Listen to what some folk tell you about all the time I spend out in the ocean swimming with the reef sharks, the black tips and the tarpon fish and you might start to think I don’t like living here on Abaco. But that’s about as far from the truth as you could possibly get. Hand on heart, I can honestly say there’s nowhere on earth I’d rather be than right here in the beautiful Green Turtle Cay. And if you’d discovered what a great place The Bahamas was back the 1970s, chances are it’d be me who’d brought you here as it was my handsome face our Ministry of Tourism used on all its billboards.
I guess it was running my Dive Centre, teaching people to scuba and snorkel and looking after all my fish buddies around the reef that put a stop to my modelling days. Not that I mind one little bit. Being out on the boats and in the water so much has meant I’ve got to witness some of nature’s big occasions the like of which a person sitting behind a desk could only dream of seeing. I remember clear as the water around Manjack Island watching a baby whale being born right here by the beach. I’ve seen dolphins mating and spotted eagle rays getting it together. And just about every season I could take you along the shoreline to the place the turtles dig their nests.
Even without these special events, spending my days introducing visitors to the stars of the grouper world like Junkanoo and Goombay, that big old eel Captain Calypso (‘The Historic Wreck of San Jacinto’ to his friends), the famous Georgette, Harvey, George, Stumpy and all the rest of the rays I’ve been hand-feeding for going on 20 years now, means I get to do what I love best; to make some mighty fine lunches out of fresh conch, to enjoy some pretty amazing experiences cruising out on the boats and to give all the thousands of holiday-makers I get to meet some unforgettable stories to take home with them.
Brendal Stevens, Captain, Free-diver and Chef – Abaco