There’s obviously not a lot we personally can do to help from this side of the Atlantic – we hope that those affected get the help they need quickly from whatever source and our thoughts are with those who have suffered losses. I’m sure, given time, the clear-up and re-building operation will be successful and things will eventually return to normality for the residents. One thing we can do though is plan for another visit once the island is in a position to accept tourists again.
This doesn’t mean booking with some overseas corporately owned resort. No, the best way we can think to help is to spend our money staying in privately owned accommodation, renting a car from a local business, eating out at independent restaurants and drinking at the local shacks (maybe even hiring a guide for a day or two). In other words, spreading our payments throughout the local economy.
We’ve done this a couple of times in the past, i.e. visited recently hurricane-hit islands. What I can say is that the fishing is likely to be really good. I suspect this is because the fishing pressure drops right off for a long time as many potential visitors head elsewhere rather than be faced with the undoubted mess that a hurricane leaves behind. So I’d suggest to anyone thinking about a Bahamian fishing trip next year, don’t be put off visiting Abaco or Grand Bahama – just check the Bahamian government website for information regarding when they’d like to receive visitors.
All the best, James.