Joan's Reviews > Life On A Rock

Life On A Rock by K.A. Albury
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's review
Mar 26, 2012

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bookshelves: biography
Read in March, 2012

I have just read three books, different biographies of Bahama people and their adventures. I will group them together. This one is about a couple who managed on small isolated island at the north end of the Exumas with marina, repairs, rental accommodation, etc. The stories and knowledge of life here are fun.

Another favorite is Out-Island Doctor by Evans Cottman, who left life in the US as a teacher for adventure and found it. He bought 100 acres in Crocked Island, VERY isolated and far south Bahamas. The people are extraordinary, but he met a lovely lady along the way, while researching boat builders, leading him to the Abacos and married her. She was unhappy far from her home and huge family in Marsh Harbour, so they returned. He was encouraged by a doctor to apply for a medical license as a lay 'doctor', a practice of this government in the 50's and earlier . He had a Master in Biochemistry and did some research. Easily licensed, he found flocks of patients came immediately wanting to be 'sounded' to see if their blood was flowing right along with the current complaint. Intimidated by his lack of training he spent 5 months in the US boning up with a thoughtful orthopedic surgeon, teaching him rudiments of emergency service. He travelled all over the Bahamas in his wee sail boat, surviving extreme weather. He describes the vast differences in character of the people from one island to the next, and his own shines through.

Last is Below Another Sky by Dave Gale, written about Elbow Cay, next to Man-O-War where we are located. He and his new bride joined friends here, a couple with a dream to found a retreat run on AA principles. It really was a commune and predictably ended in a bust. Then the Gales moved to tiny Parrot Cay off Elbow Cay to build their own home and try to make a living. They began a small marina, then a boat repair, then guest units while discovering the character of the people here and visitors, rescuing those in trouble, etc. It is another story of resilience and initiative, and in all these I learned a lot about these islands.

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