Galley Wench Tales

Exploring the world through the people we meet
and the food they eat.

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Marjorie of the Raggeds Duncantown
and GWT wearing royal purple.

“Welcome to the Bahamas!  We are women of royalty!” Marjorie exclaimed, instantly following her smiling greeting with a hug and indicating our shared color choice.

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Peacock on Marjorie’s porch, Duncantown.  Its mate
roosted at the police station.

She’d wandered out from her porch, past where her pet peacock luxuriated.  It was the last of a pair of Duncantown peacocks; there used to be 27!  The others, Marjorie explained, we scattered among the neighboring islands, to appease neighbors who complained about the peacock’s noise* and droppings.

*Blood curdling, if you’ve never heard a peacock scream. I learned that as child approaching one to touch — or maybe take — its feathers at place in California Gold Country called Daffodil Hill.  Apparently Daffodil Hill still exists though without peacocks.

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Goatskins for Junkanoo drums, drying on the porch rail
at Nino’s in Duncantown.

Nino. who first welcomed us, directed us to Marjorie’s husband, Rafael’s place, where we’d come to wet our whistle.  “Go ahead and take your photo,” he offered, as I glanced at the goatskins drying outside his home.  “We use the goatskins for our drums, for Rake ‘n Scrape and Junkanoo celebrations.  Have you seen one yet?” Sadly, we had not (click here to learn more Rake ‘n Scrape and Junkanoo).

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Welcome sign for Marjorie’s shop.

Marjorie walked us over to Raphael’s, then I joined her to check out her shop. Marjorie’s a self-described “crafter” and I wanted more than just photos and good memories of Duncantown, where the locals rely on those few tourists who venture that far, and fishing.

I liked Marjorie’s welcome sign best of all, and suggested she make some to sell.  “I’ll have one, when you come back from the South Pacific,” she promised.

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Marjorie’s Ragged Islands shop and her work.

You see, we’d already become fast friends…. Marjorie glowed with warmth that comes from an inner goodness.  We talked about her — she’s (Bahamian, Chinese something else incongruous — Scottish perhaps?).. Her family, which she also referred to to help me puzzle out a challenge I’m having with mine, her work, our travels….

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Marjorie poses with one of her favorite purses.

Marjorie’s straw work purses are especially fabulous, and her favorite work.  “For when you go out to dinner!” Marjorie suggested.  Except I don’t, go out to dinner anyplace that my plain water-bag backpack isn’t what I use instead — and for good reason!  I opted for a wrap, made with fabric from Andros.  Marjorie demonstrated the five ways to wear it.  Later, with a sly smile, she told Wayne she wears her wrap to tease her husband.  Marjorie tried to give me a number of other keepsake, but none that meshed well with our minimalist boat.  “I’ll remember you,” I promised.

“Call me when you arrive safely where you’re going,” Marjorie implored, as we left Duncantown for our last visit. 

Even if I don’t, I will definitely keep in touch, Marjorie!  Who knows?  Maybe I will return someday and meet the new peacocks sired by Marjorie’s pets.
Location Location
April 7, 2014 BAHAMAS. Written while anchored outside Ragged Island’s Duncantown, off Hog Cay (N22.19.420 W75.45.106). This morning we arrived after a rough trip overnight passage from Hog Cay to Clarencetown, Long Island (N23.06.185 W74.57.133)