored buzzed haircut look and their stature.

Potcakes are survivors, and can be found nosing around neighborhoods, fast food outlets, restaurant back doors and wherever the smell of food is in the air. They are often seen in the background, patiently and stealthily waiting for picnickers or beach goers to depart before they descend on discarded bones or the crusts of tossed sandwiches.

While our North American neighbors like to style their strays as mutts, or “Heinz 57 Varieties”, we’re proud of our Potcakes and have even elevated these dogs amongst ourselves, proudly referring to them as Royal Bahamian Potcakes. Every family has a story of their Potcake’s intelligence, loyalty, personality and sometimes craftiness.

Here we say, “You don’t adopt a Potcake, they adopt you.” Whether they adopt a person, family, or even a place, these dogs are an ongoing part of the history of the Bahamas.

Linked below, the famous Bahamian singer/songwriter Phil Stubbs’ island tune about the often hard scrabble life of the Potcake,  “They only love me when they need me”. This song perfectly describes the personalities, along with the island knowledge every Potcake possess.

Potcake by Phil Stubbs

To learn more about the quirks and love of the Potcakes, click the links below to expand your knowledge. Some are adoption links, while others are information portal

http://www.baarkbahamas.com/

http://www.abacoshelter.org/home.html

http://www.bahamashumanesociety.com/adoption-gallery/

http://www.bahamianproject.com/2013/02/natalia-nunez/

Feature photo graphic: Shannon Bruce, Photo: Patty Birch

We Reach!

We created this modern day “letter” because we wanted to share with you, not just our Bahamian real estate knowledge that spans generations, but also have some fun letting you know what it’s like for us to live and work here. From our delicious food to some of our quirky customs, we want this to be your go-to guide.  We hope you view The Pineapple Post in your inbox much like Bahamian out islanders still view the mail boats that travel weekly to their islands; a great source of news, information, a little bit of excitement and a chance to get together.

The Bahamas is one country made up of about 700 islands and cays.  There are a lot of similarities and some total differences throughout them all.   We’re excited that you’re joining us here while we showcase what we love about our Bahamas and also offer you our knowledge and experience so you can find your home in the most beautiful country in the world.  Just like a good friend, sometimes we’re going to be serious and factual, and sometimes we’re just going to have fun.

We want you to enjoy our posts, learn more about real estate here and come to treasure our Bahamas as much as we do.   Whether you’re just thinking of the Bahamas as your new home or you’ve lived here all your life, please feel free to comment, ask questions, or let us know what you want to know more about.    Lasting relationships are built around shared experiences and we’re delighted to share with you and invite you to share with us.

We know you’ve heard islanders say, “You can’t go back somewhere you haven’t been”, so come along with us and we’ll take you there.

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Featured Photo Graphic: Shannon Bruce, Featured Photo by: Patty Birch