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29 June 2015

The Clones Of Man O'War Cay, Bahamas


I'm kind of a sci-fi geek so everything I know about human cloning comes from books like Frank Herbert's Dune (don't trust Duncan Idaho), movies like Star Wars (don't trust the stormtroopers) and TV shoes like Star Trek: TNG (don't trust the Mariposans). Do you detect a theme here? Clones are clearly not to be trusted. 

Of course, you shouldn't believe everything you read or see in the movies or on tv, so when I heard we were going to head to Man O'War Cay, I was excited to see real live clones up close and personal and find out if they really are evil. Of course, I was also a bit apprehensive, because if they did turn out to be evil, then they might capture me and do unspeakable things, like force me to eat conch fitters.

Have you been to Man O'War Cay? It's a small island in the Abacos, about two miles long, which was first settled in the 1798 by folks who commuted from Marsh Harbour to farm on the island. In 1820, after being shipwrecked on the island, Benjamin Albury decided to stay and marry. Make note of this name - Albury. We had heard that a large portion of the 300 folks living on Man O'War Cay today is an Albury, married to an Albury or can trace their family history back to the Albury clan (you can see the family tree here).

We took a walk up to the cemetery to see how many Albury headstones we could find. We actually did walk up. I think it was the first hill I had seen in the Bahamas. Hill might be a bit of an exaggeration, but things have been so flat in the Bahamas that you notice even the slightest incline. 

It's a pretty little cemetery, tidy and well taken care of.



This was our favorite Albury grave - love the nautical theme.



With such a small population, you can see why the residents of Man O'War Cay may have turned to cloning. If you get too many Alburys marrying and having children with too many other Alburys, then you might run into some problems. Cloning is the obvious solution.

For those of you who have been to Man O'War Cay, you might not have noticed the clones. You have to look closely. When we went and visited the Albury Sail Shop, I noticed that the ladies sewing the colorful bags for sale all looked suspiciously the same. Granted, I wasn't wearing my glasses, but I'm thinking they were clones. Which is smart - why train new ladies to sew, when you can just clone folks with proven sewing expertise? Okay, maybe they were all just cousins, but I'm not so sure.

The clones residents of Man O'War are a reserved bunch. I've read elsewhere that they don't care too much for outsiders. Which doesn't make too much sense. You think they would actively court outsiders as it might eliminate the need for cloning if they could entice some of them to stay. It's a pretty conservative place - folks are religious and the island is dry. They don't mind if you drink on your boat and you can BYOB when you eat out, but the types of folks who get smashed and then wander the streets singing Miley Cyrus songs loudly (and off-key) in the early hours of the morning are frowned upon. 

It's an interesting island to putter around for a day or two. The prices at the grocery stores aren't too unreasonable (yes, there are two grocery stores on such a tiny island), there's a pretty beach to walk on, you can check out the local boat builders and there are plenty of quaint houses and colorful flowers to admire. We only stayed one night, in part because we didn't want to pay for a mooring again and in part because we felt like we had seen and done all there was to do pretty quickly.

The Man O'War harbor is pretty much a mooring field and the holding is supposed to be poor, so we opted to pick up a mooring ball. Our pals managed to anchor in the harbor amongst the moorings, which was a smart move because when you pay for a mooring ball, all you get is the mooring ball. The sign at the marina dinghy dock makes things clear - all facilities are reserved for boat owners who spend big bucks on a slip. If you're on a mooring, you can't even drop off your trash without paying a fee.



Would I come back to Man O'War Cay? Maybe. It's a pleasant enough place with a well protected harbor, but it lacked something which I can't really put my finger on. But am I glad I visited Man O'War Cay? Absolutely. It was an interesting place to explore and now I know that clones aren't all evil. They are some perfectly nice ones living in this little corner of the Abacos. 

LOGBOOK NOTES | Thursday 21 May - Friday 22 May 2015

Total Nautical Miles - 21
Total Time - approx 4 hours
Anchor Up - No Name Cay
Anchor Down - mooring ball at Man O'War Cay 
Number of Clones Spotted - at least 4
Number of Clones Lurking in Secret, Underground Chambers - unknown
Groceries Bought - tortillas (note to self, bring more next time) 
Cost of a Mooring Ball - $21.50

Next time on the blog...we head to Hopetown, where I discover the utter deliciousness of Bahamian mac n'cheese. A gazillion times better than that stuff that comes in a blue box. 


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20 comments:

  1. You think Man O War is bad? Check out the cloning in Spanish Wells. Pinders EVERYWHERE!

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    1. Bizarre isn't it! Maybe we should create some sort of dating service for the clones. We could hook up the Pinders with the Alburys :-)

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  2. What a weird place! Who knew such a place could still exist that close to a mainland like North America. Actually, it is a little bit spooky when you start thinking too hard about it.

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    1. Such an interesting place - it really is like taking a step back in time.

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  3. This is a funny story. thanks!

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    1. Thanks Eileen - if we brought a smile to your face or a wee laugh, then we've accomplished our mission :-)

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  4. Too funny, even for a non sic-fi geek; to Gordon's total disgust I have never even seen Star Wars. I am going to ask him what conch fitters are, because I bet he knows.

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    1. What?!!? You've never seen Star Wars? I think you should remedy that :-)

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  5. Thanks for sharing. Every place is worth visiting at least once!

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    1. That's so true - every place is worth visiting at least once! Man O'War is definitely one of them - a fascinating place.

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  6. Hilarious. That photo of the sunset and the sailboats is beautiful.

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  7. Hopping over from Weekend Travel Inspiration at Rhonda Ablom's site. No, I haven't been here, but now I leave a lot smarter and loving your photos! Thank you. :-)

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    1. Thanks for popping by. Maybe you'll get there one day :-)

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  8. I had never heard of this Cay or the clones before, but you've got me writing this place down on my list. I'm totally intrigued. Great story! Thanks for linking up with us again on #wkendtravelinspiration!

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  9. We were at Man o war in late May. We dingy'd in to the mooring field and tied up to go exploring. What a lovely town! We walked to the other side of the island it was stunning. On our way back an older woman stopped us in her golf cart and asked us if we would like a tour of the island! She gave us personal tour never to be forgotten! She dropped us at the The Hibiscus restaurant were we had the best cracked conch and their specialized grilled cheese sandwich! Fabulous! Renee S/V Poerava

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    1. Oh, wow - having your own personal tour of the island sounds fantastic! The beach on the other side was really pretty, wasn't it? I've heard other people say that the Hibiscus is really tasty. I love grilled cheese sandwiches - what do they do to make them specialized?

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  10. It was missing Rum. That is what it was missing ;)

    - Lisa

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