Saturday, March 15, 1975

March - 1975

My first trip to Green Turtle Cay took place in March of 1975. 

Without any Internet available to provide easy access to lots of information about this remote destination, my father found the rental cottage called CAVU via a small advertisement in the back of Yachting Magazine.

My family drove for two days in a large, brown Oldsmobile from Madison, Wisconsin to Fort Lauderdale, FL.  After an overnight in a local hotel, we boarded a Mackey Airlines DC-3 for the flight to Treasure Cay.  This plane was a tail-dragger and it was a steep climb up the aisle to find your seats.   Flying was a lot more casual than it is today and I remember that a many of the passengers, and possibly some of the crew, were loud and excited to be traveling while enjoying the carry-on beverages that were apparently allowed on international flights.

Mackey Airlines DC-3

The TCB airport and customs and Bolo ferry to GTC has not changed considerably since this first trip.

When we arrived on GTC, we were dropped-off at the Government Dock in White Sound where our caretaker, Kevin McIntosh, greeted us along with the wheelbarrow-like pushcart that we would use for our luggage and groceries for this trip.  It was several years later that golf carts found their way to the island, so transportation was limited to walking or riding in a small Boston Whaler that was rented from the Sawyer brothers.  Going to town required a real commitment!

CAVU is just up the path from Coco Bay and still stands today.  In 1975 the properties on the north end of the island had no electric power (unless equipped with a generator) so the appliances ran on propane.  Seeing a pilot light under the refrigerator at night was a complete and total mystery to me at my young age.  Without electric power, we used oil lamps in the evening and a hand pump was used to pump water from the cistern to the gravity tank on the roof.  The shower was outside and the toilet was some strange contraption that involved the use of foot pedals and a plunger.

New Plymouth had electrical power that was provided via a large generator in the quarry area behind the cemetery.  This may have been more reliable than the current BEC?

My Mother & I
The natives were as friendly and accommodating than as they are today.  As guests, we are thankful that GTC remains a peaceful town where we have no need to worry about the safety of our kids or the loss of our personal property at the hands of others.  It will be a sad day if a chain restaurant or coffee shop decides to break ground on this island.