View Full Version : Quick trip to Bahamas...
So we decided to take the kids on a short cruise to see how they would handle being on the boat for an extended period of time. Hoping they would enjoy the kids camp activities was a complete bust. All they had on their minds were the slides and the pool, both of which the camp does not do.
We had one day in Nassau (Noon - 6AM) and I am sorry to say, capitalism has killed those islands (Nassau and Paradise). I practically grew up going to the Bahamas every summer for weeks on end and loved it. I loved getting off the boat and being hassled by kids to buy gum and bracelets. I loved the straw market. I loved everything about the Bahamas circa 80's. So having said that I wanted to give my kids an opportunity to see where I spent my summers as a child. Paradise is not the same island I grew up going to.
I know all the commercialization is good for the economy but it is bad for nostalgia. Bay St was still the same so I did find comfort walking up and down the road but everything is just different now. Paradise Island used to have 4 or 5 hotels on the island and all have been torn down and just he Atlantis is there now. Maybe Club Med is still there but we did not head down the road to check. It is all concrete. I can remember as a kid running down the road to the docks to catch the ferry so that my brother and I could run around Nassau while my parents did whatever it was they were doing (dad loved the casino). The dock was a rickety wooden dock and had that "island feel". Now it is a huge concrete slab with newer boats and I don't think we saw any kids running around on their own (but then again crime is probably worse than it was then).
I don't know, we had a great time but I guess this trip was the final chapter in my life for the Bahamas. Kind of sad. Everyone had a good time but I am the only one in my group that has always felt like the Bahamas were a second home. I know them, well knew them, like the back of my hand. I remember going shopping in the locals stores far away from the tourists and growing up with the kids whose parents owned the Snorkel and Sail excursion. Those days have since "sailed" away. Heck, even the snorkling trip wasn't that good but then again, after diving the reefs in Roatan there is little else around to compare. /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif
08-13-2012, 04:31 AM
In 1492 Christopher Columbus sailed from Spain on his first voyage with three ships, the Nina, the Pinta and the flag ship The Santa Maria, seeking a direct route to Asia. On 12 October 1492 Columbus reached an island in the Bahamas, an event long regarded as the 'discovery' of America. This first island to be visited by Columbus was called Guanahani by the Lucayans, and San Salvador by the Spanish. The identity of the first American landfall by Columbus remains controversial, but many authors accept Samuel E. Morison's identification of what was then called Watling (or Watling's) Island as Columbus' San Salvador. The former Watling Island is now officially named San Salvador. Columbus visited several other islands in the Bahamas before sailing on to Cuba and afterward to Hispaniola.
The Bahamas held little of interest to the Spanish other than as a source of slave labor. Nearly the entire population of Lucayans (almost 40,000 people total) were deported over the next 30 years. When the Spanish decided to evacuate the remaining Lucayans to Hispaniola in 1520, they could find only eleven in all of the Bahamas. The islands remained abandoned and depopulated for 130 years afterwards. With no gold to be found, and the population removed, the Spanish effectively abandoned the Bahamas, but still retained titular claims to them until the Treaty of Paris in 1783.
When Europeans first landed on the islands, they reported the Bahamas were lushly forested. The forests were cleared during plantation days and have not regrown.
 Early English settlement
In 1648 a group from Bermuda called 'The Company of Adventurers for the Plantation of the Islands of Eleutheria' which was led by William Sayle, sailed to the Bahamas to found a colony. These early settlers were Puritans and republicans. Bermuda was also becoming overcrowded, and the Bahamas offered both religious and political freedom and economic opportunity. The larger of the company's two ships, the William, wrecked on the reef at the north end of what is now called Eleuthera Island, with the loss of all provisions. Despite the arrival of additional settlers, including whites, slaves and free blacks, from Bermuda and the receipt of relief supplies from Virginia and New England, the Eleuthera colony struggled for many years because of poor soil, fighting between settlers, and conflict with the Spanish. In the mid-1650s many of the settlers returned to Bermuda. The remaining settlers founded communities on Harbour Island and Saint George's Cay (Spanish Wells) at the north end of Eleuthera. In 1670 there were about 20 families living in the Eleuthera communities.
In 1666 other settlers from Bermuda arrived on New Providence, which soon became the center of population and commerce in the Bahamas, with almost 500 people living on the island by 1670. Unlike the Eleutherians, who were primarily farmers, the first settlers on New Providence made their living from the sea, salvaging (mainly Spanish) wrecks, making salt, and taking fish, turtles, conchs and ambergris. Farmers from Bermuda soon followed the seamen to New Providence, where they found good, plentiful land. Neither the Eleutherian colony nor the settlement on New Providence had any legal standing under English law. In 1670 the Proprietors of Carolina were issued a patent for the Bahamas, but the governors sent by the Proprietors had difficulty in imposing their authority on the independent-minded residents of New Providence.
The early settlers continued to live much as they had in Bermuda, fishing, hunting turtles, whales, and seals, finding ambergris, making salt on the drier islands, cutting the abundant hardwoods of the islands for lumber, dyewood and medicinal bark, and wrecking, or salvaging wrecks. The Bahamas were close to the sailing routes between Europe and the Caribbean, so shipwrecks in the islands were common, and wrecking was the most lucrative occupation available to the Bahamians.
08-13-2012, 04:43 AM
Main article: Economy of The Bahamas
One of the most prosperous countries in the Caribbean region, The Bahamas relies on tourism to generate most of its economic activity. Tourism as an industry not only accounts for over 60 percent of the Bahamian GDP, but provides jobs for more than half the country's workforce. After tourism, the next most important economic sector is financial services, accounting for some 15 percent of GDP.
The government has adopted incentives to encourage foreign financial business, and further banking and finance reforms are in progress. The government plans to merge the regulatory functions of key financial institutions, including the Central Bank of The Bahamas (CBB) and the Securities and Exchange Commission. The Central Bank administers restrictions and controls on capital and money market instruments. The Bahamas International Securities Exchange currently consists of 19 listed public companies. Reflecting the relative soundness of the banking system (mostly populated by Canadian banks), the impact of the global financial crisis on the financial sector has been limited.
The economy has a very competitive tax regime. The government derives its revenue from import tariffs, license fees, property and stamp taxes, but there is no income tax, corporate tax, capital gains tax, value-added tax (VAT), or wealth tax. Payroll taxes fund social insurance benefits and amount to 3.9% paid by the employee and 5.9% paid by the employer. In 2010, overall tax revenue as a percentage of GDP was 17.2%. Authorities are trying to increase tax compliance and collection in the wake of the global crisis. Inflation has been moderate, averaging 3.7 percent between 2006 and 2008.
By the terms of GDP per capita, the Bahamas is one of the richest countries in the Americas.
08-13-2012, 04:45 AM
CRIME: The Bahamas has a high crime rate.
New Providence Island in particular has experienced a spike in crime that has adversely affected the traveling public. Pickpocketing and theft remain the most common crimes perpetrated against tourists. However, there has been a spate of more violent criminal activity in 2009. Three separate groups of tourists were held at gunpoint and robbed at popular tourist sites in and near Nassau; each of these incidents occurred during daylight hours and involved groups of more than eight persons. Several other groups of tourists allegedly were victims of armed robbery at more remote locations.
The U.S. Embassy has received reports of assaults, including sexual assaults, in diverse areas such as in casinos, outside hotels, or on cruise ships. In several incidents the victim had reportedly been drugged. The Bahamas has the highest incidence of rape in the Caribbean according to a 2007 United Nations report on crime, violence, and development trends. Much of the violent crime occurs outside of areas frequented by tourists, such as the “over-the-hill” section of Nassau. Two American citizens were murdered in Nassau in 2009, both allegedly in residential areas. Home break-ins, theft, and robbery are not confined to any specific part of the island.
The upsurge in criminal activity has also led to incidents which, while not directed at tourists, could place innocent bystanders at risk. An altercation at a major resort resulted in the shooting of two security officers, while several daytime robberies in Nassau led to exchanges of gunfire on busy streets.
Criminal activity in the outlying family islands does occur, but on a much lesser degree than on New Providence Island. The Embassy has received reports of burglaries and thefts, especially thefts of boats and/or outboard motors on Abaco and Bimini.
The Embassy has not received reports of harassment or hate crimes motivated by race, religion, or citizenship. There have been reports of harassment of persons based on sexual orientation. In addition, women have reported incidents of verbal harassment and unwanted attention.
Counterfeit and pirated goods are available in The Bahamas. Transactions involving such products may be illegal under Bahamian law, even though those laws are not routinely enforced. In addition, bringing such products into the United States may result in forfeitures and/or fines.
Some organized crime activity is believed to occur in The Bahamas, primarily related to the illegal importation and smuggling of illicit drugs or human trafficking. The Bahamas, due to its numerous uninhabited islands and cays, has historically been favored by smugglers and pirates. Most visitors to The Bahamas would not have noticeable interaction with organized crime elements; however, persons who operate their own water craft or air craft should be alert to the possibility of encountering similar vessels operated by smugglers engaged in illicit activities on the open seas or air space in or near The Bahamas.
Visitors are advised to report crime to the Royal Bahamas Police Force as quickly as possible. Early reports frequently improve the likelihood of identifying and apprehending suspected perpetrators In general, the Royal Bahamian Police Force is responsive to reports of crime and takes the threat of crime against tourists very seriously. However, the police response is sometimes slowed by a lack of resources or by the physical constraints imposed by geography and infrastructure.
08-13-2012, 05:08 AM
The bahamas war of independance from England woz won in 1973 with no-one killed or injured.
The war-cry woz
"give me liberty or i wont talk to u".
This woz followed by a savage civil war, where everyone fought on the same side. Once again no-one woz killed or injured.
The winning sides war-cry woz...
Pass the kutchie pon the lef' hand side,
Pass the kutchie pon the lef' hand side,
It a go bun, it a go dung, Jah know......."
You have o be careful down there ... I've been told the Queen of England wields absolute power down there.
08-13-2012, 07:12 AM
The Queen of Australia rules ozz. I like monarchy but i think lizzy haz been a poor queen. A good queen would get involved and wouldnt allow shit to happen. She shood hav fired a few prime ministers. Refuzed to pass a few bills.
08-13-2012, 02:42 PM
Have you been to Belize? I think you'd like it a lot! Still laid back, plenty of beaches, some of the best fishing and diving in the world, Mayan temple ruins, and the friendly locals speak English and Spanish. http://www.travelbelize.org/
Yeah we went to Belize last September but just for a day. We went snorkeling that day. When we got off the cruise ship we were funneled into a specific area to shop. At the end was a huge gate and armed guards standing in front. The ship basically had us scared to death about going out past the gate.
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