GEE! BEES!! HIVE TALKIN’ ON ABACO


Bees at Delphi Abaco 1

GEE! BEES!! HIVE TALKIN’ ON ABACO

This post concerns the bees of Abaco, with little or no apology for the cultural cross-reference to the dread mid-70′s musical era. If you wish to experience the full horror, scroll straight to the bottom of the page and relive those heady days of Barry, Robin & Maurice… 

The bees on Abaco south of Marsh Harbour are mostly wild. The header photo shows the West Indian Woodpecker nest box near the skiff park at Delphi that has become the exclusive residence of bees. They have a profusion of flowers in the Delphi Club gardens to choose from, but it is not practical to keep hives for them. So they are left to do their own thing. Here they were last month, being busy.

Bees at Delphi Abaco 2

During the past year I have found 2 places between Delphi and MH that keep hives. One is PEPPER POT FARMS - click the name to reach their FB page. You can get their honey direct or in MH for $6.75 a pot. I enjoyed their evidence of why bees are called ‘workers’…

5 FUN BEE FACTS

  • Bees must visit approximately 2 million flowers to make 1 lb. of honey. 
  • Bees have to fly over 55,000 miles to make 1 lb. of honey. 
  • On average a worker bee will make 1/12 teaspoon of honey in her lifetime. 
  • Two tablespoons of honey would fuel a honey bee flying once around the world.
  • Honey bees will visit between 50-100 flowers during one nectar collection trip.

12721_208930259301915_1742177992_n

The other place with hives is ABACO NEEM FARMS, the base for the production of the stock at the Abaco Neem shop on the way into MH from the roundabout [explanation for non-Abaconians - there is only one roundabout on a 120-mile long island, so no need to specify which…]. The owner Nick has installed 2 hives which we had a look at when we took up his invitation to bird-watch there. It is something of a birding hotspot, benefitting from pine woods, coppice, fruit trees and open land over a large area. 

Abaco Neem Farm Hives 1Abaco Neem Farm Hives 2Abaco Neem Farm Hives 3

There was plenty of bee action around the hives on a warm sunny day and plenty of plants for them to feed from. We watched them come and go, the returning bees having filled their trouser pockets with pollen.Abaco Neem Farm Hives 4 Abaco Neem Farm Hives 5

There are both cultivated and wild flowers all over the place, with bees feasting on plants and fruit trees of many kinds. I liked the bright flower chosen by this bee. Abaco Neem Farm Hives 6

I’ll be posting more about the birds and plants of the Neem Farm in a while. Meanwhile, here are a couple of links to previous relevant links.

 TO SEE AN EARLIER ABACO BEE POST, CLICK HERE

TO SEE A CUBAN PEWEE AT THE NEEM FARM CLICK HERE

Finally, here is your chance to roll back the years with the Brothers Gibb. And below it, an excellent corrective!

This excellent Bee Gee parody by the “Hee Bee Gee Bees” called “Meaningless Songs in Very High Voices” is live from Sweden. Well, it still makes me laugh anyway (they also ripped off and ripped into Bowie, Jackson, The Police, Status Quo & many more).

ROLLING HARBOUR, ABACO – THE GEOGRAPHICAL FEATURE


DCB for Vista

ROLLING HARBOUR, ABACO – THE GEOGRAPHICAL FEATURE

Rolling Harbour, location of the Delphi Club, is a mile-long curving sandy bay on the east side of South Abaco, half an hour’s drive south of Marsh Harbour. It is marked on a handful of old maps and a couple of more recent ones. Other than that, it keeps itself pretty much to itself. Here’s a 30-second, 180º panoramic movie from the beach. Blue skies. Blue water. Turquoise water. White sand. 4250 miles from where I am right now…

Abaco Map showing Rolling HabourAbaco Map showing Rolling Habour ('The Johnson Map')

 

 

MARSH HARBOUR ONLINE MUSEUM: A NEW RESOURCE FOR OLD ABACO


Marsh Harbour, Abaco - Old Photo

MARSH HARBOUR ONLINE MUSEUM: A NEW RESOURCE FOR OLD ABACO

There’s a new arrival on Facebook, and the word is already out. Within 12 hours the page has gained 119 followers*. Already there are some wonderful old photos of family groups and MH residents. Some are named; some may be waiting for someone to recognise them. The header image (thanks for use permission, MHOM) is both instantly recognisable yet puzzling. Is that Snappas over there… no, look, there…? To get straight to the page, click HERE. I guess they’ll want to hear from anyone who has old photos or postcards of MH; or who can help with ID of people and places.

cropped-option-7-copy

There is a similar resource for GREEN TURTLE CAY, where Amanda has a great blog LITTLE HOUSE BY THE FERRY. In part it records the restoration of her family home. However, it is also packed with old photos (with people invited to name the unknowns) and details of a fascinating genealogy project through DNA samples. MAN-O-WAR CAY has a Facebook Group called Man-o-War Cay and Abaco Family History with similar aims. HOPE TOWN has a very active Facebook page fronted by the iconic LIGHTHOUSE. And so on. Not forgetting the museums such as the WYANNIE MALONE MUSEUM, Hope Town and the MAN-O-WAR CAY HERITAGE MUSEUM.

‘Elbow Reef’ – antique engraving Hope Town Abaco - historic print

I am neither Abaconian nor even a second-homer, so I tread lightly in these matters for obvious reasons. However, I have posted a few items about Abaco’s history from time to time so I’ll add a few links below in case anyone is tempted to investigate further. Meanwhile, I notice that in the time I have put this post together, the followers for MHOM have risen to 139…

ABACO HISTORY: SHIPS, MAPS & HOLE-IN-THE-WALL

CHARLES CORY’S C19 BIRDING EXPEDITIONS TO ABACO

“GLIMPSES OF LIFE ALONG A CORAL REEF” A c19 NATURALIST VISITS ABACO

MAN-O-WAR CAY, ABACO: THE HIDDEN BOAT-BUILDING VILLAGE

HOPE TOWN LIGHTHOUSE, ELBOW CAY, ABACO – A BEACON ICON

I’ll end with what I believe to be the oldest known depiction of Hole-in-the-Wall in all its glory, before Hurricane Sandy did for it. It’s an aquatint published in the Naval Review in 1803. If you want to know what the ships are, you’ll have to click the top link. This will also offer you a number of other posts about Hole-in-the-Wall and Abaco more generally, traced through historic maps. Or just open a Kalik, why not. hole-in-the-wall-print-1803

*In the same time, poor Miley Cyrus has lost 2314. Wrecking Ball indeed. Whoops! There go another 249…

PINEAPPLES: SYMBOLS OF WELCOME & WEALTH (ALSO, DELICIOUS)


PINEAPPLES – A SHORT BUT FRUITY HISTORY (Mk 2)

NOTE The original post more than a year ago was intended in part as a celebration of passing the 50,000 hits mark. As I said then, “…so much interest in the wildlife of one small island? Thanks to all those who have visited during the last year or so”. Now we are speeding towards 125,000. In that time, the readership has increased somewhat (I thank you both…). So I am rolling this one out again with a few revisions, because it went down quite well before, at least with Pinaphiles…

🍍  🍍  🍍  🍍  🍍

The first image below is of the handsome locally hand-carved pineapple that surmounts the roof of the DELPHI CLUB Abaco. The fruit lost a few leaves in Hurricane Irene, which scored a direct hit on the Club. As posted on the ABACO FACTS page (under RANDOM main menu) “the precise Longitude & Latitude coordinates of the Pineapple [on] the Delphi Club roof are respectively -77.1787834167480  &  26.20450323936187 “. But why is it there? Time for a Short Voyage around the Pineapple…

PINEAPPLE FACTS TO ENLIVEN YOUR CONVERSATION

HISTORICAL & SOCIAL CONTEXT

  • Brought back to Europe by Christopher Columbus in 1493 on his return from his second voyage
  • Taken on long voyages as a protection against scurvy and because of its long life
  • By the c17 royalty & aristocracy grew them in hot-houses (or rather, their gardeners did). King Charles II tried one, an event so important it was recorded by the Court painter Hendrik Danckerts 
  • By c18 considered a great delicacy and a status symbol of wealth, often the centre-piece of a feast.
  • If you couldn’t afford to buy one, you could rent one and return it afterwards. Someone richer than you would then buy it.
  • Pineapples were grown in pits of fermenting manure. In England Queen Victoria was not amused and soon put an end to that unpleasant nonsense
  • In the c19 pineapples were one of the most significant exports from Abaco
  • The Earl of Dunmore built a huge pineapple folly in Scotland in 1761, which you can stay in (We have. It’s a lot of fun)

   

  • On ‘Unter den Linden’ in Berlin,  the cast iron posts round the huge equestrian statue of Frederick the Great are topped by pineapples.

Berlin, Unter den Linden, Reiterstandbild Friedrich II                 Reiterstandbild_-_Friedrich_der_Große Berlin Wikimedia

CULTURAL SYMBOLISM

  • Pineapples symbolise welcome and hospitality, placed at the entrance to villages or plantations. The tradition spread to Europe where they were carved as gateposts; staircase finials; and incorporated into wooden furniture (including bedposts at the Delphi Club)

  • Seafarers put pineapples outside their homes on their return to show that they were back from their travels and ‘at home’ to visitors
  • An expensive fruit to grow & to transport; remained a luxury until the arrival of steamships
  • Their costliness made them status symbols / indicators of wealth and rank. Displaying or serving pineapple showed that guests were honoured. And, coincidentally, that the hosts were loaded.
  • In the 1920s the grandest dinners apparently needed both “a pineapple and Lady Curzon” (I have been asked whether this is Interwar Period code for some sort of disreputable activity… let’s hope the answer is ‘yes’)

           Ornamental Pineapple at Ham House - James Long @ Wikimedia

  • The future Queen Elizabeth was sent 500 cases of canned pineapple as a wedding present from Australia. She asked them “Hev you come far?” Prince Phillip’s reaction was – apart from the word ‘pineapple’ – unprintable
  • In the play Abigail’s Party (Mike Leigh) pineapple chunks on cocktail sticks were used as a plot device to highlight the desperate social ambitions of a hellish hostess trying to impress & outclass her guests
  • A 1930s ad promised that by baking a pineapple pie a wife would make her man “smack his lips in real he-man enjoyment” (NB This may not work so well in the 2010s) 

By Appointment to HM the Queen

ARTS & CRAFTS

  • Used on Wedgwood pottery designs as early as the 1760s; others soon followed suit
  • Became widely used decoratively as a motif for gateposts, weather vanes, door lintels, wallpaper, table linen & curtains, and incorporated into furniture
  • Depicted as curiosities in early botanical engravings (Commelin 1697 Hortus Botanicus)

Commelin - Engraving - Ananas - Hortus Botanicus 1697

  • Featured in still life paintings as a crowning example of opulence (e.g. De Heem, Jan van Os)

                                  Josef Schuster

  • Depicted in plant and fruit studies, for example these by Johann Christoph Volckamer, very early c18        
  • Occasionally found in Church stained glass windows (e.g. St Lawrence’s, Jersey)

Églyise_Pârouaîssiale_dé_Saint_Louothains_Jèrri Man Vyi * Wikimedia

  • Featured in music e.g. Pineapple Rag (Scott Joplin); Pineapple Head (Crowded House); Escape – The Piña Colada Song (Rupert Holmes); Pineapple Express (Huey Lewis); Pineapple (Sparks) 

  • Used as a motif on shutters in Marsh Harbour 

SPORT

  • The Men’s Singles Trophy at  Wimbledon is a silver gilt cup with a gilded pineapple on top of the lid. It used to mean “Welcome back, Roger!” Now it stands for the first British male singles win since 1937 (‘Go, Andy!’). [British women have fared rather better in the singles in that time ('Go, Angela, Ann & Virginia!')]

MOTORING

  • Vauxhall produced the Vauxhall Astra Sport in ‘tasteful’ Pineapple yellow. For the history of the use of the far more glamorous Bahama Yellow  in motoring, click HERE

10 TASTY PINEAPPLE CHUNKS

  • The cocktail Afterglow is 1 part grenadine, 4 parts orange juice & 4 parts pineapple juice on ice
  • Piña Colada is rum, coconut milk & crushed pineapple. Omit the rum for a Virgin Colada
  • It is impossible, for chemical reasons, to make jelly with fresh pineapple
  • “Pineapple heat” was once a standard marking on thermometers
  • A pineapple grows as two interlocking helixes (8 one way, 13 the other – each being a Fibonacci number)
  • A pineapple will never become any riper than it was when harvested
  • Workers who cut up pineapples eventually have no fingerprints – a gift fact for crime writers
  • Pineapple stems are being tested for anti-cancer properties
  • Pine Apple, a small Alabama town full of pineapple symbols, was originally named “Friendship” but there turned out to be another town called that, so they changed it
  • Features on the Bahamian 5 cents coin…

  • …and  a $1 stamp

BAHAMAS PINEAPPLE STAMP

Read Jim Kerr’s interesting article in ABACO LIFE on Abaco’s pineapple past HERE

FRANCESCA BEAUMAN 2006

THE PINEAPPLE – KING OF FRUITS

If you want to find out more about pineapples, their  history and social significance, you should be able to pick up a copy of this book on Am@z%n, Abe or ALibris for a few dollars

“What?” I hear you cry, “you’ve managed a whole page about pineapples without mentioning modern advertising”. Shall I do so now? The man from Del Monte, he says YES

Sources: Own ideas + some magpie-thieving-borrowing from a variety of sources, many of which contain identical info and / or quote from the above book. Hope everyone is comfortable with that…

NB Not every fact above is strictly 100% true, so expect to be challenged if you try one out. In particular Prince Phillip is of course naturally docile and gentle-mouthed…

POST SCRIPT The first 21 Fibonacci numbers (just add 2 successive numbers to produce the next) are

F0 F1 F2 F3 F4 F5 F6 F7 F8 F9 F10 F11 F12 F13 F14 F15 F16 F17 F18 F19 F20
0 1 1 2 3 5 8 13 21 34 55 89 144 233 377 610 987 1597 2584 4181 6765

🍍  🍍  🍍  🍍  🍍

 

CONCH SHELLS & CONCHUPISCENCE ON ABACO


Conchs at Sandy Point a1

CONCH SHELLS & CONCHUPISCENCE ON ABACO

Most conchs encountered in daily life are lying peacefully on the beach; or are artfully displayed; or are found in conch heaps (often in the vicinity of restaurants) like the ones below at Sandy Point. Conchs at Sandy Point Abaco 2Conchs at Sandy Point Abaco 4

These shells at Sandy Point are so plentiful that they form a small spit of ‘land’ into the seaConch at Sandy Point (Clare)

An attractive display of conch shells in Marsh HarbourConchs Marsh Harbour Abaco

A less formal arrangement along the jetty at Man o’ War Cay (after a storm)Conch Man 'o War Cay jetty Abaco

It’s easy to forget that these shells are more than just a garden adornment, or pretty containers for a ubiquitous Caribbean food. Under the sea, and not very far at that, are living creatures going about their daily lives.Conch ©Melinda Riger @G B ScubaConch ©Melinda Riger @ GB Scuba

And that includes reproducing. This sounds as if it might be a cumbersome process, but (like porcupines) they seem to manage. Here is a pair preparing to mate. The male behind is presumably about to… well never mind. I’ve never seen the process, so it’s a case of using imagination. Or just accepting that, whatever it is that they do, it works. [I haven't located a video online - I'll post one if I do]Conch preparing to mate ©Melinda Riger @ GB Scuba

You’ll find some more about Conchs in a previous post HERE, including 12 Unputdownable Conch Facts, notes on conservation matters and… a photo of Honeychile Rider, arguably the most famous conch-carrier ever. Oh, she was fictional, you say? But I always though she… How very disappointing.

And if you want to know how to clean a conch, a dude will  show you in a video on this page HERE 

Finally, check out the very informative website COMMUNITY CONCH, a charitable conservation organisation community conch logo

Photo credits: Melinda, Clare, RH

FISH FRENZY AT FOWL CAY MARINE PRESERVE, ABACO, BAHAMAS


FISH FRENZY AT FOWL CAY MARINE PRESERVE, ABACO

This is the first short video from footage taken in June at Fowl Cay, 2000 acres of protected coral reef waters. This was the start of another great day out snorkelling and island-hopping with dive-diva Kay Politano of ABOVE & BELOW ABACO Marsh Harbour.  In due course there will be more videos of fish and coral. There is very slight evidence that lessons have been learned since last year’s erratic novice snorkeler / underwater photographer efforts. Still a way to go of course. The production process has been hampered by a major format problem between my camera chip thingy and the Mac I now use. It told me the data was unrecognisable / corrupted / damaged etc, which was massively disappointing. Then I thought of  <<techno-tip>> downloading to an old PC and transferring to the Mac on a memory stick. Problem solved.

This huge swirling mass of (tens of) thousands of small fish confronted me as I round one end of the reef. I’ve never seen anything like it before, except on TV. It was an astounding, dizzy-making spectacle. When I swam into the middle of the shoal, I expected to feel tickled all over – but despite the huge numbers of fish, their speed, and their sudden and apparently random direction changes, I wasn’t conscious of feeling them at all. I assume the commotion resulted from the presence of larger fish feeding on the small ones. Or possibly from my appearance…

Music credit: Gordon Giltrap (Hofner champion) ‘Fast Approaching’

PINEAPPLES: SYMBOLS OF WELCOME & WEALTH (ALSO, DELICIOUS)


PINEAPPLES – A SHORT BUT FRUITY HISTORY

This post is intended in part as a celebration of passing the 50,000 hits mark today. So much interest in the wildlife of one small island – thanks to all those who have visited during the last year or so

The first image below is of the handsome locally hand-carved pineapple that surmounts the roof of the Delphi Club, Abaco. The fruit lost a few leaves in Hurricane Irene last August, which scored a direct hit on the Club. As posted on the ABACO FACTS page (under RANDOM main menu) “the precise Longitude & Latitude coordinates of the Pineapple [on] the Delphi Club roof are respectively -77.1787834167480  &  26.20450323936187 “. But why is it there? Time for a Short Voyage around the Pineapple…

PINEAPPLE FACTS TO ENLIVEN YOUR CONVERSATION

HISTORICAL & SOCIAL CONTEXT

  • Brought back to Europe by Christopher Columbus in 1493 on his return from his second voyage
  • Taken on long voyages as a protection against scurvy and because of its long life
  • By the c17 royalty & aristocracy grew them in hot-houses (or rather, their gardeners did). King Charles II tried one, an event so important it was recorded by the Court painter Hendrik Danckerts 
  • By c18 considered a great delicacy and a status symbol of wealth, often the centre-piece of a feast.
  • If you couldn’t afford to buy one, you could rent one and return it afterwards. Someone richer than you would then buy it.
  • Pineapples were grown in pits of fermenting manure. In England Queen Victoria was not amused and soon put an end to that unpleasant nonsense
  • In the c19 pineapples were one of the most significant exports from Abaco
  • The Earl of Dunmore built a huge pineapple folly in Scotland in 1761, which you can stay in (We have. It’s a lot of fun)

   

CULTURAL SYMBOLISM

  • Pineapples symbolise welcome and hospitality, placed at the entrance to villages or plantations. The tradition spread to Europe where they were carved as gateposts; staircase finials; and incorporated into wooden furniture (including bedposts at the Delphi Club)

  • Seafarers put pineapples outside their homes on their return to show that they were back from their travels and ‘at home’ to visitors
  • An expensive fruit to grow & to transport; remained a luxury until the arrival of steamships
  • Their costliness made them status symbols / indicators of wealth and rank. Displaying or serving pineapple showed that guests were honoured
  • In the 1920s the grandest dinners apparently needed both “a pineapple and Lady Curzon” (I have been asked whether this is Interwar Period code for some sort of disreputable activity… I need to check)
  • The future Queen Elizabeth was sent 500 cases of canned pineapple as a wedding present from Australia. She asked them “Hev you come far?” Prince Phillip’s reaction was – apart from the word ‘pineapple’ – unprintable
  • In the play Abigail’s Party (Mike Leigh) pineapple chunks on cocktail sticks were used as a plot device to highlight the desperate social ambitions of a hellish hostess trying to impress & outclass her guests
  • A 1930s ad promised that by baking a pineapple pie a wife would make her man “smack his lips in real he-man enjoyment” (NB This may not work so well in the 2010s) 

By Appointment to HM the Queen

ARTS & CRAFTS

  • Used on Wedgwood pottery designs as early as the 1760s; others soon followed suit
  • Became widely used decoratively as a motif for gateposts, weather vanes, door lintels, wallpaper, table linen & curtains, and incorporated into furniture
  • Featured in still life paintings as a crowning example of opulence

                                  

  • Depicted in plant and fruit studies, for example these by Johann Christoph Volckamer, very early c18        
  • Featured in music e.g. Pineapple Rag (Scott Joplin); Pineapple Head (Crowded House); Escape – The Piña Colada Song (Rupert Holmes); Pineapple Express (Huey Lewis); Pineapple (Sparks) 
  • Used as a motif on shutters in Marsh Harbour 
  • The Men’s Singles Trophy at  Wimbledon is a silver gilt cup with a gilded pineapple on top of the lid. These days its meaning is “Welcome back, Roger!”

10 MISCELLANEOUS PINEAPPLE CHUNKS

  • The cocktail Afterglow is 1 part grenadine, 4 parts orange juice & 4 parts pineapple juice on ice
  • Piña Colada is rum, coconut milk & crushed pineapple. Omit the rum for a Virgin Colada
  • It is impossible, for chemical reasons, to make jelly with fresh pineapple
  • “Pineapple heat” was once a standard marking on thermometers
  • A pineapple grows as two interlocking helixes (8 one way, 13 the other – each being a Fibonacci number)
  • A pineapple will never become any riper than it was when harvested
  • Workers who cut up pineapples eventually have no fingerprints – a gift fact for crime writers
  • Pineapple stems are being tested for anti-cancer properties
  • Pine Apple, a small Alabama town full of pineapple symbols, was originally named “Friendship” but there turned out to be another town called that, so they changed it
  • Features on the Bahamian 5 cents coin…

  • …and (later addition) a $1 stamp

BAHAMAS PINEAPPLE STAMP

STOP PRESS read Jim Kerr’s interesting article in ABACO LIFE on Abaco’s pineapple past HERE

FRANCESCA BEAUMAN 2006

THE PINEAPPLE – KING OF FRUITS

If you want to find out more about pineapples, their  history and social significance, you should be able to pick up a copy of this book on Am@z%n, Abe or ALibris for a few dollars

“What?” I hear you cry, “you’ve managed a whole page about pineapples without mentioning modern advertising”. Shall I do so now? The man from Del Monte, he says YES

THIS POST HAS BEEN REVISED AND UPDATED HERE

Sources: Own ideas + some magpie-thieving-borrowing from a variety of online sources, many of which contain identical info and / or quote from the above book. Hope everyone is comfortable with that…

NB Not every fact above is strictly 100% true, so expect to be challenged if you roll one out. In particular Prince Phillip is of course naturally docile and gentle-mouthed…

POST SCRIPT The first 21 Fibonacci numbers (just add 2 successive numbers to produce the next) are

F0 F1 F2 F3 F4 F5 F6 F7 F8 F9 F10 F11 F12 F13 F14 F15 F16 F17 F18 F19 F20
0 1 1 2 3 5 8 13 21 34 55 89 144 233 377 610 987 1597 2584 4181 6765

 

ABACO: BMMRO WHALE & DOLPHIN SIGHTINGS NOV 2011 & A ‘FALSE KILLER WHALE’ STRANDING


ABACO DOLPHIN & WHALE SIGHTINGS NOVEMBER 2011              ‘VERY DIFFERENT FROM OCTOBER’

October was a good month for bottlenose dolphins, with sightings both north and south of Marsh harbour –  however, no reported whales off Abaco at all. In complete contrast, in November no bottlenose dolphins were reported, nor any other cetaceans on the east side of Abaco. Instead, the observed activity was all around Sandy Point, with sperm whales in particular returning to the area. Increased sightings off Andros were also reported

                  STRANDED FALSE KILLER WHALE

Charlotte Dunn also reports that on December 2nd 2011, BMMRO was alerted that a whale had live-stranded on Guana Cay. After attempts to re-float it, it was seen heading north past Dolphin Beach. The animal had numerous lacerations and fresh scars, and appeared “very weak with labored breathing”The whale was later found beached at No Name Cay (north of Green Turtle Cay). At that time it was reportedly “still alive but just barely”. Unsuccessful attempts were made to get the animal back in the water.  Sadly, by evening it was dead. Photo ID confirmed it to be a FALSE KILLER WHALE Pseudorca 

 

For the full report on the BMMRO Facebook page CLICK STRANDED WHALE 

Click logo!

HURRICANE IRENE: AUG 31 ABACO AFTERMATH UPDATE, DAMAGE ASSESSMENT REPORTS


HURRICANE IRENE: LATEST ABACO NEWS UPDATE

 AUGUST 31

FOR YESTERDAY’S MAIN POST CLICK===>>> IRENE 30 AUG       See immediately below for the important Patherfinders Task Force Report links, and below that for today’s posts in reverse time order, oldest at the end.

DOWNLOADABLE  & PRINTABLE VERSION of the Pathfinders Task Force SWEAT-MS [Sewer, Water, Electricity, Academics, Transportation, Medical and Security] ASSESSMENT FOR ABACO with detailed maps and photos of supply problems caused by Irene eg Sandy Point was without electricity when assessed  CLICK===>>> PTFSWEAT-MSAssessmentAbaco

DOWNLOADABLE  & PRINTABLE VERSION of the Pathfinders Task Force RAPID DAMAGE ASSESSMENT for Abaco. The maps are incredibly helpful in revealing the extent of damage found in many areas – Marsh Harbour, Treasure Cay, Sandy Point for example – graded by severity.  CLICK===>>>  PTFRapidDamageAssessmentAbaco

=======================================================

16.00 GMT WILDLIFE NEWS: Abaco Parrots post-Irene . For a new report from Caroline Stahala, a great photo of a chick safe in its nest, and an optimistic afterword from rh  CLICK===>>> ABACO PARROT CHICK

14.00 GMT The damage assessment reports, photos and pdf download links given above are now also available on The Bahamas Weekly.com, with a comprehensive ‘SHARE’ button linking to more sharing methods than I have ever seen, let alone heard of  CLICK LOGO===>>> 

09.00 GMT  Local10.com has notified me overnight of a new short video report by Janine Stanwood on the Abaco situation. It centres (apologies for UK spelling, my spellchecker does that) on the GREEN TURTLE CLUB, GTC and on relief being flown in from South Florida by BAHAMAS RELIEF working with BANYAN AIR, including much-needed supplies for repairing properties. For the latest Local10.com report CLICK LOGO===>>>  

For direct access to the BAHAMAS RELIEF SITE / PAGE  CLICK LOGO===>>>  

rollingharbour reports… 

The situation on Abaco this week is clearer to the world, communications are mostly restored, family and friends are back in contact, and the long process of clearing up is under way. The need for the Irene side of this Abaco wildlife blog has receded. I usually get 20 – 25 hits a day for the birds, plants, reef fish and so on.  I have been getting 1000s daily since I started posting Irene radar and tracking maps and weather reports a mere 8 days ago – more than 5000 on one day alone and over 15,000 overall. The scope expanded rapidly to include links to media reports, videos, photos, damage reports and so forth. People have sought or supplied specific information. Some have said nice things. Now, however, the hit-rate has reduced to fewer than 1000 a day. Very soon it will be time for this blog, too, to return to normal service. With that in mind, here is an Abaco Parrot (taken in March 2011) to be going on with! 

HURRICANE IRENE: AUG 30 ABACO DAMAGE ASSESSMENT REPORT – ESSENTIAL READING


HURRICANE IRENE: LATEST ABACO NEWS UPDATE

 AUGUST 30 (post 2 – Pathfinders Task Force Assessments)

TO SEE TODAY’S MAIN POST 1 CLICK===>>> IRENE 30 AUG (1)

TO SEE YESTERDAY’S POST CLICK===>>> IRENE 29 AUG

21.30 GMT DOWNLOADABLE  & PRINTABLE VERSION of the Pathfinders Task Force SWEAT-MS [Sewer, Water, Electricity, Academics, Transportation, Medical, and Security] ASSESSMENT FOR ABACO. This assessment gives full details of the state of the electricity supply in the various parts of Abaco, with detailed maps and photos of supply problems caused by Irene – for example, Sandy Point was without electricity when the assessment was made…  CLICK===>>> PTFSWEAT-MSAssessmentAbaco

19.30 GMT DOWNLOADABLE  & PRINTABLE VERSION of the Pathfinders Task Force Rapid Damage Assessment for Abaco. The maps are incredibly helpful in revealing the extent of damage found in many areas – Marsh Harbour, Treasure Cay, Sandy Point for example – graded by severity.  CLICK===>>>  PTFRapidDamageAssessmentAbaco

Thanks to Bahama Islands Info for putting it in the public domain – much easier to read! TO SEE WHOLE ARTICLE CLICK LOGO===>>>  

13.00 GMT  HURRICANE IRENE ABACO DAMAGE ASSESSMENT REPORT (29 AUG)       ESSENTIAL READING

I have already provided the links to this report in my earlier post today. This one deserves its own space. Over the past few days I’ve had a vast number of hits from searches including the words ‘Abaco’, ‘Irene’, and ‘Damage’ in various combinations. Clearly many people are desperate for information, especially as communications have been down completely in many places, and very variable elsewhere. Now at last there is available a detailed preliminary assessment of Irene damage on Abaco, with a report, maps and photographs, posted on BAHAMASLOCAL.COM  It will be of great interest to everyone on Abaco or elesewhere concerned to find out more about the effects of Irene on the Islands and Cays. I will add anything else that arises later today to the main post of today (see top of page for LINK), but I thought this report merited its own publication and title tags (for Google purposes). CLICK==>> BAHAMAS LOCAL 

HURRICANE IRENE: AUG 30 ABACO UPDATE, DAMAGE REPORT, STORM VIDEOS


HURRICANE IRENE: LATEST ABACO NEWS UPDATE

 AUGUST 30

TO SEE YESTERDAY’S POST CLICK===>>> IRENE 29 AUG

21.30 GMT DOWNLOADABLE  & PRINTABLE VERSION of the Pathfinders Task Force SWEAT-MS [Sewer, Water, Electricity, Academics, Transportation, Medical, and Security] ASSESSMENT FOR ABACO This assessment gives full details of the state of the electricity supply in the various parts of Abaco, with detailed maps and photos of supply problems caused by Irene – for example, Sandy Point was without electricity when the assessment was made…  CLICK===>>> PTFSWEAT-MSAssessmentAbaco

19.30 GMT DOWNLOADABLE  & PRINTABLE VERSION of the Pathfinders Task Force Rapid Damage Assessment for Abaco. The maps are incredibly helpful in revealing the extent of damage found in many areas – Marsh Harbour, Treasure Cay, Sandy Point for example – graded by severity.  CLICK===>>>  PTFRapidDamageAssessmentAbaco

Thanks to Bahama Islands Info for putting it in the public domain – much easier to read! TO SEE WHOLE ARTICLE CLICK LOGO===>>>  

17.00 GMT NASSAU GUARDIAN ARTICLE published this morning LT “HURRICANE IRENE & BEING PREPARED”, general summary of the situation. CLICK LOGO===>>>  or The Nassau Guardian

14.30 GMT STORM VIDEOS A number of short Abaco-specific hurricane videos are beginning to appear on YouTube of the storm and its aftermath, suggesting that comms must be pretty much back to normal. If you are looking on YouTube or its equivalents, use the ‘advanced search’ to specify date order, or you’ll get a lot of pre-Irene items that you have already lived through. The link here will take you direct to the latest videos, sorted in upload order, with the most recent at the top. I hope. CLICK===>>> ABACOonYOUTUBE

10.30 GMT STOP PRESS – HURRICANE IRENE ABACO DAMAGE ASSESSMENT REPORT (29 AUG) This is a detailed preliminary assessment of Irene damage on Abaco, with a report, maps and photographs, posted on Bahamas Local. Essential reading CLICK==>> BAHAMAS LOCAL 

DELPHI CLUB NEWS: I’ve just heard from Peter Mantle, with the good news that the team are all back at the club now, and the great clear-up is well under way

10.00 GMT Another video today of the arrival of Irene, this time from Cooperstown, North Abaco. Poster Jack Slack says “Initially the camera point of view is primarily facing East (Powell, High and Bonefish Cays) and then later pans across Cooperstown Clinic. About 1 minute into the clip, she starts blowing pretty hard… CLICK===>>> SLACKTIDE

09.00 GMT HOPE TOWN IRENE VIDEO There is now an excellent video with fascinating commentary on STORMVISUALS (Jeff Gammons). There is a direct link contained in the description below it to blog posts during Irene. There are are also a number of comments on the page which some may find useful. To get to the video CLICK==>> STORMVISUALS or TWEET WIDGET in Sidebar. Also here’s the link to the Facebook part of STORMVISUALS CLICK==>>FBSV

New Amazing Hurricane Irene Video From Great Abaco / Hope Town
“Earlier this afternoon, I finally received some of the raw Hurricane Irene video footage from Hurricane Chaser Jim Edds in Hope Town, Bahamas. Category 3 Hurricane Irene’s eye tracked directly over Great Abaco Island and Elbow Cay, and Jim was there to film it yesterday afternoon. He was also able to give me a rundown via cell phone of the peak of the storm, and how the island is doing the day after Irene, and I have including that audio in the video above. Look for additional video from Jim in the coming days when he returns to Florida this weekend. You can also read the blog posts updates during the storm yesterday here”

FROM YESTERDAY For those wondering what Rolling Harbour is all about, here is a view of it – a Google Maps image taken just before building started, over which I have superimposed a picture of the Delphi Club. Last Thursday, the sea covered all the visible sand and beyond into the scrub, with waves smashing up against the cliff-face. The wooden steps to the beach (on the right of the photo), although robust, were expected to be smashed completely, but amazingly they have survived intact. Double-click to enlarge.

USEFUL:  Local10.com has been excellent in its reporting of Abaco and Irene, with first-class live open-air reports from Janine Stanwood while the storm raged around her, and informative, balanced studio coverage. Here is the link to the recent 39-images slideshow. Some are captioned with location            CLICK==>> LOCAL10 

Delphi Club Abaco 25 Aug 2011 / Hurricane Irene: Looking north to the end of the bay

The Palm Tree in photo above, in less adverse weather

HURRICANE IRENE: ABACO NEWS UPDATE AUG 29… WILDLIFE EFFECTS?


HURRICANE IRENE: LATEST ABACO NEWS UPDATE

AUGUST 29

TO SEE YESTERDAY’S POST CLICK===>>> IRENE 28 AUG

22.00 GMT Here’s the link to 4 very short video clips from ‘Capt-Chris’ in Marsh Harbour CLICK===>>> MH CLIPS 

For those wondering what Rolling Harbour is all about, here is a view of it – a Google Maps image taken just before building started, over which I have superimposed a picture of the Delphi Club. Last Thursday, the sea covered all the visible sand and beyond into the scub, with waves smashing up against the cliff-face. The wooden steps to the beach (on the right of the photo), although robust, were expected to be smashed completely, but amazingly they have survived intact. Double-click to enlarge.

19.00 GMT I notice I have been getting a great many hits from searches with the format ‘Abaco…damage…[place]‘. Local10.com has been excellent in its reporting of Abaco and Irene, with first-class live open-air reports from Janine Stanwood while the storm raged around her, and informative, balanced studio coverage. Here is the link to the recent 39-images slideshow. Some are captioned with location  CLICK==>> LOCAL10 

Meanwhile, according to travel sites, Hotels & Resorts on Abaco have been confirming minimal damage  to buildings – nothing structural so far, anyway – and problems confined in various degrees to the “landscaping”. The overall picture is “open for business”

16.00 GMT a message (thanks, Susan) reads “…thanks for the info. We live if Fl and have dealt with more than a few hurricanes. I love Rolling Harbour and the Delphi [Club] is beautiful – the beach is stunning. Good luck with the clean up and thank you again for your site. I hope the parrots did well – they were finally coming back after the beating they took from Hurricanes Floyd and Frances“.

I am hoping to be able to post about the parrots once Caroline Stahala has had a chance to make an assessment of the situation. Having just finished the chick banding project (see ABACO PARROT CHICK BANDING with unique photos) they must be at the forefront of her mind: she has been engaged in their research and conservation for several years. As for other wildlife, wearing my more natural-fitting blog hat I am hoping to have some news from Ricky Johnson once he too has a chance to get out there and see the effects of the Irene on the birds.

At least we know the W I woodpecker family at Delphi are (probably) ok… here’s a picture (the subject of a caption competition) from a while back to add some cheer with their comic behaviour  (photo credit David Rainford)

14.00 GMT: Back home in London. I have at last had some news from Long Beach, about which there have been queries. Phone calls are now getting through and the damage news from there is “except for some downed trees everything is ok”. Thanks, Elizabeth. Perhaps that is optimistic for comms for most if not all of South Abaco today – and hopefully elsewhere.

Online, there hasn’t been much new activity – still very few storm images (apart from weather maps / satellite images from last week). The ones from this blog are all there now. And very few videos beyond those I have already given the links to. Press reports are, as you might expect, concentrate on what did – or didn’t – happen in NYC yesterday. I’ll check later for updates, but I have a feeling that as links are gradually restored, my storm-related usefulness is coming to an end. Soon I’ll be back to reporting on parrots, reef fish and cone shells… 

09.30 GMT: Post haste: I am travelling this morning. and will post anything of note later on. I’ll be interested to know how things are going, and whether communications are getting back to normal. Please feel free to leave any useful info in the comment box at the bottom, which others can then see. Here a a few items from yesterday’s post to be going on with

  CLICK LOGO ===>>> 

   CLICK LOGO===>>

09.00 GMT: NEWS FROM THE DELPHI CLUB, ROLLING HARBOUR SOUTH ABACO 

Caroline Stahala reports: “Now the clean up begins. We were very lucky but it will still be quite an extensive recovery process.  Even though the house seemed to have withstood the high winds and rain, many of the trees and other vegetation were not as fortunate. And as with most hurricanes, we are bound to see more loss of vegetation and defoliation over the next few weeks. But since you are running a natural history blog, I thought I would add a bird note to the story. So, I have mentioned the woodpeckers that have chicks in the house Sandy built. Well, these birds deserve to be recognized as parents of the year. During a Cat 3 hurricane, the parents were out looking for food for the chicks.  I am attaching a picture of the woodpecker dad waiting for an opportune time to fly out during the eye of the storm.  I am also attaching some hurricane pictures taken from a safe spot during the storm. I appreciate all of your thoughts and well wishes. Crazy experience to say the least.”

Here are her excellent photos (© Caroline Stahala – please credit her if you use them), followed by 3 of my own of them same views taken in March 2011

Delphi Club Abaco 25 Aug 2011 / Hurricane Irene: Looking south from the balcony

Delphi Club Abaco 25 Aug 2011 / Hurricane Irene: Looking south across the pool area

Delphi Club Abaco 25 Aug 2011 / Hurricane Irene: Looking north to the end of the bay

Delphi Club Abaco 25 Aug 2011 / Hurricane Irene: Looking south to the end of the bay

Delphi Club Abaco 25 Aug 2011 / Hurricane Irene: Father woodpecker stands guard over the chicks

The Palm Tree in photo 3 above, in less adverse weather

Delphi Club: the beach looking north (storm photo 3)

Delphi Club: looking south over the pool area (see storm photos 1,2 & 4)

HEADLINEGRABBER Marsh Harbour feature 27 Aug  CLICK===>>> HERE

 (CLICK LOGO LINK) a useful resource for updates. I have put the link the Sidebar Twitter section for those that may want to Retweet the link.

HURRICANE IRENE: ABACO NEWS UPDATE and 5* IMAGES AUG 28 from Delphi Club, Rolling Harbour


HURRICANE IRENE: ABACO NEWS UPDATE        AUGUST 28 [for news update Aug 29 CLICK==>HERE]

22.30 GMT: No additional Abaco news. Time to sign off unless I get any further info by email… until tomorrow. Meanwhile, good luck with the clear-up…

20.00 GMT: There’s a new short report on the DELPHI CLUB website, for those keeping an eye on Rolling Harbour rolling news… It basically cross-refers to this Post (which can be reached direct from the Delphi website) and the vivid images, adding: “In essence, all is well. But there will be lots of clearing up to do”. 

19.00 GMT: Not much to report, except that my impression is that communications are gradually being re-established on Abaco. I notice the Rocky Bay webcam on Elbow Cay is still down, but I doubt it’s a priority right now…I have sent out a few inquiries, and am waiting responses which I will post as and when. Meanwhile there is a new post from Conch Salad TV – a site many Abaconians will be familiar with – that includes video clips of Irene from last week   CLICK LOGO ===>>> 

14.00 GMT: The media focus has pretty much left the Bahamas in its wake, much like Irene itself. Very little online material that adds anything. However, Firefly Sunset Resort in Hope Town is posting regular updates on its Facebook page, including images of the aftermath of Irene.The message boards below may also help those seeking Elbow Cay information                                                          CLICK LOGO===>>

09.00 GMT: STOP PRESS NEWS FROM THE DELPHI CLUB, ROLLING HARBOUR SOUTH ABACO I have just heard from Caroline Stahala at Delphi, where some comms have now been restored. She has been on guard throughout. Those familiar with the day-job of this blog – Abaco wildlife – will know that she is a research scientist heading the project dedicated to the conservation of the Abaco Parrot. Put her name in the search box – or ‘Abaco Parrots’ –  and the relevant POSTS will come up. 

Caroline reports: “Now the clean up begins. We were very lucky but it will still be quite an extensive recovery process.  Even though the house seemed to have withstood the high winds and rain, many of the trees and other vegetation were not as fortunate. And as with most hurricanes, we are bound to see more loss of vegetation and defoliation over the next few weeks. But since you are running a natural history blog, I thought I would add a bird note to the story. So, I have mentioned the woodpeckers that have chicks in the house Sandy built. Well, these birds deserve to be recognized as parents of the year. During a Cat 3 hurricane, the parents were out looking for food for the chicks.  I am attaching a picture of the woodpecker dad waiting for an opportune time to fly out during the eye of the storm.  I am also attaching some hurricane pictures taken from a safe spot during the storm. I appreciate all of your thoughts and well wishes. Crazy experience to say the least.”

And here are the graphic pictures. There are very few images from Abaco online yet – no doubt because comms are down – so it’s worth pointing out that these are from a place over which the eye of the storm passed directly. I should add that these images are © Caroline Stahala – please credit her if you use them

Delphi Club Abaco 25 Aug 2011 / Hurricane Irene: Looking south from the balcony

Delphi Club Abaco 25 Aug 2011 / Hurricane Irene: Looking south across the pool area

Delphi Club Abaco 25 Aug 2011 / Hurricane Irene: Looking north to the end of the bay

Delphi Club Abaco 25 Aug 2011 / Hurricane Irene: Looking south to the end of the bay

Delphi Club Abaco 25 Aug 2011 / Hurricane Irene: Father woodpecker stands guard over the chicks

The Palm Tree in photo 3 above, in less adverse weather

Delphi Club: the beach looking north (storm photo 3)

Delphi Club: looking south over the pool area (see storm photos 1,2 & 4)

08.00 GMT: Hi on Sunday 25 Aug. I have had a quick look online to see what new information there may be… here are a couple of items to be going on with.

HEADLINEGRABBER has a Marsh Harbour-based feature posted yesterday 27 Aug at 12.18 pm LT CLICK===>>> HERE

 (CLICK LOGO LINK) looks a useful resource for updates from contributors, e.g. “At Marsh Harbour airport they had  minimal structural damage.” I have also put the link in a Tweet in the Sidebar Twitter section for those that may want to Retweet the link.

Finally for now, here is an image from the Australian Telegraph that vividly shows Irene’s track over the Bahamas 

HURRICANE IRENE: ABACO NEWS UPDATE AUG 28


HURRICANE IRENE: ABACO NEWS UPDATE AUG 28

PLEASE NOTE: HAVING JUST RECEIVED A REPORT AND PHOTOGRAPHS THIS MORNING FROM CAROLINE STAHALA AT THE DELPHI CLUB, I HAVE REVISED AND REPOSTED THIS WHOLE POST AS A NEW POST  CLICK===>>> ABACO NEWS UPDATE AUG 28

09.00 GMT: STOP PRESS NEWS FROM THE DELPHI CLUB, ROLLING HARBOUR SA 

HURRICANE IRENE & ABACO: THE AFTERMATH (UPDATE 27 AUGUST 2011)


             27 AUGUST: HURRICANE IRENE & ABACO                 THE AFTERMATH & CLEAR-UP

22.30 GMT NO NEWS – GOOD NEWS? It’s some hours since I last posted because there has been little more emerging that I can usefully add in the way of information or helpful links. I suspect that significant communications problems are continuing today. Having just completed a further trawl for today’s news and online sites, I think I can fairly summarise the overall situation by saying that the extent of the damage caused by Irene has mercifully been rather less than expected; that no serious injuries have been reported; and that the snippets coming out of the various communities of Abaco indicate that most are as ok as one could hope in the circumstances.

I’m stopping for now, and I will provide any available updates tomorrow morning UK time, ready for when Abaco starts the day. I have now had a vast number of hits – more than 10,000 – over the last 3 days, and I hope a few people at least have found the blog helpful. Thanks for looking. I suspect that once communications are back to normal, I will be returning to the main idea of the blog –  the wildlife of Abaco – and my normal 20 hits a day! All the best for the rest of today. rh

16.00 GMT FURTHER NEWS: MARSH HARBOUR; TREASURE, GREEN TURTLE, MAN-o-WAR, ELBOW & GREAT GUANA CAYS; CHEROKEE & SANDY POINT Further to the Post below at 14.00, The Tribune has published further details of the situation on Abaco and the Cays. You will find additional information about specific areas in the forum posts below the main article, which also includes confirmation that “in South Abaco the communities of Cherokee and Sandy Point have reported minimal damage”. There is also the first news I have seen regarding members of the Haitian communities, who “were among the 300-plus residents who made use of public shelters during the storm, and were relieved to find the damage to their homes was minimal”. CLICK===>>> THE TRIBUNE page 3

14.00 GMT NEWS OF MARSH HARBOUR, TREASURE CAY, GREEN TURTLE CAY, CHEROKEE & SANDY POINT There are detailed Irene reports in The Tribune covering the last 3 or 4 days in the Bahamas generally. The latest post, from 19.30 LT last night, is most helpful for Abaco, so I reproduce it in full: 

THE TRIBUNE Friday, August 26, 2011

7:31pm – Phone lines are still down in Abaco, and there is no telephone communication with the cays, but The Tribune has learned damage to the islands is not as catastrophic as some may have feared. There has been some flooding in Green Turtle Cay, reportedly two feet of water at some buildings in New Plymouth, and wind damage to buildings on the north coast.

Flooding has also affected settlements on the north coast of Great Abaco Island, and Little Abaco Island in the north, with water flooding in the road at Coopers Town, as well as parts of Crown Haven, and there is up to four feet of water in parts of Blackwood.

Although trees are down, utility poles are down, and water has prevented road access, in the north end of Abaco, there has been no major damage, loss of life or injuries reported.

Marsh Harbour was spared flooding, as the storm attacked from the south, bringing down trees and utility poles, and tearing boats from their moorings, but today the community was out clearing the roads and putting things back in order.

Electricity is slowly being restored in Marsh Harbour and Treasure Cay, although landlines are down, some cell phones are working.

Marsh Harbour airport will open Saturday morning.

In South Abaco communities in Sandy Point and Cherokee have given similar reports of damage, of fallen trees and utilities, and minimal damage to buildings, as well as some flooding.   CLICK FOR MORE===>>> THE TRIBUNE

12.00 Noon GMT I have just got hold of the latest update, with today’s date, from the DELPHI CLUB Rolling Harbour (south of MH, Cherokee and Bahama Palm Shores,and north of Schooner Bay and Crossing Rocks) The news is good, (but it is worth repeating that the club is on a cliff above the beach, so has been spared any problems from the sea – other places will not have been so fortunate) 

POST-HURRICANE UPDATE #2

27 August 2011

Contact at last and very good news – no major damage.

Caroline, who is currently caretaking the Club, is very badly shaken but she reports that, apart from some flooding and some minor breakages, there appears to be no serious damage to any of the buildings. Even the beach steps appear to have substantially survived.

The gardens, however, are blitzed and will require major reconstruction.

All in all, a very lucky escape.

11.00 GMT RUDDWIRE has put up a 5th storm update from Marsh Harbour. The Irene problems are light. His flight from MHI was rescheduled for today.  Click the name above to link.

10.00 GMT Hope Town Inn& Marina Facebook page (and see below under Media / News Links) is active and has posts from people asking for info and providing some. Photos are promised. One to keep an eye on. Re LITTLE HARBOUR to enquirer Brooke Lee, the message I had from Pete’s Pub yesterday afternoon was “Things down this way seem good”.

Local10.com has a 39-image slideshow of Abaco damage: CLICK===>>> ABACO DAMAGE 

Craig Roberts has posted a number of photos on Picasa from the BAHAMA BEACH CLUB Treasure Cay (hope you don’t mind me giving the link, Craig)

ABACOFORUM.COM (Irene pages): I have now had a chance to have a quick scan here – a few new posts. In summary, I get the impression that there is quite a lot of damage to trees and foliage etc, as expected, but thankfully rather less than expected to property – not structural, anyway.

PEOPLE So far I have not come across reports of any injuries (or worse, DV). STOP PRESS: this  still holds true 7 hours later at 17.00

09.00 GMT Marsh Harbour & Airport News (courtesy of Abaco Beach Resort / eTurboNews): There does not appear to be any serious damage to Abaco Beach Resort in Marsh Harbour, Abacos, Bahamas, post-Hurricane Irene. Guests and staff remained safe, secure, and dry during the massive hurricane that hovered over the resort yesterday. This weekend, engineers and surveyors will take a professional look at structures including the docks, which are described as “looking fine.” The hurricane caused minor damage to the resort’s exterior and landscape, with some tree and solar panel damage.

AIRPORT Although Hurricane Irene disrupted the outbound/inbound Marsh Harbor flight schedules, flight service to/from Marsh Harbor is scheduled to resume by Saturday, August 27. 

08.00 GMT  The “rollingharbour”wildlife blog has had more than 8000 hits in the last 48 hours (daily average 20!) so I guess a few people are finding the info I have been able to provide useful, especially with communication links with the island bad or (mainly) non-existent.

Today I will try to post as much as I can about the after-effects of Irene on Abaco from whatever I can get hold of (special thanks the Pete’s Pub, Little Harbour for the email yesterday). I hope to try to be as location-specific as possible – I had a lot of contact yesterday from people worried about relatives or friends around the Island and Cays. Scroll down this page or use the ‘Previous Posts’ section of the Sidebar for news of the last 2 days. Since Wednesday I have also learnt how to tweet, so check out that section near the top of the Sidebar.

We wish all other places in the path of Irene well, of course, but thankfully no more need for 3-hourly storm map updates here. I will put up or provide links to any amazing images, such as the space station fly-over posted yesterday. Meanwhile, here is a recap of useful links to media and news sources to check for updates now that the storm has passed

MEDIA & NEWS LINKS

Local10.com an excellent resource that has featured very good making gifsfilm reports from Janine Stanwood in Marsh Harbour, with sensible and measured studio commentary as the situation developed.Well worth keeping an eye on this site. rh rating ***** for information and good reporting

HOPE TOWN INN & MARINA Good Facebook videos of Irene in action have been posted during the last 2 days, and now worth checking out for Elbow Cay updates. [Not looked yet, while I get this post done]

ABACO FORUM.COM the well-known local Abaco resource. NOTE the posts go backwards so click through to the end page. The posts about storms are in a  confusingly random order from 2006 to date, so check the dates as you read through – the majority of posts related to previous years. As yet – presumably because comms are down, there are relatively few posts for Irene. These are bound to increase over the next few days

TRACKERS AND MAPS

WUNDERGOUND: To check out the wide variety of trackers, forecasts, radar maps and so forth, all on one convenient page CLICK===>>> IRENE

For more technical weather and tide stuff check out  BAROMETER BOB

The photograph below was taken by Caroline Stahala on the afternoon of 24 August, at Rolling Harbour on the east coast of Abaco about 25 miles south of Marsh Harbour, down towards Crossing Rocks. Irene was about 300 miles south 

HURRICANE IRENE APPROACHES ROLLING HARBOUR, ABACO 24 AUG P.M.

WE ARE THINKING OF YOU…


HURRICANE IRENE, ABACO & A ‘DIRECT HIT’ ON THE DELPHI CLUB


HURRICANE IRENE ABACO: A DIRECT HIT ON THE DELPHI CLUB

NB FOR LATEST ABACO / IRENE INFORMATION SCROLL UP TO TOP POST OR SEE TOP OF THE ‘RECENT POSTS’ IN SIDEBAR

Peter Mantle has just sent me the latest news blog entry from the Delphi Club, Rolling Harbour (down the east coast between Cherokee and Crossing Rocks, or more specifically Bahama Palm Shores and Serenity Point). It includes an awesome image courtesy of McIDAS. The news there is, overall, quite encouraging.

Delphi Club News/Blog

DIRECT HIT BY HURRICANE IRENE

26 August 2011

The eye of Hurricane Irene passed over the Club at about 5pm GMTyesterday. Irene, a Category 3 hurricane, is one of the biggest storms to hit the Bahamas for many years. With constant wind speeds of 115mph, gusting to a reported 143mph, and with associated storm surges of up to 11 feet, Irene posed a very serious threat to property and life on low-lying Abaco.

We eagerly await news from the island. Initial reports from the Club (remarkably, there were still limited telephone links as the eye passed over) indicated that damage to the gardens and landscaping was extensive but the buildings appear to have largely held up – some external lights blown off, fences down etc but nothing too serious.

The beach steps were still standing at that point, but that would only have been half way through the ordeal and we doubt they will withstand the pummelling by what are still very angry seas. Waves were breaking on the cliff face fully 36 hours before the hurricane actually arrived.

Communications with the entire island have now been lost. We hope the “second half” was OK too and that the rest of the island has escaped so lightly. More news as it emerges….

See also the Rolling Harbour blog site http://rollingharbour.wordpress.com for fuller details [rh note - if you are reading this, you are here already...]

HURRICANE IRENE – ABACO STORM TRACKING (UPDATE 26/8 08.00 GMT)


26 AUGUST: HURRICANE IRENE ON ABACO                 THE AFTERMATH

NB FOR LATEST ABACO / IRENE INFORMATION SCROLL UP TO TOP POST OR SEE TOP OF THE ‘RECENT POSTS’ IN SIDEBAR

GOOD MORNING from the safety of London UK, where it is 08.00 GMT. To get an update page posted quickly, I have copied yesterday’s post (below) which I will adapt, keeping the links and adding to them during the day. I have a journey to make, so it may be a bit sporadic. You can get to the original by clicking HURRICANE IRENE AUG 25 but most of the useful info is now here.

First, some up-to-date storm maps (courtesy of Wundermap)

Hurricane Irene at Abaco - Satellite Image as storm clears the island Updated Aug 28 03.00 LT, 08.00 GMT Click Me!

Hurricane Irene Tracking Map 26 Aug 03.00 LT, 08.00 GMT: clearing north Click me!

NEW MEDIA & NEWS LINKS 26 AUG

Local10.com an excellent resource (see yesterday’s 2 reports below). Here is Janine Stanwood in Marsh Harbour. This is a composite making gifs report from yesterday afternoon / early evening showing the effects of Irene – trashed trees, wave surges, a rearguard action at a gas station and boats in the marina affected, including a sightseeing boat that has been partially sunk in shallow water. The overall summary is that things weren’t quite as bad as they might have been… Well worth keeping an eye on this site. rh rating ***** for immediacy

HOPE TOWN INN & MARINA Facebook video of the storm yesterday

I have to leave off now, but the general view and info seems to be that things could have been worse. There are reports of wash-throughs, but daybreak will show the extent of the hurricane’s force… First brief news from Rolling Harbour (Delphi Club) is of fairly limited damage. Comms were down, but may have improved this morning. More later

USEFUL LINKS

NOAA SATELLITE & INFO SERVICE Tropical Atlantic ‘Visible Loop’ Direct links to radar / tracking info under TRACKERS & MAPS below Check out the progress of Irene using STORMPULSE Check out WATTS UP WITH THAT for additional useful info / maps

SELECTED MEDIA & NEWS REPORTS from 25.08.11 (update later)

MIDDAY VIDEO NEWS REPORT from MARSH HARBOUR on Local10.com Graphic images and some making gifs streaming on 25 Aug

SHORT IRENE VIDEO posted by the Hope Town Inn & Marina at about 13.30 today – you can just see the lighthouse through the mayhem… This has been updated overnight. I will post a direct link later

VIDEO NEWS REPORT FROM MARSH HARBOUR on Local10.com “Abaco Island, Bahamas Awaiting Hurricane Irene: Local 10′s Janine Stanwood reports from Abaco Island as Irene moves northwest”, early morning 25 Aug

CBS MIAMI report (apologies for large & inappropriate Aquafresh ad) NASSAU GUARDIAN the eye of the storm nears Abaco [11.00 local time] TIME (TECHLAND) NASA SATELLITE VIEW of ABACO & REPORT INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS TIMES (with tracking links) ASSOCIATED PRESS (article not current, check for updates)

ABACO FORUM.COM the well-known local Abaco resource. NOTE the posts go backwards so click through to the end page.

TRACKERS AND MAPS

To check out a wide variety of trackers, forecasts, radar maps and so forth, all on one convenient page (thanks, Wunderground) CLICK===>>> IRENE

To view the dedicated tracking map CLICK===>>> Hurricane Irene : Tracking Map : Weather Underground and scroll down to the large map

To view the storm-centered satellite image CLICK===>>> Hurricane Irene : Storm-Centered Satellite Image : Weather Underground

Finally, for more technical stuff and other tracking maps, check out the ever-reliable and all-knowing Abaco weather information phenomenon that is BAROMETER BOB

=============================================

26 AUG: HURRICANE IRENE CONTINUES ON ITS WAY Posted during the night UK time

Hurricane Irene 25 Aug 20.00 LT, 01.00GMT Good progress Click me!

Hurricane Irene gradually clears Abaco 20.00 LT, 01.00 GMT Click Me!

25 Aug midnight GMT – final post of the day: a Wundermap showing Irene at last starting to move northwards from Abaco. Until tomorrow (rollingharbour GMT), best of luck to all on Abaco for the rest of today…

Hurricane Irene 25 Aug 19.00 LT, midnight GMT: the move northwards Click me!

The photograph below was taken this afternoon, 24 August, at Rolling Harbour on the east coast of Abaco about 25 miles south of Marsh Harbour, down towards Crossing Rocks. Irene is about 300 miles away. Caroline Stahala, who took the photo, reports “serious wind and sea surges”. Thanks, Caroline, for giving us an idea of what is on its way…

HURRICANE IRENE APPROACHES ROLLING HARBOUR, ABACO 24 AUG P.M.

WE ARE THINKING OF YOU…

HURRICANE IRENE – ABACO STORM TRACKING (UPDATE 25/8 Midnight GMT)


26 AUG: HURRICANE IRENE CONTINUES ON ITS (HER?) WAY 

NB FOR LATEST ABACO / IRENE INFORMATION SCROLL UP TO TOP POST OR SEE TOP OF THE ‘RECENT POSTS’ IN SIDEBAR

Hurricane Irene 25 Aug 20.00 LT, 01.00GMT Good progress Click me!

Hurricane Irene gradually clears Abaco 20.00 LT, 01.00 GMT Click Me!

25 Aug midnight GMT – final post of the day: a Wundermap showing Irene at last starting to move northwards from Abaco. Until tomorrow (rollingharbour GMT), best of luck to all on Abaco for the rest of today…

Hurricane Irene 25 Aug 19.00 LT, midnight GMT: the move northwards Click me!

Hurricane Irene at Abaco - Satellite Image as the eye of the storm moves north Updated Aug 25 17.00 LT, 22.00 GMT Click Me!

                            HURRICANE IRENE ABACO 25 AUG                                     UPDATED 17.00 LT, 22.00 GMT       

NOAA SATELLITE & INFO SERVICE Tropical Atlantic Visible Loop of Irene

Check out direct links to radar / tracking info under the main picture below  Check out the progress of Irene using STORMPULSE (check for updates) Check out WATTS UP WITH THAT for additional useful info / maps

SELECTED MEDIA & NEWS REPORTS 25.08.11

NEW MIDDAY VIDEO NEWS REPORT from MARSH HARBOUR on Local10.com with graphic images and some  making gifs streaming  

SHORT IRENE VIDEO posted by the Hope Town Inn & Marina at about 13.30 today – you can just see the lighthouse through the mayhem… [you may need to be on Facebook and logged in for this to work]

VIDEO NEWS REPORT FROM MARSH HARBOUR on Local10.com        “Abaco Island, Bahamas Awaiting Hurricane Irene: Local 10′s Janine Stanwood reports from Abaco Island as Irene moves northwest”, early morning 25 Aug

CBS MIAMI report (apologies for large & inappropriate Aquafresh ad)     NASSAU GUARDIAN the eye of the storm nears Abaco [11.00 local time]      TIME (TECHLAND) NASA SATELLITE VIEW of ABACO & REPORT      INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS TIMES (with tracking links)                    ASSOCIATED PRESS  (article not current, check for updates)     

 ABACO FORUM.COM  the well-known local Abaco resource. The link should take you to page 9, currently the last page (the posts go backwards). I expect this will have increasing numbers of personal accounts of Irene as the hours pass.

 STOP PRESS 24 AUG CURRENT WEATHER AT ROLLING HARBOUR, ABACO, AUG 24 p.m. AS HURRICANE IRENE APPROACHES

This photograph was taken this afternoon, 24 August, at Rolling Harbour on the east coast of Abaco about 25 miles south of Marsh Harbour, down towards Crossing Rocks. Irene is about 300 miles away. Caroline Stahala, who took the photo, reports “serious wind and sea surges”. Thanks, Caroline, for giving us an idea of what is on its way…

HURRICANE IRENE APPROACHES ROLLING HARBOUR, ABACO 24 AUG P.M.

To check out a wide variety of trackers, forecasts, radar maps and so forth, all on one convenient page  (thanks, Wunderground) CLICK===>>> IRENE 

To view the dedicated tracking map CLICK===>>> Hurricane Irene : Tracking Map : Weather Underground and scroll down to the large map

To view the storm-centered satellite image CLICK===>>> Hurricane Irene : Storm-Centered Satellite Image : Weather Underground

Finally, for more technical stuff and other tracking maps, check out the ever-reliable and all-knowing Abaco weather information phenomenon that is  BAROMETER BOB 

Credit: 'Watts Up With That" - Click image for Hurricane Irene page of this excellent weather & climate site

 

Hurricane Irene at Abaco - projected path Updated Aug 25 17.00 LT, 22.00 GMT Click Me!

WEATHER NEWS FLASH 23 AUG

HURRICANE IRENE is en route to Abaco, expected on Thursday 25 August, (based on Marsh Harbour Hurricane Irene tracking predictions). It looks as though the storm may work its way north along the eastern coast from Hole-in-the-Wall up past Crossing Rocks, Schooner Bay, Rolling Harbour (Delphi Club) and up towards Marsh Harbour via Cherokee & Little Harbour… but the tracking predictions are variable as the storm approaches

WE ARE THINKING OF YOU…

BRIEF ENCOUNTER: DOLPHINS AT MARSH HARBOUR ABACO


Our Island-hopping trip with Kay – see previous posts [links later] – held the chance of an encounter with dolphins. The frankly dodgy weather – rain, cloud etc – seemed to have dashed that hope. As we entered the approaches to Marsh Harbour, we (I) had given up all thought of seeing any dolphins when suddenly… dolphins to starboard. A small pod, not very close, of 3 or 4 adults and at least one calf. They did what dolphins do for a short time, while gradually moving away from us into the murk. There was naturally huge excitement on board at this unexpected sighting.

So as Marsh Harbour came into view, we had ticked off the full day’s list: reef-snorkelling at Fowl Cay; island-hops to Lubbers (with lunch), Elbow and Man o’ War Cays; and rounded off with the dolphins. Without going overboard in any sense, this was 6 hours of wonderful adventure, and highly recommended as a top quality day’s outing. And you can even get an Abaco Above and Below t-shirt at the end of it all to prove you have done it.

*    *    *

I have been uncharacteristically reticent, I notice, about showing the proof of the dolphin encounter. And for a very good reason. These may be the worst quality images of dolphins you will EVER see. You may in fact be better off looking at a cartoon… For what they are worth, here are two photos (of several worse ones…)

A DOLPHIN

ANOTHER DOLPHIN

A MORE CONVINCING DOLPHIN

 

DELPHI DOLPHINS  You don’t have to go out in a boat to see dolphins. They have been seen from the verandah at Delphi, quite close to the beach – as have turtles and large rays. It’s worth having an occasional scan with the amazing autofocus binoculars that are kept in the Great Room