David Reed, founding publisher of The Triton, stepped ashore at Marsh Harbour on Sept. 11 and shared these photos, noting he had never seen anything like it. Reed is also immediate past president of the Marine Industries Association of South Florida and arrived at Abaco with M/V True North, which left Fort Lauderdale Sunday night (Sept. 8).
By David Reed
0500, Sept. 12: The moon is setting on Marsh Harbor. There are more lights on this morning than last, about five clusters. The sun is about to rise in the Bahamas.
The Bahamians have a great attitude. In my two days here, I saw no looting, have heard no gun shoots, and our medic on board has treated no wounds except for minor construction cuts. I was walking down the middle of the town yesterday and the locals still beep their horns at everyone they pass, even the ones they don’t know. I had forgotten how nice that sound was.
I fly back to Fort Lauderdale this morning, leaving behind destruction at an extent only seen in war zones. If I were king for a day, what I would do?
1. Semi-permanent housing for the workers, but not anywhere near the former Peas and Mudd. How about on a nice hill, just outside of town.
2. Clear the roads, and set up dumpsites for the debris.
3. Build a new power grid and get the water turned back on.
4. Enable home owners to rebuild, with a minimum of red tape.
With that happening quickly, folks can start returning to one of the prettiest places in the world. The Abacos are only 180 miles from Florida. And it doesn’t take a G5 to get there; just an Intrepid. The yachting community loves the Bahamas; we all have fond memories of something that happened here. My wife, Lucy, and I found a conch pearl in Bimini. Without her knowing it, I had it set and gave it to her on our first anniversary. The Bahamas gives Florida its soul.
A nice Bahamian lady reminded me yesterday about how much money they spend in our economy. Well, it goes both ways, and it is our time to help our neighbors to the east just over the horizon of every sunrise.