West-End is a peculiar place. You basically have the Old Bahama Bay Marina and resort, and the village. Customs and Immigration are in a one-desk building on the West side. The resort has a series of good looking brightly painted bungalows with luxurious rooms, one which I rented for one night at a discounted rate, thanks to the Office of Tourism. Million-dollar houses are scattered around. Luxury yachts stop by to check-in and refuel, maybe go on some fishing adventure. That world is alien to me. A few cruisers make it a pit stop as well, like Scott and his wife Noi on their Tayana 37. I spent the evening with them and slept on their boat last night. Scott happened to need a dinghy outboard motor so I sold him mine. If Dagny is found I can always buy another one later. I have received good help from the marina as well, letting me make phone calls, loaning me a bicycle and other largesses.
The village is another story. Poverty is widely apparent, with many abandoned houses, run-down buildings and many other signs that the island is having a hard time. There are no jobs available and tourists can only eat so many conch fritters. I was given a good tour by Keith Cooper and Eric Darville who rents houses and cars here. You can ask for them to anyone in West-End, it is a small community. Keith offers eco-tours on his boat, and he knows his stuff.
My second day on the island I needed medications so I header for the health clinic in the village. I never had such a thorough medical examination in my twenty two years in the United States, and for a mere thirty two dollars to boot. It turns out that I was badly dehydrated, but otherwise healthy. I did need to take my beta-blocker that day however, and they put much efforts in finding a replacement drug that afternoon. My hat is off to nurse Quant, the doctor and receptionist.
Yesterday was spent shopping in Freeport with Keith to find some clothes. Freeport reminds me of some areas of Florida. Mainly a commercial port, it does not seem widely populated. A lot of products here cost twice as much as what you would pay in the States.
I do get the clear impression that to visit the Bahamas you need to be self-sufficient, as I was with Dagny. Otherwise, you are pretty much visiting a bunch of resorts and better have a budget to accommodate the fact. Accommodations are the main issue, which a boat solves rather nicely. Anchoring out will save you a bundle, just make sure your anchor is holding…
A sailboat was presumably spotted, seemingly anchored near Memory Rock. Keith got the information from a local fisherman. There are no other details at this time, and I am not getting my hopes up. Dagny was presumably spotted way North of that point, so it seems very unlikely that the boat would have back-tracked South. It could be anyone spending the night on the Bank before continuing on. I am waiting for Keith to be back from one of his tours to go talk to the guy and ask for a description. Of course it is possible that the USCG report was wrong and Dagny could have gotten caught on the shallows around Memory Rock if her anchor was still dangling. I consider the possibility unlikely, but one can always hope. If the description of the fisherman fits, then I will hire him or someone else to go have a look this afternoon.
Update: False alarm.. Clearly not the same boat.