We’re Gonna Need A Bigger Boat
You think gas is expensive in the States? Or your last trip to Home Depot was a bit rougher on the credit card than normal? Try living in the Bahamas. Pretty much everything is imported, which means everything is expensive.
When I travel to Grand Bahama every summer, a large chunk of what I pay goes to a supply budget that grows and grows because of how hard it is to get materials to the island. My pal Raul (you can read more about him here and my 2011 Bahamas blogs are here) had been fortunate enough in the past to have a relationship with a cruise line. They were appreciative of his work on the island and allowed items to be placed on their ships for transport from Florida to Freeport. Unfortunately, that cruise line ceased operation last year.
Raul’s a pretty incredible guy, and it isn’t hard to spend five minutes with him and completely offer everything you have to help his work for the people of Grand Bahama. In that nature, he was recently offered a 34-foot Hatteras boat free of charge. The boat is a perfect remedy for the insane shipping costs of getting materials to and from Florida because it can carry about two thousand pounds of cargo.
Southern Lady is now in Raul’s possession, but it needs some repairs to meet US Coast Guard requirements, which are fairly stingy about what can and cannot move easily from Florida to the Bahamas. It’s an older boat (1968) but it can do the trick.
Having spent the better part of a decade traveling to Freeport, I’ve seen first hand what the economic troubles of our country have done to our smaller neighbors. Tourism hasn’t been paying the bills like it used to, and there is a never-ending list of small projects that can have immense positive impacts on the southwest coast of Grand Bahama Island right now. But with so much money going to getting the materials for those projects, the end goal is farther out of reach than any of us would like it to be.
I hate asking for money (unless it’s for a beer), but when you’re getting your tax returns and plotting how to use that extra cash, consider giving a few to Raul and his Southern Lady. It’s going to make the hopes of hundreds of islanders come true, and you can be a part of it.
For more details, tweet me or visit Karazim.com to make a donation via PayPal.