The Bahamas is a State of Mind

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Louis Cahill Photography

Louis Cahill Photography

By Louis Cahill

There’s nowhere I love to fly fish more than the Bahamas, but it isn’t all about the fishing.

I guess I’ve always been a cultural voyeur. Whenever I travel I can’t be satisfied just being on vacation. I have to try and immerse myself in the place. To try to imagine myself living there. Being part of the panorama. I’ve nearly taken it too far a couple of times and I’ve had friends and travel companions who have. In the 1980s I ended up leaving a friend in Thailand and the ramifications of that affect me today.

Louis Cahill Photography

Louis Cahill Photography

Truthfully, I’m my most relaxed when I’m far from home. At home the clock and the calendar hunt me like dogs. I’m a fitful sleeper, when I’m able to sleep at all. My head swirls with an endless to-do list. My inner soundtrack is like a Miles Davis LP on 45. But when I’m out there, way out there, like British Columbia or Patagonia, I sleep like a baby.

Even though it’s just an hour and a half by plane, I get the same relaxation. Just being on foreign soil I guess. It’s instant, no unwinding time necessary. A deep breath of salty air followed by a long drink of rum and I’m a local, in my head at least. Of course it’s hard to be uptight in the Bahamas, but once in a while I do see people pull it off.

This photo captures a moment.

Louis Cahill Photography

Louis Cahill Photography

One of the moments that hangs with me as strong as any fish I’ve landed. It’s the end of the day and we’re riding back to the dock when our guide, Jose Sands, makes an unscheduled stop at the grocery. There’s some subtle Bahamian haggling before dinner is passed from one boat to the other. The Bahamians speak differently when they speak to each other and it takes some experience to understand even the words, much less what’s really being said. That’s my moment. For a couple of minutes I’m just there, part of the panorama.

Louis Cahill
Gink & Gasoline
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4 thoughts on “The Bahamas is a State of Mind

  1. It’s true that very busy people have to go away from home for a vacation because of the haunts of a to do list. I never relax on my time off if I am at home, seems I am pressed to work harder while I am off. It’s amazing. I go away, no computer, no TV, no newspaper, I come home and the world is still the same except that my mind is clearer and my blood pressure is normal without the meds I need while on the job.

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  3. Louis,
    We are standing in the same boot when it comes to foreign travel, especially the Bahamas, particularly South Andros and the Little Creek corridor.
    I consider myself fortunate to have shared a boat with some of the most knowledgeable, skilled and capable guides ever to pilot a flats skiff. I can think of no finer place and people to enjoy the totality of the outdoors.
    The fishing is exceptional but it is only a fraction of the Andros experience. South Andros has no peer. Pete

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