The NOAA Caribbean Marine Research Facility on Lee Stocking Island has been one of those places that you’re not sure you feel entirely comfortable walking around in. The self guided tour seemed to reiterate the same uneasy feeling… as if everyone who used to live there mysteriously left quickly, with few belongings and literally walked away from their dream life. It felt as if we were walking through the film set from Jurassic park (minus the large gash marks and larger than rat scat), as the runway, heavy machinery, miscellaneous hardware parts and furnishings were left to the whims of nature and the hoped for return of financing next year. This must have been one of the first government funded locations to feel the pinch as it has been vacant for 8 years due to restricted funding. After a few minutes on Google, it didn’t take long to discover its unfortunate history.
We haven’t heard what the new German owners have planned for the research facility, hopefully it will return to some of its marine life recovery objectives and bring added knowledge and understanding for the rest of us! It has surprised me that much of the land in the Bahamas is negotiable to the highest bidder. Many of the islands have no settlements and seem to instill on us visitors an unknown question of why not here? Then again, we do have a few islands which fall into the private ownership category, some of those we know about are David Copperfield, Tim McGraw, and Johnny Depp.
For the highlight of our stay at Prime Cay, we were invited to learn the art of Bahamian Basketweaving under the careful tutelage of Carol on Casabella. We started with gathering a specific palm frond, then with the careful manipulation of the leaves, we thinned, twisted and turned our basket starts and can create anything from potholders to bread baskets, we will see who finishes first, so far Madeline is in the lead 🙂