Before leaving, Tucker asked me to call on Wild Tamarind Cay. The caretakers of the island heard we had done a good job of installing the communication system here at Compass and wondered if something similar could be done at Wild Tamarind.
Wild Tamarind was once called Rat Cay
So off we go to Wild Tamarind; It turned out to be a fascinating little private island.
The run from Compass to Wild Tamarind is an easy boat ride down Pipe Creek and within 10 minutes we were easing into their harbor. Once there, we were greeted by Vinny, who takes his job of being the island guard dog very seriously.
With his hackles standing straight up on his back, his teeth bared, and using his bark as his way of warning us to not even think of setting foot on his island; he got our attention as he ran the length of the rock quay that borders the entrance to the harbor, threatening at times to jump into the water to ward us off. He makes an effective deterrent.
Then we saw Leonora, the caretaker, walking down a path and waving. Vinny didn't let up.
Leonora helped us tie up the Albury, but Vinny was still nervous about our presence on his island. Mel asked if he would bite and Leonora said, "Yes, he has bitten many people.", then Mel asked, "Will he bite us?", and she said with a smile, " Well, let's see."
Not what we wanted to hear... and why was she smiling?
More on page 2.
After Leonora assured Vinny we were okay, he sniffed us cautiously and allowed us to hop on the golf cart and ride to one of the houses.
Leonora's a pretty, petite, and noticeably intelligent young woman with pitch black hair and very sharp deliberate eyes. She has an accent that we can't put our finger on, but she said she and her husband had raised their family on Over Yonder Cay so we presume they have lived in these islands for a while.
On the ride to Leonora's house we noticed how beautifully cared for the island is. The cart paths were paved with concrete that had shells and palm frond prints embedded in them, lush flowering bushes lined the paths, and of course... Vinny running along side the cart warily escorting us to the house.
Once there and in the house Vinny did seem to chill a bit.
One of the first things we noticed about Vinny was he had no ears—which makes him appear even more menacing. While I was checking out the satellite system and wifi gear, Mel asked Leonora about Vinny's ears.
She said the island's owner was a true dog lover and he had found Vinny in a shelter in Nassau. When Vinny was just a pup, someone cut his ears and tail off and left him to die on the side of a road. He had lived in the shelter for a long time because no one wanted a dog without ears, but when her boss saw him and heard his story, he fell in love and took Vinny home then gave him a great life on this island. The owner and Vinny are kind of role models in Nassau for rescuing dogs from shelters.
Great story. He became quite friendly after a while. While on our tour of the island we passed the Albury and saw Vinny tugging at our dock lines with his teeth. Mel said he must want us to leave, Leonora said, "That's what he does when he wants you to stay".
We met Leonora's family; her husband, who has worked on yachts for years and is a very skilled craftsman, her kids, who were very polite and friendly, and another dog, Lucky, who didn't seem bother with us at all.
Then it was back in the cart for a tour of the island. What a great island.
The Breezeway at the Pickle Barrel House
Vinny keeping his eye on us
Mel had asked about the Pickle Barrel house so that's where we headed first. We had heard of the Pickle Barrel house from friends who had stayed here years before when Tucker's family were caretakers. Tucker told me these houses were very old and put there before he can remember. He said, "maybe 70 years old by now."
They're really Pickle Barrels! Brought here years ago and made into to a house. Two barrels making up 4 rooms and two stories. A round entertaining area, separated by a breezeway leading to a great round kitchen, then up the stairs to a round covered patio that has a glorious view with constant breeze, with a deck leading to a round bedroom.
All rooms are tastefully decorated with photography and art that is associated with the island and it's people. Very cool.
Leonora in the round kitchen
Mel standing in the dining room admiring the woodwork.
Nice 360° view
Atop the kitchen is the covered patio
Again, checkout the view
Imagine, just opening these windows and letting the tropical breezes ease through.
Did I mention the view?After the Pickle Barrel house we hopped back in the golf cart and saw the rest of the island. Of course, Vinny was still running along side the cart, just in case.
We saw 3 other houses that were equally as charming, but in different ways. Leonora showed us the power generation and water making systems that were very elaborate and well maintained. Then she took us back to the dock and our boat.
So we cranked up the Albury and pulled out of Wild Tamarind. Vinny treated us the same going out as he did coming in. Good guard dog. Hopefully we will be going back soon. I would like to take my good camera and take a few more pics.
Another extraordinary day.
Meeting Leonora and her family, Vinny and Lucky, and the tour of a lovely island...
Doesn't get much better.