We didn’t really get a lot of cold weather this winter, did we? Well, not particularly my thing (I wouldn’t have minded a couple weeks of double layers) it is exactly what our friends from the north come here for. Then again, I guess it’s not too terrible to walk around in shorts and sandals on Christmas Day.
As far away it may seem now, summer is around the corner. Time goes fast. I know. March will make one year that you’ve had to endure me as this paper’s editor-in-chief. So yes, time goes fast.
And as summer approaches our community will start to see some of our old friends arriving by boat. They’ll be filling up the docks in our marinas, fishing with us in our waters and eating with us in our restaurants. This is especially true for those of us in the Cays (Green Turtle, Hope Town, Guana, etc.) where I have seen many strong friendships develop among our longtime visitors and locals. It’s a unique set up. It’s very Abaconian.
The fishing tournaments used to be a staple of our summers here. With the downturn of the economy and ever-rising fuel prices, in recent years that spirit has been dampened. Fortunately, looking at the schedule I have in front of me, it looks like it will be a tournament-filled summer. With any luck, we could be seeing a return-to-form for many of the marinas around here. It would certainly be appreciated by those who rely on such things. And for those of you keeping score at home that means (in some way or another) all of us here rely on it.
It’s difficult, sometimes, to admit that to ourselves. Just how much we rely on a very narrow window of opportunity is a stomach-turning proposition. But for most of our history we have been tied to very specific things. Mostly is has been the sea. Now we use the sea and ocean as our tourism product. But look far back and a trend emerges.
We have used our sea as a tourism product. Before that, many relied on Abaco’s robust boat building industry. Often in our history we have relied on the sea to do the dirty work for us: wrecking. But you cannot keep going without mentioning fishing. Not sports fishing, but fishing to live. Many Abaconians still rely on the sea in this very basic, but critical, way.
I only bring all this up because it is important to always recognize our, often recent, past. It gives us a better understanding of our present. It makes us appreciate what we have and it reminds us of what we can do better. It allows us, when our touring visitors do reach our warm waters, to share it more openly. More knowledgeably. When they see how much we appreciate and understand these things, it only adds to their experience. And who doesn’t want to share better experiences?
I reckon one blessing of this warm winter, besides short sleeves, is there should be an easy transition into summer. So, friends up and down the East Coast, sail on down. The water is fine!