Over the years we have all reaped the bounties of the waters surrounding San Salvador, Rum cay, Crooked island and Long island. We've all had great times and adventures as we plied the waters of the central bahamas. After a days fishing around these islands we have all also come to find that the locals on these islands are some of the friendliest people around. They have invited us into their homes and businesses as though we are family.
I have been fortunate to be a small part of the relief efforts that have taken place in the weeks after hurricane Jaoquin ravaged the central bahamas for an unprecedented 72 hours. In doing so I found it incredible to see the outpouring of generosity towards these folks that lost so much during the storm. One day after the storm I set up a go fund me account so that people could donate to the people on San Salvador. I originally set it up with a goal of $10,000. In just a week, it exceeded $30,000. These donations came from all over. Some as small as $5 and some topped $3000. Most of the donations came from boat owners and crews that have been to Riding Rock marina on San Salvador.. It was so enriching to read the comments that came in with the donations. Also on the day after the storm, my boss Steve Swindal and his two partners in their plane Randy Mcoy and Tommy Villella (also sportfishing owners) told me to have their pilot rip the seats out of their plane and fill it with relief supplies. One day later we landed on the freshly cleared Tarmac on San Salvador with cases of water, blue Tarps and essentials. We were not the only ones. Seven planes landed that day. A few of them were also sport fish owners that wanted to send relief to our friends there. In the following days there were numbers of sportfishing boats calling me, asking what they could do. Some like Richard People's took it on himself to get containers donated and filled them with relief supplies. Other captains and owners just went to Home Depot and loaded their decks. They then dropped their lines and headed south. One example was Devin Silas on the "Shoe". They rolled into Long Island with a deck load of supplies. I wish I could take the time to recognize all the boats and planes from the sport fish community that were involve. I doubt any of them are concerned about the fact that they are not named here as they did not do it for recognition, but for the fact that it was just the right thing to do. Like i said it has been a great thing to be a small part of the Bluewater brotherhood coming together.
In the months to come, relief efforts will fade. Not that we want them to. It's just a fact.
In the next 2-6 months there will be hundreds of yachts and sport fishing boats that will be heading south. I challenge each and every boat that is heading to the Caribbean, to STOP OFF AND DROP OFF. We will all be driving directly past each of the effected islands. Please stock up on a few five pound boxes of nails or a couple sheets of plywood or anything you think one might need to rebuild a home ravaged by a hurricane. This is an inexpensive and simple jesture. But we need to continue to help out our friends down there.I would like to personally thank Carey Chen for donating the art work used in this campaign. with out his efforts this would not have been possible.
Call Capt. Barb Evans with any questions.
BY Captain Ed Thomson