Reflections Summer Issue | Volume 17, Number 3 - Page 70

Captain Robbie Robinson , owner of the small retreat on Lubber ’ s Quarters Cay in The Abacos named Pura Vida , with three cottages and a tiki bar , a 45-foot catamaran , the AlphaCat , and the 36-foot Jersey Devil charter fishing boat , FREESPOOL , generously donated a stay on the four-state-room catamaran each year to our local Coastal Conservation Association which they auctioned off at their annual fundraising event . From the first time he donated , word spread , and Richmond Hill began flocking to The Abacos .
Stories and memories abound of adventures Todd and Melanie Boyer and Mark island hopping to Marsh Harbour , Elbow and Rhonda Gordon remember their trip to Cay , Man ‘ O War Cay , Great Guana and The Abacos including two bad days fishing Lynyard Cay ; exploring deserted beaches on FREESPOOL in sporty seas . Only two and hurricane ravaged houses ; diving for fish were caught the first day ( although one , lobster and starfish ; crackin ’ conch ( and caught by Melanie , was a 60-pound mahi ). drawing straws for who eats the pistol ); fishing , snorkeling , or jumping in blue holes ; day . It was one of the coldest days anyone
There wasn ’ t a single knock down the second
the infamous parties at Nippers ; taking the could remember in the Abacos , and they dinghy to favorite legendary restaurants had to go farther out than the captain had and watering holes like Pete ’ s Pub , Cracker ever had to go to look for fish ( so far that the P ’ s , Firefly , and Sea Spray ; the candy cane depth finder quit working ). And yet , they all striped lighthouse at Hopetown ; visiting Albury boat builders and sail makers ; getting ever . It ’ s not the catch , the weather or the seas
said it was one of the most memorable trips
fresh bread from Vernon ’ s and conch salad that determines a good day and lasting memories . It ’ s where the boat takes you , not geo- from Milo ; kayaking , paddle boarding or simply floating in the gin clear water ; and graphically , but in your heart and soul . daily sunrise , sunset and stargazing parties Many people dream of leaving everything and living that life — very few do it . on the trampoline on the bow . Tahiti Beach comes up time and again , in stories of seeing Robbie was one of the few . “ I think I was jealous of Robbie ,” Rhonda Gordon says . “ No , it starfish on the bottom of the sea that looked “ as big as a Volkswagen ,” and of digging in was more like in awe .” Maybe the first thing the sand just off the beach and pulling up one noticed about him was that he didn ’ t sea cucumbers , sea biscuits , and sea glass wear shoes . He shed them when he shed with every handful . his past life . The next thing was his tattoos .
Some remember that he had his social security number tattooed on his left side . Others remember it was his blood type . Maybe it was both . He was a former Marine Corps Force Recon Officer . He didn ’ t talk about himself much or brag , but as Rhonda recalls , you knew “ he was no ordinary fisherman and there was some significance to the tattoos and life he had lived .” He was capable , in charge , skilled , and seemed to have an insider knowledge of a vast array of areas . A walk through his cottage and retreat was a peek into his past and the present reality of actually living in the islands , with its limited availability of goods and services .
Dorian visited The Abacos September 1 , 2019 — Hurricane Dorian , that is — the strongest storm on record to hit there . The catastrophic hurricane is considered the worst natural disaster in Bahamas ’ history . Winds of 180 to 220 mph and storm surge devastated The Abacos , leaving an estimated $ 3.4 billion of damages in its wake . Everyone knew Captain Robbie probably wouldn ’ t evacuate . Not only would he want to stay with all he had built , figuratively and literally , he was on the rescue team for the islands — one of a few with medic training , a satellite phone , and transportation to the chain of islands . “ People were trying to find out how things were , we knew Robbie would ride it out , but crickets ,” Rhonda says . “ We couldn ’ t find out anything .” Finally , two weeks later , we found out he had made it , but the life he had built was blown away . “ This has been a
Pura Vida before and after Hurrican
Dorian .
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