As I write this, two weeks have passed since Hurricane Dorian tore away from the Bahamas after pummeling the island nation with sustained winds of 185 mph. It was the most powerful storm on record to strike the Bahamas and is being called the worst natural disaster in the country’s history. The photos taken in the wake of the storm are heartbreaking, particularly the images of residents forced to evacuate and those who remained on the hard-hit islands of the Abacos and Grand Bahama.
I’ve had the privilege to cruise the beautiful waters of the Abacos with my family, and to enjoy the company of the warm and welcoming people who call this part of the world their home. Many of my colleagues at the Active Interest Media Marine Group have had the same opportunity. These islands have enriched our cruising lives in unforgettable ways.
To help the damaged areas recover, Active Interest Media is supporting the fundraising and relief efforts of Hope 4 Hope Town, a nonprofit set up by singer-songwriter Patrick Davis, who has a special relationship with the Abacos. Davis founded Hope Town’s annual Songwriters in Paradise festival.
The goals of this nonprofit have struck a chord with our team, and with Soundings readers, including Wayne Burstein of Oakton, Virginia. He chartered the Abacos in 2013 and was looking for a charity to support after Dorian hit. He liked Hope 4 Hope Town because it helps Hope Town as well as other islands in the northern Bahamas, including Man-O-War, Guana and Treasure cays. “Visiting those islands made a lasting impression on our family, and we will take our boat back there again,” he wrote in an email.
Burstein has the right idea about returning to the Bahamas. Tourism accounts for more than half the country’s economy. Anyone who cruises to the unaffected islands now can help the damaged areas recover. That’s something to consider as you work up a float plan for the winter. See you there?