Thursday, November 14, 2013

Bahamas Project

By Alexander and Christopher

Dad’s note:  Due to overwhelming demand (OK, one person asked – thanks Jane!) here is another informative post by the kids.  Alexander and Christopher put together this informative post about the Bahamas, so we could all learn a little about where we are.

The Bahamas is a large archipelago of Islands to the east of Florida. They are a parliamentary constitutional monarchy led by queen Elizabeth II, much like the United Kingdom or Canada. The Bahamas is an independent country with a small population of 300,000. The majority of these live in Nassau, the capital of the Bahamas.

Nassau, with Atlantis in the background.  Lots more boats in this picture than when we were there.
The rest of the people are spread out in little towns among the 700 islands, cays and islets. 85% of the population is made up of Afro-Bahamians; freed slaves from West Africa looking for a new life. The rest are mostly descendants of British settlers. Bahamians speak to each other in a slurred and altered version of English, but to tourists they speak just standard English.

The Bahamas are home to crystal white beaches, aqua blue water, beautiful coral reefs and perfectly clear for water for snorkelling.

Looks nice, doesn't it?

Due to this, tourism accounts for over 50% of the businesses in the Bahamas and is, hands down,  the biggest industry in the country. The second biggest is the financial industry such as banking. The currency in the Bahamas is is the Bahamian dollar, which is based off and equal to the American dollar. Stores will accept either one.

The Bahamians use Bahamian money, but nobody even bats an eyelid when we pull out American greenbacks.

The Bahamas have a rich history for a country where the highest point is 63 meters. Many pirates used this place to take shelter. These included the infamous Edward Teach, or Blackbeard.

Blackbeard.  Not a fun guy to party with.
In this dangerous time of piracy, the good people of the Bahamas called upon Britain for aid, and so in reply, Britain sent a small military force led by Woodes Rogers. After the main piracy threat had been dealt with, the American war for independence began and the Bahamas became threatened because of their strategic military positioning. The military leader who gave them the most trouble was named Ezekial Hopkins. He ended up attempting to attack Nassau, the previously mentioned Bahamas capital. The Bahamians, not exactly being the most warlike people, surrendered before the fight could even begin. Fortunately the Spanish attacked Nassau while in possession of America a year later and freed the Bahamas.

More boats than we have seen our entire trip.
Bahamas Fun Fact: The Police in the Bahamas recently caught who they believe to be the leader of a car stealing ring. The ring is still at large.

Celebrities such as Johnny Depp have beach houses in the Bahamas. Some even own islands.

This is probably not how Johnny Depp dresses when he visits his private island.  Although, who knows?
In the more northern island of Bimini, Ernest Hemingway famously wrote Islands in the Stream.

Casino Royale and five other James bond films have used The Bahamas as a backdrop and Sean Connery loved the country so much that he now lives there full time.

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