The images below tell you all you need to know about this excellent festival presented by the BNT in conjunction with the Abaco Beach Resort. From this blog’s point of view, the highlights are:

PRESENTATIONS by Nancy Albury on ‘The Blue Holes of Abaco’; by Ricky ‘Blue’ Jones on Bush Medicines / teas; and by Caroline Stahala on the Breeding & Behaviour of Abaco Parrots

ART The Art. Yes, all of it. Ok?

PRODUCE Something of everything, please. 

OTHER Everything else on offer…

The very best of luck with this event and best wishes for successful fundraising from Rolling Harbour


ABACO PARROT SUPPORTER ‘DOU DOU BIRDS’ runs a monthly bird-centric writing contest. Not content with sculpting a cute miniature clay ABACO PARROT with all proceeds of sale going to the parrots, she has now showcased the AP for her New Year writing competition. To see her Post, & indeed if you want to take part                                                                                                                     CLICK LOGO==>> & to see the AP in her shop window             CLICK LOGO==>> 


WELCOME BACK! Normal service is resumed after the family festivities of Christmas, with only the precious gift of a fractured wrist for rh to spoil an otherwise lovely few days. Immediately, I can report excellent parrot news…               DOU DOU, an avid birder and sculptor of most engaging miniature birds, has taken up the cause of the Abaco Parrot. We have been corresponding for a while about this, and I now reproduce her latest post, with the link to her site below


“Help, the cats are eating my babies!” said the parrot. And it’s true. These parrots are endangered – only 1000 of them left. A woman named Caroline is trying to save them from the feral cats that have invaded their island in the Bahamas. Let’s help her out! All proceeds from the sale of this parrot are going to Parrots International, which supports Caroline’s work. 

This little parrot measures 3.5 x 1.5 x 1.5 inches. You can buy it HERE from me and I will send the money to Parrots International or you can use “Other” to check out, send me proof you donated at least $30 to Parrot’s International, and I will send you a code that gives you $30 discount on this parrot so you will just pay for shipping – I will verify that a donation was made.

We can save these parrots! Let’s do it!!!!!

Read about Caroline’s work to save the parrots: ABACO PARROT RESCUE

doudou      CLICK LOGO to visit website ===>>>      

More about this exciting development in due course – other ideas are afoot… Abaco Parrot conservation is strongly supported by the Delphi Club, Abaco; and the research scientist heading the project, Caroline Stahala, is delighted with dou dou’s initiative in helping to raise the profile of her conservation work and in contributing to the funding received through PARROTS INTERNATIONAL

This organisation allocates funding for the research into the Abaco Parrots and their conservation. You can now pay direct by Paypal or Credit Card (with gift tax benefits depending where you live). Please remember use the “Note to Seller” box to specify ‘ABACO PARROTS / CAROLINE STAHALA’

Membership and Donation page   CLICK LOGO===>>>       Parrots International


Well-known artist Richard Bramble already features in his own page here under the CONTRIBUTIONS drop-down menu. For the previous post of RB hard at work on new designs at the Delphi Club CLICK EXAMPLE PHOTO BELOW

RB and Crawfish model posing (both)

Richard has broadened his already considerable range of paintings and ceramics to include the Abaco marine life he painted while at Delphi. In addition to his very elegant Bonefish, there are now Permit and Crawfish plates (with the original ‘life model’ pictured above). Some weeks later I was at Richard’s studio in Dorset as he prepared to transfer these designs to ceramics, with crawfish cut-outs artfully strewn around the floor. Here are his new items, with his characteristic captions:

 (I have an oval bonefish plate to remind me of the ones I… I…’let go’ by mistake)

Richard’s comprehensive website featuring his entire oeuvre is to be found at the sign of the Crawfish   together with an elementary purchase method to take advantage  of the excellent online shopping opportunities (he might be too modest to say). I write this with Christmas-tide a mere 2 weeks away. You’ll find sea water and fresh water fish / creatures, shells, all manner of game birds and farmyards animals, on every conceivable type of ceramic platter, utensil and kitchen gizmo. 

(With apologies that this site seems t0 be turning into a cross between an online Mall and an advertising agency… Nature Tours. Boat Expeditions. Arts & Crafts. Kitchenware. Books. Cameras. Yup, ticked them all. But there’s plenty of other stuff to look at in these pages)


STEVE DODGE, illus. Laurie Jones – White Sound Press

• Original Edition 1983 (170pp), reprinted                     rollingharbour rating ****     • Revised and expanded edition 2005 (270pp)                    [I don’t have it!]

These are the 2 covers, to help distinguish them if you search online. Beware, the covers are often used interchangeably… so check the edition date


The cover image, colourfully made over for the new century, shows the Albertine ‘Adoue’ – the last Abaconian sailing mailboat (giving way to diesel power in 1923)

1st EDITION REVIEW: The first 5 chapters cover the more distant history of the Bahamas in general & Abaco in particular. Starting promisingly “Two hundred million year ago…”, the early chapters briefly cover the formation & geology of the islands and the demographic & social history, with plenty to interest and not too much detail – very informative for a non-Abaconian like me. I personally am uninterested in the boatbuilding chapter (I like the illustrations) but it will surely appeal to people who feel comfortable out of their depth. The history of gradual expansion, increased trading importance, & the less attractive sides – e.g. wrecking – are well-covered. 

The final 3 chapters form the second half of the book – the 20th Century when Abaco moved from relative isolation to greater significance. Here the detail becomes denser as Abaco rapidly develops. There are parts that I skimmed, but there’s much of interest and many factual nuggets about the political developments in the later 20th century. Overall the book is an excellent primer for an Abaco novice for an overview up to the 1980s. I guess residents will also get plenty from it as well.

I haven’t seen the new edition, but I am sure it is the one to get. The Am*z*n blurb for it, which I recklessly copy, says “This expanded and updated second edition has completely new sections on Lucayan Indians, Wilson City, and contemporary Abaco, and many revisions. This is the only general, comprehensive history of Abaco, Bahamas available; it covers from the geologic formation of the Bahama Banks to the middle 1990s. Cover painting by Phil Capen,; illustrations by Laurie Jones. 112 illustrations, photographs, and maps. Appendix on boat building in Abaco”  There are plainly many more illustrations and photos than in my copy; and I notice boatbuilding has been moved to an Appendix…

CURRENT COST: Unlike most of the books I have reviewed, this book is not cheap at the moment. The new edition can be bought for $25 on Amazon.com /  £33 on Amazon.co.uk – none on Abe. The original edition is a mere $4 on Amazon.com, unfeasibly expensive on Amazon.co.uk, but reasonable on Abe


Abaco Island, Bahamas


Here’s a report I’ve turned up, which may well be of interest from a crawfish conservation viewpoint. And it’s also an excuse to post the excellent campaign song, which needs no added comment from me – see video below. The campaign slogan is… a delight. The Rare Planet website is well worth a rootle round – click the link below

Campaign manager: D’Shan Maycock
Partner:  Friends of the Environment

“When D’Shan Maycock launched a Pride campaign to rally her community around protecting marine life off of Abaco Island, she didn’t necessarily imagine her slogan becoming part of the daily lexicon for fishers, students, international conservation organizations, and even the Prime Minister. But thanks to a catchy phrase – Size Matters – and the idea of the locally-treasured crawfish shrinking due to overfishing, her campaign has caught on everywhere.

Crawfish are an important species for the biodiversity of Abaco Island, providing 60% of the total commercial fish catch and sustenance for other marine life in the region. However, due to unsustainable fishing practices and lack of local awareness, each year’s crawfish yield declines in numbers, total poundage, and average size. D’Shan discovered a heavy incidence of illegal fishing of juvenile crawfish, as well as a dearth of the formerly large crawfish that lay many times more eggs. There are 5 national land and sea parks around the island, yet it is a challenge for law enforcement to manage every landing dock. Community support is critical.  So D’Shan has gotten creative.
Progress on the campaign…
  • • Secured pledges from local fishers not to catch juvenile crawfish under 5.5 inches – their yield monitored through a new certification process
  • • Built awareness among key influencers and the general public about the importance of protecting juvenile crawfish
  • • Garnered the attention and support of high profile players in the region, including The Nature Conservancy, which is interested in taking the certification process to other islands in the Bahamas, and the Bahamian Prime Minister, who at a recent All-Abaco Expo on Food Security, called out the slogan of the campaign and pledged ongoing support for fisheries protection

To further explore this campaign, please visit our conservation community at RarePlanet.org.

(To whom thanks for this… but, hey guys, your ‘CONTACT’ page only gives long-distance phone numbers (wot no email?) Are you ok with me using this? If not please ring +44 763549390 between 19.00 and  21.00 and ask for ‘Tarquin’)

STOP PRESS: here is a news clip about the new campaign mural in M H, posted by campaign manager d”Shan on The Abaco Scientist 




Kasia is an avid beachcomber on the sandy beaches of Abaco. Her collections include not only shells but also other marine debris such as sea glass. She has sent me some images with the comment You can find a lot of sea glass in many different colours and shapes, from the most common green, brown and white through fairly hard to find colours like jadeite (one of the 2 forms of jade), citron, light blue, light green, honey and amber colored browns, to quite rare colors like cobalt, teal, periwinkle, aqua, amethyst & black” Here are some examples of Abaco sea glass from her collection. Shells and other items will follow as and when… 


Sea glass sources are many and varied. In general, these include old clear plates, glasses, windows etc; coloured drinks bottles – wine, spirits, beer, fruit, cola etc; soda bottles; medicine bottles (e.g. milk of magnesia / Vick’s blue); fruit jars; ink bottles; household goods (bleach, soda). The rarest colours (see below) come from very specific origins: teal / Mateus Rose bottles; red /  car or nautical lights or Schlitz bottles; black / c18 gin, beer and wine bottles


Most common (1 in every 1 – 25 pieces found): clear, Kelly (‘Irish’) green, brown, blue, purple

Less common (1 in every 25 – 100 pieces found): jade, amber, lime green, forest green, ice / soft blue

Uncommon (1 in every 50 – 100 pieces found): other green shades

Very uncommon 1 in every 200 – 1000 pieces found): citron, opaque white, cobalt, cornflower blue and aqua

Extremely rare (1 in every 1000 – 10,000 pieces found): grey, pink, teal, black, yellow, turquoise, red

Rarest of all (1 in every 10,000+ pieces found): orange

Info credit: Magpies, for collection of bright shiny glass data. Omni-thanks

This is a helpful chart for the main colours, courtesy and © of  West Coast Sea Glass starting top left with orange as the rarest. The direct link is www.westcoastseaglass.com/rarity_chart_poster.html

You’ll find a great deal of other useful info on sea glass on Mary Beth’s  linked blog at http:// seaglassblog.blogspot.com/

There’s also a worthwhile Abaco Life article (2006) on sea glass at http://www.abacolife.com/2008/07/14/sea-gass-reveals-muted-tales-in-red-green-blue-white/ 

JAN 2012 I’ve noticed that there are several easily obtainable (eg from *M*Z*N) books on sea glass. I won’t be buying any to test-drive for you (as with birds, shells etc) – sorry – but they seem to be divided into the ‘pretty but uninformative and fairly cheap’ to the more instructive, more detailed and therefore more expensive books. It’s worth browsing online to find one that meets your interest level, whether passing or something more serious. The reviews are very useful here. The best – and it’s quite pricey – seems to be 



YOU WILL NEED camera; binoculars; possibly swimming kit; a car with (if you are going to get seriously stuck in at Pete’s Pub) a non-drinking driver; good appetite; and if you get weather like we did, something waterproof to wear…

ROUTE  Turn right at the end of the drive, head north past Bahama Palm Shores until you get to the right-hand turn to Cherokee / Little Harbour / Winding Bay. Take the made-up road to the end, following the right-hand bend that will bring you to Cherokee. You will pass the Abaco Club, Winding Bay, a Ritz-Carlton enterprise. It doesn’t need any meagre publicity from this quarter – just ask Sandy what you have to do to play golf there, eat there, use the spa, buy a cabana and so forth. 


Photo Credit: Simon Rodehn

Continue to CHEROKEE, park and have a wander round this charming settlement. It poured when we went and we were barely able to leave the car… so any description I could give is obscured by extreme wet, low cloud and yes, a touch of gloom. Not even any birds to report. Explore for yourself, why not. Thanks to Simon Rodehn for his fine aerial views of the Abaco Club Cherokee (and see his aerial view of LITTLE HARBOUR at the end of this post).

CHEROKEEPhoto Credit: Simon Rodehn

After you have had a look round Cherokee, drive back the way you came, past the Abaco Club, until you get to a right-hand junction with a sign to Pete’s Pub and Little Harbour. This is described on the map as ‘dirt road’, which doesn’t do justice to some of the impressive rocks en route. However, with care it is easily negotiable by car. Carry on until you get to Pete’s, which is a good place to leave the car and explore from.

LITTLE HARBOUR is a good place to wander round. Nice boats for a start; the renowned Johnston’s Foundry, with examples of its work scattered round; the Gallery, which is well worth investigating; a shell-strewn beach on the back-side (as it were). And Pete’s Pub for excellent sustenance at the end of it all… fresh fish of many kinds, and a lot more besides. Here are some pictures – I haven’t attempted to photoshop them to disguise the fact that the weather that day was… inclement. Bleak, even. On a sunny day, when you go, it will surely look better…





THE BEACH Shells, but no idea about the swimming: thwarted by drizzle!

PETE’S PUB & GALLERY Here is the direct link to Pete’s, where you will find all the info you could wish for about the Pub, the Foundry, the Johnston family, cottage rental, fishing and the locality generally. There are also plenty of excellent pictures, so check it out for a far sunnier view than I have provided here.


NOV 2012 Addition


AND FINALLY… a great aerial view of Little Harbour, looking roughly north. Click or double click image to enlarge

Photo credit Simon Rodehn (CHEROKEE COTTAGES)


Richard Bramble is a wildlife artist and ceramics designer whose name will be familiar to anyone who has visited the Delphi Club (look, there’s his signed bonefish plate by the main door of the Great Room; and look, more of his work in the gallery ‘Mall’…). Richard will also be well-known to the many who have bought, been given, or simply admired his elegant china pieces or his table-mats. His repertoire of designs is huge – there are fish, birds, animals plants, shells and a lot else besides

In the interests of research on your behalf, I recently met Richard in his rural Studio near Sherborne, Dorset (starting to sound uncomfortably like a Sunday Times article here…) He signed a large bonefish plate I had recently been given, showed me round, and regrettably completely failed to discourage me from investing in some of the desirable items so immediately to hand. Richard has been working on a number of designs based on his stay at Delphi and various trips he took from there. Gareth was apparently the source for some of his fish ‘models’ – pre-cooking, obviously.  Without more ado, here are some images. Can I make it clear that not only am I not being paid for this flagrant puffery, but I also paid top dollar at Richard’s Studio. There’s no dodgy dealing in this blog, thank you very much…

…but I do quite see that it would look odd if I didn’t include Richard’s website: http://www.richardbramble.co.uk/

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