Packaging Rage — Part 3, and Then Nipper’s

To continue with a theme from earlier, about what I call Packaging Rage, I’m reminded of a 6th grade science project I had.  All the kids in our class were to attempt to package a raw egg to withstand being tossed from our 2-story school building.  My solution was to suspend the egg in a box with rubber bands; it worked.  If I had known Rick back then – who has been known to fix a cabin fan with dental floss —  I would have loved to see what his MacGyver-esque mind would have thought up.

As we’ve been exploring the Abaco cays, we’ve been collecting objects we’ve found on the beaches.  We’re trying to limit our collection, because we already have tons of stuff at home – sea beans, sea glass, shells, sand dollars.  Some, we just give up on, because we just don’t think they will make the trip home.  Enter Rick.

On Monday, we were anchored in Baker’s Bay, off Great Guana Cay, and took a dinghy ride to what is officially known as Spoil Bank Cay, but unofficially known as Shell Island.  The cay was built up from the dredging spoil from a cruise ship channel that was dug – for cruise ship business that didn’t last very long.  The result is a cay that is basically a giant heap of sand and shells, which has over the years been overgrown with sea grape and casuarinas.

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Just an island made of shells, with a few casuarinas and sea grapes.

Most of the best shells on the island were already occupied:


Hermit crabs choose the best available packages to call home.

But I found a few items worth trying to take home, including a tiny sea urchin with delicate lavender coloring.  Since I doubted that it would make the trip home, I merely took a photo of it.


But Rick would not be daunted.  Inspired by clamshell packaging, he found a pair of shells, and among some of the flotsam on the beach, also found some towel fibers and the neck of a plastic jug.  Altogether, he made a tidy little package to transport the sea urchin.

MacGyvered Clamshell

MacGyver couldn’t have done it better.

The amount of junk – lots of it packaging – that washes up on some of the beaches in the islands is appalling.  Most of it doesn’t come from the Bahamas (thought they have their own issues with waste disposal), and most of it will take decades to bio-degrade.  But every now and then, there is a use for a little bit of it.

Baker’s Bay used to be one of my favorite spots in the Bahamas.  But since we’ve been here last, a huge new development has taken over the northern tip of Great Guana Cay – intended for the the uber wealthy and not the disreputable likes of us.  So after spending a really roll-y night at anchor, we moved on to Settlement Harbour, the most famous attraction of which is Nipper’s.

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Have to admit watching the Weather Channel predicting doom and gloom from a beach bar is kind of a kick.

We had lunch here – really great grouper sandwiches – as well as the obligatory Nipper cocktail.


Of course, decent food and potent drinks are hardly necessary when you’re looking out on a gorgeous beach.  Though the surf was rolling and tumbling today, and the breeze had a bit of edge to it, the water was surprisingly warm, and I couldn’t resist taking a dip in the surf.

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Not wanting to play favorites, we walked over to Fisher’s Bay and had the obligatory Guana Grabber rum punch, which is distinguishable from a Nipper by the fact of its coconutty-ness.


As far as taste goes, the Nipper and Grabber come close; but the Nipper has a better view.

We’ll be in the Abacos for another week, give or take, as we wait for not-especially-expensive but nevertheless essential boat parts here.  It ain’t as simple as punching up Amazon, involving customs and duties and the usual snafus.  I’m sure there will be a blog post in it.

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