a time in your life when you just have to say, "Screw you people, I'm
going to a remote island where there's not another living soul in sight."
Actually, I say that just about every day, but the closest thing to an
"island" that I ever make it to is my local 7-11 for a Slurpee. Recently,
however, I was fortunate enough to take a real vacation down in the
Bahamas. Aside from being blasted by unexpected gale force winds, and
hearing tales about the rampant inbreeding that takes place in the nearby
ManOWar island, it was a great trip.
thing I really wanted to see during my stay was the abandoned "Treasure
Island" resort that Disney built in Baker's Bay. Known to the locals as
the only "Ghost Town" in the Abacos, it used to be a major tourist
attraction. Disney's huge cruise liners would actually stop near the
island to drop people off for a day o' fun. But being the brilliant
masterminds that they are, Disney failed to do their research about the
area before they invested over 30 million dollars in the place.
See, the water in Baker's Bay was fairly shallow, especially near this
particular island on which they built the resort. So, they dredged the
area to make it deeper... but they didn't plan on the tides bringing the
sand back. It had to keep being re-dredged until eventually Disney just
gave up on the whole friggin' thing. It probably didn't help that the
island wasn't inhabited so to get people to work there, they had to be
taken by a ferry. And if you've ever been to the Bahamas, everyone will
tell you that the people there are extremely lazy when it comes to work.
Most of the people just work whenever they feel like it. So as you can
imagine, getting people to ride 2 hours on a ferry just to work for Disney
each day wasn't about to happen. 30 million doubloons down the crapper.
Disney... we salute you.
One of the
best things about this particular island is that it's not a part of the
regular tours in the Bahamas, and the local ferries won't even take you to
it. The only way to get there is by a boat of your own, and even then it's
pretty hard to spot. As you can see in the pic above, there's just a small
busted up dock sticking out of the island - which is why a lot of people
sail right on by the place without even noticing it. So we anchored out
about 500 yards and motored the rest of the way in a little dinghy.
Something I want to know is why people give names to their boats but not
to their dinghies. If I owned that dinghy, I would hoist up a jolly roger
flag and give it a name that would strike fear into the hearts of even the
most ruthless pirates. You know, something like "The Bastard Barnacle" or
"The Jellyfish Rapist" or "Chuggy McDinghy".
It really is
a beautiful secluded island, and no words I write can possibly do it the
same justice that being there and seeing it with your own eyes can. The
first thing you see on the island, aside from the tattered docks, is the
area in which they held sharks and dolphins for the tourists to see.
According to the locals, when Disney abandoned the island, they released
the sharks into the local waters. And it's knowing little factoids like
that which make riding in a tiny inflatable dinghy all the more
exciting... or idiotic.
entrance to the resort still stands, though it's obvious that a lot of
wooden boards have been removed. See, the locals took and/or broke nearly
everything on the island after Disney left, and you'll see more of that in
the upcoming photos. It was pretty amusing to find a credit card slip
copier in a place that was so remote and tropical. It was just sitting
there on a nearby bench, but I wasn't about to give a bunch of lizards and
hermit crabs my credit card number. Who knows what those things would do
with it. Actually, I know exactly what the lizards would do:
[click for a close-up of the
I don't know
how many credit card numbers that little bastard lizard stole, but I'm
sure it was quite a few. Beachfront property with his own basketball court
and a cannon? Goddamnit, he's living the good life while I'm slaving away
trying to make ends meet each month! And I'm sure the hermit crabs are no
different. Since they travel with their homes on their back, they'd
probably just invest in some absurdly fancy schmancy diamond-encrusted
Next up was
a large power box that had been stripped bare. When I said the locals took
everything, I mean they really took damn near everything. I'm surprised
they didn't uproot the thing and haul it off. There was also a lot of
weather damage nearby too. This was one of the hardest hit areas by
Hurricane Floyd, so it was pretty crazy seeing all these huge heavy logs
that mother nature scattered about as if they were light as feathers.
mother nature, it was nice to see how the trees were once again growing in
the areas that Disney had cleared out. Rows and rows of seats where people
once sat and probably watched hilarious acts such as Bob Saget and
Carrot Top had now been overgrown by the jungle. But nothing could
prepare me for what I found behind the big entertainment stage.
REMAINS OF MANY-A-TOILET!
I swear my
heart skipped a beat when I saw the carcasses of these once mighty
porcelain gods scattered throughout the bathrooms. What drove these
Bahamian madmen to attack the toilets? Perhaps it was some big political
outcry that I just didn't understand? Had the locals been oppressed by the
evil Disney corporation? Perhaps they felt that these toilets were a close
representation of Disney, and therefore, they had to be smashed into a
thousand shards. Yes, that must be it! VIVA LA REVOLUTION! DOWN WITH
THE OPPRESSIVE TOILETS! WE SHALL POOP WHERE WE PLEASE!!!
even in times of toilet turmoil, it's good to see that some of the locals
still had a sense of humor. For a second there, I thought someone
actually pooped out a whole coconut. LOL! They almost got me there
with that gag! ROFL! Those wacky Bahamians!
surprised at all, I found that the bar had been completely ransacked. All
the alcohol was long gone, with just a few bottles still lying around.
What was once a cooler, now looked like either a trashcan or a makeshift
urinal. Judging by the smell of it, I'd have to guess the latter.
fans at this resort were no strangers to the punishment of the locals
either. We saw ceiling fan units all over the place, but I don't recall a
single one that had even one blade that hadn't been broken off. Ah well,
if you get hot, you can always take a dip in the water. There were also
all sorts of decorative nautical items that had been pummeled. As you can
see above, it was once a perfectly good boat. Now it's a perfectly good
heap o' trash.
Since I was
unable to get any service at the bar, I figured I could at least get a
little exercise by shooting some hoops at the nearby basketball court.
Unfortunately, the "hoop" had been stolen and there were no basketballs in
sight. It's a good thing there were coconut trees all over the place. And
as we all know, coconuts make superb basketball substitutions.
COCONUT HUMOR! GOTTA LOVE IT!
something that really baffled me. There were a bunch of abandoned jet skis
and mini-motor boats lying around with their engines completely removed.
Why couldn't the locals just leave the engines in 'em and ride off into
there! A perfectly good paddle boat, discarded in a heap of trash with its
paddles removed! It just doesn't make any sense! Were the locals planning
on building some freakish paddle-motor hybrid? I hope so, cuz that's the
only explanation I could come up with for them taking those parts instead
of the whole boats.
onward, this hut was probably the most intact thing left on the island.
You could even read the old faded "Parasailing" sign atop it. Parasailing
was just one of the many attractions that guests of Disney's "Treasure
Island" could enjoy. Yep, Parasailing and coconuts.
further down the path, I came to what was easily the largest of the
buildings. This place had to be the main headquarters for the resort... or
one hell of a fancy lemonade stand. The floors and surrounding areas were
in complete disarray, pieces of glass everywhere, broken boards, and there
were even several noticeable spots where people had held campfires. Yep,
instead of fetching pieces of wood, they just set the floor itself on
thing is, while the ground lay ridden with destruction, the ceilings were
quite the opposite - solid oak, beautiful craftsmanship, and not a scratch
on 'em. Just walking around the place and looking at the ceilings really
helps you understand just how much money Disney blew on the joint. Keep in
mind, the entire place looked like these ceilings before the locals
pillaged most of it and then Hurricane Floyd gave it a bitchslap for good
than we needed to know, Bob. More info than we needed to know...
mention that the locals beat the hell out of this place? Well, they did.
What little items they didn't take home, they gave one hell of a pounding
too. Huge panes of glass were smashed, extremely nice bookshelves were all
but torn to shreds, air conditioning ducts had been ripped down from the
ceiling and pummeled with coconuts, and strips of insulation had been torn
from the walls. The economy was in better shape than this pad.
enough, there was a decorative crow's nest that hadn't been destroyed. I
figured that the locals probably used this so they could throw coconuts
down onto the floor from high up to cause more damage. Or maybe they just
used it to pounce down on unsuspecting tourists and rob them. Guess it's a
good thing they were out to lunch when I was there.
being robbed, I found the main safe to the entire resort. It was a mighty
Chubb brand safe and it looked as if some pirates had their way with it.
Looking back on it, I kind of wish I filled the thing with coconuts and
then resealed it. Then sometime in the future someone would find it and
spend an eternity trying to open it while expecting to become instantly
wealthy... only to find that it was filled with a bunch of goddamned
coconuts. Then I would hop down from my crow's nest and shout "You got
SERVED!" and run off into the tropical wilderness, never to be seen
Well, I can
something that was really disappointing. There was an extremely tall
crow's nest outside of the building, but the ladder had been almost
completely destroyed so there was no way to get to the top of it without
killing myself. But man, the view from up there would've been spectacular.
I could have been king of that island had I reached the top. Some day...
some day I'll go back there with a ladder and then I will be
meantime, I decided to remain the king of fools by trying out my coconut
juggling act on a nearby stage. Even the lizards booed me. What can I say,
I can't juggle for shit... but I know you people can't get enough of these
precious coconut jokes!
more exploration, the main kitchen area was found. Unless you're looking
to get a tetanus shot, I wouldn't recommend eating off of those rusty
surfaces. And here's a perfect example of just how much the locals took
from this place. They actually removed large portions of the tiles from
the walls and bar tables. The only ones that were left behind were the
tiles that had too much dirt and grime on them to be worth salvaging.
Tiles must be like cold hard cash in the Bahamas. :o
the kitchen we found the huge ovens that had been left behind. Again, many
of them had been pulverized by some of the locals, and I was informed that
some of the ovens in there could easily go for over 15,000 smackeroos. If
only I could fit them into my dinghy, I'd be rich.
I found what I had been looking for my entire life: a real treasure chest.
Only problem was, it was completely empty. But guess what? Right around
the corner from the treasure chest was something even better...
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