©2012 PerryJoseph.com

9.23.2005

Origination of the Word "Eleuthera"

I have been meaning to google for the origination of the word "Eleuthera" for some time. As most websites have it, including mine, Eleuthera is derived from the Greek word for "Freedom". Since I have some Greek heritage and took a little Latin in high school, I was curious to know more about the word, and particularly its elements. Now I know:

eleuthero-, eleuther- (Greek: free, freedom)

eleutherarch
Eleutherian
eleutherism
eleutherodactyl
Eleutherodactylous
eleutheromania
eleutheropetalous
eleutherophilia
eleutherophobia (an irrational dread of freedom)
eleutherophyllous
meleutherosepalous

"Found it interesting" department: "Eu" is Greek for good, well, normal; happy, pleasing; used as a prefix. I drilled down on "Eu", and found many interesting derivatives like "Eucalyptus", "eulogy", "euphony" (neat word -- look it up!), and "Eugene", which is my cousin's name -- no doubt he'll be thrilled to learn this. (He's your man if you're looking for cactus, succulents and lithops.)

I am relieved to know I don't have eleutherophobia, however I would like to know if there's a treatment for eleutherophilia.

Thanks to the folks at Wordinfo.

That should pretty much cover the origination of "Eleuthera", right?

Copyright © 2005 Perry Joseph

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9.20.2005

Sam Pedican and the Rage at Glass Window Bridge


I had heard bits and pieces of this particular story as well as a few others from a taxi driver on Eleuthera: Man killed by rogue wave at Glass Window Bridge

As it was told to me, there have been similar incidents -- a vehicle or two washed into the ocean with the driver on board. There are other tragic stories as well, but I don't quite recall the details. Next time we are on Eleuthera, I am going to look up "Fine Threads." He runs a taxi around North Eleuthera and rents a few cars as well (Taxi 52, Fredrick Neely 242-335-1556/359-7780.) No doubt, he will have more "Glass Window Bridge" stories to tell.

I guess I should point out to those completely unfamiliar with the Glass Window Bridge at North Eleuthera; it is subject to being turned into toast by the more serious storms and hurricanes. And when the bridge goes out, North Eleuthera is cut off from the rest of Eleuthera -- a major pain in the butt.

My wife came with a few minutes of losing her life near Glass Window Bridge. No joke! There is a major "blow hole" just to the North of the Bridge. The first photo was taken as we approached the hole -- a friend of ours is walking to the edge where one can look many feet straight down the face of the cliff to the water below. It is an awesome sight I might add. Note the various water pools in the lower portion of the photo. That should have been a big clue, and I noticed it when we approached, but I chalked them up as leftovers from high tide.

The next photo is my lovely wife, Rose Mary, as she stands next to the left wall of the hole. She is happy as it's one helluva view from where she is standing!

After I shot this last photo, I started looking around the area through my camera's view finder -- looking for that next great photo. Within moments, I see a wave break against the right cliff wall. I framed the shot and waited for the next "right" wave to shoot the next photo. Within a minute or two, I got the shot off, and moments later, got half drenched by the same wave. "Damn! What the hell was that? The wave seemed to leap 100+ feet in the air!!

Mind you, I am purposely standing back a safe and considerable distance from the edge of the blow hole so I don't get my equipment wet. Dripping wet, I immediately look at my camera to see if it was ruined. I wear glasses and they were half wet so my vision was obscured.

And then shock.

I look up to see what happened to my wife and our friend. "Oh My God, they're gone! The wave sucked them into the ocean!" The emotion that followed was indescribable; something I had never experienced before. I frantically scanned left to right, right to left -- looking, looking and looking again. I can't and don't want to believe my eyes.

The drop off at the edge of the cliff to the water below is significant, and having seen that wall of water come through there, I knew I was in harm's way. I thought to rush to the edge to look for my wife and friend, but felt certain I would perish if I did so and turned back to head for the car for help. I was certain there was no way they survived -- I had seen how the waves below would slam against the cliff like a sledgehammer.

I felt helpless and very sick. You never know how much you love your spouse until something like this happens.

I turned back for the car to go for help -- a short distance up and over a little ridge and then down a short hill to the car. As I reached the top of the ridge, I see my wife and our friend walking towards the car. The blood starts to flow back into my brain. They look up at me and see I am drenched and rather sarcastically ask what the hell I was doing? They see the look of concern in my face and ask what is wrong. I was in shock. All I could say is "you just missed certain death within a minute or two."

They couldn't grasp what I was trying to tell them. It took me the next 20 minutes to dry off and get my head around what just happened so I could fully explain the chain of events. What I learned from our conversation was they had just turned to go back to the car the moment I started looking at the right wall with my camera. They were out of view and I never saw them leave. What are the odds?

Later in the day when we were with a cab driver, I explained to him what had happened and that is when we learned about "rogue waves." Since there are no reefs in front of the cliffs to break the waves as they approach the cliffs, there are those waves that hit the cliff with enough speed, and at the right angle. to produce these occasional walls of water.

Needless to say, I asked why the Eleutherans' don't have warning signs posted. We were told they used to. I can't believe someone else hasn't brought this up. But at least now we, and you, know to be very very careful when you approach these cliffs and hang around Eleuthera's Glass Window Bridge. Look for telltale pools of water on the ground and wet areas on the walls before you approach. If you have children, be sure they stay under your supervision.

One other bit of trivia while we are talking about the bridge: The Glass Window Bridge has been called "the narrowest place on Earth." I'll vouch for that. It is a "must see" when visiting Eleuthera. Just be careful.

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Hurricane Rita

Rita Gave NEMA Chance To Test Level Of Preparedness

Tropical Storm Rita yesterday provided an opportunity for officials of the National Emergency Management Agency to test their own level of preparedness as they huddled in meetings to discuss how best to react to the storm.

"We can expect at least four to six inches of rain in the immediate vicinity of Rita and that is those islands in the central Bahamas – Long Island, Cat Island, South Eleuthera and San Salvador," meteorologist Mike Stubbs said. "We expect sea surges of some six to nine feet in the immediate vicinity as well."

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9.18.2005

Bonefishing Eleuthera

More bonefish photos and notes from Eleuthera:

Bonefish Blog

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Buying a House / Real Estate in the Bahamas

I have been digging through my archives and found this info on buying a house in the Bahamas. I do not know how accurate the information is since I have not yet been through the process, however based on conversations I have had with others, this information appears to be on target. Please note, the numbers, prices and rates may be incorrect, but at least you start to get an idea.

What's the first thing I need to know about buying here?

You can do it. Your realtor is a professional who knows the market and will walk you through the steps.

Can anyone own land in the Bahamas?

Yes. Bahamian nationals, of course, may own land. The International Persons Landholding Act, 1993, provides for the sale of real property to non-Bahamians.

Will I need a lawyer?

Yes. A local attorney will facilitate searching the title, ensuring that the documents of title are properly prepared and are in good order, and giving an opinion on the title to the property. This Opinion is considered to be the same as title insurance as the lawyer is liable should the purchaser find a defect in the title. Local lawyers carry indemnity insurance.

In what form is title to property given?

The vast majority of property is sold Freehold. The exceptions are for Leasehold properties, which are generally Crown Lands, i.e., Government-owned properties that are leased for agricultural or development purposes. Generally, the Government of The Bahamas does not sell its property.

Do I need title insurance?

It can't hurt. Risk premiums run about .2% of value.

What is the best way to furnish my new home in the Bahamas?

Very little is available here. Getting things delivered here is usually not a problem; it's just expensive. You'll have to become a smart shopper and decide between two basic choices:

1. Shop in Nassau. Get there by plane or fast ferry. Expenses will include travel, lodging, food and shipping.

2. Fly to the States. More expensive in some ways but the upside is more variety and sometimes significantly lower prices. In Ft. Lauderdale or Miami ship your goods to G&G, who will get them to the island. Once again, figure the costs of travel, room and board, etc. Then there are customs fees.

How are customs fees calculated?

They range from as little as 8% for a computer to 42% for a car. The fees are based on the gross amount listed including shipping.

Example: You buy a table in Miami for $1000 and pay G&G $150 to ship it to the island. Total cost to you so far is $1150. Customs figures its fee on that amount; thus, 42% of $1150 = $483. Of course, now you have to get it home from the dock which usually involves hiring a local trucker.

A good rule of thumb in keeping track of your budget when you shop in the States is to mentally add 50%; thus if its price tag is $100, it will ultimately cost you about $150 to enjoy it in your new home.

What other expenses will I face?

It's very much like buying a house in the United States with closing costs and lawyer's expenses and title search fees and permits and inspections. The Government Stamp Duty tax is the largest extra cost is for conveyance. This is a graduated tax on the conveyance of real property that is sometimes split between the vendor and the purchaser.

Under $20,000 2%
$20,000 - $50,000 4%
$50,000 -$100,000 6%
$100,000 - $250,000 8%
Over $250,000 10%

Is there an annual property tax?

Yes. Properties are assessed a value. For owner-occupied properties, the tax is nothing on the first $100,000, 1% on the next $400,000, and 1½% on the excess over $500,000. On other properties, the rate is 1% on the first $100,000, 1½% on the next $400,000, and 2% on the excess over $500,00.

Is this an investment?

Whether buying or building, the Bahamas affords the smart investor high quality real estate opportunities. Further, with legitimate tax and estate planning, real estate may pass on to the next generation free of income, capital gains, and estate tax.

Non-Bahamians should also register their investment with the Exchange Control at the Central Bank of The Bahamas to ensure that on resale they will be able to remit the net proceeds of sale outside the Bahamas in the currency of the original investment.

Who pays for what?

A typical sale, called a Gross Sale, assumes the following:

The Vendor (seller) pays:

1. A portion of the Government Stamp Tax

2. The real estate agents commission. The commission on the sale of residential developed property is 8% of the gross sales price; on the sale of undeveloped property, it's 10%.

3. The vendor's legal fees. The legal fees on a sale or purchase are usually one-half of 2½% of the first $500,000, 2% of the next $500,000, 1% of the next $4,000,000 and ½% thereafter.

The Purchaser Pays:

1. A portion of the Government Stamp Tax

2. One-half of the purchaser's legal fees as detailed, to include the lawyers Opinion on the title to the property.

3. Recording fees ($3.50 per page) on the conveyance and other closing documents which need to be recorded.

4. Permit fees under the International Persons Landholding Act if applicable.

What are the benefits of applying for residency?

The Bahamas has no income tax, capital gains taxes, or inheritance taxes. There is no sales tax with the exception of the Stamp Duty paid on the conveyance of real property, thus, you may want to consider applying for Permanent Residency which is available to those who invest a minimum of $500,000 in the Bahamas. This investment may take the form of the purchase of real property with a minimum value of $500,000.

For more information on buying property in the Bahamas, visit the website Commonwealth of Bahamas -- Office of the Prime Minister

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Bahamas - The Complete Guide

Here is a decent article on the Bahamas by The Independent (U.K.) As with all the reviews over the last few years, they play is safe and say Harbour Island has the best beach:

The Complete Guide To: The Bahamas

You can't argue with their call on Harbour Island's beach, but Eleuthera has the same type of beaches too.

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9.17.2005

Glass Window Bridge -- Eleuthera Bahamas

Glass Window Bridge - Eleuthera

Let's start with this little gem of a find:

Fishing for Bonefish at Deep Creek, Eleuthera

Somebody needs to let me know if this little spot is as hot as its claim.

Eleuthera

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