Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Doorways of Harbour Island.

I have been extremely fortunate to have been able to vacation for several years now on beautiful Harbour Island, Bahamas. Sometimes called the "Nantucket of the Caribbean" because of the New England style clapboard houses, different from those here in New England, but strangely related through a common history . The world-famous "Three Mile Beach” or "Pink Sand Beach" attracts a very cosmopolitan crowd, as well as being the site of many model shoots. In fact, there was a recent Sport Illustrated Swimsuit Issue shot there. While on the island I took a few photographs of the doorways. When I return in the future, which I will certainly do as soon as humanly possible, I hope to photograph more doorways to share with you.

Harbour Island is set off the north east coast of Eleuthera. Known locally as “Briland”, the island is just over three miles long by a mile wide and was once the capital of the Bahamas.

Just a little history for you to set the mood: In 1648, Captain William Sayles set sail from Bermuda with a following of English Puritans looking to escape religious oppression. They named the beautiful Bahamian island where they landed “Eleuthra”, the Greek word for freedom. In time the settlers split off and moved to some of the other “Outer Islands”, including Harbour Island, in order to protect themselves from the Spanish.

Dunmore Town is the only town on Briland and one of the oldest settlements in the Bahamas. It is a quaint village with lots of old New England architecture and has preserved more of its old colonial-style architecture than any other island in the Bahamas. Many of the pastel colored, wooden buildings date back to the 1800's. The framework of one building on Bay Street, "The Loyalist Cottage", dates back to 1790.

Many of these old colonial houses were built during the area’s prosperous fruit growing era in the latter part of the 19th century. Some of the homes that remain from this time have preserved the old colonial architecture with balconies, picket fences, lattice work and garrets. Many foreign-going ships picking up fruit and depositing it in foreign parts visited Harbour Island. It was out of this prosperity that Dunmore Town was expanded and eventually grew to what it is today. Known for its pink sand beaches, Harbour Island is one of the most sought after vacation destinations because it is so small and intimate. If you want to visit make sure to book well in advance.

If you really want to get in the island mood, mon, click on Goombay Smash, you’ll have a recipe that appeared in Bon Appetit’s June, 2008 issue courtesy of the Pink Sands Resort. Goombay Smash is a fabulous island drink make with tropical juices and a lot of rum. They are dangerously delicious and trust me you don’t want to drink too many. Most of the island restaurants and hotels make the drink on the rocks, but the first time Paul took me to Harbour Island we went to visit a friend of his who made them slushy – think Margaritaville with rum instead of tequila. I’m partial to slushy Margaritas and now slushy Goombay Smashes.

Whether or not you partake of a Goombay Smash I hope you enjoy a few of my Harbour Island Doorways.


You can't really see this doorway, but you get the idea of the pastel colors in the bright Bahamian sun, the rustling palm trees for a hedge, and the picket fence reminicent of New England, or England, as the case may be.

Bahama House Inn: Not exactly their door but I love the blue and pink, plus it's a fabulous place to stay. Neighbors to the Rock House, convienent to the harbor area, some of the rooms have kitchenettes, gorgeous deck, very friendly and inviting atmosphere. Tell John Paul and Beth sent you. And click on the link, my photo does not due the Bahama House justice.

This cute little cottage is just down the street from the Bahama House on the opposite side of the street. That's Paul standing to the right. He's talking to a nice gentleman who was white washing the fence. Paul was particularly interested in this house because it was for sale- and a bit rundown - a number of years ago. He was very happy to see that the new owner had restored it quite lovingly in keeping with the colonial period that the island is known for.

This is the doorway to a home called "Blue Ruin". Many of the homes on the island have names: Bloomin' Luck, True Love, Luna Sea. I know we are on a run of blue here but I'm sure it has something to do with the sky and the clear, blue water, don't you? I love the light fixture to the right with the ball of shells on the top. Above the handle is a dolphin door knocker and the juxtaposition of the tile, stucco and wood is soothingly tropical.

This is one of a number of doorways that feature beautiful wrought iron work. A few more appear below. I love the bright pinks, blues, yellows and greens in the tropical sunlight.

The final doorway for now. We visited over the Christmas holidays and I love the sea shell wreath. I collected a bunch of shells and plan to make one myself so I can always have a little bit of sea and sunshine with me.